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Migratory Bird Management

Working with partners to assess, manage and conserve migratory bird species and their habitats in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin.

The Pacific Southwest Region’s Migratory Bird Program works together with a diversity of partners to assess, manage and conserve migratory bird species and their habitats in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon.  We also issues permits and regulations for states, local governments and individuals to participate in activities such as hunting, scientific research, rehabilitation or injured birds, educations, falconry, and taxidermy

The Service's Migratory Bird Program provides national and international leadership in the conservation and management of migratory birds by promoting, among the Service and its partners, science-based management of both populations and habitat on and off Service lands in support of national and internation bird plans and initiatives.

    Current Topics

  • About the Muscovy Duck: The Muscovy duck now occurs naturally in southern Texas, so it has been added to the list of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This species has been introduced in other areas throughout the U.S. where it is an exotic species, and it is widely raised in captivity for food. To control the spread of Muscovy Ducks in areas outside their natural range, new Service regulations allow for control of feral Muscovy ducks, their nests, and eggs in areas outside their natural range (50 CFR 21.54).  Other regulations finalized at the same time as the listing and Control Order that restrict possession of Muscovy Ducks and require a permit to sell captive-bred Muscovy Ducks for food will not be administered at this time because the Service plans to revise those regulations in the near future. Read the fact sheet and the final rule.
  • 2010 State of the Birds Report on Climate Change: Climate change threatens to imperil hundreds of species of migratory birds already under stress from habitat loss, invasive species and other environmental threats. The report, released March 11, 2010, follows a comprehensive 2009 report showing that nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline. Learn More.

  • Bird Species Protected by MBTA Expands to 1,007: On March 1, 2010, the Service announced revisions to the list of bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) Species on this list are governed under migratory bird hunting and permitting regulations concerning most aspects of possession, transportation, sale, purchase, exportation, and importation of protected species. The list, last updated in 1985, incorporates the latest taxonomic and scientific data for migratory birds. The changes include 186 new additions and 11 subtractions, bringing the total number of species protected under the MBTA to 1007. Read the Final Rule from the Federal Register / Questions and Answers.

  • 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Comes to California: the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California, will be the site of the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest October 15-16, 2010.  This is the first time in the prestigious contest’s 61 year history that the event has been held in the West. Learn More

  • Approved Nontoxic Shot: Service approved an additional shot type, Tungsten-Iron-Fluoropolymer, as nontoxic for hunting waterfowl and coots in October 2009. Read the Final Rule from the Federal Register.

  • Bald Eagle Permits: In September 2009, the Service published the final rule on two new permit regulations that will allow the "take" of eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Read the Final Rule from the Federal Register.

    Focal Species Strategy

    In 2005, the Migratory Bird Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) initiated the Focal Species Strategy to better measure its success in achieving its bird conservation priorities and mandates. The focal species strategy involves campaigns for selected species to provide explicit, strategic, and adaptive sets of conservation actions required to return the species to healthy and sustainable levels.

    The Service remains committed to landscape-scale, integrated bird conservation for the full array of species of management concern, but has developed the focal species strategy to provide the increased accountability required from all federal agencies. Campaigns have been launched for a subset of focal species since 2005 and have involved the creation of multi-agency and conservation organization working groups and the development of conservation action plans. Get the Focal Species Fact Sheet


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The Great Migration

For thousands of years, migratory birds have flown the same long-distance paths between their breeding and feeding grounds. Understanding the routes these birds take, called "flyways," helps conservation efforts and gives scientists better knowledge of global changes, both natural and man-made. QUEST heads out to the Pacific Flyway with California biologists to track the rhythm of migration..

Partners in Flight

Celebrate Partners in Flight's mission and approach to bird conversation with this 20th Anniversary video. Spectacular bird footage and vocalizations bring the message to life that we must continue to work together to effectively conserve the Western Hemisphere's amazing and diverse bird life. (Click arrow to start. Video courtesy of Partners in Flight.)

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