About this Collection

Explore our comprehensive approach to addressing the dynamic challenges posed by the increasing populations of common ravens in North America, as we strive to balance ecological integrity and human interests.

Common ravens have long played a significant role in North America's ecosystems, maintaining predator-prey relationships they evolved with other species over tens of thousands of years. As human activities rapidly alter the landscape, these ecological relationships become disrupted, shifting raven population dynamics away from their historical, pre-settlement influences. Ravens, being highly adaptable, capitalize on resources introduced by human-driven landscape changes and thrive in areas near people. This adaptability has led to a significant rise in their populations, correlating with increased conflicts with declining species, some under state or federal protections. At the same time, increasing raven populations have brought challenges for farmers and heightened safety concerns, including wildfire risks.

Ravens are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712), which prohibits the take of protected bird species unless permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This Act mandates that we at the Service regulate the sustainable populations of protected birds, allowing for controlled takes under specific conditions as authorized by the Secretary of the Interior (16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712).

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive strategy to manage raven-related conflicts, especially in the western United States, a Core Team was assembled to conduct a technical review of the issues and develop a Species Conflict Framework. The Core Team included members from across the country in the Migratory Bird Program’s Division of Bird Conservation, Permits and Regulations’ Branch of Bird Conservation out of the Service’s Pacific Region, Southwest Region and Headquarters Offices. This collaboration was further enriched with representatives from other federal agencies (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Geological Survey) and states (Central and Pacific flyways).

Built upon the principles set out in the Conceptual Framework Evaluating and Responding to Conflicts with Migratory Bird Species, the systematic approach is designed to be biologically defensible and to ensure efficient, effective and transparent species management with stakeholder coordination. This strategy aims to provide a holistic approach to address raven-related conflicts that examines both nonlethal and lethal solutions for conflict management.

While the Core Team has provided unanimous agreement regarding the general management approach, it remains a Service document, and might not encompass every viewpoint of all team members.