The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed in 1818 and makes it illegal for people in the US to “take,” which means killing, injuring, or possessing, migratory birds in most circumstances. That includes accidental take, such as in oil spills, bioaccumuliation of poisons, or building on bird habitat.
New proposed rules would make accidental takes legal. This change would mostly impact industries (and of course, the birds that they kill), and has nothing to do with people who pick up bird remains on purpose.
If you like birds you should probably speak out in favor of the MBTA. While those of us who collect feathers and such may find parts of it over-reaching, we also can’t just sit back and allow unchecked “industry” to kill swaths of birds in huge numbers with no penalty just because they weren’t killed “on purpose.”
Please understand that “accidental take” isn’t being proposed in order to protect you if you accidentally hit an owl with your car or have a secret little collection of found songbird feathers on display in your dining room.
I’ve worked for the the Division of Natural Resources. I’ve worked for the State Parks department, and I’ve worked as a bird rehabber.
Owls get hit by cars all the time. 9/10 of our raptors we treated at any time were car victims. No one is pressing charges.
And no one cares if you have a Blue Jay feather in your dresser with some cool rocks you found in a hike. We Don’t Care.
This proposal isn’t to protect you for these things.
Do you know who wants to be exempt from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act?
If industries like Oil and Gas become exempt from MBTA laws and aren’t taken to task for accidental take, they Will not take responsibility for this impact in the environment. In fact, they’ll only get worse.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one of the ONLY wildlife laws in the world that ACTUALLY has some teeth, as we say in Wildlife. Meaning, if you violate it, there may actually be consequences you can’t buy your way out of with wealth.
Do not let this administration change that. Tell them that they better not dare.
Listen to me:
In 2015, oil companies fought against having to cover their waste pits with nets. A multi-billion dollar industry that couldn’t be bothered to spend the money. To take the responsibility.
They will not do good deeds on their own. The MBTA exists in the first place because of the greed that decimated our birds before, the greed that drove entire species such as the Passenger pigeon extinct.
Without it, greed will prevail again.
PLEASE leave your comment on the US Fish and Wildlife website and let your voice be heard. Speak for the birds.
Type FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0090 into the search bar to be brought to the comment page. This is important and so easy to do!
Whatever your thoughts, remember that your goal is to be effective and compelling!