Protect the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
What's At Stake
As bird lovers all around the world celebrate more than 100 years of conservation under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this critical law—and all the birds it protects—is at risk.
This safeguard makes it illegal to kill or capture any of the more than 1,000 bird species listed under the act. One of the country's oldest wildlife protection laws, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) has saved millions of birds every year and is credited with rescuing the snowy egret, wood duck, and sandhill crane from extinction.
But with just two weeks left in office, then-president Trump’s administration finalized a rollback that significantly weakened the law, allowing companies to get away with preventable bird deaths—no matter how egregious the act. Everyday dangers—like power lines, communications towers, and oil waste pits—can kill or harm tens of millions of birds every year. And then there are larger incidents. For example, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster killed more than a million birds—and BP paid $100 million in criminal fines for violating the MBTA.
We’re advocating for Congress and President Biden’s administration to reinstate bedrock bird protections and end industry impunity for massive bird slaughters. And in the meantime, we’re keeping pressure on the U.S. Department of the Interior in court to overturn Trump’s illegal rollback.
Birds don't recognize borders so they desperately need federal protections. They also provide a great benefit to us—pollinating crops, boosting tourism, and keeping ecosystems in balance. We must save these magnificent species and hold industries accountable.
Urge the Biden administration to restore critical protections for birds
Reporting, expert commentary, analysis, and more.
In blatant disregard to its recent court loss and over 200,000 public comments, the Trump administration is taking another swing at the bedrock environmental laws that protect Americans and our environment.
We expect the Fish and Wildlife Service to fast-track the rulemaking and continue to turn a blind eye toward the concerns of members of Congress, former wildlife officials, researchers, and the public, instead continuing to bow to the oil and gas industry’s desire to not be held accountable for millions of preventable bird deaths.
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The percentage of the world’s 11,000 bird species that are in decline