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    109 articles in this category

    1. MBTA permits and the shutdown

      Author: Ornithological Council

      This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

      Under federal regulation, you are authorized to continue doing the work for which you have been issued an MBTA permit after that permit expires IF you have applied for renewal at least 30 days prior to the permit expiration date. Continue reading for important detail.

      Update 30 Jan 2019 on BIRD BANDING PERMITS: We are advised by the BBL that the backlog of work awaiting them upon return from the shutdown return is daunting. Permit renewals were the #1 priority for the BBL permit office. The BBL staff has completed that task for the permits that expired in December/January and should have the February permits (that we have received) renewed before the end of the week. Any bander with a permit that expires in February or March should request renewal before Feb. 15 in case of a second shutdown. The BBL is turning our attention to the other permit related requests and will plow through that backlog as fast as week can, prioritizing those banding activities that are planned to start within the next month or so. They should be caught up with the band order requests by early next week. Operationally, the banding community should not experience many problems for ongoing operations as a result of the shutdown. They should be caught up before the activities for the 2019 field season crank up in May/June unless they experience another shutdown in mid-February.

       

       

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    2. A Vision for The Society for Ornithology

      Author: Susan Haig (chair), Bonnie Bowen, Jed Burtt, John Fitzpatrick, Frank Gill, Dylan Kesler, Thomas Martin, Brian Olsen, Amanda Rodewald, Stan Senner, and Jeffrey Walters

      The SFO Vision Statement below represents the initial efforts to plan the Society for Ornithology. The document was prepared over the past year by senior ornithologists from across North America. It will now be used by a new committee comprised of 4 representatives from each of the ornithological societies in the Americas interested in helping further plan SFO.

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    3. American Ornithologists' Union Hires First Executive Director

      Author: Sue Haig

      The American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) announces the appointment of Melinda Pruett-Jones as its first executive director. The move signals its important progression from an all-volunteer-based society to one guided by a executive leader. Her first task will be to guide the AOU Council of elected members and formers presidents in strategic planning to advance the society’s bold vision for the field of ornithology.

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    4. Editor's Choice: Waterbirds

      Author: Stephanie Jones

      African waterbirds on intensively used and managed waterbodies - how their distribution and abundance informs ecosystem management.

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    5. AOU seeks input from ornithological community

      Author: Scott Lanyon

      The AOU is consulting the ornithological community to assess how well we are serving you and addressing your priorities.

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      • 1,307 views
    6. International Ornithological Congress 2018

      Author: Pat Baird

      One year till the International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver Canada.

       

      Short video highlighting what's coming. Access the website at www.IOCongress2018.com

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    7. YOU DID IT! TUITION REMISSION WILL NOT BE TAXED!

      Author: Ornithological Council

      GOOD NEWS: From the Chronicle on Higher Education, 12/14:

       

      A legislative provision that would have effectively taxed tuition waivers used by graduate students to offset their educational costs will not be in the final tax package in Congress, Bloomberg reports. A House-Senate conference committee met on Wednesday to discuss the compromise bill, which Republican leaders hope to put on President Trump’s desk as soon as possible.

       

      From Inside Higher Ed:
      Senate and House negotiators meeting this week to craft compromise tax-reform legislation plan to exclude from a final bill some controversial proposals affecting students and colleges, according to multiple reports.
      Lawmakers from the two chambers of Congress agreed to drop provisions that would treat graduate student tuition benefits as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate Dec. 2.

       

      Also said to be OUT OF THE FINAL BILL: the elimination of student loan interest deductions

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    8. Serious threat to Migratory Bird Treaty Act

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The oil and gas industries and others would have a complete pass for the incidental take of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act should the SECURE American Energy Act (H.R. 4239) become law.

       

      SEC. 207. CLARIFICATION REGARDING LIABILITY UNDER MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT. Section 6 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 707) is amended by adding at the end of the following: ‘‘(e) This Act shall not be construed to prohibit any activity proscribed by section 2 of this Act that is accidental or incidental to the presence or operation of an otherwise lawful activity.’’.

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    9. DOI green lights preventable mass avian mortality

      Author: Ornithological Council

      It's official. No more prosecutions for incidental take of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The *(&)*& Admin wastes 41 pages explaining why it won't do what it was never going to do anyway...only a matter of time before they deny that this mortality even occurs.

       

      Update 29 Dec - Federal appellate court (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) ruled on 27 Dec 2017 in a case pertaining to incidental take of endangered sea turtles and migratory birds by long lining in the swordfish industry that the MBTA *is* a strict liability statute - in other words, that it would apply to incidental take. The score now stands 3-3 as to the federal appellate courts but none of this affects the new DOI policy, which simply means that the Administration will file no new cases pertaining to incidental take. It is hoped that the DOI will not ask the Supreme Court to review this case.

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    10. New DOI Policy steers grants to Administration priorities

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Ornithologists who want Dept of interior grants may want to consider digging for oil. Dept of Interior grants are now subject to political scrutiny and will be used only to fund Admin-friendly projects.

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    11. Thinking of using SUA to study birds in the U.S.? Read this first!

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The Airborne Hunting Act applies to "any contrivance used for flight in the air" and prohibits "harassment" which is defined as "disturb, worry, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd, or torment." Does this mean that ornithologists can't use small unmanned aircraft (SUA) to study birds? IF YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR A STATE PERMIT TO USE DRONES (A STAND-ALONE PERMIT OR AS PART OF YOUR STATE SCIENTIFIC COLLECTING PERMIT, PLEASE CONTACT THE ORNITHOLOGICAL COUNCIL. We want to hear about your experience, particularly if you were NOT working collaboratively with a state or federal agency. UPDATE 27 March 2018: A PowerPoint explaining all U.S. laws that pertain to the use of drones to study wildlife has been posted on BIRDNET.

      UPDATE JAN 2019: AS A RESULT OF THE ORNITHOLOGICAL COUNCIL'S EFFORTS, THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE WILL BE ISSUING A NEW REGULATION  - PROBABLY IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2019 - TO ALLOW THE USE OF DRONES TO STUDY BIRDS. Of course, as the shutdown drags on, the work needed to develop this new regulation will be delayed.

       

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    12. BIRDNET- new, improved...and essential for ornithologists

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Announcing the new and improved BIRDNET. Lots of great, updated content and key resources for ornithologists Come visit!

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    13. USDA to move forward with bird regulations and reporting requirements for field studies

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Could new Animal Welfare policies and additional burdens be on the horizon?

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    14. New California permitting regulations issued

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Working in California? The new scientific collecting permit regulations have been published. Here's what you need to know.

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    15. Is the ESA doomed?

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Is the Endangered Species Act endangered? GOP committee leadership getting ready to move a big new bill ...

      Update 23 July 2018: Update 23 July 2018: As of 20 July, this legislation appears to still be in the "discussion draft" stage. The full draft and other information - such as a list of supporters - can be found here. A hearing was held before the full Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on 20 July and at that time, the bill was still in draft and had not been introduced.

      The regulatory proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced 19 July (though not yet formally published for public comment) is of at least as much concern, if not more so, as it is far more likely to become law and implemented. Please read the Ornithological Council analysis of this proposed regulatory change.

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    16. Senate ratification of migratory bird treaty - it was so much easier back then

      Author: Ornithological Council

      On 29 August 1916, the U.S. Senate ratified the migratory bird treaty with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the protection of migratory birds in Canada and the U.S.

       

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    17. Ornithological Council seeking papers that assess impact of study techniques

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The  Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research, published by the Ornithological Council, is considered a resource reference by the federal animal welfare agencies and your Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees. Help usmailto:ellen.paul@verizon.net to keep it current by making sure we know about your methods papers!

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    18. MBTA incidental take situation worsens; formal regulation to be proposed

      Author: Ornithological Council

      For months, it has been rumored that the USFWS would propose a formal regulation stating that the MBTA does not cover incidental take.

      Well, rumor no more.

      The USFWS is about to propose a formal regulation to codify its current position that incidental take is not covered. In the fall semi-annual regulatory agenda published on 17 October 2018, the USFWS list of regulatory matters included this entry:

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to establish regulations that define the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA or Act) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the Act.  This rule would codify the legal opinion in the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Opinion M-37050 that incidental take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity is not prohibited under the MBTA. 

       

       

       

       

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    19. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Wild duck in Washington State found to have novel strain of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

      UPDATE 9 Feb 2015: Status of H5N1 in British Columbia.

      UPDATE 19 Feb 2015: First published report available.

      UPDATE 11 March 2015: H5N2 found in poultry flock in Minnesota, Missouri

      UPDATE 14 March: H5N2 found in poultry flock in Kansas

      UPDATE: 28 March 2015: H5N2 found in another flock in Minnesota

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    20. Gearing up for field season - get your permit apps in early

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Field season is right around the corner! If you haven't already applied for your permits/renewals, do it ASAP.

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    21. USFWS may issue MBTA permits for unintentional bird kills

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to control incidental take of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act via permits with conditions that require the use of measures to reduce or eliminate mortality. Ornithological research will be needed to determine the effectiveness of any particular measure!

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    22. Drones for monitoring or studying birds? Maybe not...

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The FAA has proposed new regulations on the use of drones. Will you be able to use drones to study birds in the United States? Maybe not...

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    23. Importing avian specimens or samples from Canada?

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The Ornithological Council has been given a heads-up that APHIS is about to restrict imports of avian specimens and samples from the area of eastern Canada where HPAI has been found.

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    24. OC 2016 Small Grants Call for Proposals / Solicitud de Propuestas

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The Ornithological Council is pleased to call for proposals for the 2016 round of grants to be made under the OC Small Grants Program.
      El Consejo Ornitologíco se complace en la convocatoria de propuestas para el 2016 ronda de subvenciones que se harán en el marco del Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones del OC.

       

      We are now ready to accept proposals via the online submission page. Please be sure to read the Call for Proposals before submitting.

       

      Ahora estamos listos para aceptar propuestas a través de la página de presentación en línea . Por favor
      asegúrese de leer la convocatoria de propuestas antes de enviar .

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    25. Speak up: your chance to have concerns about CITES addressed

      Author: Ornithological Council

      If you have concerns about the manner in which CITES is implemented or have scientific information that would support the listing, uplisting, downlisting, or de-listing of a species, now is your chance to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose resolutions, decisions, and agenda items.

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