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Ornithology Exchange

    107 articles in this category

    1. 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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    2. 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.

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    3. Join/renew your society membership(s) today!

      Your ornithological societies need your support if they are to continue providing the services that help you pursue your research and your careers. They provide journals to publish your research, grants to help fund your research, travel awards to help you attend professional meetings. They provide mentorships and academic and professional opportunities. They support the Ornithological Council, OrnithologyExchange, and myriad activities for ornithologists.

      How do you join or renew your membership?

       

       

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    4. That time of year again: The Annual Ornithological Council Pledge Break

      What is the Ornithological Council and why should you support it?

       

      The Ornithological Council is a great resource for ornithologists. We help researchers navigate the permit maze, address animal welfare concerns, publish the peer-reviewed Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. The Ornithological Council is the voice of scientific ornithology. Learn more here!

       

      When you join a society or renew your OSNA membership via Membersuite (2019 renewal notices will go out October 8), please remember the OC. Visit the donations page to make a contribution.

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    5. 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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    6. 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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    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. First thing we do...let's kill all the science

      Gag orders imposed on federal research agencies. A top nominee asks "“Do we really need government-funded research at all?” At EPA and USDA, all grant and contract funding is on hold. We've been here before (2001-200) and we survived but this time it feels...different...far worse.

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    12. 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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    13. 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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    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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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    17. RENEW OR JOIN NOW

      The new OSNA Member Portal is now open and available for you to renew your society memberships in the American Ornithological Society, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Raptor Research Foundation, and the Wilson Ornithological Society. Renewing online is fast and convenient for you and helps the societies to gather information to better serve you.

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    18. Endangered Species Act legislation moving through House

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The GOP-led House of Representatives is leading attacks on the Endangered Species Act. Get ready to contact your members of Congress.

       

       

       

      UPDATE 29 Sept: Another anti-ESA bill has been introduced. Read more here.

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    19. 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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    20. Are you a concerned scientist? Read this ASAP (deadline 9/26)

      World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

       

      If you are a scientist from any scientific discipline (e.g. ecology, medicine, economics, etc.), and are concerned about global environmental and climate trends, we invite you to become a co-signatory for our in-press Viewpoint article in the journal Bioscience entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a second notice” by Ripple et. al. (2017). In doing so, you will be included in the full list of co-signatories in the article’s online supplemental material.

       

      Over 13,000 scientists have signed the letter. If you'd like to add your name, be sure to do by 9/26.

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    21. BirdsCaribbean Hurricane Relief Fund

      Please help BirdsCaribbean help its members and partners throughout the Caribbean to restore the birds, their habitats and the local communities. By acting today you can help ensure immediate needs will be met and conservation and science will guide the recovery efforts.

       

       

       

      https://www.razoo.com/story/Birdscaribbean-Hurricane-Relief

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    22. Reminder! Model protocol form for wildlife research now available

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Ornithological Council and American Society of Mammalogists develop model protocol form for wildlife research...released in beta for feedback from researchers, animal care and use committee members, institutional officials, and others, this form is designed specifically for wildlife research conducted either in the field or in captivity. First question: Is this protocol even required?

       

      MAJOR UPDATE AUGUST 2017: This August 2017 update incorporates important changes resulting from a Memorandum of Agreement between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health that calls for OLAW to oversee animal welfare compliance for NSF-funded research. To help IACUCs and researchers determine how the two animal welfare laws apply to wildlife research conducted in the U.S. (or outside the U.S. with funding from U.S. funding agencies), we have incorporated a comprehensive explanation that has been reviewed and approved by both OLAW and NSF. That statement, which was reviewed and approved by both OLAW and NSF, is found in Appendix B.

       

      Update August 2016: Error in discussion of pain and suffering categories (Attachment A) has been corrected.

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    23. Numerous bird-related regulations appear to be extinct

      Author: Ornithological Council

      It is no secret that the current U.S. administration has great disdain for regulations. It now looks as though several bird-related regulations - including some that would have affected ornithological research - are now on the scrap heap. Gone are pending regulations on CITES, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Animal Welfare Act. The bird banding regulatory revisions have been consigned to the long-term action list. Updates to the Wild Bird Conservation Act are still moving forward, as are regulations updating import and export procedures and an increase in permit and other fees.

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    24. Fifty-eighth supplement to the American Ornithological Society’s Check-list of North American Birds

      The 17th supplement to the seventh edition of the Checklist of North America Birds has been published in the Auk.

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    25. Concerned about preservation of National Monuments?

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Update May 28: The deadline for commenting on Bears Ears National Monument has passed.

       

      ONLY FIVE DAYS LEFT TO COMMENT ON THE POSSIBLE RECISSION OF THE DESIGNATION OF DOZENS OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS. THE DEADLINE IS JULY 10.

       

      Express your views!

       

      Comment here:

       

      https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

       

      Details below.

       

      In addition to submitting comments, you might also want to send a copy of your comments to your Representative and Senators!

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