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  • 115 articles in this category

    1. USFWS proposes formal MBTA incidental take rule

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Update: Read the comments filed by the Ornithological Council.

      Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing a rule that defines the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) to provide regulatory certainty to the public, industries, states, tribes and other stakeholders.

      This proposed rule clarifies that the scope of the MBTA only extends to conduct intentionally injuring birds. Conduct that results in the unintentional (incidental) injury or death of migratory birds is not prohibited under the act.

      Background: the USFWS under this Administration developed a policy known as an M-Opinion, which is internal agency policy, stating that the law does not prohibit incidental take of migratory bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

      The policy has been in litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for some time and is still pending. It is unlikely to be adjudicated before June of this year and any decision will be appealed.

      Throughout this time, the USFWS has stated that it intends to promulgate a formal regulation. Doing so would obviate one of the key aspects of the legal challenge - that there was no opportunity for public input. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, public input is required when a formal regulation is proposed.

       

       

      • 0 comments
      • 887 views
    2. 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.

      URGENT NEWS FOR THOSE NEEDING PERMITS FROM USFWS REGION 8: This information was received by the Ornithological Council on 23 Jan 2020:

      Our office is currently very short-staffed and is experiencing a backlog of one year with processing permits and mail.

      Do not follow up with a hard copy unless asked to do so or if you are sending a processing fee through the mail.  The only way we can accept processing fees is with a hard copy check or money order payable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

      Reports – if you are submitting a report, no further action is needed.

      Applications – if you are submitting an application.  No further action is needed; however, we do recommend following up with our office if you have not heard from us after 6 months.

      Questions – if you have a question, a response may require research and time.  We appreciate your patience and will respond to your inquiry at our earliest opportunity.

       

      • 0 comments
      • 4,966 views
    3. Step back into ornithological history

      Author: Ellen Paul

      All sorts of handwritten notes from illustrious ornithologists are now on the web. You can help to make them more accessible!

      • 0 comments
      • 2,866 views
    4. Do you like ice cream?

      Author: Ellen Paul (who happens to be the Executive Director of the Ornithological Council but here is expressing her personal views)

      Yes? Then join an ornithological society today!

      • 0 comments
      • 3,218 views
    5. Importing avian material? Critical new information

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Don't lose your research specimens for failure to comply with import requirements! A new automated system implemented by Customs and Border Protection is mandatory and it is a big, big challenge. Read this article to learn about this system and how to deal with this hurdle.

       

      UPDATE 15 AUGUST 2016: SEE THE INFO SHEET PREPARED BY CBP FOR SMALL COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS. DON'T FORGET THAT CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WILL HOLD A WEBINAR FOR OUR COMMUNITY IN EARLY JANUARY 2017. NOTICES WILL BE POSTED HERE AND ON AVECOLS AND NHCOLL LISTSERVES.

      • 0 comments
      • 3,442 views
    6. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

      Author: Ellen Paul

      Polish up your tin cups, people. Tough times ahead...

      • 0 comments
      • 2,599 views
    7. Peregrine Fund offers digital access to full library

      The Peregrine Fund has made all holdings in its research library available to the all by offering to provide PDF copies of any reprint, article, book chapter or report for your one-time personal use.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,916 views
    8. Cooper members vote to merge with the AOU

      Penultimate step in the merger process (next up: AOU Fellows will vote at the NAOC).

      • 0 comments
      • 872 views
    9. AOU and COS agree to pursue merger

      Leaders of the AOU and COS formally approved pursuit of a merger of the two organizations at their annual meeting in Norman, Oklahoma. Both societies will be seeking input from their members as they take the necessary steps in this pursuit.

       

       

      UPDATE: 22 Dec 2015: Compilation of responses from members.

       

      UPDATE: 22 Sept 2015: AOU and COS leadership respond to inquiries from past COS presidents. Posted in the comments, below, with permission from the authors.

       

       

      UPDATE 14 Oct 2015: Society leadership reaches out to membership. See request for input below, under main article.

      • 4 comments
      • 3,576 views
    10. The Condor: Ornithological Applications:: New Studies - Published Open Access - Highlight Energy Development’s Impact on Birds

      Author: AOUCOSPUBS.ORG

      New Studies Highlight Energy Development’s Impact on Birds

       

      Ornithology journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications is publishing a Special Section of open access articles highlighting the impact that energy development is having on North America’s bird populations.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,344 views
    11. Highly pathogenic avian influenza: how it will affect ornithologists in Canada, the United States, and Mexico

      Author: Ornithological Council

      When zoonotic disease makes the headlines, you can be sure your university is going to be concerned about what those crazy ornithologists are doing! Tell them, "Don't worry - I'm not planning to kiss any ducks!"

      • 0 comments
      • 1,995 views
    12. Congratulations to APHIS Wildlife Services and National Wildlife Research Center!

      The Ornithological Council extends congratulations to the APHIS Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center for its vital role in resolving avian-airstrike hazards and the award of the Presidential

      Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award from the Council for the

      Conservation of Migratory Birds.

      • 0 comments
      • 4,093 views
    13. 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.

       

      • 0 comments
      • 7,097 views
    14. USFWS to issue programmatic environmental impact statement on incidental take of MBTA species

      Author: Ornithological Council

      USFWS takes first step towards possible regulation of incidental take of bird species protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: will prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement

       

      Full text of the notice and instructions for comments are here.

      • 2 comments
      • 4,420 views
    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.

      • 0 comments
      • 5,014 views
    16. New model protocol form for wildlife research now available

      Author: Ellen Paul

      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?

       

      UPDATE 13 Feb 2014: Slightly modified document; changes made in response to comments from the staff of the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. Note that OLAW will hold a webinar about this model protocol on 20 March 2014 at 12:30 Eastern. Be sure to notify your IACUC members!

      • 0 comments
      • 3,199 views
    17. 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.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,737 views
    18. Waterbirds Editor's Choice: Loon Research and Conservation in North America Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication I)

      This special volume on loons, published by the Waterbird Society in collaboration with the Biodiversity Research Institute, presents 15 papers that further our understanding of Gavia behavior, life-history and population ecology, movements and migrations, habitat and landscape requirements and the impacts contaminants have had on loon populations. Here, the editor highlights two of those papers. The special loon issue is available online at http://www.bioone.org/toc/cowa/37/sp1

      • 0 comments
      • 2,579 views
    19. 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.

      • 1 comment
      • 5,917 views
    20. Special NAOC workshop on animal welfare

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. Unless you are an ornithologist - in which case, permits and animal welfare protocol approvals are on the list, too - and not much more enjoyable. Come to this workshop and learn how to reduce the pain of a protocol approval process and maybe even turn it into a productive event.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,299 views
    21. 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 .

      • 0 comments
      • 13,233 views
    22. Ornithological Council announces award of two grants

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The Ornithological Council is very pleased to announce the award of two grants for the 2016 funding cycle of the OC Small Grants Program. We congratulate Glenda Denise Hevia of Argentina and Isabel Raymundo Gonzalez of Mexico for undertaking meritorious research projects that promote bird conservation. We are honored to support their work.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,291 views
    23. BirdsCaribbean and the Bahamas National Trust need our help!

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Please help BirdsCaribbean and the Bahamas National Trust to help birds survive, and clean up and restore vital habitats. They need funds to carry out bird surveys, provide supplemental feeding, repair and replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, and restore their national parks on these islands.. 

      • 0 comments
      • 528 views
    24. Happy Darwin Day

      Darwin wasn't an ornithologist, but surely he deserves a posthumous award!

      • 1 comment
      • 987 views
    25. Please write to protest 100% budget cut to U of Alaska Museum

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Update: the situation has improved to some extent. The museum is now facing "only" a 50% budget cuts. Meanwhile, the governor is still considering legislation that would restore most of the governor's drastic budget cuts. A veto has been expected but given that it has not yet happened, and given the enormous outcry at the cuts, it is possible that some funding, including funding for the museum, may be restored. More detailed info provided by UA Curator of Birds, in his blog.

      The curator of the bird collection at the University of Alaska Museum of the North alerted the ornithological community to the increasingly dire situation at that museum, after Alaska Governor Dunleavy announced a 41% budget cut to the university (including the museum). That was phase one (the current fiscal year) of the bloodletting.

      On Friday, 26 July 2019, the governor proposed a phase two for the next fiscal year that would completely cut the state appropriation to the museum and to all of the university’s annual investments in research.

      Obviously, these drastic cuts would cripple the bird collection or even shut it down entirely.

      Details in the full article.

      RWD-BK-and-DDG-2005.jpg

       

      • 0 comments
      • 376 views
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