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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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      • 593 views
    2. Thinking Critically About "A Vision for the Society for Ornithology"

      Author: John Marzluff

      Are you aware of the consequences to governance and editorial boards for American ornithology that would occur if our current societies merged into a single Society for Ornithology? Are corporate leaders appropriate board members for a scientific society? Do you think our financial situations warrant an immediate action toward the new society? Please take the time to think critically about what our pending decisions may mean for American ornithology by reading the following thought piece.

      • 5 comments
      • 5,258 views
    3. Editor's Choice: The Condor::Ground-Level Artificial Lights Disrupt Bird Migration

      Author: AOUCOSPUBS.ORG

      Ornithologists have long been aware that lights on skyscrapers and cell towers can disorient migrating birds, but research forthcoming in The Condor: Ornithological Applications demonstrates that even ground-level artificial lights can affect birds passing overhead at night. The study's authors used microphones to record the nocturnal flight calls and discovered that ground-level illumination equivalent to a porch light was enough to alter migrating birds' behavior. Their findings underscore importance of studying the consequences for wildlife when human activities alter the natural environment.

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      • 917 views
    4. GOP trying to block enforcement of Migratory Bird Treaty Act via appropriations bills

      The House has passed an appropriations bill (H.R. 2578) for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Related Agencies with one unbelievable rider - it "enjoins" the use of appropriated funds for use in prosecuting or holding liable any corporation or person for a violation of section 2(a) of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

       

      UPDATE 8 JULY: GREAT NEWS: The Duncan amendment is no more. It was removed from the CJS appropriations bill weeks ago and was never approved by the House Interior appropriations subcommittee. It was thought that he would try to introduce it when the full House considered the Interior appropriations bill, but he has not done so. There's more bird-blues on Capitol Hill still to come, including a provision that blocks ESA-listing of the Greater Sage-Grouse and Duncan's H.R. 493, which would amend the MBTA to preclude incidental take. Fortunately, H.R.493 is not moving and has few co-sponsors as Congress heads into the long August recess. If things change, we'll let you know so check back often.

       

      Read full article for more info.

      • 2 comments
      • 9,467 views
    5. Confidential survey for bird banders

      Author: Ellen Paul

      Help us help you by answering a short survey about your experiences in obtaining banding permits.

      • 0 comments
      • 2,405 views
    6. New U.S. Federal Policy on Access to Publicly Funded Research - Publications and Data

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The White House has ordered federal agencies to develop plans to increase public access to federally funded research, including literature and data. How will this affect you and your scientific society? Read on...

      • 0 comments
      • 2,820 views
    7. MBTA Permits: Practical suggestions for the ornithologist

      Author: Ellen Paul

      If you need an MBTA permit, the time to apply is...NOW! Do you need one? What should you do to make the process go quickly and smoothly?

      • 0 comments
      • 5,855 views
    8. 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.

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      • 1,243 views
    9. 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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      • 2,107 views
    10. 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.’’.

      • 0 comments
      • 2,713 views
    11. 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
      • 4,601 views
    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.

      • 0 comments
      • 977 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
      • 4,582 views
    14. 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!

      • 0 comments
      • 2,078 views
    15. 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?

      • 0 comments
      • 1,664 views
    16. 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.

      • 0 comments
      • 827 views
    17. 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.

      • 0 comments
      • 1,565 views
    18. 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.

       

      • 0 comments
      • 774 views
    19. 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!

      • 0 comments
      • 1,323 views
    20. 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. 

       

       

       

       

      • 1 comment
      • 2,552 views
    21. OC to ask DOI to exempt MBTA permits program from shutdown

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The MBTA permits program has a funding source independent of federal appropriations and should be exempted from the shutdown.

      • 0 comments
      • 329 views
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      • 6,887 views
    22. AOU and Other Societies to Evolve Into New Society for Ornithology

      In a unanimous vote at the July 2011 annual meeting, the AOU Council approved a motion to move forward with planning to form a new society, with ultimate hopes of uniting and strengthening Western Hemisphere ornithology. The plan could involve a merger of AOU and one or more other ornithological societies into a western hemisphere ornithological society tentatively named the Society for Ornithology.

      • 51 comments
      • 10,222 views
    23. Update on Society for Ornithology business plan

      We are writing to update the ornithological community on our efforts to develop a business plan for the Society for Ornithology. We understand that lack of details at this point can be frustrating. However, we are working as quickly and thoughtfully as we can so that soon you will have a better idea of what we are proposing and be able to comment on it. (6 comments)

      • 6 comments
      • 2,602 views
    24. NIH adopts Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition

      Author: Ellen Paul

      You really want to read this if you need to obtain protocol approval from an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee!

      • 0 comments
      • 3,760 views
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