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  • 115 articles in this category

    1. 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
      • 4,961 views
    2. 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
      • 882 views
    3. 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
      • 13,229 views
    4. AOU and Other Societies to Evolve Into New Society for Ornithology 1 2 3

      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
      • 10,791 views
    5. OC 2014 Small Grants Call for Proposals / Solicitud de Propuestas

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The Ornithological Council is pleased to call for proposals for the 2014 round of grants to be made under the OC Small Grants Program.

      El Consejo Ornitologíco se complace en la convocatoria de propuestas para el 2014 ronda de subvenciones que se harán en el marco del Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones del OC.

      • 1 comment
      • 10,594 views
    6. 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
      • 9,895 views
    7. Ornithological Council small grants program: Call for Proposals

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The Ornithological Council is pleased to issue a Call for Proposals for a new small grants program to fund conservation-oriented research in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Ornithological Council programa de pequeñas subvenciones para investigación: solicitud de propuestas. El Consejo de Ornitología se complace en publicar una convocatoria de propuestas para un nuevo programa de pequeñas donaciones para financiar la conservación orientado a la investigación en México, el Caribe, América Central y América del Sur. DEADLINE AUGUST 1.

      • 2 comments
      • 8,653 views
    8. 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.

      • 0 comments
      • 8,104 views
      • 0 comments
      • 7,252 views
    9. 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
      • 7,092 views
    10. 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
      • 6,352 views
    11. AOU Honors Kress, Morris, Jahn, Bensch, and Hill

      At the annual meeting in Estes Park, the AOU presented the Coues award to Staffan Bensch and the Brewster award to Geoff Hill. Sara Morris was recognized for her service to the AOU with the Jenkinson award and Steven Kress was the recipient of the Schreiber Conservation Award. The Ned Johnson Young Investigator award was bestowed on Alex Jahn.

      • 0 comments
      • 6,109 views
    12. 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
    13. Follow the ongoing Society for Ornithology discussions

      As the number of articles, discussions, and files related to the prospective Society for Ornithology grows, we wanted to provide an index to every article and post on the subject. Latest update 11 October 2012

      • Letters from the AFO and COS presidents to their societies
      • Report from WOS president regarding AOU-COS task forces

      Provide Your Feedback. A new forum where you can provide feedback regarding the proposed Society for Ornithology.

      • 3 comments
      • 5,672 views
    14. 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
      • 5,610 views
    15. It Takes A Flock.... Please Renew Your Society Membership Today

      Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? What if you woke up one day and realized that your ornithological society was gone? If only you'd renewed your membership!

      • 0 comments
      • 5,484 views
    16. MBTA incidental take situation worsens; formal regulation to be proposed

      Author: Ornithological Council

      UPDATE JULY 2019:

      The draft regulation that would codify the "Jorjani M-Opinion" stating that the MBTA dos not cover incidental take was apparently been circulated in early July to other federal agencies for comment. This is a standard process for pending regulations pertaining to matters that impact those agencies, or for which those agencies have shared legal authority (which is the case with most natural resource laws). The agencies were given only 15 days to respond, which is an incredibly short period of time - far shorter than is the norm.

      It is not known if the draft was also circulated to the state agencies (also standard practice; the states share responsibility and authority for protection of migratory birds). The OC is attempting to ascertain if the state agencies have been asked for their input yet. It is anticipated that the USFWS will face substantial push-back from the states, or many of them. In fact, one of the two lawsuits against the underlying M-Opinion was filed by a group of State Attorneys General. Both lawsuits - the case filed by the states and another filed by a group of NGOs - are still pending in the Southern District of New York. It was thought that the USFWS would not publish the proposed regulation for public comment until that case was resolved because if the decision is unfavorable to the USFWS (i.e., strikes down the M-Opinion), the new regulation would either be moot in its entirety or perhaps have to be re-written in accordance with the court decision.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      • 1 comment
      • 5,380 views
    17. 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
      • 5,013 views
    18. It’s official! Federal employees (when they return from furlough…) may serve on boards of scientific societies

      Author: Ellen Paul

      It's been a LONG time in coming, but it is now final and official: federally employed scientists can now serve on the boards of ornithological and other scientific societies without fear of going to the pokey!

      • 0 comments
      • 4,586 views
    19. 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
      • 4,419 views
    20. NSF gives official recognition to Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research

      Author: Ellen Paul

      Ornithologists applying for and receiving NSF grants can now be assured that the animal welfare guide written by and for ornithologists has been officially accepted by NSF as the appropriate standard for Animal Welfare Act compliance. The National Science Foundation has revised its Grant Proposal Guide to recognize Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research as an official reference document for Animal Welfare Act compliance. This publication, along with similar guides for mammals, fishes, and herpetofauna, was first created – at the prompting of and with funding from NSF but it was not accepted by any federal agency as an official standard... until now.

      • 0 comments
      • 4,381 views
    21. 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
      • 4,092 views
    22. 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
      • 4,015 views
    23. 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!

      • 0 comments
      • 3,802 views
    24. 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
      • 3,575 views
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