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    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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      • 425 views
    2. 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
      • 809 views
    3. 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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      • 4,548 views
    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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      • 6,473 views
    5. 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
      • 3,302 views
    6. 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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      • 1,418 views
    7. 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.

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      • 2,940 views
    8. 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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      • 12,302 views
    9. 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
      • 10,205 views
    10. 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
      • 3,819 views
    11. Ornithological Council and other societies petition Dept. of Interior for fix to CITES problem

      Scientists exercise First Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances!

      • 1 comment
      • 2,452 views
    12. Editor's Choice: Waterbirds

      Author: Stephanie Jones

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

      • 0 comments
      • 1,936 views
    13. Could the days of free bird bands be coming to an end?

      For decades, the USGS Bird Banding Lab has issued fee-free permits and free bands. Could this be about to change?

      • 0 comments
      • 2,596 views
    14. 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
      • 5,789 views
    15. 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
      • 2,978 views
    16. 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
      • 945 views
    17. 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
      • 4,033 views
    18. 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
      • 2,039 views
    19. 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
      • 1,610 views
    20. 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
      • 1,513 views
    21. 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
      • 758 views
    22. 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
      • 1,095 views
    23. 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
      • 2,368 views
    24. 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
      • 312 views
      • 0 comments
      • 6,843 views
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