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Migratory Bird Treaty turns 100 years old today

Cara J

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100 years ago today, Canada and the United States signed the Migratory Bird Treaty, a landmark agreement to protect North America’s migratory birds. Signed on August 16, 1916, the Treaty acknowledged the need for action as waterfowl and game bird numbers across the continent were in steep decline. With essentially no regulations in place to manage bird hunting, market hunting was drastically impacting bird populations. Demand for meat, quills, and ornamental feathers continued to increase as Americans grew more affluent throughout the 19th century. The Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius), great auk (Pinguinus impennis), Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), and the once ubiquitous passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) were among the notable species driven to extinction by the end of the 19th century. Swan, goose, and duck species suffered severe population declines. At the turn of the 20th century, concerned citizens, scientists, and conservationists lobbied for bird protections. In response, Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada at the time) and the United States signed the Migratory Bird Treaty in 1916. In signing the Treaty, both countries agreed to take action to conserve birds by setting hunting seasons for game birds and ending hunting of all insectivorous birds, recognizing their valuable ability to [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/migratory-bird-treaty-turns-100-years-old-today/

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