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Canada updates migratory bird regulations

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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 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.

Environment and Climate Change Canada released changes to its Migratory Birds Regulations, which protect migratory birds in Canada. The new regulations were released on June 8, 2022 and will go into effect on July 30, 2022.

First adopted in 1918, Canada’s Migratory Birds Regulations have been updated several times. The changes adopted this month were first proposed in June 2019. The changes include:

- making it clear that it is prohibited to capture, kill, take, injure or harass a migratory bird, and that these prohibitions apply to any activity;

- improving the ability of industry to become compliant with the regulations and contribute to the conservation of migratory birds, by providing feasible parameters for managing migratory bird nests;

- reducing the burden to hunters, increasing flexibility for scientific collection permit holders, and allowing temporary possession of dead, injured, or live migratory birds in certain situations; and 

- recognizing Section 35 rights by Indigenous Peoples and ensuring that their existing harvesting rights are properly reflected.

The regulations were also generally updated and edited to increase clarity and remove outdated language.

Read the press release and additional information from Environment and Climate Change Canada here

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