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Ellen Paul

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  1. Position with USGS open to graduate student or recent graduate. Please share with anyone you think might be interested: Student Research Opportunity: Classification of Bird Habitat using Remote Sensing U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center We anticipate hiring a Student Services Contractor to assist with a remote sensing project to monitor waterfowl habitat and shorebird habitat on agricultural landscapes along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Texas to Alabama using satellite imagery. This student contract position is open to: (1) current undergraduate student with two or more years of classes; (2) a current graduate student; or (3) a recent graduate with a B.S. degree (i.e., graduated within the last year). This Student Services Contractor will help with the following activities: (1) geospatial data compilation; (2) assess waterfowl and shorebird habitats via classification of Landsat satellite imagery; (3) data management; (4) geospatial data analysis; (5) figure and table preparation; and (6) verbal and written communication of results. The Student Services Contractor will work with Nicholas Enwright (https://www.usgs.gov/staff-profiles/nicholas-enwright). In order to be eligible, applicants must have the status listed above and be eligible to work in the U.S. as a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident. The applicant should have an interest and experience in remote sensing and geospatial analyses. Pay will be commensurate with education. To apply for this position, please send the following information to Nicholas Enwright via email (enwrightn@usgs.gov): (1) A cover letter explaining their interest in the position (2) A resume or CV (3) A sample geospatial-focused report or product, particularly one with remote sensing components (e.g., a class paper or writing assignment) Please send this information in an attachment via email with the following subject line: Application- Student Research Opportunity. A single attachment is preferred. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For questions, contact Nicholas Enwright (enwrightn@usgs.gov)
  2. Reminder: Deadline to Submit Applications for LACA Section Professional Development Scholarship is Fast Approaching! Applications due by 15 December This is a friendly reminder that the deadline to submit applications for a professional development scholarship from the Latin American and Caribbean (LACA) Section of SCB is less than two weeks away! All applications are due by Saturday 15 December! The scholarship opportunity is available to graduate students working in the Latin American and Caribbean region. LACA will offer four competitive scholarships of $2,000 US each in support of expenses associated with emerging conservation professionals conducting their thesis work in disciplines and subjects directly related to applied conservation science, and for which some tangible conservation benefit or outcome is anticipated. Rationale: Some of the most pressing issues with respect to conservation are found across Latin America and the Caribbean geographical regions. Universities and colleges across most of the LACA membership region do not currently have adequate support for the professional development of their emerging conservation professionals. As a consequence, more support is needed for the projects of LACA graduate students who have the potential to be greatly impactful in conservation. This scholarship opportunity is intended to increase support for the most creative and innovative conservation graduate students in pursuing meaningful conservation projects in the LACA region, so they may pursue and conduct outstanding research in applied conservation natural and social sciences. Deadline: December 15, 2018 Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible, students must: (1) be a member in good standing of the Society for Conservation Biology, (2) be a member of SCB’s LACA Section, (3) be a native citizen of a Latin American or Caribbean nation (i.e., countries and territories of the Americas excluding the United States, Canada, and Greenland), (4) be enrolled in a graduate program at a University or College in a Latin American or Caribbean nation, (5) demonstrate financial need, and (6) be conducting a graduate research project with high potential for immediate conservation impact. Application Guidelines: Candidates working on topics of greatest importance to the mission1] of The Society for Conservation Biology will receive the highest consideration. Please submit the following materials by December 15: 1. Proposal Summary or Statement (3 pages maximum, single spaced). Provide an overview as to what your work is, and why your work is important relative to existing studies, including how/why it is different, or what gap/problem it is uniquely addressing. Also, discuss how it is relevant to SCB’s mission, and what you hope to accomplish across your career. 2. Budget. Please include a budget table or description showing how the scholarship funds will be spent, and please briefly discuss your financial need (1 paragraph) 3. CV (3 pages max, any format) 4. Indicate your country of citizenship and SCB Membership Number 5. Two letters of reference (one of which is required to be from your major professor or advisor; in the letter, your advisor should briefly state why these funds are needed) 6. Undergraduate and current graduate transcripts, and GPA Successful applicants will be required to furnish receipts for expenses up to the full amount of the award. We expect this scholarship will be a recurring annual or bi-annual opportunity, and we are proud to be the first SCB Section to offer such an opportunity in support of further developing the careers of its graduate student members. Please note that as of this year, preference will be given to applicants that have been SCB members in good standing prior to the year of application (international student rates apply). All files must be in either MS Word, pdf, or jpeg format. Please send all application materials as a single zip/compressed file saved as “last name_first initial(s)” of the applicant (e.g., Rodriguez_JRC) in a single email with the subject line “LACA SCHOLARSHIP” to: Dr. Anthony J. Giordano, LACA Scholarship Committee Chair Email: lacabd@conbio.org
  3. Patrick J. Gould was born 1934, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, and served as a Research Curator for the Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, 1963-1964. He authored a text of Techniques for Shipboard Surveys of Marine Birds and another on the Distribution and Abundance of Marine Birds and Mammals Wintering in the Kodiak Area of Alaska and other papers and texts about marine birds. He worked for the USGS Biological Resources Division in Alaska.
  4. October 11, 2018 The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced a new direct hiring authority in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) positions in a memorandum issued by acting director Margaret Weichert to all federal agency heads on October 11. The memorandum is part of the larger President’s Management Agenda released in March 2018, which establishes a long-term vision for modernizing the federal government’s workforce. According to the OPM website, federal agencies can use a direct-hire authority to fill vacancies when a critical hiring need or severe shortage of candidates exists. Direct-hire expedites the hiring process by eliminating traditional protocol specifications for rating and ranking applicants, giving preference for veterans, and following the "rule of three" procedure of providing specific reasons why none of the top three applicants are acceptable prior to considering other candidates. The new authorization will open positions to direct-hire in fields including biological science, fishery biology, and physical science, according to a copy of the memorandum obtained by FedSmith, a digital news service. According to the memo, agencies will still be required to request an applicable pre-employment background investigation to establish whether candidates are suitable for federal employment. The memo states that the authority expires five years from the date of approval. https://www.fedsmith.com/2018/10/11/opm-announces-new-direct-hiring-authority-certain-positions/
  5. David Neal Pashley, Ph.D Dr. Pashley was born on 6 April 1950 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He moved to California and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1968. In 1974 he graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. David began his Ph.D. work in the School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in August 1982 and received his degree in 1988. His thesis was titled "A Distributional Analysis of the Warblers of the West Indies." He began his career with the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, examining the effects of land use practices on neotropical migratory birds in bottomland hardwood forests. In 1995, Dr. Pashley joined the newly formed American Bird Conservancy and was a mainstay of that organization for 23 years, leaving only after illness precluded him from working. During that time, he was a leading figure in North American bird conservation, authoring or co-authoring such seminal documents as "Setting Conservation Priorities for Landbirds in the United States: the Partners in Flight Approach" (published in the Auk in 2000), the Partners in Flight Handbook on Species Assessment, the Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan, and several of the State of the Birds annual reports. In 2016, he was awarded the Partners in Flight Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also instrumental in the implementation of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, serving as a member of the international committee from its inception. In 2002, Dr. Pashley was awarded the Chandler Robbins Award 2003 by the American Birding Association, an award given to an individual who has made significant contributions either to the education of birders or to bird conservation and the "management or preservation of habitats on which birds and birding depends. Dr. Pashley most recently served as the Vice President for Conservation Programs at the American Bird Conservancy.
  6. 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. The Dept of interior is asking for permission to destroy records about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, and lots more. Basically records from every agency within the Interior Department, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others. This is all content that would normally go to NARA for collection and preservation. It is apparently an enormous quantity of information DEADLINE TO COMMENT: NOV 26 Comments may be filed as follows: https://www.archives.gov/about/regulations/comments.html a. Access the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: www.regulations.gov If you have the regulation’s docket or RIN number: Enter it into the "Keyword or ID" box; Select "proposed rule" in the document type box; Click on the button "submit a comment"; Fill out the information requested in the submission form; Attach your comment as an uploaded file or type or paste it into the comment box; Click the "submit" button one time; and Copy down your comment receipt number in case you need to track the comment. If you do not have the regulation’s docket or RIN number: You can search for the regulation by type of document, using keywords such as the agency name or the topic area, and by status (such as regulations closing soon or newly posted ones). Once you find the regulation, follow the last four steps above to submit your comment. b. Fax your comments to: (301) 837-0319 Include the regulation’s docket or RIN number and address your fax to: Regulations Comments Desk c. Hand-deliver, mail, or send your comments by courier to: Regulations Comments Desk (SP) Suite 4100, Strategy Division Office of Strategy and Communication National Archives and Records Administration 8601 Adelphi Road College Park, MD 20740-6001
  7. Many thanks to the bird banders and other BANDIT users who have already participated in the University of Baltimore survey about BANDIT. If you have not yet participated, please take 10 minutes to provide your feedback by the end of this week (details below). The BBL is beginning the process of developing a web-based replacement for our existing data submission software, BANDIT. As part this process, we are collaborating with graduate students in the Interface Design and Information Architecture program from the University of Baltimore to get feedback from permitted banders and other BANDIT users. Brandon Turner, a master's student from the University of Baltimore, has designed a survey to assist the BBL in redesigning a more user-friendly and effective process for submitting data by assessing the needs of current BANDIT users. You can choose whether or not to participate in this study. If you choose to participate, you may withdraw at any time. Who should participate? 1. ALL permitted bird banders in the US and Canada, even if they do not use BANDIT themselves. 2. BANDIT users who are not permit holders, such as those who manage data for a permit holder. What is required to participate? The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and is comprised of multiple choice and short answer questions. Please have your permit number(s) available. If you have multiple permits, please complete the survey only once to reflect your overall experience with BANDIT. Follow this link to provide YOUR feedback on BANDIT: https://umaryland.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3PKsmQ90NLGmahv (If the link does not open, you may copy and paste this into your browser?s address bar.) P.S. This information has been distributed to all active banders in the US and Canada for which the BBL has email addresses. If someone else on your permit manages data, please complete the survey yourself and forward survey information so your data manager may provide feedback as well.
  8. Thomas W. Custer, a noted waterbird biologist, passed away peacefully at home on Oct. 12, 2018. Dr. Custer, who received his PhD in Zoology from the University of California, Berkley in 1974, started his professional career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD. He was next stationed in Victoria, TX along the Gulf Coast, and then finally moved to the upper Midwest to take a job at what is now the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse, WI. He remained a research scientist with the Department of Interior for the rest of his career producing more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He worked until his death because that is what he loved to do. His passion was to collect and analyze data and then publish those findings. His research focused primarily on the effects of contaminants on bird populations. He worked mostly on aquatic birds, such as the black-crowned night heron, many other heron and egret species, as well as, terns and waterfowl. More recently he used tree swallows to understand contaminant effects. He also studied the energetics of Lapland Longspurs near Barrow, AK, declining moose populations in northwestern MN, and even worked on lizard species in NM He investigated an eclectic mix of contaminants including PCBs, dioxins and furans, and trace metals such as mercury and lead, but he was more recently delving into the effects of many of the newer contaminants such as the brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products. He is survived by his wife, Christine, also a noted waterbird biologist at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center., who co-authored many scientific publications with her husband. In 2017, the Custers were awarded the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Government Service Award for their work in avian ecotoxicology which has contributed to the research on contaminant exposure and effects on reproduction and other biomarkers in bird populations
  9. 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. Aurelia Skipwith, currently the the deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the Department of the Interior, has been nominated to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The position has not had a permanent director since the end of the Obama administration. Until August 2018, Greg Sheehan held the post in an acting capacity. Ms. Skipwith is a biologist and lawyer who spent more than six years at the agriculture giant Monsanto. She joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013. However, she seems not to meet the statutory requirement for this position, which, under 16 U.S.C. 742(b) mandates that: No individual may be appointed as the Director unless he is, by reason of scientific education and experience, knowledgeable in the principles of fisheries and wildlife management.Although Ms. Skipwith has a master's degree, it is in animal science (Purdue University, 2005). The areas of specialization offered in that program are: Animal Behavior and Welfare, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Management, Meat Science and Food Safety, Neuroscience, Nutrition, and Physiology. In addition, Ph.D. programs are offered in the area of Interdisciplinary Genetics (IGNT). After earning a law degree, she spent four months as an intern in a USDA foreign agriculture program focusing on crops, then seven months as an intellectual property consultant for USAID, focusing on food security. She next spent slightly over a year as assistant general counsel and regulatory affairs coordinator for a company that makes animal food. She began her career at Monsanto and worked her way up from a lab technician to sustainable agriculture partnership manager.
  10. https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/514601800?fbclid=IwAR3ydl4yuEFpGRnlvVLkpMnzCLJ4twlVhIWS7JIPv9jK39xw6PExe3CpAgk Summary This position is part of the Division of Migratory Birds. As a Wildlife Biologist (Ornithology) you will be responsible for facilitating binational biological planning, evaluation, research, and habitat conservation activities for the Sonoran Joint Venture. Applicants must have a professional working proficiency in Spanish. This announcement is being advertised concurrently under R2-19-10338449-LLP-MP for current and former federal employees serving under a competitive service career or career-conditional appointment or reinstatement eligible. You must apply to each announcement separately if you wish to be considered under both recruitment methods. The duties of the position include but are not limited to: Leading the Sonoran Joint Venture (SJV) Science Working Group Maintaining and updating the Bird Conservation and Waterfowl Management appendices of the SJV Conservation implementation Plan Providing leadership to federal, state, and local conservation groups in the interpretation and implementation of the conservation objectives and priorities of the SJV Conservation Implementation Plan Developing, maintaining, and promoting SJV science databases Leading the process of review and ranking of the SJV Awards Program proposals Working with scientists in other agencies and organizations to identify research needs Developing or assisting in the development of grant proposals to obtain funding or other resources needed to advance the SJV's understanding of landscape and bird resources of the SJV Region. Must be a U.S. Citizen or National Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply) Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation Official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform may be required May be required to successfully complete a probationary period Must possess and maintain a valid State driver's license prior to operating Government-owned vehicles Must have a professional working proficiency in Spanish Qualifications Only experience and education obtained by November 2, 2018, will be considered. SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: Applicants must have a professional working proficiency in Spanish. BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: A. Must possess a Bachelor's Degree with a major in a biological science that includes the following course work: 1) at least 9 semester hours in such wildlife subjects as mammalogy, ornithology, animal ecology, wildlife management, or research courses in the field of wildlife biology; AND 2) at least 12 semester hours in zoology in such subjects as general zoology, invertebrate zoology, vertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, physiology, genetics, ecology, cellular biology, parasitology, entomology, or research courses in such subjects; AND 3) at least 9 semester hours in botany or the related plant sciences. Please Note: If you select this response, please provide transcripts to show how you meet this requirement. OR B. Must have a combination of education and experience that is equivalent to a major in a biological science. This combination includes 1) at least 9 semester hours in wildlife subjects as described in "A" above; AND 2) 12 semester hours in zoology subjects as described in "A" above; AND 3) 9 semester hours in botany as described in "A" above. Please Note: If you select this response, you must submit transcripts to show how you meet the education requirement. ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION: Must have one year of professional experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience includes: leading the development of a comprehensive conservation science and monitoring program in support of bird or natural resource conservation, including implementation, monitoring, and evaluation; building partnerships and relationships to increase collaboration and support for bird and habitat conservation, monitoring, and management; expertise in bird identification, bird survey/monitoring techniques, and bird ecology and natural history in arid landscapes, and applying this knowledge in the field. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Education PROOF OF EDUCATION: All applicants who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of official or unofficial transcripts which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), grade point average or class ranking, institution name, and student name. If any required coursework is not easily recognizable on transcripts, or if you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, if you are selected for the position, you will be required to produce the original official transcripts. PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society. GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study. FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes: Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX7o1PBoFk Other supporting documents: Cover Letter, optional Official or unofficial College Transcript(s), if the position has education requirements, or if you are using your education to qualify. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A copy of your official transcripts will be required if you are selected. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: http://http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g., DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service, SF-15 Form and related documentation, VA letter, etc.) If applicable, documentation/proof that you are eligible Career Transition Assistance Program/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program documentation, if applicable (e.g., Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action; and most recent performance appraisal.) Review the Appointment Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility section of the application process is designed to allow you to choose how you wish to be considered for this vacancy announcement. You will ONLY be considered for the appointment eligibilities that you selected. You must provide proof of your eligibility as required by appointment eligibility to be considered. Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month/day/year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume. You must also complete the online application and assessment questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. DEADLINE DATE: A complete application package must be received by 11:59 PM (EST) on 11/02/2018 to receive consideration. To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application. Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is received. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process. You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application. You will be considered for all eligibilities for which you select "yes" and submit the required documents and supporting documentation (e.g. DD 214, Schedule A letter, etc.). The supporting documentation you submit will be used to determine your eligibility. Please review the list of documentation provided in the eligibilities language to ensure you provide the appropriate information. Please note, your eligibility will be based solely on the selections you have indicated "yes" in this section. You must provide the supporting documentation to support your claim to be considered. You may choose more than one eligibilities in this section. To view the assessment questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10338450 To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.
  11. Good article: https://www.hcn.org/articles/birds-egged-on-by-industry-lobbyists-interior-department-weakens-bird-protections/print_view
  12. 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. Does the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). include the take of protected bird species as a result of otherwise lawful activity? No one knows. The statute is silent on the subject. The proponents of this 100-year old law were concerned about indiscriminate slaughter of birds for their plumes, used by the millinery trade. They were also concerned about harvest limits on game birds. In short, they were not thinking about incidental take. In the early 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) became concerned about the impact of incidental take on migratory birds but knowing that there was legal uncertainty, never moved to formally regulate incidental take. Instead, the USFWS engaged with certain industries to encourage them to adopt practices to reduce the extent of incidental take. The first of these efforts was the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee. Together, the industry and the USFWS compiled a set of best practices and the USFWS gave industry members time to implement those practices. Only if a company refused to implement those practices would the USFWS sue under the MBTA. The companies, for their part, came to the table because they faced the same uncertainty - what if the courts would hold them liable for incidental take? Over time, some industries were more cooperative than others. In some cases, the USFWS imposed penalties for incidental take and these cases reached the federal courts. Some of the courts decided that the MBTA covers incidental take. Some courts decided to the contrary. And there things stand, ready for a Supreme Court show-down. (Editorial note: yes, you may and probably should take a drink or two as the enormity of that inevitable train wreck crosses your mind). During the second Obama term, some in DOI made an attempt to incorporate the incidental take policy into formal regulation, going so far as to issue a notice of intent to publish a programmatic environmental impact statement and a regulation defining take to include incidental take. However, the White House apparently did not support this effort and it never came to fruition. At the same time, some industries began pushing back. In particular, Duke Energy, which had been fined $1million and placed on five years probation for killing birds at a wind energy facility, persuaded Congress to include in an appropriations bill a provision to prohibit the USFWS from prosecuting incidental take. Worse, the company and its industry allies succeeded in persuading a South Carolina congressman to sponsor a free-standing bill to amend the MBTA to exclude incidental take from criminal liability (both efforts failed). Meanwhile, back at the Department of the Interior, the Office of the Solicitor was persuaded at the 11 & 11/12th hour of the Obama Administration (10 January 2017) to issue an "M-Opinion" stating that the MBTA does cover incidental take. Which the new Administration promptly withdrew (20 January 2017). And then on 22 December 2017 issued a new M-Opinion stating that the MBTA dos not cover incidental take. Several conservation organizations and eight states filed suit challenging that last M-Opinion. (all are still in the earliest stages; watch for updates). And now it has come to this. For months, it has been rumored that the USFWS would propose a formal regulation stating that the MBTA does not cover incidental take. A regulation is much, much hard to reverse than is an M-Opinion. 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. Worser and worser. The USFWS had a flabby carrot and a very small stick to work with, given the legal uncertainty about incidental take, but the way things are going, it is likely to lose even that leverage. Permanently.
  13. A note from Eduardo Santana about Jim: Jim was my supervisor at the Puerto Rican parrot conservation project in the Luquillo Forest during the summer of 1978 and from 1979 to 1980. He also freely offered advice while I was doing my masters thesis fieldwork there on Redtailed-hawks from 1981 to 1983. Jim, along with Joe Hickey, Tim Moermond, Stan Temple, Lloyd Keith and Ariel Lugo, was one of my main professional role models, especially for his intense commitment to doing high-quality fieldwork and his knowledge and love for birds, and his love for the outdoors. As for how his worked helped, I share what my friend Eduardo Iñigo told me: “A significant indicator that Jim’s work was highly valued is that he was the first foreigner to receive the Gundlach recognition from the Cuban Zoological Society”. Since I came to work in conservation and teaching in western Mexico decades ago I unfortunately lost track of Jim (and most of my Caribbean ornithology colleagues!). But I have always remembered him and acknowledged that he was a good teacher to many and “a teacher affects eternity.” esantanacas@gmail.com
  14. The BirdsCaribbean 22nd International Conference will be held from 25 to 29 of July, 2019, in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe. Conference information will continue to be updated on the BC Conference Website.
  15. 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. Open Public Comment Period: Submit Your Ideas Before November 30 The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has published a Federal Register notice informing the public about proposed amendments to the CITES Appendices and proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda Items that the United States might submit for consideration at the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18), and to provide information on how agencies or bodies can apply to attend CoP18 as observers. Public comments will be accepted until November 30, 2018. Click here to read the Federal Register notice and learn how to submit comments. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a treaty agreed to by 182 nations and the European Union (referred to as "Parties) that protects species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. Every two to three years, a meeting of the Conference of the Parties is held to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the implementation of CITES, including changes in protections for certain species. CITES CoP18 will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from May 23 – June 3, 2019. How can I contribute information or ideas for CITES CoP18? We're committed to conducting an open and transparent process as we prepare for CoP18 that considers the interests of the public, stakeholders, other federal agencies, and Congress. We will publish a series of Federal Register notices to solicit public input on the development of U.S. proposals, documents, and negotiating positions for CoP18. This process helps us to develop robust proposals and positions by taking into account a wide variety of views and anticipating potential implementation and enforcement challenges. -- Thomas E.J. Leuteritz, Ph.D. Chief, Branch of Conservation Science Policy Division of Scientific Authority U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters MS: IA 5275 Leesburg Pike Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 thomas_leuteritz@fws.gov T: +(703) 358-1708 (Office) T: +(703) 358-2306 (Direct) F: +(703) 358-2276
  16. How can we make fieldwork less dangerous? We are analyzing Richard Conniff's Memorial of Fallen Naturalists (https://strangebehaviors.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-wall-of-the-dead/) to better understand the circumstances and causes of scientist mortality during fieldwork. If you know of someone who is missing from this list, please add their information to our database. Your contribution will help establish new safety standards for fieldwork and memorialize the contributions of those who gave their lives to further our understanding of the natural world. Please contribute your information at https://goo.gl/forms/2TEjQCPh2KhLfFG13, where you can read more about the study. Also, please forward this call for information widely. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. This is an IRB-exempt study registered with the University of Michigan Institutional Review Board. Many thanks in advance, Talia Yuki Moore, University of Michigan: taliaym@umich.edu Martin Stervander, University of Oregon: mste@uoregon.edu
  17. In 2014, the Association of Field Ornithologists honored Jim with the Alexander F. Skutch Medal. This year, the council and members of the AFO are honored to present the Skutch Medal for Excellence in Neotropical Ornithology to Dr. James W. Wiley. Dr. Wiley is recognized for his significant contributions to the scientific literature that have aided in the conservation of a wide range of imperiled Neotropical species in the Latin American-Caribbean region. He was one of the founding members of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), and served as the editor of The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology between 1988 and 2004. His research efforts have not only assisted in the recovery of endangered species and management of critical habitat, but have also provided benefits to the public. For example, Dr Wiley has co-authored numerous popular books including three seminal field guides, Birds of the West Indies, Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and The Birds of Hispaniola. These definitive field guides have not only provided pleasure for scientists and recreational birders alike, but have also significantly contributed to the understanding of ornithology in the region. Throughout his career, Dr. Wiley’s extensive mentoring and teaching efforts have impacted a wide range of students and professionals, particularly those in the Latin American-Caribbean region. Dr. Wiley engaged students formally through supervision within Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unitsat Grambling University and at the University of Maryland at Eastern Shore, and informally in the field, through ornithological meetings, and personal communications. His dedication to mentoring and developing his students is legendary. The Skutch Medal committee was chaired by Dr. Herb Raffaele, Chief, Division of International Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The committee consisted of Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director and former President of Birds Caribbean; Amiro Perez-Leroux, Director of Birdlife International for Latin America and the Caribbean; Bert Lenten, Deputy Secretary General of the Convention on Migratory Species; Richard Huber, Principal Environmental Specialist for the Department of Biological Protection and Management at the Organization of American States and Chair of Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative; Maria Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas in the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance; and Nestor Herrera, Director of Wildlife and Ecosystems at El Salvador’s Environmental Ministry.
  18. Jim Wiley, a mainstay of Cuban ornithology, passed away on 19 September 2018. Apart from his scientific contributions, Jim was a gem of a man, exceedingly and unfailingly kind, gentle, and humble. In 2010, the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology dedicated a volume to Jim. In the dedication, Herb Raffaele, Joe Wunderle, and Noel Snyder wrote: (Note - the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds is now BirdsCaribbean) Were his only contribution the monumental bibliography on West Indian birds that he published in 2000 (Wiley 2000), Jim Wiley would rank among the most important ornithologists to have ever focused their attention on birds of this region. But Jim’s contributions to the studies of Caribbean birds, beginning in the early 1970s and continuing without diminishment today, have been so much more. We know of no ornithologist of the region whose impacts have been more beneficial, going back to the first European explorers who mentioned birds in their natural histories. Therefore, it is with profound respect and admiration that this issue of JCO is dedicated to a colleague whose detailed knowledge extends to more species than seems possible and whose many publications and other contributions could hardly be more impressive. Normally such remarks are only possible for doddering ancient figures or for spirits who have already passed from the scene after lifetimes of devoted field work. Fortunately, Jim is still at the peak of his capacities, and it is reasonable to anticipate that much is yet to come, regardless of his recent official retirement from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Jim’s energy in pursuit of worthy goals has been legendary and sets a standard for diligence that we can only dimly comprehend. Perhaps it all goes back to the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, where Jim competed as a member of the United States bicycle team and trained up to a level of fitness that he has maintained ever since. All three of us have at one time or another had the privilege of collaborating in field studies with Jim, and we are directly familiar with his tireless capacities. Even more, we have been amazed how he somehow always manages good humor and a spirit of selfless cooperation under even the most miserable field conditions. Jim’s skills range from scaling towering rain-forest trees to crossing treacherous streams (Fig. 1) and scuba diving, and we will never forget his tale of being nudged in the back by a curious Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) as he conducted field observations on marine Gobies along the California coast for his master’s degree. Fortunately for all of us, he survived this incident to finish his master's research at California State University in 1970 and to go on to many other studies. From California, Jim moved on to graduate studies at the University of South Florida on Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus), interrupted in 1973 by taking a position with the Puerto Rican Department of Natural Resources to study Plain Pigeons (Patagioenas inornata ), White-crowned Pigeons (P. leucocephala), and other columbids, a group for which he has always had a special affection. In 1977, he took over supervision of the Puerto Rican Parrot Project for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) after completing a detailed study of the Hispaniolan Parrot (Amazona ventralis) in the Dominican Republic for the US Forest Service. He remained in the Puerto Rican Parrot position until 1986, having overseen a steady and convincing increase of the wild population and having launched the captive breeding and release efforts that continue today. The success Jim and his wife Beth had with Puerto Rican Parrot conservation was outstanding, and included an informative experimental release effort of captive Hispaniolan Parrots to the wild in the Dominican Republic in 1982. Concurrent with their efforts with parrots, Jim and Beth also conducted diverse ecological and behavioral studies of the raptors of Puerto Rican and Hispaniola and ground-breaking studies of the endangered Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus ) in collaboration with Will Post, particularly with reference to the invasion of Puerto Rico by the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis). It was Jim’s cowbird studies that led at last to finishing his Ph.D. with Bud Owre at the University of Miami in 1982. In 1986 Jim was transferred back to California by the USFWS to conduct efforts for the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), a period when the very last wild condors were being trapped into captivity and when temporary experimental releases of surrogate Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) to the wild were just beginning. This period also saw a profound change in Jim’s dietary habits that resulted, quite understandably, from his having to oversee the supplemental feeding program for condors. For those who have long wondered about Jim’s antipathy to Big Macs and Whoppers, he was faced at one point with the clean-up of a defunct walk-in freezer filled with rotting mammal carcasses immersed in an incredible miasma of toxic gases. Fortunately, despite this brush with hell on earth, his enthusiasm for guanabana ice cream and other nutritious tropical delights has remained intact. From California, Jim moved to Grambling State University in Louisiana in 1991, where he took charge of a cooperative wildlife unit for the USGS. At Grambling, he developed a special interest in the training of wildlife students from the West Indies, especially Jamaica and the Lesser Antilles, and a number of his former Grambling students are current members of the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB). There, he also had the good sense to keep all his local sightings of Bachman’s Warblers (Vermivora bachmanii) and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (Campephilus principalis)to himself. As some indication of the importance of his mentoring contributions at Grambling, one of us (HR) recently was talking with an assistant to the Directorof the USFWS. This individual was a graduate from Grambling some 15 yr ago and spontaneously described how much he and the other grad students at the time appreciated and respected Jim’s dedication in assisting underprivileged students, particularly those from developing countries throughout the Caribbean. Jim’s ability to inspire others to careers in ornithology and conservation is one of his most important legacies. In 2001, and continuing until his recent retirement, Jim took over supervision of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. There, he continued to be involved with diverse conservation and research projects in the West Indies, as well as local projects in the Chesapeake Bay region, carefully guiding an impressive number of students toward their graduate degrees. Thus, despite being based in stateside locations from the late 1980s to the present, Jim’s first loyalties have always been in the Caribbean, with frequent trips to Cuba, the Cayman Islands and Hispaniola, and continued work with the psittacines of these islands, as well as many other bird species. He has been especially focused on aiding Cuban ornithological efforts in recent years, and was given special recognition for these efforts by Cuban ornithologists at the July 2001 meeting in Cuba of the SCSCB. Jim was a founding member of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology (now the SCSCB) and played an important role in launching the organization. He was the first editor of El Pitirre , and during the nine years of his editorship he was responsible not only for editorial duties, but with help of his students served also as the publisher (aided by desktop publishing software) and distributor of the publication. im oversaw the evolution of El Pitirre from a newsletter, for which he often scrambled for manuscripts in the early years, to a journal format covering a broad range of topics. As editor, he was especially helpful and patient with inexperienced authors and viewed the journal as an important forum for their contributions. Other editing contributions he has made have included serving for many years as editor of publications for the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in California. Jim’s personal list of scientific publications includes well over a hundred substantial papers, books, and monographs, mostly on West Indian birds. We find ourselves consulting his annotated A Bibliography of Ornithology in the West Indies (Wiley 2000) with frequency, and it is impossible to exaggerate the usefulness of this colossal assembly of more than 11,600 references, stretching back to the earliest ornithological writings for the region. Among his other outstanding publications, we call special attention to his coauthorship of The Parrots of Luquillo: Natural History and Conservation of the Puerto Rican Parrot in 1987 (Snyder et al.1987), coauthorship of A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies in 1998 (Raffaele et al. 1998), coauthorship of The Birds of Hispaniola in 2003 (Keith et al. 2003), and his authorship and coauthorship of numerous shorter papers on the Shiny Cowbird, the Puerto Rican Parrot, the Yellow-shouldered Blackbird, and various other psittacids, raptors, and columbids of the West Indies, not to mention his publications on such subjects as the effects of hurricanes on West Indian birds and techniques of captive breeding and reintroduction for endangered forms. For his overall contributions to field studies of Caribbean birds and to ornithology in general, the SCSCB is truly indebted to Jim Wiley. LITERATURE CITED KEITH , A. R., J. W. WILEY , S. C. LATTA , J. A. OTTENWALDER . 2003. The birds of Hispaniola.British Ornithologists’ Union Checklist 21:1-293.. RAFFAELE , H., J. WILEY , O. GARRIDO , A. KEITH , J. RAFFAELE . 1998. A guide to the birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. SNYDER , N. F. R., J.W. WILEY , C.B. KEPLER . 1987. The parrots of Luquillo: natural history and conservation of the Puerto Rican Parrot. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Los Angeles. WILEY , J. W. 2000. A Bibliography of ornithology in the West Indies. Proceedings of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, vol. 7.
  19. The Ornithological Council publishes the peer-reviewed Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. It was most recently updated in 2010 and it has been our intent to supplement it with literature published after that date, ultimately developing a database that incorporates all literature cited and all supplemental literature (volunteers welcome!). The Guidelines are recognized by federal agencies and private organizations as a resource reference. It is extremely important that we provide them - and your Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (Animal Care and Use Committees in Canada) - the most up-to-date information available. If you have published methods papers since 2010 that assess the impact of study techniques on the birds you are studying, please bring them to our attention. The OC simply doesn't have the resources to search for these studies on an ongoing basis (volunteers welcome!). Additionally, if yours is not a methods paper per se but assessed the impact of the study methods, please bring that to our attention, too. Help us to help you!
  20. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/17/science/saltmarsh-sparrow-extinction.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront The species, which breeds in coastal marshes from Maine to Virginia, and lives only on the Atlantic Coast, has always been at the mercy of time and tide, nesting between the highest spring tides. But now a sea level rise of a fraction of an inch a year caused by climate change is pushing tides higher and higher, threatening the birds’ survival. Their population has been declining about nine percent a year since the late 1990s. They now number somewhere from 40,000 to 80,000, although overall population estimates are tentative because the birds are not always easy to find. Dr. Elphick and his colleagues recently predicted that they will reach a threshold, when the highest spring tides come too often to allow the birds time to raise their young. “After that threshold is crossed,” he says, “these birds have maybe six years before they’re extinct.”
  21. 2018-2019 Awards Now Open! Size of Award: One grant up to $135,000 or 2-3 grants up to $65,000 each Deadline for Pre-proposals: September 23rd, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT. Address Questions and Send Application to: Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director, BirdsCaribbean, Lisa.Sorenson@BirdsCaribbean.org; copy to info@birdscaribbean.org Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent by October 7th, 2018, and those proposals are due by October 30th, 2018. Announcement of Awards: November 15th, 2018 Donations to the Fund: Tax-deductible (U.S.) at this link. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Betty Petersen helped many aspiring conservationists; we honor her legacy with this conservation fund. Inspiration: Betty Petersen (1943-2013), a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, U.S.A. was, in her own way, a wizard. With nothing more than donated birding equipment, books, and a bit of cash, she turned local communities and school kids into committed conservationists, struggling NGOs into recognized players on the inter-American scene, and “paper parks” into real protected areas. And in the process she reminded us how rewarding it is to lend a hand when none is expected. The Goal of the Betty Petersen Conservation Fund is to advance the conservation status of birds and habitats in the Caribbean region. The Fund provides competitive grants to groups or individuals to engage and empower communities and stakeholders to protect and benefit sustainably from their birds. The Fund and its grants will be administered by a designated advisory group within BirdsCaribbean. Eligibility: Applications are invited from conservation organizations, academic programs or government working in the Caribbean. Successful proposals will benefit the conservation of birds and their habitats in the greater Caribbean region, including Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all islands within the Caribbean basin. Innovative projects that engage local communities and decision makers to alleviate threats and/or encourage sustainable use of threatened natural resources will receive priority for funding, as will projects that benefit high priority areas—such as Important Bird Areas or Key Biodiversity Areas—that are under serious threat. Matching Funds: Applicants are encouraged to provide at least 1:1 matching funds toward the project cost. In-kind match qualifies. Proposals providing a higher match ratio may receive preference. Application Guidelines Applicants shall initially provide a pre-proposal in English, French, or Spanish. All require an English language version of the abstract. Applications need to be emailed as a Microsoft Word document, with “Betty Petersen Conservation Fund Pre-Proposal” in subject line. The application comprises a cover page, proposal (see guidelines below), and a curriculum vitae for the applicant that includes the names, affiliations, telephone and e-mail address for three individuals who can attest to the applicant’s effectiveness in previous bird conservation work. Evaluation: A committee appointed by BirdsCaribbean will review the pre-proposals and may invite full proposals from applicants whose projects seem best aligned with the goals and most likely to affect positive change. The committee may select one or more projects each year for funding. Awardees are required to submit a report 13 months from the day of the award explaining the results of the project to that point and also an accounting of how funds were used. For single-year projects this will be considered the final report. Multi-year projects must report annually, with continued funding dependent on adequate progress and use of grant funds. In all cases, unexpected challenges as well as progress beyond initial expectations require notation. Awardees are encouraged to present the results of their work at the biennial International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean and publish in The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. Download the application form (PDF) here. Read more about Betty and the fund here.
  22. https://www.birdscaribbean.org/2018/08/funding-opportunity-the-betty-petersen-conservation-fund-to-help-caribbean-birds/ August 29, 2018 Funding Opportunity—The Betty Petersen Conservation Fund to Help Caribbean Birds 2018-2019 Awards Now Open! Size of Award: One grant up to $135,000 or 2-3 grants up to $65,000 each Deadline for Pre-proposals: September 23rd, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT. Address Questions and Send Application to: Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director, BirdsCaribbean, Lisa.Sorenson@BirdsCaribbean.org; copy to info@birdscaribbean.org Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent by October 7th, 2018, and those proposals are due by October 30th, 2018. Announcement of Awards: November 15th, 2018 Donations to the Fund: Tax-deductible (U.S.) at this link. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Betty Petersen helped many aspiring conservationists; we honor her legacy with this conservation fund. Inspiration: Betty Petersen (1943-2013), a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, U.S.A. was, in her own way, a wizard. With nothing more than donated birding equipment, books, and a bit of cash, she turned local communities and school kids into committed conservationists, struggling NGOs into recognized players on the inter-American scene, and “paper parks” into real protected areas. And in the process she reminded us how rewarding it is to lend a hand when none is expected. The Goal of the Betty Petersen Conservation Fund is to advance the conservation status of birds and habitats in the Caribbean region. The Fund provides competitive grants to groups or individuals to engage and empower communities and stakeholders to protect and benefit sustainably from their birds. The Fund and its grants will be administered by a designated advisory group within BirdsCaribbean. Eligibility: Applications are invited from conservation organizations, academic programs or government working in the Caribbean. Successful proposals will benefit the conservation of birds and their habitats in the greater Caribbean region, including Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all islands within the Caribbean basin. Innovative projects that engage local communities and decision makers to alleviate threats and/or encourage sustainable use of threatened natural resources will receive priority for funding, as will projects that benefit high priority areas—such as Important Bird Areas or Key Biodiversity Areas—that are under serious threat. Matching Funds: Applicants are encouraged to provide at least 1:1 matching funds toward the project cost. In-kind match qualifies. Proposals providing a higher match ratio may receive preference. Application Guidelines Applicants shall initially provide a pre-proposal in English, French, or Spanish. All require an English language version of the abstract. Applications need to be emailed as a Microsoft Word document, with “Betty Petersen Conservation Fund Pre-Proposal” in subject line. The application comprises a cover page, proposal (see guidelines below), and a curriculum vitae for the applicant that includes the names, affiliations, telephone and e-mail address for three individuals who can attest to the applicant’s effectiveness in previous bird conservation work. Evaluation: A committee appointed by BirdsCaribbean will review the pre-proposals and may invite full proposals from applicants whose projects seem best aligned with the goals and most likely to affect positive change. The committee may select one or more projects each year for funding. Awardees are required to submit a report 13 months from the day of the award explaining the results of the project to that point and also an accounting of how funds were used. For single-year projects this will be considered the final report. Multi-year projects must report annually, with continued funding dependent on adequate progress and use of grant funds. In all cases, unexpected challenges as well as progress beyond initial expectations require notation. Awardees are encouraged to present the results of their work at the biennial International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean and publish in The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. Download the application form (PDF) here. Read more about Betty and the fund here.
  23. 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. https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-trump-administration-rollbacks-will-harm-millions Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today took decisive action against the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw protections for America’s migratory birds. Attorney General Becerra and state attorneys from seven states filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York challenging the Administration’s decision to put corporate interests ahead of protecting the nation’s public interests by rolling back protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The 100-year-old treaty originally codified an agreement between the United States and Canada to help ensure the preservation and protection of migratory birds from both intentional and incidental mortality caused by human activities. Over the years, the MBTA has broadened to include similar agreements with Mexico, Japan, and Russia. “Birds such as the bald eagle are not only national symbols of freedom and liberty, they are also vital for our country’s ecosystem and survival,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This latest reckless action by the Trump Administration threatens one hundred years of international cooperation to protect precious wildlife and ecosystems. The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are obligated to act in the best interest of the public at large, not corporate interests. The Administration’s utter disregard for the ecosystem it is entrusted to maintain and its incessant crusade to ensure that corporations are not held accountable for their actions is inexcusable. As the Administration fails to fulfill its obligations to the American public, we will continue to hold it accountable.” The MBTA protects more than 1,000 native U.S. species of birds, including the bald eagle, America’s national bird, and other bird species that were hunted to near extinction before MBTA protections were put in place in 1918. Under longstanding interpretation of the Act by Democratic and Republican administrations alike dating back decades, the MBTA has required utilities and operators of facilities such as wind farms, power lines, and oil waste pits to take preventative measures to reduce and mitigate bird mortality. Under the Administration’s reinterpretation, companies would be exempt from these requirements. Experts estimate that eliminating these requirements would significantly increase migratory bird deaths by tens of millions each year. Attorney General Becerra joins a lawsuit brought by New York, which, alongside separate suits by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Audubon Society, asserts that the Administration’s revised opinion and planned pullback of MBTA is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and in violation of the law.
  24. The entire text (from the Congressional Record) reads: PROTECTION OF MIGRATORY BIRDS. During the executive session the Senate adopted a resolution advising and consenting to the ratification of a convention between the United States and Great Britain, Executive Document E, providing for the protection of migratory birds in the United States and Canada, signed at Washington August 16, 1916, and on motion by Mr. O'GORMAN the injunction of secrecywas removed from the same. 64 Congressional Record 13348 (29 August 1916)
  25. BBL collaborates with University of Baltimore Release Date: August 23, 2018 The BBL is collaborating with graduate students at the University of Baltimore to revise Reportband.gov and BANDIT software. The BBL initiated a collaboration with the University of Baltimore’s graduate program in Interaction Design and Information Architecture in fall 2017. This novel partnership provides graduate students with real-world problems and allows the BBL to leverage local talent in areas outside of the expertise of current staff. During the fall semester, graduate students reviewed the BBL’s website and Reportband.gov. In the spring semester a different group of graduate students conducted user testing of Bandit software. We’ve recruited two graduate students from these courses to continue working with the BBL as part of their Master’s theses. Jaime Dalbke is working on the redesign of Reportband.gov. Brandon Turner is gathering additional feedback from Bandit users in advance of the replacement of current software with a new, web-based data submission process. Stay tuned for updates about these projects here!
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