New legislation introduced last month is set to enhance the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) which aims to aid in the conservation of the more than 350 neotropical bird species in the U.S.
Every spring, millions of birds, including Scarlet Tanagers, Purple Martins and Baltimore Orioles, travel thousands of miles from Latin America and the Caribbean to their breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada, as far north as the Arctic. When winter approaches, these same birds make the long, arduous trip back south.
Apart from being among the most visually stunning birds enjoyed by birders, these 350 species are also economically important for their role in pest control, seed dispersal, pollination for agriculture, and ecotourism. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also estimates there are 45 million birders, generating an economic output of $96 billion.
The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act (S 4187) supports the conservation of bird habitat as well as research, monitoring, outreach and education. According to BirdGuides.com, the bill specifically aims to:
- More than triple the authorized annual funding for the program from up to $6.5 million to up to $25 million by fiscal year 2028;
- Increase the available match of federal funds that can result in more, larger proposals and fewer barriers to participation by partners at a time when action is urgently required;
- Provide greater capacity to implement the grant program by raising the amount the Fish and Wildlife Service can allocate toward managing it.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 4187, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Enhancements Act and to ensure that EPA does not allow pesticides that threaten birds or their insect food supply.