This year the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (“MBTA”, 16 U.S.C. 703-712) celebrates one century of international coordination on bird conservation with Canada. The MBTA is a US public law implementing a US-UK treaty negotiated by the United Kingdom on behalf of Canada. Later, Mexico, Japan and the Soviet Union (now as its successor state, the Russian Federation) joined the treaty, making US efforts multilateral.
The initial treaty sought to protect other threatened migratory birds from predatory hunting and poaching. Over the last century however, there’s been a decidedly negative shift in how the Act is being upheld, often permitting migratory bird decline to occur before understanding potential impacts on world ecosystems for the sake of short-run corporate profit.
Read the full Birds Eye View article on our Bird’s Eye View page to learn more about the implications on migratory birds if protections enshrined in the MBTA continue to be relaxed.