Popular Science

Changes to conservation policy could put the future of migratory birds up in the air

U.S. policies for protecting them could be shifting drastically.
Tundra swans

Tundra swans, which nest in the Arctic and migrate south in fall, alight at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina

Allie Stewart/USFWS, CC BY

The Trump administration has announced a position on protecting migratory birds that is a drastic pullback from policies in force for the past 100 years.

In 1916, amid the chaos of World War I, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and King George V of Great Britain signed the Migratory Bird Treaty. The Migratory wrote the treaty into U.S. law two years later. These measures protected by making it illegal to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell live or dead birds, feathers, eggs, and nests, except as allowed by permit or regulated hunting.

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