Saturday, April 11, 2009

Senate Bill Introduced to Conserve Rapidly Disappearing Migratory Birds

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, has introduced bipartisan legislation to boost funding for the conservation of migratory birds. Cosponsors of the bill include Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT).

“Maryland’s natural treasure, our environment, is a lure for millions of human tourists and avian visitors each year. For nearly a decade, federal investment in habitat protection, education, research and monitoring of neotropical migratory birds has been vital to the well-being of our ecosystem and our economy,” said Senator Cardin.

The Senate bill, S. 690, reauthorizes the existing Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), but at significantly higher levels, to meet the growing needs of our migrants, many of which are in rapid decline. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) plans to introduce similar legislation in the House of Representatives. The legislation was introduced following the release of U.S. State of the Birds, the most comprehensive assessment to date on the status of bird populations. The report found that over 250 American bird species are in decline or facing severe threats.

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