U.S. House Passes Legislation Supporting Migratory Birds Across the Hemisphere

The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act now must pass the Senate.
A bright yellow bird perches on a thin, green vine.
Black-throated Green Warbler. Foto: Matthew Pimm/Audubon Photography Awards

WASHINGTON (April 9, 2024) – The U. S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill by voice vote reauthorizing and enhancing a program that provides funding throughout the Americas for partnerships to benefit migratory birds and their habitat. At a time when migratory birds are facing population declines due to habitat loss and climate threats, the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act would reauthorize critical funding for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program and increase its accessibility for partners

The legislation was co-sponsored by Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Mary Peltola (D-AK). A Senate version, co-sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), was introduced last month.

“We have lost three billion birds since 1970—a staggering number—and this legislation is critically important to help communities and partners meet the challenges of the moment so we can conserve migratory birds for years to come," said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society.  "96 million Americans engage in birdwatching, contributing $100 billion to the U.S. economy each year. Investing in migratory bird conservation across the hemisphere is essential to reversing these troubling bird declines. We thank the House and the co-sponsors of this bill for their leadership, and urge swift passage of the companion bill in the Senate.”

Since 2002, the NMBCA has funded more than 700 projects in 35 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere. The program has benefitted more than 5 million acres of habitat across the nesting, stopover, and wintering grounds for more than 350 species that migrate each year between the U.S. and Canada, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

For example, the NMBCA has conserved key forested landscapes for Cerulean Warblers from the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia to the Andes Mountains in Colombia, improved grassland habitat for Bobolinks on working lands from New York to Argentina, and benefitted shorebirds such as Hudsonian Godwits from Alaska to Chile.

Media contact: Robyn Shepherd, robyn.shepherd@audubon.org

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.