Biden-Harris First Day Actions Signal Commitment to Birds and Climate

Bird survival is human survival and birds are telling us they are in trouble. We have no time to lose.

WASHINGTON - “All of our work to defend core conservation and bird protections and urge action on climate for the past four years have become day one actions for the Biden-Harris Administration. Bird survival is human survival and birds are telling us they are in trouble. We have no time to lose,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. “The relentless attempts by the Trump Administration to undo existing environmental protections have placed us at a significant disadvantage.”

This morning, the Biden-Harris team released a list of executive orders directing federal agencies to reverse, review or revoke any environmental policies that are “harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest.”

Among Audubon’s top priorities included on that list are:

  • review of the Trump Administration’s rule gutting the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—the most effective bird conservation policy in our nation’s history;
  • a temporary halt to oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of America’s most important bird nurseries. This immediate action is critical as lease sales began this month;
  • protection for public lands like Seamounts Marine National Monuments, a vital area for sea birds as discovered by Audubon science;
  • rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, an important global accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reviewing climate policy with an environmental justice lens.

Yarnold continued:

“Audubon and our members urge the Biden-Harris Administration and the new Congress to turn to the hard work of restoring trust in democratic institutions, protecting nature, and respecting all who call America home-- our shared survival depends on it.

“In particular, Black and brown communities that have historically shouldered the burden of climate change and workers in fossil fuel dependent communities must not be left behind as we move forward with a new administration to right these long-standing wrongs. Everyone -- regardless of background, race, or neighborhood -- deserves a cleaner, greener future.

“Audubon-driven  science tells us that climate change is the biggest threat to birds and people with two-thirds of North American birds at risk of extinction due to our warming planet. Further, research published in the journal Science discovered that North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years.

“We need durable solutions that defy partisanship —and our nearly 2 million members from across the political spectrum are raising their voices for change. We look forward to working with President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and their administration, as well as members of Congress, to build a more resilient and inclusive economy with more green jobs, cleaner air, and stronger communities that protect birds, conserve water, restore wetlands, and reduce emissions.”

Over the past two weeks the organization has called for all elected officials to respect the rule of law as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the attack on the Capitol by insurrectionist white supremacists earlier this month, incited by lies promoted by President Trump and many members of Congress regarding the results of a free and fair election.


Media Contact:  Robyn Shepherd,; Matt Smelser,

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 and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.