Legislation Supporting Migratory Birds Across the Hemisphere Signed Into Law

The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act renews and enhances a critical conservation program.
Baltimore Oriole. Photo: Sandra Rothenberg/Audubon Photography Awards

WASHINGTON (April 25, 2024) – President Biden yesterday signed a bipartisan bill reauthorizing and enhancing a program that provides funding throughout the Americas for partnerships to benefit migratory birds and their habitats. The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act reauthorizes critical funding for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program and increases its accessibility for partners.

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

“As migratory birds face unprecedented threats from habitat loss and a changing climate, it is all the more imperative that programs like this are able to meet the challenges of the moment,” said Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society. “This legislation recognizes that conservation knows no boundaries, and reversing troubling declines in bird populations means investing in habitats and communities throughout the hemisphere. We thank the sponsors for their leadership, and urge full funding of this critical program going forward.”

In addition to benefitting habitats and communities, conserving migratory birds is important to the 96 million Americans who engage in birdwatching, contributing $100 billion to the U.S. economy each year. The new legislation also enhances the program by lowering the cost-share requirement for partners from a three-to-one to a two-to-one match.

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.