WASHINGTON (October 5, 2022) — This week, Congressman Ron Kind and Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar introduced H.R. 9135, the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act, in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan bill will enhance the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), an innovative and cost-effective approach to the conservation of the more than 350 neotropical bird species in the U.S. that travel to Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Canada every year, such as the Scarlet Tanager, Purple Martin, and Blackburnian Warbler.
A companion bill was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin and Rob Portman earlier this year.
“Migratory birds transcend national borders, which is why we need a hemispheric approach to conservation,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society. “Three billion birds have been lost since 1970, and the same factors that threaten them also threaten our own communities. This bill will help provide the investments we need to protect the places that both birds and people need to survive.”
NMBCA supports the conservation of bird habitat as well as research, monitoring, outreach, and education. As a matching grant program, it catalyzes funding from a range of sources beyond the U.S. government. Since 2000, the U.S. has invested $80 million which has sparked an additional $310 million in matching funds from public-private partnerships. These funds have supported 658 projects in 36 Latin American and Caribbean countries, 40 U.S. states and territories, and provinces and territories across Canada.
Every spring, millions of birds travel thousands of miles from Latin America and the Caribbean to their breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada, as far north as the Arctic. As winter approaches, these migratory birds make the long trip back south. Apart from being among the most stunning and awe-inspiring species enjoyed by birdwatchers, these more than 300 species of birds are also economically important for their role in pest control, seed dispersal, pollination for agriculture, and ecotourism. In the U.S., the Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are 45 million birdwatchers, generating an economic output of $96 billion.
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.
Megan Moriarty, firstname.lastname@example.org