New Legislation Will Help Bring Birds Back Across the Western Hemisphere

New Legislation Will Help Bring Birds Back Across the Western Hemisphere

WASHINGTON – “Birds don’t recognize borders so we must work with our neighbors to protect them wherever they fly,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer, National Audubon Society.

“This legislation will provide more places to nest, winter, and rest for the millions of birds across farms and forests in Ohio, through backyards and bays in Maryland, to the mountains of Colombia, and beyond.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation this week to enhance the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. The NMBCA is 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 Baltimore Oriole. It 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.

“There are so many incredible, yet imperiled birds we share across the Western Hemisphere, this legislation will promote shared stewardship of those birds and the places they need,” said Johnson. “The proposed bill would triple the investment NMBCA can make in on-the-ground habitat protection, restoration, education, and research. It also ensures those funds are leveraged by other governments and partners.”

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