Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Bill Signed into Law

The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act Will Help Reverse Bird Declines
The Baltimore Oriole is one of 400 species benefiting from the funding authorized by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Photo by Larry Master,

In good news for migratory birds, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, President Biden signed into law the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act (H.R.4389). This bill reauthorizes the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), a successful federal grants program funding migratory bird research and habitat restoration throughout the Western Hemisphere. Since 2002, grants from the NMBCA have supported a remarkable 717 projects in 43 countries, with 400 migratory bird species benefiting from the funding. 

“This legislation is urgently needed to help the diminishing migratory bird populations across the Americas,” said Michael J. Parr, President of American Bird Conservancy (ABC). “Effective conservation projects like those supported by the NMBCA can help us turn these losses around. With increased funding, the door is opened to greater participation from Latin American and Caribbean partner groups, as well as larger projects that are more effective at meeting bird conservation needs throughout the Hemisphere.”

A landmark 2019 study by ABC and partners found that nearly three billion birds have been lost in the United States and Canada since 1970, with habitat loss the main driver. One of the nation's most important bird laws, the NMBCA has helped catalyze bird conservation and encourage collaboration. 

The NMBCA provides a lifeline for bird conservation, encouraging habitat protection, education, research, monitoring, and other work to provide for the long-term protection of neotropical migratory birds. Advances in conservation for many declining species, such as the Cerulean, Canada, and Golden-winged Warblers, owe a great deal to the NMBCA.

Direct funding from the NMBCA supports research and habitat restoration for vulnerable migratory birds throughout the full annual cycle. These species breed in the continental U.S. or Canada and spend the winter in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, or South America. Songbirds, landbirds, waterbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and others all benefit from the NMBCA.

“Our thanks to the President for signing into law a bill that improves the NMBCA, and to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its effective implementation of a keystone program conserving migratory birds,” said Steve Holmer, Vice President of Policy at ABC. “We greatly appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Salazar, Larsen, Peltola, and Joyce, and Senators Cardin and Boozman to renew this effective initiative which has helped conserve hundreds of species including the Baltimore Oriole, Piping Plover, Red Knot, and Wood Thrush.”

Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Mary Peltola (D-AK) introduced the House-passed bill. A companion bill (S.4022) was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and John Boozman (R-AR).

Contact your members of Congress to thank them for their work to conserve birds and their habitats through the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act!


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and X/Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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