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American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3), not-for profit organization whose mission is to conserve native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.
ABC envisions an Americas-wide landscape where diverse interests collaborate to ensure that native bird species and their habitats are protected, where their protection is valued by society, and they are routinely considered in all land-use and policy decision-making.
Wild Birds Unlimited has partnered with ABC in their Act for Songbirds Campaign.
Approximately 350 species of birds migrate between their winter homes in Latin America and their breeding grounds in North America. Hemisphere-wide habitat loss due to deforestation and development, as well as mortality from humancaused hazards threatens the existence of these Neotropical migrants. Conservation is crucial to ensure their survival.
Of the 178 continental bird species included on WatchList 2007, a list of birds of highest conservation concern compiled by American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society, over one-third, 71 species, are Neotropical migrants. At least 29 of these species are estimated to have experienced population declines of 45% or greater since surveys began in the 1960s. Several species, such as the Cerulean Warbler and Olive-sided Flycatcher, have declined more than 70%.
While the situation is dire for many birds, there are viable solutions and programs in place that can help reverse this trend. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) established a competitive, matching grants program that supports conservation projects to help migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean, has a proven record of success.
Partners in 44 U.S. states/territories and 34 other countries have been involved in 225 Act-supported projects. More than $21 million in Act grants has leveraged some $97 million in total partner contributions. Projects involving land conservation have impacted almost three million acres of bird habitat.
The Act was passed in 2000 with a maximum authorization of $5 million per year, but its first appropriation in 2002 fell $2 million short of that amount. The Act currently provides a maximum authorization of $6 million per year. Every five years the NMBCA must be reauthorized, and every year, funds must be appropriated by Congress. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) have introduced H.R.5756, legislation that reauthorizes the existing NMBCA at significantly higher funding levels ($20 million by 2015), to meet the growing needs of conserving Neotropcial migratory birds.
Because the NMBCA and its funding are so important for bird conservation in the Americas, American Bird Conservancy and Bird Conservation Alliance members have formed a coalition to work for reauthorization of the Act.
Join the Act for Songbirds campaign to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act – America’s only source of federal funds specifically dedicated to conserving migratory birds. As an individual you can add your voice to the thousands that have already taken action by sending a letter to your Representative requesting that they cosponsor the Act. Organizations and bird groups can show their support for reauthorization of the Act by signing on to a coalition letter that will be sent to members of Congress. Organizations can also engage their own members and constituents, and help spread the word about the campaign.