On Nature: Good News for Migratory Birds

On Nature: David Voigts

Congress recently passed and President Joe Biden has signed the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act that will provide funding throughout the Americas for partnerships to benefit migratory birds and their habitats.

This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and enhances the existing Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) by providing additional critical funding for projects. It also increases its accessibility for partners by lowering the cost-share requirement from a three-to-one to a two-to-one match.

In commenting about the act, Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society said, “This legislation recognizes that conservation knows no boundaries, and reversing troubling declines in bird populations means investing in habitats and communities throughout the hemisphere.”

According to information from the National Audubon Society, the NMBCA has funded more than 700 projects in 35 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere since 2002. This 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.

In addition to benefiting habitats and communities, conserving migratory birds is important to the 96 million Americans who enjoy and watch birds, contributing $100 billion to the U.S. economy each year.

David Voigts is a retired ecologist and the current Conservation Chair for the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society. He is a Tama County native, graduating from Dinsdale High School, and lives in rural Jesup on his wife’s family farm.