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Boosting Bird Research and Outreach

Boosting Bird Research and Outreach:
USDA-Wildlife Services and The Ornithological Council Sign Memorandum of Understanding

 In January, the USDA-Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center and The Ornithological Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and strengthen joint research and outreach activities related to bird damage management. Both groups support a better understanding of wild bird behavior and ecology, and efforts to manage bird damage to aquaculture, agricultural crops, and natural ecosystems, as well as the transmission of livestock and human diseases by birds.  In addition to strengthening ties between the two organizations, the MOU encourages the following:

  • Co-sponsoring meetings, conferences and workshops to address bird damage 
  • Educating scientists, wildlife professionals, and the public about research and management of human-bird conflicts
  • Facilitating cooperative research

 The Ornithological Council represents 12 scientific societies of ornithologists spanning the Western Hemisphere. The Council seeks to (1) ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds; (2) enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and (3) promote the influence of ornithology in public affairs. To do this, the Council provides scientific information about birds to decision makers whose policies and management decisions affect wild birds. It works to resolve conflicts through and seeks science-based natural resources management and sustainability. Current areas of interest include the following:

  • Funding for ornithological research and educational programs
  • Governmental regulations and permits for avian research activities
  • Habitat and biodiversity management decisions
  • Impacts of birds on fisheries, urban areas and agriculture
  • Declining, threatened and endangered species
  • Information on the role of birds in ecosystems
  • Science-based ethical standards for the scientific study of birds

The National Wildlife Research Center is the research arm of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services program.  The Center’s scientists and support staff are dedicated to finding solutions to challenging wildlife damage management problems related to agriculture, natural resources, property, and human health and safety.  Research related to wild birds includes the following:

  • Reducing crop, aquaculture and property damage
  • Improving aviation safety
  • Preventing the spread and transmission of diseases among birds and other animals
  • Protecting endangered and threatened bird species

For more information on the MOU, The Ornithological Council and/or the NWRC, please contact Ms. Ellen Paul (Executive Director, The Ornithological Council) or Dr. Mark Tobin (Assistant Director, NWRC).

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