Trump Administration Moves Forward With Plan To End Wild Bird Protections
In June, the Trump Administration moved forward with plans to scale back protections for over 1,000 species of American wild birds, according to PBS.
- It is estimated that billions of birds could die as a result, and there would be more bird deaths related to oil rigs, powerlines, and other structures.
- The administration’s actions created backlash from numerous birdwatching organizations that represent an estimated 46 million US birdwatchers.
- A study suggested a number of bird populations would be so steeply reduced that they would have to be placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
- According to PBS, “The proposal would end the government’s decades-long practice of treating accidental bird deaths caused by industry as potential criminal violations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.”
- Industry sources already kill an estimated 450 million to 1.1 billion birds each year out of an estimated 7.2 billion bird deaths.
The Trump administration maintains that bird deaths as a result of industry sources like oil pits, cell towers, and mining sites should be treated as accidents and should not be subject to prosecution. A 2017 legal decision for the Department of Interior already effectively ended legal enforcement for these bird protections, but the Trump Administration’s plans would solidify the decision.
David Yarnold of the National Audubon Society said, “While America is in turmoil, the Trump administration is continuing its relentless war on nature.”
A number of conservation groups including NAS have challenged the legal decision. The largest court settlement ruled that BP pay $100 million in damages after the Gulf of Mexico spill killed 100,000 birds in 2010.