July/August NewsBRIEF

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in July and August 2023. 

Our work focuses on permits for ornithological research, animal welfare issues, research funding, and other policies that affect ornithologists and ornithological societies. We greatly appreciate your support. Please contact our Executive Director with questions or concerns about this report or about any other matter of concern to your society or your society’s members.

In this time period, Ornithological Council staff:

  1. Released the 4th edition of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. The 4th edition incorporates text from the 3rd edition (published in 2010) with lists of new references published since that edition’s release for each chapter. The Guidelines provides an in-depth guide to the animal welfare considerations when performing research involving wild birds, including ethical considerations and the legal framework that must be followed by researchers. Topics include: investigator impact generally, collecting and trapping, marking, transport, housing and captive breeding, minor and major manipulative procedures, and euthanasia. Thanks to the volunteers who provided the updated reference lists for each chapter!
  2. Submitted comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service on their proposed revisions to the regulations governing migratory bird and eagle permits. The proposed changes span several sections of regulations and several permit types, modifying five existing regulatory authorizations (situations where a permit is not necessary) and proposing several new regulatory authorizations. Learn more about the proposed changes and the OC’s suggestions in our comment letter.
  3. Submitted comments on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to update its regulations regarding the exhibition of migratory birds and eagles. The USFWS is proposing to issue new migratory bird exhibition regulations to authorize possession of live, non-releasable or captive-bred migratory birds for use in teaching people about migratory bird conservation and ecology, and to revise the regulations authorizing eagle exhibition. Learn more about the proposed changes and the OC’s suggestions in our comments.
  4. Provided direct individual assistance to ornithologists who belong to OC societies regarding how to obtain the permits necessary to complete their research. During July and August, we assisted two individuals with permit issues. We also assisted law enforcement investigators with the US Fish and Wildlife Service with finding experts regarding a wildlife trafficking case.

  5. Posted articles and updates on the Ornithology Exchange regarding:

The OC weighs in on permitting issues

The OC comments on USFWS migratory bird exhibit proposal

Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds releases statement

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl listed as threatened under ESA

OC comments on USFWS permit changes

New edition of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research now available

Report released on high pathogenicity avian influenza in wildlife in South America and Antarctica

All these updates, and more, are always available on the ‘News From the OC’ forum on Ornithological Exchange.