OC comments on APHIS permits

The Ornithological Council submitted comments to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regarding its recent proposal to restructure the fees the agency charges for quarantine services, import/export permits, and other veterinary services.

In general, the OC supports the development of a permit fee system that will cover the costs to the agency of management the permitting system and that can be adjusted annually as those costs change. Our comments did encourage APHIS to consider extending the duration of import/export permits from one year to three years, reducing the workload for ornithologists who must apply for these permits each year, and for the APHIS staff who must review and approve these permits.

Comments can be submitted to APHIS through Dec. 2. You can read the OC’s comments here.

September/October NewsBRIEF

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in September and October 2022. 

The Ornithological Council’s mission is to: 

  • Ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds;
  • Enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and
  • Promote the influence of ornithology in public affairs.

Our work focuses on animal welfare issues, permits, 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. Attended the Association of Field Ornithologists’ 100th annual meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts. OC Executive Director Laura Bies spoke to the AFO Council about the Ornithological Council and also presented to AFO members about the OC’s activities and services. 

2. Partnered with the AOS Collections Committee to take part in the AOS Student Affairs Committee professional development webinar series, in a webinar about navigating the permitting process. 

3. Continued to reinvigorated its ‘supporting membership’ category, to expand its membership and its reach to ensure that all ornithologists can benefit from the OC’s resources and expertise. Now, organizations and institutions can become part of the OC community of those who work with and love birds. Two applications for supporting membership have been approved by the OC board, from the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and the Ventana Wildlife Society. Learn more here. https://birdnet.org/oc/supporting-members/

4. Continued to launch two new working groups, focusing on (1) the use of wild birds in research and (2) permitting issues. The board’s vision is that each working group will have about 5 or 6 members, representing the breadth of our societies’ geographic and taxonomic diversity. This will offer ornithologists of all ages and career levels a chance to interact with representatives from other societies, contribute to the ornithological community in a new way, and dig deeper into issues they are interested in. OC representatives will be reaching out to their Society leadership soon, if they haven’t already. 

5. Participated in a quarterly meeting with Bird Banding Lab staff, to discuss issues of mutual interest.  

6. Continued work on our update of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. We are currently in the process of reviewing the literature for new papers published since the 2010 publication of the current edition. New reference lists for each chapter are being made available on BIRDNET.org once completed (only one chapter is left to be completed!), and once all chapter updates are ready, a new PDF of the complete Guidelines with the new references will be compiled and posted online. If you’d like to help with Chapter 3: Capture and Marking, please contact our Executive Director.

7. Provided direct individual assistance to ornithologists who belong to OC societies regarding how to obtain the permits necessary to complete their research. During September and October, we assisted two individuals with permit issues.

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

– Updated avian influenza dashboard

Emperor Penguin listed as an threatened species under ESA

The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. State of the Birds report released

APHIS to revise fees for import/export permits, quarantines, other services

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

July-August NewsBRIEF

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in July and August 2022. 

The Ornithological Council’s mission is to: 

  • Ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds;
  • Enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and
  • Promote the influence of ornithology in public affairs.

Our work focuses on animal welfare issues, permits, 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, the Ornithological Council:

Prepared comments on the permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act, CITES, and the Wild Bird Conservation Act. These comments were submitted in two different letters, which you can read here and here. 

Reinvigorated its ‘supporting membership’ category, to expand its membership and its reach to ensure that all ornithologists can benefit from the OC’s resources and expertise. Now, organizations and institutions can become part of the OC community of those who work with and love birds. Two applications for supporting membership have been approved by the OC board, from the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and the Ventana Wildlife Society. Learn more here. https://birdnet.org/oc/supporting-members/

Launched two new working groups, focusing on (1) the use of wild birds in research and (2) permitting issues. The board’s vision is that each working group will have about 5 or 6 members, representing the breath of our societies’ geographic and taxonomic diversity. This will offer ornithologists of all ages and career levels a chance to interact with representatives from other societies, contribute to the ornithological community in a new way, and dig deeper into issues they are interested in. Society leadership will be hearing more from their OC representatives soon!

Participated in a quarterly meeting with Bird Banding Lab staff, to discuss issues of mutual interest.  

Continued work on our update of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. We are currently in the process of reviewing the literature for new papers published since the 2010 publication of the current edition. New reference lists for each chapter are being made available on BIRDNET.org once completed (only one chapter is left to be completed!), and once all chapter updates are ready, a new PDF of the complete Guidelines with the new references will be compiled and posted online. If you’d like to help with Chapter 3: Capture and Marking, please contact our Executive Director.

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 one IACUC with animal welfare issues. 

Posted articles and updates on the Ornithology Exchange regarding:

White House mandates immediate open access for federally funded research

Applegate sworn in as USGS Director

OC comments on various USFWS permits

Sixty-third Supplement to the Check-list of North American Birds published

OC submits comments on MBTA permits

Court strikes down Trump-era ESA rules

COMMENT OPPORTUNITY: USFWS taking additional comments on Ivory-billed delisting

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

OC comments on various USFWS permits

The Ornithological Council submitted comments today in response to a request for comments on an information collection for the permits that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues under the Endangered Species Act, CITES, Wild Bird Conservation Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The comments submitted by the OC highlight several concerns of the ornithological community, including the current delays in permit processing and the difficulties with validating CITES permits.

The Federal Register notice from the USFWS is available here. You can read the OC’s comments here.

OC submits comments on MBTA permits

The Ornithological Council submitted comments today in response to a request for comments on an information collection for the permits that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  The comments submitted by the OC highlight several concerns of the ornithological community, including the current delays in permit processing and the agency’s move away from blanket permits for imports and exports under the MBTA.

The Federal Register notice from the USFWS is available here. You can read the OC’s comments here.