Existing federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, provides for the protection of migratory birds. The federal act also authorizes states and territories of the United States to make and enforce laws or regulations that give further protection to migratory birds, their nests, and eggs. Existing state law makes unlawful the taking or possession of any migratory nongame bird, or part of any migratory nongame bird, as designated in the federal act, except as provided by rules and regulations adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior under provisions of the federal act. This bill would instead make unlawful the taking or possession of any migratory nongame bird designated in the federal act as of January 1, 2017, any additional migratory nongame bird that may be designated in the federal act after that date, or any part of those migratory nongame birds, except as provided by any provision of the Fish and Game Code, or any rule, regulation, or order made or adopted pursuant to the code, that is consistent with, or more protective than, rules and regulations adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior under the federal act.
Migratory bird protection and conservation is needed, given the decline of many migratory bird populations due to human activities. A the federal government rolls back federal protections for birds and other wildlife. Protecting California’s biodiversity, including its migratory birds, must be a priority to ensure our lands are protected for future generations to come.