What is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act?

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”) implements a series of treaties that provide for the international protection of migratory birds.   The MBTA makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell birds listed therein.  

The MBTA does not discriminate between live or dead birds and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs, and nests.  Over 800 species are currently on the list.  

The MBTA is a strict-liability law wherein there is no requirement to prove intent to violate any of its provisions.   Accordingly, operators should ensure that their rigs and surface pits do not attract and birds protected under the MBTA.

You can learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act at the EPA’s website at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/laws-legislations/migratory-bird-treaty-act.php

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