Federal Legislation to Protect Migrating Birds Advances in Time for Spring Migration

The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act Moves to the Full House for Approval

OHIO (March 22, 2024) – This spring, millions of migrating birds will travel to Ohio from as far south as Latin American and Caribbean countries. Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee advanced legislation to protect the habitat that migrating birds need in countries across the Americas.   

“When it comes to protecting Ohio’s birds, we must meet their needs where they are. Many of Ohio’s breeding bird species spend up to half of their lives in different parts of the world. This incredible journey poses a conservation challenge,” said Marnie Urso, Senior Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes. “Audubon Great Lakes thanks Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH) for introducing legislation that will reauthorize the successful Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program, to protect the habitat birds need year-round.”

Neotropical migrants, which includes species like the Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager and Prothonotary Warbler, which breed in the Great Lakes region, face an increasingly complex range of threats, including development pressures, invasive species, and climate change.

Since 2002, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act has provided more than $89 million in grants to support 717 projects in 43 countries that positively affected more than 5 million acres of bird habitat. New legislation, The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act would reauthorize funding for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program. The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee where it now moves to the full House for approval.

“Ohio is a haven for bird watchers, especially along Lake Erie. Birdwatching in Ohio attracts more than 120,000 visitors each year and contributes more than $20 million to local economies,” said Rep. Joyce, Co-Chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “Reauthorizing the successful Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program will continue to conserve bird habitats and support healthy bird populations, which are critical to our outdoor recreation economy. I am proud to see this critical legislation pass the House Natural Resources Committee with support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

About Audubon Great Lakes

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at

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