In Concord, Kuster Discusses Decline of Bird Populations in North America
Concord, NH –Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a roundtable discussion at the Audubon McLane Center to hear from local and regional experts about the causes of the widespread decline in North American bird populations and the impact this is having in New Hampshire. Kuster was joined by representatives from New Hampshire Audubon, US Fish and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation, and other bird/wildlife experts. A recent article published in the journal Science reported that the number of birds in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970.
“The tremendous loss of birds we’ve seen over the last several decades is a tragedy, not only for wildlife lovers like myself, but for the entire ecosystem in which birds play a crucial role,” said Rep. Kuster. “Fortunately, dedicated researchers and wildlife professionals can draw on previous success stories of species restoration like the rebound we’ve seen in eagle and loon populations. We know that collaborative efforts supported by smart federal investment can help address the issues facing today’s bird population.”
“We’re delighted to host Congresswoman Kuster to discuss the status of New Hampshire’s birds,” said Doug Bechtel, President of New Hampshire Audubon. “We’re also delighted to be joined by our academic, nonprofit, and agency partners, with whom we work on bird conservation and research. For decades, NH Audubon has tracked the decline, recovery, or relative stability of all our native migratory and resident birds. We know many of the threats and continue to work to mitigate them to ensure our birds have a safe home in New Hampshire.”
“New Hampshire’s birds face threats both here and abroad, as most travel hundreds of miles in their annual migrations,” said Dr. Pamela Hunt, Avian Conservation Biologist at New Hampshire Audubon. “By focusing our conservation research and actions on these threats, NH Audubon and our partners hope to stem the ongoing declines in bird populations that have recently received national attention.”
“Recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it,” said Dr. Carol Foss, Senior Advisor for Science and Policy at New Hampshire Audubon. “The next, crucial step is undertaking the research necessary to understand the causes and develop strategies to turn things around. Even as we now enjoy the fruits of national investment in waterfowl and birds of prey, we must invest in understanding the new threats and reversing the declines of today. It will take time, money, creative thinking, extensive collaboration, and hard work, but past efforts have demonstrated that it can be done!”
A member of the Animal Protection Caucus, Kuster has been a long-time supporter of New Hampshire’s wildlife. She is a cosponsor of H.R. 3742, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2019, which would provide federal funds to states, tribal entities, and territories for the purpose of creating state Wildlife Action Plans. Kuster is also a cosponsor of H.R. 919, The Bird-Safe Building Act of 2019, which would require that newly built or renovated federal buildings incorporate bird-safe building materials and design features.