U.S. Federal Policy & Legislation

Development and implementation of policies and legislation on migratory birds in the U.S. is ultimately the responsibility of the federal government, in collaboration with states, due to movement of migratory birds across state and national boundaries.

Conservation Assistance Programs

The Private Landowner Network provides an extensive list of national and state-based conservation programs that provide funding and technical assistance to landowners, communities and local governments for land conservation and habitat protection and restoration.

Conservation by Citizens

Individuals and community groups can contribute to bird conservation by following any of these suggested practices:

Additionally, you can support bird conservation by joining conservation organizations or by participating in bird-related projects and activities like the International Migratory Bird Day.

How do we conserve birds?

Prescribed Fire - USDA Find-A-Photo-Jay Boykin
Wildlife Habitat Improvement: Prescribed Fire
[Photograph: Jay Boykin/USDA]

Saving Kirtland's Warblers depends on maintenance of young Jack Pine stands by use of fire or other habitat management strategies to maintain breeding habitat, while the Brown Pelican has recovered largely due to control of pesticides. More intensive and specific efforts are needed when a species becomes endangered. Conservationists try to identify groups of birds at risk before they become endangered, and use somewhat less intensive techniques to stabilize a population. The strategy involves conservation initiatives that group birds by habitat, and on conservation planning to tie conservation goals to available land. Actions to meet these plans can involve development and implementation of policy & legislation, as well as on-the-ground management and restoration of birds and their habitats. Specific activities that are often used to conserve birds and their habitats include setting aside or restoring habitat, land management, active monitoring to see whether management is working, and partnerships between public and private land owners.

Management and Restoration

Implementation of bird conservation plans often involves management and restoration of bird populations and their habitats. Information and examples of best management practices and techniques used to manage and restore bird populations and their habitats can be found at:

Compilation website of management practices for landbirds organized by ecosystem/habitat type:

Sample documents with management practices for specific groups or species of birds:



Upland Game Birds




Sample documents with practices for minimizing impacts to birds from selected human activities:

Buildings and Construction

Communication Towers Longline Fishing Power Lines Wind Energy Development

Smaller Populations, Bigger Efforts

The approach used to conserve species depends on how small the population has become. Multi-species population strategies are less targeted but more efficient than single-species approaches. Contrast a conservation plan for multiple species with one for a focal species and a plan for a critically endangered species.

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