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Migratory Birds Working Table

This table provides a forum for the three governments to focus their efforts on: implementation of the migratory bird treaties (between Canada and the U.S. and between the U.S. and Mexico); promoting linkages among bird conservation partners; facilitating and enhancing coordination, cooperation, and the development of partnerships among the wildlife agencies of the three countries, and with other associated and interested entities, regarding programs and projects for the conservation of migratory birds; promoting exchanges of information, technology, and best practices; and promoting relevant training to further the conservation of migratory birds.

Mission Statement"To foster collaboration for the conservation of North American migratory birds to ensure the health and sustainability of shared bird populations while contributing to the conservation of biodiversity."

This table is led by three co-chairs representing: for Canada, CWS; for the U.S., USFWS; and for Mexico, the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).


  • A Letter of Intent on Bird-banding was endorsed at the 2015 Trilateral Committee annual meeting.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Environment Canada (EC) banding offices will help support the development of a Mexican banding program. 
  • Played a central role in providing direction for the development of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI), an undertaking to conserve native birds within North America. This culminated in the signature in 2005 by ministers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico of the Declaration of Intent for the Conservation of North American Birds and their Habitats. This enhances trinational cooperation to deliver comprehensive bird conservation in North America.
  • Facilitated the formation of the Sonoran Joint Venture, a U.S.-Mexico partnership to promote NABCI in the Sonoran region. This table also facilitated the establishment of regional conservation mechanisms in México by supporting the establishment of a Regional Alliance in Marismas Nacionales.
  • Facilitated continental management of migratory bird populations through initiatives such as: convening experts to provide assistance and advice on the methodology for conducting migratory bird surveys in Mexico; coordinating the establish of the North American Bird Banding Program; establishing a 1-800 number in Mexico to facilitate the reporting of bird band information; coordinating permit issuance across borders for migratory bird researchers; and launching game-bird harvest surveys.
  • Improved coordination and communication among the three countries’ programs. Key examples include the development of the Texas–North East Mexico white-winged dove strategy and the completion of bird species assessment in Mexico.
  • Supported amendments to the migratory bird treaties to address subsistence harvest, hunting of murres in Newfoundland, and to modernize and increase consistency in treaty obligations.
  • Provided a focus among researchers on species of common concern such as burrowing owls, white-fronted geese, snow geese, black brant, loggerhead shrikes, and painted buntings. In particular, this table facilitated agency coordination on the management of overabundant snow geese and the reintroduction of California condors in México.
  • Shared information, set up workshops and working groups to bring expertise to address threats to bird populations, which has led to: development of improved practices for reducing the electrocution of birds in Mexico on utility lines, a workshop on techniques to remove invasive species from islands, and promotion of trilateral focus on impacts of pesticides on birds.

Terms of Reference [pdf]