Hunting Science Exploring the Science Behind Hunting
Exploring the Science Behind Hunting

Episode 16: The Science and Politics of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act


Do you want more ducks on the strap or dead in a tailing pond?  Your vote this fall may affect the outcome for waterfowl.  I talk with Dr. Michael Anderson, retired biologist from Ducks Unlimited Canada, about how policy decisions by the current administration affect waterfowl management and possibly even your hunting experiences.  You may not subscribe to the science behind climate change or even some of the science of Covid-19, however, there is no denying that the science behind the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)  is being compromised by politics.  Before you vote this fall, be sure you understand how the all the policies of both candidates might affect your hunting.

Show Notes

0:25 – Background and Introductions
7:00 – Mike describes why he was involved the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
9:10 – We dive into some of the details of the Migratory Bird Treaty.
17:00 – How much money do you think natural disasters like the deep water horizon spill contribute to migratory bird conservation because of the MBTA?  What are other sources of funding under the MBTA that may be in jeopardy.
19:50 – How does political support by hunters affect conservation action.  This segment was inserted after the initial recording because of technical problems.
21:10 – How well has the 102 year old MBTA worked?
27:00 – We discuss how proposed changes by the Trump administration will affect the MBTA and how that may affect your hunting?
32:00 – Why propose these changes when migratory bird management has been working for 100+ years?
36:30 – How do I stay informed about how politics affects bird conservation and how do I influence these policies? See Additional Resources and Vote!
43:00 – We briefly discuss proposed changes to the Clean Water Act under the current administration.
44:35 – Do these proposed changes affect your hunting experience?
51:15 – Mike concludes with a story about a banded Canvasback (9X), a species he studied for many years.  Learn more about the feature photo for this podcast. Stories about banded waterfowl will be the focus of a future podcast – stay tuned.
1:00:40 – Outro

Additional Resources

Photo: Mike Anderson (standing far left) prepares a crew to trap Canvasbacks in the prairies of Manitoba in 1987.  Yours truly is kneeling front right.  Listen to the podcast to get the full story behind this photo. 

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