Birds are the big deal this year. If you didn’t know this, now you know. 2018 is officially the Year of Birds which will honour 100 years since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was enacted. This law is very important and powerful which protects all bird species from us, human beings. Today, birds are facing unprecedented challenges leading to their decline in numbers. Birds have experienced indirect poisoning, hunted as they migrate, ingesting our plastic waste and faced habitat loss due to our destruction. Not forgetting to mention death from ‘accidentally’ landing on oil pits and spills and being shocked with high-tension power lines and communications towers. Our skyscrapers also pose a danger to birds. A decline in bird numbers, either globally and internationally, tells us that we are damaging the environment.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) is a law that was passed by Congress in 1918. The law codified a treaty already signed with Canada (then part of Great Britain) in response to the extinction or near-extinction of a number of bird species due to hunting for sport or for their feathers.
This law provides that it is unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, possess, sell, purchase, barter, import, export, or transport any migratory bird, or any part, nest, or egg or any such bird, unless authorized under a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior. Some regulatory exceptions apply. Take is defined in regulations as: ‘pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.
Other than been colourful, birds are amazing indicators of most environmental changes. They are very sensitive to any change happening. They are also much easier to trap compared to other species such as snakes which are also sensitive to environmental change. Birds being warm-blooded makes them easier to observe these changes which will affect us as well.
You can help to build a better world for birds by joining the Bird and Wildlife Photo Festival which will be hosted by Tony Wild for the first time in Kenya. The festival will run concurrently with and celebrate both the Endangered Species Day (18th May 2018) and International Day for Biological Diversity (22nd May 2018).
The theme of the festival is The role of conservation photography in creating awareness of wildlife conservation in Kenya. Tony Wild invites you to attend the three-day festival on 17th, 18th, and 19th May 2018 in Nanyuki that aims at raising awareness and sharing the beauty of wildlife and nature around us, using photography.
The festival will feature the following:
The festival is open to everybody who is passionate about wildlife conservation and the art of photography.
Photography is an amazing tool that can be used in education and spreading awareness. We are visual people and concepts can easily be understood using photographs. When you want to learn more about birds, gain first-hand experience, and get more enjoyment from the world of birding and photography, this festival is definitely a must attend.