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Gov. Mark Dayton and Audubon proclaim 2018 the Year of the Bird

Audubon members in Minnesota have come together to highlight everyday actions that help migratory birds

Common Loon Photo: Richard Pick/Audubon Photography Awards

November 15, 2018 (SAINT PAUL, MINN.) - Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed 2018 the Year of the Bird in Minnesota. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was passed 100 years ago and this proclamation recognizes that bird conservation is just as important now as it was then.

“Right now, there are thousands of migratory birds traveling through Minnesota,” said Deborah Reynolds, board chair for Audubon Minnesota. “A wide variety of birds rely on Minnesota’s clean water and healthy habitats during nesting season and as they migrate towards their wintering grounds. Audubon is a proud partner with our state’s leaders and community members to ensure we keep it that way. We are grateful for the Governor’s commitment to birds and the places they need to thrive.”

Minnesota has 57 Important Bird Areas and more than 300 bird species, including Common Loons, Wood Ducks, and a healthy population of Bald Eagles. The proclamation notes that “each year, 1.4 million Minnesotans participate in birdwatching activities and contribute to the Minnesota tourism economy.” Birding activities like viewing Snowy Owls, Great Grey Owls, and Tundra Swans bring people from across the region and the country to Minnesota, even during harsh winters.

Minnesota is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the headwaters of Lake Superior and unique Tallgrass Aspen Parklands, which are all strongholds for birds in the face of a changing climate and shifting habitats.

Audubon has 13 chapters throughout Minnesota and more than 22,000 members that plant trees, restore wetlands, monitor bird populations, educate communities, and advocate for policies that support bird conservation.

“Saint Paul Audubon Society and several other chapters submitted letters of support encouraging Governor Dayton to declare 2018 the Year of the Bird,” said Donn Waage, president for the Saint Paul Audubon Society. “When our grassroots network works together, we get things done.”

People around the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird to mark the centennial of the MBTA, one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird. The MBTA is credited with saving numerous bird species from extinction, including the Snowy Egret, Wood Duck and Sandhill Crane. It continues to protect nearly all native birds in the U.S, covering more than 1,000 species. 

To see the full Year of the Bird proclamation or to learn more about the MBTA, visit mn.audubon.org/YearoftheBird. To learn more about everyday action you can take to help birds, visit: https://www.audubon.org/yearofthebird.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon Minnesota is a state office of Audubon; learn more at mn.audubon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Media Contacts:
Ashley Peters
Communications Manager
apeters[at]audubon.org
952-715-1209

Commisioner Tom Landwehr (left of center), with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, stood in for Governor Dayton and presented Audubon staff, chapters, and volunteers with a signed Year of the Bird proclamation.

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