Convention For The Protection Of Migratory Birds In Canada And The United States
Whereas many species of birds in the course of their annual migrations traverse certain parts of the Dominion of Canada and the United States; and
Whereas many of these species are of great value as a source of food or in destroying insects which are injurious to forests and forage plants on the public domain, as well as to agricultural crops, in both Canada and the United States, but are nevertheless in danger of extermination through lack of adequate protection during the nesting season or while on their way to and from their breeding grounds;
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions beyond the seas, Emperor of India, and the United States of America, being desirous of saving from indiscriminate slaughter and of insuring the preservation of such migratory birds as are either useful to man or are harmless, have resolved to adopt some uniform system of protection which shall effectively accomplish such objects, and to the end of concluding a convention for this purpose have appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries:
His Britannic Majesty, the Right Honourable Sir Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice, G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G., etc., His Majesty's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Washington; and
The President of the United States of America, Robert Lansing, Secretary of State of the United States;
Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers which were found to be in due and proper form, have agreed to and adopted the following articles:-
The High Contracting Powers declare that the migratory birds included in the terms of this Convention shall be as follows:-
1. Migratory Game Birds:-
(a) Anatidae or waterfowl, including brant, wild ducks, geese, and swans;
(b) Gruidae or cranes, including little brown, sandhill, and whooping cranes;
(c) Rallidae or rails, including coots, gallinules and sora and other rails;
(d) Limicolae or shorebirds, including avocets, curlew, dowitchers, godwits, knots, oyster catchers, phalaropes, plovers, sandpipers, snipe, stilts, surf birds, turnstones, willet, woodcock, and yellowlegs;
(e) Columbidae or pigeons, including doves and wild pigeons.
2. Migratory Insectivorous Birds: Bobolinks, catbirds, chickadees, cuckoos, flickers, flycatchers, grosbeaks, humming birds, kinglets, martins, meadowlarks, nighthawks or bull bats, nuthatches, orioles, robins, shrikes, swallows, swifts, tanagers, titmice, thrushes, vireos, warblers, waxwings, whippoorwills, woodpeckers, and wrens, and all other perching birds which feed entirely or chiefly on insects.
3. Other Migratory Nongame Birds: Auks, auklets, bitterns, fulmars, gannets, grebes, guillemots, gulls, herons, jaegers, loons, murres, petrels, puffins, shearwaters, and terns.
The High Contracting Parties agree that, as an effective means of preserving migratory birds, there shall be established the following close seasons during which no hunting shall be done except for scientific or propagating purposes under permits issued by proper authorities.
1. The close season on migratory game birds shall be between 10th March and 1st September, except that the close of the season on the limicolae or shorebirds in the Maritime Provinces of Canada and in those states of the United States bordering on the Atlantic ocean which are situated wholly or in part north of Chesapeake Bay shall be between 1st February and 15th August, and that Indians may take at any time scoters for food but not for sale. The season for hunting shall be further restricted to such period not exceeding three and one-half months as the High Contracting Powers may severally deem appropriate and define by law or regulation.
2. The close season on migratory insectivorous birds shall continue throughout the year.
3. The close season on other migratory nongame birds shall continue throughout the year, except that Eskimos and Indians may take at any season auks, auklets, guillemots, murres and puffins, and their eggs for food and their skins for clothing, but the birds and eggs so taken shall not be sold or offered for sale.
The High Contracting Powers agree that during the period of ten years next following the going into effect of this Convention, there shall be a continuous close season on the following migratory game birds, to wit:
Band-tailed pigeons, little brown, sandhill and whooping cranes, swans, curlew and all shorebirds (except the black-breasted and golden plover, Wilson or jack snipe, woodcock, and the greater and lesser yellowlegs); provided that during such ten years the close seasons on cranes, swans and curlew in the province of British Columbia shall be made by the proper authorities of that province within the general dates and limitations elsewhere prescribed in this Convention for the respective groups to which these birds belong.
The High Contracting Powers agree that special protection shall be given the wood duck and the eider duck either (1) by a close season extending over a period of at least five years, or (2) by the establishment of refuges, or (3) by such other regulations as may be deemed appropriate.
The taking of nests or eggs of migratory game or insectivorous or nongame birds shall be prohibited, except for scientific or propagating purposes under such laws or regulations as the High Contracting Powers may severally deem appropriate.
The High Contracting Powers agree that the shipment or export of migratory birds or their eggs from any state or province, during the continuance of the close season in such state or province, shall be prohibited except for scientific or propagating purposes, and the international traffic in any birds or eggs at such time captured, killed, taken, or shipped at any time contrary to the laws of the state or province in which the same were captured, killed, taken, or shipped shall be likewise prohibited. Every package containing migratory birds or any parts thereof or any eggs of migratory birds transported, or offered for transportation from the Dominion of Canada into the United States or from the United States into the Dominion of Canada, shall have the name and address of the shipper and an accurate statement of the contents clearly marked on the outside of such package.
Permits to kill any of the above-named birds which, under extraordinary conditions, may become seriously injurious to the agricultural or other interests in any particular community, may be issued by the proper authorities of the High Contracting Powers under suitable regulations prescribed therefor by them respectively, but such permits shall lapse or may be cancelled, at any time when, in the opinion of said authorities, the particular exigency has passed, and no birds killed under this article shall be shipped, sold, or offered for sale.
The High Contracting Powers agree themselves to take, or propose to their respective appropriate law-making bodies, the necessary measures for insuring the execution of the present Convention.
The present Convention shall be ratified by His Britannic Majesty and by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof. The ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible and the Convention shall take effect on the date of the exchange of the ratifications. It shall remain in force for fifteen years, and in the event of neither of the High Contracting Powers having given notification twelve months before the expiration of said period of fifteen years, of its intention of terminating its operation, the Convention shall continue to remain in force for one year and so on from year to year.
In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention in duplicate and have hereunto affixed their seals.
Done at Washington this sixteenth day of August, 1916.
[Here follow the signatures of Cecil Spring-Rice and Robert Lansing.]