WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Department of the Interior restored protections for birds under the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, reversing a controversial policy from the Trump administration. With today’s action, the Biden administration will enhance enforcement of provisions that compel industry actors and others to take precautions to prevent bird deaths and issue legal penalties for bird deaths caused by actions like oil drilling.

The policy change comes on the same day the federal government declared 23 species, including the ivory-billed woodpecker, to be officially extinct.

In response to the announcement, Kirin Kennedy, Director, People and Nature Policy at Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“This move by the Biden administration rights a wrong, but today’s sobering news on extinction makes it clear that we must do more to protect at-risk species.

“The crises we face, from the climate crisis to the biodiversity crisis, are unprecedented and intersecting. We need this administration to take the bold, decisive actions needed to prevent additional deaths of migratory birds not only from destructive industries but also from the climate crisis that threatens our planet.