FWC Working to Stop Illegal Bird Trafficking
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has noted a recent increase in illegal bird trafficking for the pet industry, especially in south Florida, where trapping is believed to be widespread. The damage to Florida's wild birds is immense. FWC's website states: "Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, are seriously mistreated, as birds are killed or injured when illegally trapped."
In response to this threat to Florida's wild birds, FWC is proposing a new rule that would regulate the use, placement, possession, and transport of bird traps, while allowing for legitimate uses like avian research. Previously, FWC officers have only been able to prosecute when traps were found with the trapped birds actually still inside, but the new rule would allow officers to confiscate empty traps they find in the wild and build a case based on that evidence, giving them more leeway in prosecuting illegal bird trafficking operations.
Duval Audubon Society supports this new rule as it will provide more protections for our native songbirds, many of which are already imperiled by pollution, habitat loss due to development, and climate change impacts.