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The Migratory Bird Treaty or Convention, an environmental treaty between Canada and the U.S., was originally signed on this day in 1916. It stated, “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 …” This treaty led to important environmental legislation being passed in each of the two countries in order to implement the terms of the treaty, and the U.S. subsequently entered into similar agreements with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia to protect migratory birds.
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