Are Seagulls Protected Birds? (What You Need to Know)

Seagulls are frequent in the USA, however they've authorized protections since they're migratory birds.

Seagulls are protected birds below the Migratory Fowl Treaty Act of 1918. It’s unlawful to hurt, kill, seize, commerce, promote, or transport them, even their nests or eggs in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, or Russia. The aim of this act is to guard birds from extinction.

Seagulls Are Protected By The Migratory Fowl Treaty Act

The Migratory Fowl Treaty Act of 1918 is a world treaty between the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia.

It states that any hurting, capturing, buying and selling, promoting, or transporting protected species is prohibited until approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The act was first handed between the USA and Canada, after which it later prolonged to incorporate Mexico, Japan, and Russia. 

Seagulls are protected birds as a result of they’re native and migratory in accordance with the stipulations of this treaty. 

Objective of the Migratory Fowl Treaty Act

The Migratory Fowl Treaty Act goals to coordinate conservation efforts between international locations for birds whose vary spans a number of international locations.

Collectively, collaborating international locations have saved tens of millions of birds by defending their breeding grounds, wintering ranges, and all the pieces in between. 

Birds Protected By The Migratory Fowl Treaty Act

Protected species embody any migratory birds native to the USA.

These embody birds such because the Akikiki, Apapane, Bushtit, Albatross (Black-browed, Black-footed, and others), Becard (Grey-collared and Rose-throated), Mallard, and Redhead.

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Under is a listing of different protected birds:

  • Blackbird (Brewer’s, Pink-winged, and others)
  • Bluebird (Japanese, Mountain, and Western)
  • Booby (Blue-footed, Abbott’s, and others)
  • Bunting (Blue, Grey, Indigo, and others)
  • Catbird (Black and Grey)
  • Cormorant (Brandt’s, Double-crested, and others)
  • Crake (Corn, Paint-billed, and others)
  • Crow (American, Fish, Hawaiian, and others)
  • Dove (Frequent Floor, Inca, Mourning, and others)
  • Duck (American Black, Japanese Spot-billed, and others)
  • Eagle (Golden, Bald, White-tailed)
  • Falcon (Peregrine, Prairie, and others)
  • Finch (Home, Purple, and others)
  • Flycatcher (Dusky, Grey, and others)
  • Gnatcatcher (Black-capped, Blue-Grey, California, Black-tailed)
  • Goldfinch (American, Lawrence’s, Lesser)
  • Goose (Canada, Cackling, and others)
  • Gull (Belcher’s, Grey-hooded, and others)
  • Hawk (Broad-winged, Harris’s, and others)
  • Heron (Grey, Nice Blue, and others)
  • Hummingbird (Bumblebee, Ruby-throated, and others)
  • Jay (Blue, Brown, Inexperienced, and others)
  • Kingfisher (Guam, Belted, and others)
  • Loon (Arctic, Pink-throated, and others)
  • Mockingbird (Bahama, Blue, and Northern)
  • Nightjar (Buff-collared, Grey, and others)
  • Nuthatch (Brown-headed, Pygmy, and others)
  • Oriole (Altamira, Audubon’s, Baltimore, and others)
  • Owl (Barn, Barred, Boreal, and others)
  • Palila
  • Pigeon (Band-tailed, Plain, and others)
  • Poorwill
  • Quail-Dove (Bridled, Key West, and Ruddy)
  • Raven (Chihuahuan and Frequent)
  • Robin (American, European, Rufous-backed, and others)
  • Sandpiper (Baird’s, Broad-billed, and others)
  • Screech-Owl (Japanese, Puerto Rican, and others)
  • Seedeater
  • Sora
  • Stork
  • Swallow (Mangrove, Tree, and others)
  • Tanager (Flame-colored, Scarlet, and others)
  • Titmouse (Black-crested, Bridled, and others)
  • Verdin
  • Vulture (Black and Turkey)
  • Warbler (Adelaide’s, Bachman’s, Bay-breasted)
  • Whip-poor-will (Japanese and Mexican)
  • Willet
  • Woodpecker (Pink-headed, Pink-bellied, and others)
  • Yellowthroat (Frequent and Grey-crowned)

Notice that this listing doesn't embody all protected species. For the complete listing, see Title 50 Half 10.13 of the Code of Federal Rules.

Penalties for Violation of the Migratory Fowl Treaty Act

Breaking the Migratory Fowl Treaty Act is a federal misdemeanor that can lead to fines as much as $15,000 and imprisonment as much as six months. 

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It is usually a felony to take a protected hen to promote it, with an extra most advantageous of $2,000 and as much as one 12 months of jail time.

Exceptions Allowed for Inhabitants Management Causes

When birds threaten the well being and well-being of human populations, the U.S. authorities provides an exception to the Migratory Fowl Treaty Act to permit for inhabitants management.

For instance, the U.S. authorities has allowed seagulls to be killed at Puget Sound ferry terminals resulting from complaints of aggressive birds and bird-dropping-related diseases. 

In some circumstances, the federal authorities permits searching of protected species as long as the inhabitants is massive and wholesome sufficient to deal with the lower in numbers. 

Unintended taking or killing protected species can also be allowed in some circumstances, though not with out dispute from conservation organizations.

Are Seagulls Endangered?

Some species of gulls are endangered, such because the Black-billed Gull.

The Olrog’s Gull and Lava Gull are thought-about weak. The Adouin’s Gull and Ivory Gull are close to threatened in accordance with the IUCN Pink Checklist of Threatened Species.

Different endangered birds listed by the IUCN are:

  • Relict Gull: Susceptible
  • Chinese language Black-headed Gull: Susceptible
  • Heermann’s Gull: Close to Threatened
  • White-eyed Gull: Close to Threatened

The IUCN Pink Checklist

The IUCN Pink Checklist was created by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature in 1964 to trace the worldwide conservation standing of animals, vegetation, and fungi.

The group assigns a conservation standing to every species based mostly on its danger of extinction. Under are the classes of conservation standing:

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  1. Not Evaluated: species that isn't one of many 134,425 assessed species
  2. Information Poor: species with out enough documentation of inhabitants well being
  3. Least Concern: species which were evaluated and don't match into some other classes
  4. Close to Threatened: species which might be prone to grow to be threatened within the close to future
  5. Susceptible: species at excessive danger of extinction within the wild
  6. Endangered: species at very excessive danger of extinction within the wild
  7. Critically Endangered: species at extraordinarily excessive danger of extinction within the wild
  8. Extinct within the Wild: species solely exist in captivity
  9. Extinct: no dwelling members of the species

What Conservation Efforts Are Taken for Seagulls?

Conservation efforts taken for seagulls embody defending their breeding grounds and avoiding city improvement close to their nesting grounds.

Since seagulls nest and breed in coastal areas, they've grow to be more and more fragile. 

Seagulls have additionally seen inhabitants rise in response to industrial fishing operations.

Discards from fishing boats are an ideal meals supply for gulls, though, thus far, they haven't been deliberately used as a strategy to preserve seagull populations. 

Equally, gulls do effectively after we embody biodegradable waste in landfills.

However the detrimental impacts of together with biodegradable assets in landfills have to this point outweighed any conservation advantages.

Normally, seagulls usually tend to be seen as a disruption of peace than a species that wants safety.

Due to this fact, there are few ongoing conservation efforts geared toward defending these species.

Nonetheless, these species are a useful a part of our ecosystems.


  • Examine West: U.S. Authorities Permits Killing of Protected Seagulls  
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Migratory Fowl Treaty Act  
  • IUCN Pink Checklist of Threatened Species

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