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INTRODUCTION TO "THE NORTH AMERICAN BIRD BANDING PROGRAM: INTO THE 21ST CENTURY"

The North American Bird Banding Program has for many years been jointly administered by the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC), Laurel, Maryland, and the Canadian Bird Banding Office (CBBO) at Hull, Quebec. In 1993 BBL was transferred from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to what is now the Biological Resources Division (BRD) of the U.S. Geological Survey. This transfer prompted BRD to commission a review of the operations of BBL and the broader banding program. The review was conducted by a distinguished panel of experts, all of whom had experience with the banding program. Their final report, THE NORTH AMERICAN BIRD BANDING PROGRAM; INTO THE 21ST CENTURY , is now available for public distribution.

BRD, PWRC, BBL and CBBO commend the panel for their work. An interagency team has been formed to guide the implementation of the Report, and several task forces are addressing specific recommendations of the Report. While it is not expected that all of the Report's recommendations will be implemented either in entirety or exactitude, one can expect significant changes in the operations of BBL and the banding program, especially in the area of electronic data management.

Comments, questions and suggestions on the Report and its recommendations can be sent to John Tautin, Chief, Bird Banding Laboratory, 12100 Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708-4037 or e-mail John_Tautin@usgs.gov.