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Trump administration scales back wild bird protections

Conservationists said they'll push President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the new changes of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Credit: AP
FILE- In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, birds vie for position on power lines at dusk in Kansas City, Kan. The Trump administration is moving to scale back criminal enforcement of a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species. The former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told AP billions of birds could die if the government doesn't hold companies liable for accidental bird deaths. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Trump administration finalized changes to a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species, despite warnings that billions of birds could die as a result. 

A U.S. District Court judge in August had blocked the administration's prior attempt to change how the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is enforced. 

But urged on by industry groups, the Trump administration has remained adamant that the act has been used inappropriately for decades to penalize companies when birds land in oil pits or collide with power lines. 

More than 1,000 species are covered under the law. Conservationists said they'll push President-elect Joe Biden to reverse Tuesday's move by Trump's Interior Department.