12 July 2017 / North America
The Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA) is federal legislation that protects most species of birds in Canada. Provincial legislation (e.g., Wildlife Act in BC and AB) also provides protection to additional species. Protections afforded to birds and their nests may impact your projects if they involve work in areas where birds may be nesting.
Here is what you need to know to help manage these risks:
Under MBCA: “no person shall disturb or destroy migratory birds, nests, or eggs” on all lands within Canada. Violations could be as simple as being too close to a nest during drilling or destroying a nest through vegetation clearing.
Most birds start nesting in April or early May and are finished by August; however, timing is variable depending on the species and location. Some species nest year-round. Canadian Wildlife Service provides information on breeding bird activity to support the planning of activities to reduce the risk.
Client activities can disturb birds and violate the MBCA. The federal government considers this “incidental take.” The penalties for violating the MBCA can be stiff, ranging from large fines to jail time, and apply to both companies and individuals.
4. What can we do?
The best way to reduce this risk is to schedule activities outside the breeding season. However, this isn’t always possible. Plan your activities early with our team of experienced ecologists, so we can help find ways to mitigate your risk and provide practical advice and solutions.
our Terrestrial Science Team to learn how to best manage your risk
and to answer bird or wildlife related issues.