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How does a Developer Abide by the Wildlife Act?

Tips to Developers & the Meaning of Mitigation:

How does a Developer Abide by the Wildlife Act in working around a protected Bald Eagle, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon nest etc.?

How protected Wildlife Species in British Columbia have become wonderfully, easily and successfully accommodated species.

If their nest is in the road of development, we move it or get the builders to incorporate it.  Then we create a more diversified habitat.

And what Developer does not want to keep his eagles and get on TV or our world-wide streaming CAMS for his good efforts?

David Hancock and the Hancock Wildlife Foundation have worked at trying to save rare and endangered raptor species for over ¾ of a century.  Over the past decades we have pioneered how to successfully develop plans on how to reduce disturbances to these nesting raptors or when necessary, how to actually move the raptor nests to new locations within the raptors breeding territory.  We pride ourselves in building better longer lasting bald eagle nests than the eagles!

You can also see many examples of successfully moved eagle nests on our web site.  Similarly, you can follow many nesting bald eagles via “live streaming videos,” all of which are in nests we have built on our web site or follow raptors we have placed a tracker on to learn about their movements and migrations.  Web site:

The following is an outline of how we work with Cities & the Province and with developers wishing to undertake work around protected raptor nests where the work disturbance needs to be (a) reduced or (b) a plan presented to successfully mitigate any projected disturbances.  This latter Mitigation Plan usually means building an alternative nest for the raptor.


Building Better Bald Eagle Homes – the British Columbia Solution.

Raptor nests in British Columbia are protected and managed by the Provincial Government under the British Columbia Wildlife Act, (the Ministry of Forestry), Section 34.  Within the Act, it states that, “a person commits an offence if the person, except as provided by regulation, possesses, takes, injures, molests or destroys (a) a bird or its egg, (b) the nest of an eagle, peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, osprey, heron or burrowing owl, or (c) the nest of a bird not referred to in paragraph (b) when the nest is occupied by a bird or its egg.”

To allow for developers or other proponents to comply by Section 34, recommended Best Management Practices (BMP’s) have been produced by the Province to provide some guidance for potential disturbances or development and building of new raptor nests.  Additionally, Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nests are protected year-round regardless of whether the nest is active or not.  Permissions and written permits are required to remove or modify any nest trees or snags containing a nest.

In order to address potential sources of conflict, the HWF has maintained an active and current database of all bald eagle nests within the lower Fraser Valley and many additional municipalities on Vancouver Island and through the BC interior.  We also have an expanding data base on osprey, peregrine falcons, and several other raptors to assist in managing this treasured resource.  In short, the HWF consulting biologists will undertake studies around the Province to assist developers in reducing raptor disturbances or mitigating necessary disturbances.

Many municipalities have an agreement with the Provincial Wildlife Authorities to cooperatively manage these raptor nests.  In other regions the Province manages these raptors directly.  In either case, the HWF can then provide developers in these Cities or the Province with raptor management advice.  We draw upon our constantly updated data base on the nest locations, our extensive experience in building raptor nests and years of studying the different species breeding habits.  Then when a developer needs to develop a plan to reduce his development’s disturbance on the nesting raptors, the HWF can propose how to reduce the disturbances or where and how to rebuild a new nest option.

Any developer needing this specialized raptor consultation can, either directly or through their general Environmental Consultant, contact us for an opinion.  If a protected raptor nest is in the region of the development, we will produce a special Raptor Mitigation Plan proposal for the project.  Our web site shows many successfully mitigated projects, where the Province, the City, the environmental community, the developers and the nesting raptors are all happy.


Protecting Raptor Nests with Natural Vegetation:

BMP 2.  Protect raptor nest sites

  • In urban areas, maintain a minimum buffer of 1.5 tree lengths, consisting of undisturbed natural vegetation, around nest sites in trees
  • In rural areas, maintain a 100 m undisturbed natural vegetation buffer around eagle nest trees and a 200 m buffer in undeveloped landscapes; for the nests of other raptor species leave 200 and 500 m buffers for rural and undeveloped environments, respectively
  • For cliff nesting species such as Peregrine Falcons, maintain a buffer of at least 50 m, 200 m and 500 m from the base of cliffs in urban, rural and undeveloped areas
  • In addition to the recommended vegetated buffers, maintain even larger areas (100 m for eagles; 200 m for other raptors) free of loud noises and other human disturbances around occupied nests

Where this is lacking, we attempt to rebuild this diversified habitat.


Please contact:

David Hancock or Myles Lamont, RP Bio, CWB, EP, AScT
Hancock Wildlife Foundation
19313 Zero Ave., Surrey, BC  V3S 9R9

For our web site:


Organization’s Background

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation was started in 2006 in order to further the Foundation’s objectives of promoting the education of the general public on Bald Eagles and other wildlife within British Columbia and abroad.  The Foundation has maintained a bald eagle data base built upon the records started by David Hancock in the early 1960s.  We also, in 2006, popularized live streaming wildlife with our Live Bald Eagle CAMS.

The Foundation’s mission statement is, “to promote the conservation of wildlife and their habitats through science, education and stewardship.“

The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee is composed of David Hancock, Myles Lamont, David Bird, Mike Seear and Christian Sasse.  Details on their respective backgrounds and expertise has been attached to our web site.