Best Management Practices for Compliance with the Migratory Bird Convention Act and Regulations

Project Summary


In Progress

Research Area

Environmental protection

Responsible Council / Committee

Environment Council / Environmental Issues Management Standing Committee / Environmental Advisory and Legislation Standing Committee

Project Funding Partners

Transport Canada; Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation; Ministry of Transportation, Ontario; New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Alberta Transportation; City of Calgary; City of Edmonton; Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal; Yukon Highways and Public Works

Research Agency

McIntosh Perry

Start Date

December, 2014

Expected Completion Date

April, 2018

Project Status Detail

Work is in progress

Project Category


Staff Contact


Over the past decade, various approaches to applying the provisions of the Migratory Bird Convention Act and Regulations were considered by the federal government.  In 2010, it was determined that new permitting provisions in regulation to allow limited take of migratory birds in certain circumstances would not be further considered at this time. Permitting was being considered where avoidance guidelines had been followed and where permit conditions supported migratory bird conservation. Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Services) has since sought to encourage proponents responsible for infrastructure and other sectors where a risk of incidental take exists, to develop beneficial management plans (best management practices) in consultation with the Canadian Wildlife Service.

The purpose of the first phase is to produce a synthesis of best management practices for compliance with the Migratory Birds Convention Act and Regulations from a wide range of sectors (transportation, utilities, oil and gas, etc.) that would be aligned with direction from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).  The synthesis is expected to provide the foundation for carrying out the second phase in the project which will involve the development of a national-level transportation sector specific guidance on compliance with the Migratory Birds Convention Act and Regulations.

Key tasks in the project will include:

  • To perform research on current and acceptable approaches to meet the intent of the Migratory Bird Convention Act and Regulations used in various jurisdictions  in Canada and in the United States as the co-signatory to the Convention;
  • To gather information on common activities across related sectors that affect migratory birds, their eggs and nests and reasonable mitigation measures currently used or considered for future use;
  • To consult with the Canadian Wildlife Service to receive feedback on the proposed practices;
  • To prepare a synthesis of best management practices currently in use in transportation and other operations including rail, forestry, electricity, gas and oil;
  • To develop a national-level approach for implementation of best management plans for dealing with migratory birds, nests and eggs;
  • Testing of the approach by development of a best management plan for one of the following areas of interest:
    • Structural maintenance and rehabilitation
    • Land clearing, forestry and vegetation management

Deliverables for the project will be a synthesis of transportation and related sectors best management practices for protecting migratory birds as well a supporting practical tool for implementing recommended practices.