Ducks Unlimited Canada
National Boreal Program
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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The FMWSI's Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk project was developed to lead changes and demonstrate due diligence in forestry planning and operational practices to minimize effects on waterfowl, their nests and eggs.

What is “incidental take”?

The inadvertent harming, killing, disturbance or destruction of migratory birds, nests and eggs, often referred to as “incidental take”, may be considered a violation under Canada’s Migratory Bird Convention Act (1994) and its regulations.

Why is incidental take a concern?

Waterfowl, their nests and eggs, are most vulnerable to incidental take from industry activities when nesting. The nesting period is critical in the lifecycle of continental waterfowl, and nesting success strongly influences their population growth rate. FMWSI members recognize that reducing incidental take is one tool to support waterfowl conservation and needs to be used in conjunction with other waterfowl habitat friendly practices that ensure the long term availability of good quality habitat across the landscape.

DUC and FMWSI forestry member companies worked together to develop the Forestry and waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Practitioner Guide and associated Technical Report to help forest sector planners make decisions regarding harvesting in and around waterfowl nesting habitats.

Tools for foresters to assess and mitigate affects to waterfowl

Under the FMWSI, members developed a short user-friendly Practitioner Guide and Technical Report with full-length descriptions of the steps and methods.


These two products describe:

  • A decision-making approach to assess the risk of incidental take of waterfowl using factors that may affect the risk, including: activities, waterfowl nesting season, waterfowl density, and areas of high nesting potential;
  • existing best management practices (BMPs) used by the forest industry to manage potential interactions with waterfowl and to manage waterfowl habitat availability;
  • recommendations for how to use the decision-making approach and BMPs to assess and reduce the risk of incidental take of waterfowl.

The Practitioner Guide and Technical Report are intended to be used in conjunction with other approaches for assessing and mitigating the risk of incidental take of upland migratory bird species, such as migratory bird risk assessment tools developed by the forest sector.

Working together to advance wetland and waterfowl stewardship

DUC would like to thank FMWSI partner companies and their representatives for contributing their time, expertise, and resources to the Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk project and the FMWSI initiative.

Other FMWSI projects and tools

Guiding Principles for Wetland Stewardship and Forest Management