This guide is an addendum to the Best Management Practices for Raptor Conservation during Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia document. It provides guidance on how to install and use webcams at raptor nests in BC in an effective, ethical and biologically sound way. These guidelines were created to address issues regarding webcam installation; however, they may be adapted and applied to other forms of audiovisual wildlife surveillance equipment as they are deployed. Previously, the use of webcam technology was largely limited to being a component of a scientific research project that usually required acquisition of a permit and/or Animal Care Committee approval. Recent technological advances have made it possible for private citizens to install webcams at raptor nests. This can be done at nests on their own property, on someone else's property at the landowner's request, or on Crown land, all without the need for a permit. The placement of a webcam at a raptor nest has the potential to disturb the birds during the actual installation and/or during ongoing webcam maintenance. It should be noted that different raptors in different areas respond differently to various levels of human disturbance. In the case of webcam installation, the concern is not so much the presence of the webcam itself, but rather the potential disturbance to the birds from human activity at or above the nest. In a worst case scenario, this may lead to abandonment of the site or premature fledging of immature birds. BCMoE has created these guidelines to address ministry responsibilities under the Wildlife Act to protect the birds, their young and nests, and at the same time not applying unnecessary legislative requirements.
Ministry of Environment. 2010. Raptor Webcam Guidelines in British Columbia Addendum to Best Management Practices for Raptor Conservation During Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia. Ministry of Environment