Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations: frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of these regulations?

The primary purpose of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations is to designate, establish and manage Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. Migratory Bird Sanctuaries are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

What are the key elements of these regulations?

The Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations:

  • designate, establish, and identify Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
  • identify prohibited and permitted activities in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
  • specify when a permit is required to conduct activities

In a Migratory Bird Sanctuary, you are not allowed to:

  • hunt migratory birds
  • disturb, destroy or take the nests of migratory birds
  • possess a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird
  • possess any firearm or hunting appliance such as a bow, slingshot, trap, or net.
  • permit a dog or cat to run at large
  • conduct activities that are prohibited in a particular Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • carry out an activity that is harmful to habitat of migratory birds

These prohibitions might not apply if:

  • you have obtained a valid permit
  • you are a resident or live in a Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • otherwise provided in the regulations

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How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

The impacts of these regulations for businesses depend on where the Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located. A Migratory Bird Sanctuary can be established on:

  • private land
  • municipal land
  • provincial land
  • territorial land
  • federal land

There are no fees to enter a Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Many Migratory Bird Sanctuaries are popular tourist destinations. Activities that may benefit businesses in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries include:

  • ecotourism
  • bird watching
  • observation of wildlife

Please contact us if you or your business plans to conduct activities in a Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Depending on the activity, a permit may be required. No fee is charged for permits issued.

What is the timeline for implementation?

These regulations were first made in 1920 and continue to be in force under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations, please contact us by email at ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca or toll free at 1-800-668-6767.

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