The Bald Eagle and Osprey nest registry is a province wide program managed by the Wildlife Tree Stewardship (WiTS) program with a goal to support the protection of nest trees covered under Section 34 of the Provincial Wildlife Act. The WiTS Atlas pools Bald Eagle and Osprey nest records provided by government, industry, conservation/naturalist groups, and the public.
The Bald Eagle and Osprey Nest Record Registry grew out of federal and provincial government inventory, mapping, and monitoring programs in the 1990s, and was a catalyst in the formation of the Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program (WiTS) a decade later. WiTS was initially created by Environment Canada, the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Hydro, BC Nature (The Federation of BC Naturalists), and the Community Mapping Network. WiTS was designed to support the protection of nest trees covered under Section 34 of the Provincial Wildlife Act, and also to broadly support federal wildlife, habitat and biodiversity conservation goals. The original aim of WiTS program was to maintain a data-base and online atlas that pooled Bald Eagle nest records from government, industry, conservation/naturalist groups, and the public. Inventory and monitoring of eagle nest trees was seen as a critical first step in preventing the loss of nest trees and biodiversity during land development. The Atlas later expanded to include Osprey, other raptors, and herons.
The Bald Eagle Nest Record Registry accepts information from all sources. Attached to observation records is the name and the agency (government, industry, conservation group; land-owner, etc.) of the person providing the record. It is understood that once a record is provided to the registry, the provider has no rights to remove the record or to expect personal recognition or royalties. The Bald Eagle Nest Record Registry has a policy of not displaying personal or business names. If a personal name is included in a nest observation record, the data manager will edit the record and change a personal name to ‘land-owner’ or ‘local resident’ or some other appropriate descriptor. Business names may be adjusted if the data manager considers it linked with an issue of privacy.
Most Bald Eagle nests are on private property. Many of the Bald Eagle nest site records may include directions to the site and locations on public property where a nest may be viewed from a distance. Knowing the location of a Bald Eagle nest does not give an observer permission to trespass on private property.
Nest trees recorded in the Registry do not represent all Bald Eagle and Osprey nest trees – only those documented and submitted to the Atlas. Bald Eagle and Osprey nests are protected under Section 34 of the Provincial Wildlife Act regardless of whether or not they are shown on this Atlas. The WiTS program cannot legally warrant the accuracy of the nest tree locations displayed on the Atlas. Nest location and nest status information is updated as frequently as possible based on incoming observations. Lettered professionals on tendered contracts using information in this atlas must verify nest locations and nest status through independent field work and are requested to cite the Bald Eagle and Osprey Nest Registry as follows:
Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program (year). Nest Tree Report. The Community Mapping Network. Available: http://www.cmnmaps.ca/wits/ accessed (date)