SUGGESTED PROTOCOL FOR LAND CLEARING
 

disease - and will seek other habitats, infringing on human populations and dwellings, becoming nuisance wildlife.

1.3.3 Isolation of wildlife and habitat fragmentation

Developments or land-clearing that result in destruction or diminishment of habitat corridors or loss of habitat connectivity may result in reduction or loss of the ability of individuals of a species to disperse from the isolated habitat fragment. This may lead to loss of wildlife through overpopulation and starvation, mortality during dispersal attempts, and loss of individuals through edge effects (such as domestic animal attack), as well as marked diminishment of ecological values generally. Wildlife populations isolated by loss of corridors present larger and more complex management problems for future developments impinging on the remaining habitat, or alternatively may reach a critical population mass at which mass mortality occurs, or causes human-animal conflict issues for surrounding communities. Property damage may also occur when species invade residential neighbors in search for food and shelter.

1.4 Removal of wildlife prior to land-clearing and “eco-friendly” development

The removal of wildlife from sites shortly prior to, and during vegetation clearing represents the most proximate mechanism for reducing wildlife injury and mortality associated with land clearing, and will reduce human/wildlife conflicts in surrounding areas. This requires the use of personnel skilled in the detection and removal of wildlife from vegetation and other terrestrial habitats, and the adoption of protocols and procedures for the humane trapping, handling, housing, translocation and disposition of wildlife following removal from their habitats.

The application of ecologically sound design and planning principles to proposed developments represents the most important method of reducing and minimizing adverse impacts on wildlife and the ecological value of habitat remnants. These principles should be rigorously applied to all development proposals at an early stage in planning to minimize the requirement for expensive (and less desirable) wildlife and habitat management alternatives, some which are detailed in this protocol. It is important that all parties involved in urban and rural planning and development projects attempt to adhere to ecologically sound and sustainable development principles.

1.5 Relevant legislation

A number of state, federal and possibly local laws provide some degree of legislative protection for wildlife likely to be affected by land clearing, including the Endangered Species Act, The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, various state game laws and local ordinances.