SUGGESTED PROTOCOL FOR LAND CLEARING
 

• to define the requirements for adequate and appropriate insurance of wildlife control operators for the protection of developers and the general public;
• to provide guidelines on the management of wildlife likely to be affected by landclearing and other development processes;
• to provide guidelines for minimizing the ecological harm caused by land-clearing and development

3 IMPORTANT GUIDING PRINCIPLES UNDERPINNING THE SUGGESTED PROTOCOL, AND DEFINITIONS

IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES

3.1 Duty of care

“Duty of care” obligations to wild animals are similar to those underpinning the majority of applicable local, State and Federal animal protection laws. The duty of care responsibility rests individually and collectively on any and all parties involved with, engaged in, or directing land-clearing or the destruction or modification of wildlife habitat.

Furthermore, the duty of care exists in respect of any wildlife habitat, irrespective of whether animals are known to use the habitat or not. In other words, wildlife must be assumed to be present in potential wildlife habitat unless or until proven otherwise by a person suitably trained and/or experienced to make that judgment.

Duty of care relates to the responsibility of a person, or persons, involved in an activity that may result in harm to or death of an animal or animals, to take all fair, reasonable and appropriate steps to avoid or minimize that risk. Failure to meet duty of care responsibilities, that is, failing to take fair, reasonable and appropriate measures to avoid or protect wild animals from harm, is a violation of this code and may, in the most egregious instances or when protected or endangered species are involved may result in prosecution under the applicable local, State and/or Federal laws.

3.2 Due diligence

The term “due diligence” relates to the application of sufficient and appropriate techniques to detect the presence of animals, or determine the absence of animals, in a tree, structure or other habitat. It also applies to determination of whether a structure, habitat feature or site is likely to be important or essential to the survival of a wild animal or population. It may also apply to assessment of the risk posed by a development process, activity or structure, to wildlife or their habitats.

Due diligence is a essential part of the protocol, and must be performed by a qualified professional (biologists, certified wildlife control operators, governmental wildlife officials/agents, etc.) prior to engaging in an activity or development process relevant to this code.