There are many considerations when planning a project, but what happens when you find out that you may have a rare species of bird nesting within or near your work zone? For most projects that require Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) permits (i.e., stormwater, wetland, waterway permits), a Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) request must be submitted to the WDNR’s Bureau of Endangered Resources (BER) to determine which rare species of animals and plants, if any, may be present and whether or not a permit will be necessary to conduct certain activities. In the case of Endangered and Threatened bird species, there may be several ways of protecting them, their nests, and their habitat. Early coordination with the WDNR is essential.
The WDNR’s list of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern bird species provides an overview of habitat requirements and typical breeding/nesting periods (avoidance periods). This list is occasionally revised based on new information/research collected by the WDNR’s BER. For example, the barn owl, snowy egret, and Bewick’s wren have been proposed for de-listing, while other species such as black tern, Kirtland’s warbler, and the upland sandpiper have been proposed for listing.