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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Voluntary waterfowl avoidance areas significantly reduce disturbance to waterfowl

Published source details

Kenow K.P., Korschgen C.E., Nissen J.M., Elfessi A. & Steinbach R. (2003) A Voluntary Program to Curtail Boat Disturbance to Waterfowl during Migration. Waterbirds, 1, 77-87


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Use voluntary agreements with local people to reduce disturbance Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study 1986 in Lake Onalaska, Wisconsin and Minnesota, USA (Kenow et al. 2003), found that disturbances to waterfowl within a voluntary waterfowl avoidance area (VWAA) established in 1986 decreased significantly over time. Despite an increase in boating traffic (1.82 boating events/hour in 1986-8 vs. 2.58 in 1997), the 1997 disturbance rate were comparable to that in 1981. Rate of intrusion into the VWAA was lower in 1997 (0.11 intrusions/boating event) than in either 1986-8 (0.18) or 1993 (0.21). Boating disturbances to waterfowl within the VWAA occurred at about half the rate (0.24-0.28 disturbances/hour) observed prior to establishment of the program (0.48 disturbances/hour). The total number of waterfowl displacements observed as a result of boating events was 435,770 in 1993 and 71,155 in 1997. More than 90% of all waterfowl were observed within the VWAA.