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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 35. Birds: Incidental Take of Bird Species

4VAC15-35-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Active nest" means any nest structure of a regulated bird species that contains one or more viable eggs incubated by attendant adults or live dependent young.

"Applicant" means a person who is seeking or has obtained an individual incidental take permit or general permit through the department in accordance with procedures established in this chapter.

"Best management practice" refers to structural or nonstructural measures designed to avoid or minimize the incidental take of regulated bird species or habitats that may result from regulated activities during the construction and operational phases of the project.

"Biologically significant avian habitat" means an area within public or private conservation lands and waters, including national wildlife refuges; national parks or seashores; national forests; national recreation areas; state wildlife management areas; state parks; state natural areas and preserves; state recreation areas; lands owned or under easement by conservation organizations; lands and waters that have been designated as biologically important, such as Coastal Avian Protection Zones, Important Bird Areas, and Marine Sanctuaries; and other lands and waters that encompass unique features deemed biologically important to regulated bird species by the department.

"Board" means the Board of Wildlife Resources.

"Compensation" means achieving no net loss of regulated habitats through restoration, creation, enhancement, or, in certain circumstances, out-of-kind measures for the purposes of offsetting incidental take of regulated bird species or habitats that remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been considered or achieved. Where permissible, appropriate compensation will be set forth in individual take permits or other board regulation or guidance. There will be no compensation required under general permits.

"Department" means the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"General avian habitat" means lands and waters that are not classified as "biologically significant avian habitat" but nonetheless require evaluation using methods developed by the department to determine their biological value to regulated bird species.

"Incidental take" means any take of a regulated bird species that is incidental to, but not the purpose of, a regulated activity.

"Person" means any individual, non-federal government entity, firm, corporation, association, partnership, club, or private body.

"Regulated activity" or "activity" means a new construction or development activity or the expansion of an activity beyond the original or existing footprint of the activity for which the board has adopted a sector-specific plan.

"Regulated bird species" means any migratory bird species, or any active nest, or egg thereof, regulated by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 USC §703 et seq.) or its attendant regulations, excluding any bird species listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to 4VAC15-20-130.

"Regulated habitat" means biologically significant avian habitat or general avian habitat that is in an area subject to a sector-specific plan, an avian conservation and mitigation plan, or an individual incidental take permit.

"Sector-specific plan" means a framework adopted by regulation of the board that defines what activities will require a permit from the department for incidental take of regulated bird species and outlines the criteria for obtaining such a permit, such as specific best management practices, schedules, or criteria for avoiding or minimizing incidental take and circumstances in which project bundling may be applicable.

"Take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, possess, destroy, disturb, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct or any activity that significantly or permanently impedes breeding, foraging, resting, or other normal avian behaviors conducted during the annual life cycle, obstructs the use of or destroys or degrades regulated habitats, or reduces reproductive success or survival rates of regulated bird species.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 26, eff. August 1, 2021.

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