A voluntary program to curtail boat disturbance to waterfowl during migration

  • 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 (formerly Colonial Waterbirds), 1, 77-87.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use voluntary agreements with local people to reduce disturbance

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use voluntary agreements with local people to reduce disturbance

    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.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust