Migratory Bird Treaty Act Bald & Golden Eagle Protection ActPERMITS Migratory Bird Conservation: A Trust Responsibility NCTC February 11 – 15, 2013 • Susan Lawrence • & • Eliza Savage • Office of Migratory Bird Management • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird PermitsOverview • Mission • Organization • Prohibitions • Policy & Regulations • Permit Exceptions • Migratory Bird Permits • Looking to the Future
Mission of the Migratory Bird Permit Program The mission of the Migratory Bird Permit Program is to promote the long-term conservation of migratory bird populations while providing opportunities for the public to study, use, and enjoy migratory birds consistent with the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Migratory Bird Permit Program Goals • Conservation of Migratory Bird Species • National Consistency in Administration • Minimize Regulatory Burden on Staff and Public
Portland, OR Bloomington, MN Denver, CO Albuquerque, NM Anchorage, AK Roles & Responsibilities • Washington Office • Policy • Regulations Regional Migratory Bird Permit Offices • Issue Permits • Biological & Legal Review • Technical Assistance Hadley, MA Sacramento, CA Atlanta, GA
Migratory Bird Permit Program FY 2012 14,775 Migratory Bird & Eagle Permits Processed Active Permits = 50,456
Service-wide Permit Issuance & Tracking System (SPITS) • All permits issued in SPITS • Tracks permit, activity, species, authorized & reported take • Data used to monitor take & inform cumulative effects assessments
Prohibitions under the MBTA • Take • Possess • Import & Export • Transport • Sell, purchase, barter or offer for sale, purchase, or barter … of any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such bird except as may be permitted under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to this part . . .or as permitted by regulationsin this part  or part 20…” (50 CFR 21.11) “Take” : Pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect or attempt any of these. (50 CFR 10.12)
Authorizations under the MBTA 2 Types of Authorization • Permits • 50 CFR 21 (migratory birds) • 50 CFR 22 (eagles) • Regulatory • Hunting (50 CFR 20) • Permit exceptions • (50 CFR 21.12-15) • Depredation & Conservation • Orders (50 CFR 21.43-61)
Regulations Implementing MBTA Part 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) • 50 CFR 10 – General Provisions • 50 CFR 13 – General Permit Procedures • 50 CFR 20 – Migratory Bird Hunting • 50 CFR 21 – Migratory Bird Permits • 50 CFR 22 – Bald & Golden Eagles Photos courtesy of Meg Laws, USFWS
Permit Policy Implementing MBTA • Migratory Bird Permit Memoranda (www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/mbpermits.html) • Director’s Order 69 – Service Eagle Distribution Policy • Fish & Wildlife Service Manual (Parts 720 – 729) • 724 FW 1 – Authorities, Objectives & Responsibilities for Migratory Bird Permits • 724 FW 2 – Migratory Bird Permits • 724 FW 6 – Depredating Birds at Fish Culture Facilities
Permit Memorandum Series • Nest Destruction • Educational Use Permits for Falconry Education Programs • Use of Pole Traps for Capturing Depredating Raptors • Abatement Activities Using Raptors http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/Policies.html
Nest Destruction Memo • Destruction of a nest alone (without birds or eggs) is not prohibited by MBTA, provided no possession occurs. • Does not apply to Eagles or T&E species • See Nest Destruction memo: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/Policies.html
Permit Exceptions(50 CFR 21.12) • Infectious disease • State, federal, municipal, local health agencies may collect sick or dead birds for disease analysis • AZA zoos, public museums • Can possess & sell birds among themselves (not collect) • Veterinarians – may stabilize or euthanize sick/injured birds • Birds in Buildings • Anyone may humanely remove a bird from the interior of a building or structure • Good Samaritan -- Anyone may take a sick/injured/orphaned bird to a permitted rehabilitator (21.31)
Military Readiness Permit Exception50 CFR 21.15 (1) Take authorization and monitoring. …the Armed Forces may take migratory birds incidental to military readiness activitiesprovided that, for those ongoing or proposed activities that the Armed Forces determine may result in a significant adverse effect on a population of a migratory bird species, the Armed Forces must confer and cooperate with the Service to develop and implement appropriate conservation measures to minimize or mitigate such significant adverse effects. Military readiness activity: All training & operations of the Armed Forces that relate to combat, & the adequate & realistic testing of military equipment, vehicles, weapons, & sensors for proper operation & suitability for combat use. (21.3)
Depredation & Control Orders50 CFR 21.43-61 Double-crested cormorants at freshwater aquaculture facilities & to protect public resources Resident Canada geese at airports & military airfields, nests/eggs, at agricultural facilities, & for public health Certain blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, crows, magpies Muscovy duck outside of natural range (TX) Scrub & Stellar’s jays-WA & OR Depredating birds in CA Purple gallinules in LA Purple swamphen
Types of Migratory Bird Permits • Scientific Collecting • Depredation • Conservation Education • Rehabilitation • Special Purpose • Falconry • Special Canada goose (State) • Taxidermy • Import/Export • Raptor Propagation • Abatement Using Raptors • Waterfowl Sale & Disposal • Game Bird Propagation
Scientific Collecting Permits50 CFR 21.23 Required to collect or possess migratory birds, their parts, nests, or eggs for scientific purposes Museums, universities, agencies, zoos, scientists Application requires a research proposal Permits are species- & quantity-specific Tenure – up to 3 years Active permits – 500+
USGS Banding & Marking Permits50 CFR 21.22 Administered by U.S. Geological Survey, Bird Banding Laboratory, not FWS (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL) Required for banding/marking purposes, for use of official bands issued by the BBL, or to apply auxiliary markers to migratory birds. Authorizes salvage. May include blood & tissue sampling of banded birds. Scientific collecting permit required for activities not covered by a banding permit.
Depredation Permits50 CFR 21.41 • Required to capture or kill migratory birds for depredation control • Protect personal property or allow resolution of other injury to people or property • Protect human health & safety (airports/air fields) • Application requires recommendation from USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Service (Form 37 Permit Review) • Nonlethal techniques must be used in conjunction with lethal take • Tenure – 1 year Active permits 2,600+
Falconry Permits50 CFR 21.28 Federal falconry permits will be eliminated by January 2014. Only State permit will be required. 32 States certified under new regulations. 17 to go. Wild goshawks, peregrines, gyrfalcons, & Harris’s hawks must be banded. Take of wild raptors must be reported in 3-186A database administered for the States by Migratory Birds WO Historically approx. 4,000 active permits
Rehabilitation Permits50 CFR 21.31 • Required to transport & temporarily possess sick, injured or orphaned birds for rehabilitation purposes. • Does not authorize educational use or display. • Eagles / T&E species must be reported immediately. • Recuperated birds must be released as soon as conditions allow. Raptors may go to falconers. • Must euthanize birds with certain injuries, e.g., those unable to perch upright or ambulate. • Tenure – 5 years Active permits 1,400+
Special Purpose Permits 50 CFR 21.27 • “Permits may be issued for special purpose activities related to migratory birds... which are otherwise outside the scope of the standard form permits of this part. A special purpose permit...may be issued to an applicant who submits a written application...and makes a sufficient showing of … • benefit to the migratory bird resource, • important research reasons, • reasons of human concern • for individual birds, or • other compelling justification.”
Types of Special Purpose Permits • Education • Salvage • Abatement using Raptors • Noneagle Repositories • Incidental Take • Utility Monitoring • Miscellaneous
Special Purpose Permits50 CFR 21.27 • Salvage – Salvage birds found dead that you had no part in the killing or death thereof. Donate to institution. • Conservation Education – Possess live or dead • 12 programs per year • Nonreleasable or captive-bred birds • Abatement using Raptors – use trained captive-bred raptors to abate depredation/public hazards (crops, airports • Special Purpose Utility – collect carcasses found on utility property to monitoring mortality
Regional Director’s Special Purpose Permit • Authorizes: • Salvage & possess for official purposes • Possess dead birds & nonreleasable live birds (not eagles or T&E) for Service-sanctioned conservation education programs • Relocate when safety of bird is at risk (not eagles or T&E) • Euthanize sick, injured, or orphaned birds. • Carry copy of permit • Report dead eagles & T&E species within 48 hours • Annual report of activities involving live birds (e.g., relocation, euthanization)
Noneagle Repositories50 CFR 21.27 2-year pilot project to determine whether the Service should permit non-Federal entities as repositories Participants: Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation & Comanche Nation- (Sia Ethno-Ornithological Initiative) Permit authorizes acquisition of feathers, & distribution to Members of Federally Recognized Tribes Sources: permittees (rehabilitators, falconers, etc), agencies, zoos
Noneagle Repositories www.fws.gov/southwest/NAL/feathers.html Most Requested Items • All hawks, falcons, kestrels, especially Red-tailed Hawk • Anhinga (male has ridged tail feathers that are especially significant) • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher • Woodpeckers and colorful songbirds
Incidental Take50 CFR 21.27 • Take incidental to an otherwise lawful activity. Examples: --- Communications towers -- Logging --- Wind turbines • Farming --- Transmission lines • Oil pits ---Windows • No expressed provisions in part 21 for permitting incidental take (except military readiness). • Enforcement discretion. • Invasive species eradication on islands. • Four permits have authorized incidental take.
Looking into the Future • Incidental Take of Migratory Birds • Changes in inactive nest protection?? • E-permits • Expand Data Management Capabilities
Group Work Migratory Bird Permits What are the two ways take can be authorized under the MBTA regulations? Provide 2 examples of each. Incidental take has a greater impact on migratory bird populations than intentional take. Considerable new funding will be needed to develop and administer regulations to authorize incidental take of migratory birds. How could the Service more efficiently administer permitting either intentional or unintentional take of migratory birds?