[Federal Register: July 26, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 143)]
[Page 42410]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Emergency Exemption: Issuance of Permit for Endangered Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of emergency issuance of permit for endangered species.


SUMMARY: The following permit was issued.

ADDRESSES: Documents and other information submitted for this 
application are available for review, subject to the requirements of 
the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who 
submits a written request for a copy of such documents to: U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 4401 North 
Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, Virginia 22203, telephone 703/358-
2104 or fax 703/358-2281.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Division of Management Authority, 
telephone 703/358-2104.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 19, 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) issued a permit (PRT-125946) to the Wildlife 
Conservation Society (WCS/Bronx Zoo), New York, New York, to import an 
orphaned male snow leopard (Uncia uncia) from Pakistan for the purpose 
of enhancement of the survival of the species. Authorization of this 
action is under Section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The Service determined that an 
emergency affecting the health and life of the snow leopard existed, 
and that no reasonable alternative was available to the applicant for 
the following reasons.
    The WCS requested a permit to import a male snow leopard from 
Pakistan. The animal, born in June 2005, was orphaned at approximately 
three weeks of age when a farmer killed his mother in self-defense. The 
animal was turned over to the Pakistani Northern Areas Forest 
Department. Prior to the earthquake in October 2005, the Government of 
Pakistan intended to keep the animal in Pakistan. However, after the 
earthquake, all available resources were dedicated to earthquake 
relief; the required resources needed to house and care for the 
orphaned snow leopard were no longer available.
    The Government of Pakistan, after determining that it could not 
care for the animal, requested assistance from the WCS, which has a 
presence in Pakistan. Since the animal was removed from the wild at 
such a young age, it is highly unlikely that it could ever be 
reintroduced to the wild. The snow leopard is currently being housed in 
a facility that is inadequate for the proper care of the animal. The 
WCS, through its facility, the Bronx Zoo, has extensive experience with 
both wild and captive snow leopards. The facilities at the Bronx Zoo 
have well-trained staff and the resources necessary to maintain this 
    The WCS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of 
Pakistan that outlined certain conditions and arrangements in regards 
to the import of this animal. In exchange for importing the animal, the 
WCS will provide technical support for and assist in raising funds for 
a wild foundling care facility in Northern Areas, Pakistan, that will 
have the particular focus on care and management of foundling snow 
leopards. In addition, the Government of Pakistan will retain ownership 
of the snow leopard and WCS agrees to return the animal to Pakistan 
when so requested.
    Therefore, notice is hereby given that on the date above, as 
authorized by the provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Service issued 
the requested permit subject to certain conditions set forth therein. 
As required by the ESA, the application requesting this import was 
filed in good faith by the WCS. In granting authorization for this 
import, the Service has determined that it would not operate to the 
disadvantage of the endangered species since the animal had been 
removed from the wild for purposes other than importing it to the 
United States. Further, since the animal is currently housed in 
facilities that are inadequate for its long-term survival, housing it 
at the Bronx Zoo would ensure that this specimen of a highly endangered 
species will survive. Lastly, the granting of this permit is consistent 
with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended.

    Dated: July 19, 2006.
Michael S. Moore,
Senior Permit Biologist, Branch of Permits, Division of Management 
[FR Doc. E6-11961 Filed 7-25-06; 8:45 am]