[Federal Register: January 12, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 8)]
[Page 1556-1557]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Permit Conditions for Abatement Activities Using Raptors

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have drafted permit 
conditions to allow the use of raptors protected by the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act for abatement activities. We will authorize the use of these 
raptors for this purpose under our special purpose permits. We are 
asking for comments on our draft permit conditions. Allowing the use of 
raptors to conduct abatement activities is consistent with ensuring the 
long-term conservation of these species and will serve a public need.

DATES: We will accept written comments until February 12, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory 
Bird Management, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop MBSP-4107, 
Arlington, VA 22203, or E-mail: abatement@fws.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shauna Hanisch, Division of Migratory 
Bird Management, (see ADDRESSES section); via e-mail at: 
Shauna_Hanisch@fws.gov; by telephone: (703) 358-1714; or by facsimile: (703) 




    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) is the Federal 
agency with primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. Our 
authority is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 U.S.C. 703 et 
seq.), which implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), 
Mexico, Japan, and the Soviet Union (Russia). Activities with migratory 
birds are prohibited unless specifically authorized by regulation. The 
MBTA authorizes us to issue regulations governing permits for migratory 
bird use. They are found in title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, 
parts 10, 13, 21, and 22.
    We have implemented a series of migratory bird permit memoranda to 
ensure consistent implementation of our regulations and policies 
pertaining to migratory birds. Our latest memorandum in the series 
provides guidance for issuing Special Purpose permits (50 CFR 21.27) to 
authorize the possession and use of raptors protected by the MBTA to 
abate depredation problems. For purposes of this memorandum, 
``abatement'' means the training and use of raptors to flush, haze, or 
take birds (or other wildlife where allowed) to mitigate depredation 
problems, including threats to human health and safety. Permit holders 
may be paid for providing abatement services. We developed this draft 
memorandum in response to growing

[[Page 1557]]

interest in the use of raptors to conduct commercial abatement 
activities. The Service has determined that authorizing such use is 
consistent with the MBTA and with the long-term conservation of raptor 
species. The Service seeks public comments on the draft permit 
conditions, which are presented below.
    Applicants for a Special Use--Abatement (SPA) permit would use FWS 
Form 3-200-10f, the Migratory Bird Special Purpose--Miscellaneous 
application form. If we determine that the application meets our 
requirements, we will issue an SPA permit containing the proposed 
conditions set forth below. The first three conditions (A, B, and C) 
are standard for all Special Purpose permits. The remaining conditions 
(D through K) would be unique to abatement permits. It is about these 
conditions that we seek comment.

Special Purpose--Abatement Permit Conditions

    A. General conditions set out in subpart D of 50 CFR 13, and 
specific conditions contained in Federal regulations cited in block 2 
above, are hereby made a part of this permit. All activities authorized 
by this permit must be carried out in accord with and for the purposes 
described in the application submitted. Continued validity, or renewal, 
of this permit is subject to complete and timely compliance with all 
applicable conditions.
    B. The validity of this permit is conditioned upon strict 
observance of all applicable State, local, or other Federal law.
    C. Valid for use by permittee named above.
    D. You are authorized to acquire, possess, and train up to [specify 
number] captive-bred raptors, in any species combination, to include 
hybrids from those species, of the following migratory bird species for 
the purpose of conducting abatement activities:
    [List species' common and scientific names.]
    All raptors must be captive-bred and must be marked on the 
metatarsus with a seamless numbered band issued by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
    E. You may not take species protected under the MBTA unless such 
take is authorized under a Federal depredation order or a Federal 
depredation permit identifying you as a subpermittee. You do not need a 
Federal permit to flush or haze depredating birds, other than 
endangered or threatened species or bald and golden eagles. You do not 
need a Federal depredation permit to take species that the MBTA does 
not protect.
    F. Under this permit, you may use a raptor held under your falconry 
permit for abatement. However, you may use a raptor held under this 
abatement permit for falconry only if it is transferred from your 
abatement permit to your falconry permit. If you use raptors to take 
depredating game birds in the context of falconry rather than 
abatement, you must comply with all applicable seasons and bag limits 
and may do so only in areas where the practice of falconry is 
    G. Subpermittees: Persons under your direct control or employed by 
you, or under contract to you for purposes authorized by this permit, 
may carry out the permitted activities provided they are, or have been, 
a General or Master Falconer (in accordance with 50 CFR 21.28).
    H. You must submit FWS Form 3-186A (Migratory Bird Acquisition and 
Disposition Report) completed in accordance with the instructions on 
the form for each acquisition and disposition of a raptor.
    I. If your raptor takes a migratory bird in the course of 
conducting abatement activities and that take is not authorized by a 
depredation permit or a depredation order, the bird must be left in the 
field, though the raptor may be allowed to feed on it in the field.
    J. All facilities and equipment must meet standards described in 50 
CFR 21.29, and all birds must be maintained under humane and healthful 
conditions at all times.
    K. Acceptance of this permit authorizes us to inspect in accordance 
with 50 CFR 13.47.

Public Comments

    Please submit comments to one of the addresses listed above in 
ADDRESSES. If you mail a comment, it must be on 8\1/2\-inch-by-11-inch 
paper. Before including your address, telephone number, e-mail address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. You may inspect comments by appointment during normal 
business hours at the address in ADDRESSES.

    Authority: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. 703-712.

    Dated: December 20, 2006.
David M. Verhey,
Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife.
 [FR Doc. E7-353 Filed 1-11-07; 8:45 am]