[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 129 (Wednesday, July 6, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39367-39368]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16877]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 21

[Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0020; 91200-1231-9BPP]
RIN 1018-AX78

Migratory Bird Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing 
Raptor Propagation

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: We solicit recommendations on whether the bald eagle 
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) 
should be included among other raptors that may be propagated in 
captivity under Federal raptor propagation permits.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked by the end of the 
day on October 4, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either one of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-
     U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attention: FWS-R9-MB-2011-0020; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, 
MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203-1610.
    We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information that you provide. See the Public Comments section 
below for more information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George T. Allen, 703-358-1825.


Public Comments

    Propagation of bald eagles and golden eagles has not been allowed 
under the raptor propagation permit regulations at 50 CFR 21.30. We are 
now considering whether to permit this activity. We request comments 
and suggestions on this topic from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, and other 
interested parties.
    You may submit your comments and supporting materials only by one 
of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not consider 
comments sent by e-mail or fax, or written comments sent to an address 
other than the one listed in the ADDRESSES section.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes 
personal identifying information, you may request that we withhold this 
information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 


    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Federal agency with the 
primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. Our authority is 
based on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA, 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.) 
and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA, 16 U.S.C. 668). 
Regulations governing the issuance of permits for bald eagles and 
golden eagles are in 50 CFR part 22 and certain sections of 50 CFR part 
    The MBTA allows the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for 
take and possession of migratory birds for many purposes. The BGEPA 
allows bald eagles and golden eagles to be taken and possessed under 
more restricted circumstances. For example, only golden eagles that are 
depredating on livestock or wildlife may be taken from the wild by 
falconers, and bald eagles, no matter what their origin, cannot be held 
for falconry. Eagles may not be sold, purchased, or bartered under any 
circumstances, regardless of whether they are wild or captive-bred in 
    Bald and golden eagles are the only raptor species protected by the 
MBTA that are not allowed under the current raptor propagation permit 
regulations at 50 CFR 21.30 because those regulations do not apply to 
these two species that are also protected under the Bald and Golden 
Eagle Protection Act (see 50 CFR 21.2(b)). We are evaluating whether to 
amend the regulations to allow some holders of valid raptor propagation 
permits to propagate eagles as they can many other raptor species. Most 
eagles in captivity are held under permits for exhibition/education, 
eagle falconry, and Native American eagle aviaries. All

[[Page 39368]]

eagles held for falconry are golden eagles, and most were removed from 
the wild due to livestock depredation. Most eagles held for exhibition/
education and Native American aviaries are nonreleasable bald eagles 
and golden eagles obtained from permitted rehabilitators. We are 
assessing whether captive-bred eagles should be available for these or 
other purposes. We solicit comments and suggestions on all aspects of 
bald eagle and golden eagle propagation and potential regulations to 
govern Federal permitting of this activity.
    We particularly solicit comments on the topics listed below. 
Explaining your reasons and rationale for your comments will help as we 
consider them.
    (1) Whether to allow propagation of bald eagles and golden eagles 
under raptor propagation permits.
    (2) Qualifications and experience necessary to propagate eagles.
    (3) Limits or restrictions that should apply to propagation of 
    (4) Special restrictions that should apply with regard to 
    (5) Whether propagators should be allowed to hybridize bald eagles 
and golden eagles with other species of eagles.
    (6) Restrictions on purposes for which captive-bred eagles may be 
    (7) Qualifications and experience necessary to possess a captive-
bred bald eagle or golden eagle.
    (8) Special facilities requirements for propagation of golden 
eagles and bald eagles.
    (9) Report information that should be required from a permit 
holder, if any.
    (10) Other conditions that should apply to these permits.

    Dated: June 27, 2011.
Rachel Jacobson,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2011-16877 Filed 7-5-11; 8:45 am]