[Federal Register: April 17, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 74)]
[Page 20481-20482]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposal To Register an Operation Breeding an Appendix-I Species 
in Captivity for Commercial Purposes according to the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce that we 
intend to submit to the Secretariat of the Convention on International 
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) a proposal 
to register Rapid Creek Ranch, a breeding facility for gyrfalcons 
(Falco rusticolus) owned and operated by Robert B. Berry, Sheridan, 
Wyoming, as a commercial breeding operation for an Appendix-I species. 
The registration of this facility will allow specimens to be designated 
as bred in captivity for commercial purposes and deemed to be specimens 
of species included in Appendix II, as provided for in Article VII, 
paragraph 4, of CITES. Public comments are solicited.

DATES: Comments will be accepted until May 17, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Please send correspondence concerning this notice to the 
Office of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mail 
stop ARLSQ 750, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203 (fax, 
703-358-2276; E-mail, r9osa@fws.gov). Copies of the full text of the 
registration proposal are available from the Office of Scientific 
Authority and will be mailed upon request. Comments and other 
information received are available for public inspection by appointment 
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Arlington, 
Virginia, address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert R. Gabel at the address 
given above (telephone: 703-358-1708).



    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild

[[Page 20482]]

Fauna and Flora, TIAS 8249, hereinafter referred to as CITES, is an 
international treaty designed to regulate international trade in animal 
and plant species that are or may become threatened with extinction. 
Authority for implementing CITES has been delegated to the Secretary of 
Interior through the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Species are listed in Appendix I, II, or III of 
CITES, depending on the degree of threat and level of control needed. 
Species listed in Appendix I receive the highest level of protection 
and require both an import permit from the country of import and an 
export permit from the country of export, and imports may not be for 
primarily commercial purposes. However, Article VII, paragraph 4, of 
CITES provides that specimens of animal species included in Appendix I 
bred in captivity for commercial purposes shall be deemed to be 
specimens of species included in Appendix II. Appendix-II species 
require an export permit only (no import permit) and may be imported 
for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
    Through resolutions adopted at meetings of the Conference of the 
Parties to CITES, the Parties have defined criteria for registering 
breeding operations with the CITES Secretariat, whereby specimens of 
Appendix-I species from those operations would qualify as bred in 
captivity for commercial purposes. Resolution Conf. 10.16 adopted at 
the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES requires 
that parental breeding stock at such operations must: (a) Be 
established in according to the provisions of CITES and relevant 
national laws and in a manner not detrimental to the survival of the 
species in the wild; (b) be maintained without introduction of 
specimens from the wild, except for occasional augmentation to prevent 
or alleviate deleterious inbreeding, and for other limited purposes; 
and (c) have produced offspring of second (F2) or subsequent 
generations (F3, F4, etc.) in a controlled environment, belong to a 
species included in a list (established by the CITES Standing 
Committee) of species commonly bred to the second or subsequent 
generations in captivity, or be managed in a manner that has been 
demonstrated to be capable of reliably producing second-generation 
offspring in a controlled environment. Resolution Conf. 8.15 provides 
guidelines for registering and monitoring operations breeding Appendix-
I animal species for commercial purposes, and specifies the 
documentation required to establish that the operation meets the 
criteria of Resolution Conf. 10.16.
    To register a captive-breeding operation, the Management Authority 
of the country in which the operation is located must approve the 
operation, in consultation with that country's Scientific Authority. 
The sponsoring Management Authority must then submit a proposal to 
register the operation to the CITES Secretariat, which will follow the 
process presented in Resolution Conf. 8.15.
    After a review of relevant information, including breeding records 
and other documentation, we have prepared for submission to the CITES 
Secretariat the following proposal: the registration of Rapid Creek 
Ranch, owned and operated by Robert B. Berry, Sheridan, Wyoming, as a 
commercial captive-breeding operation for gyrfalcons (Falco 
rusticolus), an Appendix-I species. This is only the second commercial 
captive-breeding operation proposed for registration within the United 
States for any species, it is not the first operation registered with 
the CITES Secretariat for this species; 11 operations are already 
registered with the Secretariat for gyrfalcons, one of which is in the 
United States. The Rapid Creek Ranch operation was established in 1978 
and first began breeding this species in 1980, with 150 gyrfalcons 
produced from 1982 to 1999. Over 75 percent of these offspring have 
been second-generation captive-bred offspring. We are satisfied that 
all breeding stock has been legally acquired and maintained under 
appropriate permits. Mr. Berry has provided detailed information on 
current holdings, husbandry practices, enclosures, production at his 
operation, and breeding strategies for genetic management of his flocks 
so as to minimize deleterious inbreeding.

Required Determination

    In March 1998, we prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) as 
required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for this 
notice and concluded in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
based on a review and evaluation of the information contained within 
the EA that there would be no significant impact on the human 
environment as a result of the registration of operations breeding 
Appendix-I species in captivity for commercial purposes, and that the 
preparation of an environmental impact statement on this action is not 
required by Section 102(2) of NEPA or its implementing regulations. The 
EA and FONSI for this action are on file at our Office of Scientific 
Authority in Arlington, Virginia, and a copy may be obtained by 
contacting the individual identified under the section entitled, FOR 


    This notice was prepared by Mr. Robert R. Gabel, Chief, Branch of 
Consultation and Monitoring, Office of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (703/358-1708).

    Dated: April 10, 2000.
Kristen Nelson,
Acting Chief, Office of Management Authority.
[FR Doc. 00-9526 Filed 4-14-00; 8:45 am]