[Federal Register: December 6, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 235)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 63349-63355]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Parts 17 and 21

RIN 1018-AH87

Migratory Bird Permits; Regulations Governing Rehabilitation 
Activities and Permit Exceptions

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: This proposed regulation would create a permit category to 
specifically authorize rehabilitation activities involving migratory 
birds. Migratory bird rehabilitation is the practice of caring for 
sick, injured, or orphaned migratory birds with the goal of releasing 
them back to the wild. Currently, in the absence of a permit 
specifically for this purpose, migratory bird rehabilitation activities 
are authorized by issuance of a special purpose permit under 50 CFR 
21.27. In addition, this proposed regulation would create a permit 
exception for public officials responsible for tracking infectious 

DATES: You should submit written comments by March 6, 2002, to the 
address below.

ADDRESSES: You may mail or deliver written comments to the Division of 
Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North 
Fairfax Drive, Room 634, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610. Please 
reference ``RIN 1018-AH87'' at the top of your letter. Alternatively, 
you may submit your comments via the Internet to: 
migbird_rehab@fws.gov. Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII file 
avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. 
Please also include your name and return address in your e-mail 
message. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received 
your message, contact us directly at 703/358-1714.
    The complete file for this proposed rule is available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 634, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Andrew, Chief, Division of 
Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 703 / 358-



    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.) prohibits 

[[Page 63350]]

of any bird protected by treaties between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, 
Japan, and Russia. Birds covered by the Act are referred to as 
``migratory birds.'' Presently, if you wish to provide treatment to 
sick, injured, or orphaned migratory birds, you must obtain a special 
purpose permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 CFR 
21.27. The special purpose permit category is used to authorize 
activities not specifically covered by other existing types of permits. 
In order to more effectively promote rehabilitation and conservation of 
migratory birds, and to facilitate the activities of rehabilitators 
nationwide by providing them with a reliable, consistent regulatory 
framework, we are proposing this rule to create a new permit category 
specifically authorizing rehabilitation of migratory birds.
    Currently, approximately 2,500 special purpose permits for 
migratory bird rehabilitation purposes are active nationwide, 
representing almost half the approximately 5,500 currently active 
special purpose permits. Because the special purpose permit can cover 
numerous types of activities, the framework for issuing these permits 
is necessarily broad and general. The Service has addressed this 
generality by issuing standard conditions with which holders of special 
purpose permits for rehabilitation must conform. This proposed 
rehabilitation permit regulation largely incorporates--and expands 
upon--those existing standard conditions.
    The impetus behind creating a rehabilitation permit category is 
threefold: to codify permit conditions through the public rulemaking 
process; to clarify what is expected from migratory bird rehabilitators 
by providing more specificity and detail to permit requirements; and to 
bring greater consistency nationwide to the regulation of migratory 
bird rehabilitation.
    This proposed rule addresses rehabilitation of threatened and 
endangered migratory bird species, and amends 50 CFR 17 (Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife), to exempt persons who obtain a rehabilitation 
permit from having to obtain a permit under part 17. The rule was 
written with the premise that migratory bird rehabilitators should not 
be required to obtain two separate permits when there is always some 
possibility that they may be presented with a sick or injured, 
endangered or threatened migratory bird species. Accordingly, the rule 
contains numerous provisions addressing rehabilitation of threatened 
and endangered migratory bird species, including additional 
requirements to notify and coordinate with the Service. Some 
rehabilitators may not be authorized to care for threatened and 
endangered species. Individual permits may be further conditioned at 
the time of issuance to specify which categories of migratory bird 
species the permittee is authorized to rehabilitate.
    The proposed rule also provides an exemption to the permit 
requirements of 50 CFR part 17 and 50 CFR part 21 for vets who treat 
listed migratory bird species, under certain conditions.
    In conjunction with an ongoing review of all U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service permit fee schedules, the Division of Migratory Bird Management 
is reviewing and revising migratory bird permit application processing 
fees. Currently, applicants for Special Purpose--Rehabilitation permits 
do not pay a processing fee. This proposed rule would require 
rehabilitation permit applicants to pay the permit application fee 
listed in 50 CFR 13.11.

Permit Exception for Authorities Tracking Infectious Disease

    This proposed rule also adds a new permit exception to Sec. 21.12 
to allow wildlife managers and public health officials responsible for 
monitoring West Nile virus and other health threats to collect, 
possess, transport, and dispose of sick or dead migratory birds or 
their parts for analysis to confirm the presence or absence of 
infectious disease. It would also cover authorities dealing with avian 
diseases caused by natural toxins, such as botulism. The exception does 
not apply to healthy birds, or where circumstances indicate that the 
death, injury, or disability of a bird was caused by factors other than 
infectious disease. This permit exception will facilitate timely 
response to public health concerns and outbreaks of avian infectious 

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq.), requires all Federal agencies to 
``insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out * * * is 
not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of [critical] habitat.'' This proposed rule is currently being reviewed 
pursuant to section 7 of the ESA. Section 7 consultation on this rule 
will be concluded before this rule is finalized. Individual decisions 
to issue rehabilitation permits to cover species that are listed as 
endangered or threatened will require consultation pursuant to section 
7 of the ESA.

Required Determinations

Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds 
(Executive Order 13186)
    This rule has been evaluated for impacts to migratory birds, with 
emphasis on species of management concern, and is in accordance with 
the guidance in E.O. 13186.
Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)
    In accordance with the criteria in Executive Order 12866, this rule 
is not a significant regulatory action. OMB has made this final 
determination of significance under E.O. 12866.
    a. This rule will not have an annual economic effect of $100 
million or adversely affect an economic sector, productivity, jobs, the 
environment, or other units of government. A cost-benefit and economic 
analysis is not required.
    b. This rule will not create serious inconsistencies or otherwise 
interfere with other agencies' actions. The Fish and Wildlife Service 
is the only Federal agency responsible for enforcing the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act.
    c. This rule will not materially affect entitlements, grants, user 
fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their recipients. 
This rule does not have anything to do with the afore-mentioned 
    d. This rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues. 
Rehabilitation activities for migratory birds currently operate under a 
different permit than that proposed in this rule.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must either certify 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities (i.e., small business, small 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions), or prepare and 
make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities.
    We have examined this proposed rule's potential effects on small 
entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposed 
rule requires applicants for migratory bird

[[Page 63351]]

rehabilitation permits to pay the fee listed in the Service permit 
application fee schedule at 50 CFR 13.11. Currently, the Service waives 
fees for rehabilitation permit applicants, although the fee schedule is 
being revised as part of a separate proposed rule revising part 13. We 
will consider and address the economic effects of proposed fee 
revisions as part of that rulemaking. Because permit application fees 
will be addressed in another proposed rule, we certify that this action 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. A final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not 
required. Accordingly, a Small Entity Compliance Guide is not required.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501, 
et seq.):
    a. This rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments. A Small Government Agency Plan is not required. We have 
determined and certified pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 
2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of 
$100 million or more in any given year on local or State government or 
private entities.
    b. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year, i.e., it is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have 
significant takings implications. This rule will not result in the 
physical occupancy of property, the physical invasion of property, or 
the regulatory taking of any property. A takings implication assessment 
is not required.
    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, and based on the 
discussions in Regulatory Planning and Review above, this rule does not 
have significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the 
Federal Government has been given responsibility over these species by 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This rule does not have a substantial 
direct effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities 
of Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or 
Civil Justice Reform
    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order. The Department of the Interior has certified to the 
Office of Management and Budget that this rule meets the applicable 
standards provided in Sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988.
Paperwork Reduction Act
    This proposed rule does not contain new or revised information 
collection for which Office of Management and Budget approval is 
required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Information collection 
associated with migratory bird permit programs is covered by an 
existing OMB approval, No. 1018-0022. The Service may not conduct or 
sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number.
National Environmental Policy Act
    We have determined that this rule is categorically excluded under 
the Department's NEPA procedures in 516 DM 2, Appendix 1.10.
Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribes
    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, this rule will 
have no effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.
Clarity of Regulations
    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations 
that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to make 
this rule easier to understand, including answers to questions such as 
the following: (1) Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? (2) 
Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that interferes with 
its clarity? (3) Does the format of the rule (grouping and order of 
sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce its 
clarity? (4) Would the rule be easier to understand if it were divided 
into more (but shorter) sections? (5) Is the description of the rule in 
the ``Supplementary Information'' section of the preamble helpful in 
understanding the rule? What else could we do to make the rule easier 
to understand?
    Send a copy of any written comments about how we could make this 
rule easier to understand to: Office of Regulatory Affairs, Department 
of the Interior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240. 
You also may e-mail comments to: Exsec@ios.doi.gov.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. You may call 703/358-2329 to make an appointment to 
view the files. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. Under limited circumstances, as allowable 
by law, we can withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's 
identity. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must 
state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we 
will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representing an organization or business, available for 
public inspection in their entirety.

List of Subjects

50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

50 CFR Part 21

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation, Wildlife, Birds, Migratory birds.
    For the reasons set forth in this preamble, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service proposes to amend Title 50, Chapter I, Subchapter B of 
the CFR as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend Sec. 17.21 by adding paragraphs (c)(6), (c)(7), (d)(3), 
and (d)(4) to read as follows:

Sec. 17.21  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (6) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any person 
acting under a valid migratory bird rehabilitation permit issued 
pursuant to Sec. 21.31 of this subchapter may take endangered migratory 
birds without an endangered

[[Page 63352]]

species permit if such action is necessary to aid a sick, injured, or 
orphaned specimen, provided the permittee:
    (i) Notifies the issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program Office 
immediately upon receipt of such bird (contact information can be 
obtained from the Internet at http://offices.fws.gov), and
    (ii) Disposes of or transfers such birds, or their parts or 
feathers, as directed by the Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (7) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, persons 
exempt from the permit requirements of part 21 under paragraphs 
21.12(c) and (d) may take endangered migratory birds without an 
endangered species permit in performing the activities authorized under 
paragraphs 21.12(c) and (d).
    (d) * * *
    (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, any person 
acting under a valid migratory bird rehabilitation permit issued 
pursuant to Sec. 21.31 of this subchapter may possess and transport 
endangered migratory birds without an endangered species permit when 
such action is necessary to aid a sick, injured, or orphaned specimen, 
provided the permittee:
    (i) Notifies the issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program Office 
immediately upon receipt of such bird (contact information can be 
obtained from the Internet at http://offices.fws.gov), and
    (ii) Disposes of or transfers such birds, or their parts or 
feathers, as directed by the Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (4) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, persons 
exempt from the permit requirements of part 21 under paragraphs 
21.12(c) and (d) may possess and transport endangered migratory bird 
species without an endangered species permit in performing the 
activities authorized under paragraphs 21.12(c) and (d) .
* * * * *


    3. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Pub. L. 95-616, 92 Stat. 3112 (16 U.S.C. 712(2)); 
Pub. L. 106-108.

    4. Amend Sec. 21.2 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Sec. 21.2  Scope of regulations.

* * * * *
    (b) This part, except for Sec. 21.22 (banding and marking), 
Sec. 21.29 (falconry), and Sec. 21.31 (rehabilitation), does not apply 
to the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) or the golden eagle 
(Aquila chrysaetos), for which regulations are provided in part 22 of 
this subchapter.
* * * * *
    5. Amend Sec. 21.12 by adding new paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as 

Sec. 21.12  General exceptions to permit requirements.

* * * * *
    (c) Employees of Federal, State, and local wildlife agencies; 
employees of Federal, State, and local public health agencies; and 
laboratories under contract to such agencies may in the course of 
official business collect, possess, transport, and dispose of sick or 
dead migratory birds or their parts for analysis to confirm the 
presence of infectious disease. Nothing in this section authorizes the 
take of uninjured or healthy birds without prior authorization from the 
Service. Additionally, nothing in this section authorizes the taking, 
collection, or possession of migratory birds when circumstances 
indicate reasonable probability that death, injury, or disability was 
caused by factors other than infectious disease and/or natural toxins. 
These factors may include, but are not limited to, oil or chemical 
contamination, electrocution, shooting, or pesticides. If the cause of 
death of a bird is determined to be other than natural causes or 
disease, Service law enforcement officials must be contacted without 
    (d) Licensed veterinarians are not required to obtain a Federal 
migratory bird permit to temporarily possess, stabilize or euthanize 
sick and injured migratory birds. However, veterinarians must transfer 
any such bird to a permitted rehabilitator as soon as is practicable 
following necessary treatment, unless the bird is euthanized. 
Veterinarians must notify the local Service Ecological Services Office 
immediately upon receiving a threatened or endangered migratory bird 
species. Contact information for Ecological Services offices can be 
located on the Internet at http://offices.fws.gov. Veterinarians must 
administer euthanasia in accordance with Sec. 21.31(e)(3)(ii). 
Disposition of dead migratory birds must be in accordance with 
Sec. 21.31(e)(3)(iv). Veterinarians must comply with the recordkeeping 
requirements in Sec. 21.31(e)(5).
    6. Amend part 21, subpart C, by adding a new Sec. 21.31 to read as 

Sec. 21.31  Rehabilitation permits.

    (a) What is the permit requirement? Except as provided in 
Sec. 21.12, a rehabilitation permit is required to take, temporarily 
possess, or transport any migratory bird for rehabilitation purposes. 
However, any person who finds a sick, injured, or orphaned migratory 
bird may, without a permit, take possession of the bird in order to 
immediately transport it to a permitted rehabilitator.
    (b) What are the general permit provisions?
    (1) The permit authorizes you to:
    (i) Take from the wild or receive from another person sick, 
injured, or orphaned migratory birds, and to possess them and provide 
medical care for them for up to 180 days;
    (ii) Transport the birds to a suitable habitat for release, to 
another permitted rehabilitator's facilities, or to a veterinarian;
    (iii) Conduct euthanization and/or necropsy (for threatened or 
endangered species, euthanization and necropsy require prior approval 
from your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Program Office);
    (iv) Transfer or dispose of migratory birds; and
    (v) Receive, possess for up to 24 hours, stabilize, and transfer 
types of migratory bird species not authorized by your permit, in cases 
of emergency.
    (2) The permit does not authorize the use of migratory birds for 
educational purposes. Birds may not be displayed to the public unless 
you use video equipment or barriers that prevent the birds from both 
hearing and seeing the public. You may not use any equipment for this 
purpose that causes stress or harm, or impedes the rehabilitation of 
any bird.
    (c) How do I apply for a migratory bird rehabilitation permit? You 
must submit your application to the appropriate Regional Director--
Attention Migratory Bird Permit Program Office. You can find addresses 
for the appropriate Regional Directors in Sec. 2.2 of subchapter A of 
this chapter. Your application must contain the information required 
under Sec. 13.12(a) of this chapter, and the following information:
    (1) A description of your experience and training in maintaining 
and rehabilitating migratory birds. Include a list of the species with 
which you have worked, noting any threatened and endangered species; 
the types of injuries you have treated; and the treatments provided.
    (2) A list of types of species you intend to rehabilitate (e.g., 
passerines, raptors, etc.).
    (3) A description of your rehabilitation facilities. Attach 
photographs and diagrams of your enclosures. Diagrams must include 
dimensions and a description of interior

[[Page 63353]]

and exterior construction materials, such as flooring and caging 
materials. Indicate the species or type of species to be housed in 
    (4) A letter of recommendation from a permitted rehabilitator who 
is familiar with your training and experience, including experience 
with threatened and endangered species. Also provide a letter from a 
permitted rehabilitator stating his or her willingness to provide you 
with assistance. If these are the same individual, a single letter will 
    (5) A letter from a licensed veterinarian acknowledging agreement 
to work with you by providing any necessary veterinary assistance. Any 
first-hand knowledge of your training or qualifications for 
rehabilitating migratory birds should be addressed in the letter.
    (6) The names of persons (subpermittees) who will be assisting you, 
including anyone who will be regularly transporting birds to or from 
your facility. Anyone who will be performing permitted activities in 
your absence must be at least 18 years of age and listed on your permit 
as a subpermittee. You must include a description of the qualifications 
of anyone who will be performing permitted activities in your absence, 
including any experience with threatened or endangered species. If a 
subpermittee will be authorized to rehabilitate migratory birds at a 
site other than your facility, you need to provide the following 
information: name, address, date of birth, description of the 
individual's expertise in working with the type of species to be cared 
for, the type of care to be provided, and photographs and/or diagrams 
of the individual's facilities.
    (7) A copy of your State rehabilitation permit or license, if one 
is required in your State.
    (8) A check or money order made payable to the ``U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service'' in the amount of the application fee for permits 
issued under this section listed in Sec. 13.11 of this chapter.
    (d) What criteria will the Service consider before issuing a 
permit? (1) Upon receiving an application completed in accordance with 
paragraph (b) of this section, the Regional Director will decide 
whether to issue you a permit based on the general criteria of 
Sec. 13.21 of this chapter, and the following factors:
    (i) Whether you are at least 18 years of age with adequate 
experience rehabilitating migratory birds.
    (ii) Whether your facilities are adequate to properly care for the 
type(s) of species of migratory birds for which you seek authorization 
to rehabilitate.
    (iii) Whether you have an agreement with a qualified veterinarian 
to provide medical care for the birds you intend to rehabilitate.
    (iv) Whether a State permit or license is required, and if so, 
whether you have the required permit or license.
    (2) In issuing a permit, the Regional Director may place 
restrictions on the types of migratory bird species you are authorized 
to rehabilitate, based on your experience and facilities, as well as 
the specific requirements, traits, and conservation status of 
particular species.
    (e) What are the standard conditions for this permit? In addition 
to the general permit conditions set forth in part 13 of this chapter, 
rehabilitation permits are subject to the following conditions:
    (1) Facilities. To conduct the activities authorized by a 
rehabilitation permit, you must have appropriate facilities or a 
working relationship with a person or organization with such 
facilities. All facilities must be approved and identified on the face 
of your permit. In evaluating whether facilities are adequate, the 
Service will use as a guideline the current standards developed by the 
National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association and the International 
Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (Minimum Standards for Wildlife 
Rehabilitation).\1\ The Regional Migratory Bird Permit Program Office 
may authorize variation from the standards where it is reasonable and 
necessary to accommodate a particular rehabilitator's circumstances. 
However, except as provided by paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, all 
facilities must adhere to the following criteria:

    \1\ Copies may by obtained by contacting either the National 
Wildlife Rehabilitators Association: 14 North 7th Avenue, St. Cloud 
MN 56303-4766, or the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council: 
4437 Central Place, Suite B-4, Suisun, CA 94585-1633.

    (i) Rehabilitation facilities for migratory birds must be secure 
and provide protection from predators, domestic animals, undue noise 
and human disturbance, sun, wind, and inclement weather.
    (ii) Caging must be made of a material that will not entangle or 
cause injury to the type of birds that will be housed within.
    (iii) Facilities must be large enough to allow easy access for 
caring for the species of bird housed in the facility and to allow each 
bird to fully extend its wings.
    (iv) The floor must be well-drained and kept clean.
    (v) You must provide adequate perches for birds under your care.
    (vi) Birds must be housed only with compatible migratory bird 
    (2) Subpermittees. Except as provided by paragraphs (e)(2)(ii) and 
(f)(2)(ii) of this section, anyone who will be assisting you by 
performing permitted activities in your absence must either possess his 
or her own Federal rehabilitation permit or be authorized as a 
subpermittee on your permit. Subpermittees must be at least 18 years of 
age and possess sufficient experience to tend the species in their 
care. As the primary permittee, you are directly responsible for the 
actions of any subpermittees acting under your permit.
    (i) Subpermittees authorized to care for migratory birds at a site 
other than your facility must have facilities adequate to house the 
species in their care. All such facilities must be approved and 
identified on the face of your permit.
    (ii) Any individual who transports birds to or from your facility 
on a regular basis must either have his or her own permit, be listed on 
your permit as a subpermittee, or be named in a letter from you to your 
issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (3) Disposition of birds under your care. You may not retain 
migratory birds longer than 180 days without additional authorization 
from your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. Every precaution must 
be taken to avoid imprinting or habituating birds in your care to 
humans, and all imprinted birds must be transferred to the Service or a 
designee of the Service.
    (i) You must release all recuperated birds to the wild in an 
appropriate season and habitat for the species, preferably near the 
point where the bird was taken from the wild. If the appropriate season 
for release is outside the 180-day timeframe, you must seek 
authorization from the Service to hold the bird until the appropriate 
season. For most species, you should work with local and State wildlife 
agencies to identify appropriate release sites. Before releasing a 
threatened or endangered migratory bird, you must coordinate with the 
nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Office. You 
can obtain contact information for this office from your issuing 
Migratory Bird Permit Program Office or from the Internet at http://
    (ii) Any bird that has sustained injuries requiring amputation of a 
leg, a foot, or a wing at the elbow (humero-ulnar joint) or above must 
be euthanized. You must euthanize any bird that, after medical 
treatment, is blind, cannot feed itself, perch upright,

[[Page 63354]]

or ambulate without inflicting additional injuries to itself. You are 
required to obtain authorization from your issuing Migratory Bird 
Permit Program Office before euthanizing endangered and threatened 
migratory bird species. In some cases, the Service may designate a 
disposition other than euthanization for those birds. If Service 
personnel are not available, you may euthanize endangered and 
threatened migratory birds without Service authorization where prompt 
euthanization is warranted by humane consideration for the welfare of 
the bird.
    (iii) Unreleasable live birds that are suitable for use in 
educational programs, foster parenting, research projects, or other 
permitted activities may be placed with persons permitted or otherwise 
authorized to possess migratory birds, with prior approval from your 
issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (iv) You may donate dead birds and parts thereof, except threatened 
and endangered species and bald and golden eagles, to persons 
authorized by permit to possess migratory bird specimens or exempted 
from permit requirements under Sec. 21.12.
    (A) You must send all dead bald and golden eagles, and their parts 
and feathers, to: National Eagle Repository, Building 128, Rocky 
Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City, Colorado 80022.
    (B) You must obtain approval from your issuing Migratory Bird 
Permit Program Office before disposing of or transferring any dead 
endangered or threatened migratory bird specimen, parts, or feathers.
    (C) Unless specifically required to do otherwise by the Service, 
you must destroy all other dead specimens by burial or incineration.
    (v) With authorization from your issuing Migratory Bird Permit 
Program Office, you may hold a non-releasable bird longer than 180 days 
for the purpose of fostering juveniles during their rehabilitation. You 
may also use birds you possess under an educational permit to foster 
    (vi) You may possess no more than a reasonable number of feathers 
for the repair of damaged feathers of birds in your care.
    (vii) You may draw blood and take other medical samples from the 
birds under your care for purposes of diagnosis and recovery of the 
individual bird, or for transfer to authorized facilities conducting 
research pertaining to a contagious disease or other public health 
hazard (e.g.,West Nile virus).
    (viii) All birds held under this permit remain under the 
stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and may be recalled 
at any time.
    (4) Notification to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (i) When 
you acquire a threatened or endangered migratory bird species, or bald 
or golden eagle, whether live or dead, you are required to immediately 
notify your issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (ii) You must immediately notify the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Law Enforcement Office, and within 48 hours your issuing 
Migratory Bird Permit Program Office, if you have reason to believe a 
bird has been poisoned, electrocuted, shot, or otherwise subject to 
criminal activity. Contact information for local Service Law 
Enforcement offices can be located on the Internet at 
    (iii) If the sickness, injury, or death of any bird is due or 
likely due to avian virus, or other contagious disease or public health 
hazard, you should notify your issuing Migratory Bird Program Office 
within 48 hours.
    (5) Recordkeeping. You must maintain complete and accurate records 
of all migratory birds that you receive, including for each bird the 
date received, type of injury or illness, disposition, and date of 
disposition. You must retain these records for five (5) years following 
the end of the calendar year covered by the records.
    (6) Annual report. You must submit a completed Form 3-202-4 by 
January 31 of each year for the preceding year to your issuing 
Migratory Bird Permit Program Office.
    (7) Additional conditions may be stipulated on the face of the 
permit at the discretion of the Regional Director.
    (8) The permittee assumes responsibility for damage or injury to 
any person or property occasioned through the possession or handling of 
migratory birds, and the U.S. Government shall be indemnified against 
claims for damage or injury in such cases.
    (f) How does this permit apply to oil and hazardous waste spills? 
Prior to entering the location of an oil or hazardous material spill, 
you must notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Response 
Coordinator or other designated Service representative and obtain 
permission from the On-Scene Coordinator. All activities within the 
location of the spill are subject to the authority of the On-Scene 
Coordinator. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the 
disposition of all migratory birds, dead or alive.
    (1) Permit provisions in oil or hazardous material spills.
    (i) In addition to the rehabilitation permit provisions set forth 
in paragraph (b) of this section, when under the authority of the 
designated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative, this permit 
further authorizes you to temporarily possess healthy, unaffected birds 
for the purpose of removing them from imminent danger.
    (ii) This permit does not authorize salvage of dead migratory 
birds. When dead migratory birds are discovered, a Service law 
enforcement officer must be notified immediately in order to coordinate 
the handling and collection of evidence. Contact information for local 
Service Law Enforcement Offices can be located on the Internet at
http://offices.fws.gov. The designated Service representative will have 
direct control and responsibility over all live migratory birds, and 
will coordinate the collection, storage, and handling of any dead 
migratory birds with the Service's Division of Law Enforcement.
    (iii) You must notify your issuing Migratory Bird Permit Program 
Office of any migratory birds in your possession within 24 hours of 
removing such birds from the area.
    (2) Conditions specific to oil and hazardous waste spills.
    (i) Facilities. Facilities used at the scene of oil or hazardous 
waste spills may be temporary, mobile, and in some circumstances, 
provide less space and protection from noise and disturbance than 
facilities authorized under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section. Such 
facilities should conform as closely as possible with the facility 
specifications contained in the Service policy, Best Practices for 
Migratory Bird Care During Oil Spill Response.
    (ii) Subpermittees. In cases of oil and hazardous waste spills, 
persons who assist with cleaning or treating migratory birds at the on-
scene facility will not be required to have a rehabilitation permit or 
be a subpermittee; however, volunteers must be trained in rescue 
protocol for migratory birds affected by oil and hazardous waste 
spills. A permit (or subpermittee designation) is required to perform 
extended rehabilitation of such birds, after initial cleaning and 
treating, at a subsequent location.
    (g) Will I also need a permit from the State in which I live? 
Nothing in this section prevents a State from making and enforcing laws 
or regulations consistent with this section that are more restrictive 
or give further protection to migratory birds. If your State requires a 
license or permit to rehabilitate migratory birds, you must obtain that 
license or permit and adhere

[[Page 63355]]

to its requirements, in addition to the terms of your Federal permit.
    (h) How long is a migratory bird rehabilitation permit valid? Your 
rehabilitation permit will expire on the date designated on the face of 
the permit unless amended or revoked. No rehabilitation permit will 
have a term exceeding five (5) years.

    Dated: November 13, 2001.
Joseph E. Doddridge,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 01-30297 Filed 12-5-01; 8:45 am]