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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 13-2369


[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 133 ]

Wildlife Classification; Classification of Birds

[43 Pa.B. 7444]
[Saturday, December 21, 2013]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its September 24, 2013, meeting to amend § 133.21 (relating to classification of birds) to remove the bald eagle from the endangered and threatened species list entirely.

 The proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 The proposed rulemaking was made public at the September 24, 2013, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until January 24, 2014, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1. Purpose and Authority

 The Commission currently lists the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) as a threatened species within this Commonwealth. The Commission has recently determined that the bald eagle has achieved a population level and geographical distribution that no longer meets the definition of a threatened species. As of the 2013 nesting season, bald eagle populations have reached all criteria in the Pennsylvania Bald Eagle Management Plan, 2010-2019 (Plan) to be removed from the Commonwealth endangered and threatened species list since they are now sustaining a minimum of 150 nesting pairs, including successful pairs in at least 40 counties, with 60% of known nests successful and productivity of 1.2 eaglets fledged per successful nest, based on a 5-year running period. The Commission is proposing to amend § 133.21 to remove the bald eagle from the endangered and threatened species list entirely. Upon delisting, bald eagles will continue to be a protected species under applicable Commonwealth statutes and will continue to be afforded added protection under the Federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 668—668d) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 703—712). Commission staff will continue to implement the plan and monitor bald eagle nests to ensure that this species does not regress toward endangerment.

 Section 322(c)(8) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''Add to or change the classification of any wild bird or wild animal.'' Section 2167 of the code (relating to endangered or threatened species) states that ''The commission may, by regulation, add or remove any wild bird or wild animal native to this Commonwealth to or from the Pennsylvania native list of endangered or threatened species.'' The amendments to § 133.21 are proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 133.21 to remove the bald eagle from the endangered and threatened species list entirely.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons having an interest in the protected status of bald eagles within this Commonwealth may be affected by the proposed rulemaking.

4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

5. Effective Date

 The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

6. Contact Person

 For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48-356. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




Subchapter B. BIRDS

§ 133.21. Classification of birds.

 The following birds are classified:

*  *  *  *  *

 (2) Threatened.

 (i) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

[(ii) Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)

(iii)] (ii) Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

[(iv)] (iii) Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-2369. Filed for public inspection December 20, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]

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