RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CHS. 133 and 137 ]
Wildlife Classification; Wildlife
[48 Pa.B. 7212]
[Saturday, November 17, 2018]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its September 25, 2018, meeting amended § 137.2 (relating to release of animals) to add the Hungarian partridge to the list of species that may be lawfully released on public or private lands for dog training or hunting purposes without first securing a permit. The Commission also added § 133.7 (relating to Hungarian partridge) to reclassify the Hungarian partridge as a wild bird and not a game bird in an effort to treat this species in a similar manner to the Chukar partridge.
This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 48 Pa.B. 5608 (September 8, 2018).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Hungarian partridge (also known as the grey partridge) is a non-native bird first introduced to the United States from Hungary in the early 1900s. Wildlife agencies, including the Commission, stocked many thousands of these birds in an attempt to establish wild populations and to maintain quality small game hunting opportunities. Hungarian partridges were stocked by the Commission in the 1920s, 1930s and then again in the 1950s. These efforts failed and a population of wild Hungarian partridges was never established within this Commonwealth. The Commission has determined that there are currently no wild populations of Hungarian partridges found within this Commonwealth.
The Commission has received a public request to consider adding Hungarian Partridges to the list of birds that may be released for dog training purposes. The Commission has reviewed the proposal and determined there to be no significant biological concerns in moving forward with this proposal. As a result, the Commission amended § 137.2 to add the Hungarian partridge to the list of species that may be lawfully released on public or private lands for dog training or hunting purposes without first securing a permit. The Commission also created § 133.7 to reclassify the Hungarian partridge as a wild bird and not a game bird in an effort to treat this species in a similar manner to the Chukar partridge.
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 2102(c) of the code (relating to regulations) directs that ''The commission shall promulgate regulations concerning the transportation, introduction into the wild, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale or purchase of game or wildlife or the disturbing of game or wildlife in their natural habitat.'' The addition of § 133.7 and amendments to § 137.2 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This final-form rulemaking amends § 137.2 to add the Hungarian partridge to the list of species that may be lawfully released on public or private lands for dog training or hunting purposes without first securing a permit. This final-form rulemaking adds § 133.7 to reclassify the Hungarian partridge as a wild bird and not a game bird in an effort to treat this species in a similar manner to the Chukar partridge.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to release Hungarian partridges into the wild on public or private lands and hunt or train dogs over same within this Commonwealth will be affected by this final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This final-form rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Randy L. Shoup, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-434 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 133. WILDLIFE CLASSIFICATION
Subchapter A. GENERAL
§ 133.7. Hungarian partridge.
Notwithstanding the listing of the Hungarian partridge in the definition of a game bird in section 102 of the act (relating to definitions), the Hungarian partridge shall be reclassified as a wild bird generally and will no longer be classified as a game bird.
CHAPTER 137. WILDLIFE
§ 137.2. Release of animals.
(a) Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to release captive held or captive raised game or wildlife on any lands, public or private, without first securing a permit from the Commission. Lawfully acquired mallard ducks, ringneck pheasant, bobwhite quail, chukar partridge and Hungarian partridge may be released for dog training or hunting purposes.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-1782. Filed for public inspection November 16, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]
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