Subchapter U. DEPREDATION
147.742. Depredation permits for migratory birds other than waterfowl.
147.743. Disposition of birds destroyed.
147.744. Depredation permits for migratory waterfowl.
147.746. Exceptions for resident Canada geese.
The provisions of this Subchapter U issued under the Game and Wildlife Code, 34 Pa.C.S. § § 2102(a), 2103(a) and 2901(b), unless otherwise noted.
§ 147.741. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
ApplicantThe owner or principal officer of an aquaculture facility, which is suffering severe economic loss, or a person suffering property damage from migratory birds.
AquacultureThe controlled culture of aquatic organisms, particularly finfish, under artificial circumstancesthat is, ponds, racewaysfor economic profit or by the Fish and Boat Commission. Net pens are excluded for the purpose of this definition.
WCOWildlife Conservation Officer.
WSUnited States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.
§ 147.742. Depredation permits for migratory birds other than waterfowl.
(a) A depredation permit issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to an applicant may be co-signed under the following circumstances:
(1) A visit to the applicants facility has been made by a WCO or the WS representative and a problem is verified to exist. A copy of WS Migratory Bird Damage Project Report will be furnished to the Commission by the WS investigator before submitting the form to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
(2) The applicant has exhausted all recommendations for reasonable nonlethal control methods provided by the Commission and the WS representative.
(3) The applicant agrees to implement WS/Commission recommendations for working towards a permanent solution within a period of time agreed to by the applicant, if economically feasible for the facility.
(b) Upon receipt of an application for a United States Fish and Wildlife Service depredation permit that meets the requirements of subsection (a)(1)(3), the Commission will review the application and if approved forward the application to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Permit office.
§ 147.743. Disposition of birds destroyed.
Unless otherwise specified in a particular permit, the following apply:
(1) Within 48 hours of killing birds, the permittee shall notify the Commission by phone of the killing and of the number of birds killed and the species of birds killed.
§ 147.744. Depredation permits for migratory waterfowl.
(a) A depredation permit issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to an applicant may be co-signed by the Commission when the following criteria are met:
(1) Subsequent to a complaint, the site has been visited by a WCO to verify that a problem exists. A Commission waterfowl complaint form will be furnished to the Commission by the WCO. A copy of the Federal depredation permit application will be furnished to the complainant by the WCO.
(2) The applicant has demonstrated the site is open to hunting and hunting has been ineffective or hunting is impractical.
(3) The applicant shall demonstrate that reasonable nonlethal control methods have been attempted. Nonlethal control methods shall include the following:
(i) Feeding of waterfowl is prohibited. The applicant shall address this issue and include evidence of the enforcement of a no feeding policy.
(ii) Exclusion and harassment measures (fencing, repellents, scare devices, and the like).
(iii) Habitat manipulation (eliminate feeding areas, resting and breeding habitat).
(b) The following control methods are approved for population reduction and will be specifically identified in the depredation permit:
(1) Oiling, addling or freezing of eggs.
(2) Shooting may be used to reinforce nonlethal measures according to the following guidelines:
(i) The permit will specify the number of birds to be shot with no more than 10% of the nuisance flock to be killed except on airports covered by Airport Safety Control permits issued by the Commission.
(ii) Waterfowl may only be taken with shotgun using nontoxic shot no larger than size T.
(iii) The use of blinds, bait, decoys and calls is prohibited.
(3) Depopulation of waterfowl by the applicant, its employees, wildlife control agents, WS or authorized Federal or State wildlife agency personnel will be specified in the permit under the following guidelines:
(i) The number of birds to be killed may not exceed that specified in the permit.
(ii) Killing will be conducted only by persons specified in the permit by shooting with shotguns using nontoxic shot no larger than size T, or capturing birds and euthanasia by chemical or mechanical devices approved for use by the Executive Director or a designee.
(c) Waterfowl carcasses taken under depredation permits will be used according to the following guidelines:
(1) Care will be taken to preserve carcasses for human consumption and shall be made available to food banks or others specified in the permit. Birds euthanized by chemical means will not be utilized for human consumption.
(2) When the condition of the birds is unsuitable for human consumption or food banks, or individuals are not available to accept carcasses, the birds may be disposed of in a sanitary method by burying, incineration or depositing in approved landfills or refuse facilities.
§ 147.745. Exclusions.
(a) A permit is not required for red winged and rusty blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles which are listed in the United States Fish and Wildlife Services standing depredation order (50 CFR 21.43 (relating to depredation order for blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, crows and magpies)).
(b) A depredation permit will not be issued for the taking of any endangered or threatened species, as defined in 50 CFR Part 17 (relating to endangered and threatened wildlife and plants).
(c) Depredation permits for waterfowl will only be issued during the waterfowl hunting season, where hunting cannot be used as a control method.
(d) A depredation permit will not be renewed if the permittee has not made a good faith effort to implement nonlethal control recommendations by the Commission or WS.
§ 147.746. Exceptions for resident Canada geese.
(a) Egg addling and nest destruction. Private landowners and managers of public lands and their employees or agents may destroy the nests and eggs of resident Canada geese on lands under their jurisdiction when necessary to resolve or prevent injury to people or damage to property or agricultural crops without the need for a joint state/Federal permit when the following conditions have been met:
(1) Private landowners or managers of public land have registered with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at https://epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/geSI.aspx. Each person who will be conducting the activity shall be registered at this site prior to implementing control activities.
(i) Eggs may be addled by shaking, freezing with CO2 or oiling. If addled by oil, only 100% corn oil may be used.
(ii) Nests and eggs may be disposed of by burying or burning.
(2) Persons exercising privileges authorized by this subchapter shall file a report with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at https://epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/geSI.aspx no later than October 31 of each year. Failure to file a report may result in the denial of permission to addle the eggs or destroy the nests of resident Canada geese in subsequent years.
(3) It shall be unlawful to interfere with the nest or eggs of resident Canada geese without first registering with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as required by this subchapter.
(b) Agricultural facilities.
(1) Commercial agricultural production. Persons actively engaged in commercial agriculture production may apply for a State-issued resident Canada goose depredation permit. This permit allows a commercial agricultural producer and its legitimate employees and agents to engage in the shooting or capture of resident Canada geese when necessary to prevent damage to agricultural crops and other interests by resident Canada geese. The permit will prescribe the method of taking and the number of resident Canada geese that may be taken. The permit will be valid from April 1August 31 of the year in which the permit was issued. The permittee shall file a written report on a form provided by the Commission, regarding the activities authorized by the permit no later than October 31 of the year in which the permit was issued. Failure to file the report as required may result in future applications being denied.
(2) Application fee. An application fee of $50 in the form of check or money order shall be remitted to the Commission by the applicant at the time of application.
(c) Airports and military airfields.
(1) Federal requirement. Airports that are part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems and have received Federal grant-in aid assistance and military airfields may control resident Canada geese on property that is under their jurisdiction without the need for a State or joint state/Federal depredation permit if they comply with 50 CFR 21.49 (relating to control order for resident Canada geese at airports and military airfields).
(2) Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful to control resident Canada geese on airport or military airfield property through lethal control or to destroy eggs and nests of resident Canada geese unless the participants are in compliance with 50 CFR 21.49 or are in possession of a joint state/Federal Canada goose depredation permit as prescribed in § 147.744 (relating to depredation permits for migratory waterfowl).
The provisions of this § 147.746 adopted March 23, 2007, effective March 24, 37 Pa.B. 1311; amended November 6, 2020, effective November 7, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 6209. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (326604) and (333681).
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