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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 22, 2014

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS
Subpart C—Endangered Wildlife


§17.21   Prohibitions.

(a) Except as provided in subpart A of this part, or under permits issued pursuant to §17.22 or §17.23, it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to commit, to attempt to commit, to solicit another to commit or to cause to be committed, any of the acts described in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section in regard to any endangered wildlife.

(b) Import or export. It is unlawful to import or to export any endangered wildlife. Any shipment in transit through the United States is an importation and an exportation, whether or not it has entered the country for customs purposes.

(c) Take. (1) It is unlawful to take endangered wildlife within the United States, within the territorial sea of the United States, or upon the high seas. The high seas shall be all waters seaward of the territorial sea of the United States, except waters officially recognized by the United States as the territorial sea of another country, under international law.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any person may take endangered wildlife in defense of his own life or the lives of others.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any employee or agent of the Service, any other Federal land management agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, or a State conservation agency, who is designated by his agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of his official duties, take endangered wildlife without a permit if such action is necessary to:

(i) Aid a sick, injured or orphaned specimen; or

(ii) Dispose of a dead specimen; or

(iii) Salvage a dead specimen which may be useful for scientific study; or

(iv) Remove specimens which constitute a demonstrable but nonimmediate threat to human safety, provided that the taking is done in a humane manner; the taking may involve killing or injuring only if it has not been reasonably possible to eliminate such threat by live-capturing and releasing the specimen unharmed, in a remote area.

(4) Any taking under paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section must be reported in writing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, LE-3000, Arlington, VA 22203, within five days. The specimen may only be retained, disposed of, or salvaged under directions from the Office of Law Enforcement.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any qualified employee or agent of a State Conservation Agency which is a party to a Cooperative Agreement with the Service in accordance with section 6(c) of the Act, who is designated by his agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of his official duties take those endangered species which are covered by an approved cooperative agreement for conservation programs in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement, provided that such taking is not reasonably anticipated to result in:

(i) The death or permanent disabling of the specimen;

(ii) The removal of the specimen from the State where the taking occurred;

(iii) The introduction of the specimen so taken, or of any progeny derived from such a specimen, into an area beyond the historical range of the species; or

(iv) The holding of the specimen in captivity for a period of more than 45 consecutive days.

(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any person acting under a valid migratory bird rehabilitation permit issued pursuant to §21.31 of this subchapter may take endangered migratory birds without an endangered species permit if such action is necessary to aid a sick, injured, or orphaned endangered migratory bird, provided the permittee:

(i) Notifies the issuing Migratory Bird Permit Office immediately upon receipt of such bird (contact information for your issuing office is listed on your permit and on 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 Office.

(7) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, persons exempt from the permit requirements of §21.12(c) and (d) of this subchapter may take sick and injured endangered migratory birds without an endangered species permit in performing the activities authorized under §21.12(c) and (d).

(d) Possession and other acts with unlawfully taken wildlife. (1) It is unlawful to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship, by any means whatsoever, any endangered wildlife which was taken in violation of paragraph (c) of this section.

Example. A person captures a whooping crane in Texas and gives it to a second person, who puts it in a closed van and drives thirty miles, to another location in Texas. The second person then gives the whooping crane to a third person, who is apprehended with the bird in his possession. All three have violated the law—the first by illegally taking the whooping crane; the second by transporting an illegally taken whooping crane; and the third by possessing an illegally taken whooping crane.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, Federal and State law enforcement officers may possess, deliver, carry, transport or ship any endangered wildlife taken in violation of the Act as necessary in performing their official duties.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, any person acting under a valid migratory bird rehabilitation permit issued pursuant to §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 endangered migratory bird, provided the permittee:

(i) Notifies the issuing Migratory Bird Permit Office immediately upon receipt of such bird (contact information for your issuing office is listed on your permit and on 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 Office.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, persons exempt from the permit requirements of §21.12(c) and (d) of this subchapter may possess and transport sick and injured endangered migratory bird species without an endangered species permit in performing the activities authorized under §21.12(c) and (d).

(e) Interstate or foreign commerce. It is unlawful to deliver, receive, carry transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever, and in the course of a commercial activity, any endangered wildlife.

(f) Sale or offer for sale. (1) It is unlawful to sell or to offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any endangered wildlife.

(2) An advertisement for the sale of endangered wildlife which carries a warning to the effect that no sale may be consummated until a permit has been obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shall not be considered an offer for sale within the meaning of this section.

(g) Captive-bred wildlife. (1) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b), (c), (e) and (f) of this section, any person may take; export or re-import; deliver, receive, carry, transport or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, in the course of a commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any endangered wildlife that is bred in captivity in the United States provided either that the wildlife is of a taxon listed in paragraph (g)(6) of this section, or that the following conditions are met:

(i) The wildlife is of a species having a natural geographic distribution not including any part of the United States, or the wildlife is of a species that the Director has determined to be eligible in accordance with paragraph (g)(5) of this section;

(ii) The purpose of such activity is to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species;

(iii) Such activity does not involve interstate or foreign commerce, in the course of a commercial activity, with respect to non-living wildlife;

(iv) Each specimen of wildlife to be re-imported is uniquely identified by a band, tattoo or other means that was reported in writing to an official of the Service at a port of export prior to export from the United States; and

(v) Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who engages in any of the activities authorized by this paragraph does so in accordance with paragraphs (g) (2), (3) and (4) of this section, and with all other applicable regulations in this Subchapter B.

(2) Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States seeking to engage in any of the activities authorized by this paragraph must first register with the Service (Office of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203). Requests for registration must be submitted on an official application form (Form 3-200-41) provided by the Service, and must include the following information:

(i) The types of wildlife sought to be covered by the registration, identified by common and scientific name to the taxonomic level of family, genus or species;

(ii) A description of the applicant's experience in maintaining and propagating the types of wildlife sought to be covered by the registration, and when appropriate, in conducting research directly related to maintaining and propagating such wildlife;

(iii) Photograph(s) or other evidence clearly depicting the facilities where such wildlife will be maintained; and

(iv) a copy of the applicant's license or registration, if any, under the animal welfare regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (9 CFR part 2).

(3) Upon receipt of a complete application for registration, or the renewal or amendment of an existing registration, under this section, the Service will publish notice of the application in the Federal Register. Each notice will invite the submission from interested parties, within 30 days after the date of the notice, of written data, views, or arguments with respect to the application. All information received as part of each application will be made available to the public, upon request, as a matter of public record at every stage of the proceeding, including, but not limited to, information needed to assess the eligibility of the applicant, such as the original application, materials, any intervening renewal applications documenting a change in location or personnel, and the most recent annual report.

(i) At the completion of this comment period, the Director will decide whether to approve the registration. In making this decision, the Director will consider, in addition to the general criteria in §13.21(b) of this subchapter, whether the expertise, facilities, or other resources available to the applicant appear adequate to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected wildlife. Public education activities may not be the sole basis to justify issuance of a registration or to otherwise establish eligibility for the exception granted in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(ii) If the Director approves the registration, the Service will publish notice of the decision in the Federal Register that the registration was applied for in good faith, that issuing the registration will not operate to the disadvantage of the species for which registration was sought, and that issuing the registration will be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the Act.

(iii) Each person so registered must maintain accurate written records of activities conducted under the registration and allow reasonable access to Service agents for inspection purposes as set forth in §§13.46 and 13.47 of this chapter. Each person so registered must also submit to the Director an individual written annual report of activities, including all births, deaths, and transfers of any type.

(4) Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States seeking to export or conduct foreign commerce in captive-bred endangered wildlife that will not remain under the care of that person must first obtain approval by providing written evidence to satisfy the Director that the proposed recipient of the wildlife has expertise, facilities or other resources adequate to enhance the propagation or survival of such wildlife and that the proposed recipient will use such wildlife for purposes of enhancing the propagation or survival of the affected species.

(5)(i) The Director will use the following criteria to determine if wildlife of any species having a natural geographic distribution that includes any part of the United States is eligible for the provisions of this paragraph:

(A) Whether there is a low demand for taking of the species from wild populations, either because of the success of captive breeding or because of other reasons, and

(B) Whether the wild populations of the species are effectively protected from unauthorized taking as a result of the inaccessibility of their habitat to humans or as a result of the effectiveness of law enforcement.

(ii) The Director will follow the procedures set forth in the Act and in the regulations thereunder with respect to petitions and notification of the public and governors of affected States when determining the eligibility of species for purposes of this paragraph.

(iii) In accordance with the criteria in paragraph (g)(5)(i) of this section, the Director has determined the following species to be eligible for the provisions of this paragraph:

Laysan duck (Anas laysanensis).

(6) Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States seeking to engage in any of the activities authorized by paragraph (g)(1) of this section may do so without first registering with the Service with respect to the bar-tailed pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae), Elliot's pheasant (S. ellioti), Mikado pheasant (S. mikado), brown eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum), white eared pheasant (C. crossoptilon), cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii), Edward's pheasant (Lophura edwardsi), Swinhoe's pheasant (L. swinhoii), Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), and Palawan peacock pheasant (Polyplectron emphanum); parakeets of the species Neophema pulchella and N. splendida; the Laysan duck (Anas laysanensis); the white-winged wood duck (Cairina scutulata); and the inter-subspecific crossed or “generic” tiger (Panthera tigris) (i e., specimens not identified or identifiable as members of the Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian or Indochinese subspecies (Panthera tigris tigris, P.t. sumatrae, P.t. altaica and P.t. corbetti, respectively) provided:

(i) The purpose of such activity is to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected exempted species;

(ii) Such activity does not involve interstate or foreign commerce, in the course of a commercial activity, with respect to non-living wildlife;

(iii) Each specimen to be re-imported is uniquely identified by a band, tattoo or other means that was reported in writing to an official of the Service at a port of export prior to export of the specimen from the United States;

(iv) No specimens of the taxa in this paragraph (g)(6) of this section that were taken from the wild may be imported for breeding purposes absent a definitive showing that the need for new bloodlines can only be met by wild specimens, that suitable foreign-bred, captive individuals are unavailable, and that wild populations can sustain limited taking, and an import permit is issued under §17.22;

(v) Any permanent exports of such specimens meet the requirements of paragraph (g)(4) of this section; and

(vi) Each person claiming the benefit of the exception in paragraph (g)(1) of this section must maintain accurate written records of activities, including births, deaths and transfers of specimens, and make those records accessible to Service agents for inspection at reasonable hours as set forth in §§13.46 and 13.47.

(h) U.S. captive-bred scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelle. Notwithstanding paragraphs (b), (c), (e), and (f) of this section, any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States may take; export or re-import; deliver, receive, carry, transport or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, in the course of a commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce live wildlife, including embryos and gametes, and sport-hunted trophies of scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), addax (Addax nasomaculatus), and dama gazelle (Gazella dama) provided:

(1) The purpose of such activity is associated with the management or transfer of live wildlife, including embryos and gametes, or sport hunting in a manner that contributes to increasing or sustaining captive numbers or to potential reintroduction to range countries;

(2) The specimen was captive-bred, in accordance with §17.3, within the United States;

(3) All live specimens of that species held by the captive-breeding operation are managed in a manner that prevents hybridization of the species or subspecies;

(4) All live specimens of that species held by the captive-breeding operation are managed in a manner that maintains genetic diversity;

(5) Any export of or foreign commerce in a specimen meets the requirements of paragraph (g)(4) of this section, as well as parts 13, 14, and 23 of this chapter;

(6) Each specimen to be re-imported is uniquely identified by a tattoo or other means that is reported on the documentation required under paragraph (h)(5) of this section; and

(7) Each person claiming the benefit of the exception of this paragraph (h) must maintain accurate written records of activities, including births, deaths, and transfers of specimens, and make those records accessible to Service officials for inspection at reasonable hours set forth in §§13.46 and 13.47 of this chapter.

(8) The sport-hunted trophy consists of raw or tanned parts, such as bones, hair, head, hide, hooves, horns, meat, skull, rug, taxidermied head, shoulder, or full body mount, of a specimen that was taken by the hunter during a sport hunt for personal use. It does not include articles made from a trophy, such as worked, manufactured, or handicraft items for use as clothing, curios, ornamentation, jewelry, or other utilitarian items for commercial purposes.

[40 FR 44415, Sept. 26, 1975, as amended at 40 FR 53400, Nov. 18, 1975; 41 FR 19226, May 11, 1976; 44 FR 31580, May 31, 1979; 44 FR 54007, Sept. 17, 1979; 58 FR 68325, Dec. 27, 1993; 63 FR 48640, Sept. 11, 1998; 68 FR 2919, Jan. 22, 2003; 68 FR 61136, Oct. 27, 2003; 70 FR 52318, Sept. 2, 2005; 77 FR 438, Jan. 5, 2012; 77 FR 43175, July 24, 2012; 79 FR 15252, Mar. 19, 2014]



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