§ 15.32Criteria for including species in the approved list for non-captive-bred species.
Upon receipt of a completed sustainable use management plan for a country of export, the Director may approve a species listed in Appendices II or III of the Convention for importation from that country. Such approval shall be granted in accordance with the issuance criteria of this section. All approved species and countries of export will be listed in section 15.33.
(a)Requirements for scientifically-based sustainable use management plans. Sustainable use management plans developed by the country of export should be submitted for species which breed in the country of export. If the species does not breed in the country of export, the Service will consider sustainable use management plans only when the plan is scientifically valid and nesting (breeding) information can be provided from countries in which the species breeds. Sustainable use management plans shall include the following information, and any other information that may be appropriate:
(1) Background information, including the following:
(i) The scientific and common name of the species;
(ii) Letters from the country of export's Management and Scientific Authorities transmitting the management plan of this species;
(iii) A summary of the country of export's legislation related to this species and legislation implementing the Convention, and, where appropriate, a summary of implementing regulations;
(iv) A summary, from the country of export's Management Authority, of the country's infrastructure and law enforcement and monitoring mechanisms designed to ensure both enforcement of and compliance with the requirements of the management plan, and that the number of birds removed from the wild or exported will be consistent with the management plan;
(v) Recent information on the distribution of the species within the country of export, including scientific references and maps, and historical information on distributions, if relevant; and
(vi) The species' status and its current population trend in the country of export, including scientific references and copies of the most recent non-detriment findings made by the exporting country's Scientific Authority.
(2) Habitat information, including:
(i) A general description of habitats used by the species for each portion of the life cycle completed within the country of export;
(ii) Recent information on the size and distribution of these habitats throughout the country of export and in each area or region of take, including scientific references and maps. The approximate location of any reserves that provide protection for this species should be indicated on the accompanying map(s), along with a brief description of how reserves are protected and how that protection is enforced;
(iii) Status and trends of the important habitats used by the species in the country of export as a whole whenever available and within each area or region of take, including scientific references;
(iv) Factors, including management activities, favoring or threatening the species' habitat in the foreseeable future within each area or region of take, and throughout the country of export whenever available, including scientific references; and
(v) A list of management plans that have been or are being planned, developed, or implemented for the species' important habitats, if any.
(3) Information on the role of the species in its ecosystem, including:
(i) A description of the part(s) of the species' life cycle completed within the country of export;
(ii) A description of nest sites and/or plant communities that are most frequently used for placement of nests and, if applicable, nesting habits;
(iii) A general description of the species' diet and where the species forages (aerial feeder, tree canopy, tree trunk, midstory, understory, open water or other), and seasonal changes in foraging habits, including, when available, scientific references; and
(iv) Information on any species or plant community which is dependent on the occurrence of the exotic bird species.
(4) Population dynamics of the species, including:
(i) Recent population data for the population of the species in the country of export, as derived from indices of relative abundance or population estimates, along with documentation for each estimate;
(ii) Within each area or region of take, documentation for recent population data or estimates, conducted for at least 3 separate years or 1 year with a description of survey plans for future years. These population assessments should have been conducted during the same season (breeding or non-breeding) of each year for which documentation is submitted (i.e., be methodologically comparable—both temporally and spatially);
(iii) Within each area or region of take, a scientific assessment (with documentation) of recent reproductive (nesting) success. This assessment should include information on the number of young produced per egg-laying female per year or per nesting pair, or if scientifically appropriate for the species to be exported, estimates on the number of young produced per year from pre-breeding and post-breeding surveys conducted within the same annual cycle;
(iv) Within each area or region of take, estimation (with documentation) of annual mortality or loss including natural mortality and take for subsistence use, export trade, and domestic trade in each area of take; or
(v) When appropriate, information (with documentation) on the number of young which can be taken from the area, as a result of a conservation enhancement program.
(5) Determination of biologically sustainable use:
(i) Estimation of the number exported from the country during the past 2 years, and the number of birds removed from the wild for export, domestic trade, illegal trade, subsistence use, and other purposes (specify) for the country of export during the past 2 years;
(ii) The estimated number of birds that will be removed from the wild from each area of take each year for all purposes (export trade, domestic trade, illegal trade, and subsistence use), including a description of age-classes (nestlings, fledglings, sub-adults, adults, all classes), when applicable;
(iii) For the projected take addressed in the management plan, a description of the removal process, including, but not limited to, locations, time of year, capture methods, means of transport, and pre-export conditioning;
(iv) Documentation of how each projected level of take was determined;
(v) Explanation of infrastructure and law enforcement and monitoring mechanisms that ensure compliance with the methodology in the management plan and that the species will be removed at a level that ensures sustainable use; and
(vi) Description of how species in each area or region of take will be monitored in order to determine whether the number and age classes of birds taken is sustainable.
(i) For species that are considered “pests” in the country of origin: documentation that such a species is a pest, including a description of the type of pest,—e.g., agricultural, disease carrier; a description of the damage the pest species causes to its ecosystem; and a description of how the sustainable use management plan controls population levels of the pest species.
(ii) For non-pest species: A description of how the sustainable use management plan promotes the value of the species and its habitats. Incentives for conservation may be generated by environmental education, cooperative efforts or projects, development of cooperative management units, and/or activities involving local communities.
(7) Additional factors:
(i) Description of any existing enhancement activities developed for the species, including, but not limited to, annual banding programs, nest watching/guarding, and nest improvement; and
(ii) Description, including photographs or diagrams, of the shipping methods and enclosures proposed to be used to transport the exotic birds, including but not limited to feeding and care during transport, densities of birds in shipping enclosures, and estimated consignment sizes.
(b)Approval criteria. Upon receiving a sustainable use management plan in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the Director will decide whether or not an exotic bird species should be listed as an approved species for importation from the country of export, under section 15.33. In making this decision, the Director shall consider in addition to the general criteria in part 13 of this subchapter, all of the following factors for the species:
(1) Whether the country of export is effectively implementing the Convention, particularly with respect to:
(i) Establishment of a functioning Scientific Authority;
(ii) The requirements of Article IV of the Convention;
(iii) Remedial measures recommended by the Parties to the Convention with respect to this and similar species, including recommendations of permanent committees of the Convention; and
(iv) Article VIII of the Convention, including but not limited to establishment of legislation and infrastructure necessary to enforce the Convention, and submission of annual reports to the Convention's Secretariat;
(2) Whether the country of export has developed a scientifically-based management plan for the species that:
(i) Provides for the conservation of the species and its habitat(s);
(ii) Includes incentives for conservation unless the species is a documented pest species;
(iii) Is adequately implemented and enforced;
(iv) Ensures that the use of the species is:
(B) Maintained throughout its range at a level that is consistent with the species' role in its ecosystem; and
(C) Is well above the level at which the species might become threatened;
(v) Addresses illegal trade, domestic trade, subsistence use, disease, and habitat loss; and
(vi) Ensures that the methods of capture, transport, and maintenance of the species minimize the risk of injury, damage to health, and inhumane treatment; and
(3) If the species has a multi-national distribution:
(i) Whether populations of the species in other countries in which it occurs will not be detrimentally affected by exports of the species from the country requesting approval;
(ii) Whether factors affecting conservation of the species, including export from other countries, illegal trade, domestic use, or subsistence use are regulated throughout the range of the species so that recruitment and/or breeding stocks of the species will not be detrimentally affected by the proposed export;
(iii) Whether the projected take and export will not detrimentally affect breeding populations; and
(iv) Whether the projected take and export will not detrimentally affect existing enhancement activities, conservation programs, or enforcement efforts throughout the species' range.
(4) For purposes of applying the criterion in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section, the Director may give positive consideration to plans wherein very conservative capture and export quotas are implemented prior to being able to obtain all of the biological information necessary for a more large-scale management plan, if the country can demonstrate that such conservative capture and export quotas are non-detrimental to the species survival in the wild under the criterion in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section.
(c)Publication in the Federal Register. The Director shall publish notice in the Federal Register of the availability of each complete sustainable use management plan received under paragraph (a) of this section. Each notice shall invite the submission from interested parties of written data, views, or arguments with respect to the proposed approval.
(d)Duration of approval. A species and country of export listed in section 15.33 as approved shall be approved for 3 years, at which time renewal of approval shall be considered by the Service.