50 CFR 15.26 - Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

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§ 15.26 Approval of cooperative breeding programs.

Upon receipt of a complete application, the Director may approve cooperative breeding programs. Such approval will allow individuals to import exotic birds otherwise prohibited by section 15.11, with permits under section 15.24. Such approval for cooperative breeding programs shall be granted in accordance with the issuance criteria of this section.

(a)Application requirements for approval of cooperative breeding programs. Each application shall provide the following information and such other information that the Director may require:

(1) A description of the exotic bird(s) to be imported or to be covered under the program, including the common and scientific names of the species, number, sex ratio (if applicable), and age class;

(2) A statement of the reasons the applicant is justified in obtaining this approval, and a description of the cooperative breeding program requested for the exotic bird species, including:

(i) A breeding protocol, including a genetic management plan and breeding methods;

(ii) A statement on the plans for developing and maintaining a self-sustaining population in captivity of the exotic bird species;

(iii) Details on the system of recordkeeping and tracking of birds and their progeny, including how individual specimens will be marked or otherwise identified;

(iv) A statement on the relationship of such a breeding program to the conservation of the exotic bird species in the world;

(v) Details on the funding of this program; and

(vi) Plans for disposition of the exotic birds and any progeny;

(3) A qualification statement for each individual who will be overseeing the cooperative breeding program. This statement should include information on the individual's prior experience with the same or similar bird species. Individuals overseeing the program will be required to demonstrate an affiliation with an avicultural, conservation, or zoological organization;

(4) A statement of the oversight of the program by the avicultural, zoological, or conservation organization, including their monitoring of participation in the program, criteria for acceptance of individuals into the program, and the relationship of the cooperative breeding program to enhancing the propagation and survival of the species; and

(5) A history of the cooperative breeding program, including an annual report for the last 3 years (if applicable), mortality records, breeding records, and a studbook if one has been developed for the species.

(b)Issuance criteria. Upon receiving an application completed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the Director will decide whether or not a cooperative breeding program should be approved. In making this decision, the Director shall consider, in addition to the general criteria in part 13 of this subchapter, the following factors:

(1) Whether the cooperative breeding program for which the approval is requested is adequate to justify removing the exotic bird from the wild or otherwise changing its status;

(2) Whether the granting of this approval would be detrimental to the survival of the exotic bird species in the wild, including whether the exotic birds were bred in captivity or will be taken from the wild, taking into consideration the conservation status of the species in the wild;

(3) Whether the granting of this approval would conflict with any known program intended to enhance the survival of the population from which the exotic bird species was or would be removed;

(4) Whether the cooperative breeding program for which the permit is requested would be likely to enhance or promote the conservation of the exotic bird species in the wild or result in a self-sustaining population of the exotic bird species in captivity; and

(5) Whether the expertise or other resources available to the program appear adequate to successfully accomplish the objectives stated in the application.

(c) Publication in the Federal Register. The Director shall publish notice in the Federal Register of each application submitted under § 15.26(a). Each notice shall invite the submission from interested parties of written data, views, or arguments with respect to the application. The Director shall publish periodically a notice as appropriate in the Federal Register of the list of approved cooperative breeding programs.

(d)Approval conditions. In addition to the general conditions set forth in part 13 of this subchapter, every approval issued under this paragraph shall be subject to the special condition that the cooperative breeding program shall maintain records of all birds imported under permits issued under this subpart and their progeny, including their sale or transfer, death, or escape, and breeding success. These records shall be made available to the Service on request and when renewing an approval.

(e)Duration of approval. Cooperative breeding programs shall be approved for two years, at which time applicants may apply to the Service for renewal of a program's approval. Applications for renewal of approval shall comply with the general conditions set forth in part 13 of this subchapter.