50 CFR 17.42 - Special rules - reptiles.
(a) American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) - (1) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph (a) the following definitions apply:
(i)American alligator means any specimen of the species Alligator mississippiensis, whether alive or dead, including any skin, part, product, egg, or offspring thereof held in captivity or from the wild.
(ii) The definitions of crocodilian skins and crocodilian parts in § 23.70(b) of this subchapter apply to this paragraph (a).
(i) Any employee or agent of the Service, any other Federal land management agency, or a State conservation agency, who is designated by the agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of official duties, take an American alligator.
(ii) Any person may take an American alligator in the wild, or one which was born in captivity or lawfully placed in captivity, and may deliver, receive, carry, transport, ship, sell, offer to sell, purchase, or offer to purchase such alligator in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever and in the course of a commercial activity in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State of taking subject to the following conditions:
(A) Any skin of an American alligator may be sold or otherwise transferred only if the State or Tribe of taking requires skins to be tagged by State or tribal officials or under State or tribal supervision with a Service-approved tag in accordance with the requirements in part 23 of this subchapter; and
(B) Any American alligator specimen may be sold or otherwise transferred only in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State or Tribe in which the taking occurs and the State or Tribe in which the sale or transfer occurs.
(i) Any person not holding an import/export license issued by the Service under part 14 of this subchapter and who imports, exports, or obtains permits under part 23 of this subchapter for the import or export of American alligator shall keep such records as are otherwise required to be maintained by all import/export licensees under part 14 of this subchapter. Such records shall be maintained as in the normal course of business, reproducible in the English language, and retained for 5 years from the date of each transaction.
(ii) Subject to applicable limitations of law, duly authorized officers at all reasonable times shall, upon notice, be afforded access to examine such records required to be kept under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, and an opportunity to copy such records.
(1)Prohibitions. Subject to the permits allowable under the following paragraph (b)(2) of this section, all of the provisions set forth in § 17.31 (which incorporate portions of § 17.21) shall apply to this wildlife with the following exceptions:
(i) Section 17.21(c)(2) (self-defense) is not applicable.
(ii) In § 17.21(c)(3)(i), the word “orphaned” is replaced by the word “stranded.”
(v) The prohibition against taking shall not apply to incidental catches, as specified in 50 CFR 227.72(e).
(i) For those activities which come under the jurisdiction of the Service, only permits for scientific purposes, enhancement of propagation or survival, zoological exhibition or educational purposes, are available under § 17.32. Procedures for issuance of permits are found in § 17.32 and, for those activities which come under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service, subpart E of part 220. All the provisions of § 17.32 apply to permits issued by the Service.
(c)Threatened crocodilians -
(1)What are the definitions of terms used in this paragraph (c)?
(i)Threatened crocodilian means any live or dead specimen of the following species:
(A) Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) originating in Argentina;
(B) Brown caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus, including Caiman crocodilus chiapasius);
(C) Common caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus);
(D) Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare);
(E) Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus); and
(F) Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) originating in Australia (also referred to as Australian saltwater crocodile).
(2)What activities involving threatened crocodilians are prohibited by this rule? (i) All provisions of §§ 17.31 and 17.32 apply to live specimens, including viable eggs, of all threatened crocodilians and to any specimen of the Appendix-I Nile crocodile.
(A)Import, export, and re-export. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, it is unlawful to import, export, or re-export, or attempt to import, export, or re-export without valid permits as required under parts 17 and 23 of this subchapter any threatened crocodilians, including their skins, parts, and products.
(B)Commercial activity. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, it is unlawful, in the course of a commercial activity, to sell or offer for sale, deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce any threatened crocodilians, including their skins, parts, and products.
(C) It is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to commit, attempt to commit, solicit to commit, or cause to be committed any acts described in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section.
(3)What activities involving threatened crocodilians are allowed by this rule? Except as provided in (c)(2)(i), you may import, export, or re-export, or sell or offer for sale, deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce and in the course of a commercial activity, threatened crocodilian skins, parts, and products without a threatened species permit otherwise required under § 17.32 provided the requirements of parts 13, 14, and 23 of this subchapter and the requirements of paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section have been met.
(i)Skins and parts. Except as provided in (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the import, export, or re-export of threatened crocodilian skins and crocodilian parts is allowed provided the following conditions are met:
(A) Each crocodilian skin and crocodilian part imported, exported, or re-exported must be tagged or labeled in accordance with § 23.70 of this subchapter.
(B) Any countries re-exporting crocodilian skins or parts must have implemented an administrative system for the effective matching of imports and re-exports.
(C) If a shipment contains more than 25 percent replacement tags, the U.S. Management Authority will consult with the Management Authority of the re-exporting country before clearing the shipment. Such shipments may be seized if we determine that the requirements of the Convention have not been met.
(D) The country of origin and any intermediary country(s) must be effectively implementing the Convention. If we receive persuasive information from the CITES Secretariat or other reliable sources that a specific country is not effectively implementing the Convention, we will prohibit or restrict imports from such country(s) as appropriate for the conservation of the species.
(ii)Meat, skulls, scientific specimens, products, and noncommercial personal or household effects. The tagging requirements in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section for skins and parts do not apply to the import, export, or re-export of threatened crocodilian meat, skulls, scientific specimens, or products or to the noncommercial import, export, or re-export of personal effects in accompanying baggage or household effects.
(4)When and how will the Service inform the public of additional restrictions in trade of threatened crocodilians? Except in rare cases involving extenuating circumstances that do not adversely affect the conservation of the species, the Service will issue an information bulletin (posted on our websites, http://www.fws.gov/le and http://www.fws.gov/international) announcing additional restrictions on trade of specimens of threatened crocodilians if any of the following criteria are met:
(i) The country is listed in a Notification to the Parties by the CITES Secretariat as not having designated Management and Scientific Authorities.
(ii) The country is identified in any action adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, the Standing Committee, or in a Notification issued by the CITES Secretariat, whereby Parties are asked not to accept shipments of specimens of any CITES species from the country in question or of any crocodilian species listed in the CITES Appendices.
(iii) We determine, based on information from the CITES Secretariat or other reliable sources, that the country is not effectively implementing the provisions of the Convention.
(5)Reporting requirements for yacare caiman range countries -
(i)Biennial reports. Range countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay) wishing to export specimens of yacare caiman to the United States for commercial purposes must provide a biennial report containing the most recent information available on the status of the species. The first submission of a status report will be required as of December 31, 2001, and every 2 years thereafter on the anniversary of that date. For each range country, all of the following information must be included in the report.
(A) Recent distribution and population data, and a description of the methodology used to obtain such estimates.
(B) Description of research projects currently being conducted related to the biology of the species in the wild, particularly reproductive biology (for example, age or size when animals become sexually mature, number of clutches per season, number of eggs per clutch, survival of eggs, survival of hatchlings).
(C) Description of laws and programs regulating harvest, including approximate acreage of land set aside as natural reserves or national parks that provide protected habitat for yacare caiman.
(D) Description of current sustainable harvest programs, including ranching (captive rearing of specimens collected from the wild as eggs or juveniles) and farming (captive-breeding) programs.
(E) Current harvest quotas for wild populations.
(F) Export data for the last 2 years. Information should be organized according to the source of specimens such as wild-caught, captive-reared, or captive-bred.
(ii)Review and restrictions. The U.S. Scientific Authority will conduct a review every 2 years, using information in the biennial reports and other available information, to determine whether range country management programs are effectively achieving conservation benefits for the yacare caiman. Based on the best available information, we may restrict trade from a range country if we determine that the conservation or management status of threatened yacare caiman populations has changed, such that continued recovery of the population in that country may be compromised. Trade restrictions, as addressed in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, may be implemented based on one or more of the following factors:
(A) Failure to submit the reports described above, or failure to respond to requests for additional information.
(B) A change in range country laws or regulations that lessens protection for yacare caiman.
(C) A change in range country management programs that lessens protection for the species.
(D) A documented decline in wild population numbers.
(E) A documented increase in poaching.
(F) A documented decline in habitat quality or quantity.
(G) Other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' recovery.
(d) Blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus) and sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi). (1) No person shall take these species, except in accordance with applicable State fish and wildlife conservation laws and regulations for educational purposes, scientific purposes, the enhancement or survival of the species, zoological exhibition, and other conservation purposes consistent with the Act.
(3) No person shall possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, ship, import, or export, by any means whatever, any such species taken in violation of applicable State fish and wildlife conservation laws or regulations.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to attempt to commit, solicit another to commit, or cause to be committed, any offense defined in paragraph (c) (1) through (3) of this section.
(5) Taking of these species for purposes other than those described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, including taking incidental to carrying out otherwise lawful activities, is prohibited except when permitted under §§ 17.23 and 17.32.
(e) Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) - (1) Definition. For the purposes of this paragraph (e) “desert tortoise” shall mean any member of the species Gopherus agassizii, whether alive or dead, and any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, found outside of Arizona (south and east of the Colorado River) and Mexico, regardless of natal origin or place of removal from the wild.
(2)Applicable provisions. The provisions of § 17.31-17.32 shall apply to any desert tortoise subject to this paragraph (e).
(f) Bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii), southern population - (1) Definitions of terms. For the purposes of this paragraph (f): Bog turtle of the southern population means any member of the species Clemmys muhlenbergii, within Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, regardless of whether in the wild or captivity, and also applies to the progeny of any such turtle.
(2)Prohibitions. Except as provided in paragraph (f)(3) of this section, the provisions of Sec. 17.31 (a) and (b) of this part applies to bog turtles of the southern population (see also 50 CFR part 23).
(g) Northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) - (1) Prohibitions. Except as noted in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, all prohibitions and provisions of §§ 17.31 and 17.32 apply to the northern Mexican gartersnake.
(2)Exemptions from prohibitions. Incidental take of the northern Mexican gartersnake will not be considered a violation of section 9 of the Act if the take occurs on non-Federal land and is incidental to activities pertaining to construction, continued use, and maintenance of stock tanks. A stock tank is an existing or future impoundment in an ephemeral drainage or upland site constructed primarily as a watering site for livestock.
(h) Black pinesnake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi).
(1)Prohibitions. Except as noted in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, all prohibitions and provisions of §§ 17.31 and 17.32 apply to the black pinesnake.
(i) Prescribed burning, including all fire break establishment and maintenance actions, as well as actions taken to control wildfires.
(ii) Herbicide application for invasive plant species control, site-preparation, and mid-story and understory woody vegetation control. All exempted herbicide applications must be conducted in a manner consistent with Federal law, including Environmental Protection Agency label restrictions; applicable State laws; and herbicide application guidelines as prescribed by herbicide manufacturers.
(iii) All forest management activities that maintain lands in a forested condition, except for:
(A) Conversion of longleaf-pine-dominated forests (>51 percent longleaf in the overstory) to other forest cover types or land uses; and
(B) Those activities causing significant subsurface disturbance, including, but not limited to, shearing, wind-rowing, stumping, disking (except during fire break creation or maintenance), root-raking, and bedding.