Mongolia Argali Season Dates Become an Issue: Several hunters had their argali hunting trophies seized or refused U.S. entry in May and June, 2008. The USF&WS Division of Management Authority is limiting import of Mongolian argali hunting trophies to those taken within certain dates. This year, argali must be taken from June 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009, for example. Those taken in April or May will not be importable even if Mongolia chooses to hunt those months as it did this year.
Import permits have not specified particular dates, but the condition will now appear on the face of the permits in the future. Those that shipped their trophies back this May and June must be issued new import permits because their permits expired at the end of June. In effect, they will be using 2008-09 quotas for importation of argali taken in the 2007-08 season. That 2008-09 quota is not available to another hunter, so the total offtake is reduced by one animal in each instance, i.e. two import permits and quotas for one argali. The Service states it never intended importation of trophies taken in April through June because that is lambing season, but the Mongolian authorities want operators in the field year-round and state it has no effect on lambing as the trophy males are apart that time of the year. The Service states it has been denying import permits when the application specifies that the date of the hunt was after March, yet few knew this and hunts have been taking place later and trophies imported without incident until now. Here at Conservation Force, we still have the rationale under review, but advise readers that they must now take their hunts within the dates that will be on the face of the import permits issued in the future. Hopefully those that took their argali this spring and early summer will ultimately not suffer consequences from the confusion.
It is important to remember that the argali is listed as threatened. Though threatened listed species that are protected on Appendix II of CITES ordinarily don’t require import permits, in this instance the International Office of the USF&WS adopted a special rule in lieu of listing Mongolia argali as “endangered” under the ESA. The Division of Management Authority has a great deal of discretion and authority and will continue to exercise that oversight until the special rule is satisfied. Only then will import permits under the terms and conditions and quota selected by the USF&WS not govern.
Change in Migratory Bird Permitting: The USF&WS has issued a final rule that importation of migratory game birds lawfully hunted in a foreign country no longer requires an import permit. It covers migratory game birds in the families Anatidae, Columbidae, Gruidae, Rallidae and Scolopacidae. Anatidae are swans, geese and ducks; Columbidae are pigeons and doves; Gruidae are cranes; Rallidae are rails, gallinules and coots; Scolopacidae are sandpipers, phalaropes and allies. A more specific list of the birds and waterfowl in each family can be found in a taxonomic list of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act at MBMO’s homepage, http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/intrnltr/mbta/taxolst.html. In short, it is all waterfowl, doves and pigeons.
The new regulation is entitled Migratory Bird Permits; Revisions to Migratory Bird Import and Export Regulations, 73 FR 47092, August 13, 2008. The rule is effective September 12, 2008. A permit is currently required to import such species, but the new rule eliminates the need for a permit under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This should not be confused with permitting requirements that are still required under CITES or ESA-listed bird species. The pertinent part of the new regulations reads as follows:
(b) Game bird exception to the import permit requirements. If you comply with the requirements of parts 14, 20, and 23 of this subchapter B, you do not need a migratory bird permit to import or possess migratory game birds in the families Anatidae, Columbidae, Gruidae, Rallidae, and Scolopacidae for personal use that were lawfully hunted by you in a foreign country. The game birds may be carcasses, skins, or mounts. You must provide evidence that you lawfully took the bird or birds in, and exported them from, the country of origin. This evidence must include a hunting license and any export documentation required by the country of origin. You must keep these documents with the imported bird or birds permanently.
The primary purpose of the revised rule was relaxing of “pet passports” for export/import of falconry birds. Those interested in falconry should consult the regulation.
CIC Paris Conference: The 56th General Assembly of the CIC (International Council of Game and Wildlife Conservation) is to be held in Paris, France April 29th through May 3, 2009.
Born from an Austro-Hungarian initiative in 1910, the CIC was registered in Paris back in 1930 and since then it has gained global recognition as a unique advisor in the field of sustainable hunting and conservation of wildlife. Today, CIC is recognized by the Austrian Government as an international non-governmental and non-profit organization, working in the public interest.
France has 1,300,000 hunters - more than any other European country. Hunting was a privilege of the nobility, but since the 1789 French Revolution it has been open to the entire French population. What other hunting society can attest to having had a right to hunt-based revolution?
The conference venue will be the Hotel Meridien. CIC Members and partners interested in attending should contact Chrissie Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org as she is the Head of the CIC U.S. Delegation.