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Michigan Regulation Changes

Kory Koch

Hi Gang,

This message below is from Karen Cleveland, the All-Bird Biologist with the Michigan DNR.  She is informing us about some proposed regulation changes.


"The Michigan DNR will be recommending a number of regulation changes for falconry for information at the 8 December meeting of the Natural Resources Commission. The NRC will vote on these recommendations at their January 2012 meeting. These recommendations were developed in consultation with the Michigan Hawking Club and Michigan Audubon Society. Please watch the DNR web site (http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7...888---,00.html) for the agenda for the December meeting; the text of the regulation changes will be included in this agenda. The agenda will also contain information about how to provide public comment; the Michigan Hawking Club has already indicated that they will provide comment at the meeting. Agendas are generally posted 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting.

Significant changes include:

1. Addition of rough-legged hawk to the list of species that can be taken under a General Raptor Capture Permit. Take will be capped at 10 birds annually (similar to current regulations for American kestrels).
2. Addition of a single Limited Raptor Capture Permit for snowy owls. Take will be limited to Michigan residents only, and birds may only be taken in the UP.
3. Application deadline for Limited Raptor Capture Permit drawings (northern goshawk, great-horned owl, snowy owl) changed from 31 March to 15 January.
4. The spring eyas season will become a generic spring season, and it will be legal to take either eyasses or passage birds during this season.
5. The spring season will open on 1 February and run through 19 July.
6. Maximum overall take will increase from 86 birds annually to 87 (with the addition of the snowy owl permit).
7. We will also be adding language such that falconry take can be used to address depredating raptors when this will not result in a violation of federal regulations.

Items #1-6 are primarily the result of requests by individual falconers, requests by the Michigan Hawking Club, and analysis of the 2010 survey of Michigan falconers.
Item #7 was generated by the DNR to provide the Department with an additional management tool to deal with incidents where raptors are causing significant negative impacts and where the only other viable tool would be lethal take. A specific example would be issuing a permit to a falconer to take a great horned owl that was eating chicks in a common tern colony (common terns are a state listed threatened species). With a similar justification, we amended the regulations in 2009 to allow take of endangered species by falconers under an endangered species permit to allow the Department to work with the Michigan Hawking Club to take merlins (a state listed threatened species) that were nesting or hunting near piping plover (a federally listed endangered species) nests; prior to this partnership, the management tool available to remove these merlins was lethal take. This take is expected to be relatively uncommon (probably no more than 1-2 permits annually).

If these regulations are approved by the NRC at their January meeting, the application deadline for northern goshawk, great horned owl, and snowy owl permits for the 2012 seasons will be 15 JANUARY 2012 (not 31 March). You are encouraged to apply early if you want to take these species in 2012; late applications will not be considered.
__________________
Karen Cleveland, All-Bird Biologist
Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources"


Kory Koch
MHC Public Relations
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
989-560-3857
korykoch@michiganhawkingclub.com