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Wednesday, 23 March 2016 18:53

FWC Passes Rules to Improve Airport Safety

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rules allowing airports to take wildlife in emergency situations on airport property. The new rules will help airports avoid wildlife risks to human safety. Currently, if endangered or threatened wildlife poses a threat to human safety, the airport must receive a permit from the FWC to remove the wildlife.

Under the new rules, in emergency situations, the taking of state-listed species will be allowed without a permit. If the federal government protects the wildlife, the taking will fall under the authorization or permit of the federal government, and additional state authorization will not be required. In addition, the taking of all other wildlife will be allowed if there is a threat to aircraft and human safety.

The new rules also address the methods that cannot be used, such as pesticides not registered with Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recognizes that we have to hold the public safety as a preeminent objective and, as such, are proposing to create a new rule that allows airport to take wildlife that pose a safety hazard to aircraft and humans. This rule consolidates other existing rules and proposes allowing the taking of wildlife without a permit in certain circumstances.

FINAL RULE SUMMARY 68A-9.012 Take of Wildlife on airport Property Airport Safety and Wildlife Agenda Item 4C1 What the rule does:

For federally protected species

· Federally protected species may be taken as authorized by federal permit/authorization. No additional state authorization required.

For state-listed species that are not federally protected (also including black bears in the two counties where they are not listed)

· Allows for persistent harassment without a permit of wildlife on airport property that poses safety issues for humans and aircraft.

· Allows for any kind of take, including killing, of wildlife in emergency safety situations. Gopher tortoises may not be killed. Wildlife burrows in the safety area may be destroyed after or while gopher tortoises are captured live.

· Allows for airport authorities operating under Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved wildlife hazard management plan to take, include kill, state-listed species when persistent harassment of the animal has not been effective at reducing the threat to human and aircraft safety.

For all other wildlife

· Allows for take of all other wildlife that poses a potential threat to aircraft and human safety. Live-captured bobcats must be released on airport property or off site with landowner permission.

Methods of take not allowed

· Wildlife may be taken by any method except those that are specified

· Take that is not allowed includes using

o Pesticides that are not registered by Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

o Leg hold traps, except those commercially manufactured padded-jaw traps.

o Traps, nets, and snares unless they are visited FWC Passes Rules to Improve Airport Safety Spring 2011 15 For more information contact: Robert P. Diffenderfer, Esq. rdiffenderfer@llw-law.com 561-640-0820 515 N. Flagler Drive, Suite1500 West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 at least once a day.

o Any method prohibited pursuant to Section 828.12, F.S.

o Live capture of any deer, except for the endangered Key deer if authorized by federal permit/authorization.

· The killing of gopher tortoises is not allowed What happens to the live captured wildlife? · State-listed species may be released on airport property or released off site with other Commission permit or authorization · Bobcats must be released · Other wildlife:

o May be released on airport property o May be released off site if it is a native species and the release site is at least 40 acres in the same county as the airport and the airport has landowner permission to release the wildlife on the property.

o May be euthanized following the humane methods defined by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians or America Veterinary Medical Association.

· Wildlife may be transported only for release or euthanasia.

Use of wildlife killed under this rule

· Wildlife killed under this rule may not be used for personal use and must be either incinerated or buried on site. (Cannot transport the dead carcass off the property without a permit). Reporting

· Killing of any state-listed species will require a report to the FWC within five business days.

· Federally protected species have their own reporting requirements that must be followed as specified in the federal permit. What the rules do not allow

· Taking of wildlife for purposes other than aircraft and human safety. In these cases, such as airport expansion or construction, airport authorities will need to apply for permits as is required for others.

· Except for emergency situations, state-listed wildlife may not killed without a permit unless the airport is following an FAA-approved wildlife hazard management plan for that airport.

Read 468 times Last modified on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 19:24