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U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROPOSED HUNTING REGULATIONS FOR THE EASTERN POPULATION OF SANDHILL CRANES IN THE MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY I. PURPOSE AND NEED FOR ACTION

By A. Authority

Abstract

In the United States the preeminent authority and responsibility for migratory game birds reside with the Secretary of the Interior and are derived from international treaties to which the Constitution specifies that only the Federal Government can be signatory. The key instrument defining Federal authority is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (as amended). Among those species designated as "migratory game birds " for which there is Federal management authority is the taxonomic family Gruidae, which includes the five or six generally recognized subspecies of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) found in North America. Authority for establishing hunting seasons for sandhill cranes is provided in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and appropriate Federal regulations (50 CFR). Regulations governing the establishment of annual regulations for the hunting of migratory birds are specified in Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, Subpart K. Any authorization of hunting or taking of cranes or other migratory birds will be done in compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and associated regulations. B. NEED FOR ACTION Greater and lesser (and Canadian) sandhill cranes are presently hunted in other parts of their range and have been divided into management populations based on their geographic distribution during fall and winter. The Eastern Population (EP) of sandhill cranes is the subject of this proposed action. The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recently completed a Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes (hereafter called the Management Plan; Van Horn et al. 2010). The Management Plan allows for hunting of this population when the three-year average of the USFWS-coordinated fall population survey exceeds 30,000 cranes. This population level has now been reached and exceeded with latest 3-year average indicating 51,217 cranes (Fig. 1). This environmental assessment considers the action to institute a limited harvest of sandhill cranes from the EP by reviewing current management strategies and population objectives, and examining alternatives to current management programs

Topics: C. SCOPE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.305.1239
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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