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USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama #2410477 07/06/11 04:41 PM
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All, Looks like the USFWS has finally made their proposal. Basically as I read this, it would mean that individual permits would be required for Scimitar, Addax, and Dama, just the same as they are for Barasingha, Arabian Oryx, Eld's deer, and a couple others.This would also mean no female harvest. The rule is not final, and I would encourage all who have interest in these critters in terms of breeding/owning, or hunting to comment on the USFWS site.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposed rule to eliminate a regulation that authorized certain otherwise prohibited activities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with U.S. captive-bred live wildlife and sport-hunted trophies of three endangered African antelope species. The proposed change, if finalized, would require authorization under the Service’s ESA implementing regulations at 50 C.F.R. section 17.21 and section 17.22 to carry out activities with these antelope species that would otherwise be prohibited.

In 2005, the Service added three antelope species that exist entirely or largely in captivity outside of their native range in Africa — the scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelle — to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

The species all inhabit the sparse desert regions of Northern Africa. The dama gazelle and addax are considered critically endangered, while free-ranging populations of the scimitar-horned oryx may not exist in the wild. However, these species, particularly the scimitar-horned oryx, breed well in captivity. There are thought to be thousands of the animals in zoos, on game ranches, and in other such facilities in the United States and elsewhere.

Captive breeding in the United States has contributed to the survival of the scimitar-horned oryx, addax and dama gazelle worldwide by rescuing these species from near extinction and providing the founder stock necessary for reintroduction. However, many game ranches offer hunting of these species on their lands to manage the size of their populations and remove surplus males.

In general, the ESA prohibits the import or export of any listed species, or its parts or products, as well as sale in interstate or foreign commerce, without a permit. However, in an effort to support captive breeding of these critically endangered species, the Service granted a special exemption at the time these species were listed that allowed owners of these animals to continue carrying out breeding and other activities, including hunting for herd management, without issuing an individual permit.

The exemption was challenged in Federal District Court by Friends of Animals and other groups. In 2009, the court remanded the regulations back to the Service, directing the agency to provide opportunities for the public to review and comment when authorizing activities with these listed species.

The exemption was challenged in Federal District Court by Friends of Animals and other groups. In 2009, the court remanded the regulations back to the Service, directing the agency to provide opportunities for the public to review and comment when authorizing activities with these listed species.

The proposed rule delivered to the Federal Register on Friday, July 1, 2011, would remove the current exemption contained in 50 C.F.R. section 17.21(h) in deference to the permitting regulations currently in place under the Endangered Species Act. Following publication in the Federal Register, the proposed rule will be subject to a 30-day comment period during which all interested persons are invited to comment on the proposal. Information received will be reviewed and evaluated relative to the development of a final decision.

Comments may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov; follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-IA-2010-0056) or through U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9-IA-2010-0056; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for native fish, wildlife and plants and to date has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation, and foreign species in trade as well as promoted the recovery of many others. The Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Service’s implementation of the ESA, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/."


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2410499 07/06/11 04:47 PM
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So.... any ranchers wanting to offer some smoking deals on Oryx before this goes into effect?


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: John Humbert] #2412438 07/07/11 03:06 PM
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Update from the EWA:

1)Today the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule that would change the permitting process for three captive antelope species when it goes into effect.
The Federal Register Notice gives the public 30 days to comment on the proposed rule or longer if the comment period is extended. This comment opportunity is exactly the tool we need to provide recommendations to the Service for a permit process that will not interfere with the economic benefits of raising these three species.
The nature of the permit system can be heavily influenced by our comments.

2) The Proposed Rule states that ranchers and breeders will be required to obtain permits in order to engage in activities that are prohibited by the ESA for endangered species. The Proposed Rule does not describe how strict or relaxed the permit requirements will be.

3) The FWS was ordered to withdraw the previous rule and the proposed rule withdraws the regulatory exemption for these three antelope species as required by the court.

4) This proposed rule will not go into effect until after the comment period closes and after the FWS analyzes the comments. Even then publication of a final version of the rule will likely provide another 30-60 day period before a final rule goes into effect.

5) SCI and EWA will coordinate our efforts with the FWS and all other interested groups to find a solution that will benefit the most important element of this whole ordeal and that is the three species. We will work diligently to insure that the interests of the ranchers and breeders are recognized and that their efforts are taken into account when the final rule is published.

6) EWA will provide talking points to our membership so that our efforts do not go unnoticed. We have an opportunity to forge a new permitting system that is streamlined and not as cumbersome as the permitting process in the past but we have to remain focused and give valid, factual input for the FWS to consider.

7) Please contact this office if you have any further questions. I remain very optimistic that we will reach a very favorable solution to this situation and remember there are other avenues EWA is pursuing at this very moment to insure the future of these and all U.S. captive bred animals currently listed as endangered in their native countries. The Exotic Wildlife Association is aligned with some very powerful organizations such as Safari Club International, the Dallas Safari Club, the National Rifle Association and many more, who will all be working diligently on this issue.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2414830 07/08/11 03:36 PM
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thanks bud



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Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Mike Honcho] #2428065 07/14/11 05:41 PM
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I've commented at length on the public forum section of the www.regulations.gov website. However, there are not a lot of comments, about a dozen with one in support of the rule. We need more comments from hunters and those interested in preventing the restrictions from becoming law. It only takes a second and the instructions to find it in the above posts are simplistic.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: J. Riekers] #2428263 07/14/11 07:01 PM
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I just left a comment


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: JakeinTX] #2428436 07/14/11 08:08 PM
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I left a comment as well. We shall see.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Crouse229] #2428676 07/14/11 09:56 PM
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I was waiting on the EWA to provide some language about a proposed solution.

It's well and good to post displeasure with the proposed rule, but they were ordered by the courts to remove the blanket exemption, in order to adjust, they'd have to have an alternative that meets the guidelines established by the court ruling.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2428685 07/14/11 09:59 PM
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I talked to Charly the other day. He will send out some ideas on how to comment. Doesn't want a form letter but just some points that could be made to the USFWS. He should send that out shortly.



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Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Rick Welch] #2430638 07/15/11 06:04 PM
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I just left my comment:

I oppose the proposed ruling to remove the exemption on the addax, scimitar-horned oryx, and dama gazelle on the grounds that a blanket removal is detrimental to the survival of the species.
Private owners conduct revenue generating activities that would otherwise be prohibited in order to support the maintenance and opportunity cost of raising these species. It is not clear the requirements that must be met to obtain permits, the timeline that will be required to obtain, or the availability of the permits. In the face of that uncertainty, many owners are already reducing or eliminating stock, or exploring options to hybridize. This decreases genetic diversity, reduces overall numbers of stock, eliminates the incentive to maintain genetically pure stock, and reduces the availability of feed stock to the native countries for reintroduction.

Understanding that the USFWS is under a court requirement to remove the blanket exemption, I emplore the USFWS to consider implementation of an alternate proposal:

Create an online submittal process that allows owners to register herds, obtain a premise ID, and purchase cull & take permits real-time that are tied to their registered herd and premise.
Require owners to submit an online annual population census of their herds.
Develop a simple set of scientifically based minimum herd requirements for cull & take permits that are readily available to owners and potential owners. I.e. annual cull & take cannot exceed X% of owner’s population.
Allow cull and take for females within population guidelines.
Fees for each cull & take permit purchased online to be allocated to species survival programs in their native range.
Remove public comment period for individual permits related to US Captive Bred specimens of the affected species.
Clarify appropriate penalties for falsifying any of the above information.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2430841 07/15/11 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Txnrog
I just left my comment:

I oppose the proposed ruling to remove the exemption on the addax, scimitar-horned oryx, and dama gazelle on the grounds that a blanket removal is detrimental to the survival of the species.
Private owners conduct revenue generating activities that would otherwise be prohibited in order to support the maintenance and opportunity cost of raising these species. It is not clear the requirements that must be met to obtain permits, the timeline that will be required to obtain, or the availability of the permits. In the face of that uncertainty, many owners are already reducing or eliminating stock, or exploring options to hybridize. This decreases genetic diversity, reduces overall numbers of stock, eliminates the incentive to maintain genetically pure stock, and reduces the availability of feed stock to the native countries for reintroduction.

Understanding that the USFWS is under a court requirement to remove the blanket exemption, I emplore the USFWS to consider implementation of an alternate proposal:

Create an online submittal process that allows owners to register herds, obtain a premise ID, and purchase cull & take permits real-time that are tied to their registered herd and premise.
Require owners to submit an online annual population census of their herds.
Develop a simple set of scientifically based minimum herd requirements for cull & take permits that are readily available to owners and potential owners. I.e. annual cull & take cannot exceed X% of owner’s population.
Allow cull and take for females within population guidelines.
Fees for each cull & take permit purchased online to be allocated to species survival programs in their native range.
Remove public comment period for individual permits related to US Captive Bred specimens of the affected species.
Clarify appropriate penalties for falsifying any of the above information.


Outstanding comment!! I was going to submit one of my own, but I think you said it better than I ever could have.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Eland Slayer] #2430888 07/15/11 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: Eland Slayer
Originally Posted By: Txnrog
I just left my comment:

I oppose the proposed ruling to remove the exemption on the addax, scimitar-horned oryx, and dama gazelle on the grounds that a blanket removal is detrimental to the survival of the species.
Private owners conduct revenue generating activities that would otherwise be prohibited in order to support the maintenance and opportunity cost of raising these species. It is not clear the requirements that must be met to obtain permits, the timeline that will be required to obtain, or the availability of the permits. In the face of that uncertainty, many owners are already reducing or eliminating stock, or exploring options to hybridize. This decreases genetic diversity, reduces overall numbers of stock, eliminates the incentive to maintain genetically pure stock, and reduces the availability of feed stock to the native countries for reintroduction.

Understanding that the USFWS is under a court requirement to remove the blanket exemption, I emplore the USFWS to consider implementation of an alternate proposal:

Create an online submittal process that allows owners to register herds, obtain a premise ID, and purchase cull & take permits real-time that are tied to their registered herd and premise.
Require owners to submit an online annual population census of their herds.
Develop a simple set of scientifically based minimum herd requirements for cull & take permits that are readily available to owners and potential owners. I.e. annual cull & take cannot exceed X% of owner’s population.
Allow cull and take for females within population guidelines.
Fees for each cull & take permit purchased online to be allocated to species survival programs in their native range.
Remove public comment period for individual permits related to US Captive Bred specimens of the affected species.
Clarify appropriate penalties for falsifying any of the above information.


Outstanding comment!! I was going to submit one of my own, but I think you said it better than I ever could have.



Cut and paste away, we need as many comments as possible to this effect - to be remotely successful in the comment period, we need an alternate solution, not just voicing displeasure. Welcome to remove anything you don't like or add to it.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2447077 07/22/11 05:22 PM
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EWA update and suggested comment info:

Exotic Wildlife Association

Membership Alert
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ scrolling make it hard to read

Public Comment on the "Three Species" Proposed Rule

By now most of you should be aware that on July 7, 2011 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service posted its proposed rule that will affect the current exemption for dealing with the three species (Scimitar Horned Oryx, Addax, and Dama Gazelle).
The USFWS has given the public 30 days or until August 8, 2011 to submit comments on this proposed rule. The Exotic Wildlife Association, through our attorneys, has asked for a 45 day extension so that more of our membership can be made aware of the proposed rule and can make comments. We will keep our membership informed when and if the extension is granted.

The EWA believes this comment period affords our membership an excellent opportunity to tell the USFWS how the new rule will affect your ability to raise and propagate each of these species. The following talking points, we believe, should be included when writing to the USFWS.


* Comment on the difficulty a cumbersome permitting system will create on your ability to buy, sell, trade, and manage your herds.
* Comment on the successes you have had propagating these species because of the lack of restrictions.
* Comment on the type of restrictions that could be tolerated and if none then be very candid with them and let them know that you will no longer raise the animals.
* If you feel there is some type of permit system that you can live with then let them know what it would be. They need to know that, we as breeders, are going to inundate them with applications, which is going to force them to hire additional personnel to accommodate all the applications. It will not be a mere handful as they fully expect.
* This is the mechanism the public has to try and assist the USFWS in creating a system that will work, not only for the ranchers and breeders but for the animals as well.
* When you comment be sure and use the following information

1. Your full legal name
2. Legal address
3. The fact that you belong to the EWA and any other association you deem pertinent.
4. The number of animals you currently own and which species (how many you started with and the number you have now). This is to show how successful you have been with no regulations.
5. The amount of money you spend a year on feed, medicine, vet bills, etc. to propagate any of the three species 6. If you do not allow hunting on your ranch how can a permit that could be transferred with the animal to a hunting ranch help you manage your herd.
7. Comment on the value of the animal when you first obtained it and the value today after the new rule was proposed.
8. If you own any of the other species such as Barasingha, Eld's Deer, Arabian Oryx, Red Lechwe, etc. let them know why there are fewer and fewer of these animals being propagated because of the regulations and permits that are required to be able to ship out of state and manage the herd through culling. Lift the restrictions or the cumbersome permitting process and the populations will explode in a few years.
9. How will your decision to keep any of the three species on your ranch be affected if the permitting system that currently exists is not changed to a much easier application process.
10. If you are required to apply for a permit to cull each animal in your herd that should be culled will this affect your decision to keep the animals on your ranch?
11. Comment on the fact that if the USFWS could guarantee you would have your application approved within 90 days and it cover all three species for 3-5 years would this affect your decision to continue to propagate them?
12. Give comments to the USFWS on a permit system that you consider would be workable for you and would give you the incentive to continue to propagate the species. If none at all will work for you as a rancher and business person then tell them that as well.
13. Give them any other information you deem pertinent to this issue.

The comment suggestions above are just that; suggestions to use as a guideline when writing to the service. Please feel free to use other comments that perhaps are very pertinent to your operation and to your continued propagation of these animals.

The following information should be sent to the USFWS in letter form to the following address by August 8, 2011 unless an extension is granted.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2455049 07/26/11 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Txnrog
All, Looks like the USFWS has finally made their proposal. Basically as I read this, it would mean that individual permits would be required for Scimitar, Addax, and Dama, just the same as they are for Barasingha, Arabian Oryx, Eld's deer, and a couple others.This would also mean no female harvest. The rule is not final, and I would encourage all who have interest in these critters in terms of breeding/owning, or hunting to comment on the USFWS site.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposed rule to eliminate a regulation that authorized certain otherwise prohibited activities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with U.S. captive-bred live wildlife and sport-hunted trophies of three endangered African antelope species. The proposed change, if finalized, would require authorization under the Service’s ESA implementing regulations at 50 C.F.R. section 17.21 and section 17.22 to carry out activities with these antelope species that would otherwise be prohibited.

I'm interested in this but dont understand what the rule change will mean in plain English. You guys seem very knowledgable on the subject so I was wondering if someone could summarize the proposed changes regarding simitar with respect to hunting them in Texas. Are these permits going to be difficult for ranchers to obtain?




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Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2455113 07/26/11 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: T4PL
Are these permits going to be difficult for ranchers to obtain?


YES.....so much so that the vast majority of ranchers will not even be willing to mess with it. Just talk to anyone who currently raises Barasingha, Red Lechwe, Arabian Oryx, or Eld's Deer. CITES permits are a massive pain in the rear.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2455132 07/26/11 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: T4PL
I'm interested in this but dont understand what the rule change will mean in plain English. You guys seem very knowledgable on the subject so I was wondering if someone could summarize the proposed changes regarding simitar with respect to hunting them in Texas. Are these permits going to be difficult for ranchers to obtain?


Basically, it's a 2 part permit process, first is a breeder's permit, which isn't that hard to obtain, you just have to provide a management plan and an overview of your facilities.

The cull & take permits can be difficult to obtain. You have to keep a detailed accounting of the herd, mortality, births, etc. and submit that to the government. Permits go thru a 90 day public comment period, and if certain requirements aren't met (those requiremnets are not clear on any of the application material), you could be denied. Permits also expire after a given amount of time, so if you don't find a hunter, tough luck. Also, if you don't actually take the animal, it can be more difficult to get the permit on the next round. (You have to justify why itwent unused.

Really kinda a grand PITA when there are alot of other species you can keep without the hassle.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2455134 07/26/11 02:29 PM
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T4PL:

I'm not an expert by any means but, the way I understand it is these 3 species are exempt from the Endangered Species Act, and are currently allowed to be bred, managed, and hunted without any special permitting process or special authorization. If the US FWS removes the exemption on them, then the rules of the Endangered Species Act would apply and there would be lengthy and costly permitting procedures for both the breeder and hunter.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Crouse229] #2455146 07/26/11 02:39 PM
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When will the plan be put into effect? I live in North Carolina and am coming to hunt Blackbuck in Texas the last week of September, and was wondering if I would be able to also take an oryx then or do I need to scedule a trip before then if I would like to take one.



Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Crouse229] #2455161 07/26/11 02:44 PM
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Part of the problem too is there are zero definitions of the requirements to even get the permits. If I want to keep say 15 addax, and rotate out the herd bull every 3rd or 4th year, I have no guidelines that tell me that I'd be able to get permits with a herd that size, or enough permits to keep my herd from growing larger (as you know these are prolific critters).

The other piece of it, at least for the other species, you can't shoot females because you can't define them as 'surplus' like you would an extra male. This poses problems for ranchers trying to manage their herds, esp in an environment where trapping & live sale are difficult. Addax and Scimitar in particular, the females have sport-hunted value for meat & trophies as well.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: traviselmore] #2455175 07/26/11 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: traviselmore
When will the plan be put into effect? I live in North Carolina and am coming to hunt Blackbuck in Texas the last week of September, and was wondering if I would be able to also take an oryx then or do I need to scedule a trip before then if I would like to take one.


Could be as early as August 8th when the current comment period ends, or could be later. EWA has filed to extend the 30 day comment period, if they do that, it'll extend the period they're under current rules. Basically after the comment period, the USFWS will pull it down, and some period after either issue a) a final ruling same as what was posted or b) they'll edit their ruling and post for comment again.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2455594 07/26/11 06:00 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. It seems that this change is going to end up hurting the species. The original post states that Simitar may be extinct in their native land but breed very well here in the states. If ranchers dont want the hassle associated with managing a herd because of permitting issues, this will reduce their numbers, no? The rule is counterproductive.




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Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2455662 07/26/11 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: T4PL
Thanks for the clarification. It seems that this change is going to end up hurting the species. The original post states that Simitar may be extinct in their native land but breed very well here in the states. If ranchers dont want the hassle associated with managing a herd because of permitting issues, this will reduce their numbers, no? The rule is counterproductive.


Yes, it most certainly is counter-productive. But that doesn't matter to USFWS. They are in PETA's back pocket....


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2455849 07/26/11 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: T4PL
Thanks for the clarification. It seems that this change is going to end up hurting the species. The original post states that Simitar may be extinct in their native land but breed very well here in the states. If ranchers dont want the hassle associated with managing a herd because of permitting issues, this will reduce their numbers, no? The rule is counterproductive.


This is exactly why you see them for sale cheaper than most common exotics right now. Ranchers are unloading @ firesale prices so they don't get stuck with them after the permits are required. It's extremely counter-productive. I don't believe USFWS really wants them to go to permits (it'll require more resources from them to manage), they were ordered to by a court ruling, BUT they've also had plenty of opportunity to develop a simpler system so I don't think they'll fall on the political side of the 'greedy' rancher, selling 'canned' hunts for 'endangered' species.


Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: Txnrog] #2456012 07/26/11 08:25 PM
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Well, I sure hope they do something different or give an exemption to ranchers who allow hunters to help manage (both sexes) their herds. I've been hunting whitetail for many years now and I want to start getting into exotics. Texas has a great diversity of exotics to choose from and it would be a shame if new laws limit the # species here.




Class of 2003
Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Re: USFWS Announcement Re:Scimitar, Addax, & Dama [Re: T4PL] #2494369 08/10/11 07:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 541
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 541
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We run exotic hunts year round, common exotics, Pere David, Oryx, Nilgai, Dybowski Sika. Email me if interested in pricing. Britton.iranch@yahoo.com or check us out on facebook, The Inheritance Ranch.
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