Mckinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated. Environmental Conservation Law. Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. Article 11. Fish and Wildlife. Title 5. Fish and Wildlife Management Practices Cooperative Program; Prohibitions; Taking of Fish, Wildlife, Shellfish and Crustacea for Scientific or Propagation Purposes; Destructive Wildlife; Rabies Control; Guides; Endangered Species.
Primary Citation: McKinney’s E. C. L. § 11-0501 to 11-0539
Alternate Citation: NY ENVIR CONSER § 11-0501 to 11-0539
Summary: This set of New York statutes provides some of the state’s fish and wildlife laws. Among the provisions include a prohibition against interference with wildlife, restriction on the possession and importation of certain wildlife such as wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, coydogs, foxes, skunks, and venomous reptiles, and laws that allows individuals to take destructive wildlife. No person shall knowingly possess, harbor, sell, barter, transfer, exchange or import any wild animal for use as a pet in New York state, except that any person who possessed a wild animal for use as a pet at the time that this section went effect may retain possession of such animal for the remainder of its life.
The cooperative program provided in this section is authorized for the purpose of obtaining on the privately owned or leased lands and waters of the state practices of fish and wildlife management which will preserve and develop the fish and wildlife resources of the state and improve access to them for recreational purposes by the people of the state.
a. “Fish and wildlife management” means management of either fish or wildlife, or both.
b. “Region” means a fish and wildlife management region established as provided in subdivision 3.
c. “Regional board” means a board constituted as provided in subdivision 4. “State board” means the board constituted as provided in subdivision 5.
d. “Cooperator” means a person with whom an agreement is made as provided in subdivision 9.
e. “Regional supervisor for natural resources” means the employee of the department bearing that title in each region.
f. “Department”, “commissioner”, “fish” and “wildlife” have the meanings stated in section 11-0103.
3. Fish and wildlife management regions.
The commissioner shall establish not to exceed fifteen fish and wildlife management regions of one or more counties each, which shall include all counties of the state not wholly included within a city.
4. Regional fish and wildlife management boards.
a. A regional fish and wildlife management board shall be appointed in each of the regions established under subdivision 3 of this section. Such regional board shall consist of three members from each county within the region which has appointed its members. In each county, one member shall be a member of or represent the board of supervisors or county legislative body, one member shall represent the landowners of the county and one member shall represent the sportsmen of the county. Such members from each county shall be appointed by the chairman of the board of supervisors of such county with the approval of the board of supervisors, except that in a county having a county president, a county executive or other chief executive officer, the chief executive officer shall appoint the members representing such county with the approval of the board of supervisors of such county. In a county having an elected legislative body the presiding officer shall appoint the members representing such county with the approval of the legislative body. If there is no presiding officer then the members representing such county shall be appointed by the legislative body as a whole. If a member of the board of supervisors or legislative body is not available to actively participate on the fish and wildlife management board, a representative shall be selected who is an elected county official or who is employed by the county government in a position having administrative or managerial authority. A landowner representative must actually reside upon rural lands within the county and actually be engaged in the operation of such lands for production of agricultural commodities or forest products. If a landowner representative with such qualifications is not available to actively participate on the fish and wildlife management board, a representative may be appointed who has been for at least five of the past ten years, before commencing his first term in any series of consecutive terms, engaged in such operation of rural lands, and who resides within the county he represents. If no landowner representative with either of these qualifications is available to actively participate on the fish and wildlife management board a representative may be appointed who is a resource manager engaged in such operations on rural lands, and designated by the corporate owner of those lands to represent the landowner’s agricultural or silvicultural interests. In the case of certain counties designated by the full state board with a scarcity of rural lands operated for production of agricultural commodities or forest products, the landowner representative shall own such rural lands in New York state, whether or not those properties lie within the county wherein he resides and represents. A sportsman representative must be a resident of the county. The said chief executive officer, presiding officer or legislative body shall receive and consider for appointment as the landowner representative, the recommendations made by the county farm bureau and Pomona grange, and for appointment as the sportsmen’s representative, the recommendations made by the county units of organized sportsmen’s groups, as well as considering the advantages of new representatives. The term of office of regional board members shall be two calendar years. A member shall be eligible for reappointment to successive terms of office where otherwise qualified. The term of the sportsmen’s representative and the board of supervisors or county legislative body representative shall expire at the end of the odd numbered years; the term of the landowner representative shall expire at the end of the even numbered years. An alternate board of supervisors or county legislative body representative, sportsmen’s representative and landowner representative may also be appointed, who shall be available to serve in the event of the temporary inability of the member sportsmen’s representative or member landowner representative or board of supervisors or county legislative body representative to so function. A vacancy in membership of a regional board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the balance of the unexpired term during which the vacancy occurs; if a supervisor member or county legislative body member shall cease to be a supervisor or member of the legislative body before the expiration of his term as a member of the regional board, a successor shall be appointed for the unexpired balance of the term as a member of the regional board. The chairman of the Board of Directors of each soil and water conservation district and the chairman of each regional forest practice board within the fish and wildlife management region, or his or their representatives, shall be advisory members without vote.
b. Each regional board shall elect annually from its members a chairman, a vice chairman and a representative to the state board and may elect a secretary. The regional supervisor for natural resources may serve as secretary of the board if the board so requests, but in any event such supervisor’s services shall always be available to the board.
5. State fish and wildlife management board.
a. There shall be a state fish and wildlife management board which shall consist of three representatives, one each representing landowners, sportsmen, and county legislative bodies, from each of the existing regional boards, and, as advisory members of the board without vote, the following persons during their term of office as such, or their representatives: the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the dean of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the president of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the chairman of the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, the chairman of the State Forest Practice Board, the president of the New York Farm Bureau, the Master of the New York State Grange, the president of the New York State Conservation Council, and the president of the New York State Division of Izaak Walton League.
b. Each member other than the advisory members shall be elected by and from the membership of the respective regional boards for a term of one year from the day of his election, unless within such period he shall cease to be a member of the regional board which elected him, in which event he shall cease to be a member of the state board on the day he ceases to be a member of such regional board. Any vacancy in the state board other than in the office of an advisory member shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term so vacated by election from its membership by the regional board in which such vacancy occurred.
c. The members of the state board shall elect one of their voting members to serve as chairman, and another as vice chairman, to serve in the absence or inability to serve of the chairman. An officer of the department designated by the commissioner may act as secretary for the board if the board so elect; otherwise a secretary shall be elected from the membership.
d. The state board shall meet at the call of the chairman or secretary when and where necessary within the state.
6. Regional and state board members; expenses.
Regional and state board members, including advisory members, shall receive no salary, but their necessary traveling expenses when attending meetings of the regional or state boards shall be paid from moneys appropriated to the department for travel and shall be paid on vouchers certified by the chairman of the appropriate regional board or state board upon the audit of the comptroller in the manner provided by law.
7. Duties of regional boards.
a. Each regional board shall formulate a statement of fish and wildlife management practices appropriate for its region and submit it for approval to the state board and the commissioner. After such a statement of practices has been approved by the state board and the commissioner, the regional board shall formally adopt such statement of practices and encourage landowners, lessees and sportsmen within the region to adopt and carry out the practices approved.
b. A copy of each resolution so adopting a statement of practices shall be filed in the principal office of the department.
c. Any practices formulated in specific terms shall, unless otherwise expressly limited by the words “without variation”, “without alternative”, or the like, be interpreted as permitting such variations or alternatives as shall be accepted by the regional board as satisfying the purpose of the practices. But no such variation or alternatives shall be deemed to be a compliance with the practices for purposes of subdivisions 9 and 10 unless the approval of the regional board is recorded in writing.
8. Duties of the state board.
a. The state board shall pass upon and approve or disapprove the fish and wildlife management practices formulated by the regional boards. The state board may, with the advice of the commissioner, and upon recommendations from the regional boards, formulate recommended uniform fish and wildlife management practices for similar ecological types within the various ecological regions of the state. Such uniform practices may thereafter be incorporated expressly or by reference in the statement of practices formulated by regional boards, but shall not be operative as practices of any region unless so incorporated.
b. The state board shall also have the following duties and powers:
(1) to recommend to the regional boards such policies and procedures for the carrying out of fish and wildlife management practices as it deems appropriate;
(2) to keep the several regional boards informed of the activities and experience of all other regional boards in the state and to facilitate an interchange of advice and experience between such regional boards and cooperation between them, and to provide advice and assistance in coordinating the programs of the several regional boards.
c. The state board may submit to the commissioner, recommendations with respect to matters delegated by statute to the department in any case where a statute or regulation of the department may affect the carrying out of fish and wildlife management practices under this section.
9. Cooperation agreements.
a. The commissioner shall have power, through his representative, to enter into an agreement in writing with an owner or lessee of rural lands or waters lying within a fish and wildlife management region or an interest in such lands or waters, or with two or more such owners or lessees who agree jointly and severally, for furnishing of services and benefits as provided in subdivision 10, in exchange for and subject to the condition that such owner or lessee, or owners or lessees, adopt and carry out for a specified period of time, upon such premises or specified parts thereof, one or more of the fish and wildlife management practices adopted by the regional board.
b. The commissioner shall provide standard forms for such cooperation agreements.
c. The agreement shall state the period during which it shall be in force and may provide for renewal. It may also provide for termination before the expiration of such period, and for the conditions upon which and the manner in which any privilege of termination may be exercised.
d. Without limitation by paragraph c or by any term of the agreement pursuant to paragraph c the failure of a cooperator, or of any one of two or more cooperators who agree jointly and severally, to perform his agreement shall relieve the commissioner and the state from the obligation to furnish the services and benefits provided for in subdivision 10.
10. State assistance.
a. Upon the establishment of such region, the commissioner may, and upon organization of the regional board, the commissioner shall provide personnel from the department to assist the boards and the cooperators within the region.
b. The commissioner shall furnish to cooperators:
(1) technical services;
(2) trees and shrubs from any of the nurseries operated by the department without charge at the nursery, to the extent and subject to the conditions specified in the agreement with the cooperator;
(3) a subscription, without cost, to the New York State Conservationist magazine.
c. The commissioner may also furnish to cooperators such further technical assistance, labor and materials, as may be required in compliance with practices approved by the region and authorized by order of the commissioner.
d. The commissioner may also furnish to premises covered by an agreement and to fish and wildlife upon such premises such protection by way of posting, patrol by environmental conservation officers or forest rangers, inspection or checking stations, fire patrols or other appropriate means, within the limitation of appropriations and of the manpower available as may be advisable in his judgment to protect fish and wildlife resources, provide for public safety and encourage the opening of private lands and waters to public hunting and fishing; but neither this subdivision nor any provision of any agreement pursuant to this section shall be deemed to constitute an undertaking by the state or the department on its behalf to furnish such posting, patrol or protection and neither such agreement nor any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law shall be deemed to create a ground of liability of the state for damage to person or property caused by the failure or neglect of the state or its agents, officers or employees to furnish such posting, patrol or protection.
e. The agreement with the cooperator may provide for use by him for purposes compatible with its function in wildlife management, of any structure or facility created or maintained on his premises with funds of the department, or for furnishing to him the incidental products of any activity conducted on his premises for purposes of wildlife management.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1973, c. 400, §§ 18, 19; L.1975, c. 288, §§ 1 to 3; L.1987, c. 64, § 1; L.1988, c. 246, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, §§ 15 to 19; L.2002, c. 552, § 1, eff. Sept. 17, 2002; L.2011, c. 511, § 1, eff. Sept. 23, 2011.)]
1. No dyestuffs, coal tar, refuse from a gas house, cheese factory, creamery, condensary or canning factory, sawdust, shavings, tan bark, lime, acid, oil or other deleterious or poisonous substance shall be thrown or allowed to run into any waters, either private or public, in quantities injurious to fish life, protected wildlife or waterfowl inhabiting those waters or injurious to the propagation of fish, protected wildlife or waterfowl therein.
2. a. No person shall place sewage or other matter injurious to fish where it can find its way into water used by any state fish hatchery or allow others to do so on or through premises owned or occupied by him.
b. No person shall erect or maintain any privy, pigsty, inclosure for poultry, barn or barnyard, or drain from any building, whence drainage or refuse may find its way into water used by any state fish hatchery. Every such privy, pigsty, inclosure, barn, barnyard and drain is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be summarily abated by the department.
3. Oil, acid, sludge, cinders or ashes from a vessel of any type shall not be thrown, dumped or allowed by any person to run into the waters of the Hudson or Mohawk rivers.
4. No earth, soil, refuse or other solid substances, except snow or ice, shall be disposed of in any stream or tributary thereto which is inhabited by trout; nor shall any earth, soil, refuse or other solid substance, except snow or ice, be disposed of on the banks of trout streams or tributaries thereto in such a manner that such solid substance can enter the stream at any stage of water level. Dumps and disposal areas for refuse along the banks of trout streams, or tributaries thereto, shall be operated by the owner or lessee of such an area in such manner that the solid substances deposited thereon shall not enter the stream at any stage of water level.
5. This section does not prohibit the control or elimination of aquatic vegetation, insects and aquatic animals, authorized by the department in order to effectuate the provisions of paragraph a of subdivision 2 of section 11-1911 and subdivision 8 of section 11-1913 of the Fish and Wildlife Law.
6. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the enactment by the appropriate governing or legislative body of any county, city, town or village of local laws, not inconsistent with this chapter, prohibiting the disposal of earth, soil, refuse, or other solid substance, in streams, ponds or lakes within its jurisdiction.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
1. a. Except as permitted by the department, no person shall obstruct the passage of fish in any stream or river by a screen or otherwise. The department may order such obstruction removed by the person erecting the same or by the owner of the land on which it is located. A copy of the order shall be served on such person or owner and failure to comply with its terms within ten days after service thereof shall be deemed a violation of this subdivision. This subdivision shall not apply to dams heretofore or hereafter erected.
b. Flumes or raceways in streams stocked with fish by the state shall be screened as the department may direct.
2. No person shall:
a. hold back or divert water in any stream which supplies a state hatchery so as to prevent the flow of sufficient water for hatchery purposes, or
b. take fish from the waters of any state hatchery operated by the department, except under the authority of the department.
3. No deer or bear traps shall be made, set or used upon land inhabited by deer or bear. No salt lick shall be made, set or used upon land inhabited by deer or bear, except that the department may do so on state wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas.
4. No person shall use any device which prevents frogs from having free access to and egress from water.
5. No person shall rob or wilfully destroy a nest of any protected birds unless a permit shall first be obtained from the department.
6. Except as permitted by the department, no person shall at any time disturb a beaver dam, house or den or a muskrat house or den or any structure constructed by a muskrat in which it can take shelter.
7. No person shall at any time disturb a nest box or any structure constructed for the purpose of harboring wild birds whether or not such structure is inhabited by wild birds, except for annual maintenance of such structure or when deemed necessary by the owner of the property whereupon such structure is located.
8. No person shall place, give, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any substance with the intent to attract or entice deer to feed within three hundred feet of a public highway. Normal agricultural practice of planting, cultivating or harvesting and the feeding of deer held captive for agricultural purposes or the feeding of deer held captive in zoos and wildlife parks shall not be considered attracting or enticing deer to feed for the purposes of this section.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1975, c. 351, § 2; L.1981, c. 31, § 1; L.1982, c. 135, § 4; L.1997, c. 381, § 1, eff. Oct. 4, 1997.)
1. Fish or fish eggs shall not be placed in any waters of the state unless a permit is first obtained from the department; but no permit shall be required to place fish or fish eggs in an aquarium.
2. No person shall liberate or import or cause to be imported for the purpose of liberation within the state any European hare (Lepus europaeus), European or San Juan rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Texas or jack rabbit (Lepus californicus), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), including captive bred gray fox, red fox (Vulpes vuples [FN1]), including captive bred red fox or nutria (Myocastor coypus), whether taken from within or without the state. Nutria may be imported only by permit of the department for scientific, exhibition or for breeding purposes.
3. No person shall willfully liberate within the state any wildlife except under permit from the department. The department may issue such permit in its discretion, fix the terms thereof and revoke it at pleasure. These provisions do not apply to migratory game birds, importation of which is governed by regulation of the department.
4. No person shall intentionally liberate zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) into any waters of the state. No person shall buy, sell, or offer to buy or sell, or intentionally possess or transport zebra mussels except under a license or permit issued pursuant to section 11-0515. Zebra mussels, except those lawfully held pursuant to a license or permit, may be destroyed by any person at any time.
[FN1] So in original.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1977, c. 639, § 1; L.1982, c. 135, § 5; L.1990, c. 326, § 4; L.1991, c. 324, §§ 1, 2.)
No person shall plant, transport, transplant or traffic in plants of the water chestnut or the seeds or nuts thereof nor in any manner cause the spread or growth of such plants.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
Subject to the provisions of section 11-0512 of this article, no person shall, except under a license or permit first obtained from the department containing the prominent warning notice specified in subdivision nine of section 11-0917 of this article, possess, transport or cause to be transported, imported or exported any live wolf, wolfdog, coyote, coydog, fox, skunk, raccoon, venomous reptile, endangered species designated pursuant to section 11-0535 of this title, species named in section 11-0536 of this title or other species of native or non-native live wildlife or fish where the department finds that possession, transportation, importation or exportation of such species of wildlife or fish would present a danger to the health or welfare of the people of the state, an individual resident or indigenous fish or wildlife population. Environmental conservation officers, forest rangers and members of the state police may seize every such animal possessed without such license or permit. No action for damages shall lie for such seizure, and disposition of seized animals shall be at the discretion of the department.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1980, c. 13, § 1; L.1985, c. 539, § 1; L.1986, c. 528, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 20; L.1996, c. 324, § 1; L.1997, c. 432, § 36, eff. Aug. 20, 1997, deemed eff. April 1, 1997; L.2004, c. 692, § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; L.2011, c. 126, § 1, eff. July 15, 2011.)
1. It shall be prohibited for any person to:
a. knowingly possess, harbor, sell, barter, transfer, exchange or import any wild animal for use as a pet in New York state, except as provided in subdivision three of this section; or
b. intentionally release or set at-large any wild animal, authorized by this section for use as a pet, from the location where the animal is permitted to be possessed or harbored.
2. This section shall not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:
a. Zoological facilities licensed pursuant to 7 USC. Sec. 2131 et seq.;
b. Exhibitors licensed pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Sections 2132-2134 and reptile exhibitors who have demonstrated to the department, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner, that the sole purpose for which the wild animal or animals are used is for exhibition to the public for profit or compensation;
c. Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Section 2132 (e), which are licensed by the United States Secretary of Agriculture;
d. Licensed veterinarians and incorporated humane societies, animal shelters, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals or animal welfare organizations in temporary possession of wild animals;
e. State universities, private colleges or universities, or state agencies working with wild animals;
f. Wildlife rehabilitators licensed pursuant to the provisions of subdivision three of section 11-0515 of this title and regulations promulgated thereunder, who are tending to sick or injured wild animals;
g. A person having custody of a wild animal solely for the purpose of transporting it to a licensed veterinarian, wildlife rehabilitator, humane society or other entity authorized by this section to handle or treat wild animals;
h. A wildlife sanctuary as defined in subdivision thirty-two of section 11-0103 of this article;
i. A person who is not a resident of this state who is in the state only for the purpose of travelling between locations outside the state. In no event shall this time period exceed ten days;
j. A person who is paralyzed from the neck down who possesses a new world monkey trained to perform tasks for its owner by an organization described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 19861 and dedicated to improving the quality of life of persons paralyzed from the neck down.
3. Any person who possesses or harbors a wild animal for use as a pet at the time that this section takes effect may retain possession of such animal for the remainder of its life, provided that such person:
a. Has not been convicted of any offense relating to cruelty to animals or under a judicial order prohibiting possession of animals;
b. Applies to the department within six months of the effective date of this section, and obtains from the department, a license pursuant to subdivision four of this section;
c. Complies with all applicable federal, state, or local laws, including any ordinance, rule or regulation adopted by a local board of health, or any rules and regulations established by the department as requisites for ownership of such wild animal; and
d. Reports a release to the local police department and animal control immediately upon discovery of the release. Each escape during a twelve month period of time will subject the possessor to penalties by the department pursuant to subdivisions eight and nine of this section.
4. The department shall be required to issue licenses authorizing possession of wild animals only to those persons who comply with the provisions of subdivision three of this section and with any regulations promulgated by the department thereunder. Such licenses shall be valid in any jurisdiction within the state where possession of a wild animal is not prohibited by local law or ordinance, rule or regulation adopted by a local board of health, and shall be renewable biennially during the life of the animal subject to continued compliance with the provisions of this section and with any regulations promulgated thereunder. The department shall forward copies of such licenses to the clerk of the city, town or village in which each wild animal is harbored.
a. License applications shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) The name, address and telephone number of the person who owns, possesses or harbors the wild animal or animals, including an acknowledgment that the person who owns, possesses or harbors the wild animal or animals is twenty-one years of age or older.
(2) The address of the location where the wild animal or animals will be kept, if different from the above.
(3) A detailed description of each wild animal owned, possessed or harbored, including species, gender, age, any identifying characteristics, and an identification tag or tattoo if required by the department, with proof, acceptable to the department, that each such wild animal was acquired prior to the effective date of this section.
(4) The name, address and telephone number of the veterinarian, who has agreed to treat the wild animal.
(5) An acknowledgment indicating that the wild animal or animals will not be bred.
(6) A detailed certification establishing that the location in which the wild animal will be kept complies with all appropriate standards of care and at minimum complies with the standards for animal care set forth in the Federal Animal Welfare Act and other applicable federal, state and local standards, including, but not limited to housing, temperature, ventilation, drainage, sanitation, food, water, exercise and veterinary care appropriate to the species and sufficient to maintain the wild animal in good health.
(7) An acknowledgment that the wild animal will not be tied, tethered, or chained outdoors, allowed to run at large and that the wild animal will not be brought to any public park or commercial or retail establishment unless it is being brought to a veterinarian or veterinary clinic.
(8) An acknowledgment that possession, harboring or owning such wild animal does not violate any applicable federal, state or local law, including any ordinance, rule or regulation adopted by a local board of health.
b. The department shall set biennial license fees for the possession of wild animals pursuant to subdivision three of this section in an amount determined to be reasonable but not more than one hundred seventy-five dollars for two years for each wild animal. License fees shall be used solely for the implementation and enforcement of this section.
5. The provisions of the state administrative procedure act shall apply to the denial or revocation of a license.
6. Any person in possession of a wild animal as a pet that has been granted a license pursuant to subdivision four of this section shall not breed, or sell, trade, barter or exchange such wild animal.
7. A person possessing, owning or harboring a wild animal who is denied a license pursuant to subdivision four of this section, or whose license is revoked, shall surrender such wild animal to the department or an authorized agent thereof at a location designated by the department for such surrender or a police or peace officer of this state, a local animal control officer, or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or provide proof that the animal has been humanely euthanized according to American Veterinary Medical Association standards by a licensed veterinarian.
8. The department, any police or peace officer of this state, a local animal control officer, or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this section and issue notices of violation to persons in violation of this section, and shall have the authority to seize any wild animal held in violation of this section. A county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals must obtain a warrant before seizing a wild animal or arresting a person who owns or possesses a wild animal under this section. Wild animals seized or surrendered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be transferred to a duly incorporated wildlife sanctuary as defined in this section, or a zoological facility, or shall be humanely euthanized. Any costs associated with seizing, transferring, recapturing or euthanizing a wild animal shall be borne by the person who owned, harbored or possessed the animal. The department shall also have the authority to seek injunctive relief in any court of appropriate jurisdiction to prevent continued violations of this section.
9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who knowingly breeds a wild animal or knowingly possesses, owns, harbors, sells, barters, transfers, exchanges, or imports a wild animal for use as a pet or intentionally releases or sets at-large any wild animal, authorized by this section for use as a pet, from the location where the animal is permitted to be possessed or harbored in violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and not more than one thousand dollars for a second and subsequent offenses. Each instance of breeding, owning, harboring, sale, barter, release, transfer, exchange, or import of a wild animal in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
10. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent any city, town or county from enacting more restrictive provisions governing the possession of wild animals for use as pets.
(Added L.2004, c. 692, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2005. Amended L.2004, c. 693, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; L.2005, c. 10, § 3, eff. March 15, 2005; L.2012, c. 326, §§ 1, 2, eff. Sept. 30, 2012.)
1. No person shall at any time, by any means or in any manner capture, kill or attempt to capture or kill any Antwerp or homing pigeon, wearing a ring or seamless leg band with its registered number stamped thereon; nor shall any person remove such mark. No person except the lawful owner shall detain, possess, or transport Antwerp or homing pigeons wearing a ring or seamless leg band with the registered number thereon.
2. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the local legislative body of any city, town or village, or in the city of New York the Department of Health may take or issue a permit to any person to take pigeons at any time and in any humane manner in such municipality, whenever such body or administration finds that pigeons within such municipality are or may become a menace to public health or a public nuisance; provided, however, that no pigeon may be taken in a manner which will endanger other animal life, persons or property.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1978, c. 655, § 50.)
1. For purposes of this section, “Eurasian boar” shall mean any subspecies, breed, or hybrid of swine recognized as Eurasian boar, Russian boar, wild boar, wild hog, razorback, or feral swine. “Eurasian boar” shall not include domestic pigs (sus scrofa domestica) possessed for meat production or as pets, or animals possessed or owned by a zoological park accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
2. No person, firm, partnership, corporation, or government entity shall knowingly import, allow to breed, or introduce into the wild Eurasian boars.
3. Beginning September first, two thousand fifteen, no person, firm, partnership, corporation or government entity shall knowingly possess, sell, offer for sale, distribute, transport, or otherwise market or trade live Eurasian boars.
4. The department may adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer this section.
(Added L.2013, c. 417, § 2, eff. Oct. 21, 2013.)
1. The department may issue to any person a license revocable at its pleasure to collect or possess fish, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea, or aquatic insects, birds’ nests or eggs for propagation, banding, scientific or exhibition purposes. The department in its discretion may require an applicant to pay a license fee of ten dollars, and to file a bond of two hundred dollars to be approved by the department that he or she will not violate any provisions of this article. Each licensee shall file with the department a report containing such information as the department may require. Such license shall be in force for one year only and shall not be transferable.
2. The department may also issue a license revocable at its pleasure to possess and sell protected fish, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea or aquatic insects for propagation, scientific or exhibition purposes. The department in its discretion may require a license fee of ten dollars. Such license shall be in force for one year only and shall not be transferable. Each licensee shall file with the department a report containing such information as the department may require. Fish, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea or aquatic insects lawfully possessed under this section may be sold at any time by the licensee for propagation, scientific or exhibition purposes only.
3. The department may also issue a revocable license to possess distressed wildlife for rehabilitation purposes. The department may adopt regulations concerning the qualifications, appointment and duties of wildlife rehabilitators and the procedures for license issuance and revocation.
4. The department shall have power to make regulations governing the possession of such fish, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea and aquatic insects to protect them from cruelty, disease or undue discomfort and to protect the public from attack or contamination.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1986, c. 528, § 2; L.1989, c. 263, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 21; L.2012, c. 58, pt. H, § 1, eff. March 30, 2012.)
1. The department may take, or it may permit any person to take wildlife for propagation or stocking purposes, or fish or shellfish for propagation purposes.
2. It may also remove, or permit to be removed, in any manner it may prescribe, from either public or private waters, fish or shellfish which hinder the propagation of food fish or shellfish, or which are in imminent danger of being killed by pollution or otherwise. Such fish or shellfish shall be disposed of as the department may direct.
3. No person shall take fish within one hundred feet of any leader or net operated by the department or permitted under subdivisions 1 or 2 of this section and fish confined therein shall be handled or taken therefrom only by an employee of the department or by the permittee.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1990, c. 911, § 22.)
1. [FN1] When any fish, game, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea or part thereof, or any protected insect, or any bird plumage, is
a. seized by an enforcement officer as provided in section 71-0907 and it is thereafter determined that the possession thereof, by the person from whom it was seized, was unlawful under any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law or regulation pursuant thereto; or
b. found in or released from a trap, snare, net or other device constituting a nuisance which the officer is authorized summarily to abate as provided in section 71-0915; or
c. surrendered to an enforcement officer for disposition by any person having lawful custody or possession; possession thereof shall be deemed vested in the department on behalf of the state. All such things shall be disposed of as may be determined by the enforcement officer, subject to law and any applicable regulations of the department.
[FN1] So in original. No subd. 2 has been enacted.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
1. The department may direct any environmental conservation officer, or issue a permit to any person, to take any wildlife at any time whenever it becomes a nuisance, destructive to public or private property or a threat to public health or welfare, provided, however, that where such wildlife is a bear, no such permit shall be issued except upon proof of damage to such property or threat to public health or safety presented to the department. Upon presentation of such proof, the department may issue a permit authorizing the use of trained tracking dogs pursuant to section 11-0928 of this article, and, if the department has determined that no other alternative is feasible, a separate permit to take the bear. Wildlife so taken shall be disposed of as the department may direct. Any person, agency, corporation or municipality who obtains a migratory bird depredation permit or order issued by the federal department of the interior pursuant to 50 C.F.R. 13 and 50 C.F.R. 21, as may be amended from time to time, shall not be required to obtain a permit from the department to conduct the authorized activities.
2. The department may, by permit issued to a landowner, permit such landowner, and any person he may designate in writing as his agent, to take beaver on lands owned by the permittee, during any specified period, in any specified number, and by any specified means, notwithstanding the provision contained in paragraph d of subdivision 3 of section 11-0901 or any other provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law. Beaver so taken shall be disposed of as the department may direct.
3. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring or obligating the department to issue a permit to take wildlife or to direct the taking of any wildlife when in its opinion the nuisance, destruction of property or threat to public health and welfare will not be effectively abated thereby.
4. Redesignated 3.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1975, c. 390, § 1; L.1980, c. 224, § 1; L.1984, c. 595, § 2; L.1990, c. 911, §§ 23, 24; L.1993, c. 600, § 1; L.2012, c. 58, pt. H, § 2, eff. March 30, 2012.)
by Philip Weinberg
This section authorizing DEC to issue permits to take wildlife “whenever it becomes a nuisance” furnishes ample authority to issue permits to control the population of deer, the Department ruled in DEC Declaratory Ruling 11-06 (Coalition to Save the Deer) (1994). DEC there noted, “[i]t is the excess numbers of deer that create the nuisance, whether it is destruction of crops and ornamental vegetation or deer-vehicle collisions.” The Department went on to rule that nuisance permits are valid year-round, and not limited to the deer-hunting season, since the statute provides for permits “to take any wildlife at any time whenever it becomes a nuisance …” The ruling cited, and dovetails with, Humane Society of U.S. v. County of Monroe, 192 A.D.2d 1139, 596 N.Y.S.2d 222 (4th Dept. 1993), which held nuisance permits authorize taking deer even in a park otherwise closed to hunting.
However, nuisance permits, DEC held, do not allow the holder to trespass on private lands without the owner’s permission. Such trespassing by hunters is barred by § 11-2115. Nor do nuisance permits authorize shooting where a local law prohibits it, DEC noted in a subsequent clarification of this ruling. Finally, the ruling held nuisance permits may allow the baiting of deer, discussed in the Commentary to § 11-0903.
1. Owners and lessees and members of their immediate families actually occupying or cultivating lands, and persons authorized in writing and actually employed by them in cultivating such lands, may take (a) unprotected wildlife other than birds and (b) starlings, common crows and, subject to section 11-0513, pigeons, when such wildlife is injuring their property or has become a nuisance thereon. Such taking may be done in any manner, notwithstanding any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law, except section 11-0513, or the Penal Law or any other law.
2. Any bear killing or worrying livestock on land occupied or cultivated, or destroying an apiary thereon, may be taken or killed, at any time, by shooting or device to entrap or entice on such land, by the owner, lessee or occupant thereof, or any member of the owner’s, lessee’s or occupant’s immediate family or by any person employed by such owner, lessee or occupant. The owner or occupant of such lands shall promptly notify the nearest environmental conservation officer and deliver to such officer the carcass of any bear killed pursuant to this subdivision. The environmental conservation officer shall dispose of the carcass as the department may direct.
3. Red-winged blackbirds, common grackles and cowbirds destroying any crop may be killed during the months of June, July, August, September and October by the owner of the crop or property on which it is growing or by any person in his employ.
4. Varying hares, cottontail rabbits and European hares which are injuring property on occupied farms or lands may be taken thereon, at any time, in any manner, except by the use of ferrets, fitch-ferrets or fitch, by the owners or occupants of such farms or lands or by a person authorized in writing by them and actually employed by them in cultivating such farm lands.
5. Skunks injuring property or which have become a nuisance may be taken at any time in any manner.
6. Raccoons, muskrats, coyotes or fox injuring private property may be taken by the owner, occupant or lessee thereof, or an employee or family member of such owner, occupant or lessee, at any time in any manner.
7. Whenever black, grey and fox squirrels, opossums or weasels are injuring property on occupied farms or lands or dwellings, they may be taken at any time in any manner, by the owners or occupants thereof or by a person authorized in writing by such owner or occupant.
8. No license or permit from the department is required for any taking authorized by this section.
9. Varying hares, cottontail rabbits, skunks, black, grey and fox squirrels, raccoons, muskrats, opossums or weasels taken pursuant to this section in the closed season or in a manner not permitted by section 11-0901 shall be immediately buried or cremated. No person shall possess or traffic in such skunks or raccoons or the pelts thereof or in such varying hares or cottontail rabbits or the flesh thereof.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1975, c. 351, § 3; L.1976, c. 407, § 2; L.1981, c. 114, § 2; L.1982, c. 135, § 6; L.1990, c. 911, §§ 25, 26; L.1993, c. 600, § 2; L.2012, c. 58, pt. H, § 3, eff. March 30, 2012.)
1. No person shall charge a fee to take, possess, transport or release wildlife whenever it becomes a nuisance pursuant to section 11-0505, 11-0507, 11-0521, or 11-0523 of this title unless such person has been issued a nuisance wildlife control operator license by the department.
2. No person shall be issued a license by the department under this section unless he or she provides evidence satisfactory to the department, that he or she has completed nuisance wildlife control training. In addition to any other requirements of the department, such training shall include training in site evaluation, methods of resolving common nuisance wildlife problems, including, but not limited to, non-lethal methods; exclusion methods; habitat modification; and capture and
3. The department may issue a revocable nuisance wildlife control operator license and adopt regulations concerning the qualifications for such license and the terms and conditions of such license provided, however, that any such regulations, terms and conditions include training requirements consistent with subdivision two of this section.
4. The fee for a nuisance wildlife control operator license shall be fifty dollars paid annually to be deposited in the conservation fund established pursuant to section eighty-three of the state finance law, provided, however, that a municipality shall not be subject to this fee.
5. Any person licensed pursuant to this section shall submit annually a report to the department which specifies each client’s name and address, the date work was performed, the species controlled, the abatement method used, the disposition of the animal, and any other information as required by the department. The department shall annually update a list of nuisance wildlife control operators and make it available to the public in both printed and electronic formats.
(Added L.2002, c. 265, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2003. Amended L.2012, c. 58, pt. H, § 4, eff. March 30, 2012.)
1. Whenever the disease rabies occurs in any area of the state and the infection of wild foxes or other wildlife populations is certified to exist therein by the joint determination of the Departments of Health, Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation, and certification is made to the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation by the Commissioners of Health and of Agriculture and Markets that the health and welfare of the human population or the health and welfare of domestic livestock are in danger therefrom, the department is thereupon authorized and directed to undertake through the use of professional trappers or by other means such fox control or wildlife control measures in the certified area as in its judgment will eliminate, reduce or confine the disease.
2. Such control measures shall be continued until the Commissioners of Health, Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation shall jointly determine that control measures should be terminated.
3. Necessary expenses for such control work shall be financed by moneys made available by appropriation or otherwise to the department out of moneys in the state treasury, in the general fund, to the credit of the state purpose fund not otherwise appropriated.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
1. The board of supervisors or county legislative body of any county may appropriate moneys for the purpose of controlling the disease rabies in wildlife.
2. Any county situated in an area wherein the infection of wild foxes or other wildlife populations is certified to exist with danger to health and welfare, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-0525, may submit a plan for joint approval by the state departments of Health, Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation for the purposes of eliminating, reducing or confining the disease rabies. If such plan, or a modification of such plan, is approved by such departments and is duly carried out by any such county in accordance with such regulations as may be adopted by the Department of Environmental Conservation (which regulations when adopted shall be made a part of such plan) then such county shall be reimbursed by the state to the extent of fifty per centum of the amount by it expended in the execution of such plan; provided, however, that such reimbursement to any county shall not exceed six thousand dollars in any state fiscal year.
3. A county shall not be reimbursed for any moneys expended by it for the payment of bounties for the taking of wildlife.
4. Not later than the last day of each of the months of June, September, December and March the county treasurer of each such county which has been certified under section 11-0525 and approved under this section, and has incurred expenditures pursuant to the provisions of this section during the three months’ period ending on such days, shall make a report to the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation of the amount of such expenditures and apply for the state reimbursement herein authorized.
5. Such report and application shall be in such form and contain such information as may be required by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. The commissioner shall thereupon promptly certify to the comptroller for payment the amount of state reimbursement due the county thereon. The amounts so certified by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, after audit by and on the warrant of the Comptroller, shall be paid to the county treasurers of the respective counties to which such reimbursement is due, from any moneys available by appropriation therefor. No reimbursement shall be made for expenditures incurred by any county after such time as the Departments of Health and Agriculture and Markets shall have certified that danger to health and welfare from the disease rabies no longer exists in such county.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
1. Any person over the age of twenty-one years possessing a hunting license may, and environmental conservation officers and peace officers, acting pursuant to their special duties, or police officers shall humanely destroy cats at large found hunting or killing any protected wild bird or with a dead bird of any protected species in its possession.
2. Every environmental conservation officer, forest ranger and member of the state police may kill any dog (a) pursuing or killing deer within the Adirondack or Catskill parks, at any time; (b) pursuing or killing any game or wildlife on a state-owned game farm or wildlife refuge; or (c) pursuing or killing any game or wildlife on a state-owned or leased wildlife management area, except a dog being legally used for hunting small game or for dog training.
3. Every park patrolman, park ranger and member of the state police, county police and town police may kill any dog pursuing or killing deer within any state park or state park reservation at any time.
4. At any time (a) any environmental conservation officer, dog warden, forest ranger or member of the state police, anywhere in the state, (b) any member of any town police within the limits of the town of which such member is an officer, (c) any member of the Westchester County Parkway police on any park, parkway or reservation owned or controlled by the county of Westchester or (d) any member of a police force or department of any county, city, town or village in which such member has jurisdiction and is regularly employed may kill any dog pursuing or killing deer and any coyote killing a domestic animal.
5. No action for damages shall lie against any authorized person for the killing of a cat, dog or coyote as provided in this section.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1979, c. 160, § 2; L.1980, c. 843, § 123; L.1983, c. 109, § 1; L.1986, c. 533, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, §§ 27, 28; L.2006, c. 610, § 1, eff. Aug. 16, 2006.)
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, or any other law, rule or regulation to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any department or division of this state, or any political subdivision thereof to pay bounties on the taking of wildlife, except when the state Department of Health, or any local health authorities, determine that a given type or class of animals constitute a health hazard as carriers or potential carriers of disease.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1990, c. 911, § 29.)
1. As used in this section, the term “guide” shall mean a person who offers services for hire part or all of which includes directing, instructing, or aiding another in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, white water canoeing, rafting or rock and ice climbing.
2. All guides engaging in the business of guiding on all lands and waters of the state shall possess a license issued by the department, except for any persons operating or assisting upon a public vessel for hire (passenger carrying vessels), licensed by the United States Coast Guard or New York state, upon the Atlantic Ocean and all other marine and coastal waters, tidal waters including the Hudson river up to the Troy barrier dam, St. Lawrence river, Great Lakes and the navigable portion of their tributaries, and other navigable waters, as determined by the department.
3. Except while guiding for the purposes of hunting and/or fishing, no license as defined in section 11-0701 is required for such acts.
4. Employees of children’s camps as defined in subdivision one of section one thousand four hundred of the public health law shall be exempt from the provisions of subdivisions one and two of this section, provided such activities are carried out within the scope of said employment.
5. A license as required under subdivision two of this section shall be issued for a period of five calendar years and the fee therefor shall be established by the department, not to exceed two hundred dollars.
6. Every licensed guide while engaged in guiding shall wear in plain sight identification furnished by the department. Licensed guides shall be at least eighteen years of age. They shall be skilled in the use of boats and canoes whenever use of these craft is required and shall be persons competent to guide one or more of the following: camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, white water canoeing/rafting, rock or ice climbing or other similar activities. The department shall by regulation establish standards and procedures for testing and licensing of guides.
7. Any licensed guide who violates any provision of this chapter or who makes any false statement in his application for a license shall in addition to any other penalties, immediately surrender his license to the department, which may be revoked by the department for up to one year following the date of such surrender.
8. The department shall publish a list of guides annually.
(Added L.1985, c. 398, § 1.)
1. For the purposes of this section, “endangered species” shall mean those species of fish, shellfish, crustacea and wildlife designated by the department, by regulation filed with the Secretary of State, as seriously threatened with extinction, “threatened species” shall mean those species of fish and wildlife designated by the department, by regulation filed with the Secretary of State, which are likely to become endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and “species of special concern” shall mean those species of fish and wildlife designated by the department, by regulation filed with the Secretary of State, which are found by the department to be at risk of becoming threatened in New York. Such regulation shall include, but not be limited to, endangered and threatened species as so designated by the Secretary of the Interior, provided, however, that such regulation shall take effect sixty days after it has been filed with the Secretary of State, and provided, further, that the commissioner may exclude any such species as the commissioner may determine after investigation to be no longer endangered or threatened from the restrictions of this section.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any endangered or threatened species of fish, shellfish, crustacea or wildlife, or hides or other parts thereof, or the sale or possession with intent to sell any article made in whole or in part from the skin, hide or other parts of any endangered or threatened species of fish, shellfish, crustacea or wildlife is prohibited, except under license or permit from the department.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the department may promulgate regulations to the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species of special concern as the department deems necessary for the proper protection of such species.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1976, c. 49, § 1; L.1979, c. 341, § 1; L.1981, c. 150, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 30; L.2005, c. 706, § 3, eff. Jan. 2, 2006.)
1. As used in this section:
a. “Distribute” means a transfer or change in possession with an accompanying change in legal ownership.
b. “Ivory article” means any item containing worked or raw ivory from any species of elephant or mammoth.
c. “Raw ivory” means any elephant or mammoth tusk, and any piece thereof, the surface of which, polished, or unpolished, is unaltered or minimally carved.
d. “Worked ivory” means any elephant or mammoth tusk, and any piece thereof, which is not raw ivory.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision three of this section, no person shall sell, offer for sale, purchase, trade, barter or distribute an ivory article or rhinoceros horn.
3. Unless such activity is prohibited by federal law, rule or regulation, the commissioner may issue licenses or permits for the sale, offering for sale, purchase, trading, bartering or distribution of ivory articles or rhinoceros horns, provided that:
a. the ivory article or rhinoceros horn is part of a bona fide antique and is less than twenty percent by volume of such antique, and the antique status of such antique is established by the owner or seller thereof with historical documentation evidencing provenance and showing the antique to be not less then one hundred years old;
b. the distribution or change of possession of the ivory article or rhinoceros horn is for bona fide educational or scientific purposes, or to a museum chartered by the board of regents pursuant to the education law or to a museum authorized by a special charter from the legislature of this state; or
c. the distribution of the ivory article or rhinoceros horn is to a legal beneficiary of a trust or to an heir or distributee of an estate; or
d. the ivory article or rhinoceros horn is part of a musical instrument, including, without limitation, string and wind instruments and pianos, and the owner or seller provides historical documentation as the department may require, demonstrating provenance and showing the item was manufactured no later than nineteen hundred seventy-five.
(Added L.2014, c. 326, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2014. Amended L.2014, c. 327, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2014.)
1. Except as provided in subdivision three hereof, no part of the skin or body, whether raw or manufactured, of the following species of wild animals or the animal itself may be sold or offered for sale by any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership within the state of New York :–Leopard (Panthera pardus), Snow Leopard (Uuncia), Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Tiger (Panthera tigres), Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), Cheetah (Acinoyx jubatus), Alligators, Caiman or Crocodile of the Order Crocodylia (except as provided in subdivision two of this section), tortoises of the genus Gopherus, marine turtles of the family Cheloniidae and the family Dermochelidae, Vicuna (Vicugna vicugna), Wolf (Canis lupus), Red Wolf (Canis niger), or Tasmanian Forester Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis) or Polar Bear (Thalarctos maritimus), Mountain Lion, sometimes called Cougar (Felis Concolar), Jaguar (Panthera onca), Ocelot (Felis pardalis), or Margay (Felis wiedii), Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), or Black Rhinoceros (Dicero bicornis).
2. The commissioner may permit, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, the importation and sale of the skin, body or parts therefrom of Alligators, Caiman or Crocodile of the Order Crocodylia.
3. Any officer or agent authorized by the commissioner, or any police officer of the state of New York, or any police officer of any municipality within the state of New York, shall have authority to execute any warrant to search for and seize any goods, merchandise or wildlife sold or offered for sale in violation of this section, or any property or item used in connection with a violation of this section; such goods, merchandise, wildlife or property shall be held pending proceedings in any court of proper jurisdiction. Upon conviction, or upon the entry of a judgment restraining the sale or offer for sale of such goods, merchandise or wildlife on the ground that such items were sold or offered for sale in violation of this section, such seized goods, merchandise or wildlife shall be forfeited and, upon forfeiture, either offered to a recognized institution for scientific or educational purposes, or destroyed.
4. The commissioner may permit, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, the importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species or subspecies of fish or wildlife listed in this section for zoological, educational, and scientific purposes, and for the propagation of such fish or wildlife in captivity for preservation purposes, unless such importation, transportation, possession or sale is prohibited by any federal law or regulation.
(Added L.1976, c. 49, § 2. Amended L.1980, c. 572, § 1; L.1980, c. 800, §§ 1, 2; L.1989, c. 342, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 31; L.2009, c. 338, § 1, eff. Nov. 9, 2009.)
It shall be unlawful to knowingly or with wanton disregard for the consequences of this act to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or in any manner, any bald eagle commonly known as the American eagle, or any golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof of the foregoing eagles without a permit from a lawful authority.
(Added L.1976, c. 49, § 2. Amended L.1980, c. 572, § 1; L.1980, c. 800, §§ 1, 2; L.1989, c. 342, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 31; L.2009, c. 338, § 1, eff. Nov. 9, 2009.)
1. As used in this section:
(a) “Big cat” shall mean any live species of lion (panthera leo), tiger (panthera tigres), leopard (panthera pardus) (with the exception of clouded leopards (neofelis nebulosa)), jaguar (panthera onca), mountain lion, sometimes called cougar (felis concolar) or any hybrid of such species.
(b) “Direct contact” means physical contact or proximity where physical contact is possible, including, but not limited to, allowing a photograph to be taken without a permanent physical barrier designed to prevent physical contact between the public and big cats.
(c) “Dealer” shall mean any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, delivers for transportation, or transports, except as a carrier, buys, sells, or negotiates the purchase or sale of any animals.
(d) “Exhibitor” shall mean any person (public or private) exhibiting any animals, which were purchased in commerce or the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to the public for compensation, as determined by the commissioner, and such term includes carnivals, circuses, and zoos exhibiting such animals whether operated for profit or not.
2. It shall be unlawful for any person licensed or required to be licensed as an exhibitor or dealer pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC 2132-2134, including agents or employees of such person, to knowingly allow the public to have direct contact with a big cat.
3. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and not more than one thousand dollars for a second and subsequent offenses. Each instance of allowing direct contact of a big cat with the public in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict veterinary examination, treatment or care of a big cat or transportation of the animal for such purpose.
(Added L.2014, c. 307, § 1, eff. Feb. 7, 2015.)
1. There is hereby established within the department the New York natural heritage program. The program is charged with:
a. analyzing existing sources of information, monitoring and taking censuses of plant and animal populations, and cooperating with other public agencies and scientific and educational institutions, including the New York state museum and the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation, to identify the location and status of plant and animal species and ecological communities, with an emphasis on rare species and rare ecological communities;
b. developing systems for ranking the state and global rarity of plant and animal species and ecological communities and producing lists of such rankings in consultation with the state biological survey and other appropriate entities and individuals; and
c. maintaining comprehensive data management systems integrating information on the location and status of rare plants, animals, and ecological communities, and analyzing and interpreting such information for the purpose of conserving and managing the state’s biological diversity.
2. Upon request, and subject to the provisions of subdivision four of this section, the department shall provide information from the New York natural heritage program to other state agencies, public authorities, counties, towns, villages, cities and landowners or their authorized representatives.
3. The department may contract with a private entity to administer the New York natural heritage program.
4. Notwithstanding the provisions of article six of the public officers law or any other provision of law, the department may deny access to inspection of records, data or information collected or maintained by the New York natural heritage program that identify locations or habitats of rare, threatened or endangered species or ecological communities where the destruction of such habitat or the removal of such species therefrom would impair their ability to survive, provided, however, that the commissioner may permit access to such records, data or information to persons, educators, schools or universities engaged in legitimate scientific and academic research.
5. No provision contained in this section shall in any way be construed to diminish or extend the department’s authority to protect threatened or endangered species of wildlife or rare, threatened or endangered species of plants pursuant to sections 9-1503, 11-0535 and 11-0536 of this chapter or any other provision of law.
6. Nothing in this section shall authorize any person to enter private land without the permission of the private landowner.
7. State-owned waters, lands or portions thereof may be designated as natural heritage areas in order to conserve and manage plants, wildlife or ecological communities, with an emphasis on rare plants, wildlife, and ecological communities which support such plants or wildlife.
a. For purposes of this title, a site shall be eligible for designation as a “natural heritage area” if it matches one or more of the following criteria:
(i) provides habitat for “endangered species” or “threatened species” as defined in section 11-0535 of this title for animals and 9-1503 of this chapter for plants;
(ii) provides habitat for rare species where rare means species ranked as S1, S2 or S3 under criteria developed pursuant to paragraph b of subdivision one of this section; or
(iii) contains “significant ecological communities” where such term means all rare ecological communities as well as the best examples of common communities.
b. Any property designated as a natural heritage area shall be described and depicted upon a map. The description shall include a narrative setting forth the plants, animals or ecological communities present on the property. The department shall make maps depicting natural heritage areas available for public inspection except as provided in subdivision four of this section.
c. Designation may be accomplished by the head of any state agency or entity having jurisdiction over state lands or waters for such appropriate properties as may exist within their respective jurisdictions and consistent with their respective missions, provided the commissioner is consulted, and approves, prior to such designation.
d. A designating state agency or entity shall publish notice concerning the designation of a natural heritage area in the environmental notice bulletin prior to such designation. Such notice shall provide for a thirty day public comment period following publication of the notice.
e. The head of any state agency or entity having jurisdiction over state lands or waters previously designated as natural heritage areas may seek to remove all or a portion of such lands or waters from such designation provided, however, that prior to such removal the commissioner publishes a finding that the designated area or portion of such area no longer meets the criteria in paragraph a of this subdivision. Such finding shall be published in the environmental notice bulletin and shall provide for a thirty day public comment period following publication of the notice.
(Added L.1993, c. 554, § 5. Amended L.2002, c. 214, § 1, eff. July 30, 2002.)