Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992; 90-Day Rulings on Petitions To Add Cactus Conure and Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to the Approved List for Captive-Bred Species, 62503-62507 [2021-24629]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / Proposed Rules incarceration as voluntary unemployment as stated in the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Programs (FEM) final rule published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016 (81 FR 93492). Setting and modifying realistic child support obligations for incarcerated parents can improve their ability to provide consistent support for their children upon release from prison. Formerly incarcerated noncustodial parents will be more likely to meet their child support obligations, benefiting their children by improving child support compliance and reliability, and reducing uncollectable debt. Other collateral consequences associated with orders set beyond a noncustodial parent’s ability to pay may also decline, such as increased underground employment activity and reduced contact with their children. HHS is therefore withdrawing the NPRM published on September 17, 2020 (85 FR 58029). JooYeun Chang, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Xavier Becerra, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–24606 Filed 11–9–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184–42–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 15 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA–2021-0116; FXIA16710900000–FF09A10000–212] Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notification of 90-day petition rulings. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90day rulings on two petitions to add species to the approved list for captivebred exotic bird species under the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) of 1992. Based on our review, we find that the petitions to add cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum) and lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) do not present sufficient information indicating that the khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Nov 09, 2021 Jkt 256001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eleanora Babij, Chief, Branch of Consultation and Monitoring, 703–358– 2488 (phone); 703–358–2276 (fax); or eleanora_babij@fws.gov (email). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA; 16 U.S.C. 4901–4916) was enacted on October 23, 1992, to promote the conservation of exotic birds listed in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by: Ensuring that all imports of exotic bird species into the United States are biologically sustainable and not detrimental to the species; ensuring that wild bird populations are not harmed by removal of birds from the wild for importation into the United States; ensuring that imported birds are not subject to inhumane treatment during capture and transport; and assisting wild bird conservation and management programs in countries of origin. What is the approved list for captivebred species? Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992; 90-Day Rulings on Petitions To Add Cactus Conure and Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to the Approved List for Captive-Bred Species SUMMARY: petitioned actions might be warranted. Therefore, we will not seek public comments on these petitions and will take no further action in response to these petitions. DATES: These rulings were made on November 10, 2021. ADDRESSES: Copies of the petition and information submitted are available online in Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA– 2021–0116 at http:// www.regulations.gov. The approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species under the WBCA is authorized under the WBCA (16 U.S.C. 4905). It is a list of bird species that are regularly bred in captivity and no wildcaught birds of the species are in trade, and for which importation into the United States of captive-bred specimens is not prohibited by the WBCA. A WBCA import permit is not required if an exotic bird species is on the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species. CITES requirements and any other applicable requirements for trade continue to apply. The criteria for a species to be included in the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species (‘‘approved list’’) are set forth in our regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at § 15.31 (50 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 62503 CFR 15.31), and the approved list is provided at 50 CFR 15.33(a). How are bird species added to or removed from the approved list? We periodically review and update the approved list. Under 50 CFR 15.31, to be included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must meet all of the following criteria: (a) All specimens of the species known to be in trade (legal or illegal) are captive-bred; (b) No specimens of the species are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes; (c) Any importation of specimens of the species would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild; and (d) Adequate enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance with paragraphs (a) through (c), above. Additional information relating to these criteria is available in our December 2, 1994, final rule that promulgated our regulations for the WBCA list of approved species (59 FR 62255). Further, section 110 of the WBCA (16 U.S.C. 4909) and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 15 set forth the procedures for petitions to add a species of exotic bird to, or remove such a species from, the approved list at 50 CFR 15.33(a). Section 110(b) of the WBCA requires that for each petition submitted in accordance with section 110(a) of the WBCA, we make a preliminary ruling on whether a petition to add a species of exotic bird to, or remove such a species from, the approved list presents sufficient information indicating that the action requested in the petition might be warranted. We are to make this preliminary ruling within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish the ruling in the Federal Register pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 4909(b)(1). The WBCA does not expressly define what constitutes ‘‘sufficient information indicating that the action requested in the petition might be warranted’’ with regard to a 90-day preliminary ruling. Given the purposes of the WBCA, including ensuring that all imports of exotic bird species into the United States are biologically sustainable and not detrimental to the species, we interpret this language to refer to the presentation of credible scientific or commercial information in support of the petition’s claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the action proposed in the petition might be warranted. E:\FR\FM\10NOP1.SGM 10NOP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 62504 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / Proposed Rules As described in our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 15.31, a species of exotic bird may be added to the approved list if the species meets all of the criteria (a) through (d) set forth in that section. However, the mere assertion that the species meets all of the criteria is not enough to support a preliminary ruling that the information in the petition is sufficient information indicating that the petitioned action might be warranted. The information presented in the petition must include sufficient information indicating that each of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31 might be met. If we find that a petition presents such sufficient information, we will then provide an opportunity for the submission of public comments on the petition, and issue and publish in the Federal Register a final ruling on the petition, no later than 90 days after the end of the period for public comment pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 4909(b)(2). The WBCA places the obligation squarely on the petitioner to present the requisite level of information to meet the ‘‘sufficient information’’ test to demonstrate that the petitioned action might be warranted. Therefore, in determining whether the petition presents sufficient information, we are not required to seek out any supporting source materials beyond what is included with a given petition. As a result, we will not base our 90-day rulings on any claims for which supporting source materials have not been provided in the petition. We need not resort to supplemental information to bolster, plug gaps in, or otherwise supplement a petition that is inadequate on its face. We note, however, in determining whether a petition presents sufficient information or not, we must determine whether the claims are credible. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Service to consider readily available information that provides context in which to evaluate whether or not the information that a petition presents is timely and up-to-date, and whether it is reliable or representative of the available information on the species, in making its determination as to whether the petition presents sufficient information. It is reasonable for the Service to be able to examine the information and claims included in a petition in light of readily available scientific information prior to committing limited Federal resources to the significant expense of a review pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 4909(b)(2). We note further that because, as discussed below, the petitions at issue here were on their face inadequate to meet the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Nov 09, 2021 Jkt 256001 applicable standards, our 90-day rulings are based solely on the information provided in the petition—we did not consider any readily available scientific information regarding these two species. Evaluation of a Petition To Add the Cactus Conure to the Approved List Species and Range Cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum): Brazil. Petition History On July 30, 2021, we received a petition dated July 30, 2021, from the Organization of Professional Aviculturists (OPA) requesting to add captive-bred cactus conures (Aratinga cactorum) to the approved list under the WBCA. This ruling addresses the petition. Basis for the Ruling Criterion (a) Criterion (a) is that all specimens of the species known to be in trade (legal or illegal) are captive-bred. The petition states: ‘‘This species is regularly bred in captivity in Europe. Attached to this petition are several publications relating to the captive breeding of Cactus Conure in Europe. Also attached are ads from the European website, Parrots 4 Sale, which includes several ads of Cactus Conures for sale. Also provided with this petition is a print out of the CITES trade database which shows that the last trade in wild specimens occurred in 1997. Since then, for over twenty-years, no wild caught trade has occurred. As such, this petition demonstrates that the Cactus Conure is regularly bred in European aviculture and there are no wild-caught birds of the species [are] in world trade.’’ The petition includes a two-part interview published in 2016 by Parrots Daily News with Czech aviculturist Zdenek Vandelik, who keeps and breeds cactus conures and other South American parrots. With regard to cactus conure, in the first part of the interview, the breeder mentions only that he keeps and breeds a ‘‘colony of Cactus Conure,’’ and in the second part of the interview he states that he ‘‘still keep[s] Cactus Conures in a colony system. But I am going to split the group next year because the dominant pair is the only one which breeds. Other pairs lay eggs but they do not incubate them or do not feed chicks. Therefore I need to make a change.’’ Altogether, the 2016 two-part interview provides only one brief anecdote about cactus conure breeding by a single cactus conure breeder. The interview provides no information on the origin of the breeding stock or on the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 source of cactus conures in trade to or from the breeder. The petition also includes a section on conures from the book ‘‘Psittaculture: A Manual for the Care and Breeding of Parrots’’ by Tony Silva. The book excerpt does note that ‘‘Cactus Conures Eupsittula cactorum are very popular in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active pets.’’ This passing reference indicates there is a popular pet trade in the species in the range country, Brazil, but the book gives no information as to whether the source of the pet trade is wild or captive-bred, legal or illegal, or whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not entering international trade through this pet trade. The petition also includes a printout of a search result for ‘‘cactus conure’’ from the European website, Parrots 4 Sale, showing links to 13 advertisements for small numbers of cactus conures for sale between 2017 and 2019 from Denmark and the Netherlands. However, the advertisements do not provide any indication of the source of the birds for sale (i.e., captive-bred or wild). Of the advertisements, twelve are from a single seller in Denmark, while the thirteenth is from the Netherlands. It is not apparent from the printout whether these advertisements relate to the same or different birds, and no information is presented on whether the solicited trade took place. Although these sources briefly mention this species, they do not discuss or address the issue of whether or not all specimens of this species known to be in trade (legal and illegal) are captive-bred. The output from the CITES Trade Database submitted with the petition shows the international trade in the species reported since 1975, with the most recently reported entry being a 2018 export of bred-in-captivity specimens from Brazil to Portugal. The petitioner notes that the last international trade in wild cactus conure reported in the CITES Trade Database was in 1997. Although the CITES Trade Database and its data contained within can be extremely valuable in examining international trade in a particular species, there are limitations of the database, including some discrepancies in reporting. However, the limited data presented show a serious discrepancy in two reported instances of trade in 2013 and in 2014 that indicate a likelihood of non-compliant trade (illegal trade). In each instance an export quantity of only 2 live specimens was reported exported from the Netherlands, but an import quantity of 4 live specimens was E:\FR\FM\10NOP1.SGM 10NOP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / Proposed Rules reported imported to Panama. The petition provides no further information to explain these discrepancies. Additionally, during the time period from 1998 to 2018, 46 actual imports of live cactus conure were reported in the CITES Trade Database, while 86 exports of live cactus conure were reported in the CITES Trade Database. Over the time period, imports reported in the CITES Trade Database averaged only a little over 2 live birds per year, while exports reported in the CITES Trade Database averaged only a little over 4 live birds per year. While it is not possible to determine the exact reason for the discrepancies from this output alone, the discrepancy noted may indicate inaccurate reporting, incomplete reporting, reporting by exporting countries of quantities authorized for export (as opposed to actual quantities exported), high bird mortality, or instances of trade that was not conducted in accordance with CITES (illegal trade). Regardless of these discrepancies, an average of approximately 2–4 live birds in international trade annually indicates very few records of any specimens in trade, and that the species is relatively rare in aviculture. For the Service to list a species as exclusively captive-bred, the statute requires the Service to determine that the species is regularly bred in captivity and that no wildcaught birds of the species are in trade, legally or illegally. Simply noting that a species is bred in captivity is not sufficient to indicate that it is regularly bred in captivity. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62259– 60), with so few records, we are not be able to make the determination required by the statute that the species is regularly bred in captivity. We noted that a purpose of the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species is to facilitate commercial importation of captive-bred species whose trade in no way can be detrimental to populations of these species in the wild. The fundamental purpose of the WBCA is conservation of exotic bird species in the wild. For species that are rare in aviculture, individual captive-bred birds may be imported under permits for approved cooperative breeding programs, zoological breeding and display, or scientific research, pursuant to subpart C of 50 CFR part 15. The Service also recognized that with increased captive breeding efforts for those species, they may be able to meet criteria for approval in § 15.31 in the future. Therefore, based on the limited information provided in the petition VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Nov 09, 2021 Jkt 256001 regarding trade (legal or illegal) in this species, and the indication from the limited information provided that the species is rare in aviculture, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating this species might meet criterion (a) at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (b) Criterion (b) is that no specimens of the species are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. While the petition mentions information and advertisements concerning the captive-breeding of cactus conures in Europe and CITES Trade Database output, as quoted above under ‘‘Criterion (a),’’ the petition does not explicitly discuss or address this criterion. No citations or supporting materials are included in the petition to indicate that no specimens of the species are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. The information provided in the petition indicates that some captive breeding of this species is occurring, that a small number of birds are being offered for sale commercially, and that there are few records of international trade in the species. However, no information was provided in the petition to confirm that birds are not being removed from the wild to serve as parental stock for captive-bred specimens for commercial purposes. In addition, the petition does not provide any information on collection in the range country of this species, Brazil, indicating that no wild specimens of cactus conures are being collected for commercial purposes. As noted above, the book excerpt presented notes only that cactus conures ‘‘are very popular in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active pets.’’ This reference indicates there is a popular pet trade in the species in the range country, Brazil, and may indicate demand for the species from the wild, but the book gives no information as to whether the source of the pet trade or its breeding stock is wild or captive-bred, legal or illegal, or whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not entering international trade through this pet trade. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding removal of specimens from the wild for commercial purposes, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this species might meet criterion (b) at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (c) Criterion (c) is that any importation of specimens of the species would not be PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 62505 detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. Given the purposes of the WBCA, we find the factors in our CITES regulations for non-detriment findings at 50 CFR 23.61 relevant to this criterion. The petition does not discuss or provide information to address this criterion. For example, the petition provides no information relating to the status or management of the species in the wild or the effect of trade in live cactus conures on cactus conures in the wild. As noted above, with regard to the range country, Brazil, the information presented notes only that cactus conures ‘‘are very popular in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active pets.’’ This reference indicates there is a popular pet trade in the species in the range country, and may indicate demand for the species from the wild, but the petition provides no information as to whether the source of the pet trade or its breeding stock is wild or captive-bred, legal or illegal, or whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not being used unsustainably as breeding stock or otherwise entering international trade through this pet trade. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding whether or not the importation of specimens of this species would be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this species might meet criterion (c) at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (d) Criterion (d) is that adequate enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c). The petition does not discuss or provide information to address this criterion. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62258), it is critical that enforcement be in place and adequate in range countries and in countries of export of captivebred birds. The Service notes that adequate enforcement in exporting countries is critical to ensure that wildcaught birds will not be misrepresented and laundered as captive-bred birds. Adequate enforcement is critical to implementation of CITES, a specified purpose of the WBCA. With regard to the range country, Brazil, the information presented notes only that cactus conures ‘‘are very popular in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active pets’’ and the output from the CITES Trade Database records Brazil as an exporting country. As previously noted, the petition provides no information as to E:\FR\FM\10NOP1.SGM 10NOP1 62506 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / Proposed Rules whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in Brazil. The remaining three pieces of information presented (the interview, the advertisements, and the output from the CITES Trade Database) indicate there might be captive breeding in and/or export from several countries. No information is provided on the adequacy of enforcement for any of the exporting countries. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding whether or not adequate enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c), we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this species might meet criterion (d) at 50 CFR 15.31. Our regulations at 50 CFR 15.31 state that for a species to be included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must meet all of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Given that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this species might meet any of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31, based on our review of the petition and the information submitted in the petition, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that adding the cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum) to the approved list might be warranted. Because the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that the petitioned action might be warranted, we are not seeking public comments in response to this petition and will take no further action in response to this petition. Evaluation of a Petition To Add the Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to the Approved List Species and Range Lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)): Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Petition History On August 3, 2021, we received a petition dated August 3, 2021, from the OPA and the Lineolated Parakeet Society (LPS) requesting to add captivebred lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) to the approved list under the WBCA. This ruling addresses the petition. In the December 2, 1994, final rule that promulgated our regulations for the WBCA list of approved species (59 FR 62259), we noted that the lineolated or barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), which commenters requested VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Nov 09, 2021 Jkt 256001 be included in the approved list, could not be added to the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species because the species did not meet the criteria for approval in § 15.31(a) and wild-caught birds are in international trade. However, as further explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 622561), the Service agreed that when a bird species’ color mutation is (a) rare or nonexistent in the wild, and therefore not likely to be obtained as wild-caught stock; (b) regularly produced in captivity; and (c) distinguishable from the typical wild form and such ability to distinguish the color mutation is easy for the non-expert, then color mutations of a species may be added to the approved list. Therefore, at that time, we added the following color mutations of the lineolated or barred parakeet to the approved list: Blue, yellow and white forms (see 50 CFR 15.33(a)). However, given that the green form of the lineolated parakeet is the typical, wild color form for this bird, and, therefore, not a color mutation of the species that is rare or nonexistent in the wild or distinguishable from the typical wild form, the green form of the lineolated parakeet was not added to the approved list in 1994. Basis for the Ruling Criterion (a) Criterion (a) is that all specimens of the species known to be in trade (legal or illegal) are captive-bred. The petition states: ‘‘This species is regularly bred in captivity in Europe. Attached to this petition are several publications relating to the captive breeding of Lineolated Parakeet in Europe. Also attached are ads from several European websites listing ads of captive-bred Lineolated Parakeets for sale. Also provided with this petition is a printout of the CITES trade database which shows that the last wild trade in the species occurred in 2012 when two wild-caught Lineolated Parakeet[s] specimens were re-exported from the U.S. to Canada for scientific purposes. The data also demonstrates that the species is commonly bred in captivity. As such, this petition demonstrates that the Lineolated Parakeets are regularly bred in aviculture, i.e., captivity, and no wildcaught birds of the species are in the worldwide trade.’’ The petition includes an article titled, ‘‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’’ Project— The Importance of Wild Type Birds: The Disappearance of Green Lineolated Parakeet’’ by the Lineolated Parakeet Society (LPS), which discusses care and breeding of the species, as well as the goal of the LPS to propagate breeding of PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the wild, normal green color form and support a healthy stock of normal green color forms for strong breeding programs in U.S. aviculture. The petition also provided a section on South American Parakeets from the book ‘‘Psittaculture: A Manual for the Care and Breeding of Parrots’’ by Tony Silva and a 2020 account of Bolborhynchus lineola by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Although these sources provide details regarding the biology and breeding of this species, they do not discuss or address the issue of whether or not all specimens of this color form of the species known to be in trade (legal and illegal) are captivebred. The small number of advertisements provided in the petition from four European websites show lineolated parakeets for sale in 2020 and 2021 from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. However, only one of the advertisements lists the green color form for sale and none of the advertisements indicate the source of the birds for sale (i.e., captive-bred or wild). The output from the CITES Trade Database submitted with the petition shows the international trade in lineolated parakeet reported since 1975. Although the CITES Trade Database and its data contained within can be extremely valuable in examining international trade in a particular species, there are limitations of the database, including some discrepancies in reporting. Importantly for purposes of evaluating this petition, the CITES Trade Database does not indicate color form for the trade. Accordingly, without additional information we are unable to evaluate whether the reported trade in the CITES Trade Database is in the petitioned green form of the species. We note that even if the reported trade presented in the output were able to be attributed to the green form, then there would be a number of examples of illegal trade where commercial imports to the U.S. are reported in the time period since the enactment of the WBCA. Additionally, a serious discrepancy is shown in several reported instances of trade that indicate a likelihood of non-compliant trade (illegal trade), where an export quantity of fewer live specimens was reported exported from an exporting country, but an import quantity of more specimens was reported imported to an importing country. For example, as recently as 2019, an export quantity of 10 live specimens was reported exported from the Netherlands to Oman, but an import quantity of 100 live specimens was reported imported to Oman from the Netherlands. The petition provides no E:\FR\FM\10NOP1.SGM 10NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS further information to explain these discrepancies. For the Service to list a species as exclusively captive-bred, the statute requires the Service to determine that the species is regularly bred in captivity and that no wild-caught birds of the species are in trade, legally or illegally. Simply noting that a species is bred in captivity is not sufficient to indicate that it is regularly bred in captivity. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62259–60), with so few records presented pertaining to the green form, we are not be able to make the determination required by the statute that the green form of the species is regularly bred in captivity. We noted that a purpose of the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species is to facilitate commercial importation of captive-bred species, whose trade in no way can be detrimental to populations of these species in the wild. The fundamental purpose of the WBCA is conservation of exotic bird species in the wild. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding trade (legal or illegal) in this color form of the species, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this color form of the species might meet criterion (a) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (b) Criterion (b) is that no specimens of the species are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. While the petition mentions information and provides publications and advertisements concerning the captivebreeding of lineolated parakeets in Europe and CITES Trade Database output, as quoted above under ‘‘Criterion (a),’’ the petition does not explicitly discuss or address this criterion. No citations or supporting materials are included in the petition to indicate that no specimens of the green form of the species are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. The information provided in the petition indicates that captive breeding of lineolated parakeets is occurring and that captive-bred birds are being offered for sale commercially, though as noted above little of the information presented clearly relates to the petitioned color form. However, no information was provided in the petition to confirm that birds of the petitioned color form are not being removed from the wild to serve as parental stock for captive-bred specimens for commercial purposes. In addition, the petition does not provide any information on collection in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Nov 09, 2021 Jkt 256001 range countries of this species indicating that no wild specimens of the green form of lineolated parakeets are being collected for commercial purposes. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding removal of specimens from the wild for commercial purposes, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this color form of the species might meet criterion (b) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (c) Criterion (c) is that any importation of specimens of the species would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. Given the purposes of the WBCA, we find the factors in our CITES regulations for non-detriment findings at 50 CFR 23.61 relevant to this criterion. The petition does not discuss or provide information to address this criterion. For example, the petition provides no information relating to the status or management of the species in the wild in any of its range countries or the effect of trade in live green form lineolated parakeets on lineolated parakeets in the wild. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding whether the importation of specimens of this color form of the species would be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating this color form of the species might meet criterion (c) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Criterion (d) Criterion (d) is that adequate enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c). The petition does not discuss or provide information to address this criterion. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62258), it is critical that enforcement be in place and adequate in range countries and in countries of export of captivebred birds. The Service notes that adequate enforcement in exporting countries is critical to ensure that wildcaught birds will not be misrepresented and laundered as captive-bred birds. Adequate enforcement is critical to implementation of CITES, a specified purpose of the WBCA. The petition does not provide information as to whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in any of the range countries or exporting countries for the green form of lineolated parakeet. Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition regarding whether or not adequate enforcement controls are in PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 62507 place to ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c), we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this color form of the species might meet criterion (d) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Our regulations at 50 CFR 15.31 state that for a species to be included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must meet all of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Given that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that this color form of the species might meet any of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31 based on our review of the petition and the information submitted in the petition, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that adding the lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) to the approved list might be warranted. Because the petition does not present sufficient information indicating that the petitioned action might be warranted, we are not seeking public comments in response to this petition and will take no further action in response to this petition. Conclusion Based on our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 15.31, we have determined that the petitions summarized above for cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum) and lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) do not present sufficient information indicating that the petitioned actions might be warranted. Therefore, we will not seek public comments on these petitions and will take no further action in response to these petitions. Author The primary author of this document is a staff member of the Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authority The authority for this action is the Wild Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4901–4916 et seq.). Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–24629 Filed 11–8–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\10NOP1.SGM 10NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 215 (Wednesday, November 10, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 62503-62507]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-24629]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 15

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2021-0116; FXIA16710900000-FF09A10000-212]


Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992; 90-Day Rulings on Petitions 
To Add Cactus Conure and Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to the 
Approved List for Captive-Bred Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notification of 90-day petition rulings.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-
day rulings on two petitions to add species to the approved list for 
captive-bred exotic bird species under the Wild Bird Conservation Act 
(WBCA) of 1992. Based on our review, we find that the petitions to add 
cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum) and lineolated parakeet (green form) 
(Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) do not present sufficient 
information indicating that the petitioned actions might be warranted. 
Therefore, we will not seek public comments on these petitions and will 
take no further action in response to these petitions.

DATES: These rulings were made on November 10, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the petition and information submitted are 
available online in Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2021-0116 at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eleanora Babij, Chief, Branch of 
Consultation and Monitoring, 703-358-2488 (phone); 703-358-2276 (fax); 
or [email protected] (email). If you use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-
8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA; 16 U.S.C. 4901-4916) was 
enacted on October 23, 1992, to promote the conservation of exotic 
birds listed in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade 
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by: Ensuring that 
all imports of exotic bird species into the United States are 
biologically sustainable and not detrimental to the species; ensuring 
that wild bird populations are not harmed by removal of birds from the 
wild for importation into the United States; ensuring that imported 
birds are not subject to inhumane treatment during capture and 
transport; and assisting wild bird conservation and management programs 
in countries of origin.

What is the approved list for captive-bred species?

    The approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species under the 
WBCA is authorized under the WBCA (16 U.S.C. 4905). It is a list of 
bird species that are regularly bred in captivity and no wild-caught 
birds of the species are in trade, and for which importation into the 
United States of captive-bred specimens is not prohibited by the WBCA. 
A WBCA import permit is not required if an exotic bird species is on 
the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species. CITES 
requirements and any other applicable requirements for trade continue 
to apply.
    The criteria for a species to be included in the approved list for 
captive-bred exotic bird species (``approved list'') are set forth in 
our regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 
Sec.  15.31 (50 CFR 15.31), and the approved list is provided at 50 CFR 
15.33(a).

How are bird species added to or removed from the approved list?

    We periodically review and update the approved list. Under 50 CFR 
15.31, to be included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must 
meet all of the following criteria:
    (a) All specimens of the species known to be in trade (legal or 
illegal) are captive-bred;
    (b) No specimens of the species are known to be removed from the 
wild for commercial purposes;
    (c) Any importation of specimens of the species would not be 
detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild; and
    (d) Adequate enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance 
with paragraphs (a) through (c), above.
    Additional information relating to these criteria is available in 
our December 2, 1994, final rule that promulgated our regulations for 
the WBCA list of approved species (59 FR 62255).
    Further, section 110 of the WBCA (16 U.S.C. 4909) and its 
implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 15 set forth the procedures for 
petitions to add a species of exotic bird to, or remove such a species 
from, the approved list at 50 CFR 15.33(a). Section 110(b) of the WBCA 
requires that for each petition submitted in accordance with section 
110(a) of the WBCA, we make a preliminary ruling on whether a petition 
to add a species of exotic bird to, or remove such a species from, the 
approved list presents sufficient information indicating that the 
action requested in the petition might be warranted. We are to make 
this preliminary ruling within 90 days of our receipt of the petition 
and publish the ruling in the Federal Register pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 
4909(b)(1).
    The WBCA does not expressly define what constitutes ``sufficient 
information indicating that the action requested in the petition might 
be warranted'' with regard to a 90-day preliminary ruling. Given the 
purposes of the WBCA, including ensuring that all imports of exotic 
bird species into the United States are biologically sustainable and 
not detrimental to the species, we interpret this language to refer to 
the presentation of credible scientific or commercial information in 
support of the petition's claims such that a reasonable person 
conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the 
action proposed in the petition might be warranted.

[[Page 62504]]

    As described in our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 15.31, a 
species of exotic bird may be added to the approved list if the species 
meets all of the criteria (a) through (d) set forth in that section. 
However, the mere assertion that the species meets all of the criteria 
is not enough to support a preliminary ruling that the information in 
the petition is sufficient information indicating that the petitioned 
action might be warranted. The information presented in the petition 
must include sufficient information indicating that each of the 
criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31 might be met.
    If we find that a petition presents such sufficient information, we 
will then provide an opportunity for the submission of public comments 
on the petition, and issue and publish in the Federal Register a final 
ruling on the petition, no later than 90 days after the end of the 
period for public comment pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 4909(b)(2).
    The WBCA places the obligation squarely on the petitioner to 
present the requisite level of information to meet the ``sufficient 
information'' test to demonstrate that the petitioned action might be 
warranted. Therefore, in determining whether the petition presents 
sufficient information, we are not required to seek out any supporting 
source materials beyond what is included with a given petition. As a 
result, we will not base our 90-day rulings on any claims for which 
supporting source materials have not been provided in the petition. We 
need not resort to supplemental information to bolster, plug gaps in, 
or otherwise supplement a petition that is inadequate on its face.
    We note, however, in determining whether a petition presents 
sufficient information or not, we must determine whether the claims are 
credible. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Service to consider 
readily available information that provides context in which to 
evaluate whether or not the information that a petition presents is 
timely and up-to-date, and whether it is reliable or representative of 
the available information on the species, in making its determination 
as to whether the petition presents sufficient information. It is 
reasonable for the Service to be able to examine the information and 
claims included in a petition in light of readily available scientific 
information prior to committing limited Federal resources to the 
significant expense of a review pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 4909(b)(2). We 
note further that because, as discussed below, the petitions at issue 
here were on their face inadequate to meet the applicable standards, 
our 90-day rulings are based solely on the information provided in the 
petition--we did not consider any readily available scientific 
information regarding these two species.

Evaluation of a Petition To Add the Cactus Conure to the Approved List

Species and Range

    Cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum): Brazil.

Petition History

    On July 30, 2021, we received a petition dated July 30, 2021, from 
the Organization of Professional Aviculturists (OPA) requesting to add 
captive-bred cactus conures (Aratinga cactorum) to the approved list 
under the WBCA. This ruling addresses the petition.

Basis for the Ruling

Criterion (a)
    Criterion (a) is that all specimens of the species known to be in 
trade (legal or illegal) are captive-bred. The petition states: ``This 
species is regularly bred in captivity in Europe. Attached to this 
petition are several publications relating to the captive breeding of 
Cactus Conure in Europe. Also attached are ads from the European 
website, Parrots 4 Sale, which includes several ads of Cactus Conures 
for sale. Also provided with this petition is a print out of the CITES 
trade database which shows that the last trade in wild specimens 
occurred in 1997. Since then, for over twenty-years, no wild caught 
trade has occurred. As such, this petition demonstrates that the Cactus 
Conure is regularly bred in European aviculture and there are no wild-
caught birds of the species [are] in world trade.''
    The petition includes a two-part interview published in 2016 by 
Parrots Daily News with Czech aviculturist Zdenek Vandelik, who keeps 
and breeds cactus conures and other South American parrots. With regard 
to cactus conure, in the first part of the interview, the breeder 
mentions only that he keeps and breeds a ``colony of Cactus Conure,'' 
and in the second part of the interview he states that he ``still 
keep[s] Cactus Conures in a colony system. But I am going to split the 
group next year because the dominant pair is the only one which breeds. 
Other pairs lay eggs but they do not incubate them or do not feed 
chicks. Therefore I need to make a change.'' Altogether, the 2016 two-
part interview provides only one brief anecdote about cactus conure 
breeding by a single cactus conure breeder. The interview provides no 
information on the origin of the breeding stock or on the source of 
cactus conures in trade to or from the breeder. The petition also 
includes a section on conures from the book ``Psittaculture: A Manual 
for the Care and Breeding of Parrots'' by Tony Silva. The book excerpt 
does note that ``Cactus Conures Eupsittula cactorum are very popular in 
Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active 
pets.'' This passing reference indicates there is a popular pet trade 
in the species in the range country, Brazil, but the book gives no 
information as to whether the source of the pet trade is wild or 
captive-bred, legal or illegal, or whether adequate enforcement 
controls are in place in Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not 
entering international trade through this pet trade. The petition also 
includes a printout of a search result for ``cactus conure'' from the 
European website, Parrots 4 Sale, showing links to 13 advertisements 
for small numbers of cactus conures for sale between 2017 and 2019 from 
Denmark and the Netherlands. However, the advertisements do not provide 
any indication of the source of the birds for sale (i.e., captive-bred 
or wild). Of the advertisements, twelve are from a single seller in 
Denmark, while the thirteenth is from the Netherlands. It is not 
apparent from the printout whether these advertisements relate to the 
same or different birds, and no information is presented on whether the 
solicited trade took place. Although these sources briefly mention this 
species, they do not discuss or address the issue of whether or not all 
specimens of this species known to be in trade (legal and illegal) are 
captive-bred.
    The output from the CITES Trade Database submitted with the 
petition shows the international trade in the species reported since 
1975, with the most recently reported entry being a 2018 export of 
bred-in-captivity specimens from Brazil to Portugal. The petitioner 
notes that the last international trade in wild cactus conure reported 
in the CITES Trade Database was in 1997. Although the CITES Trade 
Database and its data contained within can be extremely valuable in 
examining international trade in a particular species, there are 
limitations of the database, including some discrepancies in reporting. 
However, the limited data presented show a serious discrepancy in two 
reported instances of trade in 2013 and in 2014 that indicate a 
likelihood of non-compliant trade (illegal trade). In each instance an 
export quantity of only 2 live specimens was reported exported from the 
Netherlands, but an import quantity of 4 live specimens was

[[Page 62505]]

reported imported to Panama. The petition provides no further 
information to explain these discrepancies. Additionally, during the 
time period from 1998 to 2018, 46 actual imports of live cactus conure 
were reported in the CITES Trade Database, while 86 exports of live 
cactus conure were reported in the CITES Trade Database. Over the time 
period, imports reported in the CITES Trade Database averaged only a 
little over 2 live birds per year, while exports reported in the CITES 
Trade Database averaged only a little over 4 live birds per year. While 
it is not possible to determine the exact reason for the discrepancies 
from this output alone, the discrepancy noted may indicate inaccurate 
reporting, incomplete reporting, reporting by exporting countries of 
quantities authorized for export (as opposed to actual quantities 
exported), high bird mortality, or instances of trade that was not 
conducted in accordance with CITES (illegal trade). Regardless of these 
discrepancies, an average of approximately 2-4 live birds in 
international trade annually indicates very few records of any 
specimens in trade, and that the species is relatively rare in 
aviculture. For the Service to list a species as exclusively captive-
bred, the statute requires the Service to determine that the species is 
regularly bred in captivity and that no wild-caught birds of the 
species are in trade, legally or illegally. Simply noting that a 
species is bred in captivity is not sufficient to indicate that it is 
regularly bred in captivity. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking 
(59 FR 62259-60), with so few records, we are not be able to make the 
determination required by the statute that the species is regularly 
bred in captivity. We noted that a purpose of the approved list for 
captive-bred exotic bird species is to facilitate commercial 
importation of captive-bred species whose trade in no way can be 
detrimental to populations of these species in the wild. The 
fundamental purpose of the WBCA is conservation of exotic bird species 
in the wild. For species that are rare in aviculture, individual 
captive-bred birds may be imported under permits for approved 
cooperative breeding programs, zoological breeding and display, or 
scientific research, pursuant to subpart C of 50 CFR part 15. The 
Service also recognized that with increased captive breeding efforts 
for those species, they may be able to meet criteria for approval in 
Sec.  15.31 in the future.
    Therefore, based on the limited information provided in the 
petition regarding trade (legal or illegal) in this species, and the 
indication from the limited information provided that the species is 
rare in aviculture, we find that the petition does not present 
sufficient information indicating this species might meet criterion (a) 
at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (b)
    Criterion (b) is that no specimens of the species are known to be 
removed from the wild for commercial purposes. While the petition 
mentions information and advertisements concerning the captive-breeding 
of cactus conures in Europe and CITES Trade Database output, as quoted 
above under ``Criterion (a),'' the petition does not explicitly discuss 
or address this criterion. No citations or supporting materials are 
included in the petition to indicate that no specimens of the species 
are known to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. The 
information provided in the petition indicates that some captive 
breeding of this species is occurring, that a small number of birds are 
being offered for sale commercially, and that there are few records of 
international trade in the species. However, no information was 
provided in the petition to confirm that birds are not being removed 
from the wild to serve as parental stock for captive-bred specimens for 
commercial purposes. In addition, the petition does not provide any 
information on collection in the range country of this species, Brazil, 
indicating that no wild specimens of cactus conures are being collected 
for commercial purposes. As noted above, the book excerpt presented 
notes only that cactus conures ``are very popular in Brazil, where they 
are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and active pets.'' This 
reference indicates there is a popular pet trade in the species in the 
range country, Brazil, and may indicate demand for the species from the 
wild, but the book gives no information as to whether the source of the 
pet trade or its breeding stock is wild or captive-bred, legal or 
illegal, or whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in 
Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not entering international 
trade through this pet trade. Therefore, based on the lack of 
information provided in the petition regarding removal of specimens 
from the wild for commercial purposes, we find that the petition does 
not present sufficient information indicating that this species might 
meet criterion (b) at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (c)
    Criterion (c) is that any importation of specimens of the species 
would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. 
Given the purposes of the WBCA, we find the factors in our CITES 
regulations for non-detriment findings at 50 CFR 23.61 relevant to this 
criterion. The petition does not discuss or provide information to 
address this criterion. For example, the petition provides no 
information relating to the status or management of the species in the 
wild or the effect of trade in live cactus conures on cactus conures in 
the wild. As noted above, with regard to the range country, Brazil, the 
information presented notes only that cactus conures ``are very popular 
in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly quiet, intelligent and 
active pets.'' This reference indicates there is a popular pet trade in 
the species in the range country, and may indicate demand for the 
species from the wild, but the petition provides no information as to 
whether the source of the pet trade or its breeding stock is wild or 
captive-bred, legal or illegal, or whether adequate enforcement 
controls are in place in Brazil to ensure that wild specimens are not 
being used unsustainably as breeding stock or otherwise entering 
international trade through this pet trade. Therefore, based on the 
lack of information provided in the petition regarding whether or not 
the importation of specimens of this species would be detrimental to 
the survival of the species in the wild, we find that the petition does 
not present sufficient information indicating that this species might 
meet criterion (c) at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (d)
    Criterion (d) is that adequate enforcement controls are in place to 
ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c). The petition does not 
discuss or provide information to address this criterion. As explained 
in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62258), it is critical that 
enforcement be in place and adequate in range countries and in 
countries of export of captive-bred birds. The Service notes that 
adequate enforcement in exporting countries is critical to ensure that 
wild-caught birds will not be misrepresented and laundered as captive-
bred birds. Adequate enforcement is critical to implementation of 
CITES, a specified purpose of the WBCA. With regard to the range 
country, Brazil, the information presented notes only that cactus 
conures ``are very popular in Brazil, where they are regarded as fairly 
quiet, intelligent and active pets'' and the output from the CITES 
Trade Database records Brazil as an exporting country. As previously 
noted, the petition provides no information as to

[[Page 62506]]

whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in Brazil. The 
remaining three pieces of information presented (the interview, the 
advertisements, and the output from the CITES Trade Database) indicate 
there might be captive breeding in and/or export from several 
countries. No information is provided on the adequacy of enforcement 
for any of the exporting countries. Therefore, based on the lack of 
information provided in the petition regarding whether or not adequate 
enforcement controls are in place to ensure compliance with criteria 
(a) through (c), we find that the petition does not present sufficient 
information indicating that this species might meet criterion (d) at 50 
CFR 15.31.
    Our regulations at 50 CFR 15.31 state that for a species to be 
included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must meet all of 
the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Given that the petition does 
not present sufficient information indicating that this species might 
meet any of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31, based on our review 
of the petition and the information submitted in the petition, we find 
that the petition does not present sufficient information indicating 
that adding the cactus conure (Aratinga cactorum) to the approved list 
might be warranted. Because the petition does not present sufficient 
information indicating that the petitioned action might be warranted, 
we are not seeking public comments in response to this petition and 
will take no further action in response to this petition.

Evaluation of a Petition To Add the Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to 
the Approved List

Species and Range

    Lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus lineola (green 
form)): Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, 
Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Petition History

    On August 3, 2021, we received a petition dated August 3, 2021, 
from the OPA and the Lineolated Parakeet Society (LPS) requesting to 
add captive-bred lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus 
lineola (green form)) to the approved list under the WBCA. This ruling 
addresses the petition.
    In the December 2, 1994, final rule that promulgated our 
regulations for the WBCA list of approved species (59 FR 62259), we 
noted that the lineolated or barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), 
which commenters requested be included in the approved list, could not 
be added to the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species 
because the species did not meet the criteria for approval in Sec.  
15.31(a) and wild-caught birds are in international trade. However, as 
further explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 622561), the 
Service agreed that when a bird species' color mutation is (a) rare or 
nonexistent in the wild, and therefore not likely to be obtained as 
wild-caught stock; (b) regularly produced in captivity; and (c) 
distinguishable from the typical wild form and such ability to 
distinguish the color mutation is easy for the non-expert, then color 
mutations of a species may be added to the approved list. Therefore, at 
that time, we added the following color mutations of the lineolated or 
barred parakeet to the approved list: Blue, yellow and white forms (see 
50 CFR 15.33(a)). However, given that the green form of the lineolated 
parakeet is the typical, wild color form for this bird, and, therefore, 
not a color mutation of the species that is rare or nonexistent in the 
wild or distinguishable from the typical wild form, the green form of 
the lineolated parakeet was not added to the approved list in 1994.

Basis for the Ruling

Criterion (a)
    Criterion (a) is that all specimens of the species known to be in 
trade (legal or illegal) are captive-bred. The petition states: ``This 
species is regularly bred in captivity in Europe. Attached to this 
petition are several publications relating to the captive breeding of 
Lineolated Parakeet in Europe. Also attached are ads from several 
European websites listing ads of captive-bred Lineolated Parakeets for 
sale. Also provided with this petition is a printout of the CITES trade 
database which shows that the last wild trade in the species occurred 
in 2012 when two wild-caught Lineolated Parakeet[s] specimens were re-
exported from the U.S. to Canada for scientific purposes. The data also 
demonstrates that the species is commonly bred in captivity. As such, 
this petition demonstrates that the Lineolated Parakeets are regularly 
bred in aviculture, i.e., captivity, and no wild-caught birds of the 
species are in the worldwide trade.''
    The petition includes an article titled, ``It's Not Easy Being 
Green'' Project--The Importance of Wild Type Birds: The Disappearance 
of Green Lineolated Parakeet'' by the Lineolated Parakeet Society 
(LPS), which discusses care and breeding of the species, as well as the 
goal of the LPS to propagate breeding of the wild, normal green color 
form and support a healthy stock of normal green color forms for strong 
breeding programs in U.S. aviculture. The petition also provided a 
section on South American Parakeets from the book ``Psittaculture: A 
Manual for the Care and Breeding of Parrots'' by Tony Silva and a 2020 
account of Bolborhynchus lineola by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 
Although these sources provide details regarding the biology and 
breeding of this species, they do not discuss or address the issue of 
whether or not all specimens of this color form of the species known to 
be in trade (legal and illegal) are captive-bred. The small number of 
advertisements provided in the petition from four European websites 
show lineolated parakeets for sale in 2020 and 2021 from the United 
Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. However, only one of the 
advertisements lists the green color form for sale and none of the 
advertisements indicate the source of the birds for sale (i.e., 
captive-bred or wild). The output from the CITES Trade Database 
submitted with the petition shows the international trade in lineolated 
parakeet reported since 1975. Although the CITES Trade Database and its 
data contained within can be extremely valuable in examining 
international trade in a particular species, there are limitations of 
the database, including some discrepancies in reporting. Importantly 
for purposes of evaluating this petition, the CITES Trade Database does 
not indicate color form for the trade. Accordingly, without additional 
information we are unable to evaluate whether the reported trade in the 
CITES Trade Database is in the petitioned green form of the species. We 
note that even if the reported trade presented in the output were able 
to be attributed to the green form, then there would be a number of 
examples of illegal trade where commercial imports to the U.S. are 
reported in the time period since the enactment of the WBCA. 
Additionally, a serious discrepancy is shown in several reported 
instances of trade that indicate a likelihood of non-compliant trade 
(illegal trade), where an export quantity of fewer live specimens was 
reported exported from an exporting country, but an import quantity of 
more specimens was reported imported to an importing country. For 
example, as recently as 2019, an export quantity of 10 live specimens 
was reported exported from the Netherlands to Oman, but an import 
quantity of 100 live specimens was reported imported to Oman from the 
Netherlands. The petition provides no

[[Page 62507]]

further information to explain these discrepancies.
    For the Service to list a species as exclusively captive-bred, the 
statute requires the Service to determine that the species is regularly 
bred in captivity and that no wild-caught birds of the species are in 
trade, legally or illegally. Simply noting that a species is bred in 
captivity is not sufficient to indicate that it is regularly bred in 
captivity. As explained in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62259-60), 
with so few records presented pertaining to the green form, we are not 
be able to make the determination required by the statute that the 
green form of the species is regularly bred in captivity. We noted that 
a purpose of the approved list for captive-bred exotic bird species is 
to facilitate commercial importation of captive-bred species, whose 
trade in no way can be detrimental to populations of these species in 
the wild. The fundamental purpose of the WBCA is conservation of exotic 
bird species in the wild.
    Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the 
petition regarding trade (legal or illegal) in this color form of the 
species, we find that the petition does not present sufficient 
information indicating that this color form of the species might meet 
criterion (a) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (b)
    Criterion (b) is that no specimens of the species are known to be 
removed from the wild for commercial purposes. While the petition 
mentions information and provides publications and advertisements 
concerning the captive-breeding of lineolated parakeets in Europe and 
CITES Trade Database output, as quoted above under ``Criterion (a),'' 
the petition does not explicitly discuss or address this criterion. No 
citations or supporting materials are included in the petition to 
indicate that no specimens of the green form of the species are known 
to be removed from the wild for commercial purposes. The information 
provided in the petition indicates that captive breeding of lineolated 
parakeets is occurring and that captive-bred birds are being offered 
for sale commercially, though as noted above little of the information 
presented clearly relates to the petitioned color form. However, no 
information was provided in the petition to confirm that birds of the 
petitioned color form are not being removed from the wild to serve as 
parental stock for captive-bred specimens for commercial purposes. In 
addition, the petition does not provide any information on collection 
in the range countries of this species indicating that no wild 
specimens of the green form of lineolated parakeets are being collected 
for commercial purposes. Therefore, based on the lack of information 
provided in the petition regarding removal of specimens from the wild 
for commercial purposes, we find that the petition does not present 
sufficient information indicating that this color form of the species 
might meet criterion (b) set forth at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (c)
    Criterion (c) is that any importation of specimens of the species 
would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. 
Given the purposes of the WBCA, we find the factors in our CITES 
regulations for non-detriment findings at 50 CFR 23.61 relevant to this 
criterion. The petition does not discuss or provide information to 
address this criterion. For example, the petition provides no 
information relating to the status or management of the species in the 
wild in any of its range countries or the effect of trade in live green 
form lineolated parakeets on lineolated parakeets in the wild. 
Therefore, based on the lack of information provided in the petition 
regarding whether the importation of specimens of this color form of 
the species would be detrimental to the survival of the species in the 
wild, we find that the petition does not present sufficient information 
indicating this color form of the species might meet criterion (c) set 
forth at 50 CFR 15.31.
Criterion (d)
    Criterion (d) is that adequate enforcement controls are in place to 
ensure compliance with criteria (a) through (c). The petition does not 
discuss or provide information to address this criterion. As explained 
in our 1994 final rulemaking (59 FR 62258), it is critical that 
enforcement be in place and adequate in range countries and in 
countries of export of captive-bred birds. The Service notes that 
adequate enforcement in exporting countries is critical to ensure that 
wild-caught birds will not be misrepresented and laundered as captive-
bred birds. Adequate enforcement is critical to implementation of 
CITES, a specified purpose of the WBCA. The petition does not provide 
information as to whether adequate enforcement controls are in place in 
any of the range countries or exporting countries for the green form of 
lineolated parakeet. Therefore, based on the lack of information 
provided in the petition regarding whether or not adequate enforcement 
controls are in place to ensure compliance with criteria (a) through 
(c), we find that the petition does not present sufficient information 
indicating that this color form of the species might meet criterion (d) 
set forth at 50 CFR 15.31.
    Our regulations at 50 CFR 15.31 state that for a species to be 
included in the approved list, an exotic bird species must meet all of 
the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31. Given that the petition does 
not present sufficient information indicating that this color form of 
the species might meet any of the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 15.31 
based on our review of the petition and the information submitted in 
the petition, we find that the petition does not present sufficient 
information indicating that adding the lineolated parakeet (green form) 
(Bolborhynchus lineola (green form)) to the approved list might be 
warranted. Because the petition does not present sufficient information 
indicating that the petitioned action might be warranted, we are not 
seeking public comments in response to this petition and will take no 
further action in response to this petition.

Conclusion

    Based on our evaluation of the information presented in the 
petitions under our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 15.31, we have 
determined that the petitions summarized above for cactus conure 
(Aratinga cactorum) and lineolated parakeet (green form) (Bolborhynchus 
lineola (green form)) do not present sufficient information indicating 
that the petitioned actions might be warranted. Therefore, we will not 
seek public comments on these petitions and will take no further action 
in response to these petitions.

Author

    The primary author of this document is a staff member of the 
Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Wild Bird Conservation Act (16 
U.S.C. 4901-4916 et seq.).

Martha Williams,
Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-24629 Filed 11-8-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P