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Legality of Using Tapes

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  • Cheri Pillsbury
    I have been reading posts (not on this list) from a person doing Big Days and avidly adding to his lists in different states. Occasionally he mentions using
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 13, 2005
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      I have been reading posts (not on this list) from a person doing Big Days
      and avidly adding to his lists in different states. Occasionally he
      mentions using tapes to get responses at night from owls, rails, etc.- some
      of which are federally endangered species.

      I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that it was illegal to use tapes on
      endangered species, as it is considered "harassment". I wrote the party and
      asked, but he didn't respond.

      So, this is not a discussion of "is taping good or bad"- I simply want to
      know the law so I can accurately discuss it.

      Is it illegal to use tapes on a species that is on the Federal Endangered
      Species list? In all 50 states? What if the bird is only "threatened"?

      Is the situation different if the bird is not federally endangered but on
      the relevant state's endangered or threatened list?

      I have noticed several people on other lists mentioning taping "hard to get"
      birds (because they are endangered) to pump up their Big Day numbers or
      personal lists. I have the feeling that some would use tapes to lure in a
      California Condor if it was "countable". Again, my question doesn't deal
      with the ethics involved (that would start a flurry of comment), but simply
      what the law says.

      Cheri Pillsbury
      Stockton, CA
    • Marcus England
      Using tapes on federally-listed species is considered harassment , thus it is also considered a take of the species and a violation of the Federal
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 13, 2005
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        Using tapes on federally-listed species is considered "harassment", thus it
        is also considered a "take" of the species and a violation of the Federal
        Endangered Species Act. The use of tapes is the reason why people like me
        have to get permits from the USFWS to do protocol surveys for California
        gnatcatcher and southwestern willow flycatcher. We do not have to have
        permits for least Bell's vireo because protocol surveys for that species are
        passive, however, if one wished to conduct a survey for that species that
        involved tape playing you are required to get a permit.



        I am not sure about tape-playing for state-listed species.



        -Marcus



        ______________________________________

        Marcus C. England | Consulting Biologist
        Natural Resource Consultants
        Laguna Beach, CA

        personal website: http://www.calbirds.com

        _____

        From: Cheri Pillsbury [mailto:cpillsbury@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 12:14 AM
        To: Calbirds
        Subject: [CALBIRDS] Legality of Using Tapes



        I have been reading posts (not on this list) from a person doing Big Days
        and avidly adding to his lists in different states. Occasionally he
        mentions using tapes to get responses at night from owls, rails, etc.- some
        of which are federally endangered species.

        I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that it was illegal to use tapes on
        endangered species, as it is considered "harassment". I wrote the party and
        asked, but he didn't respond.

        So, this is not a discussion of "is taping good or bad"- I simply want to
        know the law so I can accurately discuss it.

        Is it illegal to use tapes on a species that is on the Federal Endangered
        Species list? In all 50 states? What if the bird is only "threatened"?

        Is the situation different if the bird is not federally endangered but on
        the relevant state's endangered or threatened list?

        I have noticed several people on other lists mentioning taping "hard to get"
        birds (because they are endangered) to pump up their Big Day numbers or
        personal lists. I have the feeling that some would use tapes to lure in a
        California Condor if it was "countable". Again, my question doesn't deal
        with the ethics involved (that would start a flurry of comment), but simply
        what the law says.

        Cheri Pillsbury
        Stockton, CA




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      • Marcus England
        I should have clarified that the law is the same for all federally-listed species, including threatened ones (like the gnatcatcher). Permits are not given to
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 13, 2005
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          I should have clarified that the law is the same for all federally-listed
          species, including threatened ones (like the gnatcatcher). Permits are not
          given to people for the sake of birding, and some permits are quite
          difficult to get. I have birded extensively around the country and
          throughout Latin America since I was 7 (I am now 31), have led quite a few
          birding tours, and was the head of a large scale banding project in Belize.
          I am particularly good at identifying birds by songs and calls. After coming
          to California in 2003 to work in consulting I was capable of performing a
          gnatcatcher survey on my own after a day of training (i.e., being able to
          reliably separate California from blue-gray), but even after 50+ hours of
          field time conducting surveys in training under Lee Jones (who has been
          doing the work almost forever) and thorough documentation of my background
          to the Service, including reprints of my publications, I STILL had trouble
          getting a permit. I have been told that the willow flycatcher permit is so
          difficult to get that I am not even sure I want to try. It should also be
          noted that the permit does not allow me to just go anywhere and play tapes
          anytime I want. I have to give the Service ten days notice of the project I
          will be working on, have to submit a report on the findings afterward, and
          have to submit a yearly report at the end of the year.



          None of this is to give an opinion on the ethics of tape playing. I often do
          for owls and rails (of the non-listed variety), and to a limited extent on
          diurnal species when I am traveling in Latin America, but only in areas that
          aren't heavily birded and all tape-playing ceases as soon as the birds show
          up. Then again, I often just imitate forest-falcons and laughing falcons
          with my own voice (humors my non-birding wife, if anything). Playing tapes
          at all, however, is something I have typically reserved for when I lead
          groups on birding outings, except when I am at the periphery of a species'
          range and I am trying to ascertain whether or not it occurs at a certain
          locality.



          -Marcus



          ______________________________________

          Marcus C. England | Consulting Biologist
          Natural Resource Consultants
          Laguna Beach, CA

          personal website: http://www.calbirds.com

          _____

          From: Cheri Pillsbury [mailto:cpillsbury@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 12:14 AM
          To: Calbirds
          Subject: [CALBIRDS] Legality of Using Tapes



          I have been reading posts (not on this list) from a person doing Big Days
          and avidly adding to his lists in different states. Occasionally he
          mentions using tapes to get responses at night from owls, rails, etc.- some
          of which are federally endangered species.

          I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that it was illegal to use tapes on
          endangered species, as it is considered "harassment". I wrote the party and
          asked, but he didn't respond.

          So, this is not a discussion of "is taping good or bad"- I simply want to
          know the law so I can accurately discuss it.

          Is it illegal to use tapes on a species that is on the Federal Endangered
          Species list? In all 50 states? What if the bird is only "threatened"?

          Is the situation different if the bird is not federally endangered but on
          the relevant state's endangered or threatened list?

          I have noticed several people on other lists mentioning taping "hard to get"
          birds (because they are endangered) to pump up their Big Day numbers or
          personal lists. I have the feeling that some would use tapes to lure in a
          California Condor if it was "countable". Again, my question doesn't deal
          with the ethics involved (that would start a flurry of comment), but simply
          what the law says.

          Cheri Pillsbury
          Stockton, CA




          Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
          Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com

          For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My
          Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
          these addresses:
          Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
          Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com






          _____

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          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS/

          * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          <mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>

          * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
          <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.



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