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South Carolina Code of State Regulations Annotated Regulations. Chapter 123. Department of Natural Resources. Article 5. Non-Game and Endangered Species



Country of Origin: United States - South Carolina

Agency of Origin: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department

National Citation: SC ADC 123-150 - 170

S.C. Code of Regulations R. 123-150 - 170


Last checked by Web Center Staff: 07/2013


Summary:  

These South Carolina regulations list the non-game wildlife on the state's List of Endangered Wildlife Species, as well as the animals that are considered threatened and "in need of management." If an animal is listed as threatened or endangered, a permit must be obtained in certain situations to avoid penalty for "taking" a listed species.  Furthermore, these regulations also set out provisions for hunting alligators and selling alligator meat and hide; for obtaining vultures, kites, hawks, eagles, ospreys, falcons, and owls for the practice of falconry; and  for protecting sea turtles by regulating the nets on shrimping trawls.


Material in Full:

 

123-150. Non-Game and Endangered Species.

123-150.1. Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae (Sea Turtles).

123-150.2. Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians and Mammals.

123-150.3. Scientific Collecting Permit Required.

123-151. Regulations for Species or Subspecies of Non-game Wildlife.

123-151.1. Regulations for Spotted Turtle.

123-151.2. Regulations for Southern Hognose Snake.

123-153. Sea Turtle Protection.

123-160. Vultures, Kites, Hawks, Eagles, Ospreys, Falcons, and Owls.

123-170. South Carolina State Falconry Permit Regulations.

 

 

123-150. Non-Game and Endangered Species.

1. The following list of species or subspecies of non-game wildlife are faced with extinction in the foreseeable future and are added to the official State List of Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina.

I. Birds

1. Bachman's Warbler (Vermivora bachmanii)

2. Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

3. Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)

4. Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii)

5. Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

6. Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)

7. Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)

8. Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

II. Fish

1. Shortnose Sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum)

2. Pinewoods Darter (Etheostoma mariae)

III. Mammals

1. Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

2. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

3. Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus)

4. Eastern Cougar (Felis concolor cougar)

5. Finback Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

6. Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus)

7. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaengliae)

8. Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

9. Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis)

10. Sperm Whale (Physeter catodon)

11. Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat (Plecotus rafinesquii)

IV. Reptiles

1. Atlantic Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys c. coriacea)

2. Atlantic Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

3. Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

4. Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

V. Amphibians

1. Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum)

2. Webster's Salamander (Plethodon websteri)

3. Carolina Gopher Frog (Rana c. capito)

VI. Molluscs

1. Atlantic Pigtoe Mussel (Fusconaia masoni)

2. Brother Spike Mussel (Elliptio fraterna)

2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, possess, transport, export, process, sell, or offer for sale or ship, and for any common carrier knowingly to transport or receive for shipment any species or subspecies of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Permits for conservation purposes shall be issued only for relocation, if warranted, and the incidental take of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers as part of the statewide Habitat Conservation Plan for Safe Harbor and for other mitigation purposes approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

3. The penalty for the violation of this Rule and Regulation shall be that prescribed by 50-15-80, 1976 S.C. Code of laws.

Credits
HISTORY: Amended by State Register Volume 18, Issue No. 5, eff May 27, 1994; State Register Volume 22, Issue No. 4, eff April 24, 1998; State Register Volume 26, Issue No. 6, Part 2, eff June 28, 2002; State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2007; State Register Volume 33, Issue No. 8, eff August 28, 2009.

 

123-150.1. Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae (Sea Turtles).

1. The remaining species of the families Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae (sea turtles) not listed in South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department Regulation 123-150 are considered threatened and in need of management.

2. That is shall be unlawful for any person to take, possess, barter, trade, transport, export, process, sell or offer for sale or ship, and for any contract carrier knowingly to transport or receive for shipment any such species or products or parts or eggs thereof except by permit for scientific or educational purposes issued by the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, except that incidental catch of sea turtles while engaged in otherwise legal fishing, trawling or research activities at sea would be exempt under the taking clause of this regulation.

3. Sea turtles captured incidentally to legal fishing and/or research activities which appear vigorous when removed from the net, will be immediately returned to the water, exercising due care to prevent injury. Release should be from a location on the vessel which will minimize the possibility of the turtle being damaged by the vessel's propeller. The release will be made only when all sets of trawl doors or otter boards are hanging from the boom or outriggers.

4. Sea turtles which show no sign of life or those that are obviously weak, will be turned on their back and held on deck until they regain their strength or it appears that the turtle is definitely dead. In no cases, will weakened or apparently dead turtles be released until they have been held on deck for 30 minutes and attempts at revival have been made, i.e., pressing or pumping plastron (belly shell) to expel water and stimulate breathing.

5. That the penalty for the violation of this Rule and Regulation shall be prescribed by Section 50-15-80, 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended.

6. That except as modified or changed hereby, all prevailing laws, rules and regulations concerning wildlife in South Carolina shall remain in full force and effect.

 

123-150.2. Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians and Mammals.

The following list of species or subspecies of non-game wildlife are considered to be threatened and are added to the official state list of Non-game Species in Need of Management.

I. Birds

1. American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrines anatum)

2. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

3. Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

4. Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina)

5. Least Tern (Sterna albifrons)

6. Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)

II. Fish

1. Carolina Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma boehlkei)

2. Broadtail Madtom (Noturus sp.)

III. Reptiles

1. American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

2. Atlantic Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

3. Atlantic Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

4. Coal Skink (Eumeces anthracinus)

5. Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii)

6. Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)

7. Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus)

IV. Amphibians

1. Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus striatus)

2. Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

V. Mammals

1. Small-footed Bat (Myotis leibii)

Credits
HISTORY: Amended by State Register Volume 18, Issue No. 5, eff May 27, 1994; State Register Volume 26, Issue No. 6, Part 2, eff June 28, 2002; State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2007; State Register Volume 33, Issue No. 8, eff August 28, 2009.

 

23-150.3. Scientific Collecting Permit Required.

That a scientific collecting permit under the terms of § 50-11-2190, 1976 Code of Laws, shall be required for the collecting of all nongame species or subspecies of the Classes Pices (Fish), Amphibia (Amphibians), Reptilia (Reptiles), Aves (Birds) and Mammalia (Mammals).

 

123-151. Regulations for Species or Subspecies of Non-game Wildlife.

A. Alligator Harvest

1. The size and number of all alligators to be taken will be specified by the Department on permits provided with harvest tags. A permit holder may only take and/or possess alligators identified by the Department and only in the manner specified by the Department.

2. All who take or attempt to take an alligator must have a copy of the harvest permit along with an unused harvest tag with them while afield.

3. Once an alligator is killed and before it is transported, a harvest tag must be attached and locked within six inches of the tip of the tail. In the event that an alligator harvest tag is defective and is not usable for the purpose intended, or becomes detached from the alligator hide, the Department must be notified immediately. The Department will be responsible for the replacement of defective, but not lost, tags. The alteration of harvest tags is strictly prohibited.

4. Alligator meat may be used by the harvester but cannot be bought, sold or bartered except as provided in this regulation. All packages of meat not to be sold must have a tag with the name of the harvester and the harvest tag number attached.

5. Before shipping or transporting outside of the USA, carcasses or hides must have CITES tags attached. Anyone desiring to ship or transport such items from the country must contact select Department offices for CITES validation and tagging.

6. Any alligator carcass, hide or part that is not tagged or marked as required in this regulation is declared contraband and must be confiscated.

B. Depredation Program

1. Depredation permits for alligator removal will be issued to property owners or control agents. There is no fee for participation in this program.

2. Qualifications and liability of Control Agents:

a. Control agents must possess the experience and ability to handle alligators.

b. Control agents must supply all equipment necessary to take alligators.

c. Control agents assume personal liability for their health, safety and welfare and that of their assistants.

d. Control agents are not employees of the Department, they are independent contractors.

e. Applications for selection as control agents will be reviewed by the Department. The number of appointed control agents will be based upon the need as determined by the Department.

3. Operation of Department designated alligator control agents:

a. Alligators may be skinned only at designated sites and in accordance with specific instructions provided by the Department.

b. The meat of alligators may be used by the control agents or his/her immediate family and may also be given to others but must not be bought, sold or transferred except as provided in this regulation. All packages of meat not be sold, transferred or bartered must have a tag attached that includes the name of the person who harvested the alligator and the harvest tag number.

c. Each control agent may be assisted by not more than two assistant control agents approved by the Department, provided that no such assistant shall operate or conduct any alligator trapping or transportation activity except under supervision of the control agent.

d. Alligator harvest tags issued to control agents are the property of the Department and shall remain the property of the Department.

e. Designation as an alligator control agent is discretionary with the Department and such designation may be revoked at any time.

C. Private Lands Alligator Program

1. Alligators may be taken from lands that are in the Private Lands Alligator Program. The season for taking alligators under this program is from September 1 until October 15. The Department will establish a quota and issue tags for each specific application. Alligators taken under this program must be at least 4 feet in length.

2. Applications for participating in the Private Lands Alligator Program must be received by the Department not later than August 1st of that year, and the applicant must report all harvested alligators and harvest information to the Department not later than the following December 1st.

3. If the application is approved by the Department for participation in the Private Lands Alligator Program and a permit is issued, alligators may be taken only from that area and only by a licensed hunter. In order to participate in the Private Lands Alligator Program, an alligator control agent as defined in Section B must also be a licensed hunter. Participants in the Private Lands Alligator Program must maintain accurate records for inspection by Department personnel and the records must be made available for immediate inspection at any and all reasonable hours at the request of the Department.

4. All areas identified in the Private Lands Alligator Program and facilities used for processing alligators must be open to Department personnel for inspection to determine compliance with the program and laws and regulations protecting alligators and to allow collection of biological information.

5. During the designated private lands season, alligators may only be taken by firearms, hand-held snares, hand-held harpoons, archery equipment, crossbows, snatch hooks and as otherwise permitted by the Department. If devices other than firearms are used, a line must be securely attached to the hook, arrow or head of the device in such a manner to prevent separation from the hook, arrow or head until the carcass is retrieved. The other end of the line must be held by the hunter or be attached to a stationary or floating object capable of maintaining line above water when an alligator is attached. Rimfire firearms and shotguns are prohibited for taking alligators except that these firearms can be used to dispatch an alligator secured by a line. No alligator may be taken by use of baited hooks or by pole hunting. Pole hunting is defined as the act of taking an alligator from a den with a hook or snagging device of any type secured to the end of a pole and includes any device used to induce an alligator to move from a den prior to taking. All alligators taken under this program must be killed prior to transport off of the property named on the permit.

6. No person may use alligator harvest tags issued for privately-owned habitat on publicly-owned property.

7. A Department-supplied alligator harvest report form must be updated by the applicant or the person taking alligators on the property within 24 hours of the taking of each alligator. Alligator hunters, while on property designated under the Private Lands Alligator Program, may only possess tags for that property. Completed harvest forms must be returned to the Department by December 1st of each year. A participant who does not report is not eligible to participate in the program the following year.

8. Alligator hides, parts or products may be retained and sold only in accordance with this regulation.

D. Alligator Hunting Season

1. The Department may issue a prescribed number of Alligator Hunting Season permits for the harvest of alligators. Those applicants randomly selected shall be issued instructions along with harvest tag(s). Alligators may be taken pursuant to permits from public and private areas where the person has legal access for the taking of alligators. Alligators taken under this program must be at least 4 feet in length. The season for hunting alligators under this program is from 12:00 noon on the 2nd Saturday in September until 12:00 noon on the 2nd Saturday in October and is open in Game Zones 3, 4, 5 & 6. These harvest permits cannot be used on property approved under the Private Lands Alligator Program. The Department may close, extend, delay or reopen the season if biological needs warrant.

2. During the designated season, alligators may only be taken by hand-held snares, hand-help harpoons, archery equipment, crossbows, snatch hooks and as otherwise permitted by the Department. Any device may only be used when a line is securely attached to the hook or head of the device in such a manner as to prevent separation from the hook, arrow or head until the carcass is retrieved. The other end of the line must be held by the hunter or attached to a stationary or floating object capable of maintaining line above water when an alligator is attached. Only a handgun, a bangstick or sharp instrument used to sever the spine may be used for dispatch and only if a restraining line is attached to the alligator. A hand-held snare must be used to hold the alligator boatside or on land before it can be dispatched. Firearms may not be used to take free-swimming or basking alligators. The possession of a rifle or shotgun while taking or attempting to take alligators under this program is prohibited. All alligators taken under this program must be killed prior to transport by boat or vehicle. No alligator may be taken by use of baited hooks or by pole hunting. Pole hunting is defined as the act of taking an alligator from a den with a hook or snagging device of any type secured to the end of a pole and includes any devices used to induce an alligator to move from a den prior to taking.

3. A Department-supplied alligator harvest report form must be updated by the person taking alligators within twenty-four (24) hours of taking each alligator and prior to transporting the alligator carcass to a processing facility. A copy of the alligator harvest report must accompany the alligator hide. Completed harvest forms must be returned to the Department by December 1st of each year.

4. A person who does not report is not eligible to participate in the program or hunt alligators the following year.

5. Alligator meat may be retained by the harvester but cannot be bartered or sold. Alligator hides may be retained and sold only in accordance with this regulation.

E. Sale of Alligator Meat

1. The sale or barter of alligator meat taken under the alligator hunting season program is prohibited.

2. Meat taken from alligators harvested under the authority of depredation tags and the private lands program tags may be sold only under the following conditions:

a. Each package must be labeled to indicate the state, the number of pounds of meat enclosed, the date of packaging, the name of harvester, the processor, the State Food Inspection Department's inspection number, and the tag number corresponding to the alligator hide from which the meat was taken.

b. All cartons of alligator meat imported from other states shall bear an official marking from that state's wildlife agency.

c. Persons handling alligator meat for human consumption must comply with the sanitation requirements of all applicable federal, state and local authorities.

d. Those who harvest alligators must maintain accurate records of all alligator meat sales on standard forms supplied by the Department and such records shall be open to inspection by Department personnel.

3. No person may bring any alligator meat into this State, or possess alligator meat unless authorized by this regulation.

4. Alligator meat transported into the State must bear evidence of having been legally taken.

5. Restaurants, canneries, nonfood meat processors and alligator meat wholesalers shall retain all alligator meat purchased in the original packages until the meat is prepared for consumption or processing. Such businesses and/or individual shall detach the original label with the accompanying data from each package when all meat from that carton has been prepared or processed and retain that label for the period of at least six months from the date of sale indicated on the label.

F. Sale, Barter or Transfer of Alligator Hides and Other Parts

1. Alligator skulls and other parts not discarded must be permanently marked with the alligator harvest tag number under which it was taken. Possession of any part without the tag number is prohibited. Parts that are found may be retained, sold, bartered or transferred but the finder must contact the Department to obtain a tag number to permanently tag or mark the part. The parts may be sold, bartered or transferred but records must be kept indicating to whom the parts were sold, bartered or transferred.

2. Hides or alligators taken with Department issued permits may be sold but must be properly tagged and reported as provided in this regulation. Alligator hides and parts transported into this state for sale or processing must bear evidence of having been legally taken.

3. No person shall accept or possess an untagged alligator hide or unmarked or untagged alligator part for any purpose.

G. Sale of Finished Alligator Products

1. Products made from crocodilians may be sold in the State in accordance with the following:

a. Products made from the American alligator must be visibly labeled American alligator.

b. Products made from Caiman must be visibly labeled Caiman.

c. Products made from other crocodilians must be visibly labeled Crocodile.

Credits
HISTORY: Amended by State Register Volume 20, Issue No. 5, eff May 24, 1996; State Register Volume 22, Issue No. 6, Part 3, eff June 26, 1998; State Register Volume 34, Issue No. 4, eff April 23, 2010.

 

123-151.1. Regulations for Spotted Turtle.

A. Spotted Turtle Program

1. It is unlawful for any person to take, possess, transport, import, export, process, sell, offer for sale, ship, or receive for shipment any spotted turtle without a permit from the department.

B. Spotted Turtle Permits

1. The department has the authority to grant or deny spotted turtle permits at no cost. Application must be made to the department for a spotted turtle permit.

2. The permits are valid for five (5) years from the date of issue.

3. The permits must be renewed every five years at the discretion of the department.

4. The department may set permit conditions consistent with the protection of spotted turtles. Permit conditions include but are not limited to:

a. Sale of adult spotted turtles is prohibited

b. An individual may take and possess no more than nine wild-caught adult spotted turtles.

c. An individual may sell captive bred spotted turtles under four inches in carapace length for educational purposes.

C. Permit Reporting Requirements

1. Spotted turtle permit holders will report the following information to the department every five years.

a. Number of wild-caught adult spotted turtles in possession (not to exceed 9).

b. Number of captive-bred spotted turtles in possession.

c. Number of captive-bred spotted turtles produced during calendar year.

d. Number of captive-bred, juvenile spotted turtles sold in the calendar year.

D. The penalty for violations of this regulation is prescribed in Section 50-15-80a, Code. Each spotted turtle taken or possessed in violation of these regulations shall constitute a separate offense.

Credits
HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 26, Issue No. 6, Part 2, eff June 28, 2002. Amended by State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2007.

 

123-151.2. Regulations for Southern Hognose Snake.

1. It is unlawful for any person to take, possess, transport, import, export, process, sell, offer for sale, ship, or receive for shipment any southern hognose snake without a permit from the department. Permits will be issued only for research and educational purposes.

Credits
HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 6, eff June 22, 2007.

 

123-153. Sea Turtle Protection.

(1) This regulation applies to all shrimp trawlers which are defined as fishing vessels equipped with shrimp trawl nets and fish for shrimp.

(2) During the period of May 1 through August 31 of each year, any shrimp trawler of 25 feet or more in length must carry and use in each net a qualified turtle excluder device (TED) when trawling for shrimp in the waters of this State. Any shrimp trawler of less than 25 feet in length trawling for shrimp in the waters of this State is exempt from using TEDS provided each tow or trawl drag made is limited to 90 minutes or less.

(3) Only TEDS which are qualified or certified by NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service may be used by shrimp trawlers operating in State waters.

(4) A single test or try net having a headrope length of 20 feet or less is exempt from the TED requirement of this regulation provided such net is pulled immediately in front of another net and is not connected to another net in any way.

(5) The Department may issue a special permit exempting a vessel engaged in research or testing.

 

123-160. Vultures, Kites, Hawks, Eagles, Ospreys, Falcons, and Owls.

1. The following list of species or subspecies of nongame wildlife are in need of management, to wit: All species of the Order Falconiformes (vultures, kites, hawks, eagles, ospreys, falcons) and all species of the Order Strigifornes (owls).

2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, possess, transport, export, process, sell or offer for sale or ship, and for any contract carrier knowingly to transport or receive for shipment any such species or products or parts thereof except by permit for scientific, educational or falconry purposes issued by the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department.

3. The penalty for the violation of this section shall be that prescribed by § 50-15-80 of the 1976 Code.

 

123-170. South Carolina State Falconry Permit Regulations.

1. Definitions

“Raptor”--means a live migratory bird of the Order Falconiformes or the Order Strigiformes, other than a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

“Take”--means to trap or capture, or attempt to trap or capture a raptor for the purpose of falconry.

“Falconry”--means the sport of taking quarry by means of a trained raptor.

“Service”--means the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior.

“SCWMRD”--means the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Dept.

2. Permit Requirements--A falconry permit is required before any person may take, transport, or possess wild-taken or captive-bred raptors for falconry purposes. The use for falconry or the possession of any raptor species not covered by the Federal Falconry Permit Regulations and listed above is controlled by these regulations. Appropriate state hunting license and game management area permits are required before any person may take quarry by means of trained raptor.

3. Application Procedures--An applicant who wishes to practice falconry must submit an application for a falconry permit to the SCWMRD,

4. Permit Conditions--Every permit issued shall be subject to the following special conditions:

(1) A permittee may not take, transport, or possess a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) unless authorized in writing by the Service.

(2) A general or master class permittee may purchase, sell, or barter any lawfully possessed raptor which is bred in captivity under authority of a raptor propagation permit issued by the Service and banded with a numbered seamless marker issued or authorized by the Service, subject to the following additional conditions:

The person who receives any raptor by transfer, purchase, sale, or barter must be authorized to possess it under this part.
The permittee who transfers, purchases, sells, or barters any raptor must have acquired the raptor from a person authorized to possess it, and, if acquired from a person in the United States, that person must be authorized to possess it under this part.

(3) A permittee may not take, possess or transport a raptor in violation of restrictions, conditions and requirements of the Federal or State Falconry Permit Regulations.

(4) Reporting requirements will consist of a falconer submitting Form 3-186A, Migratory Bird Acquisition and Disposition Report only in the event of a change raptor ownership (taken from the wild, transfer, death, escape, etc.). The SCWMRD can also require the submission of any information deemed necessary for the regulation of falconry activity in South Carolina.
Apprentice class falconers will be required to submit a monthly reporting form at the end of each month during the hunting season. This report shall include all pertinent details related to the progress of the apprentice falconer and interaction with the sponsor.

General class falconers will be required to submit an annual report by July 31 of each year to include the amount and type of raptor hunting activity and any quarry taken by the raptor.

(5) The Executive Director, SCWMRD is authorized to revoke a falconry permit if the permittee:

(1) Does not provide proper care for the raptor.

(2) Allows the raptor to become a public nuisance.

(3) Violates established South Carolina game laws or regulations.

(4) Does not comply with the terms of his permit.

(6) All State hunting seasons, fees and bag limits apply to falconry.

(7) Permit issued by SCWMRD is to be in the possession of the falconer at all times when trapping devices and/or raptors are in his possession outside of his residence.

(8) A permittee whose raptor accidentally kills quarry that is out of season or of the wrong species or sex, or otherwise protected, must leave the dead quarry where it lies, except that the raptor may feed upon the quarry prior to leaving the site of the kill.

5. Duration of Permits--A permit or the renewal of a permit is valid when issued by the State and expires on June 30 of the third calendar year after it is issued, unless a different period is specified on the permit or renewal.

6. Classes of Permits--Three classes of falconry permits shall be issued. These include:

(1) Apprentice class. Condition of this class include:

(a) A permittee shall be at least 14 years old;

(b) A sponsor who is a holder of a general or master falconry permit is required for the first two years which an apprentice permit is held, regardless of the age of the permittee. A general class sponsor shall have at least one year's experience as a general falconer. A sponsor may not have more than three apprentices at one time.

(c) A permittee shall not possess more than one raptor and may not obtain more than one raptor as a replacement bird during any 12-month period;

(d) A permittee shall possess only an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) or a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis).

(2) General class. Conditions of this class include:

(a) A permittee shall be at least 18 years old;

(b) A permittee shall have at least two years experience in the practice of falconry at the apprentice level or its equivalent and be recommended in writing for advancement by the sponsor.

(c) A permittee may not possess more than two raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement birds during any 12-month period; and

(d) A permittee may not take, transport or possess any golden eagle or any species listed as threatened or endangered by the Service except as provided by the Federal Falconry Regulations.

(e) A permittee shall have possessed a raptor for at least 12 months of the apprentice period.

(3) Master class. Conditions of this class include:

(a) An applicant shall have at least five years experience in the practice of falconry at the general class level or its equivalent and have a demonstrated proficiency in hunting with raptors; a permittee must have possessed a raptor for at least 36 months of the general class period.

(b) A permittee may not possess more than three raptors, and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement birds during any 12-month period;

(c) A permittee may not take, transport or possess any species listed as endangered by the Service except as provided by the Federal Falconry Regulations.

(d) A permittee may not take, transport or possess a golden eagle for falconry purposes unless authorized in writing by the Service;

(e) Except as provided by the Federal Falconry Regulations, a permittee may not take, transport or possess as part of his three-bird limitation, more than one raptor listed as threatened by the Service, and then only in accordance with Federal Regulations 50 CFR 21.

7. Examination--Before any falconry permit is issued the applicant shall be required to answer correctly at least 80% of the questions on a supervised examination approved by the Service relating to the basic biology, care and handling of raptors, literature, laws, regulations and other appropriate subject matter. An applicant failing the written examination may retake the test no sooner than two weeks after taking the first test. Applicants failing the second written examination may take a third examination no sooner than three weeks after taking the second test. No more than three examination takings shall be allowed except after a one year waiting period after the third examination another written examination may be taken.

8. Facilities and Equipment--Before any falconry permit is issued, the applicant's raptor housing facilities and falconry equipment shall be inspected and certified by a representative of SCWMRD meeting the following standards:

(1) Facilities--The primary consideration for raptor housing facilities whether indoors (mews) or outdoors (weathering area) is protection from the environment, predators or undue disturbance. The applicant shall have the following facilities:

(a) Indoor facilities (mews) shall be large enough to allow easy access for caring for raptors housed in the facility. If more than one raptor is to be housed in the facility, the raptors shall be tethered or separated by partitions and the area for each bird shall be large enough to allow each bird to fully extend its wings. There shall be at least one window, protected on the inside by vertical bars, spaced narrower than the width of the bird's body and a secure door that can be easily closed. The floor of the mews shall permit easy cleaning and shall be well drained. Adequate perches shall be provided.

(b) Outdoor facilities (weathering area) shall be fenced and covered with netting or wire or roofed to protect the birds from disturbance and attack by predators, except that perches more than 6 ½ feet high need not be covered or roofed. The enclosures shall be wide enough to insure that the birds wings shall not strike the fence when flying from the perch. Protection from excessive sun, wind and inclement weather shall be provided for each bird. Adequate perches shall be provided.

(2) Equipment--The following items shall be in possession of the applicant before he can obtain a permit:

(a) Jesses--At least one pair of Aylmeri jesses of pliable leather or suitable synthetic material to be used when any raptor is flown free. Traditional type one-piece jesses may be used on raptors when not being flown; and

(b) Leashes and swivels--At least ibe flexible, weather-resident leash and one swivel of acceptable falconry design;

(c) Bath container. At least one container, 2 to 6 inches deep and wider than the length of the raptor for drinking and bathing for each raptor:

(d) Outdoor perches. At least one weathering area perch of an acceptable design shall be provided for each raptor; and

(e) Weighing device. A reliable scale or balance suitable for weighing the raptor and graduated in increments of not more than ½ ounce (15 grams) shall be provided.

(3) Maintenance--All facilities and equipment shall be kept at or above the preceding standards at all times.

(4) Transportation; Temporary Holding. Temporarily a raptor may be transported or held in temporary facilities, which shall be provided with an adequate perch and protection from extreme temperatures and excessive disturbance, for a period not to exceed 30 days.

9. Marking--Only peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus), and Harris hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus) are to be marked, using numbered, seamless bands issued by the Service for captive-bred raptors. Alteration, counterfeiting or defacing of a marker is prohibited.

10. Taking Restrictions

(1) Young raptors not yet capable of flight (eyasses) may not be taken at any time.

(2) A permittee shall take only first year (passage) raptors, except American kestrels (Falco sparverius), and Great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) which can be taken when over one year old. Special written authorization is required from the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department for any permittee to take raptors from the wild, except for American kestrels and Red-tailed hawks. Raptors shall be taken from the wild only during the period October 1 to January 31.

(3) Deleted.

(4) A previously held jessed or marked raptor may be retrapped at any time.

(5) No steel jaw traps, jump traps, pole traps or similar traps may be used.

(6) Legal trapping methods are limited to the following:

Bal Chatri (noose cage)
Swedish Goshawk trap
Noose Harness
Phai or noose ring
Dig-in method
Dho-Gaza Net
Bow-net

11. Other Restrictions--

(1) A person who possesses a lawfully acquired raptor before the enactment of these regulations and who fails to meet the permit requirements, shall be allowed to retain the raptor. All such birds shall be identified with markers supplied by the Service and cannot be replaced if death, loss, release or escape occurs.

(2) A person who possesses raptors before the enactment of these regulations in excess of the number allowed under his class permit shall be allowed to retain the extra raptors. All such raptors shall be identified with markers supplied by the Service and no replacement can occur until the number in possession is at least one less than the total number authorized by the class of permit held by the permittee.

(3) A falconry permit holder shall not intentionally release any species not indigenous to this state to the wild. The marker of any released bird shall be removed and surrendered to SCWMRD upon release. A standard Federal bird-band shall be attached to such birds by the State or authorized Federal bird bander whenever possible.

(4) Another person may provide temporary care for the bird(s) of permittee. If that period of care will exceed 30 days, written authorization from the permittee must accompany the bird(s) and the permittee shall inform the SCWMRD within three days of the transfer, the reason for the transfer, where the birds are being held, who is caring for them and approximately how many days they will be under the care of the second person. Persons caring for raptors beyond the 30 day period must also be current licensed falconers or raptor rehabilitators by SCWMRD.

(5) Feathers that are molted or those feathers from birds held in captivity that die, may be retained and exchanged by permittees only for imping.

(6) All state hunting seasons, fees and bag limits apply to sport falconry.

(7) General or master class permittees shall be required to assist in the SCWMRD raptor rehabilitation program. Raptors held pursuant to a rehabilitation permit for release, shall not be included as part of the legal possession restrictions.

12. Interstate Transport--Non-transfer, interstate import and export conditions follow:

(1) Non-residents of this state which are permittee holders from states which are recognized as falconry states by the Service may transport into this state raptors for personal falconry use (e.g. meets) provided the laws and regulations concerning hunting and falconry are observed. Nonresidents may trap raptors in South Carolina in accordance with SCWMRD falconry regulations provided they possess valid falconry permits from the state of residence and written authorization from SCWMRD.

(2) Residents of this state who are falconry permittees may transport their raptors into other states which are recognized by the Service as falconry states for personal falconry use provided hunting and falconry laws and regulations are observed.

13. The penalty for the violation of this section shall be that prescribed by § 50-15-80 of the 1976 Code.

Credits
HISTORY: Amended by State Register Volume 17, Issue No. 2, eff Feb 26, 1993.

 



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