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FWC Passes Rule to Protect Native Songbirds from Illegal Trapping

Painted Bunting | FWC | Songbirds

The rule takes effect Thursday (Oct. 3).

TAMPA BAY – A new rule created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to help protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal capture takes effect this week.

The new rule, which takes effect Thursday (Oct. 3), prohibits the use, placement, and possession of bird traps, or allowing the placement of bird traps, without a permit, unless otherwise exempted.

The rule provides an additional tool to FWC law enforcement officers to address illegal trapping of native songbirds, which has long been a concern in the state, particularly in south Florida where trapping is believed to be widespread. Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, may be mistreated and sometimes killed or injured when illegally trapped. .

All bird traps must be labeled, even if a person has a permit or meets one of the exceptions in the rule. Bird traps must be labeled with the FWC permit or registration number or the rule exemption; and the name, address, and phone number of the person or company placing the trap. Traps without labeling are subject to removal by law enforcement. The rule also includes regulations regarding the use, placement and possession of bird traps.

The new rule will provide an additional tool for law enforcement officers to help stop the poaching of these birds, while still allowing for lawful uses of bird traps. The rule contains exemptions for many lawful uses and contains a permitting process for individuals that trap nonnative nuisance birds but do not meet one of the exemptions in the rule. Under the new rule, note that all bird traps must be labeled, even if a person has a permit, other authorization or exemption.

For information on the new rule including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, see MyFWC.com/Birdtraps.

Report any instances of illegal trapping to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by email or text to Tip@MyFWC.com.

Photos of male, left, and female painted bunting courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Florida Fish and Wildlife | FWC | Songbirds | Bird Trapping | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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