Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wisconsin Humane Society Illegally Captures Our Mango!

Well, it took a few minutes, but the shit has hit the proverbial fan regarding the capture of the healthy and wild Green-Breasted Mango in Wisconsin. Check out HumNet for the most well-informed discussion you will see on this issue.

We note that the Wisconsin Humane Society has violated state and probably federal law by capturing this hummer. First, the capture likely violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Some people have noted that the GB Mango is "not protected" by the MBTA, but it is the statute -- not the accompanying regulations -- that govern what is or is not protected by the MBTA.

Second, the following Wisconsin law governs the capture of wild animals, including birds:

NR 19.72 General wildlife rehabilitation provisions.

1) The title to all wildlife and their offspring held
under a wildlife rehabilitation license remains under the jurisdiction of the department as described in s. 169.02, Stats., and may not be sold, traded or bartered without the consent of the department.

2) The department may restrict wildlife rehabilitation of specific wildlife species, either statewide or in certain geographic areas to control the spread of disease, to protect public health or to prevent harmful environmental impacts.

(3) The department may restrict wildlife species authorized for rehabilitation based on the facilities and qualifications of the applicant or licensee.

(4) A wildlife rehabilitation license does not authorize the capture, receipt, possession, transportation or transfer of wildlife for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation.
Part (4) is the important part here. That section means that a person CANNOT capture a bird for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation. Since this bird was not sick and not injured, it was not in need of rehabilitation, and could not legally be captured. The statute does not allow someone to capture and hold a healthy bird because they thought that, at some uncertain point in the future, the bird *might* need rehabilitation.
Hummingbirds are not pets, no matter how far out of range they may be. We know that at least some out-of-range hummers return to their "wrong" wintering grounds in consecutive years.
The Wisconsin Humane Society had no legal right to take a healthy bird out of the wild.
The Wisconsin Humane Society should be prosecuted, and we hope that someone brings this matter to the attention of the Wisconsin DNR.


Bonsaibirder said...

There's goes colonization of Wisconsin by Green Breasted Mango! I'd like to encourage you in your campaign - what happened to the guy who shot the cat?

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

Nobody knows what happened to Jim Stevenson, although he was apparently involved in some sort of nasty (but unrelated) dispute that ended up with a bunch of people getting banned from TEXBirds. (Isn't birding a weird little hobby???)

I wonder, what would happen in the UK if people started capturing healthy vagrants to put them into zoos??

Bonsaibirder said...

There would be a major uprising of birders and twitchers for sure!