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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 15-1541


[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 133 ]

Wildlife Classification; Mammals

[45 Pa.B. 4922]
[Saturday, August 22, 2015]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its June 30, 2015, meeting to amend § 133.41 (relating to classification of mammals) to remove the Delmarva Fox Squirrel from the State endangered species list and also update the common name of the Eastern woodrat to the Allegheny woodrat.

 The proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 The proposed rulemaking was made public at the June 30, 2015, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until September 25, 2015, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1. Purpose and Authority

 The Commission is proposing to amend § 133.41 to reflect the current status of populations of mammals in this Commonwealth and to update scientific nomenclature. The first amendment pertains to the Delmarva Fox Squirrel (Scuirus niger niger). This is one of three subspecies of fox squirrel listed in this Commonwealth. The species was considered present historically in only a very limited portion of southeastern Pennsylvania, and a reintroduction attempted in 1989 occurred with no documented survival past 1 year. Suitable habitat for the species within its historic range is nonexistent, and no documented individuals have been recorded in the 25 years since the reintroduction effort was undertaken. The Mammal Technical Committee, a scientific advisory committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, voted to consider it as State extirpated, and to remove it from the list of State endangered mammals. Across the species core range in coastal portions of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, it is considered stable and proposed to be removed from Federal list of endangered species. The second proposed amendment updates the common name of the Eastern woodrat to the Allegheny woodrat. Based upon genetic and morphological evidence, the Eastern woodrat has been split into two species—the Eastern woodrat and the Allegheny woodrat. The Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) inhabits this Commonwealth and is currently listed as threatened.

 Section 322(c)(8) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the commission to ''[a]dd to or change the classification of any wild bird or wild animal.'' Section 2167(a) of the code (relating to endangered or threatened species) states that ''[t]hecommission may, by regulation, add or remove any wild bird or wild animal native to this Commonwealth to or from the Pennsylvania native list of endangered or threatened species.'' The amendments to § 133.41 are proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 133.41 to remove the Delmarva Fox Squirrel from the State endangered species list and also update the common name of the Eastern woodrat to the Allegheny woodrat.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons interacting with the Delmarva Fox Squirrel or Allegheny woodrat within this Commonwealth may be affected by the proposed rulemaking.

4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

5. Effective Date

 The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

6. Contact Person

 For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48-384. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




Subchapter C. MAMMALS

§ 133.41. Classification of mammals.

 The following mammals are classified:

 (1) Endangered.

 (i) Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

 (ii) Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva)

[(iii) Delmarva Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger cinerus)

(iv)] (iii) Northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus macrotis)

 (2) Threatened.

 (i) Small-footed Myotis (Myotis leibii)

 (ii) [Eastern] Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister)

 (iii) West Virginia Water Shrew (Sorex palustris punctulatus)

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-1541. Filed for public inspection August 21, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]

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