State and Federal Regulations Concerning Wildlife

New Mexico Wildlife Center operates under both state and federal permits that regulate the capture, care, rehabilitation, release or “taking” for educational purposes of wild animals. The US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, manages and protects avian species through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This act was originally established in 1918 between the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. Later, treaties with Japan, Mexico and The USSR followed. A migratory bird was defined as: any species or family of birds that live, reproduce or migrate within or across international borders at some time during its annual life cycle. Presently 836 bird species are protected. 58 species are currently legally hunted. The Bald and Golden Eagle Act affords additional protections to these species. Under the MBTA it is unlawful to take, import, export, posses, buy, sell, purchase or barter any migratory bird. Feathers and other parts, including nests, eggs and products made from birds are covered by the act.

Permits issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service allow The Wildlife
Center to work with birds protected under MBTA. For more information,
please click here.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) regulates both game and non-game species of wildlife within the borders of New Mexico. Permits issued by NMDGF allow New Mexico Wildlife Center to work with mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The State Game Commission, operating through the NMDGF, declares closed seasons on any species of game or fish in any location, establishes game refuges or sanctuaries for game species, purchases lands for game refuges, designates rest grounds for migratory birds and provides other regulatory actions. The NMDGF is responsible for transporting and releasing all large mammals that have been rehabilitated at NMWC. For more information on state game regulations, please click here.

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