113-334. Criteria and procedures for placing animals on protected animal lists.

(a) All native or resident wild animals which are on the federal lists of endangered or threatened species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act have the same status on the North Carolina protected animals lists.

(b) The Advisory Committee, after considering a report on the status of a candidate species from the Scientific Council, may by resolution propose to the Wildlife Resources Commission that a species of wild animal be added to or removed from a protected animal list.

(c) If the Commission, with the advice of the Advisory Committee, finds there is probably merit in the proposal, it shall examine relevant scientific and economic data and factual information necessary to determine:

(1) Whether any other state or federal agency or private entity is taking steps to protect the wild animal which is the subject of the proposal;

(2) Whether there is present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat;

(3) If there is over-utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

(4) Whether there is critical population depletion from disease, predation, or other mortality factors;

(5) Whether alternative regulatory mechanisms exist; and

(6) The existence of other man-made factors affecting continued viability of the animal in North Carolina.

(d) The Commission, with the advice of the Advisory Committee, shall tentatively determine whether any regulatory action is warranted with regard to the proposal and, if so, the specific regulatory action to be proposed by it. Notice of its proposed rulemaking shall be published in the North Carolina Register and the subsequent proceedings shall conform with the Administrative Procedure Act. (1987, c. 382, s. 1.)