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The remainder of New York's wildlife are either classified as "protected species" or "unprotected species." That distinction won't tell you which species you can handle and which you can't, but it's important to understand because the public has certain rights to take nuisance animals, mostly limited to the taking of unprotected species.
All New York State residents can take a member of an unprotected species, and of a few specified protected species, that’s on their own property when the wildlife becomes destructive to public or private property. Nuisance animals of unprotected species may be taken at any time of the year and by any means provided that other laws are not violated (such as pesticide regulations, firearm discharge ordinances, or trespassing laws).
There's one important difference that applies to the public: even without a permit, they may capture nuisance animals of the species listed in sections 11-0523 (see next column), but cannot release them. Private citizens must kill the nuisance animal, and bury or cremate it. Your NWCO license gives you the additional option of transporting and releasing animals (with the permission of the owner of the release site).
ECL 11-0523 gives any New York State resident the right to capture:
UNPROTECTED SPECIES, including
woodchuck, porcupine, eastern chipmunk, red squirrel, flying squirrels, moles, voles, mice, shrews, bats (except the Indiana bat), and rats (except the Allegheny woodrat)
house sparrow, European starling, pigeon
most snakes found in New York (except queen snake and rattlesnakes) and most turtles (except mud turtle; box turtles; bog turtle; Blanding’s turtle; wood turtle, diamond-back terrapin; and sea turtles)
And in CERTAIN SITUATIONS, some protected species including
bears (damaging livestock or apiaries); skunks; raccoons; coyotes; foxes; black, gray, and fox squirrels; opossums; weasels; varying hares, cottontail rabbits, and European hares.
red-winged blackbirds, crows, common grackles, and cowbirds (damaging crops in June through October).
BUT THEN WHAT?
This section of law does NOT give a private citizen the right to release any of these animals. Even if you say "pretty please." A private citizen must either hire a NWCO for that service, or kill the nuisance animal and bury or cremate it.
Next Section (Do more with a NWCO license)
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