About the Co-Op

In 1992, the USFWS passed into law the Wild Bird Conservation Act (PDF). The WFA, in conjunction with USFWS-licensed raptor breeders, established a cooperative breeding program in 1994.

The Cooperative permit is currently authorized for European goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), European sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), red-naped shaheens (Falco peregrinus babylonicus), Aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis femoralis and F. f. pichinchae), and ornate hawk eagles (Spizaetus ornatus).

This means only that Co-op members are approved to breed these species, not to import individual birds.  A permit for actual import must be filed and granted using this form (Import of Birds under the other permits section) via the OMA (Office of Management Authority 1-800-358-2104) with permission of the WFA board and the Co-op breeders.

The WFA Director-at-Large is responsible for reporting to the WFA Board all Co-op activities.

To become a Co-op member, you must meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Licensed for raptor propagation by State and Federal agencies.
  2. Proven success with similar species.
  3. Member in good standing with state (WFA) and national conservation organizations. (NAFA, NARBA, or WRTC)
  4. Approval by WFA board and Co-op breeders.

Once these conditions are met, the WFA Director-at-Large can apply to the OMA for your addition to the permit.

The Co-op permit must be renewed every two years, and this is the responsibility of the WFA Director-at-Large.  Specific requirements for the continuation of the permit and individual co-op members responsibilities include:

  1. Genetic management plan including:
    • Keep a “stud book.”
    • Identify individual co-op birds.
    • Yearly activity including number of eggs, location of birds, and mortality (including reason).
    • Progeny produced and disposition.
  2. Completion of annual report.  A copy of your USFWS annual report may be substituted
  3. Cooperation with other Co-op breeders and Co-op programs.  It is requested that first priority on the distribution of young produced go to other Co-op breeders.
  4. Forward copies of all correspondence with the OMA and other Co-ops to the WFA Director-at-Large for central record keeping.
  5. No birds brought in under a Co-op permit may be used to produce hybrids — No exceptions.  Failure to comply will result in expulsion from the Co-op. The OMA is very specific on this item.
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