§ 113-333.  Powers and duties of the Commission.

(a) In the administration of this Article, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To adopt and publish an endangered species list, a threatened species list, and a list of species of special concern, as provided for in G.S. 113-334, identifying each entry by its scientific and common name.

(2) To reconsider and revise the lists from time to time in response to public proposals or as the Commission deems necessary.

(3) To coordinate development and implementation of conservation programs and plans for endangered and threatened species of wild animals and for species of special concern.

(4) To adopt and implement conservation programs for endangered, threatened, and special concern species and to limit, regulate, or prevent the taking, collection, or sale of protected animals.

(5) To conduct investigations to determine whether a wild animal should be on a protected animal list and to determine the requirements for conservation of protected wild animal species.

(6) To adopt and implement rules to limit, regulate, or prohibit the taking, possession, collection, transportation, purchase or sale of those species of wild animals in the classes Amphibia and Reptilia that do not meet the criteria for listing pursuant to G.S. 113-334 if the Commission determines that the species requires conservation measures in order to prevent the addition of the species to the protected animal lists pursuant to G.S. 113-334. This subdivision does not authorize the Commission to prohibit the taking of any species of the classes Amphibia and Reptilia solely to protect persons, property, or habitat; to prohibit possession by any person of four or fewer individual reptiles; or to prohibit possession by any person of 24 or fewer individual amphibians.

(b) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall, as expeditiously as possible, develop a conservation plan for the recovery of protected wild animal species. In developing a conservation plan for a protected wild animal species, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall consider the range of conservation, protection, and management measures that may be applied to benefit the species and its habitat. The conservation plan shall include a comprehensive analysis of all factors that have been identified as causing the decline of the protected wild animal species and all measures that could be taken to restore the species. The Wildlife Resources Commission shall publish draft species conservation plans on its Web site and shall consider public comment in developing and updating species conservation plans.

(c) In implementing a conservation plan under this Article, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall not adopt any rule that restricts the use or development of private property. If a conservation plan identifies a conservation, protection, or restoration measure the implementation of which is beyond the scope of the authority of the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Commission may petition the General Assembly, any agency that has regulatory authority to implement the measure, a unit of local government, or any other public or private entity and request the assistance of that agency or entity in implementing the measure.

(d) The Commission is authorized to develop a bat eviction and exclusion curriculum that may be taught by trade associations or wildlife conservation organizations for certification. The curriculum may incorporate the training that is provided as part of Wildlife Damage Control Agent certification in best management practices for removing and evicting bats from structures and in preventing bats from reentering structures. (1987, c. 382, s. 1; 1995, c. 392, s. 1; 2003-100, s. 1; 2009-219, s. 1; 2020-74, s. 22(a).)