This is a bit of a warning message to anyone who would like to setup a cat or animal sanctuary where they are living, if they have sufficient land, or anywhere else if they purchase the land.
The lesson is that if a threatened species lives on the land you may well require permission from the authorities before developing the site.
One such example is of a retired person's plans to open an animal sanctuary in upstate New York, USA.
Nancy Gibson didn't realise that there was a den of timber rattlesnake's living on her 80 acre property. She had already made some preparations in terms of construction for the sanctuary and has now been informed that she has to put development on hold while she awaits a decision from the state as to whether she can continue with her plans.
It is tough because 80 acres is a large area and it was probably impossible to know the rattlesnakes occupied a part of it. Perhaps someone might correct me.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) lays down the law on New York's endangered species.
The regulations employ a rather peculiar use of the word “take" or “taking". This word means, in the context of these regulations, "to remove" or "to interfere with" as far as I can tell.
The regulations impose a burden on developers and landowners. The existing law in New York state -- ECL § 11-0535, and previous regulations (Part 182) -- specifies that a person requires a permit for activities that may result in the “take" of endangered or threatened species.
Animal and cat sanctuaries are best when there's lots of space including outside space for the cats. The story comes from the Wall Street Journal.