Over the past 35 years, the Service has worked with State and tribal governments to develop procedures that streamline the permitting process. States and tribes can provide information showing that they have established a management program that ensures a sustainable harvest, and that they have the means to identify or mark specimens that have been legally taken under their system. If such a program is approved by the Service, a tag or certificate issued by the State or tribe can be used for export.

grey-wolf-lying-down

Credit: John Hollingsworth/USFWS

A tag or certificate issued by the State or tribe demonstrates that a particular specimen was harvested under an approved program and that the appropriate findings have been made to comply with CITES. Regular reporting from States and tribes allows us to determine whether our findings remain valid. This alternative to making the legal acquisition and non-detriment findings on a permit-by-permit basis reduces a potentially large workload for exporters as well as for our offices.

To determine if your state or tribe has an approved program, please see the States with Approved Furbearer Programs document. pdf

Below is the  application form required to export skins from an approved furbearer program.

  • If you are exporting skins of bobcat, lynx, river otter, Alaskan brown bear, Alaskan black bear, Alaskan gray wolf, and American alligator, you should complete form 3-200-26pdf.
  • If you are exporting finished products manufactured from furbearers, you should complete application form 3-200-27pdf.
  • If you are re-exporting (the exportation of a previously exported item), you should complete application form 3-200-73pdf.
  • If you are exporting a sport-hunted trophy, you should visit the sport-hunted trophy page and use application form 3-200-28pdf.

Recent Changes to the Status of Gray Wolves under the ESA

In May, 2011 the Northern Rocky Mountain population of the gray wolf was delisted from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This affected the populations in Montana and Idaho as well as portions of Oregon, Washington and Utah. The Wyoming population of gray wolves was excluded from the delisting. For more information on the delisting, click here

Effective January 27, 2012, wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) are no longer protected by the Endangered Species Act. Instead, State and tribal laws in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will dictate the level of gray wolf protection and management.

Regardless of the change of status of gray wolf under the ESA, the current CITES-implementing regulations governing the CITES export program (50 CFR 23.69) only cover the Alaska population of gray wolves.  The Service has proposed modifying the language of 50 CFR 23, however, until a final rule is issued, the current regulations still apply.  To find out more about the proposed revisions, click here. Therefore, gray wolves outside of Alaska cannot be exported under a state CITES export program; the Service is unable to give any state outside of Alaska a programmatic approval for wolves and cannot issue CITES tags at this time. 

However, the export of wolf skins is still possible.  The exporter would have to apply to the Service for a CITES export permit and we would have to make the required legal acquisition and non-detriment findings on a shipment-by-shipment basis.

For general information on CITES permit requirements, click here pdf.

If, after reading this information, you are unclear about the permitting process, please feel free to contact us.