Over the past 36 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 CITES Export 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, brown bear, black bear, 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

Effective September 30, 2012, the Service announced that the Wyoming population of gray wolves was recovered and no longer warranted protection under Endangered Species Act (ESA). Effective January 27, 2012, wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) are no longer protected by the ESA. Instead, State and tribal laws in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will dictate the level of gray wolf protection and management. In May, 2011 the Northern Rocky Mountain population of the gray wolf was delisted from the ESA. This affected the populations in Montana and Idaho as well as portions of Oregon, Washington and Utah. For more information on the delisting, click here. 

The gray wolf in the lower 48 states has been added to our recently published final rule (79 FR 30399, effective June 26, 2014) that revises the U.S. regulations that implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

States and Tribes seeking to be approved for our CITES Export Program (which provides CITES tags), must set up and maintain management and harvest programs designed to monitor and protect CITES furbearers from over-harvest. When a State or Tribe with a management program provides the Service with the necessary information, we make programmatic findings and have specific requirements that allow export under CITES.

The export of wolf skins is possible where a State or Tribe is not participating in our CITES Export Program.  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.