Employee Pocket Guide
Office of External Affairs

Permit Programs

Visit www.fws.gov/permits


Bald Eagle, credit Mike Lockart/USFWSDuring the past 100 years, the United States has enacted numerous wildlife laws to protect its heritage of wild animals and plants and their habitats. Four Service program, Endangered Species, Law Enforcement, Migratory Bird Management, and Management Authority; issue permits under these laws at the national, regional, and wildlife port levels. This is a cross-program initiative to help the public receive clear, consistent permit information. The following laws use permits to help conserve these protected resources:

Conservation Laws

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act: Permits issued to take, possess, and transport bald and golden eagles for scientific, educational, and Indian religious purposes; depredation; and falconry. Contact: Migratory Bird Management.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Permits issued to import, export, and re-export listed species for commercial and noncommercial purposes. Contact: Management Authority and Law Enforcement (Contact LE for exportation of certain fur products and re-exportation of Appendix-II or -III wildlife).

Endangered Species Act: Permits issued for take, interstate and foreign commerce, importation, and exportation of listed species for scientific research and enhancement activities; incidental take; and conservation activities on private lands; also for zoological, horticultural, or botanical exhibition purposes for threatened species, and permits for incidental take of species if they become listed.  Contact: Endangered Species (for native species, except for importation or exportation) or Management Authority (for foreign species and for import/export of native and foreign species).

Lacey Act: Permits issued to import, transport, and acquire injurious wildlife for zoological, educational, medical, or scientific purposes. Contact: Management Authority.

Marine Mammal Protection Act: Permits issued to take and import marine mammals for scientific research, public display, enhancing the survival or recovery of a species or stock, educational or commercial photography, and importation of personal sport-hunted polar bears. Contact: Management Authority.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Permits issued to take, possess, transport, sell, purchase, barter, import, and export migratory birds for scientific collecting, banding and marking, falconry, raptor propagation, depredation, taxidermy, waterfowl sale and disposal, and special purposes. Contact: Migratory Bird Management.

National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act: Special use permits issued when uses of NWRs are compatible with the purpose(s) for which the refuge was established and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Contact: Each National Wildlife Refuge.

Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA): Permits issued to import exotic bird species for scientific research, zoological breeding or display, cooperative breeding, and personal pet purposes. Contact: Management Authority.

All wildlife: Import/export licenses and designated port exception permits. Contact: Law Enforcement.

Federal Subsistence Management Program (Alaska only):  Authorized under ANILCA, this program’s fish and wildlife management activities include issuing permits, developing regulations, taking special management actions; intergovernmental coordination among five DOI agencies as well as U.S. Forest Service, State, Tribal, and rural organizations; and administering a major public review and advisory process.

Programs Contact Offices:

Region 1 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 503/231-2071 503/231-2062
Law Enforcement 503/231-6899 503/231-5318
Migratory Bird 503/872-2715 503/231-2019

Region 2 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 505/248-6665 505/248-6788
Law Enforcement 480/967-2007 480/966-9766
Migratory Bird 505/248-7882 505/248-7885

Region 3 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 612/713-5334 612/713-5292
Law Enforcement 612/713-5320 612/713-5283
Migratory Bird 612/713-5436 612/713-5393

Region 4 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 404/679-7313 404/679-7081
Law Enforcement 404/679-7057 404/679-7065
Migratory Bird 404/679-7070 404/679-4180

Region 5 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 413/253-8631 413/253-8482
Law Enforcement 516/825-3950 516/825-3597
Migratory Bird 413/253-8643 413/253-8424

Region 6 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 303/236-7400 303/236-0027
Law Enforcement 303/236-7540 303/287-7901
Migratory Bird 303/236-8171 303/236-8017

Region 7 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 907/786-3323 907/786-3350
Law Enforcement 907/786-3311 907/786-3313
Migratory Bird 907/786-3446 907/786-3641
Subsistence Mgmt. 800/478-1456 907/786-3898

Region 8 Telephone Fax
Endangered Species 916/414-6464 916/414-6486
Law Enforcement 503/521-5300 503-521-5318
Migratory Bird 503/872-2715 503/231-2019

Region 9 Telephone Fax
Management Authority 800/358-2104 703/358-2280
Last updated: August 14, 2013
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