Hunting Can Contribute to Biodiversity Conservation

Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation. To support conservation, hunters should choose to hunt only in countries that have strong governance, sound management practices, and healthy wildlife populations.

We find that the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) document Guiding Principles on Trophy Hunting as a Tool for Creating Conservation Incentives, Ver. 1.0 (IUCN SSC 2012) provides useful principles, which, considered in conjunction with our permit issuance criteria, aid the Service when making findings and determinations regarding import of hunted animals. This document sets out guidance from experts in the field on the use of trophy hunting as a tool for “creating incentives for the conservation of species and their habitats and for the equitable sharing of the benefits of use of natural resources” and recognizes that recreational hunting, particularly trophy hunting, can contribute to biodiversity conservation and more specifically, the conservation of the hunted species.

  

How can I import or export sport-hunted trophies?

Announcements

Straight-Horned Markhor Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened

 

How can I import or export sport-hunted trophies?

Before you make plans to import or export a sport-hunted trophy, plan to meet the requirements of the foreign country, as well as authorities that handle inspections and clearances at United States ports of entry and exit, which may apply regardless of the status of your species of interest or related permit requirements. Check with our Office of Law Enforcement for their requirements.

Permits are required for the import and export of certain species. Permits provide a means to balance use and conservation of protected species. You can help conserve protected species by complying with these requirements to ensure that your lawful activities are separate and distinct from the activities that harm populations in the wild. If you conduct certain regulated activities without the appropriate permits, you risk the seizure of the specimens or paying a fine.

Generally, for import of sport-hunted trophies, you will need permits from our office if the species you wish to import is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). For export or re-export of sport-hunted trophies, you will need permits from our office if the species you wish to export is protected under the ESA, or Appendix I, II, or III of CITES. Permits from the foreign country may also be required; contact them for guidance. See below for specific permit applications.

Review our "Do I Need A Permit?" webpage if you are unsure whether the animal species that you are importing, exporting, or re-exporting is listed under CITES and/or the ESA.

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

Some species listed under CITES and/or the ESA have very specific requirements. If you are unsure whether you need to apply for a permit, please contact us.


Permit Applications for the Import of Sport Hunted-Trophies

If you are requesting to import trophies for your own personal use that consist of raw or tanned parts of species listed in Appendix I of CITES and/or listed under the ESA, you should complete application form 3-200-20.pdf

Some species listed under CITES Appendix I and/or the ESA have very specific requirements and require a different application form. If you are requesting to import any of the following species, please complete the application form indicated below:

Southern African Leopard, African Elephant, and Namibian Southern White Rhinoceros

If you are requesting to import trophies for your own personal use, including the raw or tanned parts of a Southern African Leopard, African Elephant, or Namibian Southern White Rhinoceros, you should complete application form 3-200-19.pdf

Bontebok from South Africa

South Africa has an established management program that allows for controlled hunts of male bontebok from registered captive herds. If you are requesting to import bontebok trophies for your own personal use from South Africa, you should complete application form 3-200-22.pdf

For additional information on how to import a sport-hunted bontebok trophy from South Africa, please read our factsheet.pdf

Argali from Mongolia, the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan), and the Republic of Tajikistan

If you are requesting to import argali trophies for your own personal use from Mongolia, the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) and the Republic of Tajikistan, you should complete application form 3-200-21. pdf

If you are requesting the import of an argali trophy from any other country, you should complete application form 3-200-20.pdf

Permit Applications for the Export of Sport Hunted-Trophies

If you are requesting to export trophies for your own personal use that consist of raw or tanned parts of species listed in Appendix I, II, or III of CITES and/or listed under the ESA, you should complete application form 3-200-28. pdf

 

Announcements

 

Straight-Horned Markhor Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened

On October 7, 2014, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published a final rule to reclassify the straight-horned markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At the same time, the Service finalized a rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that allows the import of sport-hunted straight-horned markhor trophies under certain conditions.

Under the 4(d) rule for straight-horned markhor, the Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service may authorize the importation of personal sport-hunted trophies without a threatened species permit, if the trophy is taken from a well-regulated hunting program that benefits both local communities and the species. For programs that meet specific criteria, as outlined in the 4(d) rule, the Director of the Service may publish a Federal Register notice authorizing importation of personal sport-hunted trophies of straight-horned markhor.

Currently, the Service has not authorized any programs under the 4(d) rule and a threatened species permit is required to import personal sport-hunted trophies of straight-horned markhor.

If you are requesting to import a straight-horned markhor trophy, from any program, for your own personal use, you should complete application form 3-200-20.

Please refer to the press release and FAQs for additional information on this final rule.