U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

WildLife Laws & Reporting Violations

Our enforcement activities support the regional and national interests and objectives of the Service in the sound management of the nation's fish and wildlife resources by regulating those human activities that can have an adverse effect on wildlife populations. We also work to further international conservation efforts by enforcing treaties and U. S. laws that help foreign countries protect their indigenous wildlife species.

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WildLife Laws

Marine Mammal Protection Act

(16 USC 1361-1407; 
50 CFR 18; 50 CFR 216)

This Act establishes a moratorium on the taking, importing, transporting, purchasing, selling, offering to purchase or sell, any marine mammals, including parts and products, and defines Federal responsibility for conservation of marine mammals, with management authority vested in the Department of the Interior for the sea otter, walrus, polar bear, dugong, and manatee.

Hunting & Use of Polar Bear (pdf)

Beach Found Marine Mammal Parts (pdf)

Hunting & Use of Sea Otters

Lacey Act

(18 USC 42;
16 USC 3371-3378 - Lacey Act Amendments;
18 USC 42 - Injurious Species;
50 CFR 14 - Marking Regulations;
50 CFR 16 - Injurious Species)

This Act provides authority to the Secretary of the Interior to designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States. Further, it prohibits the importation, exportation, transportation, sale or purchase of fish and wildlife taken or possessed in violation of State, Federal, Indian tribal, and foreign laws. The Amendments strengthen and improve the enforcement of Federal wildlife laws and improve Federal assistance to the States and foreign governments in the enforcement of their wildlife laws. Also, the Act provides an important tool in the effort to gain control of smuggling and trade in illegally taken fish and wildlife.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

(16 USC 703-712;
50 CFR 10 - General provisions and list of migratory birds;
50 CFR 20 -Migratory bird hunting;
50 CFR 21 - Migratory bird permits)

Except as allowed by implementing regulations, this Act makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, kill, capture, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird, including the feathers or other parts, nests, eggs, or products made thereof. (Note: 1 year imprisonment and $100,000 fine for placement of bait - Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act)

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

State Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

Migratory Waterfowl Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act

(16 USC 718-718h)

This Act dictates that no person who has attained the age of 16 shall take any migratory waterfowl unless as the time of such taking they carry on their person an unexpired Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, validated by his signature written by himself in ink across the face of the Stamp prior to such taking. The Act further prohibits the lending or transferring of validated stamps. Counterfeiting (including imitation or counterfeiting of die, plate, or engraving or possession of such), altering, imitating, or mutilating stamps is strictly prohibited.

Duck Stamp Information

Eagle Protection Act

(16 USC 668a-668c;
50 CFR 22)

This Act makes it illegal to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer for sale, transport, export, or import any Bald or Golden eagle, alive or dead, (including products made from them) or any part, nests, or eggs thereof without a valid permit to do so.

Traveling Overseas with Eagle Items

Travel to Canada or Mexico with Eagle Item

Traveling to USA with Eagle Items

Alaska Region Eagle Permit Program

Endangered Species Act

(16 USC 1531-1543;
50 CFR 14 - Import/Export;
50 CFR 17 - Threatened /Endangered Fish and Wildlife List;
50 CFR 23 - Threatened/Endangered Plant List)

This Act prohibits the importation, exportation, taking and commercialization in interstate or foreign commerce of fish and wildlife, and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered species. The Act also implements the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


Endangered Species Information

Airborne Hunting Act

(16 USC 742j-742j2;
50 CFR 19)

Section 13 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 is commonly referred to as the Airborne Hunting Act, or Shooting from Aircraft Act, and prohibits taking or harassing wildlife from aircraft, except when protecting wildlife, livestock, and human health or safety as authorized by a Federal or State issued license or permit.

National Wildlife Refuge System Act

(16 USC 668dd-668ee;
50 CFR 10;
50 CFR 25-33)

This Act constitutes an "Organic Act" for the National Wildlife Refuge System by providing guidelines and directives for administration and management of all areas in the system including "wildlife refuges, areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, or waterfowl production areas."

National Wildlife Refuge Information

Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act

(16 USC 5301-5306)

The 1998 reauthorization of this Act prohibits the import, export, or sale of any product, item, or substance containing, or labeled or advertised as containing, any substance derived from tiger or rhinoceros.

Wild Exotic Bird Conservation Act

(16 USC 4901-4916;
50 CFR 15)

The Act promotes the preservation of exotic birds by encouraging wild bird conservation and management programs in countries of origin; by ensuring that all trade in such species involving the United States is biologically sustainable and to the benefit of the species; and by limiting or prohibiting imports of exotic birds when necessary to ensure that exotic wild populations are not harmed by removal for the trade.

Traveling Abroad with Pet Bird (pdf)

Federal Subsistence Management in Alaska

The Federal government has managed subsistence trapping, hunting, and limited fishing on Federal public lands and waters since July 1, 1990. On October 1, 1999, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture published regulations (36 CFR Part 242 and 50 CFR Part 100) to provide for Federal management of subsistence fiseries on Alaska rivers and lakes and limited marine waters within and adjacent to Federal public lands.

Fisheries Regulations

Report Violations

How can you help protect wildlife? One way is to report violations to proper authorities. The following information is for reporting Federal violations. Examples of Federal violations include (but are not limited to) migratory bird violations (i.e., shootings, poisonings), violations concerning marine mammals and endangered species, and wildlife smuggling. You can remain anonymous when reporting.

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Office Number: (907) 786-3311
Contact us at: ak_le@fws.gov
After Hours: 844-491-3709

If you are reporting an incident concerning state regulated wildlife (such as moose, caribou, or sport fishing), please contact the State of Alaska, Fish and Game, Department of Public Safety.

State of Alaska, Violations Hotline: 1-800-478-3377

Rewards Program

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Law Enforcement is authorized to pay rewards for information or assistance relating to investigations. This authority is linked to specific Federal wildlife laws, and the amount of the reward is commensurate with the information or assistance received. Please discuss the possibility of a reward with the special agent receiving your information.