International Affairs issues permits under several domestic and international laws and treaties. These laws protect wildlife and plants that are threatened by overexploitation and other factors such as habitat loss.

Permits provide a means to balance use and conservation of protected species. You can help conserve protected species by complying with these laws to ensure that your lawful activities are separate and distinct from the activities that harm populations in the wild. Valuable data are gathered and shared through the permitting process to monitor and manage trade of animals and plants.

Do you need a permit from our office? Click
here to find out.

Ready to apply for a permit from our office? First, review our guidance on how to apply.

If you are trying to access application forms issued by other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs or other agencies, please visit the websites of our partner offices and agencies:

  • The Migratory Birds Program issues permits under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

  • Check with the Office of Law Enforcement for their requirements for the import and export of wildlife and wildlife products.

  • The Endangered Species Program issues incidental take, enhancement of survival, recovery and interstate commerce permits for ESA-listed species that are native to the United States.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has jurisdiction over whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

  • Check with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for their requirements for the import and export of plants and animals.

  • Be sure to check with the state for their requirements, and if relevant, the foreign country for their requirements.

Banner Credits: Scarlet Macaw: Manfred Meiners; Orchids: USFWS; Gecko: Frupus CC BY-NC 3.0