Wildlife Laws and Your Pet Bird

If you wish to bring your pet bird into or out of the United States you will need to meet certain criteria under CITES and the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) and obtain a permit from the Service. Some species are also protected under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA), and additional restrictions may apply. These regulations are in addition to any other State laws and the requirements of foreign countries.

Species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices according to the degree of protection they need.

The WBCA, a significant step in international conservation efforts to protect exotic birds subject to trade, focuses on bird species listed in the CITES Appendices. The WBCA restricts the number of pet birds individuals may import into the United States annually (import permits are required). The limit is two birds per person, per year.

The ESA protects species that are listed as endangered or threatened. An endangered species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range; a threatened species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Additional authorizations from the Service are required for ESA listed species.