Permits provide a means to balance use and conservation of protected species. Permits can be important as a conservation tool, to promote long-term conservation of animals, plants, and their habitats, and encourage joint stewardship with others.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issues  permits under various wildlife  laws and treaties at different offices at the national, regional, and/or wildlife port levels. (We do not issue hunting and fishing licenses. Instead, those are issued by  State wildlife agencies.)

Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities to go forward.

The  Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to Federal regulations. The migratory bird species protected by the Act are listed in 50 CFR 10.13.

View the list of MBTA protected birds.

 Download a permit application or report form.

Send your completed application forms to your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.

Last Updated: December 18, 2015