Permits External Affairs
A bog turtle. Credit: Gary Peeples / USFWS
   Bog turtle. Credit: Gary Peeples / USFWS  



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 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. 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. 

Black-footed ferret with text: "Endangered Species Permits"

Endangered Species regional offices administer native endangered and threatened species permits under the Endangered Species Act (except permits for import and export).  Permits are issued to qualified applicants for the following types of activities:  enhancement of survival associated with Safe Harbor Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances, incidental take associated with Habitat Conservation Plans, recovery, and interstate commerce. Permits for import and export are issued by International Affairs (Division of Management Authority) below.

A scarlet macaw with text: "International Affairs Permits"

International Affairs is responsible for administering CITES for the United States. We primarily issue permits to import and export species that are protected by CITES and by various other wildlife conservation laws. Some examples of other activities we permit are:  take of certain marine mammals; take and interstate and foreign commerce of non-native species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including a captive-bred wildlife registration; cooperative breeding programs for live exotic birds covered by the Wild Bird Conservation Act; and import and transport of injurious wildlife.

A peregrine falcon with text: "Migratory Birds Permits"

Migratory Bird regional offices administer permits for qualifiedapplicants for the following types of activities: falconry, raptor propagation, scientific collecting, rehabilitation, conservation education, migratory game bird propagation, salvage, depredation control, taxidermy, and waterfowl sale and disposal. These offices also administer permit activities involving bald and golden eagles, as authorized by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  

A jackson chamelon with text: "Law Enforcement Permits"

Law Enforcement administers permits at regional offices and certain port locations. A permit or license may be issued to qualified applicants for the following activities: to engage in business as a wildlife importer or exporter; import or export wildlife at other than an designated or authorized border or special port, and export and re-export certain CITES wildlife.


Broadband Connectivity
 in rural America. Information about regulations is available here; information about right-of-way permits is here.