The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife laws and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country. 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, data generation, and proper wildlife management and rehabilitation activities.

  • Permits

    A permit is required for some activities, including scientific research, commercial or professional photography, the collection of any resource within refuge boundaries with the exception of fish collected within the public areas of the refuge and for personal consumption only (certain rules apply; for more information regarding fishing rules and regulations visit the Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources' page here), etc.  

    Visitors may obtain a free permit for the collection of natural resources at the nature center or main administration building. Visitors may collect an unlimited number of brown coconuts, and a limited number of lemai (breadfruit), medicinal plants, and other resources as stipulated in the permit upon issuance. 

    Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for more information about Special Use Permits that cover other activities such as monitoring and research, hunting, filming, wood cutting, etc. These permits may require a fee and must be completed and returned to the Refuge Manager for approval in advance. The approval may take between 10 to 30 days, and may vary based on potential impacts.

    It is important to remember that while some resources may be collected, others may not. The refuge is a safe haven for protected and endangered plant and animal species, such as Serianthes nelsonii, Tabernaemontana rotensis, Heritiera longipetiolata, as well as native and endemic tree snails and butterflies, among others. Cultural sites and artifacts are also protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the collection of artifacts is unlawful and punishable under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. If you are unsure whether an activity or the collection of a plant or animal species is allowed, please ask a refuge staff member.

    Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered SpeciesLaw Enforcement, and  Migratory Birds.

    For more detailed information, go to How to Obtain a PermitFAQs/Facts or Application Forms.