U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region


Endangered Species Act Permits:

Take permits

These let applicants do projects that may affect threatened or endangered species.

  • Non-Federal property owners, such as private landowners, corporations and state or local governments receive incidental take authorization through Habitat Conservation Plans ("HCPs").
  • Federal agencies receive authorization through consultation with us. Learn more about consultation.

Recovery Permits

Recovery permits allow scientists to capture and/or study endangered species. They can also be issued for other activities that aid the recovery of a species, e.g., captive breeding and educational programs.

People sometimes call these permits scientific take permits. We call them recovery permits because they are only issued for activities that aid the recovery of the species.

How to Apply for a Recovery Permit

  • Use form 3-200-55 (192 KB PDF). Contact our recovery permit coordinator at (916) 414-6600 if you have any questions.
  • See our page of Survey Protocols and Guidelines for information about some of the activities authorized by Recovery Permits.
  • See the Pacific Southwest Regional Office recovery page for more information about recovery permits. (The section on permits is part way down the page.)
  • See also the regional office's minimum qualifications page to learn the qualifications for various permits.

Migratory Bird Treaty Permits

These permits are required for importing or exporting, banding, scientific collection or possession of migratory birds, eggs, nests, feathers, etc. Visit the national migratory bird permit page.

Hunting and Fishing

Most hunting and fishing licenses are issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Fish & Wildlife Service issues the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. This is also known as the "Duck Stamp." It is available at many post offices and sporting goods stores. See national duck stamp page for more information.

Some National Wildlife Refuges allow hunting. See a list of refuges in California and Nevada.

Other Agencies

  • Navigable waters and wetlands permits should be requested from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Offices.
  • For incidental take of anadromous (ocean-going) fish or marine species, contact the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • The California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Environmental Review & Permitting Program reviews environmental documents under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Department also issues permits for the take of threatened and endangered species

Last updated: September 13, 2019