3-200-59: Scientific Purposes, Enhancement of Propagation, or Survival Permits (Recovery Permits)

Recovery permits may be issued for purposes that are consistent with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to assist in the recovery of endangered and threatened species. Under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) may permit any act otherwise prohibited by section 9 for scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species. 

The data acquired from the issuance of recovery permits is valuable to the decisions that the Service and its partners make regarding land acquisition, land management, consultations under section 7 of the ESA, recovery plans, and downlisting or delisting.  Data from these federally issued permits is used on a landscape level. Without recovery permits, our basic knowledge about the abundance, stability and resiliency of populations, habitat use and requirements, geographic ranges, and diseases of federally listed species would be much more limited. 

Permit Application

Permit applications and instructions for endangered and threatened species native to the United States can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's new electronic permitting system. It is now possible to submit permit applications online, including requests for amendments and renewals, as well as pay the processing fee.

ePermit ID
United States

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A red-cockaded woodpecker feasts on a bug.
Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides exceptions for the take of listed plant and animal species resulting from activities that would otherwise be considered unlawful and prohibited. With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits take resulting from activities affecting these protected...