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NYSDEC Regulations for Collecting and Possessing Wildlife

1. Collecting and Possessing Wildlife

This section deals with wildlife collected from the wild, not bought at a store. When you buy animals from stores (like a pet store), the species bought are not regulated under law or if it is, the correct documentation comes with the animal.

1a. License to Collect or Possess

A License to Collect or Possess is issued to qualified individuals to collect or possess fish, wildlife, shellfish, crustacea, or aquatic insects by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). This license is issued only for the following purposes: propagation, banding, scientific or exhibition. (Tropical fish do not need this license.)

Legal Authority:

The NYSDEC has the statutory authority to require this license under the NYS Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 11 Title 0515 and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) Part 175.

To apply for license: Contact the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resource's Special Licenses Unit.

Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4752
Phone: (518) 402-8985
- OR - download PDF applications and mail them into above address
Download applications from Licenses to Collect, Possess or Sell

Regulations and Law Web Sources: (links leave DEC website)

1b. Examples of Activities an Educator Would Need a Permit For

the collection of fish, mollusks, or crustacea from NYS waters (fresh or salt) for display in

2. Releasing Wildlife

Releasing of wildlife is permitted only at the site it was collected at or not at all. If you have questions concerning the release of any wildlife, please contact NYSDEC 518-402-8043.

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    Bureau of Environmental Education
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY
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