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Licenses to Collect, Possess or Sell

For Education, Exhibition, Scientific Research or Propagation of Non-Endangered and Non-Threatened Species

The licenses listed on this page allow for the collection, possession, or sale of the following species for education, exhibition, scientific research or propagation (breeding). The licenses on this page are for native species that are non-threatened and non-endangered only. To use endangered or threatened species for these purposes you must apply for an Endangered and Threatened Species License.

  • Fish
  • Wildlife
  • Shellfish
  • Crustaceans
  • Aquatic insects
  • Bird nests or eggs
  • Birds listed as migratory by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (includes non-native species). To view the list, visit the USFWS Migratory Bird List (External Link) website.
  • Captive bred or permanently disabled species

Definition(s)

  • Education: collection, possession and exhibition of a species to teach or instruct about its characteristics, ecological role or conservation needs.
  • Exhibition: regular public display or showing of the species where the display itself is the chief object.
  • Scientific: use of fish, wildlife or parts thereof by a scientific institution, clinic, laboratory or individual researcher to expand scientific knowledge or to gain knowledge of a fish or wildlife species, population or community. Captive-bred populations may be established and maintained as part of a scientific endeavor.
  • Propagation: production or breeding of animals by application of husbandry techniques in a controlled environment.

License Types

DEC issues four different types of licenses that authorize the possession, collection or sale of non-threatened and non-endangered wildlife. Details of each license are below.

Education/Exhibition License
to
Collect or Possess
Scientific License
to
Collect or Possess
Banding License
to
Collect or Possess
Propagation License
to
Posses and Sell

Allows For:

  1. Possession of captive bred or permanently disabled native non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife or birds listed as migratory by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for education or exhibition purposes
  2. Possession and collection of native wild non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife or birds listed as migratory by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for education or exhibition purposes

Allows For:

  1. Possession of captive bred or permanently disabled native non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife for scientific purposes
  2. Possession and collection of native wild non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife or birds listed as migratory by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for or scientific purposes

Allows For:

  1. Possession and collection of migratory birds for banding purposes
  2. Possession of migratory birds for blood collection.
  3. Possession of migratory birds for feather collection

Allows For:

  1. Possession and sale of captive bred or permanently disabled native non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife for propagation purposes
  2. Possession of native wild non-endangered or threatened species of fish and wildlife for propagation purposes
Does NOT allow:
  1. Possession of wildlife as pets
  2. Sale or propagation of regulated species
  3. Possession of Endangered or Threatened Species
Does NOT allow:
  1. Possession of wildlife as pets
  2. Sale or propagation of regulated species
  3. Possession of Endangered or Threatened Species
  4. Exhibition of regulated species
Does NOT allow:
  1. Possession of wildlife as pets
  2. Sale or propagation of regulated species
  3. Possession of Endangered or Threatened Species
  4. Exhibition of regulated species
Does NOT allow:
  1. Possession of wildlife as pets
  2. Exhibition of regulated species
License Fee: $10
License Expires: 1 year from issuance
License Fee: $10
License Expires: 1 year from issuance
License Fee: $10
License Expires: 5 year from issuance
License Fee: $10
License Expires: 1 year from issuance
Forms for Education/Exhibition (PDF documents):
Forms for Scientific Collection License
(PDF documents):

Forms for Banding
(PDF documents):

Forms for Propagation
(PDF documents):
Other Possible Requirements
Other Possible Requirements: Other Possible Requirements Other Possible Requirements

How to Apply

  • Complete the appropriate application form available in the table above. You may also contact the Special Licenses Unit at speciallicenses@dec.ny.gov to request an application.
  • Complete a check or money order for the appropriate amount as specified on the application form.
  • Send completed information to the following address: NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-4752
  • Obtain any additional required permits, licenses or letters as noted in the "other possible requirements" in the table above.

Current License Holder Information

License Renewal

  • All licenses except for the banding license expire 1 year from the date of issuance. Banding licenses expire 5 years from date of issuance.
  • To renew your license you must complete the appropriate license application available in the table above.
  • Check the renewal box on the application to indicate you are renewing your license.

Annual Report of Activities

  • Scientific Collection and Propagation licensees are required to complete and submit an annual report of activities each year as specified by their license conditions. Report forms are available in the table above.

License Amendments (i.e Address Changes)

  • License amendments should be submitted using the appropriate application for the license type available in the table above.
  • Check the "License Amendment" box on the application and follow the instructions on the last page of the application.

Applicable Laws and Regulations

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

  • 6 NYCRR Part 175: Special Licenses and Permits - Definitions and Uniform Procedures

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

  • ECL §11-0515: Licenses to Collect, Possess or Sell for Propagation, Scientific or Exhibition Purposes

Contact Information

Please contact the Special Licenses Unit with any questions or concerns about qualifying or applying for these licenses.
DEC Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-4752
Phone: 518-402-8985
E-mail: speciallicenses@dec.ny.gov

For other permit or license requirements as noted in the table above, please contact the appropriate organization listed below.

Other Organizations
USDA-APHIS
Animal Welfare
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Geological Survey
Bird Banding
Eastern Region-Raleigh, NC
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: 919-716-5532
Fax: 919-716-5696
E-mail: aceast@aphis.usda.gov
Website: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
Region 5 - Hadley, MA
Migratory Bird Permit Office
P.O. Box 779
Hadley, MA
Phone: 413-253-8643
Fax: 413-253-8424
E-mail: permitsR5MB@fws.gov
Website: www.fws.gov/migratorybirds
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD
Phone:301-497-5790
Fax: 301-497-5717
E-mail: BBL@usgs.gov
Website: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8985.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
    518-402-8985
    Send us an email
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