Wild Animal Collecting Permits
Scientific Collecting, Education, and Banding Permits
The Division of Wildlife offers permits for the purpose of scientific study, educational programs and bird banding activities. This publication is meant as a summary only, and is not intended to address all laws and regulations. See the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) for details. All permits issued must comply with the mission statement of the Division of Wildlife. All wild animal permits expire at on March fifteenth annually.
Persons desiring to conduct wildlife banding activities must apply for a free Wild Animal Banding Permit (Form 167). Wild Animal Banding Permits are for the purpose of banding activities only. Permit holders agree to not hold any species longer than the period of time necessary for banding. Animals killed or injured during banding shall be turned over to the Division of Wildlife. When banding migratory birds a Banding Permit is required from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), or activities must be conducted under the supervision of a USFWS master banding permit holder.
A Scientific Collecting Permit allows the collection of wild animals, in Ohio, that would otherwise be prohibited. Scientific Collecting Permits are primarily for survey and inventory of wildlife species that are protected, being collected during the closed hunting or trapping season, collected in excess of daily bag limits or collected with devices or techniques otherwise
prohibited. A Scientific Collecting Permit is required under ORC 1533.08 which states in part that “any person desiring to collect wild animals that are protected by law or their nest or eggs for scientific study shall make application to the chief of the Division of Wildlife for a wild animal collecting permit.” Wild animals are defined in ORC 1531.01 as including mollusk, crustaceans,
aquatic insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, wild birds, wild quadrupeds and all other wild mammals excluding domestic deer. A permit from the USFWS may be required in addition to the state permit for collection of migratory birds or protected species. Persons wishing to obtain a Scientific Collecting Permit must complete the application in its entirety (Form 167). It is often necessary to supplement the application with attachments or a cover letter detailing the specifics of a project request. The following criteria have been established to provide guidelines for determining qualifications for the issuance of a Scientific Collecting Permit;
1. A college, university, high school, junior high or elementary school as an educator,
researcher, student, masters or doctoral candidate.
2. A public agency, such as federal, state, city or county unit of government, engaged in
a wildlife or scientific area of study or research.
3. A non-profit educational or conservation organization that is associated with wildlife or
scientific area of study or research.
4. A scientific research organization or bona fide environmental consulting firm
performing wildlife related work for a third party.
- Applicants who are not directly affiliated with an institution listed must provide the following information to verify qualification for a permit:
1. Personal qualifications to perform this activity.
2. Specific purpose necessary for you to perform this activity.
3. The location(s) where collected specimens will be maintained. Name and address of the facility to be used as a repository for voucher specimens.
4. A project that will include the collection or possession of migratory birds, eggs, nest, parts, or the collection of protected species, may require a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in addition to
a state permit. Contact information provided on back page.
Education permits are a mechanism designed to permit qualified educators to possess Ohio native wild animals. Activities covered by an Education Permit include; possession of dead wild animal parts, nest, eggs, mounts or study skins and live wild animals for educational programming or display. Special regulations apply to the possession of live reptiles. Snakes with a snout to vent length of greater than eighteen inches, and turtles with a carapace four inches or larger must be permanently marked with a unique passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag. Only PIT tags read with an “Avid Mini Tracker” may be implanted. Persons desiring to obtain an Education Permit must complete the application in its entirety (Form 167). It is often necessary to supplement the application with attachments or a cover letter detailing the specifics of a project request. The following criteria provide guidelines for determining qualifications for the issuance of Education Permits;
1. The applicant for an Education Permit must submit a completed application (Form 167) to the Division of Wildlife. The application must outline in detail the species, locations to be collected or held, quantity and collection methods to be used.
2. The applicant for an Education Permit must be directly affiliated with, or an appropriate representative from one of the following institutions:
1. A college, university, high school, junior high or elementary school as an educator.
2. A public agency, such as federal, state, city or county unit of government, performing wildlife education.
3. An educational or conservation organization, museum or zoological garden that displays or performs wildlife education.
4. A licensed Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitator who has permanent resident wildlife used for educational activities.
3. Applicants who are not directly affiliated with an institution listed must provided the following information to verify qualification for a permit:
1. Personal qualifications to perform this activity.
2. Specific purpose necessary for you to perform this activity.
3. The location(s) where collected specimens be maintained. Name and address of the facility to be used as a repository for voucher specimens.
A project that will include the collection or possession of migratory birds, eggs, nest, parts, or the collection of protected species, may require a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in addition to a state permit.
Record Keeping and Annual Reports
All persons holding Scientific Collecting, Education or Banding Permits must maintain accurate daily records of specimens collected under the authority of the permit, and the disposition of the specimens. These records shall be exhibited to any official of the Division of Wildlife upon request. All permit holders must submit an annual report of operations and the disposition of specimens prior to the first of February each year. The report must be submitted in a format provided by the Division of Wildlife or on accepted media. Failure to report may result in the forfeiture of the permit involved and affect the eligibility to apply for a new permit.
Endangered Species, Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) and Wildlife Areas
There are specific rules and regulations governing the collection or possession of endangered species, Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) as well as the collection of wildlife and plants from an area owned or controlled by the Division of Wildlife. The ORC states that no person shall take or possess any native endangered species without the permission of the Chief of the Division of Wildlife. Laws pertaining to aquatic nuisance species are similar. Permission to collect or work with endangered or aquatic nuisance species is handled by a special letter permit in addition to the requirements that exist for obtaining a scientific collecting permit, and must be requested in writing. Possession of a scientific collecting permit does not constitute permission to collect on Division of Wildlife owned or controlled properties. Special regulations prohibit collection of wild animals and plants from wildlife areas without the permission of the Chief of the Division of Wildlife. Those wishing to conduct activities on wildlife areas must first request to do so in writing to the Division of Wildlife. In your request, you must list the specific information as to what benefit your activity has to wildlife. To obtain copies of form 167, contact your nearest Division of Wildlife District Office or the Division of Wildlife, Permit Coordinator, 2045 Morse Rd. Bldg G. Columbus, OH 43229-6693.
1533.08. Collecting permit for scientific, educational or rehabilitation uses.
Except as otherwise provided by division rule, any person desiring to collect wild animals that are protected by law or their nests or eggs for scientific study, school instruction, other educational uses, or rehabilitation shall make application to the chief of the division of wildlife for a wild animal collecting permit on a form furnished by the chief. Each applicant for a wild animal collecting permit, other than an applicant desiring to rehabilitate wild animals, shall pay an annual fee
of twenty-five dollars for each permit. No fee shall be charged to an applicant desiring to rehabilitate wild animals. When it appears that the application is made in good faith, the chief shall issue to the applicant a permit to take, possess, and transport at any time and in any manner specimens of wild animals protected by law or their nests and eggs for scientific study, school instruction, other educational uses, or rehabilitation and under any additional rules recommended by the wildlife council. Upon the receipt of a permit, the holder may take, possess, and transport those wild animals in accordance with the permit. Each holder of a permit engaged in collecting such wild animals shall carry the permit at all times and shall exhibit it upon demand to any wildlife officer, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, or police officer, to the owner or person in lawful control of the land upon which the permit holder is collecting, or to any other person. Failure to so carry or exhibit the permit constitutes an offense under this section. Each permit holder shall keep a daily record of all specimens collected under the permit and the disposition of the specimens and shall exhibit the daily record to any official of the division upon demand. Each permit shall remain in effect for one year from the date of issuance unless it is revoked sooner by the chief. All moneys received as fees for the issuance of a wild animal collecting permit shall be transmitted to the director of natural resources to be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the fund created by section 1533.15 of the Revised Code.
1533.09. Duties of collecting permit holder; revocation and forfeiture.
Before the first day of February of each year, each wild animal collecting permit holder shall file with the division of wildlife a written report of his operations under the permit and the disposition of the specimens collected during the preceding calendar year on report blanks furnished by the chief of the division. Failure to file a report shall cause the permit to be forfeited as of the first day of February. Permits are not transferable. No permit holder or person collecting wild animals under authority of such a permit shall take, possess, or transport the wild animals for any purpose not specified in the permit. Conviction of a violation of this section, failure to carry a permit and exhibit it to any person requesting to see it, or the violation of any other law concerning wild animals constitutes a revocation and forfeiture of the permit involved. The former permit holder shall not be entitled to another permit for a period of one year from the date of the conviction.