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Scientific Collecting Permits

A permit is required to take, collect, capture, mark, or salvage, for scientific, educational, and non-commercial propagation purposes, mammals, birds and their nests and eggs, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates (Fish and Game Code Section 1002 and Title 14 Sections 650 and 670.7). These activities require a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP), and you need to pay a fee for it. The take of some animals may also require a Memorandum of Understanding or other additional written authorization from CDFW.

The collection, possession, transplantation or propagation of rare, threatened or endangered plants or manipulation of their habitat requires a Rare, Threatened or Endangered Plant Collecting Permit or Plant Research Permit. These permits are free and are required for activities conducted on both private and public land.

Take of threatened or endangered species incidental to an otherwise lawful activity requires a Section 2081(b) permit.

All species may be taken for scientific purposes but not all may be taken for educational, non-commercial propagation, or management purposes. This is determined by whether a species is classified as a fully protected species, candidate, threatened, or endangered species, species of special concern, a standard exception species, an endangered or rare plant species, or other native species.

Species Category Species Category Definition Allowable Purpose for Take
Fully Protected Species Includes species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals listed as Fully Protected by the State Legislature (see Fish and Game Code, Sections 3511, 4700, 5050, and 5515). Scientific
Threatened, Endangered, or Candidate Species Includes all species listed by the California Fish and Game Commission (see Title 14 CCR, Section 670.5), and by the federal government under ESA. Scientific, Educational, Management
Species of Special Concern Includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals that the Department has determined are potentially at risk to become threatened or endangered (see Species of Special Concern section for explanation of criteria for this designation). Scientific, Educational, Non-commercial propagation
Standard Exception Animals Includes species included in the three above categories, and bird nests and eggs, raptors, bats, carnivores, game animals, and other specially protected birds and mammals. The back of the application for an SCP (see below for SCP application process) has a list of these species. Scientific, Educational, Non-commercial propagation
Other Native Animals Includes the other animals not included in the sections above. Scientific, Educational, Non-commercial propagation
Endangered and Rare Plants Includes all plants listed by the Fish and Game Commission (see Title 14 CCR, Section 670.2) Scientific

The Scientific Collecting Permit Process


March 24, 2017 Update - Departmental Rulemaking for Scientific Collecting Permits - draft regulatory package now available

After a conducting a pre-notice outreach period between fall 2012 and spring 2015 to help inform improvements for SCP administration and operation, the Department’s proposal to strike and replace the existing SCP regulations in Title 14, Section 650, California Code of Regulations (CCR), and amend Section 703 (Title 14, CCR) is now available for public review. The proposed regulations would make SCP implementation consistent with 2012 statutory changes, overhaul the permitting structure for implementation in an online application system, provide a revised fee schedule that mirrors the revised permit structure towards improved cost recovery, incorporate by reference the updated SCP application, renewal and amendment forms, and clarify administrative procedures as requested by the regulated community to improve the Department’s review and issuance of SCPs.

Before Reading the Forms: The Department recommends that interested parties review the proposed regulations (Title 14, sections 650 and 703) alongside with the Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) to understand the justification of the proposed regulations and forms. This proposal includes two different permit use levels (a “General” use, and a “Specific” use) that constitute two different permit types with varying fees by permitholder type. If the Authorizations listed in each “General” use application (by taxonomic review program, as defined in subsection 650(d)) do not meet the applicant’s needs in terms of taxonomic groups/ species and numbers, locations, methodology and equipment, etc., the applicant would apply for a “Specific” use permit instead. The permit use levels are detailed under proposed 650 regulations, subsection (i) (pages 8-9), ISOR, Goal 2 (pages 7-10, and 21-23), ISOR, Description of Reasonable Alternatives (pages 72-74), as well as the SCP Fiscal Analysis, Alternative 2 (pages 9-11). Please continue to apply for, or renew, an SCP with the existing application form (DFW 1379, rev. 11/2/2016), and apply for amendment to your existing permit with the existing amendment form (DFW 1379e, rev. 11/2/2016) until the proposed regulations are effective (anticipated fall 2017), or as otherwise announced by the Department.

  • Draft regulatory text and accompanying documents
  • 45-day public comment period on the proposed revisions: March 24 - May 8, 2017
  • Public hearing: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., May 8, 2017, at the Resources Building in downtown Sacramento.
  • All written comments must be received by the Department via mail or email no later than 5:00 p.m., May 8, 2017, as outlined in the Notice.

Scientific Collecting Permit Contacts

For questions about the status of an application and/or for assistance with payment of an application fee or permit fee, please contact the License and Revenue Branch’s Special Permits Unit by telephone at (916) 928-5849 or email at spu@wildlife.ca.gov.

Depending on the taxonomic areas of interest, questions about submitting an application (new, renewal, or amendment) may be directed to the appropriate CDFW permit review scientist(s) below:

Fisheries – anadromous & non-anadromous fish and aquatic invertebrates sampled in inland salt or freshwater – Leslie Alber, Fisheries Branch

Marine – anadromous & non-anadromous fish, algae, seagrasses, and invertebrates sampled in marine waters – James “Steve” May, Marine Region

Wildlife – amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, terrestrial invertebrates, and vernal pool invertebrates – Justin Garcia, Wildlife Branch

Information

Permit Applications

Report Forms

Fees

Entitlements Fee 2016 Description
Individual & Entity (non-students)
SCP Application Fee $105.83 Paid with submittal of an Application (PDF Form) by an Individual or Entity to process a new application or a renewal of an existing permit. For each Principal Investigator listed on an Entity permit, an Application and Permit fee is required.
SCP Permit (Issuance) Fee $315.75 Paid at time when notified by License and Revenue Branch that permit is ready for issuance. For each Principal Investigator listed on an Entity permit, an Application and Permit fee is required
SCP Amendment Fee $105.83 Paid at time when requesting via Amendment (PDF Form) any changes to an existing permit (such as type and number of wildlife requested for take, locations, methods, disposition), or to change names on the List of Authorized Individuals. Amendments are valid for the remaining duration of the original permit’s dates
Students only
SCP Application Fee $26.27 Paid with submittal of an Application (PDF Form) by a Student to process a new application or a renewal of an existing permit. Any resident or nonresident student in a school of collegiate level, who is required by an instructor or graduate supervisor in wildlife research to collect specimens used in laboratory work or research
SCP Permit (Issuance) Fee $53.05 Paid at time when notified by License and Revenue Branch that permit is ready for issuance
SCP Amendment Fee $26.27 Paid at time when requesting via Amendment (PDF Form) any changes to an existing permit (such as type and number of wildlife requested for take, locations, methods, disposition). Amendments are valid for the remaining duration of the original permit’s dates.