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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


June 7, 2017 Update - Departmental Rulemaking for Scientific Collecting Permits

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) initially conducted a pre-notice outreach period between fall 2012 and spring 2015 to help inform the Department’s improvements for SCP administration and operation. After considering all the comments received during the pre-notice outreach period, the Department made available for public comment from March 24 - May 8, 2017 its 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).

The deadline for submitting written comments during the 45-day comment period on the proposed regulations was 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2017. All formal oral comments received and recorded at the public hearing held on Monday, May 8 and up to the comment deadline will be responded to as part of the rulemaking process, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The Department is working to evaluate all the comments received before the May 8, 2017 deadline. The Department is planning some modifications of the originally proposed regulations affecting invertebrates (including forms), and the Department will make the modified text (with the changes clearly indicated) available to the public for 15 days in a “re-notice” period. This 15-day comment period would allow for comments only on the indicated changes, not on the aspects of the package that were already noticed during the 45-day period. The comments and respective responses from the 45-day period, and comments with responses from the 15-day period, will be published with the Final Statement of Reasons, around the time the Department would adopt the revised regulations, before the planned effective date of January 1, 2018.

Please check back on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Scientific Collecting Permits page within the next month or so regarding such developments.

  • Draft regulatory text and accompanying documents (Noticed on March 24, 2017)
  • 45-day public comment period on the proposed revisions held March 24 - May 8, 2017 (Public Hearing was 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., May 8, 2017, at the Resources Building in downtown Sacramento).

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.