State permit policies & procedures
Back to US State index
No information pertaining to permits other than the actual permit applications
Customer Service Bureau – Licensing Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034
Phone (515) 281-5918
Is a permit required for banding?Yes.
"Take" includes pursue, hunt, search for, netting, trapping, shooting
whether or not an animal is subsequently captured, killed or injured.
(pers.comm. Daryl Howell, Iowa DNR to E. Paul, 29 June 2009).
Permit application forms
- Application Form - Available here
or from website
- Renewal - no separate form - there is a check box at the top for new or renewal
- Threatened and Endangered - same form; Work with threatened or
endangered species requires approval by the appropriate bureau and the
authorization of the Director of the Department of Natural Resources or
the Director’s designee.
- Salvage - download here
or from website
In your project proposal, be sure to state that you would like to work
on state property. The permit biologist will contact the appropriate
land managers to secure permission for you.
Prior noticeCheck permit conditions. As a matter of good
practice, it is always a good idea to consult the land owner or manager
before working in a particular location, so as to avoid conflicts with
management activities, prior scheduled uses of the property, with the
general public, and to assure the safety of the researcher and field
Title 571, Chapter 111 of the Iowa Administrative Code
"Educational project permit" means a
permit which may authorize the holder to take and possess live
state-protected birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, or
invertebrates for educational or zoological displays.
"Permit holder" means an organization or person that possesses a valid
permit issued by the Iowa department of natural resources under Iowa
Code section 481A.65.
"Raptor" means hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, vultures, harriers, kites, accipiters, and ospreys.
"Scientific collector’s license" means a license which authorizes the
holder to take, for scientific purposes only, any birds, nests, eggs or
mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, plants or parts
thereof which are protected by state regulations.
"Wildlife rehabilitation permit" means a permit which authorizes the
holder to take and temporarily possess injured, sick or orphaned
state-protected species of birds, mammals, amphibians or reptiles with
the intent to return the animal to its natural habitat as soon as
"Wildlife salvage permit" means a permit which authorizes the holder to
possess, for natural resource education programs, any state-protected
species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, or invertebrates
which have died as the result of natural causes or accidents (i.e.,
road-kills, window-kills or tower-kills) or specimens which have been
donated by the department of natural resources.
Scientific collector’s license.
A scientific collector’s license may, after investigation, be issued to
any university, college or person engaged in a scientific project
approved by the department of natural resources.
This license may be issued for a period of up to three years.
Species, numbers, geographic location, and collection methods must be
identified in the application narrative and approved by the department
of natural resources.
Wildlife salvage permit.
A wildlife salvage permit may be issued to any university, college,
school, county conservation board, public agency, other organization or
person engaged in a natural resource education program approved by the
department of natural resources.
This permit may be issued for a period of up to three years.
Special approval is required for the salvage of abandoned bird nests,
not including raptor nests. This permit does not authorize any taking
or possession of live animals.
Disposition of animals.
Injured or orphaned animals which cannot be returned to their natural
environment shall be transferred to someone with an educational project
permit or, after being euthanized by or under the guidance of a
licensed veterinarian, handled as follows:
- Transferred to someone with a scientific collector’s license or a
wildlife salvage permit after obtaining permission from the local state
conservation officer, or
- Buried or burned according to Iowa Code chapter 167.
Specimens held under a wildlife salvage permit may be transferred to
someone holding a scientific collector’s license, a wildlife salvage
permit, or burned or buried according to Iowa Code chapter 167 after
obtaining permission from the local conservation officer.
All threatened and endangered species which have died, which must be
euthanized, or which cannot be released shall be referred to the
department of natural resources. The department of natural resources
shall provide these specimens to persons who hold a scientific
collector’s license, a wildlife salvage permit, or an educational
project permit or shall provide for proper disposal.
General conditions for permits.
1. Applications will not be approved for private collections or for commercial use of protected species.
2. Any costs incurred by the permittee for the administration of any
permit authorized by this chapter of rules will be the responsibility
of the permittee.
3. Scientific collecting licenses, wildlife salvage permits, general
educational project permits, with the exception of those for raptors,
will generally be issued in the name of the institution or
organization. The principal collector or permit holder will be listed
on the permit and be responsible for administering the license or
permit. All persons collecting or working under the authority of the
license or permit shall carry a copy of the permit and a letter of
authorization from the principal license or permit holder.
4. Educational project permits for raptors and wildlife rehabilitation
permits may list an institution or organization, but also must list the
person or persons with the qualifications for that particular permit.
These permits do not necessarily continue with the institution or
organization if the person or persons listed on the permits leave. If
replacement personnel with the proper qualifications for the permit or
permits are found, then the permit or permits will stay in the
institution’s or organization’s name.
5. Specimens collected or possessed under any license or permit
authorized by this chapter of rules remain the property of the state of
Iowa. The department of natural resources reserves the right to
determine the disposition of all specimens collected under authority of
6. Records, facilities and inventories must be made available for
inspection by officers of the department of natural resources during
7. Records of collections and the manner in which specimens have been
acquired and their disposition must be kept current at all times.
Rehabilitation permits must be updated within 24 hours of the event.
All other permits must be updated within 48 hours of the event.
8. Authorization to collect or possess endangered or threatened species
requires special permission and must comply with provisions established
in Iowa Code chapter 481B.
9. A representative of the department of natural resources must be
notified within 72 hours of taking or holding of threatened or
endangered species that are found dead and within 24 hours for those
that are injured or sick.
10. A licensed rehabilitator or veterinarian must determine if a raptor
is permanently crippled before it can be held under an educational
11. License or permit fees will be $5 for one year, $10 for two years, and $15 for three years.
12. Applicants for scientific collecting, wildlife rehabilitation, and
educational projects must be 18 years old or provide written permission
from a parent or guardian.
13. No animals being rehabilitated may be used for educational programs.
14. Applicants for scientific collecting licenses, wildlife
rehabilitation, wildlife salvage, and educational project permits that
are requesting permission to possess, hold, or collect bird species as
listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, 50 CFR 10.13 (April 5,
1985), may also be required to obtain a federal permit issued by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.