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State permit policies & procedures

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Detailed information about permits and reporting:


Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Phone (800) 858-1549
Ask to speak to staffer handling scientific collecting permits

Is a permit required for banding?

Yes. (pers.comm. 29 June 2009, from Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife avian nongame biologist to E. Paul: "it's interpreted that if you capture (mist-netting, trapping, etc.) that would be "taking" even though you are releasing the bird.  You do have to have a KY state collecting permit to band birds."

Permit application forms

State lands

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 notice

Check 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 assistants.



301 KAR 4:070. Scientific, educational and commercial nuisance wildlife control collecting permits.

RELATES TO: KRS 150.010, 150.025, 150.180, 150.183, 150.275, 150.305, 150.365, 150.460, 150.990


NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: The commissioner, with the concurrence of the commission, finds it necessary to regulate the collecting of wildlife species for scientific, educational and commercial nuisance control purposes while continuing to protect the wildlife resource. The purpose of this administrative regulation is to detail procedures and responsibilities necessary for the prudent collecting of wildlife and for deposition of data collected.

Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Protected wildlife" means all wildlife except woodchuck, coyote, starling, crow, house sparrow and all species of moles, mice, rats, shrews, insects, terrestrial invertebrates, and microscopic life forms unless listed or included by reference in Section 2 of this administrative regulation.

(2) "Scientific wildlife collecting" means the taking by specified means and the subsequent possession of wildlife specimens for the purposes of conducting scientific investigations or evaluations for which a remuneration is received.

(3) "Educational wildlife collecting" means the taking by specified means and subsequent possession of wildlife specimens by an individual or nonprofit organization for the purposes of conducting educational studies, scientific investigations, evaluations, or for use in the bona fide instruction of students.

(4) "Commercial nuisance wildlife control" means the capture, transportation and release of protected wildlife specimens for the purposes of removing problem wildlife from private or public property and for which a remuneration is received.

(5) "Federally protected wildlife" means any federally threatened or endangered species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and included in this administrative regulation by reference, any threatened or endangered species listed in Section 2(2) of this administrative regulation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any native bird species except crow. Section 2. Items Incorporated by Reference.

(1) "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 1986.
(2) In addition to the species listed in the reference in subsection (1) of this section, the following species are included:

Clifton Cave isopod Caecidotea barri
Crayfish Cambarus batchi
Big South Fork crayfish Cambarus bouchardi
Bousfield's amphipod Gammarus bousfieldi
Louisville crayfish Orconectes jeffersoni

Onyx rocksnail Leptoxis praerosa
Armored rocksnail Lithasia armigera
Ornate rocksnail Lithasia geniculata
Rustic rocksnail Lithasia salebrosa
Varicose rocksnail Lithasia verrucosa

Cumberland elktoe Alasmidonta atropurpurea
Spectacle case Cumberlandia monodonta
Fanshell Cyprogenia stegaria
Cumberland combshell Epioblasma brevidens
Oyster mussel Epioblasma capsaeformis
Catspaw Epioblasma obliquata
Crackling pearlymussel Hemistena lata
Scaleshell Leptodea leptodon
Ring pink Obovaria retusa
Little-winged pearlymussel Pegias fabula
Clubshell Pleurobema clava
Tennessee clubshell Pleurobema oviforme
Pyramid pigtoe Pleurobema pyramidatum
Rabbitsfoot Quadrula cylindrica
Winged mapleleaf Quadrula fragosa
Salamander mussel Simpsonaias ambigua
Bean villosa Villosa fabalis
Kentucky creekshell Villosa ortmanni

Blackside dace Phoxinus cumberlandensis
Lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens
Northern cavefish Amblyopsis spelaea
Crystal darter Ammocrypta asprella
Eastern sand darter Ammocrypta pellucida
Blue sucker Cycleptus elongatus
Johnny darter Etheostoma nigrum susanae
Sturgeon chub Hybopsis gelida
Sicklefin chub Hybopsis meeki
Palezone shiner Notropis sp.
Longhead darter Percina macrocephala
Pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus

Green salamander Aneides aeneus
Hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

Kirtland's snake Clonophis kirtlandii
Alligator snapping turtle Macroclemys temminckii
Copperbelly water snake Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta

Bachman's sparrow Aimophila aestivalis
American swallow-tailed kite Elanoides forficatus forficatus
Migrant loggerhead shrike Lanius ludovicianus migrans
Bewick's wren Thryomanes bewickii

Gapper's red-backed mouse Clethrionomys gapperi maurus
Pygmy shrew Microsorex hoyi winnemana
Southeastern myotis Myotis austroriparius
Small-footed myotis Myotis subulatus leibii
Eastern wood rat Neotoma floridana magister
Rafinesque's big-eared bat Plecotus rafinesquii
Long-tailed shrew Sorex dispar
New England cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis

Midget snaketail dragonfly Ophiogomphus howei
Six-banded longhorn beetle Dryobius sexnotatus
American burying beetle Nicrophorus americanus
Black lordithon rove beetle Lordithon niger

(3) "Endangered, Threatened, and Rare Plants and Animals of Kentucky," Warren, M.L., Jr., W.H. Davis, R.R. Hannan, M. Evans, D.L. Batch, B.D. Anderson, B. Palmer-Ball, Jr., J.R. MacGregor, R.R. Cicerello, R. Athey, B.A. Branson, G.J. Fallo, B.M. Burr, M.E. Medley, and J.M. Baskin, Volume 47, Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science, pages 83-98, 1986.

Section 3. Permit Required. Except as provided in Section 4(4) of this administrative regulation, a permit is required by all persons involved in scientific wildlife collecting, educational wildlife collecting or commercial nuisance wildlife control activities involving any protected wildlife in the state of Kentucky. This requirement does not apply to employees of the department engaged in their official duties.
Section 4. Applications, Fees, Issuance Procedures, Possession Requirements, and Revocation.
(1) Applications. Available from the department.
(2) Fees. Fees are based on permit type and are listed in 301 KAR 3:021. The type of permit for which to apply shall be determined by consulting Section 1(2), (3) and (4) of this administrative regulation. Remittance shall be by check or money order payable to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Fees shall accompany the application.
(3) Issuance. A permit shall be issued upon receipt of a satisfactorily completed application, remittance of the correct fee and any testaments required in Section 7(2) of this administrative regulation. Noncompliance with any provisions of this administrative regulation shall be grounds to deny the issuance of a permit. If permit modifications are necessary after the permit is issued, the applicant shall notify the department.
(4) Possession requirements. At least one (1) person in a field party whose name appears on the permit shall carry a valid collecting permit or a photocopy of the same.
(5) Revocation. Permittees shall obey all applicable wildlife laws and administrative regulations or have the permit revoked without refund if convicted of a violation. The offending person shall be ineligible to apply for another permit or be an assistant on any other permit for a period of three (3) years following revocation.

Section 5. Federal Permit Requirements.
No federally protected wildlife, living or dead, may be collected unless the collector holds a valid federal permit or a letter designating him as an agent of the department, in addition to a valid Kentucky collecting permit.

Section 6. Reporting Requirements.
(1) A written report of the collecting activities carried out during the year for which a scientific or educational collecting permit was issued shall be submitted to the department by no later than January 31 of the following year. Each report shall include the common name, scientific name (to lowest possible taxon), date of collection, condition (living or dead), method of disposal or retention, and specific locality of collection for each specimen or series collected. No report is required to document the taking of unprotected aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Locality data shall include the county in which the specimens were collected and the location at which the collection was made. Photocopies of county maps (or topographic maps) and field notes may suffice for locality reporting provided that all pertinent information is included. Permittees shall immediately report the discovery or collection of any federally protected or Kentucky threatened or endangered wildlife, that are incorporated by reference in Section 2(3) of this administrative regulation, (whether collected or not) to the department.
(2) Commercial nuisance wildlife control collecting permittees shall report annually by January 31 of the following year on forms provided by the department.

Section 7. Deposition of Specimens, Special Conditions for Taking Specified Wildlife and Disposal of Specimens. (1) Deposition of specimens. If specimens have been retained for verification, the name and address of any museum or recognized collection in which these voucher specimens have been deposited or the names and addresses of those persons or institutions that are maintaining the specimens shall be provided.

(2) Special conditions for taking specified wildlife. Commercial nuisance wildlife control permittees shall not kill protected wildlife unless such protected wildlife is taken during an open season for that species or such taking is otherwise authorized by the commissioner. Applicants for any permit that would allow them to collect bats shall attest by written affidavit that they possess the ability to identify federally protected bat species in the field, in life, so that such species shall not be inadvertently killed. Permittees shall not collect more than two (2) living specimens of any Kentucky endangered or threatened species, that are incorporated by reference in Section 2(3) of this administrative regulation, from any one locality during the permit year without additional authorization from the commissioner. Road kills or specimens found dead of natural causes may be taken in unlimited numbers for study unless they are federally protected wildlife.

(3) Disposal of specimens. All captured protected wildlife not killed shall be immediately released in a rural habitat suitable to that species. All other collected specimens shall either be appropriately preserved, disposed of or released as specified on the permit.
Section 8. Other General Prohibitions. (1) A collecting permit of any type shall not be used in lieu of a standard hunting or fishing license.

(2) Under no circumstances shall toxicants be used to take bats of any species. (15 Ky.R. 895; Am. 1278; eff. 11-23-88.)