State permit policies & procedures
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The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website is here:
There is no information specific to research permits
Brenda Lord, Wildlife Secretary
Wildlife Resource Assessment Section
Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
650 State Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: (207) 941-4463
Fax: (207) 941-4450 FAX
For permit for possession of live wildlife:
Vasco Carter, Staff Biologist
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
41 SHS, 284 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0041
Telephone: (207) 287-5252
Fax: (207) 287-6395
Is a permit required for banding?
Yes. There is an application form specifically for banding permits.
Permit application forms
To be determined.
Prior noticeCheck permit conditions. Even if not expressly
required to do so, you should always contact the manager of that
particular state land unit or with the owner of private land before
your arrival. You want to be aware of the hunting seasons, and, of
course want to be sure that your activities will not interfere with the
activities of that park, wildlife management area, or other state land
unit, and that your activities will not adversely affect public use of
the land or with the activities of private landowners.
State-listed threatened and endangered species
Common Name Scientific Name Status Distribution
Sterna albifrons Endangered Statewide
Aquila chrysaetos Endangered Statewide
Charadrius Melodus Endangered Statewide
Cistothorus platensis Endangered Statewide
Ammodramus avannarum Endangered Statewide
Sterna dougallii Threatened Statewide
Haliaeetus leucocephalus Threatened Statewide
09-137 DEPARTMENT OF INLAND FISHERIES & WILDLIFE
Chapter 6: SCIENTIFIC COLLECTION PERMIT
6.01 Permit Required
A scientific collection permit is required by any person who wishes to
take, transport or possess wild birds or animals and their parts or
products for scientific research or educational purposes at any time of
the year; and/or before any person may lawfully salvage, otherwise
acquire, transport or possess wild birds and animals for any purpose
not specifically covered under any other permit or license. A
Scientific Collection (Rehabilitation) Permit is required for the
possession of debilitated wild birds and animals for the purpose of
restoring them to full health and for maintaining in captivity any
debilitated wildlife that cannot be released to the wild. Temporary
rehabilitation permit may be issued upon warden or biologist
recommendation/approval without formal application.
6.02 Application Form
Applications for scientific collection and Rehabilitation permits must
be submitted on an appropriate application form to be provided by the
6.03 Submission of Application
Completed applications for all Scientific Collection Permits should be
submitted to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
6.04 Supporting Information
If any applicant plans to utilize firearms or archery for any purpose
while conducting activities covered by a scientific collection permit,
the application must be accompanied by proof that the applicant
possesses a current valid Maine hunting license. This requirement also
applies to any subpermittee listed on the application. Also, if
applicable, proof must be furnished of a valid federal scientific
collection special purpose permit. Issuance of Wildlife Rehabilitation
permit shall be subject to successful completion of an examination,
which may include a written test to show proficiency and knowledge in
the area of wildlife husbandry and rehabilitation and the laws and
regulations of the State and Department.
Applicants with 3 or more consecutive years of active rehabilitation
permits will not be required to take a written examination.
6.05 Incomplete Applications
Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
Applicants must be 16 years of age or older.
6.07 Grounds for Permit Denial
Upon receipt of a properly executed permit application, the Commissioner may issue a permit unless:
A. The applicant has been assessed a civil penalty or convicted of any
criminal statute or regulation relating to the activity for which the
application is filed if such conviction or assessment evidences a lack
B. The applicant has failed to disclose information required or has
made false statements as to any material fact in connection with his
C. The applicant has failed to demonstrate a valid justification for the permit.
D. The authorization requested potentially threatens a wildlife population.
E. Applicant fails to take or pass a written or oral examination if required.
6.08 Rights of Permittee
Permits shall entitle the person to whom issued to engage in the
activity specified in the permit for the prescribed time unless the
permit is terminated. A Rehabilitation permit does not provide for
ownership of any wildlife by individuals or institutions, nor for any
other use of wildlife beyond that associated with the rehabilitation or
approved educational use of the wildlife species involved. Wildlife
possessed by virtue of a rehabilitation permit may not be sold,
bartered, or traded. This is not to prohibit the transfer of
debilitated wildlife to another permittee for treatment or care, or of
non-releasable wildlife to more appropriate facilities.
6.09 Responsibility for Rehabilitation Costs
Food and shelter costs, veterinary costs or charges, any labor or
consultation charges, transportation or any other costs or charges
associated with the rehabilitation of wildlife are the responsibility
of the permittee. Permittee may not charge any third party for such
costs unless said permittee is a Maine licensed veterinarian.
Donations may be accepted.
6.10 Records; Reports
The person to whom the permit is issued shall maintain complete and
accurate records of any activity conducted pursuant to such permit. A
report of these activities shall be submitted to the Commissioner
within 30 days following permit expiration or with request for renewal.
Report forms shall be provided by the Commissioner. Notification must
be made within 48 hours to the permit authority if the species involved
is included on the Maine Endangered Species or Threatened Species list.
6.11 Renewal Requirements
Permits are renewable and may be renewed:
A. If a satisfactory report of work accomplished during the the preceding year is submitted.
B. If, in order to meet a stated objective the permittee intends to
continue the activity described in the permit during any portion of the
year ensueing its expiration.
C. If the above criteria are met and the permittee requests the renewal.
6.12 Transfer of Permits Prohibited; Exception
Permits are not transferable; except any person/s employed by or under
contract to the permittee for the purposes authorized by the permit may
carry out the authorized activity; provided the permittee notifies the
Department in writing of the name and address of those person/s so
authorized by him prior to commencement of field work. A copy of this
letter will be carried by the individual while conducting activities
under the permittee's supervision.
Any violation of these rules and regulations or the conditions of any permit may subject the permittee to the following:
A. Upon conviction, punishment as provided by Section 7901, Title 12.
B. Revocation of the permit. When revoked permits must be surrendered to the Commissioner on demand.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 12 M.R.S.A. Sec. 2106
March 1, 1976 (Filed 6-1-79)
May 1, 1977 (Filed 6-1-79)
November 2, 1986 - Section 4
November 8, 1987
February 1, 1999 - converted to Micro
Possession of live wildlife
09-137 DEPARTMENT OF INLAND FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE
Chapter 7: REGULATIONS FOR WILDLIFE IN CAPTIVITY
Scope: These rules shall apply to the possession of any wildlife in
captivity and to the importation of wildlife from an area outside the
State, pursuant to Title 12 MRSA. These rules are organized into
general provisions applying to all permits under this Chapter, followed
by specific provisions applying to each part. The approval of permits
shall be subject to the ability of the applicant to meet the provisions
of these rules and other legal requirements.
Part I. General Provisions
7.00 Permit Required:
A permit is required to take alive, possess or import any native or
exotic wildlife for the following purposes pursuant to Title 12 MRSA
Section 7235-C: Wildlife Exhibit, including any commercial display of
wildlife; General Wildlife Possession, including propagation or
personal use of wildlife; Wildlife Rehabilitation. Wildlife
Importation, pursuant to 12 MRSA Section 7237; and Scientific
Collection pursuant to 12 MRSA Section 7242.
7.01 Unrestricted Species:
Any wildlife species designated by the Commissioner as "unrestricted"
(Section 7235-C, subsection 1, paragraph B) shall not be subject to a
possession permit under Section 7235-C. Unrestricted species shall be
maintained in a humane and safe manner that does not jeopardize public
health and safety, the welfare of the animal, or cause a public
7.02 Application Procedures:
Requests for Wildlife Possession and Importation permits shall be made
on application forms provided by the Department. The facilities where
the wildlife will be kept shall be subject to a site inspection and
approval by the Department before a permit may be issued.
7.03 Technical Committee:
The Commissioner shall appoint a Technical Consulting Committee to
provide advice regarding proposed wildlife possession and importation
permits. The Committee shall include a representative from the
Department's Bureau of Resource Management, the State Animal Welfare
Board, State Veterinarian, a current wildlife possession permit holder;
and 3 individuals having training or experience in wildlife
conservation, vertebrate zoology, veterinary medicine, herpetology, or
the husbandry of captive wildlife. The Commissioner will ordinarily
consult with the Technical Committee prior to issuing a permit to
obtain pertinent information and advice regarding the proposed
possession or importation of wildlife.
7.05 Review of Permit:
An applicant or permittee under this section who wishes to contest a
permit condition may make a request in writing to the Commissioner, who
may hear information and consult with such experts and professionals as
may be appropriate to substantiate issues of public health and safety,
animal welfare, or other facts relevant to the DepartmentŐs
responsibilities under this Chapter, and take action accordingly.
Inspections of wildlife facilities and required records by authorized
Department personnel and animal welfare agents may be made at all
reasonable times. Findings of inspections may be provided in writing to
the permittee upon request.
7.07 Grounds for Permit Denial:
The Commissioner may deny a permit when:
1. The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the purpose or
methodology for the possession is legitimate under Maine statute and
2. The applicant does not have appropriate facilities or has failed to
satisfactorily demonstrate the capability and qualifications to perform
the functions required.
3. The possession or activities requested potentially and unreasonably threaten a wildlife population or the public welfare.
7.08 Conditions and Restrictions:
1. Species with Special Needs or Considerations: The Commissioner may
set special conditions on a permit to mitigate potential impacts on, or
from, wildlife having special needs and to ensure the welfare of such
wildlife. The Commissioner may seek the advise of experts on the
species involved to provide for such special needs and to ensure the
welfare of the wildlife.
2. Federal Permit Requirements: If applicable, proof must be furnished
of a valid federal wildlife possession or importation permit, and
compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
3. Display of Permit: All permits issued for the possession of wildlife
shall be made available for inspection by Department representatives
and animal welfare agents.
4. Security and Shelter: Wildlife held in captivity must be contained,
controlled, and sheltered in such a way as to protect it, and to
protect property of others and the public health and safety.
5. Emergency Plan: A written Emergency Plan shall be submitted with the
application for use in the event of occurrences such as: (1) severe
damage to enclosures due to fire, wind, or floods; (2) animals
attacking and /or injuring humans, other animals or property; and (3)
the escape of any animal in captivity. The plan shall include an
updated list of dangerous wildlife in captivity, the availability of
capture equipment and weapons with specific instructions as to the
precise circumstances under which dangerous wildlife are to be
destroyed. Such plan shall be available and produced at the request of
a law enforcement officer, firefighter, Department representative or
Animal Control Officer. Local police or the local game warden shall be
immediately notified of the escape of a dangerous animal.
6. Costs of recovery or handling. The permittee shall be responsible
for all costs incurred by the State resulting from the escape or
release of wildlife, or for the necessary confiscation of wildlife from
the premises of the permittee, or as the result of the revocation of
the possession permit. The Commissioner may require the posting of a
bond or other financial security for this purpose.
7. Health and Comfort: (a) No animal shall be chained or otherwise
tethered to a stake , post, tree, building or any other anchorage at
any time except for training or other controlled activities, for
medical treatment or grooming of such animals or as otherwise provided
herein. (b) All animals held in outdoor enclosures shall be provided
with adequate shelter from inclement weather and direct sunlight. Each
cage or enclosure shall have shelter sufficient to simultaneously
protect all animals contained therein. (c) All animals shall be
provided with quarters that maintain a temperature meeting the
biological needs of the animal. (d) Handling of animals shall be done
as expeditiously and carefully as possible, in such a way as to avoid
unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical harm to the
animal.. All wildlife shall be provided with appropriate veterinary
care to include care for injuries and for the control of contagious,
parasitic, and nutritional diseases.
8. Sanitation: All cages and enclosures shall be kept in a sanitary
condition. Regular cleaning schedules shall be maintained. Trash,
spilled food and fecal materials shall be removed at least once each
day and more often if necessary. Cages may not be stacked in such a way
that excrement may enter lower enclosures.
9. Food and Water: a.) An adequate supply of potable water shall be
available in cages and enclosures for drinking, washing or other
purposes necessary to the species being contained. b.) Regular feeding
schedules shall be maintained; the rations supplied shall be adequate,
nutritious, and so far as possible consistent with the food which is
ordinarily eaten by such animals in the wild. Food shall be sufficient
to maintain proper strength and healthy appearance. c.) Areas used for
the preparation and storage of food shall be sufficiently clean to
prevent contamination by pathogens or harmful substances. Meat, fish
and fresh fruits and vegetables to be fed to animals shall be properly
refrigerated to prevent spoilage. d.) Food for animals shall be stored
in such a way as to prevent damage of food from weather, rodents,
insects and animals.
10. Cage Requirements :
a. The following are minimum caging requirements for animals kept in
captivity. Any permittee possessing or wishing to obtain an animal not
included below shall contact the Commissioner of the Department who
will determine an appropriate cage size and holding requirements. The
permittee shall comply with all such requirements set by the
1. General requirements - Enclosures for flying birds shall either be
small enough to inhibit flying altogether, or large enough to permit
aerial maneuvering within the enclosure. Any enclosure not sufficiently
large may result in injuries from birds flying into the sides of the
2. Parrot-type (macaws, large cockatoos).
a. Number or size - Single bird.
b. Cage size - adequate room for turning and sitting on a perch without
touching its tail against sides or bottom of cage is required.
c. Accessories - Suitable perch that is large enough so that the claws do not meet on the underside.
3. Medium-sized parrots (small cockatoos, yellow-heads, grays, Amazons).
a. Number or size - Up to 2 specimens.
b. Cage size - 18" long x 18" wide x 24" high.
c. Accessories - 1 suitable perch per bird; diameter of perch must be
large enough so that claws do not meet on the underside.
4. Small parrots (lovebirds, parakeets, and similar parrots).
a. Number or size - 1 or 2 birds.
b. Cage size - 12" long x 24" wide x 10" high. Community cages must provide flight space.
c. Accessories - 1 or more suitable perches (diameter must be large enough so that claws do not meet on underside).
a. Number or size - Not more than 2 pairs of adults or 1 pair and offspring of the year.
b. Cage size - 100 sq. ft. of area with adequate water to meet the biological needs of the species.
6. Eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, toucans and toucanets.
a. Number or size - Single bird.
b. Cage size - Cage must be wide enough for the bird to spread its
wings and fly-hop from floor to perch. Width shall be 2 times greater
than wingspread. Perch to ground shall be twice as long as its body.
Length of cage shall be 5 times the body length. Increase cage size by
50% in length and 25% in width for each additional bird.
c. Accessories - At least 1 suitable perch per bird (the diameter of
the perch shall be large enough so that talons do not meet on the
underside). For large birds of prey, a stump high enough that when a
bird is perched, the tail feathers are 6" off the floor. Roof of cage
shall be of sufficient height to permit the bird to rest erect on any
of the perches.
7. Wild turkeys, peafowl and curassows.
a. Number or size - 1 to 3 birds.
b. Cage size - 144 sq. ft. of horizontal space. Male peafowl must have
adequate turning room for its tail. Enclosures shall be at least 6'
c. Accessories - Must have at least 1 roost perch approximately 4' from floor.
8. Lesser game birds, pheasants, and others of similar size.
a. Number or size - 1 to 5 birds.
b. Cage size - 100 sq. ft. of horizontal space. Enclosure shall be at
least 6' high. Each additional bird requires an additional 20 sq. ft.
c. Accessories - Must have at least 1 roost perch approximately 30" from the floor.
9. Community groups of finches and seedeaters.
a. Number or size - Community group of 25 or less.
b. Cage size - 4' wide x 8' long x 8' high.
10. Medium-size flight birds (jays, starlings, doves, pigeons, and others of similar size).
a. Number or size - 1 to 2 birds.
b. Cage size - 3' long x 2' wide x 5' high. For a community group the
cage must be large enough to allow flying and be at least 8' in
diameter. These birds may be kept in a parrot-style cage.
11. Wading birds (flamingos, ibises, spoonbills, herons, egrets, and others of similar size and habits.
a. Number or size - 1 to 5 birds.
b. Cage size - 144 sq. ft. of horizontal space. Birds in open, fenced areas shall be pinioned.
c. Accessories - Shallow pools for wading plus dry land areas.
12. Storks and cranes.
a. Number or size - 1 pair.
b. Cage size - 144 sq. ft. of horizontal space.
13. Pelicans, cormorants and swans.
a. Number or size - 2 birds.
b. Cage size - 144 sq. ft. of horizontal space. 50% of area shall be
water at least 18" deep. Add 25% more area in land and pool for each
a. Number or size - 1 pair.
b. Cage size - 100 sq. ft. of horizontal space of which 50% is water at
least 36" deep. Add 10% area in water and land for each additional bird.
c. Accessories - Water must be cooled to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and be
flowing. Chilled waters shall not be required for HumboldtŐs penguins.
Any violation of these rules or the conditions of any permit may subject the permittee to the following:
1. Upon conviction of a violation relating to this Chapter, punishment as provided by Title 12 MRSA Section 7901-A.
2. Suspension or revocation of the permit pursuant to 12 MRSA Section 7077.