Presented by the
Ornithological Council

Member organizations of the Ornithological Council

American Ornithologists' Union

Association of Field Ornithologists


Cooper Ornithological Society

Neotropical Ornithological Society

Pacific Seabird Group

Raptor Research Foundation

Society of Canadian Ornithologists ~ Société des Ornithologistes du Canada

Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds

The Waterbird Society

Wilson Ornithological Society
Page Last Updated
Sun, Jan 25, 2009

Contact Webmaster:
Robert.Curry @

© 1997-2009, The Ornithological Council, All Rights Reserved

DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript

State permit policies & procedures

Back to US State index

New Mexico


New Mexico Game and Fish

Permits page

Also available here


Eliza Gilbert
Permits/Biological Information, Conservation Services Division
Technical Guidance Section

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish
P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM  87504
One Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM  87507

Phone: (505) 476-8130
Fax: (505) 476-8128

Permit required for banding

Yes, per regulation, below.

Permit application forms

  • Application Form - Available here or from the agency website

  • Renewal - same form

  • Threatened and Endangered

  • Salvage - same form

State lands

To be determined

Prior notice

To be determined

Policies and Procedures



PART 2                 TAKING AND POSSESSION OF PROTECTED WILDLIFE FOR SCIENTIFIC AND            EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES               ISSUING AGENCY:  Mexico Department of Game and Fish.               SCOPE:  The department of game and fish and all persons who may be involved in the taking of protected wildlife for scientific and educational purposes.               AUTHORITY:  Sections 17-2-37 through 17-2-46, NMSA 1978 provide that the New Mexico state game commission has the authority to establish rules and regulations that it may deem necessary to carry out the purpose of Chapter 17 NMSA 1978 and all other acts pertaining to protected species.               DURATION:  Permanent.               EFFECTIVE DATE:  January 31, 1996 [unless a later date is cited at the end of a section]               OBJECTIVE:  To provide information on the taking and possession of protected wildlife for scientific and educational purposes.               DEFINITIONS:

                A.            "Authorization" means the written outline of activities that a person(s) is authorized to conduct under this regulation. Each authorization shall include the name and address of the person(s) so authorized, as well as the numbers, origins, and disposition of protected wildlife that may be taken or possessed.

                B.            "Designated cooperator" means any person(s) so designated by the department of game and fish for the purpose of being exempted from obtaining the permit otherwise required under this regulation.

                C.            "Educational purposes" means the taking or possession of protected wildlife for instructional, display, and/or other educational purposes.

                D.            "Non-resident" means any person that is not defined as a resident under Section 17-3-4, New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 Compilation.

                E.             "Permit" means the permit issued under this regulation for a person(s) to conduct activities as authorized by the department of game and fish.

                F.             "Permittee" means any person authorized to conduct activities under this regulation, whether by authorization or permit.

                G.            "Protected wildlife" means the following taken under this regulation:

                    (1)     All wild species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes and endangered mollusks and crustaceans taken by any person that is a non-resident of New Mexico.

                    (2)     The following wild species taken by any person that is a resident of New Mexico:  pikas, marmots, and game, furbearing and endangered mammals; all birds (except rock doves, European starlings, and house sparrows); horned lizards (if sacrificed, retained and/or transported out-of-state) and endangered reptiles; bullfrogs and endangered amphibians; game and endangered fishes; and endangered mollusks and crustaceans.

                H.            "Resident" means any person defined as such by Section 17-3-4, New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 Compilation.

                I.              "Scientific purposes" means the taking or possession of protected wildlife for research, management and/or related purposes (e.g., captive, experimental and mark-and-release studies).

                J.             "Taking" means the capture, sacrifice, salvage, retention, transport, possession or the attempted capture, sacrifice, salvage, retention, transport or possession of protected wildlife.               PERMIT REQUIREMENTS:

                A.            In order to conduct activities authorized under this regulation, a person must complete, sign, and submit an application (with any appropriate attachments) to the department of game and fish. A fee must accompany the application of any person requiring a permit to conduct such activities (see Exemption 9, infra, for such exemptions) [now NMAC].

                B.            Based on the above application, the department of game and fish will approve the activities to be conducted in the form of a written authorization. Such authorization shall be required of all persons wishing to conduct activities under this regulation, except as exempted in Exemption 9 (infra) [now NMAC].

                C.            Based on the above authorizations, permits will be issued to allow applicants to conduct authorized activities (each permit must have an authorization attached). Persons not requiring permits are authorized to conduct their activities solely on the bases of the authorizations that are issued to them.

                D.            An annual fee will be charged for each permit, the amount of which will shall be set by regulation. This fee will be refunded to applicants in those cases in which activities are not authorized or permit requirements are waived by the department of game and fish.

                E.             Authorizations and permits are issued to individuals rather than to parties or organizations. However, a permittee may have subpermittees, provided their names, qualifications and signatures are included in the application. Individuals should be included as subpermittees only if they take or possess protected wildlife when outside the immediate oversight and supervision of the permittee.

                F.             Authorizations/permits will be valid for up to three years and will be based on a calendar year.

                G.            Authorizations must be amended to reflect changes in activities, including the addition of subpermittees, kinds and numbers of wildlife and areas. Amendments must be requested in writing, as well as signed by permittees and newly-added subpermittees.

                H.            Authorizations/permits will be issued only to qualified applicants for legitimate scientific and educational purposes. Such activities must be carried out in a humane, judicious, sensitive and otherwise appropriate manner, and failure to do so will be grounds for punitive or other actions by the department of game and fish.

                I.              Authorization/permits may be amended, suspended or revoked pursuant to the statutes, regulations and policies of the department of game and fish, provided that permittees will be notified in writing when such actions are to be taken.

                J.             Authorizations/permits are not transferable, and they shall be signed as required and carried by permittees and subpermittees when authorized activities are being conducted.

                K.            Authorizations, permits, specimens and other relevant materials must be shown by a permittee or their agents to any law enforcement officer or other authorized persons upon request.

                L.             By signing applications, year-end reports, and other documents, permittees and their subpermittees affirm their understanding of and intent to abide by the statutes, regulations and policies of the department of game and fish  regarding the taking of wildlife for scientific and educational purposes. As a consequence, these documents can be used in dealing with infractions committed by permittees or subpermittees.               EXEMPTIONS:

                A.            The following are exempted from applying for or having authorizations and permits for conducting activities under this regulation:

                    (1)     Employees of the department of game and fish when such activities are part of their official duties.

                    (2)     Persons that salvage or aid in salvaging dead, injured or otherwise incapacitated wildlife for the department of game and fish or others authorized for such possession, provided that this exemption does not apply to game species. Salvaged wildlife should be turned over to the department or other authorized recipients in a timely and expedient manner.

                B.            The following persons are exempted from obtaining permits for activities under this regulation, provided such activities are included in authorizations issued to them by the department of game and fish:

                    (1)     Employees of federal and New Mexico state, county and local agencies, provided the activities are part of official duties.

                    (2)     Contractors and designated cooperators of the department of game and fish, provided the activities are part of their contractual or cooperative duties.             RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF SPECIMENS:

                A.            Protected wildlife may be taken and possessed under this regulation only for scientific or educational purposes as defined in Definitions 1 (supra), provided that specimens may be donated, exchanged or otherwise processed in accordance with standard scientific and educational practices.

                B.            The retention of protected wildlife taken or possessed under this regulation is authorized in perpetuity under the authorization/permit under which originally taken, except as provided in 10.3 [now Subsection C of NMAC] (infra).

                C.            The disposition of any progeny of wildlife taken or possessed under this regulation shall be in accordance with written authorization from the department of game and fish.             YEAR-END REPORTS:

                A.            All permittees are required to file year-end reports on activities conducted under this regulation.

                B.            Each year-end report must be signed by the permittee and received by the department of game and fish no later than 30 days after the expiration of the license-year for which that permit was valid.

                C.            A year-end report must be filed with and accepted by the department of game and fish prior to the renewal or reissuance of any authorization and/or permit.             INFRACTIONS:

                A.            In order to promote adherence to provisions of this regulation, permittees will be issued a point for each infraction of required procedures. When points total three (3), a recommendation will be made to the state game commission that the permittee's authorization and/or permit privileges be denied or suspended for a period of one year. These violations are as follows (each is scored one point):

                    (1)     Late submission of a year-end report.

                    (2)     Exceeding authorized take of specimens providing the excess is 10 percent or less.

                    (3)     Taking of authorized wildlife in an unauthorized locality or manner.

                    (4)     Committing the same infraction two years in a row.

                B.            Other infractions will be dealt with under regulations and policies of the department of game and fish, which could lead to revocation of permits, criminal and/or civil prosecution, or both.




B.            BIRDS

                    (1)     Endangered:

                            (a)     brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis

                            (b)     aplomado falcon, Falco femoralis

                            (c)     white-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus

                            (d)     whooping crane, Grus americana

                            (e)     least tern, Sterna antillarum

                            (f)     common ground-dove, Columbina passerina

                            (g)     buff-collared nightjar, Caprimulgus ridgway

                            (h)     elegant trogon, Trogon elegans

                            (i)     northern beardless-tyrannulet, Camptostoma imberbe

                            (j)     (southwestern) willow flycatcher, Empidonax traillii extimus

                            (k)     thick-billed kingbird, Tyrannus crassirostris

                            (l)     (Arizona) grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus

                    (2)     Threatened:

                           (a)     neotropic cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus

                           (b)     bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus

                           (c)     common black-hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus

                           (d)     peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus

                           (e)     (Gould’s) wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo mexicana

                           (f)     piping plover, Charadrius melodus

                           (g)     whiskered screech-owl, Megascops trichopsis

                           (h)     boreal owl, Aegolius funereus

                           (i)     broad-billed hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris

                           (j)     white-eared hummingbird, Hylocharis leucotis

                           (k)     violet-crowned hummingbird, Amazilia violiceps

                           (l)     lucifer hummingbird, Calothorax lucifer

                           (m)     Costa’s hummingbird, Calypte costae

                           (n)     Gila woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialis

                           (o)     Bell’s vireo, Vireo bellii

                           (p)     gray vireo, vireo vicinior

                           (q)     Abert’s towhee, Pipilo aberti

                           (r)     Baird’s sparrow, Ammodramus bairdii

                           (s)     yellow-eyed junco, Junco phaeonotus

                           (t)     varied bunting, Passerina versicolor