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State permit policies & procedures

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South Dakota


South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks
Division of Wildlife


Nathan Baker
Dept. of Game Fish and Parks
Natural Heritage Program
Foss Bldg. 523 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-4345
Fax: 605-773-6245

Is a permit needed for banding?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Per D. Backlund: “For most projects working with migratory birds (assuming the projects are acceptable, the researchers are qualified, and the necessary federal permits are obtained) we would issue a Scientific Collecting Permit. We do not require a SCP permit for general bird banding (such as running a stationary banding station with mist nets), but if the researcher is collecting specimens, banding nestlings, attaching transmitters, or other more intrusive types of research, then a SCP should be obtained.  If there is any question about whether a permit is needed, the researchers should contact SD GFP.  If in doubt, it is best to obtain a permit, they are free and turnaround is generally fast.”

Permit application forms

  • Application Form - Available here or from the agency website
  • Renewal - same form

  • Threatened and Endangered - An applicant for a state endangered species permit should submit a written letter to the

    Secretary of SDGFP
    523 E. Capitol Avenue
    Pierre, SD, 57501

    at least six weeks prior to the time the permit is needed.

    The letter should include the following:
    •    What individual is responsible for complying with the permit? Also include address, phone number, fax number, and email address.
    •    What specific activity is planned (capture, possession, exportation, etc.)?
    •    List the scientific name, common name, and number of individuals requested.
    •    How long will the activity last?
    •    What is the purpose of the activity? Only those purposes stated in 34A-8-8 will be considered for authorization.

    Issuance of a SDGFP state endangered species permit does not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to obtain other local, state, federal, or international permits. SDGFP will not make the determination of whether additional permits are needed; that is the responsibility of the applicant.

    Holders of SDGFP state endangered species permits must comply with the terms of their specific permits. Permit holders should not assume that other activities, additional species or increased numbers of individuals, or timeframes outside the permit conditions are authorized by SDGFP.

    Violations of SDGFP state endangered species permits may jeopardize future permits and may be referred to law enforcement personnel for follow-up actions.

    This procedure does not apply to captive nondomestic animals permitted for possession by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board.

    State endangered and threatened species:


    Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis)
    Interior least tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)
    Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)
    Whooping crane (Grus americana)


    American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus)
    Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
    Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
    Piping plover (Charadrius melodus)

  • Salvage - use application form; specific that salvage authority is requested

State lands

To be determined on a case by case basis.

Prior notice

Check 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.



41:09:16:01.  Eligibility requirements. The secretary may grant, with approval from the commission, a scientific collector's license to persons or institutions engaged in scientific research, deemed bona fide by the secretary, or to an incorporated society of natural history for scientific or educational purposes.

41:09:16:02.  Application for license. A person or institution must apply for a scientific collector's license on forms provided by the department. The form must contain complete information on the species and numbers of nests, eggs, birds, animals, or fish requested to be collected, the method of collection, the locations of collection, the collection period, what the purpose or use of the collected specimens will be, the institution for which collections are being made, and final disposition of the specimens collected.

41:09:16:03.  Conditions of license. The license may contain special conditions and provisions for collections of specific nests, eggs, birds, animals, and fish; shall limit the numbers and specimens to be collected; and shall establish the expiration date of the license.

41:09:16:04.  Reporting required. A licensee must keep complete records of specimens collected, dates, locations, and dispositions of specimens collected. A collection report form must be completed and submitted to the department in Pierre no later than January 31, following the year in which the scientific collector's license was issued.

41:09:16:05.  Violations. Violation of any terms of the license or failure to submit the required reports is grounds for termination of the license and for refusal to issue the license in succeeding years.