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State permit policies & procedures

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    Texas Wildlife and Parks

    Permits page:   


    Chris Maldonado
    Phone: (512) 389-4647
    Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
    Wildlife Diversity Permits Section
    4200 Smith School Road
    Austin TX 78744

Permit needed for banding: Yes. “A scientific research permit is required if a person will be capturing and handling protected wildlife”  (pers.comm. Karen Pianka to E. Paul, 8 September 2009).

Permit application forms

  • Application Form - Available here
    or from website here
  • subpermittee list - download here of from website
  • Renewal - same form
  • Threatened and Endangered -  same form
  • Salvage - same form

State lands

To be determined. It is always a good practice to contact the manager of the state park, forest, or wildlife management area where you plan to work to be sure your work will not interfere with their management activities or conflict with public use, including hunting.

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.

Statutes and Regulations


RULE §69.301    Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  (1) Educational purposes--Activities conducted for the purposes of encouraging management and conservation of protected wildlife or furthering awareness and understanding among the general public of the biology of protected wildlife.

  (2) Protected wildlife--As defined by Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.021, and includes any parts of protected wildlife held under a permit issued under this subchapter.

  (3) Raptor--A bird of the order Falconiformes or Strigiformes.

  (4) Scientific purposes--Activities conducted for the purposes of enhancing, protecting, conserving or managing protected wildlife, or furthering scientific understanding of a resource or the environment.

  (5) Subpermittee--A person named on a permit who is authorized to conduct the activities of a permit as provided in §69.302 of this title (relating to General Rules).

  (6) Supervision--A permittee's direction and control of the activities of persons working under a permit, including legal responsibility for those activities.

  (7) Zoological purposes--Activities conducted for the purposes of furthering scientific understanding of protected wildlife, encouraging management and conservation of protected wildlife, or furthering awareness and understanding of the biology of protected wildlife. RULE

§69.302    General Rules

(a) No permit is required for an activity governed by this subchapter involving nongame species for which there are no provisions by rule or statute that would otherwise restrict take or possession.

(b) Permits issued under this subchapter shall be issued to named individuals only, and shall not be held in the name of an agency, firm, or institution.

(c) The propagation of protected wildlife for educational display shall not be authorized and no permit for such activity may be issued.

(d) No person may employ or use any devices, means, methods, activities, locations, or personnel other than those authorized by a permit unless that person has received prior written authorization from the department in the form of a permit amendment. A permittee or subpermittee must possess on their person any such authorizations in addition to a copy of the original permit while conducting any activity governed by this subchapter.

(e) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, activities authorized by a permit issued under this subchapter shall be conducted only by the permittee(s) or subpermittee(s) named on the permit or permit amendment. Unpermitted assistants may perform activities authorized by a permit only when under the direct on-site supervision of the permittee. A permittee engaging unpermitted assistants shall maintain on file and possess on their person in the field a signed and dated list of all unpermitted persons assisting in permitted activities.

(f) Any subpermittee who desires to make unsupervised collections shall carry the written permission of the permittee on their person while conducting any activities authorized by a permit.

(g) A permit issued under this subchapter shall not authorize the sale of protected wildlife.

(h) Permits issued under this subchapter are valid for three years from the date of issuance, provided the permittee abides by the provisions of this subchapter.

(i) The provisions of this subchapter do not apply to mountain lions after September 1, 1997.

RULE §69.303    Application for Permit and Permit Issuance

(a) No permits for activities governed under this subchapter may be issued to any person unless the person has met the requirements of this section. An applicant for a permit under this subchapter shall submit to the department:

  (1) a completed application on a form supplied by the department;

  (2) a letter of recommendation from each of two persons in an appropriate biological or professional field attesting to the applicant's qualifications, abilities, and experience;

  (3) a letter of approval, if the research involves live protected wildlife, from a university animal use committee or similar oversight entity. In the event that the applicant is an independent researcher, the applicant shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the department concerning the use of live protected wildlife; and

  (4) a written justification explaining how the species of protected wildlife will benefit from the activity. The department may at its discretion choose to deny permit issuance when it disagrees with the justification.

(b) The department reserves the right to refuse issuance of an initial permit or of any subsequent permits to persons who have been finally convicted of any violation of state or federal law applicable to fish and wildlife.

RULE §69.304    Qualifications

(b) Scientific research permits shall not be issued to persons the department determines are inadequately trained or too inexperienced to accomplish the objectives of the proposed research.

(d) Any person transporting into this state any bird or animal for a purpose governed under this subchapter must meet the qualifications established in subsection (c) of this section and must possess a department-issued letter of authorization listing the specific birds and animals that the person is authorized to possess and the time period for which such possession is authorized. No letter of authorization issued under this subsection shall authorize the possession of protected wildlife for longer than 90 days in this state. A separate letter of authorization is required for each instance that any protected wildlife is transported into this state.

RULE §69.306    Restrictions

(a) Specimens collected or held under a permit issued pursuant to this subchapter may not be retained for personal use by the permittee, but may be donated or transferred only as described in §69.307 of this title (relating to Final Disposition of Specimen).

(b) Collections shall not be made on private property or property owned or administered by a governmental entity without prior written consent of the owner, lessee, operator, or administrator, which written permission shall be in physical possession during all collection activities.

RULE §69.307   

Final Disposition of Specimens

(a) All wildlife held under this subchapter shall be disposed of by one or more of the following methods:

  (1) examination, experimentation, necropsy, or disposing of as waste in accordance with state, county, or city regulations relating to the disposal of waste materials;

  (2) retaining specimens for scientific, zoological or educational purposes;

  (3) release to the wild as specifically authorized in the conditions of a permit;

  (4) edible portions of game species shall only be disposed of by donation to charitable organizations, public hospitals, orphanages, or indigent persons, and such donations shall be accompanied by donation-receipt forms supplied by the department;

  (5) transfer or donation to other persons authorized to receive such specimens under a permit issued pursuant to this subchapter; or

  (6) special disposition as prescribed in writing by the department.

(b) Deceased specimens and parts of specimens may be donated by a permittee to accredited educational institutions or museums, provided the permittee furnishes the institution with a copy of the permit under which each specimen was taken or possessed.

RULE §69.308    Reports

Within 14 days of each anniversary of the date of issuance of a valid permit under this subchapter, and within 14 days of the expiration of a permit issued under this subchapter, a permittee shall file with the department an annual report containing the following information:
  (1) the numbers and species of protected wildlife collected, held, possessed, propagated, released, displayed, donated, loaned, transferred, or transported during the permit period;

  (2) the locations where permitted activities were conducted; and

  (3) any other information the department may require.

RULE §69.309    Inspections

(a) A permit holder shall maintain an accurate daily record of all activities, as described in §69.308 of this title (relating to Reports).

(b) A permit holder's daily records shall be available for inspection by authorized employees of the department at reasonable times.

RULE §69.310    Fees

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the following nonrefundable fees shall be submitted with any application for a permit under this subchapter:

  (1) $150 for an application seeking a zoological collection permit; and

  (2) $50 for an application seeking a scientific research, or educational display permit.

(b) No fee shall be required for:

  (1) applications on behalf of a primary or secondary educational institution;

  (2) applications on behalf of a governmental entity required by law to conduct activities governed by this subchapter.

RULE §69.311    Violations and Penalties

Unless specifically exempted by another provision of this code, it is an offense for any person to violate a provision of this subchapter. Penalties for a violation of this subchapter are as provided by Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.030.

Texas Administrative Code

RULE §65.176        Endangered Species

Endangered species


Whooping Crane (Grus americana)

Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)

Northern Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis)

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Attwater's Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri)

Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)

Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla)

Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)

RULE §65.175        Threatened Species


Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Common Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

Gray Hawk (Asturina nitidus)

White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus)

Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)

Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida)

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)

Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata)

Northern Beardless-tyrannulet (Camptostoma imberbe)

Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae)

Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi)

Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis)

Texas Botteri's Sparrow (Aimophila botterii texana)

Arizona Botteri's Sparrow (Aimophila botterii arizonae)