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Policy#: 529-211

Title: AUP PROCEDURES: Permits Involving the Capture of Wild Animals

Effective: 11/18/2021



Ethical conduct of research requires investigators adhere to all permitting requirements that state, federal, or other government agencies may require, including foreign governments in the case of international fieldwork.

Related Policies and Guidance

  • Policy 529-248: Euthanasia of Wildlife in Emergency Situations


The capture of wild animals (including fish, sharks and rays, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and other vertebrates) typically requires permits from state agencies (principally, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CDFW). In some circumstance (e.g., threatened or endangered species; or most species of bird) may require permits and/or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  Moreover, capture of vertebrates on private property (such as personal or non-government affiliated property) also requires permission from the landowner.  Finally, transport of animals (such as across state lines) may require additional federal permits, such as from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

International research typically requires a collecting permit from the local government; and export of specimens out of another country, into the US, always requires a USFWS 3-177 declaration form, and typically requires an export permit from the country of origin.

It is the PI’s responsibility to know which permits are needed for their research; to obtain them prior to conducting research; to adhere to the conditions therein; to submit any applicable reports to the relevant agency; and to maintain copies of their expired research permits for the duration of time specified on their permits.

Whenever an AUP involves the capture of wild animals (capture and release or collection), in the AUP the investigator must provide a list of all required permits.  Since obtaining permits can sometimes take a long time, the IACUC recognizes that it is not necessary for the PI to already have permits in hand when submitting an AUP. In that instance, the investigator must state in the protocol that all required permits will be obtained prior to conducting research on animals. 

The investigator is not required to submit permits to the IACUC when an AUP is submitted but shall promptly furnish a copy of their permits to the IACUC upon request.

Approved: 9/10/07, 6/10/10; latest revision 10/18/2021