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What permits, or other actions are required?
  • The activities allowed by permits vary based on whether the species is listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA.
  • Captive-bred wildlife permits are not issued for the purpose of keeping or breeding endangered or threatened animals as household pets.

The activities allowed by permits vary based on whether the species is listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). An endangered species is at risk of extinction throughout all or a large part of its range. A threatened species is likely to become endangered soon.

Instructions

For endangered species, permits can be issued for:

  • Scientific research,
  • Improvements of propagation or survival, and
  • Taking that is incidental to an otherwise legal action.

For threatened species, permits also may be issued for:

  • Zoological, horticultural, or botanical display,
  • Educational application, and
  • Special use consistent with the ESA.

An individual can request a captive-bred wildlife registration from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to purchase and sell within the country live, non-native endangered or threatened wildlife that were captive born in the United States for improvement of species reproduction, given the other individual in the sale is registered for the same species. A different permit is required to import or export such species. Be aware that captive-bred wildlife permits are not issued for the purpose of keeping or breeding endangered or threatened animals as household pets. Keeping protected species as pets does not match the purposes of the ESA. After all, it aims to improve species conservation and recovery of wild populations.