General info

Last updated March 2023

Alaska Department of Fish and Game website:

Information about scientific research permits

You may also need permission to work on state property. Even if you don’t need a formal permit to do so, you should always make arrangements with management to be sure your activities will not interfere with their activities, will not affect the public use of the property, and that you are aware of hunting activities that may be taking place on the property.


Wildlife Biologist, Permits Section
Alaska Dept. Of Fish and Game
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Phone: (907)465-4148

Is a state permit required for banding?


The ADF&G policy expressly states:

All lethal collection of wildlife for scientific purposes requires a scientific permit; using a hunting or trapping license for scientific take of game* is not appropriate. All live capture and handling of wildlife also requires a scientific permit, except migratory birds may be live captured under a valid federal banding or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) surveillance permit for banding or disease surveillance purposes only. Captured birds may be weighed, measured, and marked with auxiliary markers (excluding telemetry or datalogger devices). Blood, feather, and swab samples may be collected from captured birds at the time of initial capture or incidental recapture only.

* The terms “wildlife” and “game” are interchangeable according to the ADF&G policy.

Permit Application Forms

Bird species listed as endangered under Alaska state law (as of 2021):

Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus)
Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)

Special concern species:

As of August 15, 2011, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) no longer maintains a Species of Special Concern list. The list has not been reviewed and revised since 1998 and is no longer considered valid. Since that time, the Department has completed Alaska’s Wildlife Action Plan, which is supported through the State Wildlife Grant program. See the Wildlife Action Plan to view the species-focused plan.

ADF&G currently uses the Alaska Wildlife Action Plan to assess the needs of species with conservation concerns, and to prioritize conservation actions and research

Regulations Alaska Department of Fish and Game


(a) Notwithstanding restrictions in 5 AAC 78 – 5 AAC 88, the department may issue a permit for the taking, possessing, importing, or exporting of game for scientific, educational, propagative, or public safety purposes.

The department may issue a permit for taking of big game for public safety purposes to an individual, including a state, municipal, or federal government official responsible for public safety, only as follows:
(1) the department shall evaluate all reported public safety problems involving big game brought to the department’s attention, determine whether an actual threat to public safety is caused by a big game animal, and develop a list of all reasonable and practical solutions;
(2) if the department determines a threat to public safety can be resolved only by taking a big game animal under this section and no government official responsible for public safety is available, the department may issue a permit to a private individual;
(3) a permit that authorizes lethal taking of a big game animal issued to an individual other than a government official must be restricted to taking a specific, identified problem animal;
(4) a permit issued under this section must specify;
(A) name of the permittee and authorized subpermittees;
(B) the species of big game animal that may be taken;
(C) the type of taking that is authorized, such as hazing, aversive conditioning, live trapping, or lethal taking;
(D) methods and means that may be employed;
(E) duration of the permit;
(F) the location of permitted activities;
(G) disposition of game taken; and
(H) reporting requirements.


(a) A person may not use radio telemetry equipment to pursue game without first obtaining a permit from the department, unless that person is an authorized employee or agent of
1. the department; or
2. a federal conservation agency with a current memorandum of understanding or cooperative agreement with the department.
(b) At the time of application, a permit applicant must provide the department with the following:
1. the species and number of game to be pursued using radio telemetry equipment;
2. the geographic area where the radio telemetry pursuit will be conducted;
3. the time frame when radio telemetry pursuit of game will be conducted, including planned dates and frequency of field operations; and
4. the names of all persons who will pursue game under the permit.
(c) A permit issued under this section must include reasonable conditions and protocols to ensure that
1. game being pursued is not unduly harassed resulting in behavioral or energetic changes affecting individual viability or utility for research; and
2. telemetry and survey operations conducted on game by the department or other government agencies will not be impeded by the permittee’s activities.
(d) A permit issued under this section must include at least the following conditions:
1. a designation of the permitted geographic area for operations;
2. a designation of the flight altitudes for aircraft operations necessary to ensure that the conditions specified in (c) of this section are met;
3. standards for radio communications between the permittee and department;
4. standards for motorized vehicles to ensure that the conditions specified in (c) of this section are met;
5. reporting plans to conduct radio telemetry operations for the pursuit of game to designated department staff;
6. requirements that operations must be conducted so that game being pursued does not respond to the permittee’s activities by taking evasive action; and
7. temporal or frequency restrictions to minimize potential for energetic or behavioral responses by game being pursued.


Each radio telemetry frequency used by the department for a telemetry study of game is confidential. Neither the commissioner nor any other department employee will release a frequency except:
(1) to a governmental agency doing a wildlife study approved by the commissioner; or
(2) to another state agency if the commissioner finds that the agency has a legitimate need to know the frequency.

Please be sure to read the Ornithological Council’s fact sheet on radio telemetry and the frequencies available for use in ornithological research.