General info

Last updated July 2020


Arizona Game & Fish Department
Christina Kondrat-Smith, Permits Biologist

5000 W. Carefree Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Phone (623) 236-7625
Fax (623) 236-7939

IMPORTANT: (Email recommended to reduce unnecessary delays in the application process.  In the subject line include the SCL holder’s last name and, if renewing, license # (e.g. Jones, SP789665))

Is a state permit required for banding?


Permit application forms

  • Instructions
  • Application Form (note – you have download first in order to open the document)
  • Renewal – same as original application form
  • Salvage – if requested; no separate permit for salvage needed
  • If you plan to hold live birds taken under a scientific collecting permit after the scientific collecting permit expires, you will need a wildlife holding license 

Endangered species

Arizona does not have its own endangered species statute

In Arizona, a scientific collecting license is required (in addition to any federal permits)   to conduct vocalization playback, handling, manipulating or collection of any threatened & endangered or federally protected species.

State lands

Additional permits and/or permission from the land owner/manager or resource management agency may be required for access to conduct activities and/or collecting on National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuge, Department of Defense, Native American (Indian reservations), State Parks, State Monuments, or private lands.

Prior notice

Consult with landowner or manager.


R12-4-418. Scientific Collecting Permit

A. A scientific collecting license allows a person to conduct any of the following activities with live wildlife when specified on the license:

1. Display,

2. Photograph for noncommercial purposes,

3. Possess,

4. Propagate,

5. Take,

6. Transport, and

7. Use for educational purposes.

B. The Department issues three types of scientific collecting licenses:

1. Personal,

2. Consultant, and

3. Government, which includes educational and research institutions.

C. A person may apply for a scientific collecting license only when the license is requested for:

1. The purpose of wildlife management, gathering information valuable to the maintenance of wild populations, education, the advancement of science,

or promotion of the public health or welfare;

2. A purpose that is in the best interest of the wildlife

or the species, will not adversely impact other affected wildlife in this state, and may be authorized without posing a threat to wildlife or public safety; and

3. A purpose that does not unnecessarily duplicate previously documented projects.

D. A scientific collecting license expires on December

31 each year.

E. For the protection of wildlife or public safety, the

Department has the authority to take any one or

Rescind or modify any method of take authorized by the license;

2. Restrict the number of animals for each species or other taxa the license holder may take under the license;

3. Restrict the age, condition, or location of wildlife the license holder may take under the license; or

4. Deny or substitute the number of specimens and taxa requested on an application.

F. The license holder shall be responsible for compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements.

The scientific collecting license does not:

1. Exempt the license holder from any municipal, county, state, or federal codes, ordinances, statutes, rules, or regulations; or

2. Authorize the license holder to engage in authorized activities using federally-protected wildlife, unless the license holder possesses a valid license, permit, or other form of documentation issued by the United States authorizing the license holder to use that wildlife in a manner consistent with the special license.

G. The Department may deny a scientific collecting license to a person who fails to meet the requirements established under R12-4-409 or this Section, or when the person’s scientific collecting privileges are suspended or revoked in any state. The Department shall provide the written notice established under R12-4-409(F)(4) to the applicant stating the reason for the denial. The person may appeal the denial to the Commission as prescribed under

A.R.S. Title 41, Chapter 6, Article 10. In addition to the requirements and criteria established under

R12-4-409(F)(1) through (4), the Department shall deny a scientific collecting license when it is in the best interest of the wildlife or public safety.

H. A person applying for a scientific collecting license shall submit an application to the Department. A separate application is required for each location where the applicant proposes to use wildlife. The application is furnished by the Department and is available from any Department office, and online at A person applying for a scientific collecting license shall provide the following information on the application:

1. The applicant’s information:

a. Name;

b. Mailing address;

c. Telephone number; and

d. Department ID number; when applicable;

2. If the applicant will use wildlife for activities authorized by a scientific, educational, or government institution, organization, or agency that employs, contracts, or is similarly affiliated with the applicant, the applicant shall provide the institution’s:

a. Name;

b. Federal Tax Identification Number;

c. Mailing address;

d. Telephone number of the institution; and

e. The applicant’s title or a description of the nature of affiliation with the institution or organization;

3. When the applicant is renewing the scientific collecting license, the species and number of animals for each species currently held in captivity;

4. For each the location where the wildlife will be held, the land owner’s:

a. Name;

b. Mailing address;

c. Telephone number; and

d. Physical location description to include the

Global Positioning System location or Universal

Transverse Mercator coordinates;

5. A detailed description and diagram, or photographs, of the facilities where the applicant will hold the wildlife and a description of how the facilities comply with the requirements established under R12-4-428, and any other captivity standards that may be established under this


6. Any other information required by the Department; and

7. The certification required under R12-4-409(C).

8. For subsection (H)(5), the Department may, at its discretion, accept documented current certification or approval by the applicant’s institutional animal care and use committee or similar committee in lieu of the description, diagram, and photographs of the facilities.

I. In addition to the requirements listed under subsection

(H), at the time of application, an applicant for a scientific collecting license shall also submit a written proposal. The written proposal shall contain all of the following information:

1. List of activities the applicant intends to perform under the license;

2. Purpose for the use of wildlife as established under subsection (C);

3. When the applicant intends to use wildlife for educational purposes, the proposal shall also include the:

a. Minimum number of presentations the applicant anticipates to provide under the license

b. Name, title, address, and telephone number of persons whom the applicant has contacted to offer educational presentations; and

c. Number of specimens the applicant already possesses for any species requested on the application;

4. Applicant’s relevant qualifications and experience in handling and, when applicable, providing care for the wildlife to be held under the license;

5. Methods of take that the applicant will use, to include:

a. Justification for using the method, and

b. Proposed method of disposing wildlife taken under the license and any subsequent offspring, when applicable;

6. Number of animals for each species that will be used under the license;

7. Locations where collection will take place;

8. Names and addresses of any agents who will assist the applicant in carrying out the activities described in the proposal.

9. Project completion date; and

10. Whether the applicant intends to publish the project or its findings. More of the following actions:

J. An applicant for a scientific collecting license shall pay all applicable fees required under R12-4-412.

K. A scientific collecting license holder shall:

1. Comply with all additional stipulations placed on the license by the Department, as authorized under


2. Possess the license or legible copy of the license while conducting any activity authorized under the scientific collecting license and presents it for inspection upon the request of any Department employee or agent.

3. Notify the Department in writing within 10 calendar days of terminating any agent.

4. Use the most humane and practical method possible prescribed under R12-4-304, R12-4-313, or as directed by the Department in writing.

5. Conduct activities authorized under the scientific collecting license only at the locations and time periods specified on the scientific collecting license.

6. Dispose of wildlife, wildlife parts, or offspring, only as directed by the Department.

L. A scientific collecting license holder shall not exhibit any wildlife held under the license, unless the person also possesses a zoo license authorized under R12-4-420.

M. A scientific collecting license holder may request authorization to allow an agent to assist the license holder in carrying out activities authorized under the scientific collecting license by submitting a written request to the Department.

1. An applicant may request the ability to allow a person to act as an agent on the applicant’s behalf, provided:

a. An employment or supervisory relationship exists between the applicant and the agent, and

b. The agent’s privilege to take or possess live wildlife is not suspended or revoked in any state.

2. The license holder shall obtain approval from the

Department prior to allowing the agent assist in any activities.

3. The license holder is liable for all acts the agent performs under the authority of this Section.

4. The Department, acting on behalf of the Commission, may suspend or revoke a license for violation of this Section by an agent.

5. The license holder shall ensure the agent possesses a legible copy of the license while conducting any activity authorized under the scientific collecting license and presents it for inspection upon the request of any Department employee or agent.

N. A scientific collecting license holder may submit to the Department a written request to amend the license to add or delete an agent, location, project, or component documented on the license at any time during the license period.

O. A scientific collecting license holder shall submit an annual report to the Department before January

31 of each year. The report form is furnished by the Department.

1. A report is required regardless of whether or not activities were performed during the previous year.

2. The scientific collecting license becomes invalid if the annual report is not submitted to the Department by January 31 of each year.

3. The Department will not process the special license holder’s renewal application until the annual report is received by the Department.

4. The Department may stipulate submission of additional interim reports upon license application or renewal.

P. A scientific collecting license holder who wishes to permanently hold wildlife species collected under the license in Arizona that will no longer be used for activities authorized under the license shall apply for and obtain a wildlife holding license in compliance with R12-4-417 or another appropriate special license.