Last updated July 2020

Link to state website


Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Law Enforcement Division
Special Permit Unit
2070 U.S. Highway 278, S.E.
Social Circle, Georgia 30025

Is a state permit required for banding?

The statutes, known as the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A. § 27-1-28) expressly provides that, “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it shall be unlawful to hunt, trap, fish, take, possess, or transport any nongame species of wildlife…”

Take is defined as “killing, capturing, destroying, catching, or seizing.” O.C.G.A. § 27-1-28 (71). The terms “collecting” and “scientific collecting” are not defined.

As marking requires capture, and as banding/marking is not expressly exempted, it appears that a permit is required for banding.

Permit application forms

State lands

Use same form.

Prior notice

Region or District Law Enforcement office, along with Game Management, Fisheries Management, or the U.S. Forest Service, if applicable, in each area of collection must be notified at least three (3) days in advance of the date and place of specimens are to be collected, the species to be collected, methods of collection, and permit number.



Official Code of Georgia Annotated

§ 27-2-12.  Scientific collecting permits

   (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to take, possess, or transport any of the wildlife of this state, or the plumage, skin, or body thereof, or the nests or eggs of the same for scientific purposes without obtaining a scientific collecting permit and complying with this Code section.

(b) Application for a scientific collecting permit must be made on forms obtained from the department and must be accompanied by the permit fee as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 and a project proposal containing the justification for and an outline of the proposed collecting activities.

(c) The department shall issue such a permit only if it has determined that the proposed collecting activities are in the best interest of the wildlife resources. In making such a determination, the department shall consider the following:

   (1) Whether there is a need for the information or data;

   (2) Whether the proposed collecting activities would duplicate sound research previously accomplished;

   (3) Whether there would be benefit to the species or population being studied;

   (4) Whether the project would be detrimental to the particular wildlife population or associated populations or to the habitat of the wildlife; and

   (5) Whether the project is of reasonably sound design.

(d) Based on the conditions outlined in subsection (c) of this Code section, such permit may contain conditions on the number and type of wildlife to be collected, the dates and locations of collecting, and the type of gear which may be used. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, the department may authorize the use of baskets, nets, seines, traps, chemicals, and electrical devices for purposes of collecting pursuant to this Code section.

(e) Persons issued a scientific collecting permit shall treat all wildlife humanely and shall notify the department at least three days in advance of the date of collecting. Such persons shall also submit to the department reports detailing the information or data obtained from such collecting activities. The reports shall be submitted by the following March 31 or within 60 days after collecting, whichever is later.

(f) Permits may be denied, revoked, or not renewed in accordance with the procedures outlined in Code Section 27-2-25 for the reasons outlined in said Code section or for any of the following reasons:

   (1) Violation of specific conditions listed on the permit;

   (2) Excessive collection of wildlife;

   (3) Submitting false information;

   (4) Failure to maintain records;

   (5) Failure to notify the department within three days of collecting activities;

   (6) Inhumane treatment of wildlife; or

   (7) Any other violation of this Code section or the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.


Georgia Administrative Code
391-4-9-.01 Scientific Collecting Permits. Amended.

(1) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to establish administrative procedures to be followed by applicants and/or holders of scientific collecting permits and to discourage excessive duplication of effort and reduce excessive collecting.

(2) Definition. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms as used in this rule shall have the following meanings:
(a) “Collection report” means a summary, prepared by the permittee, which details collections of the previous year and includes data on species collected, dates, numbers, methods, locations, and disposition of specimens;
(b) “Master permittee” means a person to whom a scientific collecting permit has been issued, which allows him to authorize students, assistants, aides, employees, or field workers to assist with collections under his supervision;
(c) “Project proposal” means a document which outlines proposed research activities that require scientific collecting permits and justifies the need for scientific collecting. The project proposal shall explain specific objectives, methods, locations, frequency of collection, number of individuals needed, and the planned disposition of specimens to be taken;
(d) “Scientific Collecting Permit” means a permit which authorizes one to take, possess, capture, kill, ship or transport any of the wildlife of this State, or the plumage, or the skin or body thereof, or the nest or eggs of the same for Scientific purposes according to the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources;
(e) “Special purpose permit” means a permit that grants privileges beyond that of a scientific collecting permit, i.e., possession of specimens for longer than sixty days following expiration of the scientific collecting permit;
(f) “Sub-permittee” means a student, assistant, aide, employee, or field worker who is working under the supervision of and is authorized to collect wildlife by the master permittee;

(3) Application for Permit.
(a) A specific request must be made for the issuance of a master permit. Applicants must clearly justify their need for a master permit.
(b) Unless otherwise specified on the permit, scientific collecting permits shall be effective from April 1 through March 31.
(c) Student collectors must submit a proposal and a written and signed endorsement thereof by their major professor.
(d) A fee of $50.00 per permit must accompany the application. Payment must be made by certified check or money order made payable to the Department of Natural Resources.
(e) A collection report detailing the previous year’s collection activities is required with any renewal application.

(4) Use of Permit.
(a) Permittee and subpermittees must have their permit in possession while collecting. Permits are nontransferable, except that a master permittee may designate students, assistants, aides, employees, or field workers assistants in collecting. All such subpermittees must have on their person a copy of the master permit and a letter of authorization issued by the master permittee to them. The master permittee shall be responsible for any violations by any such subpermittee and shall be responsible for maintaining all records.
(b) Instructors whose class members are directed to collect wildlife are responsible for assuring that only a representative sample of animals are retained and sacrificed for class use.
(c) All specimens retained must be humanely cared for. All collectors are expected to use good judgement when exercising the privileges of their collecting permit. Collectors should be as prudent and humane as possible in collecting and capture activities.
(d) District Law Enforcement of the Department of Natural Resources in each area of collection must be notified at least three (3) days in advance of the date and place specimens are to be collected, the species to be collected, the method of collection and the permit number.

(5) Disposition of Specimens. In order to ensure the maximum use of all specimens collected under the auspices of a scientific collecting permit, the disposition of the wildlife, their carcasses, parts, products, or progeny thereof shall be as follows:
(a) Live, uninjured and unimpaired specimens which could reasonably be expected to survive in the wild, shall be returned to the location of capture and released. Records of such releases shall be indicated on the scientific collection report.
(b) All other specimens taken and possessed under authorization of a scientific collection permit must be donated and transferred to a public, scientific, or educational institution within sixty (60) days following expiration of the permit, unless the permittee has been issued a special purpose permit authorizing possession for a longer period of time. Specimens not suitable for donation must be destroyed. Edible specimens shall be donated to a charitable institution and a receipt obtained. Receipts must be attached to annual collection report.

(6) Reports.
(a) A collection report detailing the previous year’s collecting activities must be submitted with any request for renewal of a permit. Individuals not renewing a permit must submit a report by March 31, or within sixty (60) days after collecting, whichever is later. Data should be provided on species collected, dates, location, and disposition of specimens.
(b) A listing of all publications, research papers, theses, progress reports, etc., derived from the study of such collections, shall be submitted with the annual collection report. Copies of such materials shall be made available to the Department of Natural Resources upon request.
(7) State parks, municipal parks, public museums, public zoological parks, and public scientific or educational institutions may possess lawfully acquired wildlife without a permit, provided the wildlife may be acquired only from persons authorized by this paragraph; or persons authorized by permit from this Department; or from Federal or State game authorities by the gift of seized, condemned, or sick or injured wildlife; or through salvage of wildlife which have been killed as the result of an unintentional accident or an act of nature; and also provided that it shall be unlawful to possess migratory birds without authorization from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Endangered species

Georgia has a state endangered species law. The avian species protected under Georgia law are listed here. These lists change over time; be sure to always check with the state agency.

Bachman’s Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis)  (rare)
Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) (rare)
Red Knot (Calidris canutus)  (rare)
Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)  (endangered)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)  (threatened)
Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) (threatened)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  (rare)
Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)  (rare)
Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii)  (endangered)
Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)  (rare)
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  (rare)
Southeastern Kestrel (Falco sparverius paulus)  (rare)
American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)  (rare)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  (threatened)
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)  (endangered)
Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)  (endangered)
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)  (rare)
Least Tern (Sterna antillarum)  (rare)
Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)  (threatened)
Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)  (endangered)