Last updated March 2023

Link to state website


Linnea Petercheff
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: Operations Staff Specialist
402 West Washington Street, Room W273
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2781
Phone (317) 233-6527

Is a state permit required for banding?

Yes, required by statute.

Permit application forms

  • Scientific Purposes Application Form
  • Renewal – same form
  • Threatened and Endangered – no separate form
  • Special Purposes Salvage  – you can request salvage authority under the scientific purposes form; you do not need a separate salvage permit if  that authority is included in your scientific purposes permit

State lands

A permit is needed for state parks and reservoirs – Application form

If you plan to do work on a dedicated nature preserve, permission from the Division of Nature Preserves is required; contact Roger Hedge at (317) 232-8062 or at:

If you plan to do work on a state forest, permission from the Division of Forestry is required; contact Scott Haulton at (317) 234-5725 or at:

Prior notice

Not expressly required, but ornithologists should always notify the land manger or landowner of the dates, times, and places where activities will take place to assure the safety of the researcher and to avoid conflict with activities scheduled for other researchers or the general public.


312 IAC 9-2-1 Taking, chasing, and possessing wild animals
Sec. 1. A person must not:
(1) take;
(2) chase; or
(3) possess;
a wild animal except as provided by statute or by this article.

312 IAC 9-1-12 “Possession” defined
Sec. 12. “Possession” means to have direct physical control or to knowingly have the power and the intention to exercise dominion or control.

312 IAC 9-2-5 Netting and trapping wild birds prohibited

Sec. 5. (a) It is unlawful to possess in the field a net or trap for the purpose of netting or trapping a wild bird protected by law.
(b) It is unlawful to place or cause to be placed a trap (set or unset) capable of taking a migratory bird on a pole or post, except where both of the following are obtained:
(1) A permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 CFR, Subpart D, 21.42 (October 1, 1995, edition).
(2) A permit issued by the department under 312 IAC 9-10-6.

312 IAC 9-10-6 Scientific purposes licenses
Authority: IC 14-22-2-6; IC 14-22-22
Affected: IC 4-21.5; IC 14-22-22-2; IC 20-19-2-8; IC 20-19-2-10; IC 20-20-2-2
Sec. 6. (a) An application for a scientific purposes license shall be made on a departmental form and include the following information:
(1) The purpose for collection.
(2) The species and number of the species to be collected.
(3) The location and any method of collection.
(4) The intended administration of any:
(A) drug;
(B) vaccine;
(C) steroid;
(D) microorganism; or
(E) other chemical;
to the wild animal to be collected.
(5) The intended treatment of the wild animal collected, including the use bacterial or other markers and any proposed genetic modification.
(6) The disposition of any wild animal or nest or egg of a wild bird to be collected.
(b) A license issued under this section is subject to the specifications set forth in the application and to terms, conditions, and restrictions on the license. The director may condition the license according to any of the following terms:
(1) The kind and number of specimens that may be taken.
(2) The type of methods used.
(3) The time and seasons for take.
(4) The areas where take may occur.
(5) The use and disposition of the wild animal or nest or egg of a wild bird held, treated, or taken under this rule.
(6) Contingent upon the applicant receiving and possessing a valid license from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 CFR 17.22, 50 CFR 17.32, 50 CFR 21.22, 50 CFR 21.23, and 50 CFR 21.27 for any of the following:
(A) A migratory bird.
(B) The nest or egg of a migratory bird.
(C) A federally endangered or threatened species of wild animal.
(c) The license holder must carry the license and any amendments to the license when conducting any activity authorized by the license.
(d) The director may amend the conditions of a license at any time upon written notification to the license holder. A notice under this subsection is subject to IC 4-21.5.
(e) The director may issue a license only to a properly accredited person who will collect the wild animal or nest or egg of a wild bird for a scientific purpose, including scientific education. The applicant must meet at least one (1) of the following
(1) Hold a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences or related field that the director deems appropriate for the purpose outlined in the application.
2) Be currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences or related field that the director deems appropriate for the purpose outlined in the application.
(3) Hold a federal permit for the purpose indicated in the application.
(4) Be requested by an accredited educational or scientific institution to perform this activity for the institution. The institution must present a valid and compelling need for the applicant to perform the activity covered by this license for the institution.
(5) Be sponsored by the department to perform the activity for the protection and regulation of wild animal populations. The original application form submitted for the taxonomic group indicated on the application must be signed by two (2) scientists that have a degree in the biological sciences attesting to the character, academic and scientific accomplishments, and fitness of the
applicant. An applicant currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree must obtain the signature of a faculty biologist for that taxonomic group.
(f) An applicant must be affiliated with one (1) of the following institutions:
(1) A:
(A) public school accredited under IC 20-19-2-8;
(B) nonpublic school recognized under IC 20-19-2-10 and accredited under IC 20-19-2-8; or
(C) college or university.
(2) A federal, state, city, county, or similar government agency associated with a biological or scientific area of study or research.
(3) A nonprofit educational organization with an exemption from federal income tax under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). The educational organization must be associated with a biological or scientific area of study or research. The applicant must provide written documentation to the department certifying that tax exemption status has been achieved under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
(4) A scientific research organization, accredited museum, or institution of higher learning, consulting firms, individuals working in cooperation with a college, university, or government agency, or private company under a contract for scientific or educational purposes.
(g) The applicant must ensure compliance with monitoring, tagging, and reporting requirements for all extra-label drug use as required in 21 CFR 530, et seq. (1998). Documentation in the form of written approval from a licensed veterinarian or approval from a university animal care and use committee to use the drug or chemical for the purposes intended must be submitted with the application form.
(h) The sale or transport for sale and offer to sell or transport to sell an animal or a part of an animal held under the authority of this license is prohibited. As used in this subsection, “sale” includes barter, purchase, or trade or the offer to sell, barter, purchase, or trade.
(i) A license issued under this section is not transferable. A person may assist the license holder if the license holder is present and oversees the activities of the person.
(j) The license holder must obtain permission from the landowner or public land property manager to conduct an activity authorized by a license issued under this section. For an activity to be conducted on lands owned or operated by a federal, state, or local agency, the license holder must also comply with the conditions imposed by the property manager or the designee of the property manager.
(k) A license expires on December 31 of the year the license is issued. A report of the collection must be supplied within sixty (60) days after the expiration of the license and contain the following information:
(1) Any species collected.
(2) The date on which a wild animal or nest or egg of a wild bird was collected.
(3) A description of the location of the collection site.
(4) The number of each species collected.
(5) The treatments and markings, if any, of any wild animal collected.
(6) The disposition of any wild animal or nest or egg of a wild bird collected.
The department shall not renew a license unless a properly completed report is received in a timely fashion.
(l) A license may be suspended, denied, or revoked under IC 4-21.5 if the license holder:
(1) fails to comply with:
(A) a provision of a license issued under this section; or
(B) IC 14-22-22-2;
(2) provides false information on the license application and report;
(3) fails to establish that the collection or release of a wild animal would not threaten the    welfare of the wild animal populationor the people; or
(4) collects or releases a specimen that is likely to threaten the welfare of the:
(A) wild animal population; or
(B) people.

Endangered species

Indiana has an endangered species statute (Indiana Code 14-22-34-12). Bird species protected under Indiana law are as listed below. These lists change over time; be sure to check with the agency.

Endangered species of birds

American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
Black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Yellow-crowned night-heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Northern harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis)
King rail (Rallus elegans)
Virginia rail (Rallus limicola)
Whooping crane (Grus americana)
Piping plover (Charadrius melodus)
Upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)
Least tern (Sterna antillarum)
Black tern (Chlidonias niger)
Barn owl (Tyto alba)
Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)
Sedge wren (Cisothorus platensis)
Marsh wren (Cisothorus palustris)
Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
Cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea)
Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)
Kirtland’s warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii)
Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
Yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)
Rufa Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa)