North Carolina

Last updated July 2020

Link to state website


North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700

Phone: 1-888-248-6834 or  919 707- 0391

Is a state permit needed for banding?

Yes. Although neither the statute nor the regulation defines “collection” but the regulation specifically includes manner of take and the application form includes bird banding.

Permit application forms

State lands

Included on the application form.

Prior notice

Check permit conditions. Even if not expressly required to do so, you should always contact the manager of that particular state land unit or with the owner of private land before your arrival. You want to be aware of the hunting seasons, and, of course want to be sure that your activities will not interfere with the activities of that park, wildlife management area, or other state land unit, and that your activities will not adversely affect public use of the land or with the activities of private landowners.


Statute: North Carolina General Statutes. Chapter 113. Conservation and Development.

§ 113-272.4. Collection licenses.

(a) In the interest of the orderly and efficient conservation of wildlife resources, the Wildlife Resources Commission may provide for the licensing of qualified individuals to take any of the wildlife resources of the State under a collection license that may serve in lieu of any other license required in this Article. This license authorizes incidental transportation and possession of the wildlife resources necessary to implement the authorized purposes of the taking, but the Wildlife Resources Commission in its discretion may additionally impose permit requirements under subsection (d) below and G.S. 113-274.

(b) The Wildlife Resources Commission may delegate to the Executive Director the authority to impose time limits during which the license is valid and restrictions as to what may be taken and method of taking and possession, in the interests of conservation objectives. The Executive Director through his responsible agents must determine whether a particular license applicant meets the standards and qualifications for licensees set by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Methods of taking under a collection license need not be restricted to those applicable to ordinary hunting, trapping, or fishing, but the licensee must observe the restrictions as to taking, transportation, and possession imposed by the Executive Director upon the granting of the license.

(c) When a more limited duration period is not set by the Executive Director in implementing the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission, collection licenses are valid from January 1 through December 31 in any year. This license is issued upon payment of five dollars ($5.00), but the Wildlife Resources Commission may provide for issuance without charge to licensees who represent educational or scientific institutions or some governmental agency.

(d) As necessary, the Executive Director may administratively impose on licensees under this section restrictions upon individuals taking, transporting, or possessing under the license which will permit ready identification and control of those involved in the interest of efficient administration of laws pertaining to wildlife resources. Restrictions may include requirements as to record keeping, tagging, marking packages, cages, or containers and exhibition of additional limited-purpose and limited-time permits that may be issued without charge to cover particular activities and other actions that may be administratively required in the reasonable implementation of the objectives of this Subchapter. (e) If the Executive Director deems it administratively appropriate and convenient to do so, in the interests of simplifying the administration of licensing requirements, he may grant particular licensees under this section the privilege of utilizing assistants in taking, transporting, or possessing wildlife resources who themselves are not licensed. Any assistants so taking, transporting, or possessing wildlife resources must have readily available for inspection a written authorization from the licensee to engage in the activity in question. The written authorization must contain information administratively required by the Executive Director, and a copy of the authorization must be placed in the mail addressed to the Executive Director or his designated agent before any assistant acts under the authorization. In his discretion the Executive Director may refuse to issue, refuse to renew, or revoke the privilege conferred in this subsection. If this is done, each individual engaged in taking, transporting, or possessing wildlife resources under this section must meet all applicable licensing and permit requirements. (1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)

Regulation: North Carolina Administrative Code


(a) Collection Licenses. The Executive Director may license qualified individuals to take or collect any species of wildlife resources except that endangered, threatened, and special concern species may not be taken or collected except under a special permit issued by the Executive Director for research purposes, unless there is an open season for the species. If an open season exists for the species, then the appropriate hunting, fishing, or trapping license serves as the authorization for take. This Rule shall not prohibit an individual from killing an endangered, threatened, or special concern species in defense of his own life or the lives of others without a permit. Individuals who annually collect fewer than five reptiles or fewer than 25 amphibians that are not on the endangered, threatened, or special concern lists shall be exempted from this license requirement, except snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) less than 11 inches (curved carapace length) shall not be collected at all. The license shall be issued upon payment of a fee in accordance with G.S. 113-272.4, except that licenses shall be issued to representatives of educational or scientific institutions or of governmental agencies without charge. The license shall be used in lieu of any other hunting or trapping license required by law and shall authorize possession and transportation of the wildlife incidental to the authorized taking, except that it shall not authorize the taking, possession, or transportation of any species of wildlife in violation of the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act or any other federal act to prohibit or restrict the possession and transportation of wildlife resources.

(c) Qualifications of Licensees. In addition to representatives of educational and scientific institutions and governmental agencies, the collection license may be issued to any individual for any purpose when it is not deemed inimical to the efficient conservation of the species to be collected or to some other wildlife species that may be dependent thereon.

(d) Methods of Taking. The manner of taking wildlife resources under a collection license may be specified by the Executive Director pursuant to G.S. 113-272.4(d) and need not be restricted to the usual methods of hunting or trapping.

(e) Term of License. The Executive Director may, pursuant to G.S. 113-272.4(c), impose time limits and other restrictions on the duration of any collection license, but unless so restricted the license shall be valid from January 1 through December 31 of the applicable year.

(f) Report of Collecting Activity. Each individual licensed under this Rule shall submit a report to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 15 days following the date of expiration of the license. The report shall show the numbers of each species taken under the license and the use or disposition thereof. The Executive Director may require additional information for statistical purposes such as the dates and places of the taking and the sex, size, weight, condition, and approximate age of each specimen taken. (g) Other Requirements and Restrictions. The Executive Director may, pursuant to G.S. 113-272.4(d), impose such other requirements and restrictions on persons licensed under this Rule as he may deem to be necessary to the efficient administration of the wildlife conservation statutes and rules.

North Carolina state endangered species law

Regulation: North Carolina Administrative Code. Title 15A. Environmental Quality.
Subchapter 101. Threatened and Endangered Species.

15A NCAC 10I .0102 PROTECTION OF ENDANGERED/THREATENED/SPECIAL CONCERN  (b) Permits. The executive director may issue permits to take or possess an endangered, threatened, or special concern species: (1) to an individual or institution with experience and training in handling, and caring for the wildlife and in conducting a scientific study, for the purpose of scientific investigation relevant to perpetuation or restoration of said species or as a part of a scientifically valid study or restoration effort; (2) to a public or private educator or exhibitor who demonstrates that he or she has lawfully obtained the specimen or specimens in his or her possession, possesses the requisite equipment and expertise to care for such specimen or specimens, and abides by the caging requirements for the species set forth in 15A NCAC 10H .0302; (3) to a person who lawfully possessed any such species for more than 90 days immediately prior to the date that such species was listed and who abides by the caging requirements for the species set forth in 15A NCAC 10H .0302, provided however, that no permit shall be issued more than 90 days after the effective date of the initial listing for that species; or


American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
Bachman’s warbler (Vermivora bachmanii)
Bewick’s wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
Ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)
Kirtland’s warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii)
Piping plover (Charadrius melodus circumcinctus)
Red cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii dougallii)
Wood stork (Mycteria americana)


Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica aranea)
Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)
Piping plover (Charadrius melodus melodus)

Species of special concern

American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
Bachman’s sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis)
Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis)
Black skimmer (Rynchops niger)
Brown creeper (Certhia americana nigrescens)
Cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea)
Common tern (Sterna hirundo)
Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)
Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
Least tern (Sterna antillarum)
Little blue heron (Egretta caerulea)
Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
Olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)
Painted bunting (Passerina ciris)
Red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
Tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor)
Vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
Wilson’s plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius appalachiensis)