Skip to Page Content
banner top art gif
office title gif
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources
Acropora palmata thicket on Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Andy Bruckner, 1996Coho salmon painting, Canadian Dept of Fisheries and OceansMonk seal, C.E. BowlbyHumpback whale, Dr. Lou Herman
banner art gif
Application Types
Apply Online (APPS)
Endangered Species Permits
Marine Mammal Permits
Permit Regulation Revisions
Review Select Permits & Applications
  Contact OPR
OPR Site Map

inner curve gif

Endangered Species Permits and Conservation Plans

  leatherback turtle at water's surface
Leatherback turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea)
Photo: Scott R. Benson, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Individuals planning to conduct any activity resulting in the "take" of an endangered or threatened species, whether or not deliberate, must possess a permit to perform that activity.

Permit Types
There are two types of permits issued for take under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):

  1. Permits for scientific research or to enhance the propagation and survival of the species (ESA Section 10(a)(1)(A)), and
  2. Permits for taking species incidental to (not the purpose of) an otherwise lawful activity (ESA Section 10(a)(1)(B)). The latter must be accompanied by a Conservation Plan (CP), often referred to as a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

How to Apply
The instructions below are for permits for activities involving threatened or endangered marine and anadromous species.

Please note that the research and enhancement permit application instructions for threatened and endangered species (excluding Pacific salmonids) also apply to research and enhancement activities on marine mammals.

For terrestrial or freshwater species, or land-based sea turtle activities, please contact the appropriate regional office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Scientific Research:

More Info

Updated: December 17, 2013

NOAA logo Department of Commerce logo