The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science acts as the state permitting authority for wildlife rehabilitation facilitiesscientific collecting and handling of wildlife species, and  propagation facilities for non-game species in need of management.

  • Scientific Collecting
  • Captive Propagation
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation

Scientific Collecting

Scientific Collection and Handling Permit Guidelines
Contact Scientific Collections Manager

Anyone collecting animals for scientific or conservation purposes in the State of Mississippi will need to apply for a Scientific Collection/Possession Permit according to Code 49-1-41. Persons collecting certain species for bait or food will not need a scientific collection permit, but these activities may well involve other regulations/licenses.

  1. Persons collecting independently of one another must apply for individual permits.
  2. Specimens retained after collection must be placed in a public museum or collection where they will be available for examination by the scientific community. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), 2148 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS 39202-1353,  ph: (601) 576-6000, is the principal repository of terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates, freshwater mollusks, and crayfish collected in Mississippi, and welcomes additional specimens. Unless alternative arrangements are made  with the MMNS Collections manager  (Scott Peyton, (601) 576-6000) or curatorial staff at the MMNS,  all collections of federally listed and state listed species will be deposited at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. 
  3. A collecting permit report must be filed within 15 days of the expiration of the permit.  A new permit will not be issued until the report has been received. Collection reports should list taxa collected, number of individuals of each, exact collection locality and date of collection.  Please download form for appropriate format for reporting data.  Our preference is that report tables be provided electronically in excel.
  4. Those collecting federally listed species must submit an additional report to the state, due the first week of October, detailing collections of listed species made between 1 October of the previous year and 30 September of the current year. 
  5. Persons collecting or working with federally endangered or threatened species may need a federal permit in addition to the state permit, which is ALWAYS required.  This is true even if activities don't require capture or handling of animals, but may be construed as harassment, such as use of tortoise burrow cameras within gopher tortoise burrows.
    • A federal permit will be generally be needed for threatened and endangered species if the activities of the permittee are not part of a state-sponsored project. The permittee is not considered an Agent of the State in this situation.
    • A federal permit will not be needed by those doing work with federally threatened species if the involved projects are substantively state-sponsored or guided.
    • As in section (b), a federal permit will not be needed for state-sponsored or guided endangered species projects UNLESS some animals will be killed, held in captivity for more than 45 days, or introduced to sites outside their occupied range. If one or more of these conditions is applicable, though, a federal permit will be needed.
  6. Persons wishing to band birds must obtain a federal bird-banding permit AND a state collection permit.
  7. A $1.00 permit fee is required for persons who are not affiliated with public educational or scientific institutions, or with governmental agencies.

Collection Application
Collection Report Form

Captive Propagation

Commercial Captive Propagation
Contact Scientific Collections Manager

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, under the authority of Section 49-5-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, adopted regulations listed in Public Notice M4-3201  pertaining to nongame wildlife deemed to be in need of management.  

Species of wildlife deemed to be in need of management can be propagated in captivity for commercial purposes only under a permit issued by MDWFP.  Captive propagators are also required to have a valid Mississippi Commercial Fishing License.  Species of wildlife considered to be in need of management in Mississippi, along with other conditions and requirements for issuance of a captive propagation permit, are listed in Public Notice M4-3201. 

Persons wishing to apply for a commercial captive propagation permit should fill out the permit application form and mail it along with a photocopy of their valid commercial fishing license to the address listed on the bottom of the application. 

Wildlife Rehabilitation

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks under the authority of Section 49-5-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, adopted regulations pertaining to captive-held game species and furbearers (Public Notice 2877) and non-game species in need of management (Public Notice M4-3201).

Contact Collections Manager

Injured or orphaned game or furbearing animals may be kept temporarily in captivity for the purpose of rehabilitation for release into the wild, only under a permit issued by MDWFP.  Raptors, migratory birds, and federally protected species require both a state permit issued by MDWFP, and federal permit issued by the  U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

Persons wishing to apply for a rehabilitation permit should fill out the  permit application form and mail it along with all required supporting documents to the address at the stop of the application.

A list of state/federally permitted rehabilitators can be found at:

Permits will only be issued to persons who comply with all criteria listed in the application. We strongly suggest that persons interested in rehabilitation of wild animals join one of the rehabilitation organizations in the state (listed at the address above). Please note that a wildlife rehabilitation permit does not give the permittee permission to keep native wildlife as pets. All rehabilitation facilities are subject to inspection by MDWFP personnel.

Share this share this share this

Sign up, Keep Up

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters featuring all the latest news and happenings from MDWFP.
- or -
Sign up to receive survey questions from MDWFP. Your information is valuable to our conservation efforts!