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

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