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Free Scientific Collector's Permit

Individuals involved in research, survey work, collection or handling of wildlife species in South Dakota are required to possess a Scientific Collectors Permit. A Scientific Collectors Permit is required for both live and dead specimens.
If collection is occurring for research purposes, applicants should submit a permit application and research proposal if available. This permit does not authorize the collection of any federal or state threatened or endangered species and it is the applicant's responsibility to obtain any other necessary permits. The process for applying for a state endangered species permit can be found here.

A Scientific Collector’s permit is not required for migratory bird banding if a researcher already has a Federal Bird Banding Permit.

A Scientific Collector’s permit is required for invertebrate collection occurring for research purposes but is not needed if the collection is for personal use. For example, a person collecting common butterflies in their backyard or creating a personal collection of common insects does not need a Scientific Collector’s permit. A Scientific Collector’s Permit is required for rare invertebrate species, which are those that are state or federal listed as threatened or endangered species or those monitored by the South Dakota Natural Heritage program.  Click here for a list of rare species.

A Scientific Collector’s permit is also required to collect wildlife or plant species from State Parks, Recreation Areas, and Game Production Areas. To apply for a permit to collect plant species, contact: Dave Ode: Botanist-Ecologist.