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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Wildlife Resources > Scientific Collectors/Purposes License Scientific Collectors/Purposes License

When is a license required?

A Scientific Purposes License is required by state law in Indiana Code 14-22-22 for activities pertaining to the capture/handling/collection of wild animals for scientific purposes, including scientific education.  Wild animals, by definition (IC 14-8-2-7), include mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.  Activities including, but not limited to, electro-shocking fish, banding birds, surveying mussels, mist-netting bats, and trapping or capturing mammals and reptiles protected by law require a scientific purposes license. 

How do I obtain a license?

An application form must be submitted that includes the purpose of the activity, methods to be used, species to be captured or taken and location of proposed activity.  Research proposals should be included to provide additional information.  Two relevant scientists must sign the application form for new applicants or for applicants who are submitting an application for a different taxonomic group than in the past. These signatures are required by state law (IC 14-22-22-2) and attest to the character, scientific accomplishments and fitness of the applicant. You can contact Linnea Petercheff, Staff Specialist with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, at 317-233-6527 or at lpetercheff@dnr.in.gov if you have any questions.

Who may apply?

Any individual may apply if he/she meets the qualifications outlined in the regulations to conduct scientific studies and is affiliated with one of the institutions listed (312 IAC 9-10-6). The license is issued in the name of an individual, not a business or university.

When to apply?

We recommend that you apply at least 1-2 weeks in advance of your first planned field activities.  Some proposed activities, such as those in areas with endangered species or mussels, require more extensive review and can require a longer periods of time before issuance of a license. 

How and where to apply?

An individual may obtain an application form from our website at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2371.htm The application form, license fee of $10, and any additional documents should be mailed to:  

Operations Staff Specialist
Division of Fish and Wildlife
402 W. Washington Street, Room W273
Indianapolis, IN 46204

If you plan to do work on a state park or reservoir property, you will need an additional permit (permission) from the Division of State Parks and Reservoirs.  For more information, go to: http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-Final_SPR_ResearchCollecting_Permit_Protocol_08.pdf

If you plan to do work on a dedicated nature preserve, permission from the Division of Nature Preserves is required; contact Roger Hedge at (317) 232-8062 or at: rhedge@dnr.in.gov

If you plan to do work on a state forest, permission from the Division of Forestry is required; contact Scott Haulton at (317) 234-5725 or at: shaulton@dnr.in.gov