License Description

A Scientific Wildlife Collection License is required for the taking or collecting of any species of wildlife in North Carolina except species listed as Federally or State endangered, threatened, or special concern, which require an Endangered Species Permit.


Last Revised on 3/31/16 

License Restrictions, Rules, and Conditions

Individuals who annually collect fewer than 5 reptiles or fewer than 25 amphibians that are not endangered, threatened, or special concerned species are exempted from the Scientific Wildlife Collection License.

Applicants seeking to conduct bat surveys which include requests to enter hibernacula will need to submit hibernacula requests in writing as part of their application. All hibernacula surveys will require coordination with the agency's bat projects manager. Surveyors and researchers are not authorized to enter hibernacula without authorization on their license. 

Applicants seeking to obtain a Scientific Wildlife Collection License for Research/Survey projects must submit a completed Scientific Wildlife Collection License application along with a research proposal. Research proposals must include evidence to support why the proposed collection activities will NOT negatively impact the requested species population.

Applicants must submit a separate Scientific Wildlife Collection License application, research proposal, and license fee for each research/survey project.

Scientific Wildlife Collection License Holders conducting Research/Survey related projects will be required to submit an updated Scientific Wildlife Collection License application and research proposal every year as part of the annual renewal process. 

Applicants seeking to obtain a Wildlife Collection License for the purpose of collecting snapping turtles must submit a Wildlife Collection License application for snapping turtles only. The Wildlife Collection License does not allow for the collection of snapping turtles on Game Lands unless approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission. 

Each individual who obtains a Scientific Wildlife Collection License for Research/Survey and Snapping Turtles are required to submit an annual report within 15 days following the expiration of the license as instructed in 15A NCAC 10B .0119 (f). (Wildlife Collection Online Reporting).

Unless indicated differently on the license form, Scientific Wildlife Collection Licenses expire on December 31st of each year.

Download the current Scientific Wildlife Collection Rules from North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings and North Carolina General Assembly:



2021 NCWRC Protocols for Bat Handling Surveys During COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)

Recommendations on activities involving bats for researchers, wildlife rehabilitators, wildlife damage control agents and the public. (PDF)

FAQs about COVID-19 & Wildlife for Wildlife Handlers (PDF)

How to Obtain License

Fill out a completed Scientific Wildlife Collection License Application for research and/or bird banding and submit to the Commission address listed at the bottom of the form. Please provide a complete project proposal and any additional documentation requested on the application with your completed application.

Fill out a completed Wildlife Collection License Application for collecting snapping turtles and submit to the Commission address listed at the bottom of the form.                                                                                                          

 This license has a $10.00 application/renewal fee plus a $2.00 transaction fee which may be paid by:

  • To pay by credit card over the phone, call 1-888-248-6834 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm).
  • To pay by check or money order, make payable to NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
All license fees are non-refundable.



Download the License Forms

Scientific Wildlife Collection License Application (PDF)

Wildlife Collection License - Snapping Turtles Only Application (PDF)

Wildlife Collection Online Reporting Login (PAWS)

Scientific Wildlife Collection Report Form (PDF)

Snapping Turtle Collection Report Form (PDF)


Note: Bat Reporting Only

 In the effort to make our PAWS reporting system user friendly we are in the process of making several data entry changes to our system. As part of this effort during the 2017 reporting period we are temporarily removing the bat reporting for Endangered Species and Scientific Collection license from the PAWS reporting system.  In the interim, please email a copy of your USFW excel spreadsheet report to us at 

Please click on the following link for a copy of the USFW excel spreadsheet:



License Contact Information

Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
 Phone: 1-888-248-6834 or  919 707- 0391
 Fax: 919-707-0292