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MVZ Guidelines for Salvage Permits

MVZ Handbook

The Museum has both a federal and state salvage permit that allows it to receive specimens that are found dead in California. Salvage in other states is not authorized under these permits, and must be covered by an individual salvage permit. The MVZ state permit applies to all non-endangered/non-threatened species, and has no expiration date. The federal permit applies to all North American birds (and bird parts, including feathers) except eagles.

Under the state permit, salvage of threatened/endangered species must be reported within 48 hrs to the California Department of Fish and Game, and a separate permit will be issued by that agency.

The federal permit allows salvage of threatened/endangered species except eagles. Salvage of any threatened/endangered species must be reported to the USFWS Office of Migratory Birds, Portland, OR, within 48 hrs.

In addition to the MVZ salvage permits, individuals may request authorization to salvage specimens as a condition of their own scientific collecting permit (varies from state to state). If a researcher plans to do field work that might involve incidental salvage, either in California or elsewhere, we encourage them to request authorization for salvage. The researcher is responsible for submitting a report of salvaged specimens to the permit-issuing agency, if required by the permit.


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