Wildlife Research and Collection

Anyone (person, agency or institution) whose work involves wildlife research or collection in Alberta needs a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence.

Research includes a variety of activities. See the Permit and Collection Licence Frequently Asked Questions document below for examples of activities that require a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence.

Submit your application at least 30 days in advance of the proposed start date for the research or collection activity.

  • Starting in 2017, Wildlife Research Permits and Collection Licences are now issued on a calendar year basis; permits/licences expire on December 31.
  • For multi-year projects, a permit renewal is required if the project is to continue in the following year.
  • To ensure timely review and approval, the permit renewal application should be submitted by November 30.

If you wish to conduct wildlife research in one of Alberta’s provincial parks, in addition to obtaining a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence, you must also obtain a Research and Collection Permit from the Alberta Parks Division.

The Parks permit can be obtained at the same time as your Wildlife permit and licence through the Online Permitting and Clearance (OpaC) system. Alberta Parks has more information on Parks Research and Collection Permits:

Getting a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence

Step One: Get Started! Read the Background Information

  1. Read the FAQs for general information that will help you get started.
  2. Read the Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence Process for more in-depth information on the process.

Step Two: Submit the Application

NOTE: An online application process was introduced in June 2017. As of September 30, 2017, we will no longer accept applications that use the old Word forms.

Please be sure to refer to the map that is included in the online application (see image at right) to assist you with identifying in which region(s) your work will occur.

For multi-region projects, you will be required to identify the region in which the majority of work will occur; permit/licence issuance will be coordinated by the identified region.

  1. Access the Online Permitting and Clearance (OPaC) system

    Read the User Guide to learn how to set up your personalized profile and fill out an application

  2. Complete the required fields in the application
  3. Upload your detailed proposal and submit the application. Those submitting a Falconry Collection Licence Application must use this form:

    Email the completed Falconry Collection Licence Application to Dr. Gord Court at: Gord.Court@gov.ab.ca

Step Three: Follow the Class Protocols

Research on some species must be done according to specific protocols. The class protocols currently in place are below. In your application, you will be asked to identify which class protocol(s) apply to your project or to explain why no class protocols apply.

Protocols for Wildlife Research Protocol Number
Addendum to Class Protocols #001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 007, 008, 009, 101, 012: Invasive DNA Collection from Wildlife Species- 2013 (4 pages, <1 MB) Addendum to Class Protocols #001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 007, 008, 009, 010,012
Chemical Immobilization of Wildlife: Drug Volume Calculation Tables- 2016 (6 pages, <1 MB) Drug Volume Calculation Tables
Raptor Collection for Falconry- Mar 2002 (3 pages, <1 MB) Class Protocol #001
Recreational Bird Banding- Feb 2001 (4 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #002
Capture and Handling of Amphibians- Feb 2005 (6 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #003
Bat Capture, Handling and Release- Feb 2005 (5 pages, 1MB) Addendum to class protocol #4- July 2009 (2 pages, 1 MB) Class Protocol #004
Capture, Handling, Immobilization and Release of Bears- July 23 2013 (8 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #005
Call Playback for Owls- Feb 2005 (4 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #006
Small Mammal Handling and Trapping- Feb 2005 (4 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #007
Ungulate Capture by Net-Gunning, Handling and Release- Feb 2005 (7 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #008
Canid Capture, Handling, Immobilization and Release- July 23 2013 (7 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #009
Greater Sage-grouse Capture, Translocation, and Release- Mar 2011 (9 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #010
Ground-based Wildlife Surveys- Oct 2012 (3 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #011
Cougar Capture, Handling, Immobilization and Release– Jul 23, 2013 (6 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #012
Ungulate Survey Protocol for Species Detection and Monitoring Purposes– Jul 23, 2013 (3 pages, 1MB) Class Protocol #013

Step Four: Submit your data and the completion report when you are done your research

  1. Complete the progress report in OPaC:

    Visit the Alberta Parks website and read the User Guide to learn how to complete the progress report

  2. As part of your report, within OPaC, submit the results of your wildlife research/collection for entry into FWMIS (Fisheries and Wildlife Management Information System). Download the appropriate loadform from this page:
  3. Upload the completed FWMIS loadform to OPaC as an attachment to your progress report
  4. If you need to submit bird banding data to the Wildlife Management Branch, you can either use the FWMIS loadform (following steps A and B above) OR you can prepare data submission files using Bandit OR Band Manager. Find out how to submit the data using Bandit or Band Manager:

Step Five: Renew your Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence

Please be sure to refer to the map that is included in the online application (see image at right) to assist you with identifying in which region(s) your work will occur.

Note that your renewal application will not be processed until your progress report and FWMIS data submission have been received.

  1. Access the Online Permitting and Clearance (OPaC) system

    Read the User Guide to learn how to fill out a renewal application

  2. Complete the required fields
  3. Submit the application

Contact Us

Questions about Wildlife Research Permits and Collection Licences can be emailed to:

Or you can call:

  • 780 422 9533 (toll-free call 310-0000)

For information on general wildlife activity in your area, contact the area wildlife biologist. See the Wildlife Management Area Contacts Map at:

 

Page Information

Updated: Jun 27, 2017