Wildlife research and collection

A wildlife research permit and collection licence is required to perform wildlife research or collection in Alberta.


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. Review the information on this page to learn more about activities that require a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence and how to obtain a licence for your work. 

Wildlife research permits and collection licences are issued on a calendar year basis. Permits or licences expire on December 31 and cannot be renewed until January 1 of the following year. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the proposed start date of your research or collection activity.

If you are doing work in early January, email us to discuss options at [email protected], or contact the regional permit issuer directly using the listing provided at Fisheries and Wildlife Management Area contacts.

Multi-year projects

For multi-year projects, including ongoing possession of live animals or museum specimens, 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 of the year following permit issue; for example, a permit issued in 2021 will need to be renewed before the end of 2022.

Wildlife Research in Provincial Parks

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.

How to get your licence


Connect with the ministry about Wildlife Research Permits and Collection Licences:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 780-422-9533
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

For information on general wildlife activity in your area, contact the area wildlife biologist at: Fisheries and Wildlife Management Area contacts.