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. Read the Permit and Collection Licence information 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.
- 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.
- 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 2020 will need to be renewed before the end of 2021.
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
Follow these step to get a Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence
Step 1. Get started – read the background information
- Read the general information to help you get started.
- Read the Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence guidance, including background and interpretation documents for more in-depth information on the process.
Step 2. Submit the application online
Be sure to refer to the map included in the online application 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 or licence issuance will be coordinated by the identified region.
- Access the Online Permitting and Clearance (OPaC) System
- Read the OPaC User Guide (PDF, 3.2 MB) to learn how to set up your personalized profile and fill out an application.
- Complete the required fields in the application
- Upload your detailed proposal and submit the application.
Step 3. 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.
Step 4. Submit your data and report when you are done your research
- Complete the progress or completion report in the Online Permitting and Clearance System
- Read the OPaC User Guide (PDF, 3.2 MB) to learn how to complete the report.
- As part of your report, within OPaC, submit the results of your wildlife research or collection for entry into FWMIS (Fisheries and Wildlife Management Information System). Download the appropriate loadform from Wildlife Loadforms.
- Upload the completed FWMIS loadform to OPaC as an attachment to your progress or completion report.
- If you need to submit bird banding data to the Wildlife Management Branch, you can either use the FWMIS loadform (see above), or you can prepare data submission files using Bandit:
- Submit Banding Data Using Bandit (PDF, 82 KB)
Step 5. Renew your Wildlife Research Permit and Collection Licence
Refer to the map that is included in the online application to assist you with identifying in which region(s) your work will occur.
Note, your renewal application will not be processed until your progress or completion report and FWMIS data submission have been received and accepted.
- Access the Online Permitting and Clearance(OPac) System
- Read the OPaC User Guide (PDF, 3.2 MB) to learn how to fill out a renewal application.
- Complete the required fields
- Submit the application
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)
For information on general wildlife activity in your area, contact the area wildlife biologist at: Fisheries and Wildlife Management Area contacts.