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Endangered and Threatened Species Licensing and Permitting


State Environmental Conservation, Department of

Businesses need special licenses to work with dead or live endangered species in New York State.

Businesses that possess, collect, or sell endangered species need a license from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This license is called the Endangered/Threatened Species License. The sale of products made from endangered species is usually illegal. For the exceptions, businesses will need a Dead Endangered Species Permit from the DEC.

Living Endangered Species

Businesses need certain licenses from the DEC for living endangered species. These are:
  • For collecting and keeping endangered species for educational purposes;
  • For collecting and keeping endangered species for scientific purposes; and
  • For breeding endangered species.
The licenses are not interchangeable. They do not allow anyone to keep endangered species as pets. All licenses are valid for one year.

Dead Endangered Species

By federal law, it is almost always illegal to sell products made from dead endangered species. But, if a product dates from before 1973, or the animal died before then, then the product can be sold. Businesses need a Dead Endangered Species Permit from the DEC for this purpose.

For products made from crocodiles or alligators, businesses also need a Crocodilian Permit. Visit the separate page to learn more about the Crocodilian Permit.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
Phone (518) 402-8985
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