Permits for the Incidental Taking of Endangered and Threatened Species

The Endangered Species Act requires that an incidental take permit be obtained for any “take” of an endangered or threatened species incidental to an otherwise lawful activity.


Endangered Species Act
Permit Type
For Endangered / Threatened Species
Download Application


An Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(b) Incidental Take Permit is required for any “take” of an endangered or threatened species incidental to, and not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity.

This permit is not required for federal activities whose take has been evaluated in a Biological Opinion and described in an Incidental Take Statement. This permit does not authorize the incidental take of marine mammals.


How to apply

All permit applications will be posted on our incidental take permit webpage.

To apply, please contact us for guidance on how to begin. Please allow adequate time (at least one year prior to the start of your proposed activities) to complete a permit application (PDF, 4 pages) and to develop a Conservation Plan or Habitat Conservation Plan.

A permit application should provide all of the information outlined in the application instructions (PDF, 4 pages), and for processing efficiency, in the same structure and format. If any section of the application does not apply to your proposed activity, please do not skip the section; rather indicate it is "not applicable" and briefly explain why. Please provide adequately detailed information so that we have a complete picture of your proposed activities. Incomplete or vague information will delay processing and may result in your application being returned.

Conservation Plans must based on the best available scientific and commercial data. They are designed to offset harmful effects a proposed activity might have on listed species. They also provide additional conservation benefits and flexibility for landowners by including planning for unlisted species. This proactive approach can reduce future conflicts and may even preclude listing of species, furthering the purposes of the Endangered Species Act. The process also provides an opportunity to develop strong partnerships with local governments and the private sector.

Please send your application for all species except sea turtles and Pacific salmonids to:

Chief, Endangered Species Division

National Marine Fisheries Service, F/PR3

1315 East-West Highway

Silver Spring, Maryland  20910

Telephone (301) 427-8403

Fax (301) 713-0376

For sea turtles, please send your application to:

Chief, Marine Mammal and Turtle Division

National Marine Fisheries Service, F/PR2

1315 East-West Highway

Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Telephone (301) 427-8402

Fax (301) 713-0376

For Pacific salmonids, please send your application to the appropriate office:

Pacific Salmon Northwest Regional Office 

National Marine Fisheries Service 

7600 Sand Point Way NE Building 1 

Seattle, WA 98115 

Telephone (206) 526-6150 

Fax (206) 526-6426 


NMFS Northern California Coast Salmon 

National Marine Fisheries Service 

1655 Heindon Road 

Arcata, CA 95521 

Telephone (707) 825-5163 

Fax (707) 825-4840 


NMFS Central California Coast Salmon 

National Marine Fisheries Service 

777 Sonoma Ave., Room 325 

Santa Rosa, CA 95404 

Telephone (707) 575-6050 

Fax (707) 578-3435


NMFS California Central Valley Salmon 

National Marine Fisheries Service 

650 Capitol Mall, Suite 8-300 

Sacramento, CA 95819 

Telephone (916) 930-3600 

Fax (916) 930-3629 


NMFS Southern California Salmon 

National Marine Fisheries Service 

501 West Ocean Blvd 

Long Beach, CA 90802-4250 

Telephone (562) 980-4020 

Fax (562) 980-4027

What Happens After You Submit

We will use the information that you provide in your application and Habitat Conservation Plan to determine whether your application is complete, and whether to issue a permit for the proposed activities. 

After you submit your application, we will review it and may request that you provide additional information.  We cannot accept your application until we have all required information. Once your application is accepted, we will post it on our website and publish a notice in the Federal Register. We will solicit public comments on the justification of the incidental take. We will review all comments and give you the opportunity to provide responses for substantive comments. The  Director of the Office of Protected Resources will decide to issue or deny the permit based on your application, public and expert comments, your responses to those comments, and the environmental analyses of the requested activities. Once we issue a permit, we will indicate its status and post it on our incidental take permit webpage.

Once Your Permit is Issued

Once your permit is issued, it is valid until the specified expiration date. All permits require annual reports on your incidental take, and we may require additional reporting.

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on 07/09/2018