California Department of Fish and Wildlife

When a Memorandum of Understanding is Needed


Take of Species Not Authorized Solely by a Scientific Collecting Permit

Several species, subspecies, and groups of animals are designated as standard exceptions to the Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP), and therefore an additional permit may be required (see Table 3). The standard exceptions are listed on the back of the SCP application form, and include fully protected species, State and/or Federal endangered, threatened, and candidate species, State species of special concern, and other protected species. Lists of fully protected, threatened and endangered, and special concern species are provided with the SCP application packet, and are also available on CDFW's website at species lists.

Most requests to work with standard exceptions that are not fully protected, threatened or endangered species, or species of special concern may be handled by detailed completion of the "Scientific Collecting Permit Attachment" form provided in the SCP application packet. To speed up the approval process, applicants are encouraged to use this form whenever possible. The form requires only an Wildlife Branch signature rather than preparation of a typed, signed approval letter. However, depending on the nature and complexity of the take, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or letter permit may occasionally be required. An MOU or letter permit may specifically describe the manner, scope, and method of take and require sharing of the results of the take with the Department.

An MOU, preceded by a Department-issued 30-day Public Notice, is required for work on species that are Fully Protected. The Public Notice and MOU process for Fully Protected species requires a minimum of 6 weeks processing time. Wildlife Branch will not issue a permit authorizing work on a Federally-listed species until the applicant has provided a copy of the appropriate federal permit.