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Foreign Banding

COUNTRY PERMITS

Banders should not trap or mark birds nor use North American bands in another country without first obtaining the permits or licenses required in that country. When working outside of the USA, its Territories, and Canada, banders must recognize that BBL bands can only be used on North American migratory species if permitted by the host country. The banding of resident species, including resident forms of species that also occur in North America, will have to be conducted with bands purchased by the bander and will not be authorized by the BBL.
To request permission to band in additional countries using BBL bands please provide the BBL with the following information:
- Master's name, permit number and all subpermits requiring this authorization
- Country(ies) where banding is proposed
- Project Proposal
If other authorizations are requested at the same time, then the applicants resume of banding experience should also be included to document their background with the requested banding/marking techniques.

Outside of the USA and Canada, US banders proposing projects in countries with established national banding programs should contact those programs to obtain the necessary permits and expect to use bands issued by those countries. When US banders propose projects in countries without established national banding programs, they should contact
the BBL (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov) for guidance although they should anticipate the need to purchase their own bands under many circumstances. Guidance for obtaining permits for a few countries is provided below:

BIRD BANDING IN MEXICO

US banders who would like to initiate banding projects in Mexico must obtain a Mexican bird banding permit before the BBL will authorize use of its bird bands in that country. Mexican banding permits are issued by SEMARNAT (Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales). To obtain a permit to band in Mexico please contact Roberto Avina Carlin, Director De Conservacion De La Vida Silvestre at roberto.carlin@semarnat.gob.mx. Collaboration with Mexican colleagues will greatly expedite issuance of these permits. US banders working with Mexican colleagues can apply directly to SEMARNAT for a banding permit while US banders working without Mexican collaboration must consult the US Consulate in Mexico City and follow its procedures for obtaining these permits. If you have been issued a Mexican banding permit please send the BBL a copy. (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov)

Once a Mexican bird banding permit has been issued to a US bander, at this time they may still use BBL bands on North American migratory birds if authorized to do so by the BBL. They may not use these bands on resident Mexican species. The Mexican government is in the preliminary stages of developing a bird banding program, and once that program becomes operational, this program will issue Mexican bird bands for use in Mexico. For current information on the use of BBL bands in Mexico, contact the BBL. (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov)
Canadian banders who would like to initiate banding projects in Mexico should contact the CWS Bird Banding Office for guidance on permit requirements.

BIRD BANDING IN COSTA RICA

US banders who would like to initiate banding projects in Costa Rica must obtain a bird banding permit from Costa Rica before the BBL will authorize use of its bird bands in that country.

The following are the requisites for bird research officially stated by the Ministry of the Environment and Telecommunications (MINAET) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).

If you wish to band birds in Costa Rica, using your own bands for resident birds, or using USGS bands for migratory birds, you must first contact the Director of Research of the specific Conservation Area where you will be working. There are ten Conservation Areas, and they can be found here: http://www.sinac.go.cr/areassilvestres.php

After you indentify the Conservation Area you will be working in, you can fill out their online permit form.
If you will be carrying out research in more than one area, we suggest you contact the National Coordinator Directly:

Lic. Jose Joaquin Calvo Domingo, National Coordinator
Apartado Postal: 11.384-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: (+506) 2522-6549
Fax: (+506)256-2436
E-mail: joaquin.calvo@sinac.go.cr

Costa Rica does not currently have specific regulation in terms of bird banding research. The following is a summary of the requisites for marking individuals in general, and the corresponding official article that describes the rules and regulations:

“El SINAC autorizara los siguientes metodos de marcaje de animales y plantas: con anillos, marbetes, sellos de acidos, sellos calientes, tatuajes, cortes en orejas y escamas, asi como con microchips inyectados en los tejidos, cuando sea fisicamente posible y cualquier otro metodo nuevo que se autorice. La numeracion de estos ejemplares debera ser consecutiva segun el metodo que se utilice, no pudiendose utilizar para nuevos ejemplares los numerales correspondientes a los individuos muertos o vendidos. Dicha autorizacion se dara una vez inscritos los animales y las plantas. Art. 80 y 81 Dec. 32633-MINAE”

Translation:

“The SINAC will authorize the following methodology for marking individual plants and animals: bands, acid branding, heat branding, tattoos, ear markings (cuts and scales), microchips injected in the tissue, given that the method used is physically possible as well as compatible with any other methods being employed. The numeration of individuals with respect to their markings must be continuous respective of the method, and the serial number used is not transferable between individuals, old or dead. This general authorization will be given and the marked animals and plants will be registered. Article 80 and 81 Dec. 32633-MINAE”

The following are the main requirements of working with bird species that do not fall under the CITES list, as well as are not considered as endangered by IUCN.

Requisites:

  1. Photocopy of your passport photo page.
  2. 2 current passport photos.
  3. Letter of support in Spanish from your research institution, which includes your passport number and the tile of your project in Spanish
  4. Copy of your CV, Spanish or English
  5. A 1-6 page summary, in Spanish, of your research project (Introduction, Objectives, Methods, Outcomes, Research Timeline (Cronograma), etc.).
  6. A letter (from you) if you will be exporting items that explains what you will be exporting and its final destination, in Spanish
  7. A completed research permit form from MINAET: Solicitud de permiso para realizar investigaciones.
  8. $30 US

If you have been issued a Costa Rican banding permit please send the BBL a copy. (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov)

Canadian banders who would like to initiate banding projects in Costa Rica should contact the CWS Bird Banding Office for guidance on permit requirements.

BANDING IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE OUTSIDE OF THE US, CANADA, AND MEXICO

US banders who would like to initiate banding projects elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere will have to obtain the necessary permits from the authorities in the countries where they propose to band. Several countries, such as Brazil and Colombia, have established National Bird Banding Programs. Some island states are territories of European countries and banding on those islands is governed by the respective European banding centers. Other countries are in the process of establishing national programs, while a number of countries have no established banding programs. US banders proposing projects in countries with established national banding programs should contact those programs to obtain the necessary permits and expect to use bands issued by those countries. When US banders propose projects in countries without established national banding programs, they should contact the BBL (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov) for guidance although they should anticipate the need to purchase their own bands under most circumstances.

Interest in developing national banding programs is currently very high in the Western Hemisphere and additional programs are likely to be established in the future. Because of this constantly-changing situation, banders considering projects outside of the US, Canada, and Mexico should consult with the BBL (e-mail to bbl_permits@usgs.gov) well in advance of their proposed starting date for guidance on the current issues regarding permits and band use in specific countries.

Canadian banders who would like to initiate banding projects elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere should contact the CWS Bird Banding Office for guidance on permit requirements.

BANDING OUTSIDE OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Except under extraordinary circumstances, the use of BBL bird bands in Europe, Africa, and Asia will not be authorized.