All non-domestic animals fall into the listed categories for import and possession. 

  • Restricted Species: PERMIT required for import and possession (only for purposes listed)
    • Part A (10/11/22) - research and government zoos or aquariums (scientific or medical purposes)
      • ADDED Asian tiger mosquito, yellow fever mosquito, southern house mosquito, Northern largemouth bass to stock Wahiawa Public Fishing Area, South American flea beetle as biological control agent for Cane Tibouchina 
    • Part B - private (non-profit and non-pet use) and commercial use
      • Primates limited to Part A purposes or sanctuaries

BANS 90-day imports for of dangerous wild animals on the restricted list or those unlisted for a circus, carnival or other exhibition or performance except for commercial filming where animal is actually part of the filming  

  • PERMIT issued for 90-day imports for other unlisted animals for filming, performances or exhibitions

BANS transport of live snakes, flying fox, fruit bat, Gila monster, injurious insects, eels of the order Anguilliformes, or any other detrimental species unless authorized except that the Department may bring in and replace 4 live sterile male brown tree snakes for research or training snake detector dogs and government zoo may import and replace 2 live nonvenomous male snakes

PERMIT required to transport animals from island to island

Non-domestic Animals: Any animal other than:

  • Domestic cats and dogs
  • Domestic horse
  • Domestic ass, burro or donkey
  • Domestic cattle, zebu and beefalo 
  • Domestic sheep and goats
  • Domestic swine and potbelly pigs 
  • Domestic llama and alpaca  
  • European rabbit (domestic races)
  • Domestic turkeys
  • Domestic chickens
  • Domestic races of pigeons (from Rock Doves) 
  • Domestic races of Muscovy ducks and graylag geese
  • swan geese
  • Domestic hybrids (domestic x domestic)

Dangerous Wild Animals:

  • Bears
  • Felines: Lion, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, cougar, leopard, clouded leopard, caracal, ocelot, margay, serval
  • Wolf
  • Hyena
  • Aardwolf
  • Elephant
  • Hippo
  • Rhino
  • Non-human primates
  • Crocodiles, American alligator, spectacled caiman, gharial

PERMIT:  Permit for Restricted Commodities into Hawaii


  • Need name and address of shipper and importer, number and species and sex, purpose of import, mode of transport and arrival date and person responsible, description of safeguarded facilities, method of disposition and animal abstract
  • Requires $3000/animal bond ($2000 if USDA) for 1) monkeys, apes, baboons, gibbons, lemurs, pottos, wallabies and other required animals, 2) offspring of such animals, and 3) animals for short-term or short-term permits for circuses, carnivals, TV or movie commercial filming and other performances – exempts government zoo and nonprofit sanctuaries 
  • Bonded animals: immediately notify of escapes and deaths, verify export with inspector, sell only to bonded person with permit, reports births and get bond and permit within 30 days, notify of contact changes within 7 business days and report any suspension, revocation or expiration of any USDA license within 7 days

(11 Hawaii Rev. Statutes Ch. 150A; Hawaii Admin Rules 4-71, 4-29)


BANS catch, possession, injury, killing, sale, transfer and export of indigenous species and introduced wild birds (except game) or removing nests

  • GRANDFATHER: Indigenous wildlife owned 5/10/1975 
  • PERMIT issued for indigenous wildlife for certain purposes
    • Scientific, Propagation and educational Permit (collect, possess, sell and transport indigenous and introduced wildlife and game birds or mammals for scientific, educational, or propagation to enhance survival)     
    • Rehabilitation and other purposes (treat, preserve, protect and conserve)
    • Crop damage, nuisance and threat to human health and safety permit

BANS release, transport to islands not established in and export of injurious wildlife along with release of established wildlife.

    • Destruction of injurious wildlife
    • Department employees
    • USDA and Department of Agriculture inspectors, enforcements agents and researchers
    • Another authorized person

Indigenous, introduced, injurious wildlife

(Hawaii Admin. Rules 13-124 SubCh. 2)


PERMIT (Scientific, Propagation and Educational Permit) issued to:

  • collect, possess, kill, sell or transport threatened wildlife for scientific or educational purposes
  • take, possess, process, sale, transport or export endangered wildlife for scientific purposes or enhance propagation or survival of species or possess for educational purpose to enhance survival

BANS take, possession, process, sale, transport and export of endangered and threatened wildlife for other purposes and removing or destroying their nests

  • GRANDFATHERED: Endangered or threatened wildlife owned 5/10/1975 
    • Department employees     
    • USDA and Department of Agriculture inspectors, enforcements agents and researchers
    • Another authorized person

Endangered and threatened wildlife

(Hawaii Admin. Rules 13-124 SubCh. 3)


LEGAL to take marine and freshwater nongame fish and other aquatic life with a net and keep in an aquarium (pets, scientific study, public exhibition or display or sell for these purposes)   

PERMIT (Aquarium Permit) required to take marine and freshwater nongame fish and other aquatic life with small-mesh nets and traps (holes less than 2” or nets less than 3’ long, tall or wide) (NOTE: currently cancelled by Hawaii Court)

West Hawaii has own permits and requirements for taking fish for the aquarium trade

(12 Hawaii Rev. Statutes 188-31; Hawaii Admin. Rules 13-60.4.-7)



Special regulations for take of certain marine species.
(Hawaii Admin. Rules 13-95)


BANS intentionally or knowingly capturing or entangling any shark or killing one in state marine waters. 

  • Penalty is misdemeanor of $500 for 1st offense, $2,000 for 2nd offense and $10,000 for each additional.  Also allows civil fine up to $10,000 per offense.  Also allows 1) administrative fine of up to $10,000 per shark, 2) seizure and forfeiture of sharks, commercial marine license, vessel, and fishing equipment, and 3) administrative and attorney fees and costs.

PERMIT issued for non-commercial purposes. 

  • EXEMPT: Special activity permits, department of land and natural resources or its designated agent to protect public safety, federally managed fishery for sharks taken outside state waters and on vessel in state waters, self-defense or defense of others against death or bodily harm, and non-commercial permit issued, protected traditional and customary rights. 

(12 Hawaii Rev. Statutes 188-40.8 - NEW Section Effective 1/1/22 – Public Act 051 Signed into law 6/8/21)