BANS owning, breeding and transferring ownership of large carnivores. 

  • FULLY EXEMPT: circuses
  • GRANDFATHERED: owners that obtained permits in 2000


Possession ban, microchips, and enclosures:

  • DNR or USFWS permit holders
  • law enforcement officers
  • person providing veterinary care

Possession ban, microchips, enclosures, export, and failure to obtain permit:

  • NOT EXEMPT FROM: tether ban, secure and safe facility with locked entrances, supervised by someone 21+ and proper care
    • those traveling through the state
    • USDA Class C for education or exhibition
      • ONLY IF: 1) NO animal confiscation by USDA in last 5 years, final direct noncompliance, civil penalty, cease and desist, or suspension or revocation of license, AND 2) NO direct or close public contact with carnivore over 20 weeks, sales (except USDA) or breeding        
      • EXEMPTS: bears under 36 weeks of age or 90 pounds of less for those in possession of bears in 2013 that may also breed 4 black bear sows a year
    • Animal control shelters and animal rescue shelters
      • NOT EXEMPT FROM: export
    • large carnivore breeding license holders
      • ALSO EXEMPT FROM: breeding ban


  • Large Cats (cheetah, cougar, jaguar, leopard (all), lion, panther, tiger and hybrids)
  • Bears

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.1101 to 287.1123 (Act 274 of 2000))



BANS possession, breeding, and transferring ownership of wolf-dogs. 

  • GRANDFATHERED: those owned on effective date with a permit if sterilized, microchipped, kept either indoors or in facility with signs except when out on leash, and are kept under caging and care requirements

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.1001 to 287.1023 (Act 246 of 2000))


PERMIT required to breed ferrets.

  • EXEMPT: hobby breeders with up to 4 ferrets 6+ months old or a litter under 5 months on temporary basis for recreational purposes for which listed criteria are met


  • Import: health certificate, rabies vaccine if over 12 weeks and distemper if over 6 weeks
  • Sellers must provide ferret health sheet to buyer
  • Ferrets over 12 weeks must be vaccinated against rabies except for research
  • Bites and scratches must be reported within 48 hours to county health department
  • Nurserymen and fruit growers may use ferrets to protect property from rabbits

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.891 to 287.901 (Act 358 of 1994); Michigan Admin. Code R 5.21-5.22; Conservation Order 5.60)


Exotic cervid outside of perimeter fence of registered cervidae livestock operation more than 48 hours without visible ID may be taken by hunting if registered.

(Wildlife Conservation Order 9.1(6))


REGISTRATION required to sell or possess nonnative aquatic species.  Trade shows of aquatic species require 10 days advance written notice.

    • Aquaculture development act activities
    • Activities under part 459
    • Sale other than prohibited/restricted for human consumption
    • 1 time sale of up to 20 per species

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324.41329-41335)



  • Aquatic - amphibian, crustacean, fish, mollusk, reptile, wiggler, or aquatic plant.
  • Nonaquatic – bird, mammal, insect other than wiggler
  • Crustacean - freshwater crayfish, shrimp, or prawn
  •      Game – badger, bear, beaver, bobcat, brant, coot, coyote, crow, deer, duck, elk, fisher, Florida gallinule, fox, geese, hare, Hungarian partridge, marten, mink, moose, muskrat, opossum, otter, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, ruffed and sharptailed grouse, skunk, snipe, sora rail, squirrel, Virginia rail, weasel, wild turkey, wild turkey, wolf, woodchuck, woodcock
  •      Wild animal - mammal, bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, or crustacea

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324.40103)

PERMITS required for native wildlife for the following purposes:

  • Game Bird Hunting Preserve License

  • Dog Training Area Permit

  • Fur Dealer’s License

  • Game Breeder’s License (maintain, propagate and sell game except public zoos)
    • escaped game becomes state property

  • Game Fish Propagation License (propagate and sell game fish)
  • Game Fish Import License (import game fish)
  • Game Fish Scientific Permit (possess game fish for scientific purposes and aquariums)

  • Permit to take amphibians and reptiles for scientific or educational use (take herp year-round for scientific purposes)

  • Falconry

  • Rehabilitation Permit (possess wild bird or animal for rehabilitation except vet for 48 hours)
    • All animals not endangered/threatened/special concern must be released, given to AZA zoo or ASA or association of sanctuaries sanctuary, donated to research or educational institution, or euthanized
    • BANS public displays and public contact
    • BANS skunks, bats, wild elk, wild moose, wild mute swans, AND only allows raccoons if released in same county
    • Special deer requirements

  • Scientific Collector’s Permit (collect, possess, transport for scientific or educational purposes)
    • Must be public or private school, public agency associated with wildlife, 501(c)(3) educational organization, USDA scientific research organization, or business industry evaluating post construction impact on wildlife

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324 Sec. 40107b, 41701, 42101, 42701, 45902, 45906, 48705, 48735, 50101; Michigan Wildlife Conservation Order 5.20-5.22, 5.70-75, Ch. IX & X)


BANS possessing live wild-caught game. 

  • PERMIT issued for rehabilitators returning animals to the wild 

BANS holding black bears in captivity. 

  • GRANDFATHERED: those held under permit in 2016

PERMIT (Permit to Hold Game in Captivity) required to possess captive-bred game.

  • LIMITED TO: badger, bobcat, red and gray fox, raccoon, coyote, beaver, otter, muskrat, mink, squirrels, striped skunk, woodchuck, opossum, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, Hungarian partridge, ducks, geese and wild turkeys

  • EXEMPT: if not propagated or sold
    • educational institutions, public agencies, and public zoological gardens
    • Import dead game
    • shooting preserve license
    • permit to hold game in captivity
    • federal recognized falconry permit
    • federal raptor propagation permit (threatened and endangered species must comply with state law)
    • federal special purpose education permit or state scientific collector’s permit
    • hawk, owl or eagle for American Indian religious purposes
    • taxidermists with dead animals
    • Up to 12 ring-necked pheasants
    • Up to 12 quail
    • Up to 12 Hungarian partridge
    • pheasants, bobwhite quail, or Hungarian partridge for release or personal consumption for up to 6 months
      • NEED game bird release permit
    • game birds for field dog trial permit
    • game birds by game bird hunting preserve license
    • export
    • possess cervidae by privately owned cervidae producers marketing act
    • exhibitor


  • 18 or older
  • Compliance with federal law for waterfowl
  • Report additional animals of same species on monthly inventory report
  • Submit permit updates
  • Amendment to add additional species
  • Enclosure requirements, animal inventory report, shipping tag to ship
  • Only sell to another permittee or exempt person

(Captive Game Order Ch. 20; Wildlife Conservation Order Sec. 4.1)


BANS take, release, transport, sale, purchase and possession of protected animals (moose, wolverine, nongame birds, mute swans and bats). 

  • EXEMPT: English sparrows, feral pigeons, starlings, mute swans (prevent new populations and protect native wildlife and public health and welfare), double-crested cormorants (harassing to prevent private property or public fisheries damage or taking for oil spills only), and nuisance bats

    • shooting preserve license
    • permit to hold game in captivity
    • federal recognized falconry permit
    • federal raptor propagation permit (threatened and endangered species must comply with state law)
    • federal special purpose education permit or state scientific collector’s permit

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324.40106; Wildlife Conservation Order Ch. IX)


BANS taking reptiles and amphibians for commercial use. 

  • LICENSE (Fishing License) required to take reptiles and amphibians for personal use.

BANS taking and possessing certain species from the wild.

  • PERMIT issued for scientific research, conservation, or educational purposes
  • LIST:
    • Eastern massasauga
    • queen snake
    • grey rat snake except common albino colors
    • Butler’s garter snake
    • smooth green snake
    • Blanding’s turtle
    • wood turtle
    • Eastern box turtle
    • boreal chorus frog
    • mink frog
    • pickerel frog
    • fowler’s toad
    • Mudpuppy
    • Northern two-lined salamander
    • Northern dusky salamander
    • Western lesser siren

BANS taking and possessing wild-caught threatened and endangered species.

  • PERMIT issued for scientific research, conservation, or educational purposes
    • Kirtland’s snake
    • copper-bellied water snake
    • Eastern fox snake
    • spotted turtle
    • Blanchard’s cricket frog
    • marbled salamander
    • small-mouth salamander
    • six-lined racerunner

TAKE METHODS (UNLISTED): BANS firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow

  • Reptiles: hand, trap, seines 12 x 4, hand net, hook-and-line
  • Amphibians: hand, hook-and-line, hand net or trap where allowed, spear


  • Frogs, toads and salamanders - 10/day and possess 10
    • Last Sat May – Nov 15
  • Snapping and softshell turtles - 2/day (1/species) and possess 4 (2/species)
    • snapping turtles must be 13”
    • Jul 15 to Sep 15
  • Turtles, snakes and lizards (rest) – 3/day (limit 2 turtles and 1/species) and possess 6 (limit 4 turtles and 4/species)
    • Year-round

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324.48705; Fisheries Order 224.21)



BANS taking freshwater mussels.

  • PERMIT issued for cultural or scientific investigation
  • EXCLUDES: restricted species (zebra and quagga mussels) and invasive species

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324 Part 457, 324.48705; Fisheries Order 224.18)


BANS crayfish possession and use as bait on Michigan-Wisconsin boundary water and BANS nonnative species. 

  • EXEMPT: wild-caught used at same site and destroying them

PERMIT (Fishing License) required to take native crayfish for personal use.

  • LIMIT: Native crayfish (calico, Northern clearwater, virile, chimney, big river, digger and white river) may be taken in unlimited number in waters open for fishing
  • ALLOWS: traps, nets, hook-and-line or hands

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324.48705; Fisheries Order 249.15)


BANS take, possession, transport, import, processing, export, buying and sale of US native and foreign and state
endangered and threatened wildlife other than insects.

    • scientific, zoological, and educational purposes and propagation in captivity to ensure survival
    • Imported ones with federal permit or state permit
    • Raptors for falconry

  • LIST: (Updated through Rule 2022-11 Adopted 10/13/22)
    • NEW ENDANGERED: rusty-patched bumble bee, American bumble bee, swamp metalmark, Robertson's flightless planthopper, Russet-tipped clubtail, Western lesser siren
    • NEW THREATENED: frosted elfin, tiger spiketail, Leafhopper, Alleghany River cruiser, Culvers root borer, Nabokov's blue, Grizzled skipper, Elusive clubtail, Orangethroat darter, silver chub, Bigmouth shiner, Brindled madtom, Wood turtle, Eastern massasauga rattlesnake, Eastern box turtle, Northern goshawk, Eastern whip-poor-will, Upland sandpiper, Spruce grouse, Black tern, Evening grosbeak, Golden-winged warbler, Little brown bat, Northern long-eared bat, Eastern pipistrelle or Tricolored bat
    • UPGRADED FROM THREATENED TO ENDANGERED: Fawnsfoot, Huron River leafhopper, Ottoe skipper, Poweshiek skipperling, Gray petaltail, Shortjaw cisco, Mooneye, Sauger, Long-eared owl
    • DOWNGRADED FROM ENDANGERED TO THREATENED: Black sandshell, Kirtland’s warbler, Peregrine falcon
    • MOVED TO EXTIRPATED: Scaleshell, Pink papershell, Regal fritillary, Gorgone checkerspot, Hoary comma
    • REMOVED: Lake floater, Deepwater pondsnail, Petosky pondsnail, Bugle fossaria, Broadshoulder physa, Henry’s elfin, Frosted elfin, Northern blue Prairie warbler, Long-eared owl, Red-shouldered hawk, Trumpeter swan, Yellow-throated warbler, Merlin, Lark sparrow, Smoky shrew

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324 Part 365; Michigan Admin. Code R 299.1021 – 1028)



BANS take, pursuit, capturing, wounding or killing homing pigeons belong to someone else or using device to so.

(Michigan Compiled Law 324 part 409)




BANS import and release of feral swine.

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.731(6))



BANS possession of prohibited and restricted species.

    • Transport to institute of higher learning or state agency for identification along with such institution identifying it
    • eradication program
    • education or research purposes
    • aquatic restricted species allowed under order

PERMIT required to introduce one. 

BANS import, transport and sale of Salmonidae unless permit is issued. 

Prohibited Species: Including hybrids

  • Bird
    • Eurasian collared dove

  • Crustacean
    • rusty crayfish
    • killer shrimp
    • yabby
    • red swamp crayfish
    • marble crayfish (added 2020)

  • Fish
    • Carp – bighead, black, grass, silver
    • Bitterling
    • Eurasian ruffe
    • Ide
    • Japanese weatherfish
    • round and tubenose goby
    • rudd
    • snakehead
    • tench
    • stone moroko
    • zander
    • wels catfish

  • Insects
    • Asian longhorned beetle
    • Emerald ash borer

  • Mammals
    • Nutria
    • wild or feral boar/hog/swine, Old world swine, razorback, Eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar

  • Mollusk
    • snails: brown garden, Carthusian, Giant African, girdled, heath, wrinkled dune, New Zealand mud

  • Mussels:
    • golden

Restricted Species:

  • quagga and zebra mussel
  • Rusty crayfish (added 2020)

(Michigan Compiled Laws 324 Part 413; Michigan Admin. Code R 299.1051-1052; Invasive Species Order)



Species requiring a permit to hold wildlife in captivity shown near a commercial establishment or place open for public viewing must be USDA licensed, have the state license, have 4’ tall barrier fence at least 4’ from pen and shall not allow public feeding except for provided food. 

  • EXEMPT: television shows, sportsperson shows, similar transient events considered theatrical events

(Wildlife Conservation Order Ch. XI)


Tortoises and turtles must have a carapace of at least 4” to be sold or distributed unless the buyer is given a health advisory sheet listing health risks of contacting Salmonellosis from turtles.

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.311-287.314 (Act 424 of 1988))


Fish must be on the approved list for importation and/or stocking along with the required testing.  In addition, VHS laws prevent transporting them in water except under scientific license.

LIST: (2021)

Legal to import/stock but no bait:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Bass – largemouth, rock, smallmouth, white
  • Bluegill
  • Bullhead – black, brown, yellow
  • Crappie – black and white
  • Catfish – Channel, flathead
  • Lake Herring
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Pumpkinseed Sunfish
  • Sunfish – Green, hybrid, redear
  • Trout – Brook, brown, lake, rainbow
  • Walleye
  • Warmouth
  • Yellow Perch

Baitfish: legal to import and use as bait but no stocking:

  • Atlantic Herring
  • Atlantic Menhaden
  • Anchovies
  • Common White Sucker
  • Creek Chub
  • Eulachon
  • Pacific Herring
  • Shiner – Sand, Spotfin, Spottail

Baitfish: legal to import, stock, use as bait:

  • Gizzard Shad
  • Minnow – bluntnose, fathead
  • Northern Redbelly Dace
  • Shiner – Common, Emerald, Golden

(Fisheries Order 245.16 Fish Disease Control)


BANS importing species that have potential to spread serious disease, cause serious physical harm or endangered wildlife, humans, domestic animals or property

Health certificate or certificate of veterinary inspection required to import all vertebrate animals. 


  • Aquaculture - CVI, health certificate or fish disease inspection report
  • Privately owned cervids - official ID and negative test for brucellosis and TB, including for intrastate movement
  • Wild/exotic animals - May require health testing after import, negative tests before import and identification

(Michigan Compiled Laws 287.720 et. al. (Act 466 of 1988))




Certificate of Veterinary Inspection required for import of exotic, circus and zoo animals, native wild animals, domestic rabbit, nonnative rodents, nonnative reptiles and amphibians, and non-poultry birds. 

Camel, llama, cattle and bison, domestic dog, horse, ferret, goat, poultry, sheep and pig species must follow the requirements of those species.



Elephant import is divided into:

  • Class A (never had positive trunk washing nor positive DPP test nor exposed to TB in last 5 years)
    • need special statement on CVI and negative triple trunk washing in last 12 months

  • Category B (never had positive trunk washing but had either a positive DPP test or been exposed to TB in last 5 years)
    • Need special permission

  • Category C (positive trunk washing)
    • Need special permission


Ferrets imported need:

  • Mother if under 6 weeks
  • distemper vaccine if over 8 weeks
  • rabies vaccine if over 12 weeks must have



Cervids may only be imported if permit is allowed.



BANS import of:

  • skunk, raccoon, wild rabbit, and wild hare
    • EXEMPT: scientific research permit
  • wild turkeys and hybrids
    • EXEMPT: department employees
  • mute swans

PERMIT and health certificate or certificate of veterinary inspection required to import live game and protected species:

    • Dead animals
    • American Indian religious purposes

    • shooting preserve license
    • permit to hold game in captivity
    • federal recognized falconry permit
    • federal raptor propagation permit
      • threatened and endangered species must comply with state law
    • federal special purpose education permit
    • scientific collector’s permit


  • keep certificate for 1 year
  • Deer, moose, elk – must follow physical examination, negative testing and identification requirements of MRS 287.731
  • Pheasant, quail, grouse and partridge need negative pullorum testing
  • If incomplete testing, director can either require tests or return to origin within 10 days
  • Federal import requires USFWS permits

(Wildlife Conservation Order 4.2 & 5.2)