Protected areas permits
Protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) include National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. A wide variety of species rely on the habitat found within protected areas including many species at risk. Certain activities are prohibited within National Wildlife Areas and access to these areas may be restricted in order to ensure the protection of priority habitats required for the conservation of Canada's migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife. Certain activities are prohibited in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in order to increase protection for migratory bird species, their nests and their eggs while they are within the bounds of the protected area.
To learn more about prohibited activities and access restrictions in protected areas, please see:
- Management and Activities in National Wildlife Areas
- Management and Activities in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
Under certain conditions, authorization to undertake prohibited activities may be granted through a permit issued by the Minister of ECCC. Permitting procedures for National Wildlife Area (NWA) permits are guided by the Wildlife Area Regulations. Permitting procedures for Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) permits are guided by the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations.
To apply for a NWA permit please complete the application form and refer to the instruction sheet. In addition, if you are seeking to apply for a NWA permit for a NWA located in Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut, please refer to the Permitting for Northern Protected Areas section below.
To apply for a MBS or a Scott Islands Protected Marine Area permit, please contact the appropriate Canadian Wildlife Service regional office directly to obtain the necessary application forms as well as instructions on how to complete and submit your application.
Permitting for northern protected areas
Please note that, in the case of protected areas located in Nunavut, Yukon or the Northwest Territories, applicants should expect longer processing timelines when applying for MBS and NWA permits because of additional review procedures mandated by various land claims agreements. In addition to evaluation by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), MBS and NWA permit applications for protected areas in Nunavut, Yukon or the Northwest Territories may require additional reviews by territorial and/or aboriginal review boards and consultations with local communities before a permit can be issued.
Additionally, MBS and NWA permit applications for protected areas located in the Nunavut Settlement Area will need to be translated (by the applicant) into Inuktitut and/or Inuinnaqtun and the application will need to be submitted before the applicable deadline.
If you are applying for a NWA permit in a Nunavut, Yukon or the Northwest Territories please complete the Northern Region Module and submit it to the Northern region office along with the completed application form. If you are applying for a MBS permit, please contact the Northern region office to obtain the necessary application forms as well as instructions on how to complete and submit your application.
Northern module application and instructions (EN)
Canadian Wildlife Service regional contact information
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island
17 Waterfowl Lane
P.O. Box 6227
Sackville NB E4L 1G6
801-1550 Avenue d'Estimauville
Québec QC G1J 0C3
335 River Road
Ottawa ON K1V 1C7
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon SK S7N 0X4
60 Front Street, L3
Nanaimo BC V9R 5H7
Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon
PO Box 1870
Suite 301, 933 Mivvik St.
Iqaluit NU X0A 0H0
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