Protected areas permits

Protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) include Migratory Bird Sanctuaries and National Wildlife Areas. A wide variety of species rely on the habitat found within protected areas including many species of threatened or endangered plants or animals and migratory birds. Certain activities are prohibited within protected areas and access to these areas may be restricted in order to ensure that these unique and rare habitats are protected and conserved for present and future generations.

To learn more about prohibited activities and access restrictions in protected areas, please see:

Permit Applications

Under certain conditions, authorization to undertake prohibited activities may be granted through a permit issued by the Minister of ECCC. Permitting procedures for Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) permits are guided by the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations. Permitting procedures for National Wildlife Area (NWA) permits are guided by the Wildlife Area Regulations.

To apply for a MBS or a NWA permit, please contact the appropriate Canadian Wildlife Service regional office 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 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 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.

For more information about permit applications for protected areas in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, please visit the ECCC Frequently Asked Questions page (Coming soon). For enquiries related to permitting in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories please contact:

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