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    Do I need a permit to use monarch butterflies for educational purposes?
    • April 6, 2023
    monarch in natural environment


    Q: Do I need a permit to use monarch butterflies for educational purposes?

    A: Yes, a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP) is required to handle wild monarchs in California including for educational purposes. It is unlawful to collect, remove from the wild and/or captively rear monarchs in California without an SCP, per California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 650(a).

    Monarchs offer a great opportunity for children and adults to learn about migration and metamorphosis. However, due to recent fluctuations in their overwintering numbers, removing caterpillars from the population could have negative impacts. In addition, captive rearing has been shown to spread disease and affect monarch’s migratory ability. Rather than collecting wild monarchs or purchasing commercially available caterpillars for use in the classroom, we recommend creating a monarch garden that incorporates native milkweed or flowering plants where students can watch natural processes unfold without bringing the species into captivity.

    Here are a few conservation actions that don’t require a permit:

    For more information visit CDFW’s Monarch Butterfly web page.

    Hunter education

    Q: I’m applying for an out-of-state hunt and they need my hunter safety certificate. I took my hunter safety course in 1993 and have no idea where it is. Can I get a copy?

    A: You can contact a CDFW license sales office in your area or the Hunter Education Program at (916) 653-1235. If your information is in our student database, your online license sales profile will be updated so you can purchase a duplicate hunter education certificate. If your information is not in the student database, you will likely need to repeat the course. You may also try contacting the original instructor, club or organization where the course was taught to obtain a duplicate. If you are unable to obtain a duplicate certificate through these means, you’ll need to repeat the course.

    For anyone who took a hunter education course after January 1, 2016, a duplicate certificate can be purchased through CDFW’s online sales and service portal, a licensed agent or a CDFW license sales office.

    For more information visit CDFW’s Hunter Education web page.

    Feeding deer

    Q: I live in a rural neighborhood with a lot of deer and my neighbor thinks she’s keeping the deer healthy by putting out grain, apples and vegetable scraps. What can I tell my neighbor to dissuade her from feeding deer?

    A: We appreciate you wanting to educate your neighbor. The situation you describe is a common challenge and it can be difficult to convince well-meaning people that efforts to help wildlife are potentially causing harm.

    It is illegal in California to feed big game species including deer, per California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 251.3.

    The idea that wild animals require supplemental feeding by humans is (except under very extreme environmental conditions) incorrect. Wild animals are typically capable of fending for themselves in their natural environments.

    In the case of deer, “hand-outs” by well-meaning people can result in wildlife losing their natural fear of humans, vehicles and domesticated dogs. This familiarity can be dangerous and even deadly. Feeding deer brings them toward human activity and more deer are killed in vehicle collisions in California than are killed legally by hunters. A buck that has no fear of humans is more likely to be shot than a buck that has a healthy sense of self-preservation. Fawns that feed on human sources of food may lose their ability to forage naturally. Also, deer congregating together are more prone to the spread of disease. Additionally, deer that have been acclimated to humans can become aggressive and dangerous. In summary, deer are much better off when they are not drawn toward humans. So, despite the illegality of it, there are very few good (or ethical) reasons to feed deer! We hope this helps.

    For more information visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild page on living with deer.


    Categories: General

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