Everyone who captures, handles, or transports plants, animals, or microorganisms in Costa Rica for scientific study must register their project, obtain government wildlife service (MINAET) research permits, and submit biannual reports to the government. Anyone collecting plant samples or capturing wild animals for teaching purposes or scientific research (pollinia or scat samples, re-capture, among others) must pay an additional fee for a collecting license, even if specimens are later released. Collecting permits must be obtained even for purely observational research if it is to be carried out in a National Park. Research and the related collecting permits (if needed) are valid for six months, and can be renewed. The export of wildlife from Costa Rica for scientific purposes also requires one or more government export permits. The Soltis Center can assist students, researchers and faculty to obtain the permit if required. Please contact the Center’s Director to obtain the guidelines for permit application. Be aware that the burdens of proof and of timely application are on the applicant. The Soltis Center will take no responsibility for delays caused by late application or incomplete documentation. Once all requirements have been completed and all documents received, it takes a minimum of 30 natural days to obtain a permit. A research permit is valid for six months and is renewable.
There are two types of research permits required in Costa Rica. Choose one of the following based upon research topic:
- Collecting and exporting biological materials that do not include DNA or biochemical analyses; e.g.: anatomical, morphological, chemical, physiological research, among others require a permit from the SINAC-MINAET office
- Collecting and exporting biological materials that include DNA or biochemical analyses of any species or material require a permit from the CONABIO “National Commission for the Management of Biodiversity” . This is regulated by the Costa Rica Government Decree 31514-MINAE