New York State Annual Butterfly Release Permit And Policy for Releasing Butterflies


Revised Policy for Butterfly Releases in New York
April 2004

Kathy O'Brien, Wildlife Biologist informs that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) special licenses unit now accepts applications for permits to release MONARCHS in New York (see special conditions below) shipped in from outside of the state.  Previously it was the policy to deny permit applications for butterfly releases for butterflies that came from sources outside of the state of New York. 

The Monarch is the only butterfly species allowed for shipment into the state for release.  Up to 50 may be released without a permit, but 51 or more will require a permit from the special licenses unit.

Monarchs are permitted for release in New York, only from these source states EAST of the Mississippi (excluding Florida): Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Other butterflies allowed for release in the state of New York are to be ONLY those that occur naturally in New York and their origin of shipment must be within New York.  Up to 50 may be released without a permit. Fifty one or more require a permit from the special licenses unit.

To get your permit application, or more information about butterfly releases, contact these offices listed below

Contact and Questions

If you have questions about butterfly releases or permit requirements in New York, refer to State Agency Contact page.

Applying for an Annual Release Permit

refer to State Agency Contact page.

Permit Application and Directions The annual permit application and instructions AT TIME OF WRITING are provided below

Click to download (Acrobat PDF files)

Application Form:
(1.1 Mb)
(667 Kb)

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