Bermuda's protected species

Bermuda has a wide variety of plant and animal species in need of protection from the pressures of exploitation and development. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources oversees the recovery of these protected species through the development and implementation of recovery plans.

For further details about each species protected under the Protected Species Act (2003), please download a copy of our booklet Flora and Fauna of the Bermuda Protected Species Act (2003).

Penalties for breaking the protected species laws

Protected marine species

You cannot injure, capture, kill, destroy, collect, or be in possession of any of the marine species listed in the Fisheries Protected Species Order 1978, anywhere within Bermuda’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), unless authorized by a permit.

Penalties include imprisonment for two years, a fine of $25,000, or both. Any animals taken and any vessel, instrument and equipment used might be taken from you.

Protected birds

As with protecting marine species, you cannot capture, kill, destroy, or have in your possession a protected bird or the skin, plumage, or egg of a protected bird, unless authorized by a permit.

Penalty includes a fine of $2,000 in respect of each offense against the Protection of Birds Act.

Other protected species

You cannot injure, disturb, harass, kill, capture, or collect any of the species listed in the Protected Species Order 2012, unless authorized with a permit. Similarly, you cannot willfully damage, destroy, remove, or obstruct the habitat or nest of any protected species, unless authorized by a permit.

Penalties depend on the level of protection assigned that species, as follows.

  • Level 1: Penalty includes a fine of $25,000 or two years imprisonment
  • Level 2: Penalty includes a fine of $15,000 or one year imprisonment
  • Level 3: Penalty includes a fine of $5,000 or six months imprisonment

The lists of species protected by these laws change as they are added or removed from their respective orders.

Researching one of Bermuda's protected species

Apply for a Protected Species Licence for Scientific Research.