Regulation Number: 7.0541

Florida Museum of Natural History: Program of Vertebrate Paleontology

Category: Academic Affairs

Responsible Office: Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs




7.0541 Florida Museum of Natural History: Program of Vertebrate Paleontology.

(1)     The Program of Vertebrate Paleontology, a part of the Florida Museum of Natural History, has been established by the Florida Legislature. To this end, the Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History shall appoint a curator of the Museum as the Director of the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology. Other personnel may be assigned to the Program as the Director of the Museum deems it necessary.

(2)     The Director of the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology shall develop a statewide plan concerning the preservation of paleontological resources. The Director of the Program shall seek the cooperation of the Florida Paleontological Society, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of State, as well as other state institutions, professional vertebrate paleontologists, and other individuals whose occupation may bring them in contact with paleontological sites, in locating, acquiring, and preserving the vertebrate fossil heritage of the state.

(3)     Any person with an interest in Florida vertebrate fossils is qualified to apply for a field investigation permit. However, a permit shall not constitute an authorization to anyone to sell or purchase vertebrate fossils unless said fossils have been determined to be “non-essential fossils” pursuant to section (l0) of this rule.

(4)     The following persons must have a field investigation permit:

(a)     Any person or entity buying, selling or trading vertebrate fossils found on or under state-owned or leased land, or on state-designated vertebrate paleontology sites; and/or

(b)     Any person or entity engaged in the systematic collection, acquisition, excavation, salvage, exhumation, or restoration of vertebrate fossils found on state-owned or leased land or on state-designated vertebrate paleontology sites. “Systematic collection” is hereby characterized by one or more of the following three features:

1.     volume of collections of vertebrate fossils in excess of one gallon at one site; and/or

2.     use of any power-driven machinery or mechanical excavating tools of any size or hand tools greater than two (2) feet in length; and/or

3.     repetitive visitation and collection at a particular site, totaling more than three (3) full days or a maximum of twenty-four (24) hours during a period of one year.

(5)     To obtain a field investigation permit the applicant must:

(a)     Obtain a permit application form from the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology, entitled “Application for Permit”, which is incorporated by reference in this Rule, at the address indicated in (b) below.

(b)     Complete and return to the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 326ll, the application form, accompanied by a self-identification document such as a certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, a copy of his or her driver’s license or passport, and a check or money order for $5.00 (five dollars U.S. currency) payable to the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology.

(6)     Permits are ordinarily issued to individuals. No permit-holder shall assign or sublet the permit to any other entity(ies) or person(s). However, multiple-user permits and special institutional permits may be granted as follows:

(a)   A multiple-user permit will be granted to an individual representing an organization or institution. Multiple individuals may collect under such a permit as long as the permit holder is present to supervise them and report on the results of their work as if it were his or her own in accordance with section (8) below.

(b)    Special institutional permits may be granted to accredited permanent research institutions for long-term scientific and educational purposes.

(7)     Field investigation permits are valid for one calendar year from the date of issue, unless disqualified as indicated in section (9) below.

(8)     A permit-holder has the following obligations:

(a)     To report any unusual, unique or rare specimen or unusually rich or extensive site to the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology as soon as possible;

(b)     To maintain all vertebrate fossils collected, other than sharks’ teeth, until sixty (60) days have elapsed from the date of compliance with subsection (8)(c) below.

(c)     To submit to the Director of the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology or the Director’s designee(s) at any convenient time, but no later than the end of the permit year, a list of vertebrate fossils or fossil lots collected during the permit year along with appropriate locality information; or the actual collections along with appropriate locality information.

(d)     To carry the permit with him/her during any field investigations for fossil vertebrates and to be prepared to present the permit and a picture identification to any law enforcement officer who may request them.

(9)     Any permit-holder failing to fulfill any of the obligations contained in section (8) above may have his/her permit revoked and will be ineligible for future permits for a period of up to three (3) years, or until such obligations have been fulfilled, or both. In addition, the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology may take legal action against the permit-holder in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 84-316, Laws of Florida.

(l0)     If within sixty (60) days of receipt of the list or the actual collection referred to in section (8)(c) above, the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology does not request the permittee to donate one or more of the vertebrate fossils to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the fossils are released to the permittee as “non-essential fossils”. Such non-essential fossils may be sold or otherwise disposed of by permit-holders as they choose.

(11)     A field investigation permit for vertebrate fossils shall not relieve the permit-holder of his or her responsibility to comply with other federal, state, county, and city laws, regulations or ordinances, including provisions for the archaeological heritage of Florida under the Department of State, Chapter 267, Florida Statutes, and environmental laws and regulations governing soils, sediments, freshwater and marine waters.


Specific Authority: 240.227(1), 240.515, 240.5162(1) FS.

Law Implemented: 240.516, 240.5161, 240.5162 FS.

History: New 3-6-85, Amended 7-11-94, Formerly 6C1-7.0541, Amended 7-10-23 (technical changes only).