Research Permits

Research Permit Applications

Mammoth Cave National Park actively encourages and facilitates research on the park (both surface and cave related). However, research and collections at National Parks requires a permit. If you are interested in starting a research project on the park, please contact the Cave Specialist and Research Coordinator for the park, for assistance in applying for a research permit. The application for collecting and research permits for Mammoth Cave National Park (and all other national parks) is via a centralized website. It can be filled out at

Special Considerations

When considering research and collecting permits, there are several important things to remember about collecting material on park.

Anything you collect counts as a collection. This includes water samples or other samples that will be destroyed in analysis. Collections also include animals that will be captured, temporarily held (for measuring, photographing, tagging, etc.), and released. The permit application lets you list these kinds of samples as well as ones that are collected for permanent retention. With all collections of materials on the park, the NPS retains ownership of all items. They may be loaned to approved institutions for curation, but they remain the property of the NPS. Curation and loan agreements for collections are required for research projects that will generate collections that will be retained.

Last updated: April 13, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


270 758-2180

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