Florida considers rule changes for conditional, prohibited nonnative species. Deadline to comment is June 11.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has proposed rule changes that affect the importation and possession of conditional and prohibited nonnative species. In addition, the commission has proposed changing the list of conditional species to include the state’s eight reptiles of concern. The public has until June 11 to comment.
According to the commission, the proposed rule changes would update and clarify requirements for the issuance of permits for the importation and possession of conditional and prohibited species. Conditional non-native species and prohibited non-native species are considered to be dangerous to the ecology and/or the health and welfare of the people of Florida.
Conditional nonnative species (formerly referred to as restricted species) are considered to be dangerous to the ecology and/or the health and welfare of the people of Florida. Prohibited nonnative species are considered to be dangerous to the ecology and/or the health and welfare of the people of Florida.
As written, no one would be able to import conditional or prohibited nonnative species without first obtaining a conditional/prohibited/nonnative species permit. The rule provides that permits for conditional species are only issued to individuals engaged in research or to commercial import or export businesses, public aquariums, public zoological parks or public exhibitors providing educational exhibits. Permits are not issued for personal possession. Permits for prohibited species are only granted to public aquaria, zoological parks or public exhibitors and for research purposes.
The proposal sets forth criteria for possessing and housing conditional freshwater fish and aquatic invertebrate species, turtles, snakes and lizards. The proposal also set forth maintenance criteria for prohibited aquatic and terrestrial species.
Conditional snakes and reptiles receive much attention in the proposal. Permit holders would be required to follow additional criteria for these animals, including transportation, reporting, and recordkeeping.
The commission has proposed changing the list of conditional species to include the eight reptiles of concern, which are as follows: Indian or Burmese python (Python molurus); Northern African python (Python sebae); Southern African python (Python natalensis); amethystine python (Morelia amethistina); scrub python (Morelia kinghorni); black or Boelen’s python (Morelia boeleni); green anaconda (Eunectes murinus); and the nile monitor (Varanus niloticus).
Lastly, the commission has proposed a rule change that would allow properly permitted recipients to legally accept unpermitted reptiles of concern and conditional reptiles at any time.
The commission will receive public comments on its proposal until June 11.
Comments may be sent to:
Deputy General Counsel
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
The commission will also hold a hearing on the proposal during its regularly scheduled meetings on June 23 and 24, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., each day.
To view the proposed rule changes, go here.