More than 500 fish and wildlife nonnative species, also known as exotic species, have been observed in Florida. Not all nonnative species present a threat to native species, but some have become invasive by causing harm to native species, posing a threat to human health and safety, or causing economic damage. The Exotic Species Coordination Section of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission works to manage and minimize the impacts that nonnative species have on Florida’s fish, wildlife and marine life.
More about exotic species...
Be a responsible pet owner
The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program is an effort to reduce the number of nonnative species being released into the wild by pet owners who can no longer care for their pets or no longer wish to keep them. Another goal of the program is to foster responsible pet ownership. One-day-only Amnesty Day events are held around the state to provide the opportunity for people to surrender their exotic pets free of charge with no penalties.
Current exotic pet owners and anyone interested in acquiring a nonnative pet can come and talk to experts to learn more about that animal's needs.
Protect Florida's native species
Conditional nonnative species (formerly referred to as restricted species) and prohibited species are considered to be dangerous to Florida’s native species and habitats or could pose threats to the health and welfare of the people of Florida and are not allowed to be personally possessed. These species may be possessed by permit for research or public exhibition; conditional species may also be possessed by permit for commercial sales. Facilities where conditional or prohibited species are held must meet certain biosecurity criteria to prevent escape. In 2010 large constrictors, including Burmese pythons, were added to the list of conditional species.