Effective conservation of native species populations in Florida includes the control of nonnative invasive fish and animal species. The spread of Nonnative species displaces native species, may pose threats to human health and safety, and causes economic damage. The spread of Nonnative invasive species is controlled through the prevention of their release to the wild, early detection/rapid response, eradication, and education/outreach.
To help contain the spread of nonnative fish and wildlife species, the FWC works with other agencies, organizations, and volunteers to address emerging issues such as new, growing populations of African clawed frogs and water monitors, to control established populations of Burmese pythons, Nile monitors, and tegus, and to encourage recreational and commercial fishing of lionfish. Report sightings of these species to the Exotics Species Hotline at 1-888-IveGot1 (1-888-483-4681), and report other nonnative species online at Ivegot1.org or by using the IveGot1 app. To prevent introduction of nonnative animals into the wild by pet owners, the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program provides a statewide, year-round service to help place nonnative pets into new, pre-approved homes. Nonnative pet owners can receive assistance rehoming their pets by calling the Exotic Pet Amnesty Hotline at 1-888-486-4683 or by sending an email to PetAmnesty@MyFWC.com.