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Nonnative Species Permit Applications and Information

Permit Applications

Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit (CSP) applications:

Possession of Conditional reptiles for sales or public exhibition requires a Class III License for Public Sales or Exhibition. Publicly owned facilities that are exempt from the Class I, II, and III licenses and that exhibit Conditional or Prohibited species must obtain a CSP permit for exhibition.

Additional Forms

Critical Incident Disaster Plan (required to be submitted with certain CSP applications)

Captive Wildlife Inventory Report - Reptiles (required to be kept on the premises of permitted facilities that sell or exhibit conditional snakes and lizards)

Conditional Species

Conditional species (formerly referred to as restricted species) may be imported and possessed for research purposes, commercial use, or public exhibition. They may not be acquired or kept as personal pets, with the exception of red-eared sliders.

To legally import Conditional species into Florida and possess them for commercial use, research or public exhibition, it is necessary to have a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), per Rules 68-5.001 and 68-5.002, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and Chapter 372.26, Florida Statutes.

Individuals or businesses with a valid Aquaculture Certificate of Registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) and authorization to possess Conditional (restricted) species, do not need a permit from the FWC to import Conditional species; however, aquaculturists that engage in direct retail sales of Conditional species in addition to their fish farming business do need an FWC permit to import or possess Conditional species.

Conditional species may be sold or transferred only to people who hold a permit to import or possess that particular species, or to people who hold a valid Aquaculture Certificate with Conditional species authorization. All imported Conditional species must be maintained in accordance to the provisions provided in 68-5.001 and 68-5.002, F.A.C., or in compliance with DACS Best Management Practices.

  • Conditional Aquatic and Mammal Species: A Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit is required to import and possess Conditional aquatic and mammal species for public sales, exhibition, or research purposes. Additionally, if these species are to be sold or exhibited, a Class III license for Public Sale or Exhibition is required unless the facility is an exempt, publicly owned institution.
  • Conditional Reptile Species: Authorization to import and possess Conditional reptile species for public sale or exhibition is included on the Class III License for Public Sale or Exhibition. Authorization to import and possess Conditional reptile species for research is included on the Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit.
  • Red-eared Sliders: As of August 2010, individuals may apply for a Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit to personally acquire unwanted pet red-eared sliders and give these animals a permanent home. Qualified individuals must have adequate indoor tanks or outdoor enclosures that are fully enclosed by a barrier secured at least 6 inches below ground and that will prevent escape of turtles by digging, climbing or crawling through gaps. Any red-eared slider eggs must be destroyed on a daily basis.
  • Triploid Grass Carp: Triploid grass carp used for aquatic weed control is not included under the Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit. Permits for using triploid grass carp for weed control must be applied for online. For information on any other permits for triploid or diploid grass carp use, please contact Invasive Plant Management at 850-617-9430.
  • Removing Pythons in Florida: For information on removing pythons in Florida, please visit our Removing Pythons in Florida webpage.

Prohibited Species

Prohibited species may be imported and possessed for research, following approval of the research plan that must include detailed security measures to prevent escape, and for public exhibition by applicants that meet strict biosecurity measures. They may not be acquired or kept as pets.

To legally import Prohibited species into Florida for research or public exhibition, it is necessary to have a Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit from the FWC, per Rule 68-5.001 and 68-5.003, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.); and Chapter 372.26, Florida Statutes.

Prohibited species may be transferred only to people who hold a permit to import or possess that particular species. All Prohibited species must be maintained in accordance to the provisions provided in 68-5.001, 68-5.002, and 68-5.003, F.A.C.

Additional regulations restrict the importation, possession, and transfer of certain Prohibited aquatic species.

Newly Listed Prohibited Species

Photo credit Adam G. Stern

FWC Commissioners approved rule changes in Chapter 68-5, F.A.C., on February 21, 2019, that added the following species to the Prohibited list, effective May 2, 2019:

  • Yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)
  • Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis)
  • DeSchauensee’s anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei)
  • Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)
  • Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
  • Indian wild dog (Cuon sp.)
  • Flying fox (Pteropus sp.)
  • Racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)
  • Mongoose, meerkat (Atilax sp., Cynictis sp., Herpestes sp., Ichneumia sp., Mungos sp., and Suricata sp.)
  • Red-whiskered bul-bul (Pycnonotus jocosus)
  • Red-billed quelea/dioch (Quelea quelea)
  • Java sparrow (Padda [Lonchura] oryzivora)
  • Pink/rosy starling (Stumus [Pastor] roseus)

Qualifying researchers and educational exhibitors will need to apply for a permit to possess any of the newly-listed Prohibited species currently in possession. Permit applications should be submitted to the FWC by July 31, 2019.

Commercial sale entities that will no longer be eligible to possess these species at the conclusion of the 90-day grace period on July 31, 2019 should begin placing any of the newly-listed Prohibited species currently possessed either with qualifying facilities in Florida or with other facilities outside of the state. Commercial sale activity will not be grandfathered or allowed to continue after the grace period ends on July 31, 2019.

We recognize that some people may have had these species in their possession as personal pets when the new rule language was passed. People in possession of any of the newly-listed Prohibited species as personal pets prior to May 2, 2019 may apply for a Grandfathered Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit to maintain that pet for the life of the animal. Only animals possessed prior to May 2, 2019 are eligible to be permitted for personal possession. All grandfathered pets must be marked with a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag. No new pets of these species may be acquired after May 2, 2019. Applications for the Grandfathered Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit will be accepted until July 31, 2019. Applications received on or after August 1, 2019 will not be accepted.

People who personally own any of the species listed above and who do not submit the application for the Grandfathered Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit on or before July 31, 2019 or who do not wish to keep their pet can get help through the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program. The EPAP helps place exotic pets that people no longer want or can no longer keep. Surrendered animals are placed with qualified, permitted recipients.

Removing Nonnative Species From the Wild

Nonnative reptiles may be humanely killed without a permit or hunting license at any time throughout the year, except by use of traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations) on the 22 Commission-managed areas covered in Executive Order (EO) 17-11. A Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit (CSP) is required to collect and remove all other nonnative species (including Conditional or Prohibited species) from these areas.

On FWC-managed lands (e.g., Wildlife Management Areas, Wildlife and Environmental Areas) not listed in EO 17-11, a CSP is required to collect any nonnative species. This includes collection for the purposes of commercial sales, public exhibition, or research. Additionally, if nonnative species are to be collected for commercial sale, a commercial fishing license or a Class III License for Exhibition or Public Sale (ESC) is required. An ESC is required if nonnative species are collected for the purpose of exhibition.

All FWC-managed areas where specimens are to be removed must be listed on the application. Use of gear types (nets, spears, etc.) must also be listed on the permit application.

Permits will not be issued for removal of species on properties not managed by the FWC. Permission to do so must be obtained directly from the landowner. Conditional or Prohibited species removed from properties not managed by the FWC cannot be transported alive without a CSP.

Importing Leopard Tortoises, African Spurred Tortoises, and Bell's Hingeback Tortoises

A permit is needed to import Leopard, African Spurred, and Bell's Hingeback Tortoises into the state. A health certificate must be obtained from a licensed veterinarian certifying that each tortoise has no external parasites. A health certificate, written notice of the shipment, and the permit application must be submitted to the FWC no less than 10 days prior to the arrival of any tortoise.

All containers used to transport tortoises must be disinfected prior to importation and must be incinerated within 24 hours of arrival in the state or exported out of Florida within 72 hours.

Captive Wildlife Permits

Importation, Temporary Possession of Class I, II, III Permits to import or transport wildlife that are not listed as Conditional or Prohibited species are available online for the following purposes: traveling to Florida with pets, zoo to zoo transfers, dealer to dealer transfers, and out of state dealer to instate buyer transfers. Additional information about who needs a captive wildlife permit is also available online.