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Nonnative Species Permit Applications and Information

Permits Required

A permit is required to possess any Conditional or Prohibited species.

Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative species permit (CSP) applications:

Permit applications may be submitted by email to NonnativePermitApps@MyFWC.com or by mail to the Wildlife Impact Management Section, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600.

Conditional Species

Burmese python slithering in the grass

Conditional species (formerly referred to as restricted species) may be imported and possessed by permitted entities for research, commercial import/export business, or public educational exhibition. They may not be acquired or kept as personal pets, with the exception of red-eared sliders.

A Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit (CSP) is required to legally import Conditional species into Florida and possess them for commercial import/export business , research or public educational exhibitionper Chapter 68-5, Florida Administrative Code.

Individuals or businesses with a valid Aquaculture Certificate of Registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 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 Chapter 68-5, F.A.C., or in compliance with FDACS Aquaculture Best Management Practices.

A Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit is required to import and possess Conditional species for commercial import/export business, public educational exhibition, or research.

Individuals may apply for a Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit to possess red-eared sliders as personal pets. 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. Albino and amelanistic red-eared sliders may be possessed as pets without a permit.

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.

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 educational exhibition by applicants that meet strict biosecurity measures. They may not be acquired or kept as pets or for commercial sale

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 Chapter  68-5, Florida Administrative Code.

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 Chapter 68-5, F.A.C.

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

People in possession of any Prohibited species as personal pets prior to their listing as Prohibited may apply for a Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit to maintain that pet for the life of the animal. Only animals possessed prior to their listing are eligible to be permitted for personal possession. All pets must be marked with a Passive Integrated Transponder tag. No new pets of these species may be acquired after their listing. Applications for the Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit will be accepted until90 days after their listing.

People who personally own any Prohibited species who do not submit the application for the Prohibited Species for Personal Use Permit  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.

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.

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 25 Commission-managed areas covered in Executive Order (EO) 20-17. 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 20-17, a CSP is required to collect any nonnative species. This includes collection for the purposes of commercial import/export business , public educational 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 public educational exhibition or commercial import/export business. A CSP is required if Conditional or Prohibited species are collected for the purpose of public educational exhibition or commercial import/export business.

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 non-FWC managed properties. 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.

Captive Wildlife Permits

Importation,  and/or Possession of Class I, II, or III Wildlife  that are not listed as Conditional or Prohibited species are available 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, exhibition or sale. 

More about captive wildlife permitting