A Conditional/Prohibited/Nonnative Species Permit is required to import or possess conditional or prohibited nonnative species. The permit is also required to collect and remove all nonnative species including conditional or prohibited species from FWC managed lands. Additional Captive Wildlife Permitsare available for traveling with or transfer of nonative wildlife into or through Florida.
- Permit application for conditional, prohibited or nonnative species (91KB)
- Captive Wildlife Critical Incident - Disaster Plan (227KB)
- Captive Wildlife Inventory - Donated Reptile Form
Used to document acquisition of conditional snakes or lizards accepted as donations through the Amnesty Program. Should be submitted within 36 hours of acquisition to Jenny.Novak@MyFWC.com or mailed to FWC Exotic Species Section, 620 S. Meridian St., Tallahassee, FL 32399.
- Captive Wildlife Inventory Report and Instructions for Reptiles
Used to document reptile inventories. Should be submitted every 6 months to FWC Investigations, P.O. Box 6150, Tallahassee, FL 32314-6150
- Permit renewal request for conditional, prohibited or nonnative species
Conditional species (formerly referred to as restricted species) may be imported and possessed for research purposes, commercial use, or public exhibition.
To legally import conditional nonnative 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.
There is no cost for this annual permit. Importers and possessors of conditional species are required to maintain complete and accurate records of acquisition and disposition for each species imported under this permit. As a condition of the permit, disposition of conditional species must be reported to the Exotic Species Coordination Section, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) by the permit expiration date, pursuant to 68A-5.004(3), F.A.C.
Red-eared sliders: As of August 2010, individuals may apply for a permit to personally acquire unwanted pet red-eared sliders and give these animals a permanent home. Qualified individuals must have a pond that is fully enclosed by a barrier secured at least 6 inches below ground and that will prevent escape of turtles by diggin, climbing or crawling through gaps. Any red-eared slider eggs must be destroyed on a daily basis.
Grass carp: triploid grass carp used for aquatic weed control do not fall under the permit for importation/possession of conditional species. Permits for using triploid grass carp for weed control must be applied for online. Diploid grass carp that are to be imported for commercial sale and export out of the state require a conditional species permit.
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Prohibited species may be imported and possessed for research, following approval of the research plan, including security measures to prevent escape; and by public aquaria, zoological parks, or public exhibitors that meet certain biosecurity measures.
To legally import prohibited species into Florida for research or public exhibition, it is necessary to have a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), per Rule 68-5.001 and 68-5.003, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.); and Chapter 372.26, Florida Statutes.
There is no cost for this annual permit. Possessors of prohibited species are required to maintain complete and accurate records of acquisition and disposition for each species possessed. The disposition of each species must be reported to the Exotic Species Coordination Section, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) by the permit expiration date as a condition of the permit, pursuant to 68A-5.004(3), F.A.C.
Neither conditional or prohibited species may be kept as personal pets, with the exception of red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) that were in possession prior to July 1, 2007 or are acquired after August 2010 under a conditional species permit. No exceptions are made for piranha or pirambeba; these species may not be possessed by anyone at anytime.
All conditional and 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.
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A permit is required to collect and remove all nonnative species including conditional or prohibited species from FWC managed lands (e.g., Wildlife Management Areas, Wildlife and Environmental Areas). All FWC managed areas where specimens are to be removed must be listed on the application. Use of gear types (nets, spears, etc.) must be listed on the permit application.
Permits will not be issued for removal of species on lands not managed by the FWC. Permission to do so must be obtained directly from the landowner.
If nonnative species are to be collected for commercial sale, a commercial fishing license or a Class III Exhibition and Sale License (ESC) is required in addition to a permit to remove the specimens.
Nonnative Fish for Personal or Public Aquariums
A permit is required to import fish that are not listed as conditional or prohibited species. This permit is for noncommercial use and is not required if a valid Resident Fish Dealer's license or Aquaculture Certificate of Registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) is held. Permits for importing nonnative fish are generally for hobbyists and exhibitors.
Leopard tortoises, African spurred tortoises or Bell's hingeback tortoises
A permit is needed to import these three tortoise species 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 Pythons in Florida
Licensed hunters and python permit holders can remove pythons and other conditional reptiles (snakes and lizards) from Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA, Rotenberger WMA, Holey Land WMA and Big Cypress WMA.
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.
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