Conditional & Prohibited Nonnative Species Regulations

Conditional and Prohibited Species Regulations

It is illegal to release any nonnative species in Florida without a permit.

The Florida Administrative Code and the Florida Statutes govern the importation and introduction of nonnative fish and wildlife:

  • It is unlawful for any person to possess, transport or otherwise bring into the state or to release or introduce in the state any freshwater fish, aquatic invertebrate, marine plant, marine animal, or wild animal life that is not native to the state without a permit from the Commission, except fathead minnow, variable platy, coturnix quail, and ring-necked pheasant. ( 68-5.001, F.A.C.)
  • It is unlawful to import into the state or place in any of the fresh waters of the state any freshwater fish of any species without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.28, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.231, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import or possess any marine plant or marine animal, not indigenous to the state, which, due to the stimulating effect of the waters of the state on procreation, may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard, except as provided in this section. (379.26, F.S.)

You can read more detailed information about the Florida Statutes at and about the Florida Administrative Code at Interested people may want to read the rule language for Chapter 68-5, F.A.C.

A permit is required to import nonnative species, including conditional and prohibited species, into the state. A permit is also required to possess conditional or prohibited species. The Nonnative, Conditional and Prohibited Species permit is issued for the following purposes:

  1. Possession/importation of conditional species (only issued to licensed dealers, public exhibitors or researchers that meet certain biosecurity measures)
  2. Possession/importation of prohibited species (only issued to public exhibitors or researchers that meet certain biosecurity measures)
  3. Possession of red-eared sliders
  4. Collection of conditional species (for commercial use only)
  5. Collection of prohibited species (for public exhibition or research only)
  6. Removal of conditional species from FWC lands (including Burmese pythons)
  7. Release of nonnative species (for research only)
  8. Importation of leopard, African spurred or Bell's hingeback tortoises (for commercial or personal use)
  9. Importation of nonnative fish not listed as conditional or prohibited (for use by hobbyists in personal aquariums)

Injurious Wildlife Importation

On October 2, 2018, Executive Order (EO) 18-46 was signed, limiting the importation of some species of nonnative wildlife that are regulated as Injurious Wildlife by the USFWS. These species are being considered for addition to the Prohibited species list in future rulemaking and have been found to pose a risk to the environment, human health and safety, or economy of the state of Florida. 


The following species may only be imported into the State of Florida by permit for research or public exhibition at this time, based on the approval requirements for Prohibited species.

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

FWC Facts:
Navigation charts identify seagrass beds as light green or marked as "grs" on the chart.

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