General prohibitions: No wildlife or their nests, eggs, young, homes or dens shall be taken, transported, stored, served, bought, sold or possessed in any manner at any time, except as specifically permitted by State of Florida rules. No one shall take, poison, store, buy, sell, possess or wantonly or willfully waste wildlife, unless specifically permitted or authorized to do so.
Birds: State and federal laws protect native species of birds. Native birds may not be taken or harassed, except as described in these rules. Migratory nongame birds that cause damage to trees, crops, livestock or wildlife, or that are concentrated in such numbers that they are nuisance, may be taken with permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by calling 404-679-7070. Blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds and crows can be taken without permits when they are causing damage.
Unprotected birds: State and federal wildlife laws do not protect non-native birds that have become established in Florida by accidental releases or unauthorized stockings. Unprotected species include English sparrows, European starlings, rock doves (pigeons) and Muscovy ducks. If you are uncertain whether a bird is native to Florida, contact an FWC regional office (see Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).
Unprotected mammals: Armadillos, Norway rats, black rats and house mice.
Frogs: Frogs, except Pine Barrens tree frogs, gopher frogs and Florida bog frogs, can be taken throughout the year by gigs, clubs, blowguns, hook and line or manually; or by shooting with a .22 caliber or smaller firearms during daylight hours. A commercial fishing license is required to sell frogs. Frog species classified as threatened or endangered may not be taken or possessed.
Turtles: Freshwater turtles taken from the wild may not be sold, but freshwater turtles raised on aquaculture facilities or purchased from licensed vendors can be sold with a Class III License ($50.00) for Exhibition or Sale of Wildlife. Turtle aquaculture facilities are exempt from this requirement. Possession of striped mud turtles from the Lower Keys, alligator snapping turtles, Barbour’s map turtles and Suwannee cooters is prohibited. Individuals having alligator snapping turtles, Barbour’s map turtles or Suwannee cooters before July 20, 2009 must apply for a Class III Personal Pet License to keep their pet turtles. This license only will be issued for one alligator snapping turtle and two Barbour’s map turtles per person as these species had possession limits. The following species have a possession limit of two: loggerhead musk turtles, box turtles, Escambia map turtles and diamondback terrapins.
Taking cooters, Escambia map turtles and snapping turtles from the wild is prohibited because of the similarity to Suwannee cooters, Barbour’s map turtles and alligator snapping turtles, respectively. For all other freshwater turtles, take is limited to one turtle per person per day (midnight to midnight) from the wild for noncommercial use.
Freshwater turtles only can be taken by hand, dip net, minnow seine or baited hook. Many freshwater turtles may be taken year-round, but softshell turtles may not be taken from the wild from May 1 to July 31. In addition, collecting of freshwater turtle eggs is prohibited.
The transportation of more than one turtle per day is prohibited, unless the transporter has a Class III License ($50.00) for Exhibition or Sale of Wildlife, aquaculture certification from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or documentation that their turtles were legally obtained (proof of purchase).
It is illegal to take, attempt to take, pursue, hunt, harass, capture, possess, sell or transport gopher tortoises or their eggs without a permit. It is illegal to destroy gopher tortoise burrows. For details about permit concerning gopher tortoise burrows, please visit MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise.
Turtles and tortoise cannot be painted with the exception of turtles entered in turtle racing contests. These turtles may be marked only with water-soluble, non-toxic paints.
Snakes: Florida pine snakes cannot be sold, bought or possessed for sale unless the snake is amelanistic or albino. A $100.00 license is required to possess venomous reptiles such as rattlesnakes and coral snakes. Information regarding this license can be found at MyFWC.com/License, by clicking “Captive Wildlife,” then “Applications & Information.” Or you may call 850-488-6253. Short-tailed snakes, Keys ringneck snakes, and rim rock crowned snakes cannot be possessed or taken without a Scientific Collection Permit. These snakes cannot be sold. Red rat snakes, Peninsula ribbon snakes, and Florida brown snakes from the Lower Keys cannot be possessed or taken without a Scientific Collection permit. These snakes also cannot be sold.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.