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Nongame Wildlife Regulations

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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.

  • Gasoline or any other chemical or gaseous substances used to drive wildlife from their retreats is prohibited.
  • It is prohibited to intentionally place food or garbage, allowing the placement of food or garbage, or offering food or garbage in such a manner that it attracts black bears, foxes or raccoons and in a manner that is likely to create or creates a public nuisance.
  • Intentional feeding of sandhill cranes is prohibited.
  • Intentional feeding or the placement of food that attracts pelicans and modifies the natural behavior of the pelican so as to be detrimental to the survival or health of a local population is prohibited.

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.

Unprotected mammals: Armadillos, Norway rats, black rats and house mice.

Frogs: Frogs can be taken throughout the year by gigs, clubs, blowguns, hook and line or manually; or by shooting during daylight hours. Licenses are not required to take frogs for noncommercial purposes. 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. Possession of alligator snapping turtles, Barbour’s map turtles and Suwannee cooters is prohibited by rule changes that went into effect on July 20, 2009. Since possession of these species was allowed before these rule changes, individuals having them as pets 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 and their eggs 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 for sale or exhibition of wildlife, aquaculture certification from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or documentation that their turtles were legally obtained (proof of purchase).

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.

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This is not the full law. Consult the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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