Protect Louisiana’s Native Wildlife

Support proposed amendments to LAC 76:XV.101 to conserve native reptiles and amphibians

Southern Watersnake photographed by Julie Dermansky
Southern Watersnake photographed by Julie Dermansky

Louisiana’s wildlife is at risk from commercial exploitation and the release and relocation of reptiles and amphibians. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is proposing stronger protections for Louisiana’s native reptiles and amphibians. We need to tell decision-makers that the people of Louisiana and other wildlife enthusiasts overwhelmingly support these important protections.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

👉 Email your comments in support of these regulations to: Keri Lejeune, LDWF State Herpetologist, at klejeune@wlf.la.gov

👉 Start your comments with who you are and why you care about this: are you a Louisiana resident, hunter, or animal keeper? A wildlife enthusiast, conservationist, or scientist? Your expertise matters!

👉 Pick 1-3 points below that you strongly support and in your own words, tell them why they are important

👉 ACT NOW: comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST, Tuesday, March 5, 2024.


Need help with your comments? Check out these tips and tools:

👉 Click the button you most identify with to be given some suggested text you can copy and paste into an email.

👉 Use the text provided or edit the message so that it’s in your own words. Explain why you support these amendments and include the reasons most important to you.

👉 Please update the first sentence to reflect who you are and why you care about this. Are you a Louisiana resident, hunter, or animal keeper? A wildlife enthusiast, conservationist, or scientist? Your expertise matters!

Keep it short, be polite, and your message is more likely to be well-received!


👉 BONUS ACTION: email your comments in support of these regulations to members of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission too:

THE PROTECTIONS WOULD

Strengthen protections for rare species

✅ Protect native populations from disease and other risks by prohibiting unauthorized release or relocation of captive or wild animals

Strengthen and streamline rules on keeping potentially dangerous animals, like very large constrictors or venomous snakes

Protect native populations by improving licensing and reporting requirements for commercial amphibian and reptile dealers and collectors

Protect native turtles from overharvesting

Minimize negative impacts on individual animals or populations from scientific research

Prohibit wildlife-killing contests that target amphibians and reptiles

Ensure that captive animals are held in environments that promote their well-being

Prohibit new acquisition of certain exotic species that can decimate native wildlife when they escape

THE PROTECTIONS WOULD NOT

Obstruct scientific research, zoo collections, wildlife rehabilitation, or conservation programs

Prevent captive breeding of exotic turtles

❌ Force responsible pet owners to give up their pets

Prevent landowners from killing nuisance animal

Setting the record straight

People that care about Louisiana’s wildlife need to understand the impact of these proposed amendments. There is confusion about these amendments, so we reached out to LDWF for clarification. LDWF provided responses to the following points made in the USARK summary that were either incorrect, incomplete, or needed more clarity. USARK statements are italicized; LDWF clarifications are bolded.

  • The current Venomous and Large Constricting Snakes regulation applies to listed snakes (but not limited to those species) over 12 feet. The new length would be 8 feet.
    • There are inconsistencies in the current LDWF regulations and statutes where in one place it says 8 feet and in another, 12 feet. LDWF is addressing these inconsistencies so that all references state 8 feet.
  • Contrary to the current regulation, Restricted Snake Permits will be required for any species that can reach over 8 feet, and not just for individual snakes that are longer than 8 feet.
    • This is incorrect. Restricted Snake Permits are required for constrictor snakes that exceed 8 feet in length. Before reaching 8 feet a Restricted Snake Permit is not required even for those species expected to attain that size in the future except for the list of species found in Subsection K.2.c, which will require permitting under the proposed NOI at any length for monitoring purposes.
  • A Restricted Snake Permit will be required for possession of covered constrictor snakes, regardless of size in length.
    • This is incorrect. As above, before reaching 8 feet a Restricted Snake Permit is not required even for those species expected to attain that size in the future except for the list of species found in Subsection K.2.c. Once 8 ft size is reached a Restricted Snake Permit will be required.
  • A Reptile and Amphibian Wholesale/Retail Dealer’s License is required for purchasing or acquiring Restricted Snakes.
    • To further clarify this statement it should continue with: “from within or outside the state, for sale or resale, or possessing Restricted Snakes for propagation for sale.”
  • People in possession of “Restricted Snakes” will have 120 days from the effective date of this Rule to register those animals with the department and acquire a permit.
    • Restricted Snake Permits are already required for “Restricted Snakes” – this is not a new regulation, so there will not be a 120-day grace period related to that regulation. Only people in possession of the prohibited nonnative species listed in Subsection K.2.a. and the restricted nonnative species listed in Subsection K.2.c. will have a 120-day grace period from the effective date of the rule to register those animals with the department and acquire a permit.
  • All species below will be banned.
    • Their list should also include ‘all crocodilians’.
  • The species below will also be labeled as Restricted and can only be possessed with a permit:
    • Their list should also include Boa Constrictor, Reticulated Python, North African Python, South African Python, and all species in Genus Eunectes (Anacondas).
  • Changes regarding the newly named Scientific Research and Collecting Permit…
    • This is not a new permit. It is an existing permit with language listed in another section of Title 76. That language has been added to the Reptile/Amphibian regulation section and a mandatory requirement added.
  • Note the many changes to the “Housing and Maintenance” section of the regulation.
    • There are no changes in Housing and Maintenance requirements. They were already listed in a different section and have been moved so that all reptile and amphibian related regulations will be in one section.
  • New turtle trap regulations.
    • There are no new turtle trap regulations They were already listed in the reptile/amphibian section and were just moved to a different subsection.

Subsection K.2.c:
Boa Constrictor, Reticulated Python, North African Python, South African Python, all species in Genus Eunectes (Anacondas), Asian Water Monitor, Brown Tree Snake, Brown Basilisk, Gray’s American Spiny-tailed Iguana, Northern Curly-tailed Lizard, and Peter’s Rock Agama

Louisiana Amphibian and Reptile Enthusiasts logo

Protect Louisiana’s Native Wildlife is a collaboration between Advocates for Snake Preservation and Louisiana Amphibian and Reptile Enthusiasts (L.A.R.E.). Want to learn more about snakes and other reptiles and amphibians in Louisiana? Check out their website:

Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana
A guide to the natural history and identification of herptiles in The Pelican State