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Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania

This is a discussion on Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; By Scott Shalaway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In recent weeks, I have mentioned that bullfrogs and snapping turtles are fair game in ...

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 8th July 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania

By Scott Shalaway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In recent weeks, I have mentioned that bullfrogs and snapping turtles are fair game in
Pennsylvania. Since then, I've heard from several readers who were surprised that some
species of reptiles and amphibians may be legally harvested in the state.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is responsible for managing herps (a
collective term that includes both reptiles and amphibians), and a valid fishing license
is required of anyone catching or taking herps from commonwealth waterways. A fishing
license is not required to take herps on land.

Here's a brief summary of regulations governing the harvest of herps in Pennsylvania:

Bullfrogs, green frogs and snapping turtles may be taken from July 1 through Oct. 31.
The daily frog limit is 10; the possession limit is 20. The limits for snappers are 15
daily, 30 in possession.

There is no closed season on amphibian eggs and tadpoles, with limits of 15 and 15
combined species.

The open season on timber rattlesnakes and copperheads runs from June 13 through July
31. The annual limit is 1 of each species, and a special permit is required to take
poisonous snakes. Timber rattlers must be at least 42 inches long, excluding the rattles.

All threatened and endangered species enjoy complete protection. A list of these species
is available at the Web site listed below.

The following species also have complete protection. There is a possession limit of zero
and no open season for eastern hognose, eastern ribbon, eastern worm, mountain earth,
queen, shorthead garter, smooth earth and smooth green snakes; broadhead and northern
coal skinks and northern fence lizard; Blanding's, wood, spotted, and eastern box turtle
(note: box turtles may not be legally possessed); eastern hellbender, mudpuppy,
four-toed, Jefferson, marbled, and ravine salamanders; and northern cricket, mountain
chorus, and striped chorus frogs.

For all other native reptiles and amphibians in the state, there is no closed season
with a possession limit of 1 each.

For details about organized rattlesnake hunts and restrictions on the methods of taking
herps, consult the Fish and Boat Commission's 2009 Fishing Laws and Regulations Summary
Book, (www.fish.state.pa.us/fishpub/summary/repamp.html). Or call the Southwest Regional
PFBC office in Somerset at 814-445-3497.

AS IN ARTICLE ABOUT NYS STATE LAWS I WOULD SUGGEST DOWNLOADING THE SUMMARY BOOK FOR 2009 AND READ IT, SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY.



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Old 9th July 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania

That summary book is not all inclusive. Pa. fish and boat does not have a good format for communicating their amphibian and reptile regulations.



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Old 12th July 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania

Alot of those banned reptiles have just been put on the protected list in the past couple years. What do people do with their animals from when it was legal to have 2 of any species? What do you do with the offspring? They are not allowed to let them go and there is no room at the local zoo. Should they kill them and bury them in the garden under the rose bush? I'm not serious about killing them I know someones blood pressure just went though the roof but seriously what are they to do? What have other states done? PA is generally a backwards state I would have to say when it come to anything government.



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Old 13th July 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Article on New Regulations On Reptile And Amphibian Collecting in Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillYannone View Post
Alot of those banned reptiles have just been put on the protected list in the past couple years. What do people do with their animals from when it was legal to have 2 of any species? What do you do with the offspring? They are not allowed to let them go and there is no room at the local zoo. Should they kill them and bury them in the garden under the rose bush? I'm not serious about killing them I know someones blood pressure just went though the roof but seriously what are they to do? What have other states done? PA is generally a backwards state I would have to say when it come to anything government.
This is an interesting question, and an issue that I suspect more caudate owners will face as amphibians decline, and exotic pet protections and regulations increase in the US. There is some analogous components to the Rocky-the-snakehead story. I doubt there is or will be any "grandfather" protections for individuals that find themselves in these situations. I suppose you have a few options including giving some of the excess animals to a fellow enthusiast, donating them to a zoo or local school, or euthanizing them. If none of those choices work for you, then perhaps the best option may be to quietly enjoy your animals for the remainder of their lives solitude. It may not be the wisest option, however, for individuals to create a public record of their "suddenly-scandalous" activities on a public forum. Although, discussions of the merits of the laws are, of course, always valuable.

A recent discussion that I had with an individual about a proposed heavy-handed response to the Burmese python problem in Florida has me thinking that real efforts should be made to educate the public and legislators on reasonable solutions to real problems in the exotic pet world.



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