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What is the current legal status of Burmese pythons?

On Jan. 23, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule in the Federal Register that banned the importation and interstate transportation of four nonnative constrictor snakes (Burmese python, northern and southern African pythons, and the yellow anaconda) that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems; these snakes were listed as injurious under the Lacey Act. The Service is continuing to finalize a determination regarding the listing as injurious of the five other species of non-native snakes that the agency also proposed in 2010 – the reticulated python, boa constrictor, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda and the Beni anaconda. Under the Lacey Act, a wildlife species can be listed as injurious because it has been demonstrated to be harmful or have the potential to be harmful to either the health and welfare of people, the interests of forestry, agriculture, or horticulture, or the welfare and survival of wildlife or the resources that wildlife depend upon. To control the introduction and spread of an injurious species, the listing of a species as “injurious” under the Lacey Act means that its importation and interstate transport are prohibited without a permit issued by the Service. This prohibition includes importation or interstate movement of live animals, their gametes, hybrids, and viable eggs. Injurious species may not be transported into or between U.S. territories or states. Permits may be granted for the importation or interstate transportation of live specimens of injurious wildlife for scientific, medical, educational, or zoological purposes. The Lacey Act does not have provisions for the movement of personal pets, and it does not restrict intrastate (within state) transport. For more information about the Lacey Act and the listing of these four constrictors as injurious, please visit http://www.fws.gov/le/injurious-wildlife.html or http://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/.

Other Links:

Video: Burmese Python (17 feet, 7 inches, 87 eggs) Captured by The USGS

Podcast: The Big Squeeze: Pythons and Mammals in Everglades National Park

Report Documents the Risks of Giant Invasive Snakes in the United States

Salt Water Alone Unlikely to Halt Burmese Python Invasion

Tags: Pythons