News Releases

'Can I purchase a Burmese python?' and other good questions answered this weekend

News Release

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426

A new statute concerning certain nonnative reptiles in Florida went into effect July 1, and new regulations concerning these same species will go into effect Aug. 23. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to help people understand these new rules at a perfect venue: the National Reptile Breeders Expo in Daytona Beach, Aug. 20-22.

At the expo, FWC law enforcement officers and rules experts will be educating exhibitors and attendees about the new statute and regulations regarding reptiles of concern, and conditional snakes and lizards.

Since July 1, 2008, the FWC has categorized five large constrictor snakes and one lizard as reptiles of concern, and required anyone possessing them to hold a reptile of concern permit. However, effective Aug. 23, species formally classified as reptiles of concern are now listed as conditional species.

The new conditional snake and lizard species are Burmese or Indian python, northern African python, southern African python, amethystine python, reticulated python, scrub python, green anaconda and the Nile monitor lizard.  Conditional species are not allowed for personal possession, and as of July 1, people may no longer acquire these animals as personal pets in Florida.  However, people who owned a former reptile of concern, and had it properly licensed as of July 1, may keep their pet for the remainder of the animal's life, but they must maintain their annual reptile of concern license for that pet.

Conditional species, including the new conditional snakes and lizards, may only be acquired and possessed by dealers, breeders or exhibitors for commercial purposes. A conditional species permit is required to import, possess and transport these animals. At the reptile expo Aug. 20-22, people can look at Burmese pythons on display, but they can't be purchased as pets.

For more information on these new rules, including amnesty and adoption options for these animals, go to

FWC Facts:
The FWC operates two freshwater fish hatcheries: the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Sumter County, and the Blackwater Hatchery in Santa Rosa County.

Learn More at AskFWC