To view the complete list of Maine’s unrestricted species, visit www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/species/unrestricted_species.htm.  

AUGUSTA — Tuesday was a big day for Maine Herpetological Society President Robert DuBois of Milo and people who like to keep reptiles and amphibians as pets.

That’s when the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced that it added 50 species of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises and amphibians to Maine’s unrestricted list.

Those critters can now be traded or sold by commercial pet shops. Among the species are arrow or dart frogs, mud turtles, monitor lizards, true chameleons, geckos, and pythons and boa constrictors.

“This is really, really big,” DuBois said Wednesday. “This is a huge thing in the industry just with the dart frogs alone. They’re real cute and real active.”

The dart frog species being allowed into Maine are captive-bred, which means they’re nonpoisonous — unlike their cousins in the wild, DuBois said.

He described the additions as being “relatively common stuff” in the pet trade industry.

“Chameleons, other than the anole, which isn’t a true chameleon, we couldn’t have before,” DuBois said. “And monitors are great animals to have and there’s no reason people in Maine shouldn’t have them. There are a few that don’t get above 3 to 4 feet.”

DuBois has kept 50 snakes as pets for six or seven years and enjoys raising and caring for them, he said.

According to an Inland Fisheries report on Tuesday, fish and wildlife species on the unrestricted list do not require an importation or possession permit. Because the society considered the state’s list of reptiles and amphibians too restrictive, DuBois said they put together a list of species and worked with the department to get as many of them as possible allowed into Maine.

The society’s goal since 2006 has been to get the list expanded. Because that has happened, DuBois said it is now possible for hobbyists, breeders and pet shops to expand their reptile and amphibian collections and make money doing what they enjoy.

“They’re all big things — the arrows, chameleons, tortoises and monitors — things we didn’t have and that’s the big hole in the state that got filled,” DuBois said.

The public will get a chance to see many of the new critters when the society holds its annual Portland Reptile Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Holiday Inn West in Portland.

“We should have a good sampling of them,” DuBois said. “This year we will have a dart frog breeder from Ohio coming over who used to live in Maine, but because he couldn’t sell the frogs in Maine, he moved to Ohio.”

Species that were put forward by the society but rejected were the woma python, Dumeril’s boa, Madagascar tree boa, boa Mandrita, Madagascar (Malagasy) ground boa, Texas indigo snake, Eastern indigo snake, Reeve’s turtle and tomato frogs.

DuBois said the department considered those species to be possibly endangered in their natural habitat and didn’t want to further that status by allowing them to be commercially sold.

 
Inland Fisheries removed one species from its unrestricted list: the red-eared slider turtle, as of Jan. 1, 2010. On that date, red-eared sliders can no longer be possessed or offered for sale commercially, DuBois said.

People who own red-eared sliders will be allowed to have them after that date, but they can’t sell, transfer, trade or release them.

DuBois said the department considers the starter turtles to be an invasive species that are nonnative to Maine. Maine law states that a person cannot take and possess snakes or turtles from the wild for export, sale or commercial purposes.

Additionally, a wildlife or fish possession permit is required from the commissioner before any wildlife species regulated by Maine and not listed as “unrestricted,” is taken, possessed or held in captivity.

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The following species have been added to the Maine Unrestricted List and can be bought without a permit.

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)

Boelen’s Python (Morelia boeleni; captive-born only)

Sumatran Short-Tailed Python (Python Curtis)

Borneo Short-Tailed Python (Python breitensteini)

Blood Python  (Python brogermai)

Macklot’s Python (Liasis macklotti)

D’Alberts Python  (Liasis albertsii)

Angolan Python  (Python anchietae)

Black Headed Python  (Aspidites melanocephalus)

Spotted Python (Antaresia maculosa)

Stimpson’s Python (Antaresia stimsoni)

Pygmy Python  (Antaresia perthensia)

Calabar Burrowing Python  (Calabaria reinhardtii; captive-born only)

Emerald Tree boa (Corallus caninus)

Amazon Tree boa  (Corallus hortulanus)

Solomon island boa (Candoia ssp.)

Western Hognose  (Heterodon nasicus ssp)

Mandarin Ratsnake  (Euprepiophis mandarinus)

Trinket Rat Snake  (Coelognathus h. Helena)

Beauty snakes  (Orthriophis taeniura ssp.)

Green Red-Tailed Rat snake (Gonyosoma oxycephaia)

Blue Tree Monitor  (Varanus macraei)

Black tree monitor  (V. beccarli)

Green tree monitor   (V. p. prasinus)

Spiny-tailed monitor  (V acanthurus)

Timor monitor  (V. timorensis)

Frilled Dragons (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

Veiled Chameleon  (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

Panther Chameleon  (Furcifer pardalis)

Jackson Chameleon  (Chamaeleo jacksonii)

Parson’s Chameleon  (C. parsonii)

Spiny-tailed lizard  (Uromastyx ssp.)

Knob-tailed geckos   (Nephrurus ssp.; exception: N. deleani)

Leaf-tailed geckos  (Uroplatus ssp.)

Giant geckos  (Rhacodactylus leachianus)

Gargoule geckos  (R. auriculatus)

Russian tortoise  (Agrionemys horsfiedldii)

Greek tortoise    (Testudo graeca)

Herman’s tortoise  (T. hermanni)

Red-foot tortoise  (Chelonoidis carbonaria)

Yellow-foot tortoise  (C. denticulata)

Striped Mud-turtle   (Kinosternon bauri)

White Lipped Mud Turtle  (K. leucostomum)

Mississippi Mud Turtle  (K. subrubrum hippocrepis)

Amboina Box turtle  (Cuora amboinensis)

Arrow Frogs (Dendrobates ssp.; Exceptions: D. terribilis)

Arrow Frogs (Phyllobates ssp.; Exceptions: P vittatus)

Whited-Lipped Tree Frogs  (Litoria infrafrenata)

Source: Maine Herpetological Society (www.maineherp.org)


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