Did you know you need to register your reptiles and amphibians in Virginia?

Outdoors Bound

(Photo: Courtesy Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)

(WFXR) — Calling all lizard, turtle, snake, and other reptilian or amphibious critter lovers! The Virginia Reptile and Amphibian Registry is now open for Virginians in possession of these species.

According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), this registry is only for people living in Virginia with a Virginia native or naturalized species of reptile or amphibian that is currently in your private care — whether is was caught in the wild, captive-bred, or obtained outside Virginia — before July 1, 2021.

After July 1, though, the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center says it is not legal to take any wild reptiles/amphibians of greatest conservation need, such as box turtles, for personal possession.

In order to register your reptile or mammal with the Commonwealth, you will need to create a user profile if you do not currently have one. Once you have a profile, you can search the license catalog for “Reptile and Amphibians Possession Registration” and add your information.

“It is important to register your pet reptiles/amphibians so that they will be legally held. Not complying could allow a pet to be reported and confiscated or could prevent that animal from receiving legal veterinary care,” the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center wrote on Facebook on Thursday, July 15. “Please make sure to get your captive held reptiles/amphibians registered right away! As recommended prior to these regulation changes, please do not take reptiles and amphibians out of their natural environment – keep wildlife wild!”

According to the DWR, individuals holding Exhibitor and/or Educator permits should also register their animals in case you choose not to renew your permit in the future.

As for turtle owners, you will also need to submit a photo of the carapace (top of the shell) from an angle of looking downward at the animal and labeled with your last name. If you submit multiple photos, you are asked to add a number to the label (such as Smith01, Smith02, etc.).

However, Cornsnake morphs (ghost, snow, fancy, and other nonnative variations) and albino animals reportedly do not need to be registered.

For individuals with a Hold & Sell permit — which is required to captively breed and sell certain native species — the DWR will be removing scarlet kingsnake and mole kingsnake from the list, adding Northern pinesnake, and lifting the ban on the sale and possession of Mexican axolotls as of Aug. 1.

Follow this link the check out the List of Virginia’s Native and Naturalized Fauna 2020 and the common and scientific names you will need to use when registering your animal(s). This registry will only be open until Dec. 31.

If you have any questions, you can email the DWR at vaherpregistry@dwr.Virginia.gov.

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