Thread: jacking herps?
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Old 07-25-03, 09:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
Jeff Hathaway
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 47
Posts: 460
Further to Jenn's post,

The exceptions to the general rule of it being illegal to collect/possess native reptiles and amphibians (not bats, fish, etc.) are as follows:

1) If you have an authorization to do so. If you need to ask, you don't have it. You probably wouldn't get one even if you wanted it.

2) Game species (snappers & bullfrogs) with a valid fishing license. If you're under 18 or 65+ you don't need a fishing license.

3) Again with a valid fishing license, up to 12 leopard frogs and 1 of any other non-specially protected/ non-game frog (i.e. not gray treefrog, Blanchard's cricket frog, Fowler's Toad, Bullfrog).

4) Collecting non-specially protected and non-game species (garter, brown, red-bellied, ribbon, ringneck) if you have a valid small game hunting license, or if you a farmer (under the MNR defintion, which means you REALLY HAVE TO BE A FARMER) on your own land. Possessing these species is okay for anyone as long as it was acquired in the above manner or purchased legally from such a source. This is where the CB red-sided garters come in! Please note that there is some consideration being given to extend SP status to all of the remaining unprotected snake species in Ontario, so this situation may change.

5) Anyone is allowed to possess ONE SPECIMEN (not one of each, etc.) of a specially protected or game reptile or amphibian, but this exception does not allow such a specimen to be collected from the wild. Also, this exception was recently amended to exclude any species listed as Vulnerable, Threatened or Endangered by the MNR, such as skinks, fox snakes, hognoses, massasaugas, spotted turtles, etc.

Interpretation of these rules varies somewhat between districts and between people. Always better to err on the safe side.

As for the original question, there are a lot of rare and protected species to be found in the Parry Sound area. Watch your step!

Also, in my opinion, if one was going to collect a garter, or a leopard frog, or some other common species, it would be better to collect it from a location where the population is likely to be healthier (i.e. not close to urban areas where there is a lot of pressure on them).

However, in my opinion, regardless of laws the only reasons to collect wild specimens are for research, for educational programs, or for experienced breeders who plan to start producing captive bred specimens. Wild animals should not be collected haphazardly to be kept as pets, nor should they be collected for sale. Where justified, it should be done in a manner that is the least disruptive to a population (i.e. eggs or juveniles instead of adults, especially for turtles).

And finally, most of the Ontario species, especially the unprotected ones, are not really that great in captivity. I should know, as I have most of them for our educational programs. There are so many better choices out there without having to remove something from the wild. Please don't...

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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