Restricted Species Permit

Permit Description

A Restricted Species Permit is required for the possession, importation, transportation, sale, transfer, and exportation of certain restricted exotic species in North Carolina. The list of restricted species includes the following:

  • Tongueless or African Clawed Frog (Xenopus spp.)
  • Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)
  • Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
  • Asian Newts (genera Cynops, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Laotriton, Tylototriton)
  • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Permit Restrictions, Rules, and Conditions

Possession of Restricted Wildlife:

It is unlawful for any individual to import, transport, export, purchase, possess, sell, transfer, or release into public or private waters or onto lands of the State any species of:

  • Tongueless or African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus spp.)
  • Brown Anoles (Anolis sagrei)
  • Cuban Tree Frogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
  • Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans)
  • Asian Newts (Cynops, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Laotriton, Tylititriton)  
 
The Commission may by permit authorize importation, transportation, exportation, purchase, possession, sale, or transfer of the above listed species by the following entities, subject to the specified limitations: 
 

Retail and Wholesale Establishments. Importation, possession, sale, transfer, transportation, and exportation of these species within North Carolina, by retail and wholesale establishments whose primary business is providing scientific supplies for research, shall be allowed by permit, provided the following conditions are met:

  • An application for a permit shall must be submitted and include plans for holding, transportation, advertisement, and sale to allow a determination of the safeguards employed to prevent accidental escape and sales to unauthorized individuals.
  • In-state sale or transfer is allowed only to agencies, entities, and research institutions.
  • Exportation shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the importing state.
  • All specimens shall be possessed in indoor facilities.
  • Transportation of specimens shall employ safeguards that prevent accidental escape. 
 

Government Agencies and Research Institutions. Purchase, importation, possession, transfer, transportation, and exportation of these species within North Carolina shall be allowed by permitted state and federal governmental agencies, corporate research entities, and research institutions, provided the following conditions are met:

  • An application for a permit shall be submitted and include plans for holding, transportation, final disposition, and safeguards to prevent accidental escape. 
  • Exportation shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the importing state.
  • All specimens shall be possessed in indoor facilities. 
  • Transportation of specimens shall employ safeguards that prevent accidental escape.
  • The agency's, entity's, or institution's Animal Use and Care Committee has approved the research protocol for these species.
 

Red-eared sliders: 

  • Facilities open to the public for education may apply for a permit to collect, receive, and possess Red-eared Slider(s).
  • Private individuals in possession of a live specimen(s) of Red-eared Slider(s)(Trachemys scripta elegans) prior to August 1, 2018, may retain, transport, transfer, or export the animal(s) in their possession.

Possession of Restricted Fishes:

It is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, sell or stock in the public or private waters of North Carolina any live individuals of:

  • Piranha
  • "Walking catfish" (Clarias batrachus)
  • Snakehead fish (from the Family Channidae, formerly Ophiocephalidae)
  • Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)
  • Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Rudd (Scardinius erythropthalomus)
  • Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
  • Tubenose goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus)
  • Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)
  • Japanese mysterysnail (Cipangopaludina japonica)
  • Chinese mysterysnail (Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata)
  • Red-rim melania (Melanoides tuberculatus)
  • Virile crayfish (Orconectes (Gremicambarus) virilis)
  • Rusty crayfish (Orconectes (Procericambarus) rusticus)
  • Australian red claw crayfish or "red claw" (Cherax quadricarinatus, or other species of "giant" crayfish species in the genus Cherax)
  • White amur or "grass carp" (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
  • Swamp or "rice" eel (Monopterus albus)
  • Red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis)
  • Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) 
  • Quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) or any mussel in the family Dreissenidae.

Download the current Limitations on Certain Exotic Species rules from the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings:

How to Obtain Permit

Fill out a completed Restricted Species Permit Application and submit to the Commission address listed at the bottom of the application form.

Download the Permit Forms

Permit Contact Information

Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
   
 Phone: 1-888-248-6834 or  919 707- 0391
 Fax: 919-707-0292