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List of Released and Invasive Exotic Pets in the United States

Updated on October 12, 2018
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

About this list

While there are many introduced species in the United States, not all can be considered invasive. The term 'invasive' describes a non-indigenous (alien) species that becomes abundant and established as a self-sustaining population within the environment. Invasive species often have a negative impact on the ecosystem, human health, or pose a threat to agriculture.

Introduced species are often mistaken as being invasive species, but are often just a small number of free-ranging animals restricted to a certain locale. Some populations may even be assumed to have some reproductive capability, but they have no confirmed impacts on the environment and are not shown to have an expanding population.

The Exotic Pet Trade

The exotic pet trade often receives criticism for being one route for exotic species to become introduced into the environment. Only exotic animals (here, will be defined as non-domesticated animals or animals that vary little from their counterparts in the wild) that have originated entirely or partially from any pet trade situation are listed here to offer a glimpse of how many invasive and potentially invasive species have truly resulted, although many species originally have resulted from other introduction pathways, and the pet trade is speculated to exacerbate the problem.

For some species, mainly those in the fish and invertebrate category, if the information regarding their means of introduction is not available, they will be assumed to have resulted from the pet trade if they have a common presence in the pet trade.

Many invasive animals (and plants) originate from other sources such as the live food market, intentional introduction, escapes, and hitchhikers from human travel. The animals on this list have varying effects on the environment and with some, none have been observed. Not all inclusions to this list are considered truly invasive.

An **asterix** denotes species that are a significant invasive species that have strong negative impacts or are highly established and unable to be irradiated.

African Clawed Frog
African Clawed Frog | Source
Australian green tree frog
Australian green tree frog | Source
Bull frog
Bull frog | Source

Amphibians

  • **African Clawed frog** (Xenopus laevis)- A keystone specimen in scientific study (developmental, cell, and molecular biology), but also prominent in the pet trade. The main pathway of introduction was intentional release from laboratories after their use was no longer required. African clawed frog populations have been reported in 11 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It may threaten native frogs and predate on an endangered species of frog.
  • Australian Green Tree frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor)- Introduced to two regions in Florida which is assumed to come from the pet trade. Ecological impact is unknown.
  • **Bull frog** (Lithobates catesbeianus)- Native to central and eastern United States but introduced to the Western U.S. in the 1900s from trout stockings. Also introduced through the aquarium trade and for sport and pest control. Competes with and preys on native species.
  • Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) - Consumes native tree frogs and lizards in Florida. Introduced in 1931, and the populations are expanding.

Cuban Tree Frog
Cuban Tree Frog | Source
  • Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)- In 2009, 5 specimens were collected in two different counties in Florida, which indicates they may be reproducing. This species is common in the pet trade. The impacts of their introduction are unknown. This species is mildly poisonous and produces toxins from its skin.

Three-toed Amphiuma
Three-toed Amphiuma | Source

Three-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma tridactylum)- This species is native to the Gulf Coast region and has been introduced to Florida where several specimens were collected in Broward County, Florida. Due to this it is assumed they are established. Many are sold from Louisiana as pets, and hundreds are used in laboratory studies. Most are taken as off-catch during crayfish trapping. Impact of introduction is unknown.

Birds

Exotic bird introductions typically occur in the warmer regions of Florida, California, Texas, and Hawai'i. The monk parakeet is one species that has spread to several states, including some in the Northeast. Many invasive birds have these traits in common: migratory habits, broad diet and habitat niches, behavioral flexibility and fore brain size.

Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose | Source
Red-crowned parrot
Red-crowned parrot | Source
Mute swan
Mute swan | Source
  • Alopochen aegyptiaca (Egyptian Goose)- Rarely breeds successfully and not listed as established in Florida (but present from continued escapes from private collections), however it is stated here that there are growing feral populations in Texas.
  • Amazona viridigenalis (Red-crowned parrot) Introduced to Florida and California. Endangered in the wild, but status as an invasive in the U.S. is unknown.
  • Acridotheres tristis (Indian Myna)- Flocks of the common myna are known to damage fruit crops and carry some diseases (Psittacosis, Ornithosis, Salmonellosis, ect.) and parasites (owl fleas, biting lice, ect.). Introduced to Hawaii and the Florida Everglades. They have been reported to attack purple martins.
  • Brotogeris versicolurus (White-winged parakeet)- Non-native range is limited to Florida, California, and Puerto Rico.
  • Carpodacus mexicanus (House Finch)- Native to Western United States and Mexico, the birds were illegally sold as "Hollywood finches" in the 1940s and released by the unscrupulous dealers to avoid prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. These birds are highly adaptable to urban and suburban environments and may become a nuisance (also in their native range) to agriculture.
  • Cygnus olor (Mute swan)- Several states east of Minnesota have populations of as much as thousands of birds. The populations are increasing. Mute swans have escaped captivity or have been intentionally introduced to protect ponds from geese and for ornamental purposes.
  • Icterus pectoralis (Spot-breasted Oriole)- Established in Florida

House Finch
House Finch | Source
Monk parakeet nests on a power line
Monk parakeet nests on a power line | Source
  • Melopsittacus undulatus (Budgerigar)- These birds are extremely popular as pets, and breeding populations have become established in Florida since the 1930s, mostly along the Gulf Coast. However, breeding is short-lived, and some populations regularly die off due to freezes.
  • **Myiopsitta monachus** (Monk parakeet)- Very popular in the pet trade, and the most note-worthy invasive species of parrot. They can survive in temperate climates and are even present in places like New York City. It is considered to be a significant agricultural pest that builds large nests on telephone poles and transmission towers, causing some to short. Monk parakeets can cause costly damage to electrical utilities. They have been introduced to the eastern United States, as well as several other countries.
  • Nandayus nenday (Black-hooded Parakeet)- Native to South America, there are established, self-sustaining populations in Los Angeles and several locations in Florida (St. Petersburg, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County).

Budgerigar or 'budgie'
Budgerigar or 'budgie' | Source
Purple Swamp Hen
Purple Swamp Hen | Source
  • Psittacula krameri (Rose-ringed parakeet)- A more prominent invader in Europe and Australia where it causes agricultural damage. It has also been introduced to the U.S.
  • **Porphyrio porphyrio** (Purple Swamp Hen)- A recent introduction to Florida with ecological similarity to other natives. It is currently poorly studied, but is known to eat bird eggs and nestlings. It is also territorial which impacts natives.
  • Streptopelia decaocto (Eurasian collared-dove)- Introduction to the U.S. (and other nations) may have resulted from a pet breeder in Nassau in 1974. It may compete with native birds and potentially spread some diseases such as West Nile virus.

Other birds, unconfirmed

  • "Members of the parrot family carry Newcastle disease, identified in 1971, which can infect native songbirds, game birds, domestic chickens and turkeys, and other exotic bird species. The native bird species can be infected by smuggled exotic birds and birds not properly quarantined that are released into the wild. This species also breeds in cavities which might limit the number available to native cavity nesters." --Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Ara severa (Chestnut-fronted Macaw)- Potentially established
  • Gracula religiosa Linnaeus (Hill Mya)- Potentially established

Oscar
Oscar | Source
Black acara
Black acara | Source
Mayan cichlid.
Mayan cichlid. | Source
Walking catfish
Walking catfish | Source

Fish (Florida established)

  • Astronotus ocellatus (Oscar)- Established in Southern Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Introductions resulted from deliberate stockings from an aquarium fish farm for recreational purposes. Other failed introductions have likely occurred with pet releases. Ecological impact is unknown.
  • Cichlasoma bimaculatum (Black acara)- Introduced to Florida through aquarium release/ escape. No significant impact on native fishes.
  • Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Mayan cichlid)- Introduced to Florida including the Everglades. Nest predation of native centrarchids by Mayan cichlids has been observed in the Everglades National Park. Presence of Mayan cichlids may affect prey behavior. They are a potential vector of diseases and parasites. Its introduction into Florida may have been associated with the ornamental fish trade and by fishermen.
  • **Clarias batrachus** (Walking catfish)- In the early 1960s, the walking catfish was imported to Florida from Thailand for the aquarium trade. In 1967, the state of Florida banned the importation and possession of walking catfish. However, this led to another release of the fish into the wild. By 1978, the walking catfish had spread to 20 counties in the southern half of the peninsula. They are established in the Everglades National Park and in Big Cypress National Preserve. They have also been collected in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada and Arizona.


common pleco or suckermouth catfish
common pleco or suckermouth catfish | Source
Asian Swamp Eel
Asian Swamp Eel | Source
  • Hypostomus plecostomus (common pleco or suckermouth catfish)- Breeding populations are present in Florida and Texas. Sometimes they are intentionally released to control algae. Local indigenous species can be out-competed and reduced due to this. These fish can survive out of water for 30 hours.
  • Monopterus albus (Asian swamp eel)- imported as a food source and for the aquarium trade. In Florida and Georgia, the introduction of M. albus is likely due to an aquarium release or a fish farm escape or release. They may compete with native species.

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish
Orinoco Sailfin Catfish | Source
  • Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Orinoco Sailfin Catfish )- Most introduced populations are believed to be the result of pet release or aquaculture escape. Potential ecological effects include alteration of bank structure and erosion, disruption of aquatic food chains, competition with native species, mortality of endangered shore birds, changes in aquatic plant communities, and damage to fishing gear and industry. They are established in Florida and Hawaii.

Peacock hind
Peacock hind | Source
Top minnow
Top minnow | Source
Red Shiner
Red Shiner | Source

Dwarf snakehead

Snakehead
Snakehead | Source

Fish (other states)

  • Cephalopholis argus (Peacock hind)- Established in Hawaii. It is a dominant near-shore coral reef predator around the main islands. Likely alters community structure. Introduced through stocking as food/game fish, but intentional release from the aquarium trade is also probable
  • Belonesox belizanus (Top minnow)- Escapees from an ornamental fish farm has resulted in a population in Hillsborough County in 1997. Introduced to Texas probably from aquarium release, although they have now been extirpated in these locations (established populations in Florida resulted from medical research release). This piscivore competes with native fish.
  • Cyprinella lutrensis (Red shiner)- The introduction of this fish into Yadkin drainage, North Carolina was possibly the result of an aquarium release (other populations in other areas originate from bait bucket releases). The red shiner is very aggressive and where introduced may dilute the gene pools of native species.
  • **Channa gachua** (Dwarf snakehead, and other snakehead species)- Snakeheads are prohibited in many states due to their aggressive tendencies as an invasive. Some infestations have been irradiated. Northern Snakeheads are established in Arkansas, New York, and Pennsylvania. While pet release may have contributed to their populations, snakeheads are more prominently sold in live Asian fish markets. One Maryland man released the fish after he no longer needed them for medicinal purposes. Snakeheads are predatory and prey on endangered aquatic wildlife. When wet, they can survive on land for up to 4 days and can migrate to other bodies of water.

oriental weatherfish
oriental weatherfish | Source
Red-bellied Pacu
Red-bellied Pacu | Source
Lion Fish (sp.)
Lion Fish (sp.) | Source
  • Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (oriental weatherfish)- Common in the aquarium and live bait trade. Established populations are located in the Shiawassee River and Lake Michigan; also California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, and possibly in Louisiana. Status is unknown in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Maryland. One experiment shows the oriental weatherfish may significantly reduce macro-invertebrate abundance and increase turbidity and nitrogen levels in standing water.
  • **Oreochromis mossambicus** (Mozambique Tilapia)- Most introductions have been as a result of aquatic plant and mosquito control by the state. They have also been introduced as bait fish, food, and aquarium releases. They are established in 7 states including New York, Hawaii, Florida, and Texas.
  • Piaractus brachypomus (red-bellied pacu)- Aquarium releases are indicated, although some Florida and Georgia records may have resulted from fish farm escapes. Reported from 19 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. Impact of introduction is unknown.
  • **Pterois volitans** (Lionfish)- A prolific invasive species, established throughout Florida's waters and also has been known to migrate to northern regions (as far as the Long Island Sound). Their predation on native ecologically important fish may diminish their populations, as well as impact other predators.

Other fish present but not established or no data

Banded cichlid, Arabian angel, Sohal surgeonfish, convict cichlid, armoured catfish, clown knifefish, panther grouper, yellowbelly cichlid, brook stickleback, lined topminnow, redstriped eartheater, African jewelfish, Red Sea bannerfish, small-scaled pacu, orbiculate batfish, firemouth cichlid, green swordtail, southern platyfish, variable platyfish

African Land Snail
African Land Snail | Source
Pomacea canaliculata
Pomacea canaliculata | Source
Boring clam
Boring clam | Source

Invertebrates

  • **African land snail** (Achatina fulica FĂ©russac, 1821)- Introduced through the pet trade, as well as for human consumption, the African land snail reproduces rapidly and affects agriculture, ecosystems, and human health. Has been listed as one of the world's top 100 invasive species.
  • Chinese mysterysnail (Cipangopaludina chinensis)- In the 1800's, they were shipped to the U.S. for the live food market. Aquaria release in the Niagara River likely occurred in the 1930's. They out-compete native animals.
  • Banded Mystery Snail (Viviparus georgianus)- Introduced into the Hudson River in 1867 through contaminated bait buckets or aquarium release (unknown).
  • Heath Snail (Xerolenta obvia)- 1931, when the owner of a curio shop imported them from Morocco.
  • Caribbean land snail (Cepolis varians)- Florida Everglades
  • Giant ramshorn snail (Marisa cornuarietis Linnaeus, 1758)- Southern Florida
  • Red-rim melania (Melanoides tuberculatus Muller, 1774)- Present in AZ, CA, FL, HI, ID, LA, MN, NC, NV, OR, SD, TX, UT, and WY. Competes with native snails. Introduced accidentally from the aquarium trade in the 1930s.
  • Spiketop applesnail (Pomacea bridgesi Reeve, 1856)- Probably introduced in the 1950s, present in central North Florida. Called the golden apple snail in the aquarium trade.
  • Channeled apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck)- California and Hawaii.
  • Island applesnail Pomacea insularum (d'Orbigny, 1839)- Potential threat to Florida ecosystem.
  • Boring clam (Tridacna crocea Lamarck)- Florida Everglades
  • Small giant clam (Tridacna maxima Roding)- Florida

Reptiles

Argentine black and white tegu
Argentine black and white tegu | Source

**Argentine Black and White Tegu** (Tupinambis merianae)- Tegus are large, carniverous lizards that are believed to have been escaped or released from the pet trade. There are established breeding populations in Hillsborough County and Miami-Dade County. They could impact native wildlife by preying on native species.

Jamaica giant anole (Anolis garmani)- Release from the exotic pet trade.

Red-headed Rock Agama
Red-headed Rock Agama | Source

Ashy Gecko

Brown basilisk
Brown basilisk | Source
Butterfly Lizard
Butterfly Lizard | Source
Burmese Python
Burmese Python | Source
Common boa
Common boa | Source
Common caiman
Common caiman | Source
Common House Gecko
Common House Gecko | Source
Common snapping turtle
Common snapping turtle | Source

Reptiles (Florida)

  • African redhead agama (Agama agama)- Believed to have been released or escaped during hurricane Andrew. They are expanding and have been established in two counties in Florida for at least 10 years, and less than 10 years in 3. The impact they may have is unknown, however they are carnivorous and prey on smaller animals.
  • Ashy Gecko - (Sphaerodactylus elegans)- This Cuban species is restricted to the lower FL Keys, where it was once common but is now declining, possibly due to the introduction of the predaceous tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia). There are no threats to natives known.
  • Brown basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus)- This species, sometimes known as the 'Jesus lizard' for its ability to run on top of water with great speed, was introduced to South Florida in 1976. Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years. They are expanding, with no threats known to natives, however they prey on smaller vertebrates.
  • Butterfly lizard (Leiolepis belliana belliana)- The threats to natives for this agamid species is listed as "probably none", as it is an insectivore. Their populations are breeding successfully in 10 counties.The Miami populations originated from a nearby tropical fish dealer. This species has been established since 1992.
  • Burmese Python (Python molurus) - One of the largest snakes in the world and responsible for considerable attention toward the invasive species exotic pet trade problem. They are mainly established in the Everglades, but individuals have been found near Naples, suggesting that their population might be moving Northwest. Pythons observed outside of FL are escaped pets, but not established. It is likely that the established population escaped from a breeding facility after hurricane Andrew. Pet releases are also implicated. Being top level predators and only falling prey to alligators and humans, they are considered a profound environmental hazard.
  • Common Boa (Boa constrictor imperator)- Common boas are a threat to vertebrates at their adult size. There is also concern that they may out-compete smaller native boas in Puerto Rico. Many boa species carry ticks which could be transmitted to domesticated livestock.
  • Common caiman- (Caiman crocodilus)- Caimans, due to their smaller adult size, are popular 'replacements' for pet alligators and the demand for them rose after alligators were banned in many states. It is believed that most non-indigenous occurrences of this species are due to pet releases. In Dade County in Florida, the destruction of a holding facility in 1992 for reptiles due to Hurricane Andrew accounts for another hypothesis for their introduction. Caimans are established in Florida and attempts at eradicating them failed. They may impact the ecosystem due to their carnivorous nature and introducing parasites.
  • Common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) - Commonly imported in the pet trade, and may be established around reptile dealerships in 4 counties. No threats to natives known. Introduced in 1979.

Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)- Indigenous to the United States, but introduced and may or may not be established in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California. It is hypothesized that their presence is due to negligent pet owners. All snapping turtles are voracious predators and pose a threat to smaller native animals.

Giant Ameiva
Giant Ameiva | Source
Giant Day Gecko
Giant Day Gecko | Source
Giant Whiptail
Giant Whiptail | Source
Sub adult green iguana
Sub adult green iguana | Source
Many-lined Grass Skink
Many-lined Grass Skink | Source
Mediterranean Gecko
Mediterranean Gecko | Source
Nile monitor
Nile monitor | Source
  • Giant Ameiva (Ameiva ameiva) Presumed to have escaped from the pet trade, these somewhat larger lizards prey on smaller vertebrates. They are common in Dade County, Deerfield Beach, and Broward County in Florida. They are confirmed breeding and self-sustaining for over 10 years. Statewide trend is expanding.
  • Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis)- While this species has been released in other parts of Florida, the only population that appears to be established is in the Florida Keys. There are no known threats to natives. First appeared in the 1990s.

  • Giant Whiptail (Cnemidophorus motagua) - A large teiid lizard, one thriving population was established in Miami in 1995, assumed to be a deliberate release. In 2004, another population was discovered in the Everglades. There are no known threats to natives but it is assumed they will feed on smaller lizards.
  • **Green iguana** (Iguana iguana)- Green iguanas are extremely popular in the pet reptile trade, and escapes/releases have led to their expanding populations. However, they are sensitive to the cold and only survive in South Florida. Threats to natives are unknown, however they have provided annoyances to humans due to eating ornamental plants and their droppings may carry salmonella.

  • Kenyan sand boa, Gongylophis colubrinus Squamata

  • leopard tortoise Geochelone pardalis

  • green anaconda Eunectes murinus

  • Many-lined Grass Skink (Mabuya multifasciata)- This species is restricted to a small botanical garden in Dade county, where they are suspected to have originated from the pet trade. Threats to natives are unknown, however they may compete for food with native lizards and they can consume other vertebrates.
  • Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)- This species has been introduced to many states and countries. It breeds rapidly, is resistant to pesticides, and has expanding populations. Despite this, it is not expected to have any significant impacts in the environment. It is firmly established in Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and may continue to expand north.
  • Mexican Spinytail Iguana (Ctenosaura pectinata)

  • **Nile Monitor** (Varanus niloticus)- As the second most commonly sold African monitor species in the U.S., the Nile monitor is a voracious predator and has been confirmed breeding only in Cape Coral, Lee County. They consume birds, mammals, frogs, lizards, and can dig up eggs of sea turtles and alligators.


Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor)- Escaped from a reptile dealer in 1978.


Rainbow Lizard
Rainbow Lizard | Source
  • Rainbow Lizard (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus)- Presently confined in Florida to 2 or 3 warehouse complexes in Dade County, originating from pet trade escapes/releases. The population is stable and confirmed breeding. There are no threats to natives known.
  • Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

Red-eared slider
Red-eared slider | Source
  • Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)- Indigenous to midwestern states in the U.S., occurs as a non-native species in many locales, including New York, North Carolina, Florida, Nebraska, Arizona, Hawaii, and California. Escapes and release from the pet trade are considered to be the main means of introduction, and many of the populations are thriving, being adaptable to many climates. They have a speculated but unconfirmed impact on the environment.
  • Red-sided Curlytail Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri)- Intentionally released in the 1940s in Palm Beach to rid sugar cane of pests, but speculation of pet trade releases is also implicated. They have an unknown impact and are said to be expanding in Florida.

Spiny softshell turtle
Spiny softshell turtle | Source
Tokay Gecko
Tokay Gecko | Source
  • Spiny softshell turtle(Apalone spinifera)- Native to many regions in the U.S.,the spiny softshells were introduced into Florida and France due to the pet trade. Ecological impact is unknown.
  • Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)- Native to the Great Plains, this species was introduced to Florida when it was popular in the pet trade. This is no longer the case because they require a diet of mostly ants. It has an unknown stateside trend and current status of breeding.
  • Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)- This large lizard is widely sold in the pet trade and sometimes released to control cockroaches. It can potentially prey on bird nestlings and rodents. Their populations are expanding.
  • yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus

Mexican Red-bellied Squirrel
Mexican Red-bellied Squirrel | Source

Mammals

  • Mexican Red-bellied Squirrel (Sciurus aureogaster)- Introduced and established in Elliott, Sand Key, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Released by owner.
  • Some monkey populations exist in Florida due to escapes from zoos/exhibitors (not really an exotic pet). They are the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops) rhesus maquaue (Macaca mulatta) and squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus).

Vervet monkey
Vervet monkey | Source

Potentially extirpated

  • Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) escaped from owners
  • Gambian Pouch Rat (Cricetomys gambianus) escaped from breeder

Comments

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    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you, it must be labelled incorrectly, I'll change that.

    • psycheskinner profile image

      psycheskinner 

      4 years ago

      Your picture is of pomacea diffusa not pomacea canaliculata--both or sometimes call golden apple but their legal status is very different.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      tirelesstraveler-- hopefully that works

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      The lakes around here have to inspect all boats and water craft wind surfboards, kayaks etc... to keep invasive muscles out of the water supply. Of course there is a fee and it is time consuming to have the crafts inspected.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Interesting Suhail! Didn't know there were any places without birds.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Ok, I'll look into that. There are a few lobbyists, the betters ones are associated with reptiles given that is the more popular hobby. We have Rexano for exotic mammals and the like, and unfortunately the others lack credibility. Exotic cats, canines, and monkeys will probably all eventually be illegal, unless there are some loopholes. The lesser known small mammals have a chance of avoiding being listed as illegal. Most reptiles and birds should remain legal as long as they aren't too large, but whacky things have happened.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I wanted to add that I could identify two birds from my country of origin - Pakistan. Those are Common Myna and Purple Swamphen (aka Purple Moorhen and Purple Gallinule).

      In the 70s hundreds of thousands of Pakistani birds were captured and released into then birdless but rich gulf country of the United Arab Emirates, especially in its two better known Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Those birds established themselves very well and one can now see them flourishing there. That is the only story of invasive species that made sense anywhere in the world.

    • ZookeeperByNature profile image

      ZookeeperByNature 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the reply. Tegus Only is a source that claims to sell these lizards that are breeding in Florida, as tegus are the recent new invasives to join the ranks of other invasive lizards such as Nile monitors and iguanas. I found them via a media article on the subject. Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason to believe African rock pythons are also established, if you've heard about that. They did a recent survey to find the snakes but turned up nothing. I theorize there might only be a handful of individuals that are managing to survive since being released, but due to a lack of a mass introduction event, they may not be numerous enough to find a mate and reproduce.

      I'm also interested in what you believe the future still holds for the possibilities of exotic animal ownership. With new regulations and bans being tossed around left and right, I'm afraid those are going to squeeze harder and harder until there are no exotic animals, since they only get tougher and more impossible. What lobbying organizations are out there for exotics and what are they doing to protect our animals?

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Hi Zookeeper, I don't know what happened. I painstakingly checked every animal on a large list yet I keep finding important species that are missing. I guess I'll have to do it all over again. I did check tegus and I didn't find that they are established or breeding as of yet. Thanks for pointing that out, pretty absurd not to have Burmese pythons on it. Yes, the info I about the boa is referring to Puerto Rico. I'm unsure if I should include the island nations, as I probably skipped over Hawaii species.

      As for your request, I have an article like that already: https://pethelpful.com/exotic-pets/Where-are-Exoti...

      I think there is no one state that is great for all exotics. Nevada probably fits the bill the best. Others have conditions, or statewide have no ban but most counties do (North Carolina). I did the best I could, but one should always call directly to find out this information, as rules and regulations change like the wind.

    • ZookeeperByNature profile image

      ZookeeperByNature 

      4 years ago

      Nice hub, Melissa, although I'm surprised I didn't see mention of the Burmese pythons or tegus. You might also want to re-check for typos and redundancy, and I must note that there are no native boas to Florida, unless you were talking about the Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico or Aruba, where the Boa constrictor is invasive and where there typically are native rainbow boas.

      Melissa, I do also have a request for an article. Could you talk about exotic friendly states? I'd love a comprehensive list of states where I could live if I wanted to continue collecting and owning exotics. I'd also love some insight on the future of owning exotic animals.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Suhail. I will look up that book.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Great article on a topic that is mentioned on first paragraph of my profile!

      In order to find the adverse impact of invasive species on local flora and fauna, 'Rat Island' by William Stolzenburg is a very good book to read.

      Thank you for sharing a useful and informative hub. This goes from one nature lover to another.

      Regards,

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      It's all in the eye of the beholder grand old lady. My cousin thinks lion fish are ugly. Thanks for commenting.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Many of the animals listed here are kind of creepy. But the birds look nice, as do the red bellied pacu fish and the lion fish. Tilapia are delicious, freshwater fish that we eat in the Philippines. They are also called St. Peter's fish in Israel.

      The suckermouth, or janitorfish are often bought for aquariums cause they eat all the dirty stuff and help to keep the aquarium clean.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Ah so it's a clean up crew fish. Yes, they do appear to be very benthic.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 

      4 years ago from United States

      The suckermouth catfish is what we also call janitor fish. It's kept as a pet but it's also a pest. We used to have that in our aquarium, it just stayed still.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Alphadogg16, that's interesting. I thought ticks could only be picked up from the woods. Perhaps this could be another reason why some snakes don't eat for people? They must have been very discretely sized. Thanks for reading!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Melissa I absolutely love reading your hubs, I am a reptile lover at heart, but an animal lover in general. Its ironic you mentioned ticks on the Common Boa, awhile back my Burmese Python went through a stage where he wouldn't eat for months, I took him to the vet and found that he had some ticks that were killing his appetite. He hasn't gotten any more since, never did figure out where he got them from, any ways, thumbs up on your hub. Well done!

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