Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Injurious Wildlife

The Lacey Act (pdf) is a law that dates back to 1900 and is one of the oldest conservation laws in the United States. The Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to prohibit the importation and shipment between the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States of species, including offspring and eggs, designated through regulation to be injurious to the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources of the United States.  Wild mammals, wild birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, and reptiles are the only organisms that can be added to the injurious wildlife list.   

Permits may be granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the importation or shipment of specimens of injurious wildlife and their offspring or eggs for scientific, medical, educational, or zoological purposes. The permit application form for import of injurious wildlife or shipment between the jurisdictions can be found at . For questions about these permits, please call the Division of Management Authority at 1-800-358-2104 or 703-358-2104.

An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State. 

Implementation of the D.C. Circuit Court Decision in
United States Association of Reptile Keepers, Inc. v. Zinke, No. 15-5199
(D.C. Cir. April 7, 2017)

Summary of Background and Decision with Q&As (posted July 27, 2017)

Please note that this court decision is effective for all current interim and final rules and will be for subsequent rules, although the current rules and the supporting documents have not been revised.

Invasive Species Prevention: Keeping Risky Aquatic Species Out of the United States

The Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation program is working with the industries that trade in live, nonnative species and with the States (through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies) on voluntary ways that they can help to prevent importation without affecting their commerce.  Read more . . .


Photo: John Casselman

man with fish


Injurious Wildlife Species Evaluations available on the Web:

11 Freshwater Species


Large Constrictor Snakes


Chytrid Fungus - September 16, 2010

Petition on Amphibians with chytrid fungus (pdf)

  • In September 2009, the Defenders of Wildlife petitioned Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, to list all live amphibians or their eggs in trade as injurious wildlife, under the Lacey Act unless free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid fungus). The petitioner requested a listing that would require a health certificate to accompany shipments of live amphibians or their eggs declaring that they were free of chytrid fungus before importation or transportation could occur. The Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Program's Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species has the lead for this issue. A listing of injurious restricts importation and interstate transportation (not with-in state transportation).

  • The Notice of Inquiry published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2010. This is an information-gathering phase (no rule has been proposed). The public may submit information at: http://www/ under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2009-0093. This information period closed on December 16, 2010.

  • After the information is reviewed, the Service will decide whether to propose a rule or to take no further action.

  • News Release, "Service Seeks Information on Petition to Halt Spread of Amphibian Disease."

  • Questions and Answers.

Black carp

1) October 18, 2007:


Final Rule (pdf)


Final Environmental Assessment and FONSI (pdf)

Final Environmental Assessment (pdf) and FONSI (pdf)

Final Economic Analysis (pdf), Comment/Responses to Draft Economic Analysis (pdf), and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (pdf)

2) October 12, 2007, OMB Review Completed

3) June 11, 2007: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review

The final rule for the black carp injurious wildlife evaluation was received by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review under E.O. 12866. 

4) October 27, 2005:
Proposed rule; Extension of Comment Period (pdf)

5) August 2005:
Proposed rule; Reopening of Comment Period and Availability of Supplemental Information:

Federal Register notice (pdf)

Draft Economic Analysis (1.45 MB pdf)

Proposed rule 08/30/2005

Draft Environmental Assessment (723 KB pdf)

6) Proposed Rule; Reopening of the Comment Period 06/04/2003

7) Proposed rule 07/30/2002

8) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 06/02/2000

Silver and Largescale Silver Carp

1) July 10, 2007:


Final Rule (pdf)


Silver Carp Environmental Assessment (pdf) and FONSI (pdf)

Largescale Silver Carp Environmental Assessment (pdf) and FONSI (pdf)

2) June 26, 2007, OMB Review Completed

3) May 29, 2007: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review

The final rule for the silver and largescale silver carp injurious wildlife evaluation was received by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review under E.O. 12866. 

4) September 5, 2006: Proposed rule (pdf)

Draft Environmental Assessment - largescale carp (pdf)

Draft Environmental Assessment - silver carp (pdf)

Notice of Inquiry - silver carp

Boiga Snakes
  Notice of Inquiry

Bighead Carp

1) July 10, 2007:


Final Rule (pdf)


Notice of Inquiry

Brushtail Possum
  Brushtail Possum proposed rule
  Brushtail Possum final rule

  Snakehead proposed rule
  Snakehead final rule

Zebra Mussel
  Final rule
  Final rule, correction

Raccoon Dog
  Final rule
  Proposed rule
  Environmental Assessment and FONSI (pdf)






photo of Northern snakehead's mouth showing teeth
nothern snakehead

Northern Snakehead (Channa argus). Snakeheads, normally found in Asia and Africa, could become a serious threat to our native fish as well as other aquatic species.
Photos: USGS, Florida Caribbean Science Center










California red-legged frog

California Red-Legged Frog (federally threatened) may be vulnerable to chytrid fungus.
Photos: USFWS












































Last updated: December 15, 2017