Rules and Regulations for Reptiles and Amphibians in New Hampshire

For further details, see rules or regulation identified in parentheses.  Licensed exhibitors should read detailed rules that apply to them. 

Possession

Possession includes the keeping, holding, or restricting of wildlife as defined in RSA 207:1.  Includes eggs or progeny thereof.

The following species shall not be possessed without an appropriate permit: (FIS 804.02; to request a permit see instructions under FIS 804.04)
NOTE: No permit to possess shall be issued if there is any disease, genetic, ecological, environmental, health, safety or welfare risks to the public or other wildlife species.

  • All venomous reptiles (including specimens where venom glands have been removed)
  • All alligators and crocodiles
  • The following reptiles and amphibians:
Amphibians

Marbled salamander

Ambystoma opacum

Fowler’s toad

Bufo fowleri

Northern leopard frog

Rana pipiens

Jefferson salamander

Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Blue-spotted salamander

Ambystoma laterale

Jefferson X blue-spotted salamander hybrids

Ambystoma jeffersonianum X laterale

Spring salamander

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus

Four-toed salamander

Hemidactylium scutatum

Northern slimy salamander

Plethodon glutinosus

Common Mudpuppy

Necturus maculosus

Reptiles

All venomous reptiles

Blanding's turtles

Emydoidea blandingii

Eastern box turtles

Terrapene carolina carolina

Spotted turtles

Clemmys guttata

Wood turtles

Glyptemys insculpta

Black racer

Coluber constrictor

Eastern hognose snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Smooth green snake

Opheodrys vernalis

Ribbon snake

Thamnophis sauritus

  • Up to 5 specimens of the following species may be possessed without a permit

[NOTE: Although limited possession of these species are currently legal in NH, the NH Fish & Game Department encourages people to leave wildlife wild and seek captive-bred sources of common non-native species if pets are desired]   

Amphibians

American toad

Bufo americanus

Gray treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Spring peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

American bullfrog

Rana catesbeiana

Green frog

Rana clamitans

Pickerel frog

Rana palustris

Mink frog

Rana septentrionalis

Wood frog

Rana sylvatica

Spotted salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Northern two-lined salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Northern dusky salamander

Desmognathus fuscus

Eastern red-backed salamander

Plethodon cinereus

Red-spotted newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

  • Up to 2 specimens of the following species may be possessed without a permit

[NOTE: Although limited possession of these species are currently legal in NH, the NH Fish & Game Department encourages people to leave wildlife wild and seek captive-bred sources of common non-native species if pets are desired. Populations of some species, especially turtles, can be adversely affected by the removal of a small number of individuals.]   

Reptiles
Musk turtle Sternotherus odoratus
Painted turtle Chrysemys picta
Snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina
Ring-necked snake Diadophis punctatus
Eastern milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum
Northern watersnake Nerodia sipedon
Brown snake Storeria dekayi
Red-bellied snake Storeria occipitomaculata
Garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis

Sale (FIS 811.01)

No person shall sell indigenous species of reptiles or amphibians (listed below), including parts or eggs thereof:

Amphibians

American toad

Bufo americanus

Fowler’s toad

Bufo fowleri

Gray treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Spring peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

American bullfrog

Rana catesbeiana

Green frog

Rana clamitans

Pickerel frog

Rana palustris

Northern leopard frog

Rana pipiens

Mink frog

Rana septentrionalis

Wood frog

Rana sylvatica

Jefferson salamander

Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Blue-spotted salamander

Ambystoma laterale

Jefferson X blue-spotted salamander hybrids

Ambystoma jeffersonianum X laterale

Spotted salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Marbled salamander

Ambystoma opacum

Northern two-lined salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Northern dusky salamander

Desmognathus fuscus

Spring salamander

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus

Four-toed salamander

Hemidactylium scutatum

Eastern red-backed salamander

Plethodon cinereus

Northern slimy salamander

Plethodon glutinosus

Common Mudpuppy

Necturus maculosus

Red-spotted newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

Reptiles

Timber rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus

Blanding's turtles

Emydoidea blandingii

Eastern box turtles

Terrapene carolina carolina

Spotted turtles

Clemmys guttata

Wood turtles

Glyptemys insculpta

Musk turtle

Sternotherus odoratus

Painted turtle

Chrysemys picta

Snapping turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Black racer

Coluber constrictor

Ring-necked snake

Diadophis punctatus

Eastern hognose snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Eastern milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Northern watersnake

Nerodia sipedon

Smooth greensnake

Opheodrys vernalis

Brown snake

Storeria dekayi

Red-bellied snake

Storeria occipitomaculata

Ribbon snake

Thamnophis sauritus

Garter snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

EXCEPTIONS (Sale allowed):

  • Non-living snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and bull frogs (Rana catesbeiana) raised outside the state which may be possessed, bought and sold for use as food provided that with each package there shall be a bill of sale bearing the species, the weight of the package and the place of origin.
  • Certain non-living indigenous amphibians and reptiles listed below (also listed in Table 800.2 for category one) obtained outside the state to be used for educational purposes (e.g., biosupply companies selling frozen specimens to schools for dissection).
Amphibians

American toad

Bufo americanus

Gray treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Spring peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

American bullfrog

Rana catesbeiana

Green frog

Rana clamitans

Pickerel frog

Rana palustris

Mink frog

Rana septentrionalis

Wood frog

Rana sylvatica

Spotted salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Northern two-lined salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Northern dusky salamander

Desmognathus fuscus

Eastern red-backed salamander

Plethodon cinereus

Red-spotted newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

Reptiles

Musk turtle

Sternotherus odoratus

Painted turtle

Chrysemys picta

Snapping turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Ring-necked snake

Diadophis punctatus

Eastern milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Northern watersnake

Nerodia sipedon

Brown snake

Storeria dekayi

Red-bellied snake

Storeria occipitomaculata

Garter snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

Importation

A permit shall be required to import (FIS 803.03; to request a permit see instructions under FIS 803.13) the following:

  • Alligators and Crocodiles
  • All venomous reptiles (including specimens where venom glands have been removed)
  • All indigenous amphibians and reptiles listed below:
Amphibians

American toad

Bufo americanus

Fowler’s toad

Bufo fowleri

Gray treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Spring peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

American bullfrog

Rana catesbeiana

Green frog

Rana clamitans

Pickerel frog

Rana palustris

Northern leopard frog

Rana pipiens

Mink frog

Rana septentrionalis

Wood frog

Rana sylvatica

Jefferson salamander

Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Blue-spotted salamander

Ambystoma laterale

Jefferson X blue-spotted salamander hybrids

Ambystoma jeffersonianum X laterale

Spotted salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Marbled salamander

Ambystoma opacum

Northern two-lined salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Northern dusky salamander

Desmognathus fuscus

Spring salamander

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus

Four-toed salamander

Hemidactylium scutatum

Eastern red-backed salamander

Plethodon cinereus

Northern slimy salamander

Plethodon glutinosus

Common Mudpuppy

Necturus maculosus

Red-spotted newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

Reptiles

Timber rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus

Blanding's turtles

Emydoidea blandingii

Eastern box turtles

Terrapene carolina carolina

Spotted turtles

Clemmys guttata

Wood turtles

Glyptemys insculpta

Musk turtle

Sternotherus odoratus

Painted turtle

Chrysemys picta

Snapping turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Black racer

Coluber constrictor

Ring-necked snake

Diadophis punctatus

Eastern hognose snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Eastern milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Northern watersnake

Nerodia sipedon

Smooth greensnake

Opheodrys vernalis

Brown snake

Storeria dekayi

Red-bellied snake

Storeria occipitomaculata

Ribbon snake

Thamnophis sauritus

Garter snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

EXCEPTIONS: Non-living members of the following species may be imported without a permit:

Amphibians

American toad

Bufo americanus

Gray treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Spring peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

American bullfrog

Rana catesbeiana

Green frog

Rana clamitans

Pickerel frog

Rana palustris

Mink frog

Rana septentrionalis

Wood frog

Rana sylvatica

Spotted salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Northern two-lined salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Northern dusky salamander

Desmognathus fuscus

Eastern red-backed salamander

Plethodon cinereus

Red-spotted newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

Reptiles

Musk turtle

Sternotherus odoratus

Painted turtle

Chrysemys picta

Snapping turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Ring-necked snake

Diadophis punctatus

Eastern milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Northern watersnake

Nerodia sipedon

Brown snake

Storeria dekayi

Red-bellied snake

Storeria occipitomaculata

Garter snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

Release

It is illegal to release the following species in NH (FIS 805):

  • All amphibians and reptiles imported into the state
  • All exotic amphibians and reptiles

Water gardens and Outdoor ponds (FIS 804.0.9, 805):
Reptiles and amphibians including tadpoles originating outside of New Hampshire (including but not limited to internet and in-person purchases from water garden suppliers, reptile and amphibian distributors, biological supply companies, and pet stores importing specimens from out-of-state) must be caged or enclosed, and therefore can not be released to outdoor environments, including pools and ponds, in New Hampshire.

Reptile Rules – Other

  • No person shall take or possess at any time a spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta), Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), or black racer (Coluber constrictor) or any egg or part thereof.
  • No person shall take any species of indigenous turtle from May 15 to July 15.

[In addition to species listed above that are restricted year-round (Blanding’s, spotted, wood, and box turtles), this rule includes painted turtles, common snapping turtles, and musk turtles]

Definition of ‘Take’– (RSA 207:1)
Includes pursuing, shooting, hunting, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring, and netting wildlife, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing, harrying, worrying, wounding, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any net or other device commonly used to take wildlife, whether they result in taking or not, and includes every attempt to take and every act of assistance to every other person in taking or attempting to take wildlife, provided that whenever taking is allowed by law, reference is had to taking by lawful means and in lawful manner.

Also, see RSA 212-A (click here) for rules pertaining to threatened and endangered species.
 

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