ALERT: Virginia native species - Apr 22, 2021

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has proposed changes to amend the State regulation (4VAC15-360-10) regarding native reptiles and amphibians (herps).

Summary of changes:

Changes the possession limit to one (1) individual of any native herp species per physical address. Currently, up to five (5) specimens of each species may be possessed per person.
Any person in possession of legally obtained native herps must declare such possession to the department by January 1, 2022, in a manner prescribed by the department. This declaration shall serve as authorization for possession only and is not transferable.
The following species may not be taken or possessed in any number for private use: red-eared slider and all reptile and amphibian Species of Greatest Conservation Need as designated in Virginia’s 2015 Wildlife Action Plan. Currently, this prohibition applies to the Eastern hellbender, diamondback terrapin, and spotted turtle.
Native or naturalized amphibians and reptiles, as defined in 4VAC15-20-50, may not be taken or possessed in any number from state or federal land without an appropriate permit or license.
Snapping turtles shall only be taken from June 1 to September 30 and must have a minimum curved-line carapace length of 13 inches.
Native or naturalized amphibians and reptiles may not be taken or possessed in any number from state or federal land without an appropriate permit or license. Currently, collection on only some state lands is prohibited.
It is currently illegal to “capture and possess for sale.” This change will also make it illegal to export any native herp species. 4VAC15-360-50 allows for the propagation and sale of certain amphibians and reptiles.
Ban on the use of salamanders as fishing bait.

DWR announcement. (Please read prior to submitting comments.):
Rule change text. Changes are in red. (Please read prior to submitting comments.):
Virginia Species of Greatest Conservation Need:
List of Native and Naturalized Fauna of Virginia:
May 27 Board meeting details will be posted at
The comment deadline is May 10, 2021. Comments also may be made during the May 27, 2021 meeting of the Board.

To submit comments before the May 10 deadline:

Online portal at
postal-mailed to: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Attn: Policy Analyst and Regulatory Coordinator, P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, Virginia 23228
emailed to
Comments must be accompanied by the name, address, and telephone number of the party offering them.


Well dang it all… VA has always been such a maverick state that I never thought the AR folks would come gunning for us this early in the game. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


I live in Va. I’m confused. Is it just in regards to some turtles or are other reptiles included in this? Xe hognose, garter snakes since they’re also found locally.

I also live in Va. This is no surprise to me since I live in a really bullsh*t county. No amount of appeals is going to change this either. This is going to ruin the lives of MANY keepers here. Every VA keeper needs ban together to attempt to fight this loosing battle, or ditch this god awful state or else we as Va keepers risk losing our rights completely. We already have a ban on any snake longer than 6ft.