Black Pine Snakes and Freshwater Turtles
Black Pine Snakes
USARK needs information from anyone working with Black Pine Snakes (breeding, conservation, and/or research). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has recommended the Black Pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi) be listed as a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). USARK needs information from anyone working with this species in order to support the comment we submit.

This listing could impact interstate transportation of captive bred snakes. The species is already protected at the state level and a federal listing may do little, if nothing, to help with conservation. A federal listing can actually hamper conservation efforts. Please reply to this email or send an email to if you can assist.

The comment deadline is December 8, 2014. All information and comment link can be found at!documentDetail;D=FWS-R4-ES-2014-0046-0001.

Three Turtles Proposed for CITES III

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposed rule to address the growing threat of illegal take and trade in native turtles. If finalized, this action will bring four native freshwater turtle species - the common snapping turtle, the Florida softshell turtle, the smooth softshell turtle and the spiny softshell turtle - under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and require exporters to obtain a permit before shipping turtles overseas.

The publishing of the proposed rule marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period. Comments must be received on or before December 29, 2014.

Questions and Answers

What is CITES Appendix III?

CITES is a treaty aimed at protecting species at risk from international trade. Appendix III, one of three appendices under CITES, is a list of animal and plant species identified by particular CITES party countries as being in need of international trade controls. In this case, the United States is proposing to list 
four native freshwater turtle species to better monitor existing international trade and ensure trade is legal.

The Service is seeking public comments for 60 days regarding information pertaining to these four turtle species. Comments must be received by December 29, 2014 at!documentDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0052-0001

What does an Appendix III listing mean in terms of permit requirements? 

Once a species is listed under CITES any international trade in the species, either as live specimens or parts or products, must be accompanied by a valid CITES permit or certificate. The export of an Appendix III species listed by the United States requires an export permit issued by the Service’s Division of Management Authority (DMA). For additional information, visit

What permits will be required to export any of these species under an Appendix III listing?

To apply for a U.S. CITES document, a standard application form and processing fee are required. To legally export any of these species, you must complete application form 3-200-27. Upon completion of your application and approval by the Service, a permit will be issued authorizing the export of specifically identified specimens.

Will a permit be necessary to import any of these species?

If you plan to import Appendix III turtles, no import permit is needed. However, you must follow the general CITES permit requirements for export or re-export (as discussed above) and any applicable Service law enforcement requirements for Appendix III species. You should also contact the foreign nation’s management authority in order to comply with their requirements.

How would an Appendix III listing affect domestic trade in these species?

CITES requirements apply only when the species are being exported, imported or re-exported across international borders.

As stated above, however, some CITES-listed species are protected by other state conservation laws. 

Contact your state wildlife or plant conservation agency to determine any additional requirements.

More information and comment portal at:!documentDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0052-0001

Proposed Rule:

Wow! Amazing generosity for iguanas!

Ty Park, of Ty's Lizards, has issued a challenge! Ty will donate $2 for every $1 donated to the International Iguana Foundation, and $1 for every new page "like" for the IIF Facebook page (, from now until the end of the year, up to $15,000! Take Ty's challenge! Share and like the IIF page. Donate via the link below! Help the IIF protect the worlds rarest lizards! When you make your donation, be sure and write "Ty's Challenge" in the comment box to double your donation!
Herp Education Trailer

The Southern California Herpetological Association and Rescue (SCHAR) is one of the most active herp societies in the country. They also donate many hours to help USARK. Jason and crew do dozens of educational events annually and have an opportunity to purchase an enclosed trailer which will save time and money by streamlining their efforts. Make tax-deductible donations and learn more at

Reptiles in the Classroom

Roaming Reptiles (Brandon Fowler in California and Chris Law in Florida) are working to enrich the learning environment for children through their Classroom Reptile Pet Program. Get more information and donate at Thanks for getting out there, educating the public and supporting the herp community, Brandon and Chris!

Wounded Warrior Custom Cage Raffle
This is an impressive raffle featuring a custom display cage (photo below), loads of supplies and even a custom knife to benefit Wounded Warrior Project ( Get all details and see photos of everything at For questions and payments, send an email to This is a $3,000+ value.

How to enter:
Bumper stickers for $10 ea. or 3 for $25. Each sticker is 1 entry.
Purchase a T-Shirt for 1 entry each. $10 of each shirt sold will be donated to Wounded Warrior.
2 styles: military green for $20 or black, gold, or pink digital camo for $25

The "Frilled Warrior" prize:
*Cage & Stand (total size is 4' x 6'4" x 2')
*New Guinea x Australian hybrid Frilled Dragon
*All heating and lighting 
*Humidity and Temp Gauges
*Herpstat 1
*Start-up feeder supply
*Custom knife donated by USARK President Phil Goss (photo below) with a custom leather sheath
*Free delivery anywhere in the lower 48 states
*And more!

Other News and Events
OKC Elite Reptile Show: November 1-2 in Oklahoma City, OK. Show details at and

Tracy Reptile Show: November 1-2 in Tracy, CA. Show details at

Iowa Reptile Show and Sale: November 2 in Des Moines, IA. Show details at

Indiana Reptile Breeders' Expo: November 2 in Clarksville, IN. More details at

Cin City Reptile Show: November 8 in Mason, OH. More details at

SEWERFEST Reptile Show: November 9 in Sturtevant, WI. Be sure to stop by the MAHS and USARK booths. Show details at

Repticon Atlanta: November 8-9 in Lawrenceville, GA. Show details at

2014 TTPG Conference on Turtles and Tortoises: November 12-14 in Mesa, AZ. Get details and register at

All Ohio Reptile Show: November 15 in Hilliard, OH. More details at

Phoenix Reptile Expo: November 15-16 in Mesa, AZ. Show details at

Repticon North Carolina: November 22-23 in Raleigh, NC. Show details at

New York Metro Reptile Expo: November 30 in White Plains, NY. Show details at
Kentucky Reptile Expo: December 20 in Shepherdsville, KY. More details at

Northwest Reptile Expos: January 17 in Portland, OR. Show details at

Midwest Reptile Show: January 18 in Indianapolis, IN. Show details at

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