Web Content Viewer
Web Content Viewer

Wild Animal Propagation - Noncommercial

A Noncommercial Propagating License costs $25 and is required for people who permanently possess native reptiles, amphibians, game birds, game quadrupeds, or fur-bearing animals but do not intend to sell, offer for sale, trade or barter animals. The license holder is limited to a total of four individuals of each species of collectible reptiles or amphibians have been taken from the wild. See OAC 1501:31-1-02 for a current list of collectible species.


A propagating license application must be requested from the Division of Wildlife within 10 days after taking possession of any native game bird, game quadruped, fur-bearing animal, reptile, amphibian, or wood turtle (Clemmys insculpta).

  • With a propagating license, except for state endangered species, an Ohio resident may possess:
  • Wild animals captively produced or legally obtained from out of state, with proper documentation.
  • Up to four total individuals of each wild-captured native reptile or amphibian from the “Wild-captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians” list below

Except for bullfrogs, green frogs, snapping or softshell turtles that can be harvested with a fishing license, a nonresident cannot take from the wild native reptiles or amphibians, live or dead.

Native wildlife taken from the wild in Ohio may NOT be bought, offered for sale, traded, bartered, or given as a gift.

  • A reptile or amphibian that has been captively produced or is not native to Ohio may not be released into the wild. Only reptiles/amphibians that were taken from the wild may be released back into the wild and only if:
  • They have not been held in captivity, in the same enclosure, with any other reptile or amphibian, except when used as a food for another captive reptile or amphibian, and
  • They have not been in captivity for more than 30 days, and
  • They are released near the point of capture, or, you first have written authorization from the chief of the Division of Wildlife.

No endangered reptiles or amphibians may be possessed, bred, or sold except in accordance with ORC 1531.25 and OAC 1501:31-23-01.

Wild-Captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians 

Only Ohio residents may possess a total of four individuals from any of the following reptile or amphibian species or any hybrids taken from the wild. Residents over the age of 18 must have a permit to possess these or any Ohio native species.


  • Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)
  • Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata)
  • Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)
  • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Lizards and Skinks:

  • Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps)
  • Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
  • Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)
  • Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)


  • Common Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)
  • Northern Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi dekayi)
  • Midland Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi wrightorum)
  • Northern Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata)
  • Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)
  • Butler’s Gartersnake (Thamnophis butleri)
  • Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus)
  • Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
  • Northern Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsii)
  • Midwestern Wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus helenae)
  • Eastern Wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus amoenus)
  • Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor)
  • Blue Racer (Coluber constrictor foxii)
  • Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides)
  • Eastern Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)


  • Common Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
  • Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
  • Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
  • Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
  • Smallmouth Salamander (Ambystoma texanum)
  • Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri)
  • Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
  • Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
  • Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
  • Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)
  • Eastern Redback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
  • Southern Ravine Salamander (Plethodon richmondi)
  • Northern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus)
  • Kentucky Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi)
  • Northern Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus)
  • Midland Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus diastictus)
  • Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)
  • Northern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)
  • Longtail Salamander (Eurycea longicauda)
  • Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera)

Frogs and Toads:

  • Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)
  • Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
  • Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
  • Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)
  • Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona)
  • American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
  • Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)
  • Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
  • Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)
  • Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates utricularia)
  • Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvatica)
  • Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
  • American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Record Keeping and Annual Reports

All propagation license holders must retain a certificate of origin, a bill of sale, receipted invoice, or other Division of Wildlife approved evidence of lawful acquisition for each individual animal captively produced or legally obtained from out of state. Accurate records for all animals, including wild-captured, must be maintained for five years by the license holder and be available for inspection by a representative of the Division of Wildlife at all reasonable hours.

Records must include:

  • Common and scientific name, number of animals received or sold, birth dates of captive born animals, and the date, location and length of all wild-captured animals.
  • The date of any and all deaths and escapes.
  • Date of the transaction and complete name and address of the person from whom an animal was purchased (including the seller’s propagating license number) or to whom the animal was sold, traded, bartered or given as a gift.
  • All bills of sales, invoices, or receipts of animals sold in past 5 years.
  • The total weight by species of softshell or snapping turtles that are sold solely for food be recorded, instead of the number of individuals.
  • Unique passive transponder (PIT) code of implanted snakes and/or turtles.

Note: persons who purchase snapping turtles, softshell turtles, bullfrogs, or green frogs for their own consumption are not required to keep records.

Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags for Snakes & Turtles 

A unique passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag must be implanted under the skin of all live native snakes and turtles prior to sale, barter, trade, or gift.

PIT tags may be implanted by any person authorized by the owner. Only PIT tags that can be read by an “AVID Mini Tracker” reader may be implanted.

Any brand of PIT tag with a frequency of 135kHz, 134.2kHz, or 400kHz are permitted. PIT tags are available for purchase from the Division of Wildlife for $10.00 per unit.

PIT Tag Order Form [pdf]

PIT Tag FAQs [pdf]