State of Montana Website Montana State Parks Website
Exotic Species

In order to protect Montana's native wildlife and plant species, livestock, horticultural, forestry, and agricultural production, and human health and safety, it is necessary to regulate the importation for introduction and the transplantation or introduction of wildlife in the state and to regulate the importation, transplantation, possession, and sale of exotic wildlife. Any importation, transplantation, possession, sale, or introduction permitted must be conducted in a manner to ensure that wildlife or exotic wildlife can be controlled if harm arises from unforeseen effects. Prohibited species, unless authorized by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks may not be imported, possessed, sold, purchased, exchanged, or transported in Montana, the same applies for any species not classified. Controlled species may be imported into the state however, specific control measures for each species must be adhered to.

Classification of exotic species

Controlled Species - A controlled species is a live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of species that may not be imported, possessed, sold, purchased or exchanged in Montana unless a person obtains written authorization from the department. [Learn more]

Noncontrolled Species - A noncontrolled species is a live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of that species that may be possessed, sold, purchased or exchanged in the state without a permit, except as provided in this subchapter or in Montana statutes or federal statutes. An uncontrolled species may not be released into the wild unless authorized in writing by the department. This definition does not authorize the sale possession, transportation, importation or exportation of an noncontrolled species in violation of any applicable federal or state statute or regulation or county or city ordinance. [Learn more]

Prohibited Species - A prohibited species is a live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of that species, including viable embryos or gametes, that may not be possessed, sold, purchased, exchanged, or transported in Montana, except as provided in MCA 87-5-709 or ARM 12.6.2220 . [Learn more]

Petition for Classification of an Exotic Species

A Petition for Classification of an Exotic Species must be sumbitted to import a species that has not yet been classified. [Learn more]

Laws