The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking public comment on the classification of several exotic species as either controlled or prohibited in the state.
Up for controlled status is the "old world" quail, a small bird that's become popular among some backyard-chicken breeders; and the wallaroo, a kind of kangaroo native to Australia.
Species considered for prohibition in Montana are the red-eared slider, a semi-aquatic turtle; the Argali sheep, a wild sheep from the highlands of Central Asia; the Transcaspian urial sheep, a wild sheep that inhabits grassy highlands in the Caspian Sea region between Iran and Russia; and the California quail and Gambel's quail, both stout birds native to the West Coast and Southwest respectively that are being bred as domestic backyard chickens.
The F&W Commission will hold a public hearing on the classifications on May 21, at 7 p.m., at FWP headquarters in Helena, 1420 East 6th Ave.
The commission is required by law to classify exotic species into controlled, non-controlled or prohibited categories and to manage any related permitting. A permit is required to possess, sell, purchase, breed, or exchange species classified as controlled. Non-controlled species may be privately owned; and prohibited species may not be possessed in Montana.
To view or comment on the proposals, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov; then click Public Notices. Public comment must be made by May 30 and can also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org; or, mailed to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Enforcement Division; P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.
FWP ensures its meetings are fully accessible to those with special needs. To request arrangements call FWP at 406-444-9785.