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Managing Exotic Species Imported Into Montana


Fri May 27 00:00:00 MDT 2005

New Zealand Mudsnails are very small; the largest adults are about 5 mm in length (1/8 in.), while newly born New Zealand Mudsnails appear as a tiny grain of sand.  They have brown or black cone-shaped shells with five whorls. They obtain very high densities, up to several hundred thousand per square meter, and are easily spread by becoming wedged into wader seams, soles and felt of wading boots, Velcro, and by working their way past gravel guards into the inside of waders boots.

New Zealand Mudsnail

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission recently adopted a classification system regulating import of exotic wild species into Montana. The classification system helps meet requirements of a 2003 Montana law seeking to minimize potential risks to the health of humans and wildlife.

Under the new system, the import of an exotic species will be non-controlled, controlled or prohibited based on the threat it may pose to native wildlife, plants; livestock, horticulture, forestry, agricultural production and human health and safety.

The exotic species lists will be reviewed and updated about twice a year. Exotic species not listed in one of the three categories must be evaluated by the Classification and Review Committee and placed in the classification system before it may be imported. Identifying species in the controlled category will be an ongoing process.

Requests to have an exotic species classified can be made by contacting FWP at 406-444-2449.

All animals imported into the state require a certificate of veterinary inspection from an accredited veterinarian and an import permit from the Montana Department of Livestock.

Here is a listing of the exotic species classified at this time:

Non-controlled: The following exotic wildlife may be possessed, sold, purchased, exchanged, or transported within the state without a possession permit.  All animals being imported into the state require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection from a veterinarian and an importation permit from the Montana Department of Livestock:

African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris, Atelerix algirus)

Bennetts and Tammar Wallaby (Macropus rufugriseus, Macropus eugenii)

Sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps

Prohibited: The importation, transportation or possession of the following species of live wildlife or hybrids thereof, including viable embryos or gametes, is prohibited:

Snakehead fish (Genus Channa and Parachanna, 29 species)

Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)

Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

Boomslang (Dispholidus typus)

Burrowing asps (All species in family Atractaspidae)

Coral snakes (All species in family Elapidae)

Cobras (All species in family Elapidae)

Kraits (All species in family Elapidae)

Mambas (All species in family Elapidae)

Australian elapids (All species in family Elapidae)

Pit vipers and true vipers (All species in family Viperidae (except species indigenous to Montana))

African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Nutria (Myocastor coypus)

Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)

New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)