Michael's Rediscovery of Nature

Ramblings and observations of a former biologist and a lifelong naturalist, who has recently returned to his roots in east Texas. After a many years of working from coast to coast in an industry far removed from biology, it has been a pleasant change of geography, activity, and attitude. No stressful job decked out in a three piece suit. No city living. Instead there is a rediscovery of the woods, of something scurrying through the leaves, of the clear notes of a bird call, and of reliving the joy that I had when nature was a playground and a classroom.

The Things I Did at Nine Years Old Would Get Me Put Under the Jail Now

tpwd logo large

When I was growing up in east Texas, I caught everything I get my hands on including using various kinds of traps.  In particular, there is no telling how many snakes, lizards, turtles, toad, frogs and salamanders that I at least temporarily added to my collection.  At the time there were no laws related to collecting or capturing reptiles and amphibians.  Wow, has that changed.


One important part of all this is that you cannot even temporarily capture or handle reptiles or amphibians even if you are just trying to photograph them if you are on a road, shoulder or unpaved part of the right of way unless you have a Texas hunting license with a reptile and amphibian stamp.  It is up to a $500 fine.  

This also includes your actions as a citizen scientist working with the TPWD Texas Nature Trackers (only on public roads).  That program is for private lands, not public areas or roadways.

Just for fun, here is a list of regulations related to reptiles and amphibians in Texas.  

Amphibian and Reptile FAQ

Q1: Can I capture indigenous reptiles and amphibians on the road if I have the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp? 
A1: No. The road is closed to capture of reptiles and amphibians, as well as other wild animals and birds. 

Q2: Where can I capture indigenous reptiles and amphibians if I buy the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp?
A2: With the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp, and a valid hunting license, you can capture by nonlethal means indigenous reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. 

Q3: Is the paved area to the right of a solid white line considered the shoulder of the road?
A3: No. That area is considered an "improved shoulder". Texas Transportation Code §541.302(15) defines shoulder as the portion of a highway that is:

  • adjacent to the roadway;
  • designed or ordinarily used for parking;
  • distinguished from the roadway by different design, construction, or marking; and
  • not intended for normal vehicular travel.

Q4: If I have a valid hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp, can I set out traps on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way to catch reptiles and amphibians?
A4: No. The use of any type of trap to capture reptiles and amphibians is prohibited on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. 

Q5: Do I need anything else in addition to a valid hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp in order to capture by nonlethal means reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way? 
A5: Yes. You must wear reflective clothing at all times while capturing reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. This reflective clothing must have at least 144 square inches of reflective material on both the front and back. 

Q6: Can I cruise the road in a vehicle at night and look for reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of the road or on the unpaved area of the public right-of-way?
A6: No. It is a violation to use an artificial light from a motor vehicle in locating, capturing or attempting to capture reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. The vehicle's headlights are considered artificial lights. 

Q7: Can I sell any of the reptiles and amphibians that I capture on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way?
A7: No. It is a violation to take or attempt to take reptiles and amphibians on public property for commercial purposes. 

Q8: Is there a limit on how many reptiles and amphibians I can capture on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way?
A8: Yes. If you possess more than 25 specimens of a species of reptile or amphibian listed in Texas Administrative Code, §65.331(d), or more than 6 specimens of a species of reptile or amphibian listed in Texas Administrative Code, §65.331(e), you will also need a valid Nongame Permit. 

Q9: If I only want to photograph reptiles and amphibians that I find on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way, do I need a hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp?
A9: If you capture, or handle in any way, the reptiles and amphibians that you find on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way, then you do need a valid hunting license and Reptile and Amphibian Stamp. This includes temporarily capturing, or temporarily handling in order to position a reptile or amphibian for photographs. 

Note: Violations of the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp laws are Class C Parks and Wildlife Code Misdemeanors. Each violation is punishable by a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. 

From the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.  https://tpwd.texas.gov/faq/huntwild/amphibian_reptile_stamp.phtml 

 

Rate this blog entry:
8
Making Progress on the New Website - Slowly But Su...
BIG NEWS!!! The East Texas Naturalist Blog is Exp...

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, 18 October 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.