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Old 09-15-2003, 09:14 AM   #1
Alert- proposed Boiga ban

I posted this here as well as in the legal forum because I figure this one gets more traffic. I saw it on Kingsnake and it worries me greatly. Help everyone out and email these guys.


Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 16

RIN 1018-AT28

Review of Information Concerning Boiga Snakes

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of inquiry.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing available
economic and biological information on the Boiga genus of snakes for
possible addition of the 28 species of snakes in the genus to the list
of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. The importation and
introduction of Boiga snakes into the natural ecosystems of the United
States may pose a threat to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, the
health and welfare of human beings, or the welfare and survival of
wildlife and wildlife resources in the United States. Listing Boiga
snakes as injurious would prohibit their importation into, or
transportation between, the continental United States, the District of
Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or
possession of the United States, with limited exceptions. This notice
seeks comments from the public to aid in determining if a proposed rule
is warranted.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before November 12, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed or sent by fax to the Chief, Division
of Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North
Fairfax Drive, Suite 322, Arlington, VA 22203; fax (703) 358-1800. You
may send comments by electronic mail (email) to: See the
Public Comments Solicited section below for file format and other
information about electronic filing.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kari Duncan, Division of Environmental
Quality, Branch of Invasive Species at (703) 358-2464 or kari_
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 28, 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service received a petition from the North American Brown Tree Snake
Control Team requesting that the entire Boiga genus of snakes be
considered for inclusion in the injurious wildlife regulations pursuant
to the Lacey Act. Brown tree snakes, Boiga irregularis, are already
listed as an injurious wildlife species under the Lacey Act. The
petitioners requested that we list the entire genus because many of the
species are similar in appearance and could be misidentified upon
inspection at importation, resulting in the accidental introduction of
brown tree snakes. The petitioners also noted, ``many of the Boiga
species have similar ecologies, so it is not just the brown tree snake
that has the potential to become a problematic invasive species in the
United States.''
There are 28 species of snakes in the Boiga genus. Snakes in the
Boiga genus are native to Southeast Asia, China, India, Afghanistan,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Oceania, Northeast Australia, and eastern
equatorial Africa. Boiga irregularis was accidentally introduced in
Guam and has become established. There have been other accidental
introductions into Hawaii, Alaska, and Texas, but Boiga snakes are not
established in those locations.
Based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement importation
declaration data, there were 1,850 snakes in the Boiga genus imported
into the United States during the six and one-half year period from
January 1997 to June 2003. The declared value of those 1,850 snakes was
$16,495. Most of the snakes were imported from Indonesia and most are
used in the pet trade.
The Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) and its implementing regulations in 50
CFR part 16 restrict the importation into or the transportation between
the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the
United States of any species of wildlife, or eggs thereof, determined
to be injurious or potentially injurious to certain interests,
including those of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, the health and
welfare of human beings, and the welfare and survival of wildlife and
wildlife resources in the United States. However, injurious wildlife
may be imported by permit for zoological, educational, medical, or
scientific purposes in accordance with permit regulations at 50 CFR
16.22, or by Federal agencies without a permit solely for their own
use. If the process initiated by this notice results in the addition of
the Boiga genus of snakes to the list of injurious wildlife contained
in 50 CFR part 16, their importation into the United States would be
prohibited except under the conditions, and for the purposes, described
This notice solicits economic, biological, or other information
concerning Boiga snakes. The information will be used to determine if
the species is a threat, or potential threat, to those interests of the
United States delineated above, and thus warrants addition to the list
of injurious wildlife in 50 CFR 16.13.

Public Comments Solicited

Please send comments to Chief, Division of Environmental Quality,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 322,
Arlington, VA 22030. Comments may be hand-delivered to the above
address or faxed to (703) 358-1800. If you submit comments by e-mail,
please submit comments as an ASCII file format and avoid the use of
special characters and encryption. Please include ``Attn: [RIN 1018-
AT28]'' and your name and return address in your e-mail message. Please
note that this email address will be

[[Page 53706]]

closed at the termination of this public comment period.
Our practice is to make comments, including names and home
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold
their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to
the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which
we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity,
as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or
address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your
comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make
all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Authority: This notice is issued under the authority of the
Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42).

Dated: September 2, 2003.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 03-23286 Filed 9-11-03; 8:45 am]


---Erin B.
Old 10-10-2003, 09:16 PM   #2

I've heard something about this in the past.. Not sure what came of it. I'm not familiar with all boiga species, but for the ones I have worked with, mostly yellow-ringed cat snakes, their requirements would not be met anywhere in the US. They require high humidity and very high temps, around 90 to 94 degrees almost year round. The first winter would kill them off. So, I don't see them ever surviving, much less breeding and populating the states.

There may be, however, a few species of boiga that could handle it, but it seems pretty vague to me that they would propose a ban on all boiga, without doing their homework. For the most part, they aren't a very dangerous species. That in no way implies that some kid should read this and go out and buy one as a pet.

But the real question here seems to be: If one or more of the boiga species could live in one or more of the states in the US, does it justify a ban? I don't think it does. They would have to ban all snakes in general, if they were afraid of them populating non-native states, etc.

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