Species tables for Utah's reptiles and amphibians
Learn more about possession limits, prohibited species and mandatory reporting.
Utah has the following classifications for the collection and possession of wild reptiles and amphibians:
- Prohibited — Prohibited species cannot be collected or possessed in any number without a variance (exception) obtained from the Utah Wildlife Board.
- Non-controlled — Most non-controlled species can be collected and possessed in any number, and no permit is required. (Important: There are four native non-controlled lizard species that do require a permit for collection and that have bag/possession limits. See below for details.)
- Controlled — Controlled species may be legally taken from the wild, up to the legal bag and possession limits, but a collection permit or certificate of registration is required.
Important: Once you remove any reptile or amphibian species from the wild — whether it's non-native or native — it may not be released back into the wild.
Prohibited species (possession limit is zero)
There are several species of reptiles and amphibians that have declining or threatened populations. The following species are classified as prohibited for any take or harvest, which means you may not collect them from the wild and keep them unless you have special approval (called a variance) from the Utah Wildlife Board:
|Collection and possession is prohibited
|Columbia spotted frog
|Relict leopard frog
|Western or boreal toad
|Mojave (or Mohave) desert tortoise
Sometimes, the DWR receives desert tortoises that other people have illegally removed from the wild, and members of the public are allowed to adopt them. Learn more about this program.
Non-controlled non-native species (possession is unlimited)
There are several species that are not native to the state of Utah and are classified as non-controlled. Because these species are often problematic for Utah's native wildlife, they may be collected or possessed in any number without a permit. The DWR does not maintain a full list of non-native species; however, the following species are known to occur in Utah and are non-native:
|Unlimited collection, possession and harvest — no permit required
|Baja California treefrog
|Red-eared slider or pond slider
|Common snapping turtle
Although it is not required, you can help the DWR document the distribution of non-native reptiles and amphibians by photographing and reporting observations with the iNaturalist app.
Non-controlled native species — collection and possession
Some abundant native species also fall into the non-controlled classification, but you must have a collection permit to remove them from the wild. After you complete the orientation course and obtain your collection permit, you will be allowed to take — or harvest — the following legal bag and possession limits of the lizard species listed below:
|Expanded possession (25 daily/100 total, per species)
|Plateau fence lizard
|Western fence lizard
Although reporting is not mandatory for non-controlled species that fall into the Expanded possession category, we strongly encourage you to complete a voluntary online report if you take any of these four lizards home with you.
Controlled species — collection and possession
Utah has many controlled reptile and amphibian species that you can collect and remove from the wild as long as you meet certain requirements. After you complete the orientation course and obtain your collection permit, you will be allowed to take — or harvest — the following legal bag and possession limits of the species listed below:
- Standard — 3 daily and 9 in total possession, per species
- Limited — 2 daily (and yearly) and 4 in total possession, per species
|Standard possession (3 daily/9 total, per species)
|Boreal chorus frog
|Great Basin spadefoot
|Great Plains toad
|Northern leopard frog
|Desert horned lizard
|Desert night lizard
|Desert spiny lizard
|Eastern collared lizard
|North American racer
|Great Basin collared lizard
|Greater short-horned lizard
|Long-nosed leopard lizard
|Northern rubber boa
|Ornate tree lizard
|Plateau striped whiptail
|Smith's black-headed snake
|Smooth green snake
|Limited possession (2 daily and yearly/4 total, per species)
|Arizona mountain kingsnake
|Common lesser earless lizard
|Great Plains ratsnake
|Long-tailed brush lizard
|Sonoran lyre snake
|Spotted leaf-nosed snake
|Western banded gecko
|Western milk snake
|Western patch-nosed snake
If you capture and take home any of the controlled reptiles or amphibians listed above, you will also need to complete the mandatory online-reporting requirement. You must submit a report within 72 hours of taking a reptile or amphibian out of the wild. Learn more about this requirement.
Collecting and possessing rattlesnakes
The online course and collection permit do not authorize you to legally collect, possess or harvest rattlesnakes. In order to remove a rattlesnake from the wild in Utah and keep it, you must have special permission from the DWR in the form of a Certificate of Registration (COR).
The COR document will indicate which species you are authorized to collect and what you are allowed to do with them. The rattlesnake species listed below all require a COR:
|Mojave (or Mohave) rattlesnake
|Southwestern speckled rattlesnake
To learn more about obtaining a COR to collect, possess or harvest rattlesnakes, see the rule for amphibian and reptile collection, importation, transportation, and possession or call Anita Candelaria at 801-538-4701.
Possessing non-native venomous species
Non-native venomous species are prohibited. You may not possess them without first obtaining special permission (called a variance) from the Utah Wildlife Board. If you have questions about this process, see Admin. Rule R657-53-18 or contact your local DWR office.