On Tuesday October 22nd the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board voted to restrict future ownership of exotic reptiles in response to the increasing number of invasive species threatening the native ecosystem.
The ban was made specifically to tackle the problem of two invasive species of reptiles, Burmese pythons and Argentine Black and White tegu lizards, who are imported from South America and are often released or escape into the wild, where they feed on the eggs of local species of birds and reptiles, threatening 42% of the local wildlife. Burmese snakes can also carry parasitic lungworms and spread harmful diseases.
Other species affected by the ban are Nile monitor lizards, African helmeted turtles and Chinese softshell turtles. Current owners can keep their pets as long as they are registered with the authorities. The transferring, sale and transportation of these animal is also allowed during a 12-month transiction period, but no importation or breeding will be allowed starting from next month.
Can you own a tegu in Georgia?
As of October 2022, the state of Georgia has put a restriction on the ownership of Argentine black and white tegus (salvator merianae) as pets. This is the most common species of pet tegu and include popular color morphs, i.e. the Blue tegu and Chacoan tegu.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.