Trapping Florida’s Native Songbirds is Now Illegal

Trapping songbirds is now illegal in Florida.
Trapping songbirds is now illegal in Florida.

A new rule created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to help protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal capture takes effect this week.

The new rule, which takes effect Oct. 3, is in Chapter 68A-16, F.A.C. (Rules Relating to Birds) and includes regulations regarding the use, placement and possession of bird traps.

The illegal trapping of native birds has long been a concern in the state, particularly in south Florida where trapping is believed to be widespread. Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, may be mistreated and sometimes killed or injured when illegally trapped.

The new rule will provide an additional tool for law enforcement officers to help stop the poaching of these birds, while still allowing for lawful uses of bird traps. The rule contains exemptions for many lawful uses and contains a permitting process for individuals that trap nonnative nuisance birds but do not meet one of the exemptions in the rule.

Under the new rule, note that all bird traps must be labeled, even if a person has a permit, other authorization or exemption.

For more information on the new rule including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, see Bird traps at the FWC website.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.