Keeping Georgia Wildlife as Pets
Laws Related to Native Wildlife
By Georgia Law, most native species of wildlife cannot be held without permits or licenses. These licenses are not issued for the purpose of holding native wildlife as pets. These restrictions apply to the various species of animal, regardless of the origin or morphology.
Georgia Law allows the taking of certain native species -- namely rats, mice, armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs, beaver, freshwater turtles, venomous snakes, frogs, spring lizards, fiddler crabs, freshwater crayfish, freshwater mussels, and nutria -- because of their status as a nuisance or other reason. State regulations prohibit the holding of live armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs, and beaver without the proper permits or licenses. Certain freshwater turtles, mussels, and other species on Georgia's Protected Wildlife List cannot be possessed or collected without proper licenses.
The following list of species native to Georgia may not be held as a pet regardless of its origin or morphology. Although extensive, this list does not include all native wildlife that is prohibited. If there is any doubt about the legality of possessing any species, contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Special Permit Unit.
Reptiles and Amphibians -
Birds and Fishes
All species of birds encountered in the wild in Georgia are protected by state and federal laws except English sparrows, European starlings, and pigeons. All species of fish native to the waters of this state are protected.
Report poaching and wildlife violations. You can receive a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest—even if you wish to remain anonymous.