The following regulations became effective in early 2020.
Collection/Take of Amphibians
A new regulation prohibits the taking of red-spotted newts. Newts have been documented to be extremely susceptible to the emerging disease Bsal (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans), also known as salamander chytrid disease, and experience high mortality rates. The disease is not in North America at this time, but it will likely occur if measures are not taken to prevent further transmission. Unrestricted take and movement of newts would be a vector for transmission and spread of the disease which has the potential for negative population-level impacts. The disease is spread to native populations by direct salamander-to-salamander contact or by movement of aquatic fungal spores that can cling to nets or other collection equipment. (Red-spotted Newt Fact Sheet)
Importation, Transportation, or Liberation of Butterflies
A new regulation prohibits the release of butterflies, in any life stage. The commercial market for butterflies has resulted in many species being raised by unregulated commercial interests, resulting in:
- Disease and parasite transmission to Connecticut’s native populations.
- Release of butterflies far from their native point of origin. This situation results in unsuitable genetic mixing, introduction of non-natives possibly resulting in an invasive species, and altered distribution and migration of butterflies.
- Creates a market for collection from the wild for breeding stock, which is a particular concern with monarch butterflies.
- Alters normal behavior of butterflies regarding migratory physiology, over-wintering ability, and other natural behaviors that may affect the survival of the species.
The North American Butterfly Association has strongly recommended that states take action in banning the release of commercially-obtained butterflies. Also, considering the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act 16-17 (AAC Pollinator Health) with the intent of protecting the health of bees and butterflies, this regulation provides additional safeguards for Connecticut’s native pollinating butterflies. It still allows for captive-rearing of butterflies for conservation situations with educational institutions.
Content last updated December 2020.