Texas State and Federally Protected Species

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TP&W) affords protection to species that are classified to be Endangered or Threatened, or determined to become endangered in the future.

TP&W regulations prohibit the taking, possession, transportation or sale of any species designated as endangered, threatened or otherwise protected without the issuance of a scientific collecting permit.

State laws and regulations pertaining to endangered or threatened species are contained in Chapters 67 and 68 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, and Sections 65-171 – 65-180 of Title 31 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

In addition to Texas State laws, a number of species are afforded protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

A valid Hunting License with a Reptile and Amphibian stamp is required by residents and non-residents for the take of non-protected species reptile and amphibian. Alligators may be taken with a valid Hunting License during the prescribed seasons for each county where they occur. Bag limits and tagging regulations apply. It is also important to note that since 2007 it is illegal to hunt or collect reptiles and amphibians from Texas public roadways and right-of-ways.  Helpful information regarding Texas field herping can be found here: Nongame Regulations & Frequently Asked Questions.

This information is not legal advice and may not be currently accurate as state fish and game laws can change at any time. It is the responsibility of the individual to understand and follow the laws of each state, which includes the procurement of the proper permits required in each state to conduct any and all field herping activities.

The species listed below are those that are protected under Texas laws.

  • Amphibians
    • Eurycea chisholmensis  (Salado Springs Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea latitans  (Cascade Caverns Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea nana  (San Marcos Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea naufragia  (Georgetown Salamander)  – Threatened
    • Eurycea neotenes  (Texas Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea robusta  (Blanco Blind Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea sosorum  (Barton Springs Salamander) – Endangered
    • Eurycea tonkawae  (Jollyville Plateau Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea tridentifera  (Comal Blind Salamander) – Threatened
    • Eurycea waterlooensis  (Austin Blind Salamander) – Endangered
    • Notophthalmus meridionalis  (Black-spotted Newt) – Threatened
    • Siren sp.1  (South Texas Siren, large form) – Threatened
    • Typhlomolge rathbuni  (Texas Blind Salamander) – Endangered
    • Anaxyrus houstonensis  (Houston Toad) – Endangered
    • Hypopachus variolosus  (White-lipped Frog) – Threatened
    • Leptodactylus fragilis  (Sheep Frog) – Threatened
    • Rhinophrynus dorsalis  (Mexican Burrowing Toad) – Threatened
    • Smilisca baudinii  (Mexican Tree Frog) – Threatened
  • Lizards
    • Phrynosoma cournutu  (Texas Horned Lizard) – Threatened
    • Phrynosoma hernandesi  (Mountain Short-horned Lizard) – Threatened
  • Snakes
    • Cemophora coccinea copei  (Northern Scarlet Snake) – Threatened
    • Cemophora coccinea lineri  (Texas Scarlet Snake) – Threatened
    • Coniphanes imperalis  (Black-striped Snake) – Threatened
    • Drymobius margaritiferus  (Speckled Racer) – Threatened
    • Leptoderia septentrionalis septentrionalis  (Northern Cat-eyed Snake) – Threatened
    • Pituophis ruthveni  (Louisiana Pine Snake) – Threatened
    • Nerodia harteri  (Brazos Water Snake) – Threatened
    • Tantilla cucullate  (Trans-Pecos Black-headed Snake) – Threatened
  • Turtles
    • Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle) – Threatened
    • Chelonia mydas (Green Sea Turtle) – Threatened
    • Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Sea Turtle) – Endangered
    • Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill Sea Turtle) – Endangered
    • Lepidochelys kempii (Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle) – Endangered
    • Graptemys caglei (Cagle’s Map Turtle) – Threatened
    • Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi (Chihuahuan Mud Turtle) – Threatened
    • Macrochelys temminckii (Alligator Snapping Turtle) – Threatened  
    • Gopherus berlandieri Texas Tortoise)  – Threatened