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Invasive Species Regulations

An "invasive species" is a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration; and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Regulations are developed to help control invasive species by reducing their introduction and spread.

Regulated and Prohibited Invasive Species

Includes plants, animals, invertebrates, fungi, algae and cyanobacteria

A regulation (Part 575) was adopted in July 2014, that prohibits or regulates the possession, transport, importation, sale, purchase and introduction of select invasive species. The purpose of this regulation is to help control invasive species, a form of biological pollution, by reducing new infestations and spread of existing populations. This regulation became effective March 10, 2015.

Prohibited Species
Patent Status
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea' Conditionally Exempt
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'UCONNBTCP4N' Crimson Cutie PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'UCONNBTB113' Lemon Cutie PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'UCONNBTB048' Lemon Glow PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'UCONNBTB039' Mr. Green Genes PP30, 128 P3 Conditionally Exempt
Regulated Species
Patent Status
Chinese Silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis 'NCMS1' My Fair Maiden H2008-091-004 PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Chinese Silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis 'Tift M77' Scout PPAF Conditionally Exempt
Winter Creeper Euonymus fortunei 'Kewensis' Conditionally Exempt
Winter Creeper Euonymus fortunei 'Vanilla Frosting' Conditionally Exempt

Six plants and seven animals are considered regulated under Part 575 as of March 10, 2015. These plants and animals must be labeled in at least 14 point font with the warning: Invasive Species - Harmful to the Environment.

Businesses selling any of these species (i.e. nursery or landscaping businesses; pet stores) are required to label regulated species. The species list and examples of appropriate labels containing the required information can be found below. Businesses may print these labels for their own use, or use them as a template in making their own labels.

Regulated Plant & Animal Species
Common Name Scientific Name
Norway Maple Acer platanoides
Japanese Virgin's Bower Clematis terniflora
Burning Bush Euonymous alatus
Winter Creeper Euonymous fortunei
Chinese Silver Grass Miscanthus sinensis
Black Locust Robinia psuedoacacia
African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis
Goldfish Carassius auratus
Koi Cyprinus carpo
Lionfish Pterois miles
Lionfish Pterois volitans
Monk/Quaker Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus
Red-Eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans

Labels for the six regulated plant species (PDF)

Regulatory System for Non-Native Species

The New York Invasive Species Council has completed a final report: A Regulatory System for Non-native Species (PDF). The report recommends a regulatory system for preventing the importation and/or release of non-native species. The recommended system would create the first-ever official lists of invasive species for New York State that would apply to all species of animals and plants.

Eurasian Boar

A law was passed on October 21, 2013 (link leaves DEC website) that immediately made it illegal to import, breed or release Eurasian boars in New York. In addition, after September 1, 2015, it will be illegal to possess, sell, distribute, trade or transport Eurasian boars in New York (See Regulated and Prohibited Invasive Species regulation, above).

Aquatic Invasive Species at Boat Launching and Fishing Sites

Boats, trailers, waders and other fishing equipment can spread invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned after use. Regulations adopted in 2014 prohibit boats from launching from or leaving DEC launch sites without first draining the boat and cleaning the boat, trailer and equipment of visible plant and animal material. Material that is removed from watercraft should be disposed of in a proper receptacle or on land, far from the water.

In May 2016, statewide regulations (leaves DEC website) known as the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Spread Prevention regulation, or 6 NYCRR Part 576, require that "reasonable precautions", such as cleaning, draining and treating, and drying are taken to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species prior to placing watercraft or floating docks into public waterbodies. Many New York counties, towns and villages also have laws in place that prohibit the transport of aquatic invasive species on boats, trailers and equipment, so be sure to research the rules of a specific area before you visit.

These statewide regulations apply to both private and public launches on public waterbodies within the state. Public waterbodies are defined as "all waters within the state (public or private) except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface waters, which are wholly, partially within, or bordering the state." Watercraft are defined as any motorized or non-motorized boats, vessels or vehicles capable of being used for recreation or transportation on water.

Penalties for Part 576 Regulations
  • For any first violation, a written warning may be issued along with educational materials.
  • For a second offense, a fine of up to $150 may be issued.
  • For a third offense, a fine of up to $250 may be issued.
  • For a fourth offense, a fine of up to $1,000 may be issued.
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