19 January 2016

Owning Marmorkrebs in Tennessee might just be illegal now

I ran across a notice that Marmorkrebs have been added to Tennessee’s list of “Class V wildlife.” (Update, 25 January 2016: the link is already busted.) This is the entirety of the text I have right now (my emphasis and sics)

TN Wildlife Resources Agency
Amends Section 1160-01-18-03 of Tennessee Administrative Code to add the African clawed frog (Xenopus lacvis) (sic) and Marbled crayfish (Procaburus (sic) fallax f. virginalis) to the list of species classified as Class V Wildlife.

It would not surprise me if Marmorkrebs were the subject of legislation in Tennessee, because that state is near, if not the center, of the world’s hotspot for crayfish biodiversity. Non-indigenous crayfish could cause a large number of problems for indigenous crayfish species in Tenessee.

I wanted to confirm this, but, somewhat to my surprise, my initial tooling around in Tennessee government websites yielded nothing. Even with what appears to be a fairly detailed description of the source of information, I can’t find it.

It took several tries to even find a definition of what “Class V Wildlife” in Tennessee means. Searching the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency home page gave me nothing. It was only until I backed up to Google that I found this definition:

Class V
This class includes such species that the commission, in conjunction with the commissioner of agriculture, may designate by rules and regulations as injurious to the environment. Species so designated may only be held in zoos under such conditions as to prevent the release or escape of such wildlife into the environment.

But I still can’t find a simple list of “Class V species” to figure out if Marmorkrebs are on it.

I will continue to investigate.

This is a nice example of that I made in a recent paper:

The regulations concerning crayfish trade are inconsistent across jurisdictions, hard to find, receive minimal enforcement, and are rarely enacted until after a problem occurs(.)

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