In January Florida's new exotic pet laws come into force. A $100 permit fee and state wildlife agency inspections should be expected for owners of the more exotic reptiles such as Nile monitors. State legislators estimate there could be anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 animals affected.
The new laws regulate the possession of six reptile species labeled as "reptiles of concern". Owners are required to have microchips implanted into their pets for identification purposes. Because many exotic reptile species can freely adapt to the local Florida environment, wild breeding populations can freely arise - causing problems for native wildlife. A breeding population of pythons has been found in Everglades National Park and the Nile monitors have established territory in Cape Coral on Florida's West coast.