A Guide to Using Animals in the Classroom
Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife
Many Educators have or wish to have animals in their classroom to use as teaching tools for their students. Classroom animals can give students a unique connection to science that stimulates an understanding and appreciation of the natural world. But before deciding to collect specimens from the wild, it is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding native wildlife, the permits required for possession and proper care for the wildlife.
Laws and Regulations
Revised Code 1531.02 State Ownership of wild animals Concludes that all wildlife is owned by the people of the state of Ohio and managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. No person can take, possess, hunt, buy, sell, or transport native wildlife unless permitted by the Revised Code or Division Rules.
Licenses and Permits
A Propagation License Application must be requested from the Division of Wildlife within 10 days after taking possession of a native reptile, amphibian or turtle. In Ohio, there are restrictions to the total number of animals you can take or possess from the wild:
-Four total individuals of each species that are listed in the Wild-captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians list in the Division of Wildlife publication #3 Reptiles and Amphibians Licensing and Regulations.
-There is no limit on the number of animals you can possess if they are captive produced or legally obtained from out of state, with proper documentation.
Non-commercial Propagation License: allows a resident to possess any native animal that has been legally acquired. The law states that you must keep records of the animals acquired and the date of acquisition.
Wild Animal Permits are for scientific study, research, or education and are issued by the Law Enforcement Section's permit coordinator. In order to qualify for these permits, one must be affiliated with an educational or scientific institution. This permit is for persons desiring to collect wild animals for scientific or educational purposes and is separated into these categories:
-Education Permits are a mechanism designed to permit qualified educators to possess Ohio native wild animals. Activities covered by an Education Permit include: possession of dead wild animal parts, nests, eggs, mounts or study skins and live wild animals for educational programming or display. Any animal taken from the wild may not be returned back into the wild after being in possession for 30 days. While in possession, the following records must be kept:
*Previous owners' name (if applicable)
*Dates of possession and relinquishment
*Where animal was taken from the wild
*If not returned to the wild, the date of death or name of person animal was given to.
-Scientific Collecting Permits allow the taking and possessing of native wildlife using methods that would typically be prohibited. These are primarily used for surveys and inventories of wildlife species that are protected (i.e., migratory birds and raptors), being collected during the closed hunting or trapping season, collected in excess of daily bag limits or collected with devices or techniques (i.e., electro shocking) otherwise prohibited.
-Letter Permits - Possession of any state-listed endangered, threatened or aquatic nuisance species required a letter of permission from the chief of the Division of Wildlife. Contact the Division of Wildlife's Permit Office for information. For federally-listed species, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
-PIT Tagging - Native snakes with a snout to vent length greater than 18 inches, and native turtles with a carapace four inches or larger must be permanently marked with a unique passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag. Regardless of permit type, all native snakes and turtles must be PIT tagged.
Live Native Animals To Be Used In The Classroom
-May be acquired after approval of an Education Permit
-May be acquired from a licensed commercial propagator
-Game birds may be acquired from a licensed commercial propagator
-Migratory birds may be acquired only after approval of an Education Permit and a Federal Permit
-Minnows, crayfish, and hellgrammites may be legally acquired by hand, legal seine and /or hook and line fishing with a current fishing license.
-Other methods of acquiring fish, such as shocking, gill netting, and trap netting, may only be done after approval of an Education or Scientific Collecting Permit.
Reptiles and Amphibians
-A propagating license must be requested from the Division of Wildlife within 10 days after taking possession of any native reptile or amphibian.
-With a propagating license, except for state endangered species, an Ohio resident may possess:
*Four total individuals of each wild-captured native reptile or amphibian from the approved "Wild-captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians" list in the Division of Wildlife publication Reptiles and Amphibians Licensing and Regulations.
*An unlimited number of animals captive produced or legally obtained from out of state, with proper documentation.
-All aquatic insects and state-listed threatened or endangered species of insects require an Education Permit, Scientific Collecting Permit, or a Letter Permit.
Native Deceased Animals and Animal Parts
-Hides of furbearers may only be legally acquired during hunting/trapping season.
-Hides may be bought at any time, though it is recommended that receipt of purchase be kept.
-Tanned hides may be possessed at any time.
*Carcasses may be taken if given a receipt from a wildlife officer.
*Sheds may be possessed at any time, no receipt needed.
Any other body part (skulls, skeletons, hides, feet, etc.) may only be kept with an Education Permit or a receipt from a wildlife officer.
*Whole birds may be legally taken during hunting season. Skeletons and skulls may be used from these birds.
*Non-migratory bird skeletons, skulls, feathers, nests and eggs that are found required no license or permit.
*Any part of a bird (whole, feathers, skull, talons, nest and eggs (broken or attached) require both an Education Permit and a Migratory Bird permit issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.