Maryland's Invasive and Exotic Species

Department of Natural Resources Actions

  • 1994 – Maryland General Assembly passes measure to require the department to have nutria management plan
  • Rabies Emergency Act prevents importation of many mammals for which there is no approved rabies vaccine. The department expanded the list to include prohibition of pet trade of fox, skunk, raccoon, bear, alligators, crocodiles, any member of the cat family excluding domestic cats, and any poisonous snakes.
  • Maryland’s weed control law lists specific species that cannot be grown in the state.
  • Mute swan management, beginning in 2002
  • 2002 MDE passed regulations for the Port of Baltimore to encourage ocean-going ships to exchange their ballast in the open ocean to reduce odds of marine invasives being released in the harbor.
  • 2002 DNR given authority to prohibit importation, use, catching, or possessing a green crab, Japanese shore crab, and Chinese mitten crab.
  • Rusty crayfish regulations, banning possession of live specimens.
  • Community outreach and education about various species of concern:
    • Purple loosestrife
    • Phragmites
    • Wavyleaf basket grass
    • Mute swan
    • Water chestnut
    • Brown marmorated stink bug
    • Northern Snakehead