Local News


Commercial collection of reptiles banned in Nevada

Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 25, 2017

Some people lost their jobs for the sake of Nevada's wildlife this past weekend.

The Nevada Board of Wildlife commissioners voted to stop people from collecting reptiles and selling them in the state of Nevada. This decision took hours to make.

For some, it means the end to a way of life.

"They had a good chance over 30 years to do the right thing and to make this the best ever and they dropped the ball, every angle they dropped the ball," said Robert Bentz, a commercial reptile collector.

Others who attended Saturday's meeting wanted to do everything possible to protect the reptiles.

"One of the women that spoke said 'You know once you do a ban you can never go back.' That's not true, but once something is extinct you absolutely can never go back," said Jennifer Taylor, a Clark County resident.

Most agree that Nevada's reptile population is dwindling. Some think feral cats and rampant housing development play a much bigger role in that than commercial collectors.

"We feel like ... Collectors in the state have no major impact when you look at the bigger picture," said Chip Rougeaux, the project coordinators for Nevada Sportsmens Unlimited.

There was talk of a compromise rather than a total ban. That was shot down.

"It would be much easier to enforce a ban than to enforce limits," said Patrick Donnelly, the Nevada state director for the Center for Biological Diversity.