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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Intentional Introductions

An introduced species is a nonnative or non-indigenous species. This means the species is living outside its native distributional range and was moved to the new location either accidentally or deliberately by human activity. Many agricultural and horticultural plants fall into this category, as do most pets. However, some introduced species are harmful to the environment, economy or to human health. These types of organisms warrant the label “Invasive species.”

In Alaska, it is illegal to possess, import, release, or export live game animals as pets, and all pets and livestock are nonnative species. However, not all nonnative animals can legally be brought into the state: A “clean list” of exotic species has been approved by the Alaska Board of Game, and only those animals may be imported as pets or livestock; different rules apply for fish (legally defined to include invertebrates and amphibians). Learn more about Alaska’s rules on pets and livestock, and why they were created.

Fish and wildlife managers sometimes purposefully transport members of a species from a location where it is native, to another geographic area, including elsewhere in Alaska. This is done to provide increased opportunities for harvest or recreation, or to maintain or restore the biological diversity of an area. These intentional introductions are called wildlife “transplants” – or, in the case of fish, the activity is called “stocking.”

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