What Exactly is a “Protected Animal?
Orbis recently defined “protected” plants, but what are “protected” animals?
This question comes up frequently on social media. There are comments on animal photograph posts such as, “That species is endangered, call DNR!”
Some novice biologists may quickly identify animals as a rare or protected species, without having the proper training to identify those species. The public may learn about endangered species.
Maybe they saw a documentary or participated in a program which brought awareness to certain species.
Unfortunately, it can be confusing for the average person to know how an animal is protected. We are certainly not trying to discourage citizens who want to learn or have knowledge about protected wildlife!
The reality is the public are not explicitly wrong in saying any animal is protected. Even if those animals are not rare or unique, almost all wildlife species are protected or regulated in some way by state or federal law.
Check out the short article for a discussion of laws and regulations protecting animals, and an example of state-focused protection using Ohio’s wildlife laws and regulations.
Click here for the article.