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Some info: California Laws Regarding Reptiles and Amphibians

I doubt all salamanders are illegal in CA, specially considering you can take some directly from the wild.

(a) Only the following amphibians may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. No amphibians may be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.

(b) Limit: The limit for each of the species listed below is four, unless otherwise provided.
Limit, as used in this section, means daily bag and possession limit.


Salamanders


(1) Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus)

(2) Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa)

(3) Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile)

(4) Black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus): See Special Closure (f )(1)

(5) Clouded salamander (Aneides ferreus)

(6) Arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris)

(7) California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)

(8) Pacific slender salamander (Batrachoseps pacificus)
(The CDFW is using Batrachoseps pacificus in the older understanding of the name, which would make it the Garden Slender
Salamander - Batrachoseps major and not the Channel Islands Slender Salamander - Batrachoseps pacificus.)

(9) Dunn’s salamander (Plethodon dunni)

(10) Ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
 

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This is all I've seen in terms of amphibians you're not allowed to keep in private possession in California:

"(3) Class Amphibia - Frogs, Toads, Salamanders

(A) Family Bufonidae - Toads Bufo marinus, Bufo paracnemis, Bufo horribilis (Giant toad or marine toad group) and all other large toads from Mexico and Central and South America (D).

(B) Family Pipidae - Tongueless Toads All species of the Genus Xenopus (D)."

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_animals_state.php?s=ca
 

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This is all I've seen in terms of amphibians you're not allowed to keep in private possession in California:

"(3) Class Amphibia - Frogs, Toads, Salamanders

(A) Family Bufonidae - Toads Bufo marinus, Bufo paracnemis, Bufo horribilis (Giant toad or marine toad group) and all other large toads from Mexico and Central and South America (D).

(B) Family Pipidae - Tongueless Toads All species of the Genus Xenopus (D)."

State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals

Where is this text from?
 

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The link is at the bottom of my post.

I see the stuff about axolotls/ambystomas online from about 2008 but as far as other native and non-native species I can't find anything more recent specifically pertaining to salamanders, I think there are regulations regarding keeping any endangered species and I believe axolotls fall into that category...
 
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All non native ambystoma are illegal to transport into california or to own. With that being said ambystoma is a very very small portion of actual salamanders. You can still own native ambystoma species just not non native ones. If you like caudates I would recommend a newt as a pet. Sandfire Bearded Dragon ranch often has many different amazing species for sale. Kaiseri, and lots of different triturus are usually offered at every Super Show.
 

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All toads, aquatic turtles (except a very select few) and salamanders are illegal in Oregon as well. Washington is a little more lenient but not by much and if I'm not mistaken, salamanders are illegal there as well. The laws in all three states are so complexed and confusing that even the fish and wildlife have trouble knowing what can and cannot be kept. In true government fashion they make rules and then have other rules that negate some of the other rules, making for a complete cluster $uk of crap.

We get to thank all the nice people that let go their pets when they are done with them.
 

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All toads, aquatic turtles (except a very select few) and salamanders are illegal in Oregon as well. Washington is a little more lenient but not by much and if I'm not mistaken, salamanders are illegal there as well. The laws in all three states are so complexed and confusing that even the fish and wildlife have trouble knowing what can and cannot be kept. In true government fashion they make rules and then have other rules that negate some of the other rules, making for a complete cluster $uk of crap.

We get to thank all the nice people that let go their pets when they are done with them.
Yeah, these regulations suck. There is some reasoning behind some of the prohibited species (possibly invasive and such), but sometimes it's just a little excessive. If anyone is interested in what us poor Washingtonians have to go through, here is the ban list. WAC 220-12-090: Classification—Nonnative aquatic animal species.

John
 

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Aside from Taricha, I would probably say the salamanders of california probably don't make the best pets. This mostly coming from the fact you will never see them or requirements are difficult. I've kept a Dicamptodon for over 2 years now and I almost never see it.

Taricha would probably be funs since they will be bold likely because they know they are spur toxic.

Mike
 

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All non native ambystoma are illegal to transport into california or to own. With that being said ambystoma is a very very small portion of actual salamanders. You can still own native ambystoma species just not non native ones. If you like caudates I would recommend a newt as a pet. Sandfire Bearded Dragon ranch often has many different amazing species for sale. Kaiseri, and lots of different triturus are usually offered at every Super Show.
I believe native Amblystoma are illegal as well. Here is a direct quote regarding keeping amphibians in California and it make no distinction between native and non-native species. Some may also notice that it specifically says "tiger salamanders". This does not mean that other salamanders of the genus can be kept and others of the genus are still restricted (aka, marbled salamanders and axolotls) since scientific names take precedence over common names.

California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Excerpts
§671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of
Live Restricted Animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful to import, transport, or possess
alive animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under
permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game. Permits
may be issued by the department as specified herein and for
purposes designated in Section 671.1 subject to the conditions
and restrictions designated by the department. Except
for mammals listed in Fish and Game Code Section 3950 or
live aquatic animals requiring a permit pursuant to Fish and
Game Code Section 2271, no permit is required by this section
for any animal being imported, transported, or possessed
pursuant to any other permit issued by the department. Cities
and counties may also possession or require a permit for these
and any other species not requiring a state permit.
(b) The commission has determined the below listed animals
are not normally domesticated in this state. Mammals
listed to prevent the depletion of wild populations and to provide
for animal welfare are termed “welfare animals”, and are
designated by the letter “W”. Those species listed because
they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of
the state or to public health or safety are termed “detrimental
animals” and are designated by the letter “D”. The department
shall include the list of welfare and detrimental wild animals
as part of DFG MANUAL NO. 671 IMPORTATION, TRANSPORTATION
AND POSSESSION OF RESTRICTED SPECIES,
to be made available to all permittees and other interested
individuals.
(c) Restricted species include:
...
(3) Class Amphibia-Frogs, Toads, Salamanders
(A) Family Bufonidae-Toads Bufo marinus, Bufo paracnemis,
Bufo horribilis (Giant toad or marine toad
group) and all other large toads from Mexico and Central
and South America (D).
(B) Family Pipidae-Tongueless Toads
All species of the Genus Xenopus (D).
(C) Family Ambystomatidae-Mole Salamanders
All species of the genus Ambystoma (tiger
salamanders)

Aside from Taricha, I would probably say the salamanders of california probably don't make the best pets. This mostly coming from the fact you will never see them or requirements are difficult. I've kept a Dicamptodon for over 2 years now and I almost never see it.

Taricha would probably be funs since they will be bold likely because they know they are spur toxic.

Mike
Hey, don't forget Ensatinas! Those little guys are awesome! They are somewhat shy on average (some individuals can be quite bold!), but they're not skittish at all and their reproductive cycle is pretty cool. They do not have a larval phase and instead their eggs hatch as fully formed little salamanders. They do need to be kept very cool though, so that can be an issue in captivity. I also am not familiar with laws regarding the collection of native species in California so be sure to read up on your local regulations before collecting or even keeping any herps.

John
 

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All native species of pretty much anything in Oregon, Washington and California, I am pretty sure are illegal to keep within our own state and I know for sure salamanders are protected in California and Oregon as common as they are. We also share boarders so most of our natives we share to some degree. Most are not endangered but they also don't want them to become that way either I suppose, I guess the logging and building cities is better for them than a few in a tank "some laws are just plain "ass backwards". Just like in many states where box turtles are native it's illegal or restricted to keep them (depends on the state).
 

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It doesn't look like salamanders are illegal to keep in California except for native species. Native species are protected by a separate bill so I would stay away from them. All Axolotls are illegal in California as well. To make things harder not only does the fish and game have rules you have the forest service, local and state laws and all of them combined make for a very confusing mess lol.

You can call your local fish and game office to be sure and even then you don't always get the correct answer unfortunately. From what I read in the CA statute is it's just Toads, Axolotls and various fish, snakes and lizards that are restricted at the state level so just make sure it's not a native and you should be ok and since most the amazing color ones are not natives you should be ok. Sorry it's not a clear cut yes and no answer but the regulations are spread over many authorities so it's hard to nail it down concretely and things change quickly sometimes right under our nose.
 
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