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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.


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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
to be made available to all permittees and other interested
(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

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.

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.

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