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What state is best for collectors?

This is a discussion on What state is best for collectors? within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; What state has the most lenient laws on keeping Salamanders as pets? Or what state can I legally own the ...

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 18th April 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Question What state is best for collectors?

What state has the most lenient laws on keeping Salamanders as pets? Or what state can I legally own the most different types of species?

Without having to get fancy permits...

I'm in collage right now but plan to move when I am done. I am working on my degree in zoology w/ focus on Herpetology.

I want to breed Salamanders as a career and all ready have a small collection going for me (Axolotls, Chinese fire bellies, paddle tails, Central/eastern newts, smooth newts, and some spotted salamanders).

Some day after I get my degree and build up a healthy collection I wish to open an Aquarium that focuses on the breeding and conservation of salamanders. Specifically endangered species. If I have a degree it should be easier to get permits right?
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Old 19th April 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What state is best for collectors?

I think you'll need to be more concerned with local codes than state laws. Many states limit the amount of native species than can be kept because there is a lot of confusion out there about what causes declines (the reality is habitat destruction/degradation and sometimes disease causes it, but collectors have become the boogeymen by those without a lot of formal education on population management).

Local codes may limit the total number of pets kept per household. I suggest moving to a rural area or simply apply for an exemption as a registered business owner well in advance.

Furthermore, you'll need to be concerned about any applicable federal laws because an interstate ban would pretty much be the end of any amphibian related business you might seek to create unless you locate in a really large state. Such bans are being discussed now, and I think likely to pass.
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Old 19th April 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What state is best for collectors?

I'm not sure...but California has an awful lot of species with a good number left to describe, with a harvest which commonly allows small harvests of many species. Missouri and especially Arkansas have good diversity with most species allowed for collection by residents. There are states with more species, but I'd have to check to see how many species are completely protected in those states. Texas for instance has a majority of species under protection.
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Old 19th April 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What state is best for collectors?

The worst state for regulations would probably be N.J. It is illegal to keep any gilled salamander there. I'm not sure how they apply that law to larvae.

State and local laws and their interpretations change constantly. In general their are more regulations against keeping native U.S. species than keeping imported species. I'm in Pa. and work mostly with Asian, European, and Mexican salamanders. That keeps me out of the native species quagmire.
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