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What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

This is a discussion on What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma within the Mole Salamanders but not tigers or axolotls (Ambystomatids) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; After sending an email to California Fish and Wildlife about them having a regulation saying genus ambystoma (tiger salamanders) were ...

Mole Salamanders but not tigers or axolotls (Ambystomatids) These large-mouthed, burrowing salamanders are indigenous to Central and North America.

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Old 9th April 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

After sending an email to California Fish and Wildlife about them having a regulation saying genus ambystoma (tiger salamanders) were banned, yet having a regulation saying you can collect northwestern salamanders. This is the response:

Hello:

I made inquiry to the Department regarding clarification of CA Code of Regulations/Title 14 section 671 (restriction of the genus:Ambystoma)

I was given the following response:

It doesn’t restrict all members of Ambystoma, which are called “mole salamanders” as a group. The regulation specifically says “Genus Ambystoma (tiger salamanders).” Only a fraction of Ambystoma spp. are considered tiger salamanders.

In summation, the restriction is only for those classified as “Tiger Salamanders”.

Sorry for the confusion.



Liz Orme
CA Department of Fish & Wildlife
Law Enforcement Division
(916) 717-9064


My question is, which Salamanders in the genus ambystoma are not classified as Tiger salamanders?



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Old 10th April 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

Most are not. I believe it's just A. californiense, A. tigrinum, A. mavortium, and A. velasci that are. However, that regulation seems sort of badly-defined...



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Old 10th April 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

What? That means it is legal to keep other Ambystoma? That are not considered tiger salamanders??? I'm more confused than ever now.



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Old 10th April 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

Yes, I think that's exactly what the law is saying. In California, the only native tiger salamander species is A. californiense, which is vulnerable according to the IUCN, which is presumably why that's the only illegal one to collect.



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Old 11th April 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

North of Mexico, there are three species of tiger. These are the eastern tiger, Ambystoma tigrinum, the western tiger, Ambystoma mavortium, and the California tiger, Ambystoma californiense. One undescribed species is currently included in A.mavortium, and two in A.californiense. In Mexico, basically all Ambystoma could be considered tigers, since they're all related to A.mavortium, and more distantly to A.californiense and A.tigrinum. However, there is no rule dictating how common names are assigned, and most Mexican species are not called "tiger", in English or Spanish. Since common names are not dictated by science, you probably don't have to worry about the few Mexican species which are available.



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Old 11th April 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

The way the regulation is written is ambiguous. The interpretation of the regulation is up to the one enforcing it. In Penna. reptile keepers got into trouble when a new person took over enforcement for fish and boat and interpreted our old regulations in a new way.

That is the way many state enforcement agencies work. Common names should just be used as references. I'd find it hard to say what a tiger salamander is. My interpretation changed when classification changed. If it isn't Ambystoma tigrinum or a subspecies of A. tigrinum I'm not sure if it is a tiger or not.



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Old 11th April 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

I feel like I should also point out that A.mexicanum is an illegal species in California as well, even though I think you all know that



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Old 12th April 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

Ambystoma gracile are listed in the CFW 2016 fishing regulations as one of the amphibian species legal for collection. The complete list can be found here:

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.a...=117095&inline

The response you got is consistent with the current fishing regs. These are regarded as separate from the general ban on non-native Ambystoma which have all been illegal to possess for almost 10 years.

Any species not on this list is illegal to collect. Every year they remove a few new ones. In 2014 T. rivularis & T. torosa were removed and I would expect A. flavipunctatus to be removed in the next few years. Having A. californiense be illegal to collect feels pretty obvious since all populations are either classified as threatened or endangered. I've never found A. gracile but from what I understand they are fairly common along the North Coast of CA.



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Old 12th April 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

Perry I emailed them saying I was confused about them saying ambystoma were illegal but then saying you could collect northwestern salamanders and I got this replie



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Old 13th April 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What salamanders are not classified as tiger salamanders in the genus ambystoma

I totally agree with you Perry, species are getting removed fast. It is a shame to see Taricha torosa illegal to collect; there are many healthy populations where collecting would be fine; but many unhealthy ones as well.



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