Fertility?

prettykttkat

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Hi, I am new to owning Tiger salamanders. I have caught them in the wild as a kid but never kept one as a pet. I know the basic care and diet and so far it seems very easy to care for them. I was given 4 wild caught Tiger salamanders in hopes that one day I might be able to breed them and the babies be able to be released into the wild in areas of Colorado where their numbers are declining. 1 Tiger salamander is a Barred and the other 3 look to be a cross between a Barred and a Blotched Tiger salamander. The Barred looks to be an adult male and the other three I think are females and are smaller. I'm not sure if they are smaller because they are young or because the Blotched Tiger is smaller which would make them not grow as large as a full blooded Barred Tiger salamander. So my question is this, because the 3 smaller salamanders are a cross of two subspecies are they fertile and able to reproduce? I know that some species of animals are not fertile if they are offspring from two different subspecies. Some, like Whiptail lizards become parthenogenic as a result instead of being infertile. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for replies in advance:)
 

Kurt

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What ever you do, do not release any barred tiger salamanders into the wild, they are not native to your state. Also F&W generally don't like people breeding and releasing animals, even if they are native.
 

Kaysie

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1. Subspecies crosses are not infertile. It's species crosses (and that's not always true either).

2. Like Kurt said, it's a REALLY bad idea to release animals into the wild. It's usually illegal, and unless you have the appropriate quarantine measures (which most zoos don't even have), you can introduce pathogens which can wipe out entire populations. It's REALLY REALLY bad to release non-native species into the wild.

3. Less than a dozen people in the world have EVER bred tiger salamanders. They're EXTREMELY difficult to breed in captivity.
 

Jennewt

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As the others mentioned, I don't think you need to worry about any possibility that they will breed, regardless of what subspecies they are. Unless you can set up a large outdoor enclosure that is safe from serious freezing, there is virtually no chance that they will breed in captivity. And I think you'll agree that any effort to breed a species and release them into the wild should be done with the approval of your local fish and game authorities. There are fairly strict conditions that must be met in order for such an effort to be beneficial, rather than detrimental, to wild populations, so any such project should have professional oversight.

So... enjoy your new pets! They can live for many, many years, and they are very endearing.
 

prettykttkat

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I guess I should have explained more about the situation. These salamanders are all from the wild in my area and are native here in my state. They were given to me by a reptile rescue I work for that also works with native wildlife. They have outdoor ponds but they are inhabited by rescued turtles who would eat the salamanders so that's why they were brought to me. The numbers of tiger salamanders are declining in certain areas of colorado so when they rescued these from kids who caught them in their back yard (at two different locations) they decided to try a breeding project to help this species. It is illegal to own native wildlife in this state unless you are a zoo or a licensed rescue/rehab center for native wildlife. Ordinarily they would have been released back into the wild after making sure they were healthy and uninjured.

Good to know that sub species mixes are able to breed. Thanks for the info. If you would like to see where they are native go to this link http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_tigrinum.shtml

It also has pictures of the mixed sub species that I have of the Blotched and Barred tiger salamanders. It was very helpful because I did not know what they were till I saw these pics and found that they look exactly like the ones I have and that they came from the same area.
 

Jennewt

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I did understand that they were native animals. There is virtually no chance that they will breed. I don't know of anyone in the USA who has bred any of the tiger sal subspecies, so this gives you some idea of the chances of it happening. (And I've been following forums like this for many years.) The people who have bred them have used outdoor pond-type setups. Thus, if you are not permitted to keep them as pets, I would advise your reptile rescue organization that they should go ahead with releasing them.
 

Kaysie

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Even if you were to breed them, why would you cross-breed subspecies and muddy the genetic lines? If the species are so imperiled, why dilute the genetics? That's not going to help the situation.
 

prettykttkat

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They will be going outdoors in an enclosure set up and built just for them. I understand this is the best way, the natural way to breed them. If the mixed sub species occurs naturally in the wild it is not considered "muddying the blood lines". I do not understand the adversity in trying to create a breeding program to help a species whose wild numbers are declining. I would think those who like this species would be more supportive. I am surprised.

It is only illegal to own native species if you are not a zoo or a licensed rescue/rehab center for native wildlife. I work with the only non profit licensed 501c3 reptile/amphibian/invert rescue in this state. The rescue is run by a herpetologist and his wife and has been around for over 10 years. They have many projects but nothing for the Tiger salamander until now because of the decrease in wild populations. It's not like captive/pet animals can be released so that is why it's important to try and use the rescued wild salamanders in a breeding program. I think you can understand how that would make sense:happy:
 

BarTigerSal

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I have a question. How do you know if the eggs are fertile ? I rescued a Tiger Salamander that was out during a snow storm, I live in Falcon Colorado. During the middle of their mating season here, I read that female Tiger Salamanders have the capability of storing their mates sperm until conditions are right then lay fertile eggs. Now my Salamander has laid 25 eggs, should I be surprised ? What do I do with the eggs ?:confused:
 
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