Maple Ridge veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton with a dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton with a dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Uptick in people buying illegal amphibians causing concern for B.C. vet

Without permits, he can only send them to zoos.

Asking Santa Claus for a frog or a spotted salamander for Christmas?

Maple Ridge veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton wants you to know the rules about which is legal and illegal to have in the province.

Recently, he responded to a person’s query on Facebook about axolotls, a type of salamander, and wants to remind people that they are illegal to own in the province without a permit.

He said a large number of amphibians are illegal to own including all of the toads as well as all of the salamanders in the Ambystoma family.

While they are not considered controlled alien species under the B.C. Wildlife Act, according to the B.C. SPCA, they are designated as wildlife, which means that ownership of axolotls and tree frogs are restricted. They cannot be kept, sold, bred, trafficked or transported without a permit.

One of the biggest concerns with axolotls imported from elsewhere, notes Walton, is that they contain a fungus that can severely damage native species in the province.

RELATED: Burmese python put on one-way flight to Toronto

Walton said that if water from an axolotl fish tank gets into the water supply the fungus in, it has the potential to kill the native frog population.

Another concern are tree frogs imported from overseas. Walton said they carry what is called a chytrid fungus.

While he has diagnosed chytrid only two or three times within the past couple of years, he said there are sensitive species in the province, such as the Pacific tree frog, that would be at risk if in contact with this fungus.

Walton said that, for the most part, axolotls go unreported. But when they are discovered, they end up at his Maple Ridge clinic, where he tries his best to re-home them.

However, he can only send them to places that have wildlife permits.

“The only place I can legally send these are zoos and zoos are not going to want these things,” he said, meaning his only other option is to euthanize them.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

A dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at roulette. (Simon Lau photo)
High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to cinematreasures.org by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read