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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

The University of the Fraser Valley Peace and Reconciliation Centre
UFV students hold online forum on peace and reconciliation

Two online sessions on Feb. 25 include student research

A new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford will include shared kitchen space that can be accessed by small and medium-sized businesses. (Stock photo by Robyn Wright from Pixabay)
Almost $2M to support new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford

Project being developed by District of Mission and Mission Community Skills Centre

....
Dao Tran declares for Abbotsford byelection

Abby Bike Shop owner announces his bid for vacant councillor seat

....
Abbotsford’s Tanya Loewen advances to quarterfinal round of Inked cover girl search

Van Bree Tattoo artist can advance to the semi-final round with a win, voting runs till Thursday

Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked at The Book Man, poses for a photo on Sept. 7, 2017. He died on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Famous Chilliwack bookstore cat, Nietzsche, dies

‘Every single thing you could want in a cat, Nietzsche embodied,’ says Amber Price

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

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

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read