Well, even though axolotls breed readily, the hundreds of thousands of axolotls all over the world with hobby people and researchers are often hybrids between axolotl tiger salamanders and other neonate salamanders in Mexico where are also just are rare as axolotl. The pet axolotl is fasioned from humans and it is very distinct from their wild ancestors. It is not as easy of a solution as one may think. Also, many native people eat them and are used in traditional medice. Mexico needs some habitat clean up and education. There are a few institutions preserving their habitat and breeding local axolotl and educating the public.
Axolotls are not illegal to have in california. You just cannot import/export them out of the state. But i think that was already stated. beleive Niles Biological is located in California and i know California people who bought some axolotls from there, if anyone cannot find a breeder. My goodness, 70 bucks is the steepest prict I have ever seen for an axolotl. Seriously, if you really want axolotl, people on caudata.org forums always have some for sale all over the world.
I am glad to see the ban on using "water dogs" as bait in CA.
Here are some other amphibian pics, a Taricha Granulosa in a quarantine, a Patchytriton, and 2 colour varieties of axolotl, golden albino, "wild-type", and leutistic.
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