Are you a resident of New Jersey who wants to jump on the bandwagon of having an axolotl in their aquarium? Well, you’re out of luck, unfortunately!
Axolotls are small, goofy, and cute amphibians that are seeing a rapid decline in their population in the wild. The state of New Jersey, along with some other states in the U.S., such as California and Maine, has outlawed the possession of any axolotls at all.
In this article, I will explain why axolotls have been banned from the state of New Jersey, as well as what happens if you get caught with one.
Is it illegal to own an Axolotl in New Jersey?
It is indeed illegal under New Jersey state law to own, import, or export axolotls and tiger salamanders. You can apply for special permits in order to own one, but it is a long and expensive process. And if you get caught possessing one without a permit, the consequences can be quite harsh!
What other States are Axolotls illegal in?
In the U.S., it is illegal to own an axolotl in the following states:
And a legal permit is required in the following states:
- New Mexico
Can I have an Axolotl as a Pet in New Jersey? Can I get a permit for an Axolotl in New Jersey?
It is not legally permitted to have an axolotl as a pet in New Jersey. If you want to keep one, you must submit an application for both an Exotic Pet License and an Individual Hobby Permit to the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the State of New Jersey. However, the authorities are extremely strict, and do not issue permits to everyone.
Are Axolotls Endangered in New Jersey?
Axolotls are categorized as “critically endangered” in the state of New Jersey. According to the IUCN conservation index, they are an endangered species.
Why is it illegal to own an Axolotl in New Jersey (as well as some other states)?
Axolotls are illegal to own as pets in some states, which may be difficult for residents to understand. Keep in mind that these laws were established to provide justification.
Axolotls kept in captivity appear to experience significant genetic changes in the space of generations, to the point where they no longer resemble their wild counterparts. Axolotls cannot be bred and released into the wild because of this, which protects the species’ originality.
Additionally, axolotls pose a massive threat to the ecosystems of these states. The possibility of someone breeding axolotls in large numbers and releasing them into the wild exists, and the authorities are determined to prevent this from happening.
This is because axolotls have the ability to interbreed naturally with other species of salamanders, which might result in the extinction of threatened species. Due to the possibility of hybridization with the critically endangered Tiger salamander, axolotls are prohibited in New Jersey. Because of this, the tiger salamander might go extinct.
What are the Consequences of Illegally Owning an Axolotl in New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey has introduced civil fines ranging from $250 up to $5000, and criminal fines ranging from $5000 up to $50,000 a day, in addition to imprisonment.
The following is cited in the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act of 2020, primary citation: NJSA 23:2A-1 to 23:2A-1:16 Section f :
“A person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly violates any provision of P.L. 1973, c. 309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation, or to imprisonment, or both A person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly makes a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under any provision of P.L. 1973, c. 309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, or who falsifies, tampers with, or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly renders inaccurate, any monitoring device or method required to be maintained pursuant to P.L. 1973, c. 309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or any permit or order issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree, and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not more than $50,000 per day of violation, or to imprisonment, or both.”
It is quite unfortunate that you cannot keep an axolotl in your aquarium if you live in New Jersey! Well, not all things are meant to be had in life.
If you are really passionate about it, then you should maybe consider moving to a state that has easier rules for owning an axolotl.
No legal advice or suggestions regarding the ownership of axolotls in New Jersey or elsewhere are made in this article. It is crucial and imperative that you conduct your own research, draw your own conclusions, and get in touch with local authorities for more information about keeping pets in your state and with specific exotic species.