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naturewalk
02-27-2009, 12:43 AM
Greetings all. I am currently pondering getting a fimbriatus male to join my wild caught female. This female being the first w/c reptile I've ever obtained, I find myself feeling horrible about her "kidnapped" state, out of her beautiful rain forest. It really must have been paradise until some big mofo plucked her off a branch, through her in a tied up sack and shipped her a few thousand miles away where she ended up in relatively small glass enclosure. Please excuse my rambling. Anyway I just wanted to get some opinions from the big dogs just to see what you guys think about the whole mass importation of these fragile species. And for that matter herp importation as a whole. Especially focusing on some of the more delicate places such as Madagascar where countless species are being bagged, tagged, and taken to the butcher at the storeoooh

P.S sorry about that last line Im a Phish fan great song

jadrig
02-27-2009, 02:01 AM
Well, with comments like that, I doubt very much you own any reptiles... and will not give you the satisfaction of arguing with you and your thoughts...BUT...Reptiles are different than mammals and aves, they are more of a product of their environment i.e. the next step above roaches in the food chain. you take away the gecko, it replaces itself. you take away the trees, it does not matter if the gecko replaces itself. Harvesting geckos is not the problem or even A problem for that matter. Deforestation Is the only thing that will wipe out gecko populations.
Ok, Ill argue a little, I know its pointless, but whatever...
On a side note though, geckos in the wild have a real slim chance of making it to maturity. They are so low on the foodchain that there are way more things out to get them. I am sure that most geckos (>90%) get eaten by something else, even other geckos.
To you , most likely a stoner/acid tripper, the rainforest of madagascar is a peaceful slice of heaven, because you dont know anything about it, but to a gecko it is life or death every day. In the wild these animals are constantly about to die: bats, frogs, lemurs, snakes, geckos, chameleons, insects, cats. If geckos had a choice, they would clearly choose captivity, think about it.
I dont get mad at people like You, it is not your fault that you dont know about something and feel a certain way.

Andrew
02-27-2009, 03:00 AM
Well, with comments like that, I doubt very much you own any reptiles... and will not give you the satisfaction of arguing with you and your thoughts...BUT...Reptiles are different than mammals and aves, they are more of a product of their environment i.e. the next step above roaches in the food chain. you take away the gecko, it replaces itself. you take away the trees, it does not matter if the gecko replaces itself. Harvesting geckos is not the problem or even A problem for that matter. Deforestation Is the only thing that will wipe out gecko populations.
Ok, Ill argue a little, I know its pointless, but whatever...
On a side note though, geckos in the wild have a real slim chance of making it to maturity. They are so low on the foodchain that there are way more things out to get them. I am sure that most geckos (>90%) get eaten by something else, even other geckos.
To you , most likely a stoner/acid tripper, the rainforest of madagascar is a peaceful slice of heaven, because you dont know anything about it, but to a gecko it is life or death every day. In the wild these animals are constantly about to die: bats, frogs, lemurs, snakes, geckos, chameleons, insects, cats. If geckos had a choice, they would clearly choose captivity, think about it.
I dont get mad at people like You, it is not your fault that you dont know about something and feel a certain way.

Pretty much hit the nail on the head!

kapidolo
02-27-2009, 04:08 AM
On the other hand jadrig, massive imports are not a good thing. Uros are not reptiles for all herp enthusiastics!

Grep
02-27-2009, 04:17 AM
Hello naturewalk. I must say I partly agree with you. I am stricktly against mass imoprtation of any species (yes special the fragile ones). But I am also against the ban of importation. Majority of these animals die in first year. So if you look then what is alive after 1 year you will wonder. It is realy shame, but these is simply busines for many people. I am also against that some species are not allowed to be imported. Like Uroplatus in EU. It would be better if there would be small numbers of animals allowed to be imoprted then none, then these animals would cost more, the people who catch them and export would care better for them, also people who are realy intersted in them and would care good for them would buy them and not some impulsive buyer, and at the end there would be less ilegal imports.

If you have personal problem to buy single animals who was taken from wild then better do not buy it. Maybe then you will feel better. I realy meen it!
Because if you are thinking you will change something with not buying or buying WC animal, you will not change anything. These busines is too big ( sellers and buyers), the rules make poeple who are not thinking rational (I meen that gowerment agencies) and at the end there is big money involved that makes all these business big mess.

naturewalk
02-27-2009, 11:20 AM
hey thanks for your OPINIONS guys. I just wanted to get an idea what other reptile lovers thought. Grep I must say your probably right in the fact that the purchase of one wc animal really wouldnt make that big of difference. Now Jadrig and Andrew I guess I really hit a soft spot with you guys. I dont agree with importation of a species being banned at all, I simply was addressing a personal morality problem I had with mass importation. Wow ACID TRIPPER, STONER? That comment was childish and immature at best, but however we are all entitled to our own opinions. Forget it, back on subject. I will definitely consider these things while looking for my new fimbriatus male. Its just hard to find any cb fimbriatus what soever.

P.S. Very entertaining reply Jadrig:crackup:

cooper01
02-27-2009, 11:55 AM
Well, with comments like that, I doubt very much you own any reptiles... and will not give you the satisfaction of arguing with you and your thoughts...BUT...Reptiles are different than mammals and aves, they are more of a product of their environment i.e. the next step above roaches in the food chain. you take away the gecko, it replaces itself. you take away the trees, it does not matter if the gecko replaces itself. Harvesting geckos is not the problem or even A problem for that matter. Deforestation Is the only thing that will wipe out gecko populations.
Ok, Ill argue a little, I know its pointless, but whatever...
On a side note though, geckos in the wild have a real slim chance of making it to maturity. They are so low on the foodchain that there are way more things out to get them. I am sure that most geckos (>90%) get eaten by something else, even other geckos.
To you , most likely a stoner/acid tripper, the rainforest of madagascar is a peaceful slice of heaven, because you dont know anything about it, but to a gecko it is life or death every day. In the wild these animals are constantly about to die: bats, frogs, lemurs, snakes, geckos, chameleons, insects, cats. If geckos had a choice, they would clearly choose captivity, think about it.
I dont get mad at people like You, it is not your fault that you dont know about something and feel a certain way.

I'm very sorry to come at you like this, but only because you just attacked the original post as if they were stupid, (druggie). The ecological fact is that as with many organisms that fit within the second trophic level, we as zoologists don't ever know exactly what role they play. In fact, every species inhabits a slightly different trophic niche, if I may. The reality is that in places like Madagascar, we should NOT be indiscriminately collecting for a few reasons: first, there are only a few species that have been survayied adaquitly in order to establish a collection protocol. There are countless examples of collecting which ended up doing great harm to the ecosysem. All I'm saying is that you need to really do some research about what you are going to say before you bash a person that is new to the business, because people like me with a masters in zoology, ecology, and molecular biology will be here to chech you statments. If you think that I'm just a tool that thinks what I know everything, please PM me and we can talk about what ever you want.

P.S. Have a great Friday

Jody Ettema
02-27-2009, 12:16 PM
I think that it is a matter of how different one would consider captive bred compared to wild caught. As eventually all these (founder) animals are directly wild caught. What I mean is, that you can discuss, if it makes a diffrence if you have F1 or F10 from wild caught animals that they can be considered captive bred. You F1 from wild caught animals could have been wild animals if they would have born in the wild. People will sometimes immediately be happy with captive bred from wild caught animals, whilk they are potential wild animals. Nice disscussion..

Riverside Reptiles
02-27-2009, 12:35 PM
I'm very busy today and don't have time to weigh in on the whole wild caught issue right now (although I'd like to). Maybe tonight I'll have some time. But, I want to say in the mean time that people need to respect each other in this debate. Jadrig, some of your comments are completely inappropriate and will not be tolerated on this forum. Keep this an adult debate, or don't participate. That goes for everyone.

crestedtimm
02-27-2009, 12:58 PM
How is boycotting or not purchasing WC animals going to help anything? Unless the animals never leave Madagasgar, not purchasing these animals is the worst thing you can do.

What I mean is, at least the animals that are bought may have a chance, whearas if everyone refused to buy the animals, the face certain doom in the hands of the animal dealers.

Come on guys, I would love some opinions!

Timm

Jody Ettema
02-27-2009, 01:27 PM
How is boycotting or not purchasing WC animals going to help anything? Unless the animals never leave Madagasgar, not purchasing these animals is the worst thing you can do.

What I mean is, at least the animals that are bought may have a chance, whearas if everyone refused to buy the animals, the face certain doom in the hands of the animal dealers.

Come on guys, I would love some opinions!

Timm

I agree with you Tim, that it is better to have them in right hands, but I also think this is why there is still a lot of import and import will be stimulated. How do they call this in English, where there are people wanting something, there are always people wanting to sell it (there is probably a better sentence for this). I think that Grep has already pointed out that a solution would be limited import, with prices which are high enough for buyers to think twice before buying exclusive animals.

jadrig
02-27-2009, 01:46 PM
Oh, I was only joking about the stoner/acid tripper part...I thoght that would be funny in light of the phish reference, nuthin personal nature walker. I used to work for NCDENR/DWQ. All of the people that I worked with were "environmental" biologists and whenever I mentioned that i owned any animal besides a rescued cat or rescued dog, they would look at me like I was evil. They were all like the people from that show on animal planet Whale Hunters/Watchers or whatever.
Sorry if i insulted you naturewalker, it was kinda a joke, but other people were insulted i guess.

naturewalk
02-27-2009, 01:47 PM
Very enlightening thoughts. Thank god, no more personal attacks for my questioning this issue. Crestedtimm I do realize boycotting would be useless, especially on such a small scale. Honestly I will most likely end up acquiring a wc animal just for lack of sources on a cb one. But that being said I still wonder what the long term effects of this business will have on the uroplatus species in the wild as a whole.
Yes I am new to this particular species but have been collecting and studying reptiles since I was old enough to walk and plan on doing some for many years to come.

naturewalk
02-27-2009, 01:51 PM
Cool Jadrig sorry for the misunderstanding. Yes some of those activist are nuts.

jadrig
02-27-2009, 01:59 PM
Well, Henkels are obviously being limited (200animals per year out of Madagascar?). There are limits on some species. I know that the proper limits are not on every species, but atleast CITIES is doing something. My point was, as long as they are deforesting in Madagascar at the rate that they are, the collecting of geckos for export are a miniscule problem for the fauna.

Tariq Stark
03-01-2009, 08:27 AM
Here are my 2 cents. I agree with Jody and Grep and willing to take this a step further. It is about time to secure ex situ Uroplatus populations of any given species and register them for instance at the European Studbook Foundation. This may present some problems due to the taxonomic difficulties with this genus. But seriously, it is something we should think about. At the time I don't own any Uroplatus spp but have cared for them in the past. I'm willing to write a proposal for the ESF but some help from experienced breeders and enthusiast will be very helpful. On an other note, this would also be a good idea for Lygodactylus williamsi...

I feel strongly against mass imports but limited imports with the purpose to strengthen ex situ populations (assurance stock) should remain possible. I'd like to add that these wild caught specimens should form the base of a diverse and healthy gene pool (founders) or strengthen (as earlier mentioned) existing ex situ populations. In a studbook all these wild caught and captive bred specimens are registered as are breeders, breeders are actively helping to build up an assurance stock and hopefully contributing to conservation of in situ populations. Of course a studbook is not watertight but what if we do nothing? Madagascar's natural resources are being depleted at a high rate. Habitat loss but also (illegal) imports for our hobby. Remember the student of Pretoria who smuggled a lot of Malagasy animals? This is just one person who got caught... Time to take responsibility my friends.

Thanks for this discussion guys!

Tariq

DJreptile
03-04-2009, 08:26 PM
Normally I avoid threads on this subject like the plague as they tend to go downhill real quick. I'm impressed by the relatively civil tone that has been maintained. So now I'll throw my 2 cents into the ring. I'll warn you now this will be a long post.

So first off, let's talk survival rates. Most ecologists and field biologists I know estimate a %1-10 survival rate for reptiles to maturity. When I was In Costa Rica volunteering at a Sea Turtle research station the researchers told me when they have tagged babies leaving the beach they'll be lucky to get 3 from a single nest of 30-50 eggs surviving to adulthood and returning to reproduce. With many species of reptile their average captive lifespans are up to twice that of wild populations. Having worked in the pet industry here in the states for several years now, I have worked with a lot of wild caught animals and importers of said animals. A good herp person can minimum expect a %50 survival rate on wild caught animals, even notoriously delicate ones like Uroplatus, Tree Monitors, or some of the more interesting Asian Rat Snakes. With many species you can get a much higher rate with judicious use of antimicrobial medications and appropriate rest & recovery periods before sale. So, to all the people who cry for the poor little animals torn from their happy care-free existence in the paradise that is "the wild" I would reply in bringing animals into captivity we take them from a place where their odds of survival in the single digits and every moment of existence is a struggle get enough to eat and maybe have a few kids before they're eaten and with a little luck and care bring them to a place where their every need is seen to and they are able to lead lives free of the constant fear and struggle that is their everyday existence. Bottom line an animal, especially a young one, has better odds of living a long, healthy, productive life if it is taken in to captivity. Are there problems with captivity? Absolutely! When I was selling pets I always hated selling to folks I knew would not take proper care of their animals. Some of my best memories of working at the East Bay Vivarium are the times the owners backed me up when I refused to sell an animal to someone I didn't feel was going to take proper care of it. But that is a rare thing in the Pet Industry. Any good animal behaviorist will tell you what happens to an animal when it is kept in a cage too small with nothing to do: yes, animals can go crazy. It's painful to see. Want to change that? Donate to your local zoo. Give kids books on animal care as gifts instead of a new Barbie Doll. Support your local school so they can have animals in the classroom. Get your kid a pet! If I had my way every child would grow up with the experience of being responsible for the well-being of an animal. There are whole volumes of scientific literature on the positive impact such experiences have on children. Eliminating the capturing of animals from the wild will do NOTHING to improve the lot of animals in captivity. Is it wrong to cage any living being? Some would say so. Do animals have spirits/souls and an inherent right to the same dignity and respect we afford a human being? Some believe that to be the case, and I will defend to the death their right to believe that. The key here is those are people's opinions and beliefs. Everyone has a right to their own, and no one has the right to force theirs on another person. To me the bottom line is what can be supported by objective facts. All things being equal an animal taken from the wild and brought into a caring, well informed, well supplied captive situation has better odds of surviving longer, in better health, than an animal left in the wild. Everything else is opinion.

Told you this would be long. ;)

So, one aspect of the industry I never see brought up is what would the impact to the local people be if their country banned exportation of native wildlife? A lot of people make money from exporting animals. In most cases the wild animal pipeline is run by locals all the way to the airport. Local trappers, local transporters, local holding facilities, local exporters, local airports, local taxes being paid and in some cases local air carriers being used. That is a good chunk of money leaving some of the wealthiest countries in the world and entering the economies of some of the poorest. From a purely economic point of view animal exportation is a far better deal for the country exporting than most industrial manufacturing or extracting operations. Instead of an international company coming in and making ridiculous sums of money from cheap labor and special tax exemptions so their executives in other countries can get that new Jet they always wanted while putting little to no money in the hands of the workers or the local government the more of these animals that are sold the more money goes directly in to the hands of locals and through them in to the local economy. Additionally animal exportation give the local people and communities a direct, tangible reason to preserve the animals and their environment. Why clear the forest for pasture land when you can make just as much money with less effort and destruction by harvesting the forests natural products? What does the average Malagasy farmer care if a tiny little lizard requires old growth forest to survive? He needs to feed his family, and if he's really lucky maybe be able to send one or two of his kids to school. Heck, even for me it's a no brainer. If it came down to a choice of my family vs. a little lizard? Sorry scales, I got kids to feed. Wait, I can sell that little lizard and make more money than I would from clearing the forest for cropland? Get your filthy chainsaws away from my forest!! People need money and if we can create ways for them to make money by respecting the natural world and managing it's resources wisely then we do far more good than a hundred protests or rallies could ever do. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions but for me the bottom line is the exportation of animals does good things economically for the countries doing the exporting and, like a fishery, if managed properly can do more for the protection of a species than all the protests or angry letters in the world.

Well, I could keep going but I need a beer. Just my two cents, hope you enjoy reading it.

GaryCrain
03-05-2009, 07:26 AM
The day will come when you can only see these animals in private collections or zoos. You establish collections from mostly wild caught animals.

In another 50 years there will be almost no forest left over there.

cooper01
03-05-2009, 10:09 AM
So, one aspect of the industry I never see brought up is what would the impact to the local people be if their country banned exportation of native wildlife? A lot of people make money from exporting animals. In most cases the wild animal pipeline is run by locals all the way to the airport. Local trappers, local transporters, local holding facilities, local exporters, local airports, local taxes being paid and in some cases local air carriers being used. That is a good chunk of money leaving some of the wealthiest countries in the world and entering the economies of some of the poorest. From a purely economic point of view animal exportation is a far better deal for the country exporting than most industrial manufacturing or extracting operations. Instead of an international company coming in and making ridiculous sums of money from cheap labor and special tax exemptions so their executives in other countries can get that new Jet they always wanted while putting little to no money in the hands of the workers or the local government the more of these animals that are sold the more money goes directly in to the hands of locals and through them in to the local economy. Additionally animal exportation give the local people and communities a direct, tangible reason to preserve the animals and their environment. Why clear the forest for pasture land when you can make just as much money with less effort and destruction by harvesting the forests natural products? What does the average Malagasy farmer care if a tiny little lizard requires old growth forest to survive? He needs to feed his family, and if he's really lucky maybe be able to send one or two of his kids to school. Heck, even for me it's a no brainer. If it came down to a choice of my family vs. a little lizard? Sorry scales, I got kids to feed. Wait, I can sell that little lizard and make more money than I would from clearing the forest for cropland? Get your filthy chainsaws away from my forest!! People need money and if we can create ways for them to make money by respecting the natural world and managing it's resources wisely then we do far more good than a hundred protests or rallies could ever do. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions but for me the bottom line is the exportation of animals does good things economically for the countries doing the exporting and, like a fishery, if managed properly can do more for the protection of a species than all the protests or angry letters in the world.



I totally understand and agree that we should work on convincing local peoples that there is more to be gained from the forest than from the farm land that would replace it. The issue I have with what you are suggesting is that after just a few years, there will be no more wildlife for the locals to glean from forest. To propose a long term conservation program several compromises have to be met. First, the locals have to start making money through eco tourism. There is nothing like charging people hundreds of dollars to go walk through some primary forest. Second, there are several shade based cash crops that can be used as additional income for the locals. Coffee and others for example. Lastly, and only AFTER proper censusing of exportable fauna has been done, a program that tracks the number and type of animals taken. I would also like to agree with your post with respect to selling unprepared people animals which will almost surtanly die. This has to stop. There must be a paradigm change in the way we buy and sell animals, from dogs to aracnids. Hope that my post sounds reasonable. Thanks for reading it.

naturewalk
03-05-2009, 11:01 AM
Wow thanks so much for the in depth look on this issue. This really opens the eyes of a person like myself who collects a few different species you know not a big scale operation just a hobby. It would be great if their was some way to create a better incentive for these people stuck in lower economical statuses to manage this trade for the longterm benifit of themselves and the animals at stake. Life in the wild for these animals is no cake walk but at the same time it is the natural order of things. Now on the other hand this discussion has made me feel better about owning a wc animal. I just dont want to see the day when the only uroplatus you see is in someones collection and not in the wild. Although if deforrestation continues at the rate its going now this possibility may not be as far off as we think.

crestedtimm
03-07-2009, 01:29 AM
This has turned into quite the thread!

I have heard some people refer to the idea of boycotting WC animals the same way vegetatians (not to start that discussion) refer to the idea of eating meat: if everyone stopped BUYING, the demand goes away.

I dont want the animals at holding facilities to suffer because some extremist convinced them that it is now wrong, in the year of our gecko,:biggrin: 2009, that buying wc animals is now wrong. Mybe importing them at the quantities is wrong, but doing our part for the ones that continue to be imported is the only solution at this point. I would not yet have had the oppourtunity to work with the animals that I have, had such stern regulations been enacted, and I am grateful. There are steps that need to be taken but they must take place first in the country of origin.

I, much like the rest of you, would like to be able to world travel and see all of these wonderful aniamls in situ, but unless sustainable practices are put into place and you get the indigenous people to embrace them so they can make a living rather than chopping down all the trees in Madagasgar, S.America, and even the U.S where we are intent on paving the whole world, we may not get too...

I very much appreciate all of the interesting posts on this topic, and look forward to more.

Timmm