Legal trading of wild caught reptiles

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by mje772003, Mar 29, 2014.

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  1. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    I joined this thread because I thought it was interesting. But it no longer feels like a conversation, and I will not be continuing the discussion. If you feel like anyone is being hostile or obstinant, maybe you should consider how your posts look to us? If you considered your posts for a little longer before posting them, we all might feel a little less insulted and you might explain your case clearly enough that you didn't sound like you were spouting opinion without bothering to back it up. No one appreciates being told that they are ignoring the scientific facts when all you've produced is here say and anecdotes.
     
  2. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Sustainable wild collection of reptiles is just that- sustainable. Let's get serious more reptiles are killed on the roads in one year than could be collected for the Australian market in 30. There just isn't a market for that many reptiles here and captive bred supplies the majority of it.

    There will always be keepers who will do their best to keep lines pure and as close to wild type as possible and these are the ones who are most likely to purchase a wild caught animal. Generally not your average hobbyist unless you live in WA. Why? Because someone who just wants a pet snake is not going to pay the extra or go through the sometimes hassle of getting it feeding on unfamiliar prey in captivity. Neither will most hybrid breeders because they are looking for known, heritable traits in most cases unless it is an unusual wild caught specimen eg albino Darwin's.

    Maybe you have a point Sean in that the gene pool in captive populations could become weaker leading to higher predation, deformities whatever if they were ever to be introduced back into the wild.

    Personally I don't see that as a major problem because all you need is a couple to survive to breed and you will soon be back to a wild population that looks and acts exactly as their wild ancestors.

    Why? Because the same pressures that cause them to look and act the way they do will bring you right back to the same result.
     
  3. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    I guess its not a problem then. We'll have bluetongues and water dragons for years to come. I guess the environment doesnt matter and Green tree pythons will thrive in our postage stamp backyards of the future.
    I guess all that can be said to anyone that does care about the wellbeing of native species is...... enjoy them while you can, no one else cares or is concerned enough to admit anything, nor see any sense, nor take any responsibilty for the future.


    At least when the time comes, some of the few who can see past their own rubbish can say 'I told you so'.
    Not that itll do any wildlife any good whatsoever.
     
  4. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

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    Sean_L , you can hardly keep insisting that your opinions are scientifically based and then dance around it and become combative when you are asked to prove your claims. You've already admitted to not being qualified in any kind of environmental, biological or zoological sciences, you've not conducted controlled studies or research and your observations are all your own casual observations while undertaking a personal hobby (not objective).


    As for the insistence that wild taking reptiles will cause the extinction of entire populations, that's simply not true.
    The concept of population yield has already been explained in this thread. Also relevant is the fact that the permits to wild collect aren't just handed out to any applicant, there are limits.

    You seem to be very passionate about conservation, which is great, but the focus needs to be on the real proven issues our environment faces and not on bashing any practice you personally disagree with.
     
  5. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    Unfortunately the poachers/smugglers aren't trying to sell Australian snakes to Australians. They're exporting illegally and in such a way as not every animal survives the journey. It makes me sad. I don't know to what extent it happens in Australia (if we did know, we'd probably know how to stop it), but ANY illegal import/export is too much. Seriously, all those people who think battery hens are bad... they should see what it takes to smuggle reptiles.

    That said, there are so many people out there who are responsible about where and when they catch wild animals that I think it would be a shame to deprive them of the privilege.
     
  6. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    It is the licensed people who take from the wild that are responsible and those that are doing it illegally that aren't. The same happens with guns, the people who go and get a license do the right thing and it those without licenses and illegal guns that shoot people.
     
  7. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    . image.jpg
    This wild olive tried to eat my phone while I was taking a picture. No strike, no coiling just casually reached out, opened its mouth and tried to eat my phone. So not all wild snakes smash and grab every time.

    My Neighbour has a video of it trying to eat my phone. I couldn't take a picture as I was trying to keep my phone.

    By the way that bulge in it is my neighbors sock that he had shoved in his boots outside his room. Obviously liked the smell although I can't confirm if it struck and coiled as it was already in it's stomach by the time we found it.
     
  8. PilbaraPythons

    PilbaraPythons Very Well-Known Member

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    Getting back to the flavor of the thread somewhat, I would just like to point out to those few who have delusional ideas that our wild herps are greatly under threat from legal collecting that the demand and the ability to supply dictates its price eventually. As more and more people breed the species legally able to be collected the less lucrative and desirable that practice of collecting becomes.
    This means that the practice of collecting undoubtedly becomes self regulatory in regards to numbers collected. Licensed takers records in W.A have clearly shown this. While there are still a couple of cowboys out there that over estimate the demand and over collect at times, they will soon quickly learn the hard way when they reach their limit in time and money maintaining reptiles they can’t sell.
     
  9. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Haha. Im amazed how many people get the wrong end of the stick. At no point have I said anything regarding taking wild reptiles and its relationship to their extinction.

    The only point Ive tried to make this entire time is this:

    The unmanaged breeding of captive species leads to genetic degredation in any given species (eventually, it takes time) and results in an animal that is no longer worthy of it species name, and very likely, would be unable to continue the survival of its species (without the help of wild animals in the same range). All reptiles (except for bluetongues it seems) will one day be a risk from evironmental impact and climate change, etc, as the habitat in the most vile of modern cities (brisbane is very young) is not conducive to the survival of many (if any) reptile species. As such, Im stating that as keepers of reptiles we have an opportunity (if not responsibility) to maintain these species as they are in the wild (not through continued wild collection however, I dont know why people keep assuming that) so that when they no longer exist in the wild, theyll be preserved in captivity in their full, natural glory.

    I dont see why thats so hard to accept. People dont seem to be able to see beyond the next 10 years of their life.

    Where is my evidence?


    Wont be able to continue the survival of its species.....

    All of the species that are hybridised in captivity now and would not survive because of their colouration and neurological defects. This can happen to any species without management.

    Will one day be at risk......

    The many species that are now extinct as a direct result of human impact.

    The continually growing list of threatened species and the ever encroaching human 'habitat'.

    Not conducive to the survival of reptile species.....

    Do I really need to provide evidence of this. Could you really see a knob-tail living in a city. Or a mangrove monitor surviving at surfer's. Im afraid very few species are capable of surviving in suburbia, and even those few will find it hard (not possible) once our level of development starts to reach that of other more establish foreign countries.
    Maybe youre happy with a handful of species remaining in the 'country of the reptiles'. Im not. But thats just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  10. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Hey you brought up the blue tongues Sean I was just showing that they probably will be around in suburbia because historically they have been not too far from where you are and in an area of Brisbane that has probably had the longest European settlement. Is 70 years a long enough case study?

    Of course there are going to be examples of species that can't survive in suburbia. The large elapids in my local area are a classic example. But it's not all doom and gloom was the point I was trying to make. Reptiles are resilient to a point. It's highly unlikely that suburbia is going to pop up in the iron ranges so I think green tree pythons are safe from that pressure for now. The same can't be said for all species.

    and who says I don't care? I do take responsibility. Probably more than most. My background is in environmental science. Did you even think to wonder why I have so many species on my property? Why I am even aware they are there?

    Its because I have made it suitable for a range of species to live and have encouraged my neighbors to do the same. It's because my kids will never own a cat. My neighbors will probably never own a cat because of what I have shown them and the results they have seen with no cats around. If they see a whip snake or green tree in their yard they don't run for the shovel anymore. They call me and say " cool look what we found in the garden today".

    Aside from my day job I also work for a friend who is a wildlife demonstrator. Educating people on wildlife identification, fauna and venomous snake handling, ways to encourage wildlife to their yards, benefits of attracting wildlife to their yards, just letting people know what is out there and trying to interest them etc.

    My captive collection is predominantly of species no one else bothers with. I keep a range of small, non descript skinks, geckos that are too fiddly for others to bother with and small dragons you won't see advertised for sale. You won't find a crossbreed or designer mutation in my collection.

    oh and I rarely sell anything I breed. Most is given away to people who I know will try and keep a viable population of that species in captivity.

    So yes I do put my money where my mouth is and do a lot more than just talk about it. I do take responsibility where I can.
     
  11. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Well Sean, we are all well versed in what your opinion is now.

    The problem is that you don't know what is actually happening out there in the 'hobby'. I tell you now that there is quite a few dedicated 'purists' who are doing exactly what you dream of.
    Details will never be given by these people on a forum like this, they don't want negativity. But they are some very experienced herpers and continuation of species is important to many of them.
    Instead of getting on your soap box and making a fool of yourself, maybe you could spend your time in more worthwhile pursuits that actually go towards acheiving whatever change it is that you think is so necessary. Heres some hints.... if you want change, then be the change.
    And, if you seriously want to make a real change to the world and the animals that in it then you had better get very,very wealthy. With real wealth, comes the ability to facilitate real change to the way things are done. The only person/conservationist I have seen who has had the ability to reach this level was Steve Irwin. He attained the point of monetary wealth that enabled him to buy up large tracts of habitat and return it to its natural state, as well as facilitate much research on lessor known animals etc,etc. His early death stopped a juggernaut of conservation change in its tracks. He hit a level where he was reaching into millions of minds, especially kids and showing it was cool to love the animals.

    Everyone else has to be satisfied with what they can do, but at least if you feel that strong, DO SOMETHING, because whinging and moaning that your the only one that has the intelligence to look into a crystal ball and see nothing but crap, is as soul-less as the future you see.
     
  12. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    By the way I do agree with many of your points Sean just not necessarily the way you are trying to make them.
    What's happening to the environment will have far more effect on wildlife than any population of captive animals or collecting under permit.
     
  13. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Thats great to hear butters. If you feel so strongly about conservation also, why deny the problem? That makes no sense to me.

    Im not trying to change the world cement. I cant achieve that. Maybe with a lot of bullets I could affect a small change, but beyond that I dont have and will never have the means. But if I can make one, only one person stop and think, holy crap, maybe one day there will be no wildlife, then Ive achieved something.
    Your opinion, nothing more also, that the future isnt so bleak, is wrong Im afraid. Plain and simple. It will be damn bleak. Theres no sense denying it. But theres sense in accepting it and maybe doing a little preparation instead of sitting back and feeling secure because 'right now' its not so bad.

    Tell any conservationist there wont be an issue, that she'll be right mate and youll either be laughed at or slapped.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I understand that mate. Really. I think my point has just been lost because its not on topic.


    All Im after is for someone to say, yes, I agree that reptiles in Australia will eventaully come under dire threat from human expansion in the future. I just want that fact to be accepted.
    Once its accepted it can be worked on. Until then, denying it by saying that itll be ok because some animals already manage to live in suburbia doesnt achieve anything useful. The suburbia of tomorrow wont look like your backyard right now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  14. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

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    That's not evidence, those are part sentences that could have come from anywhere.... Show your sources!

    I don't think it's others getting the wrong idea, I think it's you not making any sense! It really is becoming hard to follow what you are trying to convey post to post.

    You stated earlier in the thread that you were only for wild collection for the purpose of obtaining pure lines of species to bank for the reptile apocalypse (as foretold by yourself), or words to that effect. You then go on in your last post to insist you said nothing about wild taking.... You are treading very close to the line of making people really upset with your insinuation that you, alone, are the only one here that cares for wildlife.

    My opinion here is, if there is no commercial value on a species then there will be no concern by the wider public to conserve it. Being that this thread is about reptiles that are popular in the pet trade, you are barking up the wrong tree. I think you're looking for the 'I hate cross breeds because one day we should play god and repopulate the earth with our pet stock' thread...
     
  15. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Haha. I think youre pretty close there on a few things. Its hard to make coherent points while concurrently defending your point from blatant denial. I think the 'reptile apocalypse' should be changed to repocalypse, because its much catchier. Itll make it easier to talk about when the time actually comes. If youre denying the real threat to native species worldwide, maybe you should turn on a doco some time. Any one of them will do.

    I am for the limited collection of species not already in captive collections. I am not for the continual collection for the purposes of profit. That hasnt changed. At all.

    Im not saying that no-one else cares for wildlife. Im saying that no-one else seems responsible enough to admit that there will be a real problem in the future. Almost any species thats currently extinct could potentially have been saved if people had stopped and taken that responsibility and took action. Most importantly, if theyd accepted that the problem will occur. If theyd had some foresight. I dont see why anyone needs anymore evidence that ignorance leads to extinction. Take ANY (well almost any) extinct animal that has come in contact with humans

    Your last comment sums it up though. In general, people dont care. They like their pets and arent interested in wildlife or its well being unless they have a slice or make some dough. Your paraphrased words, not mine.
     
  16. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

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    Nobody is arguing that conservation isn't an issue, and you're certainly incorrect to assume that of myself (or that I have no knowledge of such).

    Your agenda is clear and the cause you are trying to represent is worthy, but suggesting that everyone but yourself is either an idiot, in denial, or an uncaring and selfish being is no way to further any cause.

    As I said before, you've got the wrong audience and platform here for your agenda.
     
  17. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Perhaps you are correct. I mistakenly assumed that a reptile forum would be more interested in the conservation of wild reptiles. But youre right about people in general. If there was a real concern for conservation, the word conservation wouldnt even exist, it would just be fair and sustainable 'life'.
    Its hard to share my 'agenda' as you put it. I could easily go to a forum about conservation, which Im sure exists, but everyone there already feels the way I do. Theres no point in reaffirming what we'd all already accept.
    The point of telling people who dont already accept something, is so that they will hopefully come to accept it. Its about enlightening people who, as youve already agreed, arent interested in things that should be considered important.
    Maybe they just dont see it as something worth worrying about. We already have pet reptiles, why do we need wild ones?

    In some ways I guess this is true and perhaps the collection of wild reptiles will cease altogether when the market decides they arent even interested in anything that isnt designer.
    I guess I hope that those few that have already come forward and explained that they do care about the purity of native wildlife are still around when the time comes. I just wish these people would openly join the cause, I guess.
     
  18. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Sean I am not denying that there hasn't been, is or will be a problem. I was only commenting on specific examples you had made. I also don't believe that in 20, 50, 100, 500 years time there will be no reptiles in Australia. Just because Australia is not as "old" as other communities doesn't mean that we will ultimately be just like them. We have a lot of natural barriers and limits on some resources that will limit what can and will happen here as well as the chance to learn from others mistakes. Australia is a very big country and we really just cling to the edges. It's the critters in these edges that should be at threat.

    Historically though it has been the critters in the least populated areas that have been the hardest hit in terms of extinction since European settlement. Many of those were not from what we did but what we brought with us. We have learnt somewhat from those examples and have some of the strictest import legislation in the world. We don't police that legislation well enough but that's a whole different topic.

    its a bit of a catch 22 really. In order to protect suitable habitat we need to develop more high density housing which in turn limits the native species that can live in those areas whilst saving other areas. At the same time low density housing with large yards and gardens can encourage many native species to move in. My area is a classic example. Which is the better model to ensure the continued survival of local species? It's not as simple as it sounds.

    With increase in high density housing comes a greater reliance on farmed produce etc as you have little room to grow your own. Which in turn puts pressure on outlying areas. Intensive farming areas typically having lower species diversity than less intensively farmed areas but to limit the impact footprint wouldn't you go intensive? So you are simply moving the problem from suburbia to the country.

    Im not denying there is a problem but I do try to tackle it in my own little way in the means that I can. One of those is education, another is to make the one little area I have the most control over as suitable as possible for locally occurring species. Everyone can do this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was really talking about the legal australian market. Even if there was no legal market in Australia the illegal poaching and smuggling would probably occur. Reptile keeping has really only been allowed in WA for a short period of time and yet there are WA endemics that have been available overseas for longer than they have been available here. Hell they have species we can't even keep here and have had them for a while. Smuggling will occur without a domestic reptile hobby regardless.
     
  19. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    A very well thought out and compelling post. And I agree with it.

    I dont agree that the world wont change more dramatically than you could ever have predicted, and so Ill agree to diagree with your greater than half millennium estimate, but thats ok, neither of us will ever know.

    Im glad that youre doing your part, I really am. What I would like is more people to do what youre already doing. Im unaware of any other way of getting people to act other than calling them an idiot for not acting.
    Attenborough and Irwin have tried for years to tell people nicely that they need to wake up. Although a larger portion of the public now undertand the issue, the population of the world grows so quickly that this educated portion pails in comparison.
    Its very hard to get people to accept something, short of paying them to agree, and since asking nicely doesnt work, asking them to feel stupid seems like the only other option.
     
  20. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

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    That's not the point I was trying to make. Reptile owners and breeders generally DO (or so I have found) care for the environment and there are many here on this forum who will demonstrate that.

    The majority of all humans? Not so much I'm afraid, but that's for another thread I think (maybe you can start one?).
     
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