Legal trading of wild caught reptiles

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

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  1. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    Too many inconsistencies across all of your posts. I find this hard to follow and I'm left wondering what point you are trying to convey. It's okay I wont see any of these future posts. I prefer a less convoluted factual discussion. All the best.
     
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  2. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Its honestly not meant to be that difficult to follow, mate. Youre making it difficult for yourself by trying to make it seem like Im saying something contradictory. Its not my doing.

    In regards to live prey: Wild pythons will ALWAYS throw numerous coils around a (live) prey item, with accuracy, while maintaining a grip on the animal with its jaws. Ive seen captive pythons barely manage to get a coil around a live prey item and then fail to hold onto the animal, only to strike again, miss, and then finally subdue the prey on a third attempt.

    In regards to dead: Ive also seen examples where the snake (Captive bred) hasn't even bothered to coil at all.
    You could argue that in some instances this is merely due to the fact that the snake (captive bred) has become used to a routine and 'knows' that a food item is pre-killed.
    Evidence of varying the factors to improve the validity of the results: All I can say to this is that I have varied live and pre-killed feedings and never feed my animals routinely, and have still witnessed this.

    I apologise if its confusing. It makes sense to me. But then I am writing it.

    I took out the captials. It makes it seem like im yelling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  3. PilbaraPythons

    PilbaraPythons Very Well-Known Member

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    To be perfectly honest I haven’t noticed anything different with regards to feeding behaviour differences between wild collected and captive bred specimens after long term captivity. This to me adds up to conditioning.
     
  4. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    Can't imagine there are too many people who have seen/kept the number of wild collected animals that you have over the last decade or so.
     
  5. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    'Havent noticed' and 'havent actively observed for the purposes of reaching a conclusion' are different, but Ill differ to your experience.
    Ill put aside my theory until evidence is either found, or disproved in the future. It is great to get a many opinions as possible.
     
  6. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    It both disappoints and annoys me when statements are challenged on the basis of presumed personality, personal background or other personal attributes. It is seldom warranted and almost invariably subsumes or totally replaces factual discussion with a mire of convoluted defensive rhetoric and/or comments bent more on retribution that making a positive contribution to the discussion. This is a situation in which there are no winners. I do agree that it puts others off posting - myself for instance. I am pleased to see that there seems no lasting animosity and I am happy to post now if anyone is still interested.

    A catchphrase I have used in the past: "If you must, attack the post NOT the poster".

    Blue
     
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  7. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I for one would be happy to here your input which I hope is both personal experience and scientific fact.
     
  8. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Thanks Andy. I simply feel there are a number of statements that have been made that need some simple hard facts to accompany them. Here’s just a few...

    Science puts forward hypotheses to test ideas. A good scientific hypothesis is both testable and based on extensive observations. The term “hypothesis”, and also “theory”, is often used to describe ideas, particularly generalisations, which individuals have generated. This usage does not meet the rigorous criteria required in scientific endeavour. So it must not be accorded the characteristics of same.
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    I am not too sure that humans have been causing extinctions from when we first “popped up”, whenever that is meant to be, but there seems little doubt that with their use of fire, hunting weapons and traps, that some populations were hunted to extinction through prehistory. The expected (‘natural’) rate of extinction is 1 to 2 species per year. With current global clearing of remaining rainforest it is estimated that the current rate is at least hundreds times the natural rate and quite likely thousands of times greater.
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    The statement: “We cause extinctions just by existing” is both uninformative and technically incorrect to me. I feel it is important that people do have some clear idea of how human activities contribute to declining populations and ultimately extinction. The following list is not exhaustive...
    • Direct degradation or total destruction of natural habitat is a major one. Massive land clearing for agriculture, from the wheat belt to the coastal beef and dairy farms, orchards and fruit and vegetable plantations. Urbanisation. Damming rivers for water supplies. Irrigation and loss of arable lands due to salt. Burning areas more frequently or more than occurs in nature.
    • Exploitation of natural resources such as forestry, mining and fishing. Use of clear felling, over harvesting of fish stocks and certain mining techniques or failure to implement appropriate environmental safe guards.
    • Introduction of exotic plants and animals. Animals introduced for food and/or other products, such as grazing stock, alter the plant species composition of areas and the binding of soil, so in conjunction with stock with hard hooves facilitate soil erosion. We have already mentioned predators and competitors. Invasive exotic plants reduce the biodiversity of areas where they establish. Exotic pests and diseases are also introduced by foreign imports, although legal imports are subject to quarantine in an attempt to eliminate this risk.
    • Human activities produce pollution that affects the air, soil and water, including the oceans e.g. oil slicks, dumping of toxic wastes.
    • Accelerating climate change through use of fossil fuels for producing power, transport and petrochemicals.
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    Australia has had over 20 mammals go extinct in the last 200 years. It is believed nearly all were the result of a combination of predation by foxes and cats and grazing competition with stock and rabbits. Foxes (1845 on) and rabbits (1859 on) were released for hunting. Thomas Austin, first to release 24 rabbits on his property, is recorded as saying: "The introduction of a few rabbits could do little harm and might provide a touch of home, in addition to a spot of hunting." Cats were kept as passengers on ships in order to control rats and mice that would otherwise spoil food stores. Between shipwrecks and their similar use to protect colonists’ food stores, feral cat colonies had become established in the wild by the 1850s.

    Given that the knowledge, understandings and attitudes we have today did not exist then, were these extinctions really avoidable by forethought? The releases involved plenty of forethough, much of it by accmplished intelligent individuals.
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    Australia is currently facing another potential wave of extinctions. There are 15 frogs, 16 reptiles, 44 birds, 35 mammals and 531 plants on Australia's endangered species list. Professor Corey Bradshaw, director of the Environment Institute's Climate and Ecology Centre at The University of Adelaide, says Kakadu National Park has suffered a 95 per cent decline in mammals. He stated: “The Great Barrier Reef has been suffering biodiversity declines for decades. Now if we can't get it right in our two biggest and most well-known and certainly the best-funded parks and protected areas in Australia, what hope have we for the rest of our national parks?" I would make additional note that the Oenpelli Python and the Arnhem Land Skink are also in trouble, based on the lack of recent sightings and difficulty in locating specimens where they were once common place. The skink has not been sighted in two years.

    These losses are occurring in natural habitat. They are happening NOW. There is nothing in the scientific literature that I can locate which talks about either a doomsday scenario for reptiles or a timeline of a couple of centuries.

    Blue
     
  9. wokka

    wokka Guest

    Nice summary Blue.
    My opinion is that loss of habitat is the major force affecting wild numbers of animals, not the removal by wild harvest of the particular animals. If a gap appears in the numbers of animals in a particular area the local population will reproduce to fill that gap to a sustainable level. If every one of Australias 30 million humans each took a reptile from the wild it would have little effect on the billions of reptiles which populate Australia. As for the arguements about how happy captive animals are after removal from the wild, I just dont know!
     
  10. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Sorry bluetongue but my posts were long enough as it was so I didn't think it prudent to make them longer. It had already gone way off track.

    The arrival of humans to areas previously unoccupied through the fossil records coincides with the disappearance of numerous species. Australia is no different than the rest of the world and we have 2 distinct and different arrivals with at least 2 concentrations of extinctions. Look at recent extinctions and you will see that most of them happened soon after the arrival of humans.
    It's more apparent to us now though as modern history has numerous examples, Great Auk, Dodo, Stellers Sea Cow, Toolache Wallaby.
    You have listed what some of of the causes are but I guess I was being naive in thinking that most on here would already be aware of these things so didn't feel it necessary to elaborate.

    That is what I meant by that statement.

    I know you are already aware of this

    We cause this by existing was a simple statement that if we weren't here the majority of the current extinctions wouldn't be happening. Simple as that. Some species would still go extinct and others would appear but not at the rate they are now.

    I agree with Andy in that it is great to have you on here and it would be a shame to not have you post.
     
  11. One thing worth mentioning with regard to recent human arrivals and ensuing extinctions, not just in Oz but any number of islands and lands around the world, is that it's not necessarily the humans that directly cause the extinctions, it is often what they bring with them - rats, pigs, dogs, cats etc, etc. New Zealand is a prime example - island populations of critters, many of which had lost the ability to fly or which could live and breed safely on the ground... Bring rats, pigs and cats into the equation and these things can do far more damage over a much wider area in a far shorter time than humans ever can. We've done it very recently with bloody Cane Toads!

    Jamie
     
  12. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Here is some interesting data that I have come across in my resarch/reading....

    The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has estimated that feral cats kill 75 million native animals every night. Their estimate is based on long term studies of feral cat predation and extrapolation from known densities across Australia. A fair percentage of these will be reptiles. In a study conducted at Roxby Downs in SA, one feral cat captured mid-morning regurgitated 30 lizards. Ehmann and Cogger (1985) documented known road kill rates and from these estimated that some 5 million amphibians and reptiles are killed annually on Australian roads. Bennet (1991) search a half kilometre transect of road in western Victoria and recorded 419 carcasses of 5 species of frog, all casualties of a single night following heavy rainfall.

    It makes wild-taking for the pet industry pale into insignificance. Clearly, our wild populations are resilient to continue unabated given that sort of removal rate. It is only populations of species which are rare or endangered or occur only in small, specific locales that would be a chance to be adversely affected by wild taking.

    Warwick, I did not actually say that wild-caught snakes, or other reptiles, would be ‘happy’ when brought into captivity. The point I did make is that they would ultimately be a lot better off for a range of reasons. Any dramatic change of environment requires a period of time for an animal to adjust to it. One would naturally expect those animals that are wide ranging or highly active to take longer to adapt compared to sedentary species.

    Blue

    - - - Updated - - -

    Butters, thank you for clarifying.
    The debate over when Aboriginals arrived in Australia and whether it was a one-off colonisation or waves of arrivals still goes on amongst academics. As best I can ascertain, 60,000 years BP for their arrival here is as far as it has been pushed based on sound data. The question is, was it climate change (the ice age setting in) or human hunting or perhaps human manipulation of the environment through use of fire or a combination of these that resulted in the extinction of Australia’s megafauna? We do not know for certain.

    Blue
     
  13. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Agreed Jamie as I mentioned earlier it's not always so much us but what we bring with us.
    Imagine how different Australian wildlife populations and make ups would be if only one of those feral species wasn't present. Cats probably have the greatest effect over a range of species than others but the removal of any of them would have a beneficial impact.
    I have seen the impact that having no resident cats can have on a few small suburban blocks.

    As for regulated wild collecting the impact on populations would be almost non existent when compared to things like feral predation, road kill or even a good climatic event except for small localized populations.

    Although not directly related the collection of live corals for the aquarium trade on the Great Barrier Reef has had many detractors and opponents, mostly from people who have no real concept or idea of what impact it could have. In most cases the objections are purely emotionally driven with no real basis in fact.

    Research undertaken by AIMS to help support moves to close down the industry proved the exact opposite. It was found that the collection of live corals under the current system was probably the most sustainable fishery in Australia by an incredible margin. The yearly coral quota and collection rates were but a fraction of one percent of the new coral produced on the reef each year. One cyclone removed far more coral from the reef.
    This doesn't take into account other factors affecting the reef but you could find analogies between this situation and the wild collection of reptiles . You could probably even use data already collected for other studies that would be relevant.
     
  14. cement

    cement APS Veteran APS Veteran

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  15. wokka

    wokka Guest

    #Blue my comment about happiness was not in reply to your post but rather in reply to some of the earlier comments by others.
     
  16. Plain and simple, it's people pressure that's blighting our planet. But the same will happen to us as happens to any overcrowded community of creatures with nowhere else to expand - they either die of some sort of communicable disease, or they kill off huge numbers of themselves in the fight for resources such as space, water and food. The former was certainly a great leveller in centuries past (as it will be in the future) and the latter, with the addition of idealogical wars, is happening right now. Into this mix you can add all sorts of man-made hurdles to the recovery of the planet as we have known it - pervasive toxic chemicals not seen till man came along, radioactivity artificially boosted to massively dangerous levels - many of these things will never go away... think Japan...

    We are a long way past being able to put the genie back in the bottle I'm afraid. When money is controlled by those for whom it is their ownly concern, and they continue to accumulate obscene amounts more by raping and pillaging the Earth, with regard for no-one but their own selfish aspirations and those of the politicians whose approval they buy (no more so than here these days), men and women in the street have no hope of taking back control of their environment. Politicians change the laws to make effective protest difficult and expensive.

    Jamie
     
  17. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Butters, staying within the limit of sustainable yield simply applies to all living things. I presented a deliberately simplified version. Determining what the sustainable limit is requires that things like growth rate and maturation time are also taken into account and if there are any other influences, such as how Barramundi change sex at a certain size. As the animals being removed are part of a food web, any effect that might that have on their prey or predator populations also needs to be considered. Usually not a problem as what cannot eat them can often eat what they would have eaten, directly or indirectly. At harvesting levels below 15% it is unlikely to have any measurable effect and at or below 10% you would hardly know a population was harvested from.


    If I had a choice I’d get rid of rabbits...


    Grazing and burrowing by rabbits can causes serious erosion problems, reduces recruitment and survival of native plants, and modifies entire landscapes. At even one rabbit per hectare, they are preventing regeneration of mulga, western myall, black oak, and several other key components of woodlands and so will ultimately turn woodlands into grasslands. This will exclude and those animals dependent on the trees for things like insects, sap, nectar, seed, shelter and breeding places. Rabbits overgraze native and sown pastures, leading to loss of plant biodiversity and reduced crop yields. They compete with native animals and domestic livestock for food and increasing grazing pressure thereby lowering the land’s carrying capacity. They increase and spread invasive weeds through their droppings. They breed younger, faster and more prolifically then their native counterparts, which means they get the jump on natives following drought times. They also sustain high numbers of predators such as foxes, cats and dogs. Without rabbits, foxes and cats would not be half as prevalent as what they are.


    Blue


    Apologies Warwick - my mistake.
     
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  18. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    I wonder if they allowed legal collection and had breeding programs to flood the demand, if there would still be the same poaching problems?

    Before WA had a legal keeping system in place SWCP were the most common off license snakes being kept. These days they don't seem to pop up as much now that they are kept and bred in largish numbers and readily available to the public.

    Sometimes the best way to reduce wild taking might be to make the species readily available...

    As for the gene pool.. I haven't though much about the need to introduce new blood lines into reptiles, since the stock we have in WA is mostly only a few generations old. But I can tell you it isn't being run and tracked by scientists. So in comparison to the human analogy, there aren't any restrictions or guidelines in place to strategically breed without genetic problems, as I'm sure there must be some restrictions and guidelines needed to keep the base of 150 humans going for eternity without genetic problems. Then there is the whole thing of man and reptile evolving very differently. We can breed pythons back to parents and sibs for many generations without problem. Is that the case with humans? (horrible thought humans breeding back to their mothers and siblings!)
     
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  19. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Hi cement, I thought we had moved on a little, but Ill answer your questions happily.

    My belief is that being a purist maintains the individual glory of each species, as it lives in the wild. I dont pretend to suggest that keeping reptiles in a purist manner will prevent their future endangerment, merely provide insurance for future generations to experience them when there, may, no longer be any individuals remaining in the wild.


    I dont pretend to have all the answers. If i had them, I wouldnt need to try to convince anyone that action might actually need to be taken. My hope is that continual discussion, (sort of) like this, may produce the answers we need. Awareness is in itself a precaution. Thats a good place to start.

    I apologise for my assumptions, I merely imagined that someone who was concerned with conservation would be more open to discussing the possible future of our wildlife, instead of denying any problem may arise. Once again, I apologise.

    Also off topic, at no point did I say I was going to slap you. Haha.
    Id honestly feel a little hypocritical if I called myself a Conservationist (with the capital 'C' and everything). While I am concerned with conservation, I, along with many others of course, could be doing much more for the environment. Therefore, as Im not in that catergory, my statement is completely unrelated to my hand and your face. Haha.

    Once again though, you know nothing about me either. How can you be so sure a slap would be any trouble at all. ;) Haha
     
  20. champagne

    champagne Well-Known Member

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    ''purist'' still select for desirable traits ie stripes, rp, hypo ect. which to some extent are not a true representation of their wild counterparts. I would say very few breeders (if any) are selecting for a true wild type representation over a desirable colour or pattern trait.
     
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