Why exotic reptiles should be banned

Discussion in 'Reptile News' started by pinefamily, Nov 17, 2016.

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  1. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Irrespective on how much damage a particular species has actually caused or has the potential to cause, exotic reptiles and amphibians have no place in Australia. There's no telling what kind of impact a species can have on Australia's ecosystems until it has escaped and established itself. It's not just the animal, but the diseases it may be carrying. I'm thinking of chytrid fungus. Prevention is better than cure. I'm saying this as a person who loves and admires exotics. In a perfect world where exotics were clear of diseases and there was no way of them escaping into the wild, then I don't see the problem. I would probably keep a few exotics in a heartbeat. But can we trust people to contain their animals, or worse, trust them not to release their animals into the wild when they no longer wanted to keep them? I've been to islands, some of a decent size such as Rottnest, some just a tiny spit of land, where there were no exotics of any kind. I can't describe it, but it's something remarkable being able to visit a pristine ecosystem that has not been decimated by introduced vermin. Do we really want to risk what still remains?
     
  2. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    I believe tortoises should be allowed in Australia, they would not out-compete anything.
     
  3. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    have you seen how much they eat?!?!
     
  4. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Nowhere near as much as camels, foxes, cats, rabbits, cane toads, carp, redfin... I could go on butttt.... There's no direct competitor for tortoises in Australia.
     
  5. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    With appropriate quarantine tortoises could be certified as disease free. So why not?

    As far as having no direct competitors, I disagree. Any herbivore or omnivore, whether vertebrate or invertebrate, is a potential competitor. There is also the possibility for selective grazing by tortoises, which may alter the species composition of a given habitat (= reduced biodiversity).

    I will say that of all the reptile groups, tortoises are probably the easiest to keep contained. The problem here is not the tortoises, but humans and theft. So unfortunately they would have to be kept in highly secured enclosures.

    So while I understand where you are coming from and truly sympathise, it just ain’t gunna happen!
     
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  6. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    I firmly believe there is an available niche for tortoises in Australia, they would not out-compete/threaten anything on this continent, I agree they would be the best candidate for integration and I also agree that it will never happen but if it did, we would never ever be overrun by a rogue feral tortoise population, nor would any species face extinction because of them. It would be awesome to keep them in captivity here but hey, we can't have everything. It's a shame Australia has no native tortoises. My wife is from South Africa and grew up with Leopard Tortoises living and breeding in her back yard every year. Beautiful creatures.
     
  7. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Subscriber Subscriber

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    Exotic pets were fairly common in Perth in the 1950's, I used to walk past a house on my way to the tram stop where they had a pair of tortoises that looked like scaled down Galapagos, the lady let us feed them carrots. South Perth was infested with Squirrels that were loose in the zoo and a few people had monkeys. Often wonder what became of them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    You and your generation have lived, like my mum always said, in the best era this country ever saw. I still remember the day the news broke about a giant Alligator Snapping turtle being found in a drain below the city streets in Sydney, thought to have been possibly from a batch stolen in 1979... Who knows what's still out there!
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/nov/29/patrickbarkham

    Then in 2014 a local freshwater turtle expert, Darren Fielder, here in Toowoomba discovered a Chinese Stripe-necked turtle where I go trapping feeders for my own turtles, just down the road from my place...
    http://www.redleafenviro.com.au/new...found-in-the-toowoomba-waterbird-habitat.aspx
     
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  9. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Kev but I have to disagree. Here's a few links relating to REST and I'll draw your attention to the first link (I attached this in the Feral Pet Invasion Across NSW you posted the other day. don't know if you familiarized yourself with it when I did but if you didn't it's worth a gander).

    https://invasives.org.au/wp-content...ecurity-failures-red-eared-slider-turtles.pdf

    https://www.business.qld.gov.au/ind...sts/invasive-animals/restricted/slider-turtle

    https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/amphibians-and-reptiles/red-eared-slider-animal-pest-alert?page=0,2

    https://www.pestsmart.org.au/red-eared-slider-turtles-in-australia-and-new-zealand/

    Cheers,

    GW.
     
  10. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Apples and oranges... Terrestrial tortoises are not turtles mate. We have 37 known species of turtle in direct competition with RES... Show me what tortoises would compete with? The niche is empty.
     
  11. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough...wasn't thinking should have realised you were talking about tortoises and not turtles. However, they may not pose competition but the threat of introducing disease should be a consideration.
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Of course mate, all manner of quarantining should be observed and if done, anything could be successfully introduced but the laws are tightening not getting more flexible... When you consider for example, Western Australia won't even allow anything that's not endemic to their state into their state, or, Tasmania won't allow turtles, period... for fear of threatening their trout industry... (LOL) but seriously... there's ZERO chance of imported reptiles ever being legalised here for the every day average enthusiast. I guess this makes going to the zoo regularly a necessity. LOL
     
  13. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Our colonial ancestors probably thought the same about the rabbits and foxes, empty niches. Pity they didn't get advice from our indigenous ancestors first.

    Haven't you seen Planet of the Apes, Yellowtail? Those monkeys are probably living further up the Swan River. ;):D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017
  14. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hmm, there are some strange people up in the hills. Interested to know if they ever got rid of the Squirrels, they were in every tree in South Perth around the Zoo.
     
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  15. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    I believe they were actually brought here for sporting purposes. ;)
     
  16. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    That was the empty niche.
     
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  17. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Ok... and terrestrial tortoises would compete directly with?? Lol don't worry, the brightest minds in this country's turtle and tortoise field have already deduced that tortoises would be in a niche of their own here... but those who make the laws will never bend. It's just another day at the office.
     
  18. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

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    Just like the brightest minds at the time decided that importing cane toads was a good idea.
     
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  19. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Sigh, so now your comparing something that has the ability to lay 2 million eggs twice per year with no natural predators to something that breeds successfullly 3 times in 20 years with a less than 1% survival rate... Hmm you need to think a teeny bit harder... tortoises will not overrun Australia my friend... No matter how you try to envision it happening. They can't even overpopulate their own native countries thanks to their low fecundity and high mortality.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  20. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

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    Which tortoises only breed three times in thirty years? A quick look just now brought up three that can reproduce yearly. One of these laying up to 20 eggs each month for 7 months of the year.

    Just to clarify also, cane toad females can lay between 8000-35000 eggs a time and will usually breed twice a year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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