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Invasive amphibians, reptiles in Florida outnumber world

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Rich, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Florida has the world's worst invasive amphibian and reptile problem, and a new 20-year study verifies the pet trade as the No. 1 cause of the species' introductions

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    Use this thread to discuss the article above. What are your thoughts about Invasive amphibians, reptiles in Florida outnumber world?
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What I wonder is exactly how they determined this? I'm quite sure an importer didn't stand up and say, "YES! It was ME!"
    The mere presence of an alien species, just because it is in the pet trade, does not mean that that is where it came from. Foreign species have been hitching rides on boatloads of produce and other goods on ships for as far back as we have been recieving shipments from around the globe.
    Florida just happens to have a climate to their liking.
     
  3. FervidBrutality

    FervidBrutality Elite Member

    Wait wait wait. It took them two decades and an untold amount of money to come to the conclusion that the leading factor behind invasive species being introduced a region is the pet trade - people buying and later releasing the animals?

    Not to be rude, but that does come across as quite a large "Duh."
    It was an interesting read, though. :p
     
  4. FervidBrutality

    FervidBrutality Elite Member

    As a side note, if an animal thrives there, then let it. Push the bounds of evolution and diversity, I say! Haha.

    Survival of the fittest?
     
  5. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I hope very few people share your opinion.
     
  6. FervidBrutality

    FervidBrutality Elite Member

    I do understand that it's causing damage to other species, but what's to say that other species don't begin to adapt, as well? Just as predators evolve predatory attributes such big, sharp, pointy teeth, the prey produce and master the ability of recognizing them as a predator and a skill known simply as: "running away"

    I'm just saying, animals adapt. Just as the invasive ones, the native one will learn.

    We don't need to do nature's job - it all regulates itself better than we can.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What you said is spot on, nature can take care of itself. The problem here is that humans have introduced species. That wasn't nature, that was man. That isn't evolution, that is stupidity and ignorance. It is one thing for nature to take its course. Its an entirely different ball of wax when the problem is man made. We are destroying ecosystems because specific people of our species are too stupid or ignorant to know better than to release non-native species.
     
  8. FervidBrutality

    FervidBrutality Elite Member

    I definately agree.

    There's not too much we can do about what's already there. However we can certainly try to maintain ourselves in the matter, hopefully. :p

    In short, it comes down to edcutating potential pet owners on what their cute little hatchling will turn into one day. And having animal shelters take in a bit more - which I know is genuinely easier said than done, but it would help with owners who need an option.

    First line of desense comes down to the owner doing research, and online communities like this one.
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Invasive species are one of the biggest causes of loss of biodiversity - and that is a trend that is not only recent. Fossil records verify.

    People have had FAR FAR FAR more impact on the environment than exotic reptiles and amphibians have. I think it is about half of all species (animals and plants alike) in FL are non-native. Oranges, for one are not native to FL, and they are famous for them. Feral cats and swine are extremely damaging, and they run rampant in FL. Eradicating them would do far more to protect the environment than eradicating the herps, though right now, as things stand, there is no reasonable way to accomplish either.

    @ Merlin - Miami has the largest port of entry in the states for exotic reptiles - which is part of the problem, as it is frequently hit with hurricanes, resulting in a mass exodus of formerly captive animal destined for the pet trade - which is how the Burmese pythons got established in the Glades, decades ago. I'm sure nobody volunteered that information, or claimed responsibility, but when a hurricane destroyed a warehouse in I forget what year, and that warehouse happened to be full of exotics destined for pet shops - which many people suspect are the founding group of burmese pythons that established the population that is thriving there now. The genetic lineages of those pythons are limited, hailing from a handful of females, which is only a couple less than the number reported missing from the warehouse. The snakes in question were also imported from a country that no longer exports, and hasn't for decades - which means the burms have been there a while.

    If we moved our port of entry for such things to say, Maine, escapes would not be so devastating to the environment, as they would all just die...
     
  10. jamesw

    jamesw Elite Member

    Humans are a much more invasive and damaging species than any reptile. Maybe we should stop destroying mother earth.

    As far as the majority of invasive reptiles coming from the pet trade, that should be a given. Why else are they here?? Of course, some have come over on boats/ships, but the majority is obviously from keepers releasing them and natural disasters destroying buildings that house them.
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Here, Here!


    Oh I have no doubt that some of it is the pet trade. I was just pointing out that there are other sources of introduction and wondering how they came to their determination.
    For example I recall reading that there are places in Florida that actually have colonies of monkeys that were brought in by the people filming the old Tarzan movies. And when the movie crew left, they didn't bother to round up all of their "extras"
    Look at Guam and the brown tree snakes that are such a disaster there. They did not come from the pet industry.
    And when I was young it was a common occurance for grocers to find baby boas and other snakes in shipments of bananas.

    I was just wondering how they determined that "X" number of them were from the pet trade itself.
     
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    the zoo i worked at was founded by the local fire department when a Circus came through town, and then went belly up. the local fire department raised the money to purchase and house the monkeys, elephants, etc.

    Florida has a much bigger problem than just herps - there are cats, swine, monkeys, and tons of plants strangling out native wildlife (Kudzu, Air potato) there are colonies of parrots and other non-native tropical birds as well, but they actually sponsor sight-seeing tours for those. Those seem to be welcome. it all boils down to what is cute (Piglets, cats, birds,) vs what is not (snakes, frogs, invertebrates) what kind of press it gets.
     

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