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Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by Reptilius, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    While pathogens are an issue, another issue is that of the area where releases are happening. While I recognize that you are attempting to repopulate, what is the cause of the lack of population in the first place. Certainly humans are a cause, but lack of food is the primary cause. Where there is a food source, a species will perpetuate, and, you may be familiar with the predator-prey cycles: predator successfully eats, population boom, starvation, prey population boom, predator successfully eats, etc etc.

    If you are releasing multiple offspring into an area where you found one snake, you may actually be forcing the cycle in such a way that is unnatural and makes it more difficult for the natural cycle to catch up. Think of it this way: 1 snake produces 10 offspring, half of which die. There are now 7 snakes (including the sire) in the area on the available food. Now, remove the gravid mother (affecting the population by one, not really affecting the prey), incubate the eggs and let them grow in captivity, now you have 11 snakes (assuming you keep the mother) where before you only had 7. The load being forced on the prey is more sudden, thus the impact is much stronger than it would normally be. To put it simply: 7 snakes to 10 prey items is a better bet for the prey than 11 snakes to 10 prey items, and by reintroducing captive bred snakes, you are offsetting the natural balance and possibly destroying the possibility of the population being able to recover in the area.
     
  2. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    I understand your Logic completely, I am also not here to argue with people. There are some of the hatchlings which get absorbed into peoples collections, and even some that I keep myself, and of course there are those that get released. I do however think that the impact of released specimens does not have that great an impact, this is due to the fact that I am lead to believe that only 10% of hatchlings survive in the wild. This then cuts your equation from 10 babies to 1 which reaches maturity.
     
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    It is illegal in many areas to release animals into the wild that have been held in captivity without authorization from governing authorities.
    I have no doubt that you think you are helping the situation by doing this. It is something I setup to begin in the past.
    Breeding native species and releasing the offspring back into nature.
    It wasn't until I spoke with the leader of a local university program that was researching the species I was undertaking that I saw how wrong I was.
    There is extensive research and protocols that they follow when attempting to do this. Simply keeping them in a different tank has absolutely no value whatsoever.
    The aforementioned university program uses in essence, clean rooms to make sure no contamination or pathogens can be introduced to the snakes.
    Perhaps check with your local government or universities and perhaps you can help them out in some way that would benefit the species.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes. All living animals carry parasites. Even captive bred ones. It's just part of life.
    It's even thought that some of the parasites, in reasonable numbers, may be beneficial in the host's life. Possibly aiding in digestion.
    The reason that there are laws prohibiting releasing them back into the wild was because many thought as you do that they were actually going to be helping the ecosystem when in fact it was putting it at risk.


    And CentriRitanni also raises a good point. There are endangered animals which are being reproduced to head off their possible extinction. Unfortunaately the natural ranges of these animals will not support their reintroduction.

    Nobody is trying to argue, just giving you something to think about.
     
  5. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    Thank You.

    I have definitely thought over and pondered what has been said throughout the thread.
    My conclusion, we do not know it all, and so as a result we learn something new everyday.
     
  6. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    That is very true.
    Especially when it comes to reptiles.
     

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