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Releasing pet snakes

Discussion in 'Corn Snakes' started by Knox, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    :)

    Well, if you want to look at the wider spectrum, what about the survival of non-native species?

    *In no way, I must point out, am I suggesting that anyone should ever release a non-native species into the wild - releasing captives is bad enough, remember this is just a topical and friendly debate to share opinions and ideas*

    The Cane Toad in Australia is a prime example of where a non-native species has not only survived but has thrived and in turn threatened many of the native species, and it was man who intentionally introduced it! I believe, though I do not know to be fact, that someone in southern England, let a group of hatchling corn snakes loose due to irresponsibility, and it is rumoured that they are now surviving well within the area. But then of course, our native reptiles are becoming more and more scarse.

    When it comes to fascinating research studies, my ultimate ambition would be to microscopically investigate the natural habitats of our herps and specifically copy them in our captive environments. By this I mean, we all house our different species of reptile according to their different natural habitats with a constant set temperature, UV lights, humidity levels and so on. But, my argument is that temps, lighting, humidity etc would not be the same all year round in the wild, so how would our reptiles do in captive environments that not only took the averages but were more specific in terms of set temps at different times of the year - which some of us do to an extent already - and even throughout the day. Ranging humidity levels from dawn to dusk, UV lighting more catered to the differing levels of UV that the animal would receive at different times of the day in the wild. This, of course, would be practically impossible to emulate in captivity for the sheer complexity of it all, but think how well our animals could live in captivity if we didn't just provide the "means" of everything.

    But that's a topic for another day perhaps...:)
     
  2. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    well it cold be possible to provide such an environment... who knows.. maybe oneday? Would be crazy to do the project tho...

    you could record constant changes in a certain environment 24/7 for about 3 years. (light, humidity, temps). then get an average for the results every hour or so... program this into a magic machine(aka computer) and let it automate the environment in the enclosure based on the hourly average changes. walla! I really dunno how much better your herps would do but if anything will improve breeding success i think.

    haha...i'll start recording tomorrow for african herps...who is gonna do north AMerica...:p
     
  3. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    one more thing... big up to knox for starting the thread. I really enjoy the more scientific side of things... it is fun and keeps you up to date with the times. Scientific research is always advancing and things get changed all the time...

    just intereseted..have any people here written any herpetological papers? i am busy with new geographical distribution of acanthocercus atricollis and another one on "research materials, methods and their accuracy."
     
  4. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    Thanks...

    I am way behind most when it comes to the Latin classifications of kingdom, phylom, what have you. My knowledge is layman's - I know a Kingsnake from a Garter, but don't have any idea what their Latin names are LOL...

    I consider myself pretty smart in the ways of North American snakes, some lizards and turtles, but that's about it. I am totally ignorant when it comes to animals from other countries.

    I continue to eat all the knowledge I can, though, and feel that there are things this old man can learn even from teens who really know their stuff.

    I love the humility and respect for each other that I find here. It is very refreshing compared to other sites where 13 year olds are name calling all over the place.

    Thank you all for allowing me to be part of the "collective" here.
     
  5. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    I'm with everything everyone else has posted about the terms of disease.

    It's a documented fact that other herps have contracted one illness or another from an animal which has been linked back to a captive-release source; I do not see why snakes would be exempt from this situation. Snakes are just as susceptible at obtaining most illnesses in captivity from one another that it would be improbable to think that it would not happen out there.

    Wild caught snakes are sometimes found (Rare or not) to have Respitory infections/Pneumonia, Trichomoniasis, Reovirus, Paramyxovirus, Hepatitis, Inclusion Body Disease virus. Many of these are thought to be linked to captive-released animals (eg. IBDV, PMV and Reovirus). All of these have been found in captive snakes.

    And as suggested, Captive animals are said to be ammune/susceptible to diseases wild snakes are/ not. Can't tell you how true this is, but it's widely believed and preached, so, it's a consideration.

    Either way, I do not believe that it's the worry of introducing an infectious pathogenic substance, but the fact that this substance may actually wipe out a population, or perhaps a species. I believe everyone is informed with the Desert Tortoise incident? It would be drastic if IBDV was invited to have it's way with local populations of Indgos, or Southern Pine Snakes.

    Personally, I wouldn't be inclined to participate or be eager to read about experiments containing this type of study on actual candidates. As was said by Caudalis, the answer is already there.

    As for fending for themselves in the wild after a prolong captive lifestyle. I would say snakes are probably one of the best candidates to do so. Unlike my crocodilians, chelonians and a few lizards I have kept, I have never had a snakes that seem dependent on me.

    All of my crocodilians and nearly all of my chelons actually seek me out and follow me around during feeding time. Some even do so without the presence of food. All 18 crocodilians, several hundred turtles and a handful of lizards lost the human fear factor. In the herp world, this is not good, especially crocodilians. Not only losing the fear but many also associate humans as a source of food.

    "Do Not Feed The Alligators"

    Anyone who has turtles know that they very well know when they are about to be fed. Lizards are also prone to this. Snakes, can be prone to this, however all of the ones I have ever had only took acknowledgeable notice of me if they actually caught presence of the food. Most also reacted as if they would in the wild when it came to feeding (constricting, envenomating), except for the Cornsnakes. I know many people inform us describing how attentive their snakes are when feeding, and though I lacked the animals that showed such enthusiasm, I must say it'd be a definite toss up with how well a captive animal done after being released.

    I can't say if a snake that normally ate prekilled prey items without doing what it naturally would do in the wild (constricting, envenomating) would fair well in the wild, however I do not feel snakes are stupid and instincts are very strong motives. It would be interesting to hear some stories dealing with animals that grew up all their life eating prekilled animals without the show and then giving the animal live prey to see the difference in response.

    I feel that this type of testing is not widely done on a personal motive due to the safety of one's animal and I feel that accidental cases of this is not 'documented' because of the nature of the keeper and their interest in the hobby/lifestyle. I don't think it's a big red dot for scientist to study either.

    However, I would be interested in seeing how a snake would do in this study of feeding. Maybe, I should invest in a few specimens...

    From personal experience I feel that snakes, as a whole, would do quite well if released into the wild. Lizards I think would do okay, but with crocodilians and turtles, I would have a bit of worry with the loss of fear of humans and food association. But in terms of fending for themselves, I do not feel any herp would have trouble given the ample placement.

    Instincts are rather hard to forget.
     
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