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Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

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Ash
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Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby Ash » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:44 pm

I got talking with a fellow iguana owner about Ctenosaura quinquecarinata. These little iguanas are endangered, and honestly, they should be listed as CITES I. At the moment, they are CITES II.

They are heavily imported for the pet trade and sold for dirt cheap here in the US. Like $20.

It is extremely hard to get them to breed in captivity. Rumor has it only 1-2 people have ever had success.

I want to see captive populations, but for this species it would involve a lot of trial-and-error. And in so doing, I would be supporting the capture of endangered WC animals--without any return with the species. If it were a species that could thrive and breed well in captivity, obviously the answer is simple: get a captive population going. But is it worth it to experiment trying to get these animals to breed in captivity, when with each animal brought into your program you are literally taking one of the few that is left in the wild? And it will likely not even breed in your care?

What are your thoughts on importing these guys and other species like them? I have my own opinion, but would like to hear what others think.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:45 am

Well. Normally for CITES II would think it's okay. Like when the one breeder brought in new fennec stock. Ideally you want to get a breeding population going. Silly for something like that that has to be imported to be so cheap though. I know for tamandua even though Cites III, CITES still regulates how many are caught and imported so the wild population wont be effected with decline. SO would assume there are limits on lizards as well, especially at II, assuming they all are coming legally. So I'd not worry about legal trade. If a lot of showing up dirt cheap maybe there is illegal trade going on?

Where I'd have an issue with importing a legal species is something like the pygmy anteater who just do not survive in captivity. Importing something just to have it and try to figure out how not to kill it is wrong.
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby Ash » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:56 am

The issue with this particular species is the countries where they reside does not control how many can be taken out of the wild. So not sure if they actually participate much in CITES or not? I thought Nicaragua and Cost Rica did, but now not sure.

There is a private, non-government organization that has a preserve to specifically try to save this particular species, but that's the only thing that's really being done to help save their wild numbers. Everywhere else, they're collected for export or hunted for food. They're too small to even be worth farming like other iguana species have been.

Here's their status on the IUCN red list: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44193/0. It says there is thought to be fewer than 2500 mature individuals--though that's an estimate.

Very unfortunate. I think it'd be very important for them to get a captive-born population up and going. I see no reason it can't be done through trial and error. But if it doesn't succeed, then it just kind of made things worse (taking the animals out of the wild in a failed effort to reproduce them in captivity).

Unfortunately the majority of wc imports when it comes to reptiles are super cheap. It's not surprising that they are as cheap as they.

Yeah, I get the thing about the pygmy anteaters. Though part of me still thinks that some experimentation should be done or something... Just so they can get established in captivity. But once again, if all the efforts prove to be fruitless, then they're worse off than before. So same story with this iguana species...

Most of the imports are sadly just winding up in petshops. Then people buy one and have no clue what kind of iguana they've got. Seen it on facebook several times (including today). People post pictures of their quinquecarinatas and ask what species they have. It's a shame they're going to people like THAT. I would love to see them at least going to people who will attempt to breed them.

It makes me really want me to try my hand at it... But I'm not experienced, and if experienced breeders have a hard time with this species, then... But I also don't feel like giving up on the prospect of a self-sustaining captive population is right either.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby GitaBooks » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:39 am

Some day I hope to work with endangered animals, so I've given things like this a lot of thought. I think that people should breed them in their native country and once they find the proper way to keep them in captivity and breed them they can import the babies to create captive populations elsewhere with more information on how to cycle them to breed, and what makes them most comfortable. All extra babies can be released to help the wild population.

I know this takes some money and effort, but I think its a great way to avoid importing adult animals, which are more prone to stress because they are already adapted to their environment and way of living. The babies adapted to a new climate and way of life easier, and be tamed far easier as well.
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby naja-naja » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:07 am

i'm guessing the reason they are not too commonly bred is because it requires a little bit of work and there's not too much payoff if they are only $20 each. but if they were upgraded to cites 1 and cb animals are getting $200 each the captive breeding rates would vastly improve.
1.4 burmese pythons
0.1 indian pythons
0.1 boa constrictors
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1.2 reticulated pythons
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby naja-naja » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:14 am

also, I just checked on a german classifieds site and cb babies were for sale last year :) so they are being bred somewhere!
1.4 burmese pythons
0.1 indian pythons
0.1 boa constrictors
1.1 macklott's pythons
1.2 reticulated pythons
0.1 blue tegu
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby Ash » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:31 pm

naja-naja wrote:also, I just checked on a german classifieds site and cb babies were for sale last year :) so they are being bred somewhere!


No kidding? That's awesome. :)

I'm seriously considering getting into this particular species... Both C. quinquecarinata as well as C. palearis are really needing help. While I think preserving them in the wild is GREAT, I really lose hope in most of those programs. Truth is, the wild is going away. I really don't think it's going to be possible to preserve every species in the world--especially the ones that no one cares about except knowledgeable herp people.

They're little and "easy" to care for as far as iguanas go. I've been talking to some people who had owned them in the past and had tried to breed them. I personally don't think their enclosures were big enough (4x4x4) even though they are small lizards. I also don't know HOW they were keeping them. Did they have enough foliage? Did they have enough places to hide? So many factors that people don't mention.

That really gives me hope if there were captive born ones available last year. Could you post the link to the ad? I may want to try to get in touch with the breeder if I do wind up getting some of these.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby naja-naja » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:35 pm

http://www.terraristik.com/tb/list_classifieds.php

search for the species in question, however you will need to register in order to communicate with the seller

have you contacted ty park about breeding or care? he works with a lot of cten species.
1.4 burmese pythons
0.1 indian pythons
0.1 boa constrictors
1.1 macklott's pythons
1.2 reticulated pythons
0.1 blue tegu
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Re: Importing endangered species that do poorly in captivity

Postby Ash » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:30 pm

naja-naja wrote:http://www.terraristik.com/tb/list_classifieds.php

search for the species in question, however you will need to register in order to communicate with the seller

have you contacted ty park about breeding or care? he works with a lot of cten species.


Not yet. :) Ty Park is the best. I've been asking him questions lately, so I don't want to bug him too much until I'm closer to actually getting some. So he's totally on my list of people to pester when it comes to these guys. I know he had some for at least a short while--not sure if he has them now or not, but I saw he sold some a little ways back.

He's been helping me out with my pectinatas. He's the iguana man (and tegu man, lol).
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas

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