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1) Reducing the demand for WC animals

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Posted by: Robert__Mendyk at Sun Jun 9 13:07:55 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Robert__Mendyk ]  
   

First, let me preface my response by saying I find your sudden plans to keep and breed a species for "conservation" purposes amusing, especially considering your recent plans to circumvent international (CITES) and national (Lacey Act) trade restrictions to acquire a critically endangered, CITES 1 species such as Varanus griseus...

forums.kingsnake.com/view.php?id=2010098,2010098

But on to your comments:

1. Cultivating animals of which there is a demand for and shortage of in the marketplace reduces the strain on the wc population.

It does seem like a simple fix- breed more in captivity, fewer will be exported, right? Unfortunately, things are not that simple, and you are assuming that reptile keepers (and humans) will always do the right and ethical thing...

Breeding monitor lizards commercially, with the exception of the subgenus Odatria, is simply cost-prohibitive. I think any private keeper/breeder will have a difficult time offsetting the demand for wild-caught animals when WC animals are sold incredibly cheap. If this was not the case, then why don't we see commercial breeding projects for heavily-exploited species like V. exanthematicus, V. niloticus, V. salvator, or V. indicus? You mentioned V. niloticus as a possible candidate- how would you ever offset the demand for this species when imported animals are sold for $5?

Also, while it is a sad realization, the truth is that the majority of reptile keepers (and your prospective customers) don't give a damn about conservation. The hobby as a whole is one big free for all, take, take, take, for the cheapest price available. Again, most people don't care, and if given the choice between WC and CB, 99% would select the cheaper WC animal.

If you want to reduce the number exploited, export quotas need to be stricter. Fewer specimens collected would lead to higher WC prices (in the hundreds of dollars), which breeders would maybe have a better chance of competing against.


   

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