: Do wild-caught reptiles that were captive for an extended period
: of time manage to survive upon release?
: Does prolonged contact (ie years) with humans impact a reptile's
: ability to survive in the wild?
These are questions I've been kicking around with members of my
herp club for some time now. Most feel that as far as adaptability, as
long as they were released into the same area they were collected from,
they'd probably survive well.
The question of weather the released animals could spread disease
to a wild colony, isn't as clear an issue. I personally feel that as long
as there is some doubt, it isn't worth taking the chance of possibly
impacting on a natural population of herps. My own practice is to release
animals that have been very short-term captives, and have been isolated
from any of my captive-bred or long term captive collection;(such as
specimens used for photographing or at a metro park talk or two). Any
others are either kept or found a good home for with the provision that
they NOT be released into nature again. This is why I think it is so
important to think before we collect animals.
There are some studies going on now with box turtles and
preliminary results seem to indicate that animals re-released in different
areas than where captured have a quite low survival rate.
Any other thoughts out there?