Releasing pets into the wild

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Releasing pets into the wild

Post by webmaste » Wed, 31 Jul 1996 04:00:00



Quote:



> >>    If I let my iguanas loose in the northern part of Florida,
> >>    could they live through the winter? Should I travel to southern
> >>    Florida to let them go? (they are big iguanas)

> >   I want to make it clear *why* everybody's been telling you not
> >to release your iguanas. It's not so much that they may have a hard
> >time surviving after being pet animals, but that you'd be introducing
> >a large non-native species into an ecosystem, which often has very
> >unforseen and disastrous consequences on that ecosystem. For example,

> What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
> a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
> a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

Possible introduction of diseases into the wild population
Possible damamge to the gene pool if the animal is, unbeknownst to you,
some odd hybrid
A captive raised animal might not be able to deal with life in "the
wild"

I'm sure there are more reasons...

Atalanta Pendragonne

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/2273/

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Sarah Gallagh » Thu, 01 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:


>>    If I let my iguanas loose in the northern part of Florida,        
>>    could they live through the winter? Should I travel to southern
>>    Florida to let them go? (they are big iguanas)

>   I want to make it clear *why* everybody's been telling you not
>to release your iguanas. It's not so much that they may have a hard
>time surviving after being pet animals, but that you'd be introducing
>a large non-native species into an ecosystem, which often has very
>unforseen and disastrous consequences on that ecosystem. For example,

What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

Sarah
----------

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/slg

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Nathan Ten » Thu, 01 Aug 1996 04:00:00



Quote:


>> What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>> a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>> a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?
>Possible introduction of diseases into the wild population
>Possible damamge to the gene pool if the animal is, unbeknownst to you,
>some odd hybrid
>A captive raised animal might not be able to deal with life in "the
>wild"
>I'm sure there are more reasons...

Possible genetic contamination of local populations.  This is a big one for
species like the gray-banded king that have lots of distinct, very
locality-specific "phases".

Possible introduction of parasites, as well as diseases; if the notional king
picked up a mild case of some obscure *** parasite from a Burmese, it could
carry that parasite into the wild, where the native species might be
ill-adapted for it.  Ditto diseases, of course.

Possible genetic drift in captivity---many generations of captive breeding
might bring out characteristics that aren't particularly harmful in captivity
but could be serious in the wild.  (This is a little more far-fetched than the
others, IMHO; barring a *large* number of introductions of animals with a
deleterious trait, the trait will just be selected against in the wild in the
usual manner.)

And the issue of diseases, in particular, is not just paranoia; wild
populations really have been adversely impacted by pathogens that may have
arrived as a result of CB animals being released.  (The desert tortoise is the
best-known example.)

To quote the FAQ:

======
If you have a native herp that was caught in the wild, and you know exactly
where it was caught, and you're very sure it hasn't been exposed to any
pathogens while in your care, and it hasn't been in captivity too long, you
*might* think about releasing it.  Even then, it probably isn't a good idea.
======

        NT
--

     Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, CA   http://www.moonsgarden.com/~ntenny/

 The rec.pets.herp FAQ lives at http://www.moonsgarden.com/~ntenny/herps/FAQ.html

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by tob » Thu, 01 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:



>>>    If I let my iguanas loose in the northern part of Florida,        
>>>    could they live through the winter? Should I travel to southern
>>>    Florida to let them go? (they are big iguanas)

>>   I want to make it clear *why* everybody's been telling you not
>>to release your iguanas. It's not so much that they may have a hard
>>time surviving after being pet animals, but that you'd be introducing
>>a large non-native species into an ecosystem, which often has very
>>unforseen and disastrous consequences on that ecosystem. For example,

>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

>Sarah
>----------

>http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/slg

Death of said animal.
Toby

http://gxl.woodtech.com/~toby/
 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Bill Sava » Thu, 01 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

I can think of a couple good arguments against it.  First, captive animals are
at high risk of having been exposed to diseases that could have a devastating
effect on wild populations.  Even an animal that seems clean and healthy in
captivity could be carrying some sort of pathogenic flora in its gut, or other
assorted "bugs" that the local wild population isn't able to cope with.  
Second, the more generations of captivity that have been behind the animal
being released, the more selective pressures have been put on that animals
breeding line for surviving captive conditions.  Releasing an animal into a
"wild" that its recent ancestors weren't part of may not be doing that animal
good.  If there has been several generations of selection for animals that do
well on white lab mice and shortened (or eliminated) hibernation seasons,
adaptation to the conditions available in the wild may not be quick enough to
keep the animal alive.  Add to that the fact that even normal flora in an
snake's gut can become pathogenic under stress, and the release into an
unfamiliar environment is certainly potentially very stressful.    

You also need to consider what qualifies as the animal's "proper" habitat.  
Just because the animal in question may be of the same species as animals
known to inhabit the area doesn't mean it is genetically or behaviorally  
identical to local animals.

Bill

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Lyle Zimmerma » Fri, 02 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

   The current argument is most importantly that the animal may have
been exposed to microbes that would be lethal to naive populations.
Large numbers of desert tortoises are thought to have died as a result
of releases of captives which had picked up respiratory viruses,
possibly from domestic animals such as dogs or cats. The released
animals were asymptomatic, but spread the virus to the wild animals
which didn't have an immune defense.
   In many cases, captive animals may be from distinct genetic strains
that wouldn't ordinarily be found in a given area. In Cape Cod, there is
a problem with non-native (released) box turtles competing with the
native turtles.
   I'd like to believe that someday it might be possible to use
captive populations to bolster wild populations- but it's a very, very
complicated problem, and it's definitely not one that amateurs (such as
myself) should be dealing with at this point in time.
 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Kuhlina » Fri, 02 Aug 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
Gallagher) writes:
>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

>Sarah

You planning on making a trip?:)
 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by wilso » Fri, 02 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>>   I want to make it clear *why* everybody's been telling you not
>>to release your iguanas. It's not so much that they may have a hard
>>time surviving after being pet animals, but that you'd be introducing
>>a large non-native species into an ecosystem, which often has very
>>unforseen and disastrous consequences on that ecosystem. For example,
>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?
>Sarah

The introduction of pathogens into native populations.... In many states it;s
illegal. Here in Arizona it's illegal to even release a animal ( snake, lizard
or otherwise ) back into the wild after it's been removed 'from it's immediate
place of capture'.
There is some evidence that the UR infection that's running through the Mohave
population of the Desert Tortoise was introduced via an animal(s) that was
released into the wild.
If you can no longer care for an animal, and can find no one to take it from
you, have it/them humanely put to sleep.
Turning it loose only relieves a guilty feelings. "out of sight, out of mind".

        thanks
        fred wilson

        ***s Unlimited
        visit our web page       http://www.moonsgarden.com/***s/***.htm

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by snoo » Sat, 03 Aug 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

I don't see any problem releasing a wild-caught animal unless it has
a disease or injury.

Obviously, a captive-bred animal will have either a diminished ability,
or no ability to hunt prey (since it didn't have to search and outsmart
prey in captivity).

snooz

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by terry swa » Sat, 03 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Here's a good reason not to do it; it's illegal...

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Tim Staa » Sun, 04 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:


> >What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
> >a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
> >a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

> I don't see any problem releasing a wild-caught animal unless it has
> a disease or injury.

> Obviously, a captive-bred animal will have either a diminished ability,
> or no ability to hunt prey (since it didn't have to search and outsmart
> prey in captivity).

> snoozThe laws referred to by Terry Swan are aimed at protecting gene pools and

populations, not individual animals. I know of no research which suggests
that captive bred reptiles have any dimished capacity to hunt. They are
instinctive predators.

The laws are intended to prevent genes from different locales from being
introduced into wild populations. Captive bred animals are usually bred
without regard to their point of origin, so that their offspring are
really from no specific locale. Even locality-specific breeders are
rather general in their designations of points of origin. Scientists feel
that a wild caught animal should be released only at the exact spot at
which it was caught. I frequently break this law when I catch snakes on
the double yellow line on rural roads, but I think the shoulder's close
enough.
--
# Netscape folder cache

 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Lyle Zimmerma » Sun, 04 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
>>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
>>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?
>I don't see any problem releasing a wild-caught animal unless it has
>a disease or injury.

   How do you tell whether the wild-caught animal is carrying a
disease? This is exactly the scenario that is thought to have led to
a major decline in a population of desert tortoises: wild-caught
long-term captives, which had been exposed to dogs and cats, were
released. They are thought to have transmitted a respiratory virus
to the wild tortoise population against which the wild population
had no immune defense; they'd probably originally picked up the virus
from the cats or dogs. The wild population crashed.
 
 
 

Releasing pets into the wild

Post by Mike Fr » Sun, 04 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:


> >>What would be the arguments against releasing a captive-bred and
> >>a wild-caught animal into the habitat of that species, eg. releasing
> >>a kingsnake into the appropriate area of America?

> >I don't see any problem releasing a wild-caught animal unless it has
> >a disease or injury.

>    How do you tell whether the wild-caught animal is carrying a
> disease? This is exactly the scenario that is thought to have led to
> a major decline in a population of desert tortoises: wild-caught
> long-term captives, which had been exposed to dogs and cats, were
> released. They are thought to have transmitted a respiratory virus
> to the wild tortoise population against which the wild population
> had no immune defense; they'd probably originally picked up the virus
> from the cats or dogs. The wild population crashed.

Don't forget gopher tortoises in FL, too. . . well, and countless others.  
Realeasing pets is a horrible idea.  If people take the responsibility of a
pet, they need to take responsibility for finding them a good home in the event
they can no longer care for them.  The animal is their responsibility.  If they
are not up to this sort of committment, they have no business getting a pet in
the first place.

Mike
--
__________________________________________
"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew."

http://www.skypoint.com/members/mikefry/
http://www.worthington.com