>> 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
>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
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
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
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.
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