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Posted by Robert Haase on October 25, 2002 at 15:27:00:
In Reply to: We're on the same page posted by trey on October 24, 2002 at 20:19:56:
You are clearly an educated and well-informed person. I agree that targeting single species, rather than ecosystems, is the wrong path to success in conservation efforts. Unfortunately in this state, habitat fragmentation will outweigh almost all efforts to sustain long-term population viability. The competition for land and the resultant effects on land prices have created an impossible situation in terms of habitat reserve size and design. This is the big problem for both Rana aurora and subaquavocalis...the limits of available suitable habitat in which to introduce them. Once again, economics dominate any possible recourse in preserving that which we have no right to abuse and obliterate--the marvel of the diversity of life on earth. Lessons from the past are slow to be absorbed but we must keep trying...because extinction is forever. Kudos to your spouse for their efforts. Preserving lemur species is a tall order, considering the horrifying rate of habitat loss in Madagascar. I'm glad to know that there are people like both of you around. Thanks.
As far as the creation of a captive gene bank for L alterna, I think for those who are devoted to locale-matched captive snakes are only persuing personal interests in the natural variation of a polytypic species. I can support that for what it is...curiosity about the vaiation possible within a single sub-population. I agree that in the big picture is is meaningless within a conservation context. Any efforts directed at maintaining wild populations would involve restricting land use (a complete joke in Texas) ie. range animals, exotic species, you know the parameters. That takes us back to economics. I don't want to go on, as I'm sure we have similar views on this subject. Thank you for your posts and stay in touch if you wish.