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Posted by Lester G. Milroy III on June 09, 2002 at 16:31:32:
In Reply to: Roundtail posted by Jaylyn on June 09, 2002 at 12:52:24:
: I am from Alberta, Canada - a few weeks ago I purchased a roundtail (Actually I was told he was a desert HL, but sent a picture to Lester to identify as I had suspicions - thanks Lester!) HL at a reptile show. The seller did know their diet requirements and came pretty close on the housing/hibernation requirements. We live in the country and have excellent access to ants, I have experience with other reptiles and stay home to look after them - so I knew we were prepared to look after him. From his size, Lester estimated him to be 3-4 years old.
: My first question is - how can it be econimically feasible to import WC HLs (when so many die in the process) and sell them for $55 CAN (the cheapest animal at the show)?
: My second question is regading a the ants. I will send a picture for identification if needed - but they are red with a black abdomen and quite small. We also have tiny all light red ants and black ants. Are these all OK to use? To date, I've only used the red and black ones. I refridgerate them before feeding, but the problem is if I drop more than four in at a time and they warm up - they often attck him and he gets quite frightened. So, I drop them in one at a time for him. How many ants a day should he be getting? I have also have given him a few pinhead crickets which he likes (no more than 5 a week) - is that too many?
: And finally, he doesn't dig down into the sand at night - he climbs into a plant pot (with a plant in it) to sleep. Could the sand be too cold (the house drops to about 65F at night)? Or is it OK that he sleeps there?
: Thanks for any feedback!
:Jaylyn, if the HL has picked his spot in the plant container, that is what is right for the HL. Sometimes you just have to let the animal decide what is acceptable.
The ant question is hard to answer until the ant genus/species is identified. If the ants are not within the HLs natural range, experimentation will have to be done in order to determine compatibility and tolerance. The ants may not be compatible. If an identification can be made, then there can be another decision made.
Exporting WC HLs to Canada is a problem. The only thing there is, is WC HLs in the pet trade. With an increase in numbers being captured, that puts greater demand on the wild populations and increases the number of HLs that will die in transport. Economics, like you are promoting, at the cheaper price, would guarantee increased demand on wild populations. Nearly all of the HL species now are protected at state levels and soon at the federal level. This venture would also promote illegal trade of protected species, because most folks, law enforcement folks too, do not know the difference between a Roundtail HL and a Desert HL. How about the Regal HL? Or the Shorthorned Lizard? Or the Coast HL? There is already a major increase in the import and export of protected and endangered species. Why create another problem or the decline of a species that is already shifting in population decline? How would the HLs survive in an area that is not their natural range, even in captivity? Food resources are not present? No study on the availability and compatibility of ant resources in Canada? Increase in the number of folks who do not know how to care for the HLs in the first place. Lester G. MIlroy III