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Posted by Colchicine on April 20, 2003 at 10:42:47:
In Reply to: Rodent vs Amphibians - My perspective [up dated] posted by mike z on April 19, 2003 at 23:28:18:
I think that you brought up some very valid points.
I certainly do agree that there are circumstances where amphibians must be used to acclimate animals to captivity (although I have to brag that I have recently changed over an adult wild caught hognose to mice without sacrificing a single limb of an amphibian). All I can ask is that people make an honest effort not to depend upon wild animals as a source of food for a pet snake, and are aware of what amphibians must go through to survive. I largely agree with the protocol Mike has for taking amphibians. He is obviously aware of his surroundings and the animals there within it, and is sensitive to the animals that may not be as successful as others. One of my motives behind arguing against amphibian feeders is that people don't know anything about amphibians and consider toads to be as ubiquitous as flies. In short, I am trying to educate people here on the value of amphibians in an ecosystem. But, as I stated before, the commonness of any one animal is not directly related to that species ability to resist decline or extinction. As I stated before, some species need to exist in large numbers to survive. Large numbers of any one species is not an invitation to harvest it as a ripe fruit.
I am sure that most people carry the same idea as Mike, that their limited take will not have an effect on the population, and there can't possibly be more than just a few hognose keepers in any one given neighborhood. But this mentality has consistently shown itself to be in valid (reference the Tragedy of the Commons). Examples of the lack of validity of this mentality abound, filling of wetlands, applications of pesticides and fertilizers, watering of lawns, urban sprawl, creation of roads etc. Of course there are practical limits to this, but it goes to show that every event has an accumulated effect.
Do not take this as hard-core criticism Mike. I just insist on pointing out flaws in the justifications of using amphibians as feeders, as much as you insist on using amphibians as feeders. I recognize it as a personal preference.
I especially liked this statement "There is no excuse for poor husbandry and yet poor husbandry generates endless excuses.", I find this to be very true when discussing change to some of these forum posters who consider any amount of inconvenience a life-threatening change!