Death of the hobby? A must read!

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Death of the hobby? A must read!

Postby Bushviper » Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:41 pm

Yip it has finally happened. The draft list of invasive species has finally seen the light.

The draft list has been published by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and is open for comment. You can contact me, go to their website or ignore it, as you wish.

I have condensed the recommendations as this would take up far too much space.

As far as reptiles and amphibians are concerned the following species are blacklisted. Prohibited list in terms of Section 67 of the Biodiversity Act (No 10, 2004)

Invasive Species Requiring Compulsory Control
Restrictions and Controls
Invasive species that require strict control. Only species where effective control is possible (including by individuals) are listed here.
1. May not import specimen into country (including from sea).
2. May not have in possession or exercise physical control over any Category 1a specimen.
3. May not grow, breed or in any other way propagate specimen, or cause it to multiply.
4. May not convey, move or otherwise translocate specimen.
5. May not sell, trade in, buy, receive, give, donate, accept as a gift, or in any other way acquire or dispose of a specimen.
6. May be prosecuted or served with directive if fail to comply.
7. Authorities may control species at owner's expense and risk.

Agama agama Agama, common
Ambystoma tigrinum Salamander, Tiger
Bufo bufo European toad
Bufo marinus Toad, marine / cane
Chelydra macroclemys Turtle, alligator snapper
Macrochelys temminckii Turtle, snapper
Boiga irregularis Tree snake, brown
Trachemys scripta elegans Slider, Red-eared
Hemidactylus garnotti Gecko, Indo-Pacific
Hemidactylus turcicus Gecko, Mediterranean
Hemidactylus frenatus Gecko, house
Tarentola mauritanica Wall gecko, Moorish
Litoria caerulea Treefrog, Whites
Osteopilus septentrionalis Treefrog, Cuban
Anolis distichus Anole, bark
Anolis sagrei Anole, brown
Basiliscus vittatus Basilisk Green
Leiocephalus carinatus Lizard, Northern curlytail
Eleutherodactylus coqui Coqui, Puerto Rican
Eleutherodactylus planirostris Frog, Greenhouse
Rana catesbeiana Bull frog, American.
Notophthalmus viridenscens viridescens Newt, Red-spotted

What this means is that if you have the above species you will be prosecuted. Your only legal recourse is to kill the animal. If not they can destroy all the animals which are invasive and give you the bill to pay, even if you only had one specimen.

Invasive Species Regulated by Activity
Invasive species that are permitted on a property, but for which certain activities are not permitted, e.g. sale no longer permitted; only zoological collections are permitted to have species.
1. May not import specimen into country (including from sea).
2. May not grow, breed or in any other way propagate specimen, or cause it to multiply.
3. May not convey, move or otherwise translocate specimen.
4. May not sell, trade in, buy, receive, give, donate, accept as a gift, or in any other way acquire or dispose of a specimen.

Gekko gecko, Gecko, Tokay
Iguana iguana, Iguana, green

What this means is that you cannot keep this animal however if you are not a zoological garden you may only kill it because you cannot even give it to the local zoo, because to get it there you have to transport it and even that is illegal.

Species Under Surveillance
Alien species that may be classified as listed invasives after due investigations, or
extra-limital species that may be classified as listed extralimital species after due
investigations.
1.The Minister may require that purchaser or recipient of land must be notified of the presence of Category 5 species on the land, if it is possible to know this.
2.Must notify purchaser of species itself that it is a Category 5 species.

Afroedura pondolia, Pondo flat gecko.
Afrogecko porphyreus Marbled leaf-toed gecko
Bradypodion damaranum Damara dwarf chameleon.
Hemidactylus cf. mabouia Gecko, tropical house
Bufo gutturalis, Guttural toad
Hyperolius marmoratus, Painted Reed frog
Agkistrodon contortrix Copperhead
Agkistrodon piscivorous Cottonmouth
Crotalus atrox Rattler, Western diamondbacked
Elaphe guttata Snake, corn
Elaphe obsoleta Snake, rat
Eublepharus macularius Gecko, Leopard
Lampropeltis getulus(ssp. californiae, nigritus, splendida) Kingsnake,
Californian/Mexican/Desert
Lampropeltis mexicana (ssp. Alterna) Kingsnake, Gray-banded
Lampropeltis pyromelana Kingsnake, Arizona mountain
Lampropeltis triangulum Snake, Mexican milk.
Morelia spilotes ssp Python, Carpet
Pituophis melanoleucus Snake, Gopher/Pine
Pogona barbata Dragon, Bearded
Ptyas mucosus Snake, Asian/Common rat
Uromastyx acanthinurus Lizard, Black spiny-tailed
Uromastyx aegypticus Lizard, Egyptian spiny-tailed

These are species that the authorities are looking into which can be upgraded quite easily and then they could fall into the above category. The first six are indigenous and permits will probably never be issued for keeping them as one or two specimens have been found outside their normal range. What is ironic is that the first gecko (Pondo Flat gecko) is regarded as under threat because of gecko number four displacing it (Tropical House gecko).

Mark my words, these species are going to be listed within no time and that will be the end of the reptile pet trade. As such you already have to notify anyone buying any of these species that it is under review and could be uplisted in future. If the new owner can prove you did not notify them and the species is listed higher then you will be held accountable and as such would have to pay reparations. Import of these species (even into other provinces) will also not be allowed at this time.

Some of the reasons for these animals being listed include:

Corn snake. Inhabits diverse habitats from wooded groves, rocky hillsides, meadowlands along water courses, around springs, woodlots, banyards and abandoned houses from sea level to 1900 m asl throughout South East USA and West and South to Texas and adjacent Mexico. Taxon originates from relatively similar climatic zone and general habitats than found in SA. Not known invader elsewhere but potential reproductive and niche competitor to SA Colubridae (several members)

Leopard gecko. A disjunct Southwest Asian distribution, including Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India. Taxon originates from similar climatic zone and inhabitats rocky outcrops in semi-desert and montane regions of the Middle East, from Iran to Pakistan - similar habitats to those found in SA. Potential reproductive and niche competitor to SA Gekkonidae. Many specimens in captivity in SA.

The Carpet python (although the species is actually the diamond python): Those Australian subspecies originating from similar climatic zones and general habitats than found in SA may pose an invasive threat in general python habitats in South Africa. A number in captivity in South Africa.

The Bearded dragon: Agamid lizards, with Pogona barbata found in wetter, wooded areas in Eastern Australia, including cleared areas. Large terrestrial and semiarboreal
lizards, commonly seen in open woodlands, other species more semi-deserts to deserts, preferring arid climates. P. barbata common in recently-burned areas around Sydney. This taxon would be at home throughout most of SA and could be a reproductive and niche competitor to South African Agamidae. Bearded lizards are common garden fauna in suburban backyards in Australia. Not known to be invasive elsewhere but this taxon may pose a potential risk for invasion. (This species does not occur in South Africa in any case but they might realise they have the wrong species listed)

The Milksnake: Lampropeltis triangulum Snake, Mexican milk. At least 9 subspecies.Inhabits diverse habitats from semi-arid to damp coastalands to open deciduous woodland meadows, rocky hillsides, high plains, dunes, farmland and urban areas from SE Canada southwards through most of the USA, and especially south to Mexico from sea level to 2500 m asl. Taxon originates from relatively similar climatic zone and general habitats than found in SA. Not known invader elsewhere but potential reproductive and niche competitor to South African Colubridae (several
members) ( L. triangulum, the nominate species is not the Mexican milksnake either)

It is my opinion that the “experts” who drew up the lists are all from the Western Cape Nature Conservation, and as such does not say much as they cannot be considered experts in exotic reptiles. It seems as if they went to the list of invasive species of Florida, and South America, and spoke to somebody from Australia, looked in Bill Branches book, and that was as far as the research was undertaken. A quick look at a list of species applied for in the Cape was then included as well.

Not one exotic reptile or amphibian was listed as exempted from Risk Assessments i.e. they all have invasive potential until proven otherwise.

Now is the time to do something about it. I have done my share in the past and am not going to tackle this one as I am exempted from this because I have a zoo license. The ball is now in every amateur herper’s court to get together and take on the government and do what you have to, to halt or reverse this situation.

Feel free to post this on any other websites that may be interested.

For the original PDF files including mammals and birds you can mail me at bushmaster@webmail.co.za
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Postby viper200 » Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:23 am

This is not good :-(
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Postby ColinF » Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:26 am

You have my full support here BV. What's the next move? What can I do to help?
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Postby Gabi » Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:59 am

We've got to do something about this! Invasive?!?! What about the millions of stray cats? What about the dogs that irresponsible people can't keep in their gardens that go off in search of bitches on heat not kept in their gardens thus bringing more unwanted dogs???? This is ridiculous. We seriously have to do something!!
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Postby gremlin » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:15 am

What to do? What to do?
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Postby Bushbaby » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:23 am

Luckily this is just the draft, so if we act fast enough we should be able to change this (I hope).

I know there is a meeting on Friday in Jhb, but apparently only people who are invited are allowed to attend. Possibly some of you could try contacting Nat Con and try getting in. I don't know if they will, but it's worth a try. I know the guys from the Pet Traders Ass. have been invited, and hope that as many as possible of them will make it.

I suggest writing letters appeal this. If you can have them in my inbox by Thursday, I will be happy to print them and send them along with BV (whom I hope will be able to go). I don't have e-mail addy's directly for the guys at Nat Con, etc.

If you do decide to write letters, please include all your details, and please, no foul language / hate mail.

I also want to try get hold of weather records, geographical records and such of Florida, Australia, and others. If anyone can help out, it would be appreciated.

I also think that habitat information, etc on specific species, which are listed and are very common, could also be useful. Once again, anyone with any info, please forward to me.

We all need to stand together if we wish to get this changed. It is not just going to effect Gauteng, but the WHOLE of SA. Please guys, lets work on this!!
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Postby Sean » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:28 am

:evil: Mmmph!
billygoats taste of chicken
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Postby froot » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:30 am

Surely this is a result of impact assessments done on each species? Could we possibly get a copy of the information that they base their findings on?
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Postby Bushbaby » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:32 am

I'll mail it to you, but I don't think they did any impact assessments on the species they chose.
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Postby ColinF » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:36 am

Bushbaby wrote:I suggest writing letters appeal this. If you can have them in my inbox by Thursday, I will be happy to print them and send them along with BV (whom I hope will be able to go). I don't have e-mail addy's directly for the guys at Nat Con, etc.


If possible, please get us the address of the best person to send the letters to. We don't want to send these emails to the tea lady by mistake...
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Postby froot » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:38 am

Thanks. It is all very well to assemble a petition but if the complaints are not based on argumentative facts they'll just get laughed at. We need to study this properly and assemble a substantial list of reasons for our argument based on facts. We need to do this properly and we have only till friday. There is much work to be done.
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Postby snake-5 » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:03 am

Once again these @#%^& are stuffing things up can somebody possibly set up a web page for comments and we will see what we can do down this side.Gabi said it right if we are not allowed to trade our pets what about all the cat and dog breeders will they also try and stop that.Id rauther like to see that than stopping reptile breeders.What about all the thretened reptiles due to habitat distruction and ignorant people killing them are they then going to stop that to ???
MY RETICS ARE ADIMANT THAT PEOPLE TASTE LIKE CHICKEN.

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Postby froot » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:19 am

I agree but its all very well to point fingers at other people's invasive pets. All they will say is 'this particular proposal is concerning reptiles only, not dogs and cats'. As BV said, their research is not thorough and it's up to us to complete it.
BB u sent that email?

How are we going to coordinate this? Please brainstorm. Any advice from the veterans and experts is obviously welcome. My opinion, we need to do some research first. Those of you who keep a species on that list need to get more facts about them and give references if possible and prove your point.
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Postby snake-5 » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:27 am

Just got off the phone with a friend from jhb.Can we please arrange a list to be sent out to every pet shop and other place that sells reptiles so we can start getting the ball rolling ,remember that THIS EFFECTS EVERYBODY, even those keeping just one corn snake.Most of which do not even know about this draught we need to create awareness and more voices opposed to the banning of these reptiles...
MY RETICS ARE ADIMANT THAT PEOPLE TASTE LIKE CHICKEN.

Im Zenafobic... that zena chick from t.v scares the cr@# out of me.
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Postby Bushbaby » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:30 am

I agree. We all need to comprise a list of reptiles we have and research as much about them as possible. You have to look at where they occur, habitat, etc.

If you want to send e-mails, send it to SAReptiles@webmail.co.za please.
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