New here but have been in the hobby for a while. Had to take a break while moving countries and having kids but working on getting a new setup.
I was talking to my dad (in his 70's) and he asked a pertinent question that I thought I would ask on here. He asked that, if I am going to keep Lizards, why not do good and help breed an endangered species. I think this is an excellent question, as I am going to go to the effort of building a habitat and looking after and breeding the inhabitants, then why not do it as part of a conservation exercise?
Is this generally done? Are there contact details of organisations that would considered a 'Distributed' model for breeding endangered species of Lizard?
I have a similar interest and now manage the European Studbook for the Sungazer: Smaug giganteus and Armadillo Lizard: Ouroborus cataphractus - unfortunately there is not too much management going on due to the lack of individuals and breeding activity.
In the past I have been involved with the Jamaican Boa and Standings Day Gecko captive breeding programme - both of which were coordinated by Durrell Zoo. Besides the above species, I am currently involved with the Egyptian Tortoise and hope to begin working with the Lemur Tree Frog and Chinese Crocodile Lizard in the not too distant future.
Have a look at the European Studbook Foundation website - www.studbooks.eu to find out more. If you have any questions, I am more than happy to help if I can.
Generally speaking the zoological community and the private / hobby community rarely mix which is a real shame in my opinion.
Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.
Interestingly, I had (I believe) Sungazers on my property when I grew up in South Africa. I was fascinated by them (we had a family group) and regularly saw babies (spent time protecting them from the cat, etc). If I was able to get involved in a proper breeding program for them or Oroborous, that would be ideal. I understand though that specimens are super hard to find or get hold of, so I guess I will just need to be opportunistic.
I will look at the studbook page in more detail. I think this is exactly the sort of thing that I was talking about - preserving the animals in captivity and developing expert husbandry methods seems to be more realistic than somehow stopping climate change or environment destruction.
What do you think the best way for me to get actively involved is?
I have been out to South Africa as part of my research project - check out www.saveoursungazer.com - such an awesome species and experience.
Both the Sungazer and Armadillo Lizards are rare in captivity and there remains a great deal of dubiety as to their legality. When available expect to pay around £800-1000+ per animal.
There are many species, some more common in the hobby than you would expect which may be of interest to you such as the Dumeril's or Madagascar Ground Boas, Monkey Tailed Skinks, Chinese Crocodile Lizards, Fiji Iguanas, several different species of tortoises and of course amphibians of all shapes and sizes are in real need of our help - maybe contact your local zoo and see if you can be of any assistance on a voluntary basis to get your foot in the door?
I truly believe that as resources at zoological collections are stretched - private keepers may be called upon to assist with projects involving some of the smaller species.
Very good points, I will start looking into it. Thank you for taking the time to reply
You are most welcome - if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
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