Are we breeding into sub-specie

ClmbrJ

New Member
Let me start with spelling; I can't. I am not going to spell check, you know what I am trying to say! This post is going to be long and is a bit of a troll so let's get that out of the way.

Now, I have been wondering on something I think is going to be a tricky subject and have been working on a way to bring it up so it doesn't sound too bad and I think I have come up with an annalogy that works.

My Family and I have been animal people all our lives, My mom and Uncle taught me to hunt and fish when I was VERY young and I have a connection with nature I feel sad to say too few experience these days.My Family is native American and a lot of the traditional beliefs of us belonging to the planet, not the other way around were ingrained in me from the beginging; But, I am still a greedy American no matter how hard I try not to be. We have been raising, breeding, and training hunting dogs all my life, and I have had orfan pets ranging from Sharks, dolphin, turtles, gators, racoons, rabits, ....you name it. I have had three Vields, all of whom I took from a bad situation. But, I always knew that if one of these cams got sick I would most likely NOT take it to the vet.

That's right I said it, I don't think I would take my Cham to the vet. There is one exception, and that is if something I DIRRECTLY did could be reversed. (intestinal blockage might work as an example here) That is to say, that I would take to the vet if my dirrect hand had a dirrect effect and could be reversed only be a vet.

Now, Let me explain my reasoning here before you jump my sh!t.

The American Kenel Club is presently considering sub-specie classification for some of it's breeds. Mainly the labs. The reason for this is that what hunters and field trainers are after for in a lab has evoloved into something totally different from what a ring judge wants to see. Thay have actually evolved into two specie over the past 20 years or so, one being short and compact, with long hair for the ring, and the other tall and powerfull as well as easy to clean, for the field.

Back to Chams:
My point here is that we are currently breeding towards two different species, a wild one, and a domesticated one....

Now, I understand that what we keep are considered pets and we grow attached and feel obligated to do everything (humanly) possible to prevent any sort of "harm" to our pets; but don't we also have an obligation to the overall health of the captive specie? If a breeding cham is constanly going to the vet for eye infections and he/she is of a population where the other chams are not showing the same symptoms, we are breeding a tendancy for eye infections. The fact of the matter is that we are taking away the natural selection process (this applies even more so to human populations if you can bear the thought) Thus weakening the overall captive population.

I am not saying ignore your cham and let it die at first sign of illness. But, I know my husbandry is accurate...if Jet develops MBD then more than likely he was at a genetic disadvantage and no amount of money or vet time can change that. And, in the wild he would quickly be gobbled up by something if he was anything but tip-top shape, this is the way of the world (or at least the world we have yet to gain control over)

We try to mimic there every condition in the wild...sun, rain, food, light......but not illness or death? Evolution?

ofcourse, the only true solution here is to let them all go back to the wild and I would let mine go in a heart beat if you could garuantee me he would make it safely back to yemen, but that just aint gonna happen is it?

So, let's see if I can sum it up...we find ourselves in a situation where there is established captive breeding populations, as well as a market for more. How do we go about enusering the best for the ENTIRE captive specie?

do we continue to run to the vet for every little thing pumping them full of antibiotics and weakening thier immune systems. Growing them as fast as we can to lessen the time to maturity and breeding readiness. Feeding un-natural amounts to have large clutches for higher profits? (no offense breeders I know this is not how it is always done but it does happen)

Or, do we try to take in consideration what really is natural? That some Chams die for a myriad of reasons, that captive bred animals do not have predators and we are acting god-like and accept the fact that we do not have a 100% or even 80% survival rate? Thus stregthening the overall specie and encouraging even more hardiness and a cham better suited for the indoor environment?


p.s. please don't flame me too hard for this :rolleyes:
 

Heika

New Member
I am not going to flame you for your beliefs. However, I will present mine.

It is my belief that when a person takes an animal into their home, eliminating that animal's ability to hunt, forage, bask, move from its surroundings to another area, limit or increase its reproduction, etc., then that person owes a certain amount of responsibility to the animal. That animal is giving its very life to its owner. There is no real reason behind it except for the enjoyment the owner gets from keeping the animal.

Who knows how well that animal would survive in the wild? What difference does it make? It is not in the wild, it is in captivity. As a captive chameleon, it has a whole set of challenges that it would never encounter in the wild. I can just about guarantee that chameleons don't develop MBD in the wild. It is simply not a disease that comes from a natural environment. It comes from a lack of calcium and UVB.

Do you really believe that we are breeding a different species in chameleons? I don't think husbandry has been perfected to the point where that has happened yet. I believe that, for the most part, chameleons genetically hatch in very similar body form to their wild counterparts. Captive animals may possess less or more nutrients than wild animals, but that depends solely on the husbandry of the owner. If a clutch of those animals were released into the natural habitat that the species was originally taken from, they would have as good a shot of survival as any other wild animal. Clutches born into captivity probably have a much lower chance at survival to adulthood than their wild components. Ignorance and poor husbandry claim the lives of many, many animals. The cheaper chameleons get, the more likely their owner will feel the way that you do. The animals don't receive the medical care they require when they are sick, and don't have the basic necessities for a healthy captive environment. A huge amount of captive bred animals die well before their time.

I take my animals to the vet because I feel they are precious. I value their lives. Anything that happens to them under my care is a direct effect of the captive husbandry they receive from me. If they have a blockage, it is because the temperatures in their environment was wrong, or I forced the chameleon to seek prey from a substrate. If they develop MBD, it is because I didn't supplement their artificial environment with UVB and calcium. If they become egg bound, it is because I overfed them. The animal has no control over its environment. That means that anything that happens to it was within my ability to control.

Heika
 
You're confusing breeds with subspecies. The different forms of labs are not subspecies, they're different breeds.

There are many (scientists, mainly) that refuse to classify domestic dogs (Canis farmiliaris) as a different species from the wolf (Canis lupus). According to many aspects of the definition of a species, they are the same: Can interbreed, producing fertile offspring, etc. You could easily breed dogs back into wolf populations if you wanted.

The big differences come from behavioral differences between the two, as well as size and morphological ones.

We could breed the hecko out of chameleons, but I doun't we'll make subspecies unless we make a big change. Size is one way to do it - make them incapable of mating, and they are reproductivly isolated. That makes speciation more likely, as genetic isolation is already in place.

Even if you're animals have genetic defects, take care fo them. If you're breeding, then don't breed the sickly ones. But, if they're your pets, by all means try to help the things. it's not like the future of the species rests in your ability to maintain a "wild type" bloodline. As far as pets go, think of the idividual animals' well being, not the species'.
 

Jordan

New Member
I know the point you are getting at and really it all plays into ethics. At least the part concerning breeders. I know of a breeder that feeds heavily to females (has five). He obviously wants big numbers that are constantly hatching and constant supply to make money. He also sells 1-2 month olds to pet store around the area that are not very devloped. I personally would label him as an unethical breeder and will not do business with him.
Lets say you come home one day to find that your chameleon is letting on back leg hang off of the branch. The first thing that would pop in most knowledgable chameleon keepers would either be MBD, gout, or maybe some kind of toe infection. In the Igaunid family low B1 is also know to cause this condition that does apply to all chameleons. Have you ever heard of anyone ever talk about this in chameleons. I have only meet a couple of owners of chameleons that even heard of this condition. I tell you who would know about this would be a vet that is qualified to deal with reptiles and they would check for this with that symptom. This is not to common place in insectavores more in iguanids that are being feed vegatarian diets. It could happen and under your logic it would be a sign of bad husbandry. You would not know how to fix the problem because you would not know what the actual problem was. I do not think that you could say that your husbandry is flawless unless you know all the obscure facts and research being done. Flawless husbandry would be accounting for the full year in seasons and variances in temperature and humidity everyday. Suppling optimal conditions is what we do and if we are messing with their genetics you are already a part of it by doing this. This explains why certain chameleons in the wild can get 20-30 years and be lucky to see seven with us. We do not provide seasonal changes that these guys experience naturally and their metabolism never slows like it would in the wild when there is a lack of food and cool days.
I do agree with your logic to a certain degree and their are alot of breeders that do to. Some will never breed animals that have had severe illness and still be content to have the chameleon around for the enjoyment of owning a chameleon.
 
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Heika

New Member
Jordan said:
This explains why certain chameleons in the wild can get 20-30 years and be lucky to see seven with us.
WHat?!? 20-30 years? Can you source your information, as I believe it is highly inaccurate.

Heika
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
Eric- I think in this case we are a little confused...AKC is proposing two black labs, two chocolates, and two yellows. One of each group for the ring, and another for the field. So would that be sub-breeds? I wasn't sure on that one.


Hieka- I appreciate your carring for your creatures, and your beliefs, I think where we differ the most is that I do not think it is at the point where we take an animal into our home that our responsabilities begin, but at the point BEFORE the animal is put into captivity. Simply by supporting breeders and buying supplies we alter the very nature of the species, it was not ment to be kept inside, and I do not believe in keeping things solely for our pleasure. The Cham I have, and the two previous were favors for circumstances which could not be reversed. I did not go to a store or show to purchase them, I was asked to take them. (mostly because of work I have done with spca and other animal foster centers) I do think that once an animal is born and not in it's natural environment it should be given every oppurtunity to thrive, if it does not (given that all requirements have been met) that is the way the world works.

If it were up to me all NON_DOMESTICATED animals would cease to be bred in captivity, this includes all herps, insects, mice, sugar gliders, etc. There are a lot of creatures out there that have evolved to near dependance on the human race, for these I would say evolve them back (horse, cow, pig, dog) The planet and it's creatures are not here for our pleasure or our beasts of burden, we belong to them as much as they to us. We continue to do them and ourselves dis-service through propogation of medical research, overpopulation, food hordeing, urban sprawl, etc.

Breeding an animal not meant to be inside is not something I would EVER do, but it does happen and I have chosen to care for one of these creatures because I knew I could provide better than what he was getting. I believe he is getting everything he needs (based on the two previous that lived long healthy lives) but, when he gets sick at age 5 or 6, it is time for him to go and I am ok with that. If he falls from a branch and breaks his legs or ribs...well, that could have happened in the wild so I wont be taking him to the vet.

Here is another scenario: A Volcanno goes off in Kilamanjaro and a dust cloud sets in over yemen, the volcanoe continues to smolder for the next five years blocking out 60% of the suns light over yemen. Still think MBD doesn't happen naturally? Examples like this are an every day occurance for our planet, we are silly to think otherwise. But by keeping creautres inside under our control we fool ourselves into thinking we know what and how to provide for them....we don't know much of anything really. Sure we have figgured out what an individual needs (for the most part) but we have no idea what is best for the specie, or breed as a whole, only the big guy upstairs knows that.

The fact is Animals are bred as pets and if that is so we need to do our part to protect the specie. If I run into a dog with hip-problems and that dog is AKC certified there are authorities I can call to report bad breebing practices and that breeder could lose his/her status. Breeding herps is not regulated in this way (at least as far as I know) and so long as keepers continue to pump money into the system as it stands I think the overall specie will weaken and that IS your responsebility. Maybe if only in the form of a conversation so I thank you for having one with me.:)

Jason
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
Jordan you are absolutly right, it is impossible to simulate true husbandry of a cham or anything else for that matter unless it is putting up a barrier around the natural environment (even then questions could be raised)

This is exactly why I say that if it were up to me there wouldn't be any captive held animals at all. I believe this so deeply that I eat almost nothing I don't hunt, catch, or cultivate, exactly as the big guy intended for us to do (except I live in an air conditioned house and have to constantly fertilize because I have no means of allowing the land to replenish without subsidizing crops)

Some things can't be helped...chams get bred, we live in the 21st century, but it doesn't have to stay that way.;)
 

Frank Castle

New Member
Coming from a Native American backround also, with some beliefs in the "Old Way" I think you are correct. But even native americans had Domesticated Animals "Pets if you will" The dog was one of the first ones. I think it is human nature to have companions (could be pets).

I believe that socitey as a whole has lost a valueable peice of information that came from the Native americans. They believed that everything belonged to everything (as you said earlyer). But as Americans(Or many other Ethnic groups and countries) we dont give back to nature the way Native Americans did. Everything now a days is take, take, take. Maybe that is what we are doing with these "Pets" Take, Take, Take.

One way I look at it is that this "Pet Trade" and many of these people on this site, are actually conserving some of the Creatures that may not have natural habitat here in the future (Granted we still need Ethics in breeding top of the line animals). Do we let these wonderfull creatures die off do to Human Ignorance? That Take, Take, Take is taking their Natural Habitat.

I do not believe in some of the breeding practices that some of these breeders use. The animals are soly Profit, and in that sence, the people that are doing this have lost the spirit of these animals and theirselves.

I personally believe that any time we bring an animal into care/captivity (I know you would never do this, and comend you for taking care of animals people discard) that we are ultimatly responsible for them. Granted the example you said about falling, Natural, but other ilness form Ignorance should be seen by a vet. "You broke it, you try and fix it" type of thing. If the animal could care for it self it would be a diffrent story in my opinion.

I think this is a great thread, a lot has been said, and a lot of views/beliefs. Thank you for bringing this up and seeing what people actually respond to is nice.

Frank
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
I like your wording Frank.

Have you read Ishmael by Daniel Quine by chance??

The "takers" as he calls them are the society that hordes food, leading to an amazing amount of global delima.

As for the dogs in an Indian tribe, your absolutly correct, although I see a small diference in that it was a symbiotic relationship where the dog helped track or find the food a person killed and got to eat. He was just as much a member of the tribe as anyone else; where today if a person was unable to feed both himself and the animal we all know who would come first. This was not the way of native americans and is still not the way of south american tribes who routinley use monkeys to retrive kills from the cannopy...if the monkey is hungry you can bet the whole tribe is just as hungry.

Furthermore, I agree compleetly that some of these animals are loosing thier natural environment at an alarming rate, to a small extenet this would happen naturally even if humans were not here (erosion for example) but why conserve the animal and not the land? The animal only becomes a priority because the human is himself his own priority, if the priority was the environment itself we would not need to raise the creatures in captivity.

Lastly, the d1 vitiamin defecency point was one I hadn't previously thought about. And you guys are right in the frame of mind that "you broke it you fix it" or at least do everything you can. I have an almost unique perspective: I already fixed what was broken. It is easy for me who has taken on someone elses mistake to set back and become more of a spectator than a care giver without feeling bad about it and I didn't for a moment expect people to see or even agree with that standpoint. Mater of fact I have gotten a lot less anger than I expected.....so far.

-J

oh, and if haven't read that book you should try to pick it up. If you have read it, check out the sequel ... My Ishmael.
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
I would really like to hear from some breeders on this. I don't for a second think the above mentioned actions are the norm and am in no way making accusations.

This topic is purely for conversation sake.
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
ClmbrJ said:
Let me start with spelling; I can't. I am not going to spell check, you know what I am trying to say! This post is going to be long and is a bit of a troll so let's get that out of the way.

Now, I have been wondering on something I think is going to be a tricky subject and have been working on a way to bring it up so it doesn't sound too bad and I think I have come up with an annalogy that works.

My Family and I have been animal people all our lives, My mom and Uncle taught me to hunt and fish when I was VERY young and I have a connection with nature I feel sad to say too few experience these days.My Family is native American and a lot of the traditional beliefs of us belonging to the planet, not the other way around were ingrained in me from the beginging; But, I am still a greedy American no matter how hard I try not to be. We have been raising, breeding, and training hunting dogs all my life, and I have had orfan pets ranging from Sharks, dolphin, turtles, gators, racoons, rabits, ....you name it. I have had three Vields, all of whom I took from a bad situation. But, I always knew that if one of these cams got sick I would most likely NOT take it to the vet.

That's right I said it, I don't think I would take my Cham to the vet. There is one exception, and that is if something I DIRRECTLY did could be reversed. (intestinal blockage might work as an example here) That is to say, that I would take to the vet if my dirrect hand had a dirrect effect and could be reversed only be a vet.

Now, Let me explain my reasoning here before you jump my sh!t.

The American Kenel Club is presently considering sub-specie classification for some of it's breeds. Mainly the labs. The reason for this is that what hunters and field trainers are after for in a lab has evoloved into something totally different from what a ring judge wants to see. Thay have actually evolved into two specie over the past 20 years or so, one being short and compact, with long hair for the ring, and the other tall and powerfull as well as easy to clean, for the field.

Back to Chams:
My point here is that we are currently breeding towards two different species, a wild one, and a domesticated one....

Now, I understand that what we keep are considered pets and we grow attached and feel obligated to do everything (humanly) possible to prevent any sort of "harm" to our pets; but don't we also have an obligation to the overall health of the captive specie? If a breeding cham is constanly going to the vet for eye infections and he/she is of a population where the other chams are not showing the same symptoms, we are breeding a tendancy for eye infections. The fact of the matter is that we are taking away the natural selection process (this applies even more so to human populations if you can bear the thought) Thus weakening the overall captive population.

I am not saying ignore your cham and let it die at first sign of illness. But, I know my husbandry is accurate...if Jet develops MBD then more than likely he was at a genetic disadvantage and no amount of money or vet time can change that. And, in the wild he would quickly be gobbled up by something if he was anything but tip-top shape, this is the way of the world (or at least the world we have yet to gain control over)

We try to mimic there every condition in the wild...sun, rain, food, light......but not illness or death? Evolution?

ofcourse, the only true solution here is to let them all go back to the wild and I would let mine go in a heart beat if you could garuantee me he would make it safely back to yemen, but that just aint gonna happen is it?

So, let's see if I can sum it up...we find ourselves in a situation where there is established captive breeding populations, as well as a market for more. How do we go about enusering the best for the ENTIRE captive specie?

do we continue to run to the vet for every little thing pumping them full of antibiotics and weakening thier immune systems. Growing them as fast as we can to lessen the time to maturity and breeding readiness. Feeding un-natural amounts to have large clutches for higher profits? (no offense breeders I know this is not how it is always done but it does happen)

Or, do we try to take in consideration what really is natural? That some Chams die for a myriad of reasons, that captive bred animals do not have predators and we are acting god-like and accept the fact that we do not have a 100% or even 80% survival rate? Thus stregthening the overall specie and encouraging even more hardiness and a cham better suited for the indoor environment?


p.s. please don't flame me too hard for this :rolleyes:
brevity is key
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
I have tried being brief with topics similar to this in the past. It usually ignites a shit-storm of opinions based in lack of information.

but thanks for your contribution.
 

Jordan

New Member
I regards to the comment I made of chameleons getting 20-30 year in the wild is a guess but not completely unfounded. As far as I know there has been no research of a chameleons from birth to death in the wild. It is not like you could tag them with a beaker and then come back as they grow to properly install another one. I made this comment in regards to them being a memeber of the the sub order iguania. Their is no way to properly age reptile bones unlike are own. The longest know captive iguania that I have heard about was a green iguana that lived 29 years. The longest I have heard in chameleons in captivity was a Jackson that made it 14 years. I threw that number because I have heard of a signifigant amount of Igaunias with a wide range of species that have made it to those ages in captivity. You can not properly supplement thing that occur naturally that most of these animals are dependant on in the wild. Which leads me to believe that these high age number in captivity may not be so uncommon in the real world. Other reptile sub orders that have a little bit slower metabolism can reach extreme ages I do not think we should count these guys out of that realm.
 
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Actually,chameleons are, for th emost part, very short lived in the wild. Stresses of predation, parasites, drought and famine take their toll. Ad in territorial stress, and it gets worse.

The more docile, low-stress montane species probably live a lot longer than panthers and veileds.

In captivity, they will live longer, if conditions are right. Veileds will easily live 5+ years, and some have lived over 12 years.

Jacksonii will live a decade, provided they get cool enough. Deremensis over 10 years as well. Melleri so far have the longest recorded lifespan, 18 years.
All these are under optimal conditions, with cold seasons, and cool nights. Keep them war, and they do not live as long.

Parsonii probably live very long lives as well.


Now, since this is a conservation thread now, i'll throw in my ideas.

I do not buy into the "guilt trip" idea that we are "bad" for keeping wild animals. Or that we are "bad" for domesticating wild animals. It's hypocritical in a number of ways: first, you're doing it. Second, and most importantly, it denies humanity's role in nature. You say we "Take take take" but don't give back. Untrue. Nature is constantly in motion, always changing. We are as much a part of nature as any other animal.

Everything we take and put back is part of nature, whether we've farmed it, harvested it, fished it, cut it down, burned it up, or dumped it into the streams. It may impact nature differently than any other animals, but it is not separate from it.

Why feel guilt over keeping chameleons? If you do things right, you're giving them a much better, longer life than they'd get in the wild. Furthermore, if you're dealing with CB animals (and you should!), you're not harming the wild populations. In some instances, where wild populations are under threat from deforestation, CB/farming programs are the only way to preserve the species. You can't preserve habitat, but you can preserve aspects OF it.

So many people make themselves feel guilty over keeping pets. You should only feel guilty if you are not providing the animals with a good life.

PETA, has a similar policy. They take people that have this "guilt" over captive animals, and exploit it. So much, it goes in a complete circle. Many people, like you, love animals, and have this "guilt" simply because you love animals. PETA takes people like you, and warp their minds into doing the unimaginable. They advocate the KILLING of all domestic animals, and all wild animals kept as pets, which cannot be introduced back into the wild.

YOU love the animal. PETA does not give the individual animal any rights, or compassion, just the animals in general.

A good way to "get around" your percieved guilt (without cheating!), is to not get caught up in the PETA mentality: Love the individual animals, for what they are, and care for THEM. If you know you are providing this particular animal with a better life than possible elsewhere, be proud of that. And don't let backwards organizations like PETA make you feel bad - you're doing a GOOD thing, for THAT animal!

Had a lot of coffee - to hell with brevity!
 

Frank Castle

New Member
Clmbrj: I have not read that book, I will have to go pick it up. I personaly Like the books by Tom Brown. "The Tracker" "The way of the Scout" etc. There are many diffrent fictional novels.

As far as the dog thing, I argree with you. They were used as a tool/part of the tribe. My analogy was that it is human nature to domesticate. Chams are totaly diffrent than dogs/monkey (Not very usful in survival).

Eric: That is true that we still give back to the earth, but not the way I meant. For the most part we consume and dump (Negative return to nature). What I was refering to was how the native americans gave back in a positive manner to nature. They believed in a "Balance" So what ever they took they gave something back to help repentish what they were taking.
Dont get me wrong there are still many out there that do something similar, but the Majority (Here in United States and other contries as well) take all they can, when they can, and dont do anything positive to help replentish.

Along the lines of what was said earlyer, Do you guys think we a breeding a Domesticated species of Chams? There have been references in this thread about Dogs vs Wolves, Domestic vs Wild. With all the CB chams availble now days, does anyone think we are breeding anything out of these chams to make them more "Pet Friendly"? Is it to early to tell? Dogs were domesticated over 100's of years, Chams only really the last couple of Decades. Dont mean to add fuel to the fire, but Interesting I think.

Frank
 
We could be breeding a domesticated form, definatly. IT takes time and selective breeding. I breed for a good balance of color, and large size. I do not breed for personality at all. You want domesticated animals, you breed for animals that depend on us, and that ar emore docile. It can be done.

I should have been clear. You are a bit misinformed about the native americans in general. Much of how they interacted with nature would come as a surprise to many. They burned huge expanses of forest and grasslands in order to hunt. They destroyed large areas of forests, and changed their ladscape to suite their needs. So many people are unaware of how the natives actually lived, they lump them all into this "noble savage" idea, of how they were innocent children of nature, living in harmony wiht the world, not affecting it in any negative way. It's pure bunk.

they wer epeople, and lived as people: Impacting their environment in very substantial way. There are tracts of land in the West that are completely different than the anchient land - deforestation and deliberate burnings allowed other plants to move in, completely changing the ecosystem.

The thing is, time has past, and nature covers up the tiny little marks we leave. We are not separate from nature, we are, in many cases, a catalyst of nature. Man can change natural systems faster than nature does. the biggest way we have destroyed natural systems is to put out forest fires. It prevents the "natural" processes, and leads to the eradication of many species dependant on fire.
 

ClmbrJ

New Member
morning everyone!

Eric, In no way am I saying we should feel guilty! I dont at all, I am doing exactly as you say...preserving something that has no home. And I do Love my Cham, as well as my three dogs, ferret, turtle, and the racoon that I have trained to bring me pecans in exchange for dried fruit.

As far as putting back into nature I see your point, it was one a baught into for a long time, the mentality our culture and media would have you buy into is that we are all doing our part....recycling, using landfills, organic farming, even cars that run on electricty. The truth is as this rate the planet won't last another 5 human generations, we still take land away from nature (and therby out of the evolutionary process even if only temporarily) That is not what we or any other creature were intnended to be. No other creature devours the planet the way we do. It is really all in the name of food if you think about it. We want all our favorite foods to be available all the time...right up the street at the restaurant or store. This is not how animals are meant to be, we just convinced ourselves that for some reason we are special and don't have to obey the rules of the garden (anyone see an apple tree?) well guess what the garden is almost GONE!! That is exactly why some of us keep the pets that no longer have a home range.

I am saying be very proud for carring for an animal, any animal. And continue to do so, but look at that one animal as a small part of something bigger. Look at a hunting ranch: I spend a lot of effort ensuring that my ranch is a natural environment for deer and other animals to thrive in. I burn it every decade or so, make sure to climb up the acorn and pecan trees, and unfortunatly because the ranchers and farmers from nieghboring ranches have killed off all the panthters and cayotes, I have to play the role of predator. I am sad to see a deer I have watched grow every year have to be killed, but it is nesc. to maintain balance and frankly a quicker death than what a pack of cayotes would do. It is only because of my management of the ranch that he got so big and healthy anyway. I don't feel guilty about this I feel great. That ranch is being used as that land was intended, if it werent for the idiots around me and the fire department I wouldn't have to do anythig but go and hunt on it (though I would have to watch my back for those pesky mountian lions) and drop a few seeds from whatever I am eating that day.


But Frank is right, let's get back to the real topic, are we breeding into to seperate breeds? Vields have for the most part been a solely captive specie for what 6 or 8 generations at least? We are breeding for color, size, and heartiness already why not breed for resistance to MBD, or respitory infections? Here is my vote: You want to take your pet to the vet for something? Ok great! But comunicate with everyone around you about it: Call the breeder and let him know about your cham, perhaps he will not breed that particular cham again. And for sure don't breed your cham if he/she has to go to the vet a lot (dare I say at all) If you know of anyone else who has chams from that same breeder or clutch..talk to them and see if they are having similar experiences. Just my vote.








I have decided to hate brevity

-Jason
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not intending any of this to flame you with anything I say, so please don't take it that way...I'm just trying to understand.

You said..."I have a connection with nature I feel sad to say too few experience these days.My Family is native American and a lot of the traditional beliefs of us belonging to the planet"...I wish you had explained what these beliefs are to do with this topic so I could understand better. (I have a bit of an idea of what you might mean, but I would rather hear your own beliefs.) I have long admired people who only took what was needed from the land and had respect for it...this applies not only to native peoples of the world but groups like the Mennonites too. I wish I had the strength to be like that, but I don't.

You said..."I have had orfan pets ranging from Sharks, dolphin, turtles, gators, racoons, rabits, ....you name it"...how is rescuing them different from rescuing veileds? Would you take them to a vet if need be? Or your dogs? (Just trying to understand.)

You said..."we are currently breeding towards two different species, a wild one, and a domesticated one"....just for the record, that isn't two different species...yet. Some people are inbreeding which I don't like to see done...and I talk to as many people as I can about it.

You said..."Now, I understand that what we keep are considered pets and we grow attached and feel obligated to do everything (humanly) possible to prevent any sort of "harm" to our pets; but don't we also have an obligation to the overall health of the captive specie?"...I like to see the species kept healthy and pure...so all the breeding I have done is with as pure and separate lines as I can guarantee. I don't inbreed....and I don't breed morphs together if I can help it either.

You said..."If a breeding cham is constanly going to the vet for eye infections and he/she is of a population where the other chams are not showing the same symptoms, we are breeding a tendancy for eye infections"...IMHO, no...because the eye infection is likely a husbandry issue and unless we are weakening the eye by inbreeding and it becomes a genetic issue (which might be what you were meaning), it wouldn't likely be passed on. If it was something like the hip problem in dogs you are meaning, then it would be genetic and be passed on...and I don't like to see that happen. Animals with genetic problems or weaknesses shouldn't be bred IMHO.

You said.."The fact of the matter is that we are taking away the natural selection process (this applies even more so to human populations if you can bear the thought) Thus weakening the overall captive population"...you are right...we/they are taking away the natural selection but the same thing is being done when we breed dogs or other animals we keep as pets. Even vegetables and fruits are not the same as when we were kids.

You said..."I know my husbandry is accurate...if Jet develops MBD then more than likely he was at a genetic disadvantage and no amount of money or vet time can change that"...possibly nothing can change it, if it were truly genetic....but at least by taking it to a vet, there is a possibility that it could be corrected. Our husbandry might be the best we can do in captivity, but no matter how hard we try, we could be missing something that the chameleon gets in the wild...so we can't just assume that it was a genetic disadvantage and not try to correct it. If your family member was born diabetic or had asthma or had high blood pressure or a genetic problem would you not treat it? If one of your dogs was born with some problem would you simply let it die? If not...then why a chameleon? What about the orphaned animals that you took in?

You said..."We try to mimic there every condition in the wild...sun, rain, food, light......but not illness or death? Evolution?"...because its human nature to try to not want to see our pets die from something that we can prevent/cure, just as we don't want to see our family members die of something that we can prevent or cure. Its something we seem to have to do.

You said..."of course, the only true solution here is to let them all go back to the wild and I would let mine go in a heart beat if you could garuantee me he would make it safely back to yemen, but that just aint gonna happen is it?"...I would hope that you could not put it back into the wild...you might take a disease that it picked up in captivity back with it that would wipe out the whole population. People have released red-earred sliders into the wild that have now started to create problems for our own native turtles....and that's just one example.

You said..."we find ourselves in a situation where there is established captive breeding populations, as well as a market for more. How do we go about enusering the best for the ENTIRE captive specie?"...we try not to inbreed; we try to maintain them in as healthy a state as we can; we try to educate people to do the same.

You asked..."do we continue to run to the vet for every little thing pumping them full of antibiotics and weakening thier immune systems"...IMHO, they should be treated for what is necessary....just as we treat our dogs, cats, other pets...and ourselves. I don't believe in running to the doctors for every little thing myself either...and rarely take medication unless there is no other alternative.

You said.."Growing them as fast as we can to lessen the time to maturity and breeding readiness. Feeding un-natural amounts to have large clutches for higher profits? (no offense breeders I know this is not how it is always done but it does happen)"...I'm not an advocat of growing them quickly or overfeeding the females to produce large clutches...and I don't like to see it happen. I don't like to see chameleons and other lizards being sold too young either.

You said..."Or, do we try to take in consideration what really is natural? That some Chams die for a myriad of reasons, that captive bred animals do not have predators and we are acting god-like and accept the fact that we do not have a 100% or even 80% survival rate? Thus stregthening the overall specie and encouraging even more hardiness and a cham better suited for the indoor environment?"...I understand that a predator in the wild would take an ill animal but I'm not an advocat of letting them just die of an illness that is taking their life before it's time...just as I wouldn't let a dog or other animal die of something that could be cured. If you have an animal that is shows genetic weaknesses or is otherwise unhealthy, then IMHO it should not be bred. We had a dog that got cancer in her nose...she couldn't be operated on so we kept her until it became uncomfortable for her and then had her put down (yup, playing God again...but we didn't want her to suffer the agony of a slow death). It was terrible watching my father die a slow death from cancer...and I wished for his sake that it didn't have to happen.

You said..."Here is another scenario: A Volcanno goes off in Kilamanjaro and a dust cloud sets in over yemen, the volcanoe continues to smolder for the next five years blocking out 60% of the suns light over yemen. Still think MBD doesn't happen naturally?"...things do happen in nature. Some things like that we have no control over, but for small things that we do have control over we should IMHO try to do something about.

I'm not happy with the way the world is going, but it seems no matter how much we try to fight it, it still continues on its path. This past year in our town, the authorities decided to kill a beaver that had taken up residence on a small creek. It was too much trouble to install a baffle to prevent the dam from working and too much trouble to put some metal around the trees that they didn't want cut down and it was too dangerous to allow the water to build up....so they killed the beaver. I didn't find out about it until they had already done it. People in our area complain that there are coyotes in the ravines that are killing their small dogs and cats....well, don't let your dogs and cats out at night. These are the same people who complain about the increased population of rats and mice that happens when the coyotes have been removed. Raccoons, squirrels, possums, etc. they want rid of too. They use insecticides to get rid of the insects and yet they wonder why there are no bees to pollinate their crops. I expect the birds to be next because they can carry West Nile Virus.

This is an interesting thread and am looking forward to your reply and hoping to understand.
 

Jordan

New Member
I do not think their is a harmony in the enviroment. The strong survive through any means necessary. Man acts as though we are of some great importance to the world. Are species has only been around for 100,000 years and 7.5 million years as primates. That is not a long time. Does a nile crocodile who's family has been around for 240 million years live in harmony with it's enviroment. No, it will kill anything it can to survive. The elephants in this world evolved in almost a similar time frame as use and has had a dramatic effect on it's enviroment. I do not hear any one calling them the bad guys. The are responsible for deforesting the entire African continent from a lush Amazon type rainforest into a barron savannah. They are about the only reason that apes left the trees in the first place. The implications of that forest not being there start the formation of the Sahara desert and would account for alot of extinctions. The only ones that survived are animals that can migrate. If you look around the world there are deserts at the 30 pararal north of the equator. They all started after the Sahara. That is a pretty big implication of a mass climate change world wide that is still taking place in one big part to an animal that does not know of technology and never drove a gas guzzler. That is not what I call harmony with it's enviroment. It is natural to be like this. The Earth has a habit of cleaning itself off and starting a new. There have been two mass extinctions on this planet at a guess of 90% of all species being extinct. This planet has made it 4.5 billion years as an inhabital planet. I do not think we can really hurt it.
 
Jordan, you see, THAT is harmony with the environemnt! They are part of it. Where elephants destroy a forest, a new ecosystem grows in its place. Same deal with us. We stop forest fires, the longleaf pine savanna goes away, the loblolly pine/hardwood forest comes to take its place. We introduce the chestnut blight, and the forests change from 100% chestnut, to a pin hardwood forest in just decades. Go into the Appalachain mountains - it looks like it's been that way forever. It's been changed several times in just the past hundred years - from chestnut, to pine/hardwood, then that was harvested, now it's NEW pines!

Nature is violent, unpredictable, and always in flux. Thus, trying to prevent nature's change is the opposite of living in harmony with nature.
You want to live in harmony with nature? Cut down some trees, build a house, and shoot some deer. The clearing provides space for new trees, and the deer will become wary of you, and avoid your residence. Harmony!
 
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