Is keeping WC animals ethical?

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can’t speak about crabs as I know little to nothing about them. However, I find the whole issue of capturing wild animals for the pet trade a complicated bag. So many cons…trauma and deaths associated with the actual capture and transporting, indiscriminate selling to anyone with the $$, possibly endangering natural populations, etc etc. So few pros, but significant enough to weigh equally… destruction of natural habitat and pollution leading to threats of extinction, increasing human fondness and caring for the animals which leads to promoting education and action to preserve natural habitat, increasing our knowledge of the animals and world around us, etc.
While in the wild the animals face many natural threats and have shorter lives overall, they do live natural lives and are free.
I think this is a question that is best answered by one’s own beliefs and philosophies.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can’t speak about crabs as I know little to nothing about them. However, I find the whole issue of capturing wild animals for the pet trade a complicated bag. So many cons…trauma and deaths associated with the actual capture and transporting, indiscriminate selling to anyone with the $$, possibly endangering natural populations, etc etc. So few pros, but significant enough to weigh equally… destruction of natural habitat and pollution leading to threats of extinction, increasing human fondness and caring for the animals which leads to promoting education and action to preserve natural habitat, increasing our knowledge of the animals and world around us, etc.
While in the wild the animals face many natural threats and have shorter lives overall, they do live natural lives and are free.
I think this is a question that is best answered by one’s own beliefs and philosophies.
Totally agree with all of the points you make and have similar views on it at all. I think a major one that is overlooked(like a lot of animal people don't like zoos for example) is that it educates the public and makes things real. Most people need to see something to empathize with it. Treating the animal well, while showing what's needed to care for them, might do a lot of good for the species and give people some appreciation. Then again, it could get stupid people to just want them more... furthering the pet trade in negative ways.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
This is a question I've gone back and forth on for years and I still don't have an answer.

People have domesticated cats, dogs, hamsters, mice, gerbils, fish, oxen, horses, etc...some for our comfort and some to help us do work. We have also held in confinement cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc ...some to eat as food and some to get food (milk, butter, cheese, eggs, etc) from.

I suppose crabs, chameleons and numerous others fall into the comfort bracket.

The thing is, if keeping one species is ok...then does that make it ok to do it to all species? Should we let the cats and dogs, etc go back to nature and not keep any animals? Could we even do that? Would they survive? Should we keep some animals with certain rules about keeping them (such as how small an area should they be allowed to be kept in?

If we want to have an animal for a pet and they aren't kept in captivity now, we have to take some from the wild. Breeding them is the best option so the animal will only know captivity I suppose.

There is one more reason to take some from the wild and learn how to breed them IMHO ....to be able to keep them from extinction and possibly return some to the wild when/if a disaster causes a severe decline of the ones in the wild....like the rhinos are now for instance.

At the moment, on one hand, I think it really isn't such a bad thing as long as it's done sensibly. Then I still keep flipping back to saying all animals should be free.

This is a good question @jamest0o0 !
 

dinomom

Avid Member
I was hoping you'd post about this actually lol. Do you have any experience with the patriot crabs? I need to dig some more on their status as far as being threatened goes. My concern isn't that the crab wouldn't have a nice life, I'd for sure go all out. I just don't want to be part of a pet trade if the collection is hurting their numbers in the wild. It would be really cool to give a shot at breeding though. I do think the wild is a rough place for them and can probably live pretty happily in captivity. They're just such a unique case because of how difficult and unique the breeding would be.
Sorry I don't know about them specifically. I would assume that like most crabs, they require high humidity to breathe due to modified gills, so keeping them in a tub is out. I know the few people who have bred hermits were able to keep them outside, i.e. Florida. I know the Patriot is very uncommon in the trade so I doubt it is making a big impact on their numbers-the Hallowe'en is much more common to see. It sounds like a worthy endeavor, as you said crabs have a fast life-cycle allowing you to try/experiment with a lot of things. (versus my monkey frogs, only breed once a year and take 3 years to reach maturity so you have to wait a year between attempts)

As I am sure you know many animals require male competition to stimulate breeding, and you may have losses, so I think you should have 4 or 5 to start with but again this is just conjecture. Good luck!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is a question I've gone back and forth on for years and I still don't have an answer.

People have domesticated cats, dogs, hamsters, mice, gerbils, fish, oxen, horses, etc...some for our comfort and some to help us do work. We have also held in confinement cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc ...some to eat as food and some to get food (milk, butter, cheese, eggs, etc) from.

I suppose crabs, chameleons and numerous others fall into the comfort bracket.

The thing is, if keeping one species is ok...then does that make it ok to do it to all species? Should we let the cats and dogs, etc go back to nature and not keep any animals? Could we even do that? Would they survive? Should we keep some animals with certain rules about keeping them (such as how small an area should they be allowed to be kept in?

If we want to have an animal for a pet and they aren't kept in captivity now, we have to take some from the wild. Breeding them is the best option so the animal will only know captivity I suppose.

There is one more reason to take some from the wild and learn how to breed them IMHO ....to be able to keep them from extinction and possibly return some to the wild when/if a disaster causes a severe decline of the ones in the wild....like the rhinos are now for instance.

At the moment, on one hand, I think it really isn't such a bad thing as long as it's done sensibly. Then I still keep flipping back to saying all animals should be free.

This is a good question @jamest0o0 !
Yeah I agree, i have no problem with WC for means of breeding/preservation. I'm speaking of species that are impossible or near impossible to breed in captivity. I'm all for creating CB populations of animals.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry I don't know about them specifically. I would assume that like most crabs, they require high humidity to breathe due to modified gills, so keeping them in a tub is out. I know the few people who have bred hermits were able to keep them outside, i.e. Florida. I know the Patriot is very uncommon in the trade so I doubt it is making a big impact on their numbers-the Hallowe'en is much more common to see. It sounds like a worthy endeavor, as you said crabs have a fast life-cycle allowing you to try/experiment with a lot of things. (versus my monkey frogs, only breed once a year and take 3 years to reach maturity so you have to wait a year between attempts)

As I am sure you know many animals require male competition to stimulate breeding, and you may have losses, so I think you should have 4 or 5 to start with but again this is just conjecture. Good luck!
Good point about being less common. They are apparently seasonal breeders so tend to come by at certain times of the year. The lunar tide cycles would be tricky replicate for mating, same with the changing of salinity through the 5-6? larval stages in the water. I love the halloween crabs, but apparently if they're happy, you never see them... they just stay buried except a little bit at night. Patriot crabs are said to get used to their owners and are more active, some can even handle theirs. I absolutely love the vampire crab species too. Must have them some day!

And BTW your monkey frogs are super cool! Are they difficult??
 

dinomom

Avid Member
Good point about being less common. They are apparently seasonal breeders so tend to come by at certain times of the year. The lunar tide cycles would be tricky replicate for mating, same with the changing of salinity through the 5-6? larval stages in the water. I love the halloween crabs, but apparently if they're happy, you never see them... they just stay buried except a little bit at night. Patriot crabs are said to get used to their owners and are more active, some can even handle theirs. I absolutely love the vampire crab species too. Must have them some day!

And BTW your monkey frogs are super cool! Are they difficult??
Honestly yes..but maybe not a lot more than chams re short life without exact husbandry. Problem is there is less info available.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I said...."There is one more reason to take some from the wild and learn how to breed them IMHO ....to be able to keep them from extinction and possibly return some to the wild when/if a disaster causes a severe decline of the ones in the wild....like the rhinos are now for instance"... If we don't try to learn how to breed them then if it comes to a point where they are going to be extinct, how will they survive? Won't we just lose them?

For example...
"In fact, Atelopus zeteki might already be extinct in the wild, with the population remnants having been removed to captive breeding facilities"...
https://www.torontozoo.com/animals/Panamanian golden frog

https://www.torontozoo.com/tz/pct
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I said...."There is one more reason to take some from the wild and learn how to breed them IMHO ....to be able to keep them from extinction and possibly return some to the wild when/if a disaster causes a severe decline of the ones in the wild....like the rhinos are now for instance"... If we don't try to learn how to breed them then if it comes to a point where they are going to be extinct, how will they survive? Won't we just lose them?

For example...
"In fact, Atelopus zeteki might already be extinct in the wild, with the population remnants having been removed to captive breeding facilities"...
https://www.torontozoo.com/animals/Panamanian golden frog

https://www.torontozoo.com/tz/pct
Yes I agree, and it does seem that a few people have been able to breed them if the internet is to be believed. That said, many crabs have extremely difficult/near impossible to replicate breeding requirements. A lot in their environment, from the lunar cycles to salinity changes in water, can impact their breeding behavior. So in some cases it's just not realistic, at least not for the average person.
 

Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
Short answer yes, especially given the fact that there won't be a wild left for them.

Also thanks to Disney movies and some documentaries people have a romanticized view of nature. Completely oblivious to the fact that survival of the fittest is not just a saying.

Predation, starvation, dehydration, and being eaten alive from the inside(or outside depending on how hungry the predator is) are a few of the ways animals go, living to a comfortable old age is the exception, not the rule.

And they certainly don't have vets to goto.

So yes i fully support keeping WC animals if for nothing else than to infuse captive bloodlines.
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Short answer yes, especially given the fact that there won't be a wild left for them.

Also thanks to Disney movies and some documentaries people have a romanticized view of nature. Completely oblivious to the fact that survival of the fittest is not just a saying.

Predation, starvation, dehydration, and being eaten alive from the inside(or outside depending on how hungry the predator is) are a few of the ways animals go, living to a comfortable old age is the exception, not the rule.

And they certainly don't have vets to goto.

So yes i fully support keeping WC animals if for nothing else than to infuse captive bloodlines.
Lol I agree, but read what I said😆 It's regarding species that can't be bred, or can't be bred by the average person. Crabs are difficult/impossible to breed in captivity. many of them at least.
 

Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lol I agree, but read what I said😆 It's regarding species that can't be bred, or can't be bred by the average person. Crabs are difficult/impossible to breed in captivity. many of them at least.

Well someone has to try, hobbyists often have a history of besting the experts.

Also I recall the dark ages where chameleons were regarded as impossible to keep, and this was true until full spectrum uvb bulbs became widely available.

Things change as our tech advances in sure difficult to keep species will become not so difficult.

Dragon snakes are an example of this, a few breeders are managing to get enough things just right to get viable eggs and CB babies from them, when they used to just die promptly regardless of skill level.

As for crabs dont they jettison their eggs when exposed to salt water? If so you likely could use one of those tanks designed for the keeping of jellyfish to suspend the larvae, also we do thankfully have the breeding of micro foods down to a science now, that an average person could do it if they wanted.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well someone has to try, hobbyists often have a history of besting the experts.

Also I recall the dark ages where chameleons were regarded as impossible to keep, and this was true until full spectrum uvb bulbs became widely available.

Things change as our tech advances in sure difficult to keep species will become not so difficult.

Dragon snakes are an example of this, a few breeders are managing to get enough things just right to get viable eggs and CB babies from them, when they used to just die promptly regardless of skill level.

As for crabs dont they jettison their eggs when exposed to salt water? If so you likely could use one of those tanks designed for the keeping of jellyfish to suspend the larvae, also we do thankfully have the breeding of micro foods down to a science now, that an average person could do it if they wanted.
It's not quite the same, the level of difficulty between breeding chams or almost any reptile vs some crustacean species is worlds apart. Many crabs are easy to keep alive and healthy given proper set ups, but the breeding is a different story. Not always just about getting eggs, but providing the right seasonal/lunar/environmental cycles to even get them to breed. Then the larvae might need changes in salinity(according to what I read) as they go through their stages. They also need to be able to climb out of the water before they drown once they turn into tiny crabs, so you'd need a beach type of set up. The tiny crabs also need to be able to burrow a few feet in sand and have plenty of micro feeders.

The jellyfish idea could be good to keep the water moving without having powerhead which would surely kill most larvae.

Not saying it's impossible, at least not for patriot crabs(if the internet is to be believed a few people have managed it), but for most people it may be impossible. It'd require a lot of time and money to pull off, would definitely be a fun project though!

So for the average person that is not able to devote the time/resources to attempting such a project, is it still ethical to keep them? I guess I'm of the opinion, if there are plenty in the wild without the pet trade hurting them, and one is able to give them an optimal home for a full lifespan, then I'd feel okay with it I think.

I believe vampire crabs are easier, or most of them. They are one of the few 100% freshwater crabs, even for breeding. I definitely love these guys too.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well I was going to throw my two cents in but my view on it has already been stated, basically it depends on the species and what that species is facing. For example if it as a species nearing extinction, then I'm all for breeding and keeping wild caught specimens rather than let the species die off. For the rest of the situations I'm more neutral I guess, not against or for it really. And even species on the edge of extinction are variable, because I wouldn't agree necessarily with an animal that exists only in captivity due to it's natural habitat disappearing and the wild population with it. Plus in that situation, the captive population would only have so much genetic diversity.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes, I realize I have got here late, the issue of reintroducing a species to the wild is also something in the back of my mind in this area, as if an ecosystem has adapted to the absence of an animal, reintroducing it could be devastating.

On the note of crabs, could it be the young require brackish water? I know some other creatures are like that. And reading the other posts that could be a possibility. The best chance at success I'd imagine would be to try and replicate where brackish water occurs in nature. I'll admit though I have limited knowledge, just going with what I do know.
 
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