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Five Poecilotheria species - Endangered status and limitations

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by EulersK, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Aleetist

    Aleetist Arachnosquire

    So, I just need to start up a Youtube channel and label it "Educational" right? Right!?!?! :angelic:
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  2. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoprince Active Member

    I wonder if that would qualify actually. I'm sure if you went to a reptile show every X amount of months and made a presentation that might work as well.

    @pocock1899 do you think there is any way to set up a legitimate reintroduction program with India or Sri Lanka to get pairs of some of these species bred and released back into the wild? Admittedly I know very little about the logistics of these kinds of programs, but it's an idea I have actually been toying with for a little while, and if it would help the species and the hobby as a whole I would be more than willing to learn and try my hand at breeding these guys.
  3. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Just to be clear, this is not in place yet guys...it officially starts on August 30th. Until then, you are free to buy and sell these species across state lines.

    @Liquifin If you want to keep ornata before its too late, now is the time to buy some slings.
    Read the paper, they don't trust that our CB spiders are the same as their wild ones...therefore they will not introduce any of our hobby spiders into the wild no matter the outcome.
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  4. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoprince Active Member

    I figured that, but couldn't a program be launched where a few pairs of wild caught adults are given to participating hobbyists/breeders then the offspring of those wild caught specimens could be reintroduced? I'm sure one male could be used for more than one pairing, and just a few sacks would see hundreds of these spiders back in the wild population.
  5. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    I seriously doubt they are going to collect any of these spiders at this point, what you suggest is exactly what they are trying to minimize right now...the export of their wild poecilotheria.
  6. MintyWood826

    MintyWood826 Arachnoknight Active Member

    They're just begging for smuggling. :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

    Hmm... would a mass social media movement help hobby Poecilotheria or make things worse? Or be ignored? Or not be possible?
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  7. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    Including one of the listed species a "freebie" (along with a purchase) to promote one's business or entice sales would probably still be considered "in the course of commercial activity" for the purposes of the Act.

    I would say you'd better start keeping records of the lineages of your slings so that you can document that your slings don't belong to any of the listed species.
  8. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I would be surprised if that was the case, considering the specific part (highlighted earlier) that stated that it "isn't their intention to cause difficulties for breeders of these species or a decline in the pool of captive held specimens. The act also does not prohibit a number of activities related to captive breeding of the listed species..."

    I would love more intensive clarification on what these breeding related activities that are allowed actually are.

    Reading this part, it really seems like they don't want to hinder captive breeding...but then they prohibit sales and in theory, maybe the giving away of them...I just don't see how the two can exist together as they seem in direct conflict with one another.

    I wonder if there is some loophole here we are missing. It also gives the example of "does not prohibit ownership, possession or keeping of listed species that was legally acquired and not taken in violation of the Lacy Act--nor is interstate transport of animals that are not for sale, not offered for sale..."

    So it certainly does seem like giving them away as freebies would be allowed...provided they are not part of the stock being actually sold/advertised.

    Is the stock already here considered not in violation of the Lacy act as they would almost certainly be (in the US) captive bred stock, probably several generations of captive breeding...so would this already existing stock not necessarily apply? (I doubt it)

    One cannot just say in one breath that they do not want to hinder captive breeding populations within the hobby and then in the next, prohibit all the things that would go along with breeding and distributing within the hobby. That's pretty contradictory.

    The places they allow, museums and zoos, do not and will not supply the hobby....heck, they likely won't even consider a breeding program with them.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  9. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to be used as legal advice. The content of this post is offered for informational purposes only. This post should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a competent attorney regarding any legal matter.

    Giving it away would be allowed if you had a spider, and you wanted to give it away. However, "freebies" are only included with purchases, and they are done to promote the business and induce sales. If that's not "in the course of commercial activity," I don't know what is. (The term "in the course of commercial activity" is broader than just selling or bartering.)

    In fact, the Endangered Species Act FAQ seems to support this interpretation:

    At best, the practice of giving away protected species conditioned on the purchase of other merchandise is something that regulators would likely take issue with if you were caught. You can argue that this is not a commercial activity and, thus, is not prohibited by the ESA. However, if you are arguing about definitions to a judge or jury, you have already lost, IMO. In a best-case scenario, you have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees defending something that probably netted you a lot less.

    This is outside my area of expertise, but my understanding is that the Endangered Species Act grandfathers existing legally acquired specimens, allowing you to do the following with them:
    • possess them
    • breed them
    • participate in breeding loans (where some offspring are returned to the lender but no money or other consideration changes hands)
    • give them away (as in truly for free, not conditioned on the purchase of other merchandise)
    • sell to a buyer within the same state (provided there are no other laws prohibiting it -- this is a big if, as many states have their own laws that govern activities involving protected species)

    The Endangered Species Act prohibits the following activities with protected species:
    • importing
    • exporting
    • selling or offering for sale in interstate or foreign commerce
    • bartering/trading
    • delivering, receiving, carrying, or transporting (in interstate or foreign commerce) in the course of a commercial activity
    • taking (includes harming, harassing, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting) within the United States or on the high seas

    Note: These prohibitions apply to live or dead animals, their progeny, and parts or products derived from them.

    There is one loophole, although it's not one that hobbyists are likely to find satisfying: the hybrid offspring of animals bred in captivity are not protected by the ESA. (It is recommended that breeding records be maintained to show parentage and hybrid status.) Note: This does not necessarily mean there are no other laws that prohibit trade in hybrid tarantulas.

    Laws that end up undermining their stated goals are sadly nothing new. See the war on drugs.
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  10. sdsnybny

    sdsnybny Arachnogeek Arachnosupporter

    I think breeding loans across state lines are still ok as far as i read it. As long as no money changes hands the shipping costs durring the loan wouldnt be counted.

    "What situations are exempt from the prohibitions of the ESA?"

    "Loans and Gifts
    Lawfully taken and held endangered and threatened species may be shipped interstate as a bona fide gift or loan if there is no barter, credit, other form of compensation, or intent to profit or gain. A standard breeding loan, where no money or other consideration changes hands but some offspring are returned to the lender of a breeding animal, is not considered a commercial activity and, thus, is not prohibited by the ESA and does not require a permit. Documentation of such an activity should accompany shipment."
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  11. pocock1899

    pocock1899 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    A reintroduction program is a really tough thing to set up. Years ago I worked with an effort to reintroduce tamarins, bred and raised in American zoos, back into the Amazon.
    Getting all of the countries interested, and willing to invest time and money is very tough. Getting all the permits is also pretty tough. However, the most difficult thing for a Pokie reintroduction would be finding genetically pure spiders, with records of their genetics that contain all of the information from when (along with where) the original spiders were taken. Admittedly, some keepers maintain those kinds of records, but it would be tough to find those pure strains and breed enough for release. You'd have to have somewhere to release them, and a pre-release survey, as well as follow-up surveys. It's a process that can take a lot of time, dedication and money. Lots of money.
    But, sure. If you can find the purebred spiders, with the accompanying records, you could do it.
  12. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnobaron Active Member

    I'm interested to see what the big sellers (the ones who have their own websites) who have these species will do. Some, ones in it for money, will likely raise their prices, then if they don't sell them all before the ban takes affect try to dump them at discount. The ones who actually care (I know of at least couple who I believe are in this category) may hold on to some and breed them. Of course this speculation, though based some knowledge (I had a friend who ran collectibles store in the ninety's - possibly the most mercenary, cut-throat business there is)
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  13. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Lets not forget that there are also 6 Indian species being considered. While the fight is basically over with the Sri Lankan species (once animals go on the ESA list, they tend to not come off it) every one of us should be contacting the people listed earlier in this thread to make our voices heard about the Indian species.
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  14. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arachnoprince

    If they really cared about propagating the species, it would seem the best approach would be to characterize each species genetically. That would take some cost and time, but once this information is established, I believe it would be inexpensive to verify individuals for breeding/reintroduction purposes.
  15. jezzy607

    jezzy607 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I'm not sure about the legal obstacles, and other obstacles (lack of profitability, integrity, etc.), but it would be neat to have a non-profit set up by well informed and experienced hobbyists and "professionals" for the purpose of conserving, educating, sharing or "adopting" (not selling) captive bred specimens of endangered Poecilotheria (and maybe a separate one for Brazilian endemics).

    The group could receive donations (not for the adopted spiders!) that are in return, used for shipping expenses, donated to educational outreach, NGOs, or conservation groups within the USA, or Sri Lanka that help with the spider or land conservation.

    There could be a (hopefully) simple approval process for "adoption", that involves agreeing to a certain set of rules and laws (both government and group). Breeders could list their stock to the group admins, and adopted spiders could be sent from the breeders.

    You'll have to excuse my naivety. I realize, even if something like this was possible, there would have to be enough people to care about the species, and hobby, more than profits.
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  16. MintyWood826

    MintyWood826 Arachnoknight Active Member

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  17. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoprince Active Member

    I like how they acknowledge that captive breeding satisfies almost all of the demand for the spiders. Also, anyone who calls a spider an insect should not be allowed to influence legislation on said spider.
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  18. spookyvibes

    spookyvibes Arachnobaron

    Maybe it’s due to my ignorance on how these things work, but I really cannot understand why they can’t just ban the importation/exportation of these species. And making them harder to get in the US isn’t going to do anything to help the very few that are being taken from the wild. Chances are they’ll just go to Europe, right?

    This whole ordeal is such a drag. I was really looking forward to keeping some of these species.
  19. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnobaron Active Member

    Dumbest thing said in this article was, “We’re thrilled that these beautiful spiders, imperiled by human greed, now have additional protections to help them survive,”. Even if they're protected, it won't be fully enforced. The location of the pokies is on Sri lanka, not the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Basically speaking, if Sri lanka wanted to destroy more acres of land of the pokies. The US can enforce them and tell them to stop. But if Sri lanka claims something stupid like, "it's for the government" or "here is our papers from the Sri lanka government". Then they can destroy the land and ignore the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service like they're a joke.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  20. MintyWood826

    MintyWood826 Arachnoknight Active Member

    They do use 'arachnid' later, but yes!!

    I seriously don't get them. They are doing this to Ts in the US when the real problem is in Sri Lanka!