Florida 16 Species Reptile Crackdown

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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I saw no one else has opened this can of worms yet, so let's do it.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/pythons-iguanas-florida-restricts-exotic-reptiles-76138448
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article249541298.html
Frankly, I think the ban (unlike proposed legislation we have seen recently in New York) is quite reasonable. Individuals will still be allowed to keep their animals provided they get permitted through a free process and follow enclosure guidelines. Honestly, I would like to see more biosecurity measures like this, and a greater regulation of the exotic trade in general. The question is whether they will actually be able to enforce it. And the answer? Probably not.
My primary worry with this ban is that it is just going to further the growth of the black market. Without substantial enforcement from Florida and federal FWS, I honestly don't see the situation changing. But here's hoping I'm wrong.
 

Tarantuland

Arachnobaron
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I think there should be some kind of permit system, as Burmese pythons and some other animals have done considerable damage to the ecosystems. Notably lion fish from tanks bars after a hurricane. However an outright ban on 16 species is awful and a dangerous precedent for any exotics keeper in America.

Reptile keepers and breeders were the ones catching the wild iguanas and tegus, getting them out of the wild and into the pet trade. Now doing that will be illegal.

Some of these animals such as retics have never established themselves in Florida and laws against them are senseless. A lot of the animals that are invasive are already established populations from the 70’s or before. Banning them will not stop the already existing populations.

Furthermore, cats do much more damage to the ecosystem than any of these reptiles. Cats kill billions of mammals and birds per year, including endangered species. Where is the legislation on that?

I’m certain some reptile vendors are irresponsible and sell to kids and people who can’t take care of their pets, and releasing captive animals into the wild is criminal. Now brown boxing and other unethical practices are going to be more common. These laws are not made by ecologists or people who keep reptiles. They’re made by politicians and supported by people who give in to predatory media. Regulations would make sense, but an outright ban on 16 reptiles is stupid.

Already, South Carolina outlawed tegus even though tegus have never been documented establishing populations there. I’m a conservation biology student, so it’s not like I don’t understand the negative impacts of invasive species.
 

RoachCoach

Arachnolord
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There is no easy answer. We are pretty much living the lady who swallowed a fly scenario. Except she is more than 40k people and she isn't going to eat a fly.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Messages
407
I think there should be some kind of permit system, as Burmese pythons and some other animals have done considerable damage to the ecosystems. Notably lion fish from tanks bars after a hurricane. However an outright ban on 16 species is awful and a dangerous precedent for any exotics keeper in America.

Reptile keepers and breeders were the ones catching the wild iguanas and tegus, getting them out of the wild and into the pet trade. Now doing that will be illegal.

Some of these animals such as retics have never established themselves in Florida and laws against them are senseless. A lot of the animals that are invasive are already established populations from the 70’s or before. Banning them will not stop the already existing populations.

Furthermore, cats do much more damage to the ecosystem than any of these reptiles. Cats kill billions of mammals and birds per year, including endangered species. Where is the legislation on that?

I’m certain some reptile vendors are irresponsible and sell to kids and people who can’t take care of their pets, and releasing captive animals into the wild is criminal. Now brown boxing and other unethical practices are going to be more common. These laws are not made by ecologists or people who keep reptiles. They’re made by politicians and supported by people who give in to predatory media. Regulations would make sense, but an outright ban on 16 reptiles is stupid.

Already, South Carolina outlawed tegus even though tegus have never been documented establishing populations there. I’m a conservation biology student, so it’s not like I don’t understand the negative impacts of invasive species.
I think you make some valid points here. I am glad you agree that some sort of permitting system is necessary. And you are completely right on the ecological damage of cats. But on cats, I would also like point out that in some states there is less regulation on owning tigers than owning housecats. There is something seriously wrong with that. Also, if tegus were as widespread as cats I would argue that they would likely be causing similar amounts of ecological damage.
You also may very well be right that a ban was a poor choice compared to some of the other legal alternatives. But it is my feeling that the US is in dire straights when it comes to biosecurity, and the exotic pet trade is one of the major reasons for that. With a flourishing black market and a poorly inspected legal market, we desperately need more regulation. So I see why Florida made this choice. There are better alternatives, but I see why they did it.
Personally, I believe the vast majority of exotics should be regulated in some form. Both to guard against pathogen spread, protect wild populations of the exotics in question, and to protect local agriculture and fauna. As a country, we are in desperate need of a more regulated wildlife world, particularly as we live through a pandemic that had its roots in the trade of animals. My first look at this ban seemed to me like a step towards that, but I think you are right that it is simply a move to another unenforceable extreme. It is my sincere hope that we can find the middle.
Finally, thank you for studying conservation biology. There are not enough people who do.
 

RoachCoach

Arachnolord
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643
I think you make some valid points here. I am glad you agree that some sort of permitting system is necessary. And you are completely right on the ecological damage of cats. But on cats, I would also like point out that in some states there is less regulation on owning tigers than owning housecats. There is something seriously wrong with that. Also, if tegus were as widespread as cats I would argue that they would likely be causing similar amounts of ecological damage.
You also may very well be right that a ban was a poor choice compared to some of the other legal alternatives. But it is my feeling that the US is in dire straights when it comes to biosecurity, and the exotic pet trade is one of the major reasons for that. With a flourishing black market and a poorly inspected legal market, we desperately need more regulation. So I see why Florida made this choice. There are better alternatives, but I see why they did it.
Personally, I believe the vast majority of exotics should be regulated in some form. Both to guard against pathogen spread, protect wild populations of the exotics in question, and to protect local agriculture and fauna. As a country, we are in desperate need of a more regulated wildlife world, particularly as we live through a pandemic that had its roots in the trade of animals. My first look at this ban seemed to me like a step towards that, but I think you are right that it is simply a move to another unenforceable extreme. It is my sincere hope that we can find the middle.
Finally, thank you for studying conservation biology. There are not enough people who do.
Bingo. You said it pretty much dead on. I do not ship any insects to states I am not legally allowed to. BUT, I have been propositioned more times than I would like to admit. And yes I would not have been caught. Because it isn't drugs. And they don't train the package sniffing dogs to smell for a few illegal beetle or roach species in w/e state. We are on the literal precipice of eco terrorism as we have clearly seen with the "murder hornets" in Canada. It will only take a few crappy people to bring our awesome hobby to its knees of the US govt. I pray every day that it's just one year out. Just one more year. Let us be.
 

Tarantuland

Arachnobaron
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490
I think you make some valid points here. I am glad you agree that some sort of permitting system is necessary. And you are completely right on the ecological damage of cats. But on cats, I would also like point out that in some states there is less regulation on owning tigers than owning housecats. There is something seriously wrong with that. Also, if tegus were as widespread as cats I would argue that they would likely be causing similar amounts of ecological damage.
You also may very well be right that a ban was a poor choice compared to some of the other legal alternatives. But it is my feeling that the US is in dire straights when it comes to biosecurity, and the exotic pet trade is one of the major reasons for that. With a flourishing black market and a poorly inspected legal market, we desperately need more regulation. So I see why Florida made this choice. There are better alternatives, but I see why they did it.
Personally, I believe the vast majority of exotics should be regulated in some form. Both to guard against pathogen spread, protect wild populations of the exotics in question, and to protect local agriculture and fauna. As a country, we are in desperate need of a more regulated wildlife world, particularly as we live through a pandemic that had its roots in the trade of animals. My first look at this ban seemed to me like a step towards that, but I think you are right that it is simply a move to another unenforceable extreme. It is my sincere hope that we can find the middle.
Finally, thank you for studying conservation biology. There are not enough people who do.
I agree that some states don’t have much as far as regulation of tigers, but in what states do they have less regulations than of cats? The thing is even in SC tegus wouldn’t be able to survive the winter, so it’s not going to be a problem like cats ever. I do love cats, but I think they belong indoors. They also don’t get hit by cars indoors. But cats live in all 50 states, whereas many of these reptiles wouldn’t be able to survive outside Florida and possibly other states in the Deep South. I think some exotics should require paperwork, specifically endangered native species but even the offices in charge of this are probably not going to be filled with people who understand the animals. I think it’s largely bureaucratic. These laws aren’t addressing the fact that these species have been invasive for quite some time and wreaking havoc on the environment. They are just gonna mess up the pet trade
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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I agree that some states don’t have much as far as regulation of tigers, but in what states do they have less regulations than of cats? The thing is even in SC tegus wouldn’t be able to survive the winter
Actually, they could. And this is why tegus are such a threat. They have the ability to thermo regulate their bodies 50 degrees above the ambient temperature of their environment. See this fascinating paper.
Also 100% with you that cats should be kept indoors.
 

Tarantuland

Arachnobaron
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Actually, they could. And this is why tegus are such a threat. They have the ability to thermo regulate their bodies 50 degrees above the ambient temperature of their environment. See this fascinating paper.
Also 100% with you that cats should be kept indoors.
Woah I didn’t know that. I skimmed but I’ll read more later, thanks for the share. My friends have a tegu who’s been brumating for a while now but I didn’t realize it was that drastic
 

RoachCoach

Arachnolord
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I agree that some states don’t have much as far as regulation of tigers, but in what states do they have less regulations than of cats? The thing is even in SC tegus wouldn’t be able to survive the winter, so it’s not going to be a problem like cats ever. I do love cats, but I think they belong indoors. They also don’t get hit by cars indoors. But cats live in all 50 states, whereas many of these reptiles wouldn’t be able to survive outside Florida and possibly other states in the Deep South. I think some exotics should require paperwork, specifically endangered native species but even the offices in charge of this are probably not going to be filled with people who understand the animals. I think it’s largely bureaucratic. These laws aren’t addressing the fact that these species have been invasive for quite some time and wreaking havoc on the environment. They are just gonna mess up the pet trade
That's pretty much why they are sport hunting iguanas in FL right now. They aren't sport hunting retics or Burmese. Those are subjected to competition hunts. It's an ever encroaching line we are putting on the keepers. Which fewer and fewer care about ecological responsibilities. There a tons on people that have hot snakes that aren't registered and breed them. It's mainly about guns and drugs. They care more about putting people in prison for MJ or w/e than they do our ecosystems. I'm not even the slightest bit happy to feel this way, but when I was young we called the field officer when we came across a nest of hatching alligator snappers. "Throw em in the nearest creek". Invest in your local wildlife non profits that do public education is all I can say. Donate your amazon or eBay sales/purchases % to 501c that benefit them. Holler at me if you need guidance. I know eBay and Amazon links.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Woah I didn’t know that. I skimmed but I’ll read more later, thanks for the share. My friends have a tegu who’s been brumating for a while now but I didn’t realize it was that drastic
Yeah, one of the reasons I love working with them. Also they are so dog like in personality :rofl: . There used to be one at my workplace who would run up and lick you with joy whenever you opened the enclosure door. Amazing pets, but serious potential for environmental damage.
 

Matts inverts

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Personally, I think that permits should not be needed to have already invasive animals. I think that they should be collected instead of being bought. If they are bought, I think they should be from invasive populations. Some scientists think that the iguana problem first started by rafting iguanas in the1900s and the was helped by people to survive. So many the problem is technically a native range extension. California banned snappers for being found all over but I think they should be legal as long as no one releases more
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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The pet problem wasn’t the biggest issue, many problems are from food, logging, and container ships. Then the pet people get blamed. I think the pet trade could help get rid of invasive by stoping collecting in native habitats. This is not related but I got the idea to just release invasive pythons into there native range to stop the invasive problem and solve them being endangered.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Personally, I think that permits should not be needed to have already invasive animals. I think that they should be collected instead of being bought. If they are bought, I think they should be from invasive populations. Some scientists think that the iguana problem first started by rafting iguanas in the1900s and the was helped by people to survive. So many the problem is technically a native range extension. California banned snappers for being found all over but I think they should be legal as long as no one releases more
Except... not requiring permits for invasive species can lead to them becoming more widespread. You say they "should be legal as long as no one releases more" but that is a big if. And release quite often isn't intentional. Even invasive species should be regulated as pets.
The pet problem wasn’t the biggest issue, many problems are from food, logging, and container ships. Then the pet people get blamed. I think the pet trade could help get rid of invasive by stoping collecting in native habitats. This is not related but I got the idea to just release invasive pythons into there native range to stop the invasive problem and solve them being endangered.
I take issue with this. Are there numerous other industries that are introducing invasives? Yes. But the pet trade has undeniably played a role in the spread of invasive species. And the idea of introducing another exotic to take out an invasive species never, ever works. The pet trade is a part of the problem. And even if we ignore its threat to native fauna and agriculture, the risk of pathogens and damage to exotic fauna populations is reason enough for a permitting system.
 

Tarantuland

Arachnobaron
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That's pretty much why they are sport hunting iguanas in FL right now. They aren't sport hunting retics or Burmese. Those are subjected to competition hunts. It's an ever encroaching line we are putting on the keepers. Which fewer and fewer care about ecological responsibilities. There a tons on people that have hot snakes that aren't registered and breed them. It's mainly about guns and drugs. They care more about putting people in prison for MJ or w/e than they do our ecosystems. I'm not even the slightest bit happy to feel this way, but when I was young we called the field officer when we came across a nest of hatching alligator snappers. "Throw em in the nearest creek". Invest in your local wildlife non profits that do public education is all I can say. Donate your amazon or eBay sales/purchases % to 501c that benefit them. Holler at me if you need guidance. I know eBay and Amazon links.
Aren’t alligator snappers native to Florida though? What is the difference between sport hunts and competition hunts? But yea I’ve been of the impression that police and law enforcement don’t have their priorities right for quite some time. I’m curious about those Amazon/eBay links- I don’t sell anything on either though
 

RoachCoach

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Sport hunts are in the licensing, comp hunting is specific to a certain time. I can shoot squirrels almost nearly year round. They don't offer a competition because there are ppl that will cap the daily bag. Competition is stupid where they send a few groups of hillbillies to grab as many snakes as they can in a weeks time. There is a stuh-oopid bureaucratic median they need. Why? I have no idea. They could allow unlimited cap per day and we wouldn't get even close to the yearly production of iguana and Burmese growth rate. I believe they are worried the dumb dumbs will kill any and all snakes for the prize money. I can't really blame them.
 

Matts inverts

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Snappers are native to Florida. I didn’t mean releasing another invasive. I meant taking invasives and putting them where there species originated like the burms back in Asia after a de parasite stage. Also if the government is already saying the species won’t go away, they should monitor the selling of the species but collecting should be recommended like the tilapia in Florida
 

Matts inverts

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And I think there should be a task force other than game wardens to collect the species. I agree with underground reptiles for collecting the invasive species and supplying them to people who cannot get the species where they live
 

RoachCoach

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The task force though. Are they willing to remove people's right's with violence if it came down to it? Once you allow the government to take away people's freedoms it gets ultra sketchy. I'm all for the wellbeing of animals, but once you bring government with non-negotiable violence into the fold I am not cool with it. My livelihood depends on caring for and selling insects. I expect my government not to diddle in my affairs other than the taxes they take. It sounds weird but I like where everything stands.
Edit: Even if I have to buy 8 new tarantula species Julia... I am stopping government encroachment.
 

Matts inverts

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I meant collecting them from forests. I think the only animals people shouldn’t be aloud to keep are exotic venomous reptiles, big cats and other large exotic animals and animals that are smuggled into the pet trade. As long as they were originally bought or bread by reliable legal sources.
 

Matts inverts

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I think that reptile and other shops should make sure you have a place to put an animal before purchasing and if you don’t, you buy a tub or tank or enclosure to put the animal in. When I bought my turtle, I bought and bread beetles and grew lettuce to feed him and had everything ready first and the shop to tell you the animals size to warn people. My friends bought sulcata tortoises and then found out how big they actually get
 
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