Wild population assistance?

magicmed

Arachnobaron
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Jun 4, 2016
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404
Ok, might be a stupid idea. May not even be legal, but I just thought it would be cool.

Say someone bred a native species of T, like here in MO Aphonopelma hentzi. And we're to raise them up a little and release into wooded area? Am I just stupid for thinking this would be kind of cool? I'd like to see more of a native T population, at least it would be cool in the woods around my house lol.

To further the idea just a tad, say you did have a little patch of woods to do this, would it be ok or considered invasive to release another Aphonopelma species, maybe start seeing diversity of T's in our native woods?


Like I said I'm not planning on this or anything, I just thought it would be a nifty idea, I may be alone in that though, I guess I could ask the conservation dep. Here
 

archaeosite

Arachnosquire
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Oct 18, 2014
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You should definitely not release nonnative species into the wild! At best, they will be rapidly picked off by predators and parasites before establishing a breeding population. At worst, they will breed and displace native species by consuming resources, or could introduce new parasites or diseases to native species. Just...please don't do this. It's a very bad idea. Ask your local wildlife officers if you need more scientific convincing than I can provide.

As for releasing native species, I'm unsure of the impact. Again, a local authority would be a good resource. However, a good rule of thumb is to not meddle with nature. If there are no tarantulas in the local woods, it's possibly because those woods are inhospitable in some way to them, blocking natural colonization.
 

Crone Returns

Arachnoangel
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Mar 22, 2016
Messages
990
Ok, might be a stupid idea. May not even be legal, but I just thought it would be cool.

Say someone bred a native species of T, like here in MO Aphonopelma hentzi. And we're to raise them up a little and release into wooded area? Am I just stupid for thinking this would be kind of cool? I'd like to see more of a native T population, at least it would be cool in the woods around my house lol.

To further the idea just a tad, say you did have a little patch of woods to do this, would it be ok or considered invasive to release another Aphonopelma species, maybe start seeing diversity of T's in our native woods?


Like I said I'm not planning on this or anything, I just thought it would be a nifty idea, I may be alone in that though, I guess I could ask the conservation dep. Here
Hey you. I think raising up the local sp. is a righteous idea. First I'd check with local officials so you don't flood the areas, and the spiders are overrunning the area. They'd fiercely compete for food (including each other).
I'd check first with the local university's entomology dept. to see if they've got a handle on the T population.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
You should definitely not release nonnative species into the wild! At best, they will be rapidly picked off by predators and parasites before establishing a breeding population. At worst, they will breed and displace native species by consuming resources, or could introduce new parasites or diseases to native species. Just...please don't do this. It's a very bad idea. Ask your local wildlife officers if you need more scientific convincing than I can provide.

As for releasing native species, I'm unsure of the impact. Again, a local authority would be a good resource. However, a good rule of thumb is to not meddle with nature. If there are no tarantulas in the local woods, it's possibly because those woods are inhospitable in some way to them, blocking natural colonization.
Great points! As said I'm not planning on doing either, just thought it would provide an interesting discussion. I wasn't even thinking truly non native in the discussion, but rather something from a state or two away, still in the same country. But I certainly see the problems in competition and possible genetic contamination.

Once again, not advocating or planning, just thought it would be a nice talk
 

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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May 6, 2016
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412
I would think A state or two away is still a non native species. If the local system possesses no natural examples of a species then anything you release is invasive.
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
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404
I would think A state or two away is still a non native species. If the local system possesses no natural examples of a species them anything you release is invasive.
I was actually wondering where the distinction was, appreciate the clarification :)
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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153
It would be awesome to see more Ts in the wild. That said, "it would be awesome" isn't a good standalone reason to change the makeup an established community in the wild.

I would check with the conservation officers of state parks in southern MO and ask about T populations and whether they think there is a reason to look into introducing CBs into the wild (maybe they've seen a decline, maybe they'd like to reintroduce some Ts to areas they have been extirpated, for example).

Because I used to do glade restoration work in MO, I also think it would be worth looking specifically into restoration projects where field scientists are trying to return areas to their original states and may want to do small-scale reintroduction for their projects.

Most importantly, I wouldn't release anything without speaking with a conservation official first. They will have the best idea of how more Ts will affect (and be affected by) the area.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
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404
More great points! So realistically as far as the thought could be taken would be helping a truely native species population IF there were a need to, established by conservation.

I'll propose another thought though, just for kicks and a little fun, let's say one were to screen off an acre or so of their own land, made a small fishing pond and released multiple species with proper husbandry taken into account into said area. Would this be considered altering the native area? Or is it just a massive enclosure? Food for thought?
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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I was actually wondering where the distinction was, appreciate the clarification :)
There is also an important distinction between nonnative and invasive. An invasive species is a nonnative species that disrupts the natural functions of an ecosystem and thereby does harm. There are many nonnative species that have established themselves as part of. healthy, functional natural communities. :)

@REEFSPIDER was spot-on that even a state away could be nonnative. Heck, where I live you can look from one mountaintop to another knowing that there are organisms over there that would be nonnative if moved to where you're standing.;)
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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153
More great points! So realistically as far as the thought could be taken would be helping a truely native species population IF there were a need to, established by conservation.

I'll propose another thought though, just for kicks and a little fun, let's say one were to screen off an acre or so of their own land, made a small fishing pond and released multiple species with proper husbandry taken into account into said area. Would this be considered altering the native area? Or is it just a massive enclosure? Food for thought?
Oh boy. I work in a national park where invasive species are a huge issue, so I'm super into this thread. :bookworm:

I think this could largely depend on what is surrounding your small area--is the screened in area a small portion of the ecosystem surrounding it? Or is it maybe on a field edge, where just steps away there is a different community? Will the enclosure have plant species that will spread seeds outside the area, and vice-versa?

I'm getting carried away. I do think, though, that alerting the area isn't mutually exclusive with having a massive enclosure (though I don't think that's necessarily what you were trying to imply). I'd be more likely to just call it a big enclosure of it weren't self-sustaining. But dang, a self-sustaining tarantula habitat would be a super cool project.
 

z32upgrader

Arachnobaron
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Mar 13, 2012
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365
A. hentzi are already established in MO, so why not?
All of the pins on this map are locations where A. hentzi have been collected from the wild.
hentzi.JPG
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
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Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
Oh boy. I work in a national park where invasive species are a huge issue, so I'm super into this thread. :bookworm:

I think this could largely depend on what is surrounding your small area--is the screened in area a small portion of the ecosystem surrounding it? Or is it maybe on a field edge, where just steps away there is a different community? Will the enclosure have plant species that will spread seeds outside the area, and vice-versa?

I'm getting carried away. I do think, though, that alerting the area isn't mutually exclusive with having a massive enclosure (though I don't think that's necessarily what you were trying to imply). I'd be more likely to just call it a big enclosure of it weren't self-sustaining. But dang, a self-sustaining tarantula habitat would be a super cool project.
Right? It would be a nifty project. I'm actually considering buying a place outside of town, containing 5-10 acres. I know I'll want to put a small stocked pond on it so I can fish whenever I want ( come on down @cold blood ) just thought he'll I wonder if it would even be legal to screen an acre off and have my own little natural santuary. Probably sounds stupid to a lot of people, I dunno,( and it would be really, really hard to not try to get a permit for a pup raised wolf or cayote in there lol) but I dunno, thought it would be cool to see a couple T's in there too lol.

Like I said yeah I'm thinking about buying the house and land and make a pond, but the "habitat" is all just discussion for fun :)
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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153
A. hentzi are already established in MO, so why not?
I'd argue that already having a species present isn't on its own a good reason to introduce more. If the population of Ts is stable in those areas, there are that many individuals because that's the amount the environment can support. Releasing more Ts would almost certainly cause them to outcompete each other and the population will ultimately return to the pre-introduction equilibrium. Kind of makes the whole thing moot. ;)
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
Messages
153
I've seen two wild ones in Springfield! In a crawlspace and one at a funeral
Right? It would be a nifty project. I'm actually considering buying a place outside of town, containing 5-10 acres. I know I'll want to put a small stocked pond on it so I can fish whenever I want ( come on down @cold blood ) just thought he'll I wonder if it would even be legal to screen an acre off and have my own little natural santuary. Probably sounds stupid to a lot of people, I dunno,( and it would be really, really hard to not try to get a permit for a pup raised wolf or cayote in there lol) but I dunno, thought it would be cool to see a couple T's in there too lol.

Like I said yeah I'm thinking about buying the house and land and make a pond, but the "habitat" is all just discussion for fun :)
Honestly now I'm just imagining something like the tarantula version of a catio. :D
 

cold blood

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Right? It would be a nifty project. I'm actually considering buying a place outside of town, containing 5-10 acres. I know I'll want to put a small stocked pond on it so I can fish whenever I want ( come on down @cold blood ) just thought he'll I wonder if it would even be legal to screen an acre off and have my own little natural santuary. Probably sounds stupid to a lot of people, I dunno,( and it would be really, really hard to not try to get a permit for a pup raised wolf or cayote in there lol) but I dunno, thought it would be cool to see a couple T's in there too lol.

Like I said yeah I'm thinking about buying the house and land and make a pond, but the "habitat" is all just discussion for fun :)
Make that pond as deep as you can and consider aeration like a fountain in the middle...this will keep o2 at sustainable levels during those really hot summer months, good depth will provide a thermocline, which will also afford fish escape from the heat.

Onto the topic, if you were to stock non-native fish, like say some wels catfish, you would need permits do to so legally, and to get them you would need to prove they would be contained....like if the pond is near an area where a river floods in spring you might not get approval (this is how asian carp infested much of the mid-west rivers...flooding in AK that over-took rearing ponds). In fact, most DNRs will require permits even for stocking native fishes and the DNR likes to give their input as to what they think would do best.

I think the best advice would be to talk to someone with the local DNR, specifically the biologist(s) with restoration projects at hand...they may have areas that they would love to re-populate...they may not....but I'd bet they have a handle on what the native population would be and where its the strongest and weakest. You may even find a biologist with a specific interest in the species and end up with a great conversation at the very least.
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
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Messages
404
Make that pond as deep as you can and consider aeration like a fountain in the middle...this will keep o2 at sustainable levels during those really hot summer months, good depth will provide a thermocline, which will also afford fish escape from the heat.

Onto the topic, if you were to stock non-native fish, like say some wels catfish, you would need permits do to so legally, and to get them you would need to prove they would be contained....like if the pond is near an area where a river floods in spring you might not get approval (this is how asain carp infested much of the mid-west rivers...flooding in AK that over-took rearing ponds). In fact, most DNRs will require permits even for stocking native fishes and the DNR likes to give their input as to what they think would do best.

I think the best advice would be to talk to someone with the local DNR, specifically the biologist(s) with restoration projects at hand...they may have areas that they would love to re-populate...they may not....but I'd bet they have a handle on what the native population would be and where its the strongest and weakest. You may even find a biologist with a specific interest in the species and end up with a great conversation at the very least.
For the pond I was actually thinking of a couple 55 gallon drum filtration system, like you said definitely still want a lot of aeration. I'd be looking at it a lot like my fish tank haha. I was thinking a species of bass, a small species of catfish for bottom cleaning, a couple pleco, and one more game fish would be cool. I'd love to get some garr but they would eat everything, walleye probably would too. What would you recommend?
 

z32upgrader

Arachnobaron
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I'd argue that already having a species present isn't on its own a good reason to introduce more. If the population of Ts is stable in those areas, there are that many individuals because that's the amount the environment can support. Releasing more Ts would almost certainly cause them to outcompete each other and the population will ultimately return to the pre-introduction equilibrium. Kind of makes the whole thing moot. ;)
I'm not attacking you, but rather pointing out some things.
I think we can both agree you are making a lot of assumptions here to arrive at your conclusion of a moot point. There are no scientific studies on whether or not the habitat is capable of supporting the established population of hentzi in MO. I'd like to also bring up the idea that wild spiderling attrition is terrible. It's very likely that 95 percent or more of the slings produced by a female die before their first winter. They're just so small and everything is happy to eat them. Shine a flashlight across your lawn at night and you'll see the astounding number of wolf spiders everywhere you look. A fifth or sixth instar hentzi might have a chance against an army of Hogna, but a 2i sling is basically food for everything else. If bug populations can support 10,000 wolf spiders in any average-sized grassy field, they can support some tarantulas too. The small populations in MO are probably small because it's just that difficult for such a slow-growing species to survive amid all those predators.
I'd like to concede that I'm also making a lot of assumptions here too.
 

cold blood

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For the pond I was actually thinking of a couple 55 gallon drum filtration system, like you said definitely still want a lot of aeration. I'd be looking at it a lot like my fish tank haha. I was thinking a species of bass, a small species of catfish for bottom cleaning, a couple pleco, and one more game fish would be cool. I'd love to get some garr but they would eat everything, walleye probably would too. What would you recommend?
You don't actually need much in terms of aeration, just something to keep the water moving a little.

Small species of cats would be channels, or perhaps bullheads, both of which have the capabilities of almost taking over...I'd just drop in a couple smaller 8-12lb flatheads...theyre efficient cleaners (as well as predators) and they get big, which is always a nice surprise hook up in a small pond.

Gar don't "eat everything", theyre actually a sign of a healthy fishery and typically don't directly compete with the fish we target as fishermen.....no reason to not add a few along with bowfin.

Lots of issues with walleye in a pond....without a lot of depth and rocky areas, they'd suffer and never be able to reproduce as they require rocky areas with current for spawning (windblown rocks work in lakes).

With a good food base, you shouldn't worry about any game fish eating all the food, they're all part of a natural balance that will present its self provided you put in the best fish for the pond. I wouldn't put in plecos...just one or two flatheads will literally do the job of cleaning up any dead or dying fish.

Start it with panfish (bluegills, pumpkinseeds and crappie) and consider shad as well...a good healthy shad population will sustain a lot of fish, but you need some size with your pond as well....and they can have die offs, which can be a smelly drawback. I know several people that have ponds with just panfish as a forage base (and that's typical), and once or twice a year they pour in large amounts of fatheads or shiners as an added feeder for the fish. Getting a crawfish population is also another great part of a forage base.

Surround the pond with a nicely planted riparian zone, this protects the shoreline and makes the pond look very natural.
 
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