Wild tarantula?

magicmed

Arachnobaron
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Jun 4, 2016
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Hey just wanted to get everyone's opinions on capturing wild tarantula? Do you consider it unethical? Like taking one tarantula could potentially remove hundreds of babies? Or do you consider it almost a nice sentiment, as there won't be any predators in its enclosure, and food will be much easier to deal with and obtain.

I've seen and even handled a wild Aphonopelma hentzi here in missouri (before I knew handling was bad) and just wondered if anyone out there went tarantula "hunting" in the wild?

Like I said I thought it might be an interesting conversation and nice to know everyone's views. I won't lie ive been tempted to scope out the woods nearby for tarantula and scorps
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Removing a few tarantulas from an area won't hurt the population any. I know this from about a decade of watching a few populations in my own area. I personally find it unethical to collect tarantulas from one's own immediate area to keep as pets, but it really doesn't hurt the wild population. Collecting for pets has the potential to be harmful when hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands are removed from a small area. It may not even be a single collector that removes that many. It could be many collectors with the same justifications that contribute to the decline of a population. In reality though, I think it would be very rare for enough collectors living in the same area to affect a population. A. hentzi after all isn't a sought after species and not very valued in the pet trade.

If you have tarantulas within driving or even walking distance, watching them year after year is far more satisfying and informative than keeping them in captivity. At least that has been my experience.

It's in our nature to capture and possess animals we have liking for. You won't be doing a tarantula any favors by removing it from the environment and keeping it in captivity. Aphonopelma hentzi has been in the midwest states for hundreds of thousands of years and have been doing just fine surviving on their own. They even survive the urban sprawl in metropolitan areas. There are so many justifications people come up with for removing tarantulas from the wild to keep as pets, but they are just that, justifications. There is only one real reason why someone would collect a wild tarantula to keep as a pet and that is because they want to posses the animal. Just the same as someone collecting inanimate objects.

So really, you should ask yourself if you find it unethical. If so, leave them alone and enjoy them living naturally. If not, then by all means collect a couple. I doubt you'll be hurting the environment.
 
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Chris LXXIX

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I don't like the brute pillaging (on a larger scale talking) of WC specimens nor the quite IMO despicable sell of those pure WC gravid 0.1 "babies" (happened in Europe, and still happens I suppose). Saying this considering, of course, that in certain nations Theraphosidae are at risk due to man made actions. I think that CB (yo cold blood) is the key for the future; we need to turn breeders ourselves to a certain extent.

Anyway, let's say that, for example, I am a South African arachnid enthusiasts... well, IMO nothing to the environment would happen if I took home that particular 'Baboon' (aside now from the strict S.A laws about, let's not consider that part :angelic: eh eh).

Still there's the "law of numbers" to consider . What if, all of a sudden, 1000000000 people do that? Sure, sure, I know that this is an exageration, and that Theraphosidae aren't exactly lions or elephant, still I can't not consider that.
 

Vanessa

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I don't like to support WC in the hobby, but I think that there would be instances where I might have one if I lived in the area that they were indigenous to. Especially if I came across one who was struggling - I would keep it long enough to feed it a few good meals and release it. I might even consider keeping it long term or permanently. I think it would boil down to an individual scenario.
Having a WC is a risk to a certain extent as well - parasites and other health issues are far more of a concern with them.
I have known people to collect males and females, breed them successfully, keep a couple of the spiderlings and release everyone else back out to the area they were captured in. I could see myself maybe doing something like that.
Even though I joke all the time that I would have my house full of them if they were wild where I live, it really is more joking than serious.
Overall, I think WC is unethical at a hobby level.
 

Poec54

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The biggest threat to tarantulas in the wild is habitat destruction. When areas are to be cleared, it should be legal to relocate or collect from those areas. I knew a guy who made an agreement with the Belize govt to do that with orchids, so he could legally import them into the US for collections. Why kill everything in an area?

From the 1960's to mid 1990's, the hobby was almost entirely wild caught. I've owned and cared for (dealers/pet shop) hundreds of wild caught tarantulas. Parasites and health issues are very rare. It's not a risk to your other spiders.
 

gypsy cola

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Jan 16, 2014
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If you are going to collect a T from the wild, please with check your laws.


Aphonopelma iodius is number #1 on my wishlist. Not a particular pretty spider but really unique. They are the most "northern" species of tarantulas in the world and found in environments that gets blankets of snow. I have been searching far and wide and cannot find any for sale. I will have to collect one from the wild. If I get one that is male, my plan is to "return" it once it matures. If it is a female... will probably pass it down to my kids and tell them to find a wild MM when she matures... these are looooong lived spiders.
 

Trenor

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I agree that pillaging wild animals for profit is wrong and harmful to the species being exploited. I also dislike seeing poor import practices resulting in sick/suffering animals. I do agree that relocation/re-homing can be a good way to prevent large scale death due to habitat loss. I would much rather see them collected then see them die due to progress.
 

Poec54

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I do agree that relocation/re-homing can be a good way to prevent large scale death due to habitat loss. I would much rather see them collected then see them die due to progress.

Right. If some of the rescued animals/plants were relocated and released in nearby areas, and some distributed to collectors/dealers, that would: 1) reduce some the impact of land clearing and 2) relieve the pressure from the pet trade, and only be using animals/plants that would otherwise be killed. Is this too logical for politicians?
 

Andrea82

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Coming from a country with zero native tarantula, I would love to study them in the wild, which is what I would do in your case, I think. If I were to catch and keep a T, priority would be to get it to breed and release offspring back in the area it came from. Take two, and give back a lot more.
Of course, if everybody would do that, then the question of upsetting the balance in nature rises again because of the impact of so many T's on that area.
If I have a choice, it will always be CB T's for me.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
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Jun 4, 2016
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Very good points, everyone! I was right it is interesting hearing all of your opinions :) at first I was considering a little T hunting to see if I could find one, now I think if I do I'll just leave it be, maybe remember where I saw it and return later to see how they're doing. I already have a CB (I believe) Aphonopelma hentzi anyway :)

I live near a lot of wooded area, and I've seen them in crawlspaces, so I know it wouldn't be hard to find some to observe
 

Hellblazer

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May 13, 2016
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I don't see an issue with someone keeping a couple for their own collection as long as they are thriving where they were taken from. Several people collecting them or one person taking as many as they could find from a given population would be a problem.
 
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