Thursday, July 31, 2014

Almost Breaking News - Geckos Declare Independence From Russia...

...and hijack control of an orbital Russian research vessel. Well, maybe they didn't really hijack it but there are geckos on the spacecraft and the Russians have lost control of it (so who knows maybe a herpetist revolution is underway). Read about it here:

Hat tip to Deb Hoppe for that.

Update: I heard today on the radio news that the Russians have regained control of the spacecraft.

All the best,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Took The Advice...

...of Long Island Herpetological Society president Vin Russo and got myself a couple of Russian Tortoises. I had been thinking of getting at least a pair of them for over a year now but as usual I was The Great Procrastinator. Then Vin mentioned them either during a talk or just in passing at an LIHS meeting and happened to say that he thought they might soon wind up on a protected species list and become difficult to obtain. He certainly knows the reptile trade so I guess that was all it took to convince me that the best time to get them was now (relatively speaking).

The male.
A couple of months ago, at the Long Island Reptile Expo, I picked up a male. Then just a couple of weeks ago, at the NY Metro Reptile Expo in White Plains, I was lucky enough to find a nice looking female and I bought her too.

Both of them appear to have been wild caught. I am guessing the male may have been a recent import because he was a little on the light weight side and had recent abrasions to his carapace as from shipping in a crowded shipping box. The female, on the other hand, was said to have been a long term captive. Maybe she was just that and I say so because her shell was in better condition and her weight was quite a bit better than that of the male when I first got him. She was not quite up to what his weight was by the time I bought her but she
was pretty close, meaning her weight at time of purchase was better than was his when I bought him. So, I figured, she was in good shape and I paid a bit more than I had wanted to for her. Not much more, I figure $85 was a good buy but also felt that the dealer could have come down somewhat more in price. Not complaining though, she is a nice tortoise.

The female.
I am hopeful that next spring, she an the male will have been conditioned well enough by my care for them to breed. This is a species that is still imported in high numbers as wild caught adults but has only a small base of breeders willing to give them the attention they need in captive bred breeding programs. It is about time that we, as the herp community, establish a good captive bred population of them to help assure they are not wiped out in their natural habitat! I do not in any way oppose well regulated (not over regulated) wild caught collecting - in fact I support it but I certainly also support captive breeding programs to make sure we prevent over collection of species from the wild. This is a species that needs serious consideration among herpers as to captive bred breeding programs. I plan to give them good care and just that type of consideration.

All the best,
Glenn B

Beat It...

...used to be the name of a popular song by who I think was one of the most detestable singers ever. I guess then that 'beating it' makes it natural for me to detest the actions of a group of Mexican villagers who reportedly beat to death a large snake purported to be 25 feet long. While I may detest it, I can understand it in the face of their likely ignorance about snakes and the potential they cause for danger.

Thanks again to Deb Hoppe for sending that in for inclusion in the blog. Deb, I do not know what the LIHS, or at least the LIHS blog, would do without you and I mean that most sincerely. Thanks.

All the best,