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Why current breeding practices are a failure.

This is a discussion on Why current breeding practices are a failure. within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; Originally Posted by Redear I would never draw conclusions about anyone's background or knowledge based on a post on caudata.org. ...

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 30th November 2013   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

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Originally Posted by Redear View Post
I would never draw conclusions about anyone's background or knowledge based on a post on caudata.org.
I would if they declare themselves to be scientists.
As i said i took offense by the fact that for the second time you implied that i had made unsupported possitive claims. That led me to respond with condescendence, but the corrections i made were not attacks, they stand by themselves, i hope thatīs clear.
It is very incoherent for me that a scientist would confuse factual observations with "theories". For example, the fact that people select for mutations is not a "theory" and is an extremely obvious fact anywhere you look. So is the fact that some selected traits in domestic animals are in fact deformities or are associated to health problems. I fail to see how anyone, let alone a scientist with an interest in genetics could doubt these or demand that they be prooved on this thread. Your mischaracterization of the subject your wording and your objections made absolutely no sense to me...

Plenty of research has been done with caudates, yes, but not on the topics of captive management, the possibility of phenotypes that correlate to health issues, etc. I too like scientific studies and i wish they existed in regards to these issues, but thatīs simply not the case. In all fairness, they arenīt needed, though, because in cases such as spider ball pythons, the observation itself is perfectly sufficient, particularly since it is repeated and consistent. For that factual observation to be published in some herpethological journal is not a requirement and it changes nothing. A spider ball python is very likely to have the wobbles wether this is published or not. The fact that there is a huge market for mutants and that these are selected for in the interest of commercial gain is not dependent on it being recorded in a paper, etc..
That said, there are papers published on other animal groups like cats and dogs (surprise) in veterinary journals. Not that it changes much because understanding the full extent of the health implications of brachycephaly in bulldogs doesnīt change the observation of brachycephaly in bulldogs and if no such papers existed, that wouldnīt make brachycephaly a good thing.

All this to say that i donīt think i have drawn any conclussions or made any assumptions that are not justified by the available observations, so i didnīt take kindly to being accused of doing so, twice...I was harsh because of that and because non of it made any sense whatsoever coming from someone declaring to be a scientist. I suposse this is a case of offense and incongruence leading to frustration and a bit of anger.

Edit: By the way, i donīt doubt that you didnīt mean any offense but offense doesnīt need to be meant. I hope iīve managed to explain why i took it regardless of your intention.
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Non Timetis Messor.

Last edited by Azhael; 30th November 2013 at 20:24.
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Old 30th November 2013   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

Rodrigo, you seem more intent on attacking my character then providing data to support you claims. So, this will be my last post on this topic. Once again you assume something I never said. You assume you know all the breeding practices. You assume you know what genes are associated. Now you assume that because I work in a scientific field that I claim to be a scientist. I never said that, so please don't assume that. I don't think I am the king biologist. What I am is a biochemist who works for a biotech company. Now any biologic which is trying to be approved as a medicine needs to pass rigorous testing. The data needs to be significant on its efficacy. Part of my job is to trend and analyze this data. Hence, my desire for proper data to support a claim.

I was actually trying to be nice in my last post. So the fact that you were offended makes me think you are pretty sensitive. My point is not to ruffle feathers, so I will hold back from responding to you in the future.
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Old 18th August 2015   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

Interesting thread about something that concerns me deeply about the hobby and our own society. Too bad it doesn't have any replies in so long and that people take offense by everything and try to justify everything in so much detail just to protect their own internet karma... I don't see any need to attack, or feel attacked when discussing things of this nature. Disagreeing with someone doesn't need to be taken as a personal attack, different opinions exist, we just need to live with that fact.

When it comes to genetic variability in captivity it concerns me in all fronts, be it amphibians, birds or mammals. I'm very against pure bred dogs (I don't have anything against the dogs themselves, it's not their fault) for the way they were bred for selfish reasons... What I took from the OP post was that this was also his concern in the amphibian and reptile pet breeding programs. I also have problems with the fact that it is hard to know how a animal was bred from some breeders (online shops and whatnots). I feel most simply don't give enough information about that aspect, while it is something that dedicated keepers would value a lot.

In my opinion, the general public should only have available CB animals from reliable breeders; and only those breeders could have access to WC animals to expand the gene pool of the captive population. This is, of course, only a dream, and needs a lot of thinking before it is ever implemented....if ever.
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Old 11th February 2016   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

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Originally Posted by sde View Post
This thread is very interesting, unfortunately I don't understand it all XD. But from what I have read I agree with Azhael in some thing and others in other things, but like I said, I don't really understand all of it.
I don't either Seth.
I visited Australia recently and saw wild budgerigars. I think those in my aviary have drifted so maybe they'll stay in my aviary and in the mean time I'll learn things about them and my son will continue to develop a love of living things and their habitats and who knows one day it'll all be put together in helping preserve those bright green birds I saw at the water hole.
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Old 12th February 2016   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

Summarizing the discussion so far,

1. The current breeding practice is wrong.
2. There is no "right" alternative method.

So.. then what?

If your point is that we should all quit the hobby because our breeding practice is "wrong" in your philosophical view, then there is really no need for discussion as there is no room for it.

Our public education system is far from ideal, but does it mean we should stop public education altogether?

Also if you could name any hobby that includes breeding of animals that are acceptable by your standards, please name one and perhaps we can follow from there.

Despite how serious and naturalist-minded most of us are, this is a HOBBY and not a campaign. Religiously assuming that every SHOULD be a reintroduction program herpetologist is pretty dogmatic, to say the least.
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Old 14th February 2016   #46 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

Hello !

I discovered this thread only yesterday and I took some time to read all of it.

I fully agree with Azhael and I think I can bring some little precisions :

- Genetic drift is the main phenomenon which occurs in our livestocks because we have very little populations. Even natural selection can be inefficient in front of genetic drift.

- A wild population needs several hundred individuals (500 for example) to be stable on a long term and to be able to adapt to environment changes.

- A well managed captive population could be smaller if drastic rules are respected.
1- Each individual much have the same reproductive success. A sex-ratio of 1/1 is ideal and the more it discards from this value, the more rapidly genetic diversity is lost.
2- The deleterious effects of genetic drift can be observed within 5 to 10 generations in a small breeding stock of 10 individuals. It will take 30 to 40 generations to have the same result with 50 individuals. Most caudate species have been maintained continuously in captivity for less than 5 generations.
3- A subdivided wild population (several subunits) is very stable, providing each subunit exchange individuals with the others from time to time. An isolated breeder generally cannot possess sevral hundreds individuals but a good strategy could be maximizing exchanges with other breeders (a studbook is perhaps a good thing).
4- With some other species (european bison, Przewalski horse), the species was "saved" starting with only a dozen genitors but the resulting populations present some problems linked to low genetic diversity (mainly bones defects).
5- Domestication is unavoidable phenomenon, even if you don't select your animals in a particular aim. They simply adapt to captive conditions. The fact that exchanges take place between breeders with different captive conditions might slow down this phenomenon.


Now, I understand that some people consider Caudates as a hobby and don't want to engage in a great project. But perhaps one day it will become very difficult to get wild caudates, because either they'll become rare (or extinct ?), or the laws will be harder (this has begun I think).
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Old 14th February 2016   #47 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

Personally, I like the fact that successive generations become better adapted to captivity. The human population is exploding and destroying everything in its path. There will not be any suitable habitat to release our captive into for hundreds of years, even if they were suitable for such a release. So I would advocate we do keep some records of our animals lines to prevent too much inbreeding but not concern ourselves with how they would perform in the wilds.
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Old 22nd February 2016   #48 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why current breeding practices are a failure.

I feel like the sort of issues described here can be found in literally every animal hobby. It's difficult to keep introducing new genes and disposing of animals less fit for survival. In fact, it's not our duty to weed off the weaker animals. Keeping animals in captivity is not natural and we can only imitate their environments to a certain extent.

My point is, the current breeding habits are never going to imitate natural selection, and they don't need to for our purposes. The best we can do is identify what mutations come with harmful side effects and avoid breeding those.

The type of change that you're suggesting we make is not going to happen. Harmful mutations will happen because that's what happens in the pet trade. I'm not saying this because I think you're wrong about how breeders are harming the genetic pool of salamanders, I'm saying this because it's realistic.
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