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Bolitoglossa dofleini?

This is a discussion on Bolitoglossa dofleini? within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hello All, I would just like to point out that I am fascinated by Bolitoglossa andother Caudata, because of my ...

Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.

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Old 25th September 2012   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

Hello All,

I would just like to point out that I am fascinated by Bolitoglossa andother Caudata, because of my main interest towards tailed amphibians the institution I work for, Slimbridge WWT has a large collection.

Bolitoglossa dofleini are a specie that I one day would like to work with from a conservation point of view for in-situ and ex-situ breeding and possible future reintroductions. I have been out to Belize and established good relationships with scientist studying other fauna out there. I hope to plan a revisit to Belize in the future to setup some field studies on this species so I can learn more about their natural history. Then potentially if possible get a permit to collect a few, which would be treated and exported, these animals would be used to develop husbandry guidelines.

I have been planning this for some time however raising money for these sorts of projects can be challenging, but I promise that I will try to setup something to try and safeguard this species from extinction in the wild.

Any help or information that can help setting up the project would be greatly received.

Kind Regards

Jay



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Old 25th September 2012   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkhellbender View Post
Have you? Have you not also been giving your own assumptions?
My assumptions are at least grounded on: looking trhough european Zoos, asking for captive neotropical salamanders, annoying every private keeper I can reach to help me get into contact with those salamanders or at least their keepers, etc.pp. There is difference between the mere prejudice that institutions got to be keeping them.



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Originally Posted by ozarkhellbender View Post
So you are suggesting they float around in captivity for the rest of their existence? Well, I guess that would be ok. I simply thought when talked about conservation that there would eventually be reintroduction. I guess that doesn't have to be the case.
You see, at this point, it is hardly possible to calculate what DB will be like in the future, we just see it getting ever more of a tread towards the amphibians in its draw area. Therefore, probably best choice there is what Frogeyes pointed out already.



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Originally Posted by ozarkhellbender View Post
You are quick to assume no institution out there in the world cares for salamanders. You mentioned David Wake earlier, is he not tied to an institution?
He is, and he does not have any captive salamanders. He tried raising eggs in the laboratory but had problems getting them to eat. When I wrote him once, he advised the establishment of captive breeding groups, and, in fact, referred to a private person as the greatest success in keeping so far.




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Originally Posted by ozarkhellbender View Post
I was beginning to wonder if your argument just came from your desire to be right as well. How long have you been involved in the science of these salamanders? How much time have you spent researching them first hand? Are you not the same as me? Getting your information from someone else? Perhaps you are right about me. I'm sure I could definitely learn more about the keeping of Bolitoglossids, and their biology in general.
Since I began again with the hobby about one year ago, I have spent more money on books, and more time into the research of the chytrid, the keeping of Bolitoglossinae and their natural habitat than into university, my other newts etc., and I have come to a point where it became clear to me that the problems in keeping did not derive from the salamanders, but the keepers to be lacking knowledge. In fact, there are quite a few hints from successful keepers, that keeping them in the right condition, they are hardier than some of the species in the hobby. If you are interested, I can send you some short notifications with personal observations, translations of german articles I luckily got in some antiquariat (funny, because the article is not as old) for which I had to go to Berlin, and passages out of Les Urodeles du monde or else. Whatever you need to know, I guess I can help you a little - best is to get your knowledge together, if you are interested in those species.



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Old 26th September 2012   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

I doubt it's of much help to you, but there are supposed to be some French hobbyists who are maintaining this species in captivity for years, without breeding succes, but still. Also from what I have heard from a veteran one of the biggest mistakes is keeping them too warm. Just thought I'd pass these tiny pieces of info along.



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Old 27th September 2012   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

I think I am more in agreement with ozarkhellbender and Azhael on this one.

There are many bolitoglossine salamanders which are doing just fine in the wild. I would consider B. dofleini one of these species, especially now that (legal) collection for the pet trade has been shut down. It has a broad distribution, is a lowland species, occurs in several protected areas, and can still be encountered regularly. Most of those species that are not doing well are acutely threatened by habitat loss in addition to suffering probable B.d. declines.

From what I have seen, the damage from B.d. has been done in northern Central America. Most of the amphibians that remain are either coping with it and and hopefully on the rebound, or have somehow managed to survive in isolated pockets where chytrid has not reached. The densities of most are much lower than historically reported, but almost all of the salamander species have been "rediscovered" now in Mexico and Guatemala, with a few glaring exceptions.

Conservation-wise, anything that will actually help salamanders is going to happen primarily in the range countries. Habitat preservation is the absolute and undisputed priority, with education of both local communities and biologists in range countries a close second. One MAJOR reason Understory Enterprises and CRARC have been able to be so successful is their long term investment in range countries! Money consistently flows back to the countries where the animals originate. This is why a private individual is not going to waltz into Mexico or Central America and get a permit to export live animals. There is a deeply embedded, and not unfounded, fear of westerners raping the natural/genetic/pharmaceutical resources of the developing world for commercial profit and making millions to billions of dollars, while the people that live in the country where species X was exported from continue to die of malnutrition. It usually takes years of investment and personal commitment to overcome this challenge. "Private" export is not legal without explicit permits from the government's natural resource agency, and they don't just write these willy nilly. Smuggling animals is not how you start conserving them.

With proper handling, medical treatment, and transportation, I personally don't feel that Bolitoglossa are very difficult to keep, provided you have extensive experience with other plethodontid salamanders. They have their own learning curve and there are a few key mistakes people in the past have made. Other genera may be more sensitive. Breeding some species is definitely more of a challenge than others, just like those in the U.S. Certainly not impossible (see attached photos of B. nympha...formerly rufescens). I think the larger species probably have a VERY slow reproductive rate, skipping multiple years between breeding events (probably includes dofleini).

I have been working very hard to get this project in Guatemala to turn into something long term. Hopefully in the very near future I will have something to present here that will give everyone who so desires an opportunity to contribute directly to neotropical salamander conservation. It has taken very strong commitment and a lot of hard work from both motivated individuals and the institutions that back them to get this far. John has told me that he wants to find a good salamander conservation project for Caudata.org to support, and I sincerely hope that I can give that to him :)

Tim
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Bolitoglossa dofleini?-sm-juv-rufescens-2.jpg   Bolitoglossa dofleini?-hatchling.jpg  



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Old 8th October 2012   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

Just figured I would throw my two cents in as well. I agree with Tim that it is not necessarily difficult to keep bolitoglossa as long as you have had previous plethodontid experience. They are very similar to many other plethodontids. The dolfleini I have at work act alot like Aneides aeneus in their behavior. Once comfortable, then are actually a decent exhibit species and I always see one or two out in the mornings. Figured I would add a photo just for kicks. She almost looks gravid. Enjoy, Nate.

P.S. Everyone should support Tim's project! It is an amazing project and tons of incredible finds are being produced from this project.
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Old 9th October 2012   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

Nice picture, Nate. Where do you work, how many specimens have you got, have you got males? Tell us more



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Old 10th October 2012   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

I'm at the Fort Worth Zoo.

We have a total of 10 that we have had for, I believe, 6 years. They were immediately treated for chytrid when they came in and I believe this is probably what saved them.

They are all unfortunately female. We are the only zoo in the country with this species and they are an awesome species. I have gotten their exhibit pretty nicely covered with a bunch of plants and moss and they are actually out fairly often. They stay out from overnight until around 10-11:00 which is really nice. They are definitely arboreal as they like to climb alot and I even have two females that live at the top of the exhibit in so tree fern panels.



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Old 18th October 2012   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bolitoglossa dofleini?

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I'm at the Fort Worth Zoo.
cool. You mean, you actually get paid for keeping newts? AAAwesome...



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