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Old 19th December 2008   #1
Rodrigo
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Default Mass captive breeding???

Lately iīve been reading posts in another forum from spanish users that comment on some petshops selling small Cynops orientalis. Some are even 4cm long.
My first rection was to be skeptic, but after a user said that he asked at the petshop, and the answer was "yes, they are CB, they are bred in mass in Asia".....well.....i was still skeptic :P
The thing is, they are selling terrestrial juveniles/sub-adults, and apparently, after i asked a user to check, their bellies are somewhat duller than the usual WC animal.
So my question is, does anybody hve any information at all bout something like this happening??? Are asians actually breeding this species in mass??
I find it hard to believe, but i thought it deserved asking to see if anyone is able to confirm the possibility or deny it.



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Old 19th December 2008   #2
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I don't know about this. In my opinion it takes to much time, money, and effort for mass production of Cynops orientalis to break even. Could you imagine what it would take for them to do this and turn a profit. The orientalis I have bred took nearly a year to get to the size that I felt comfortable shipping and I just don't see with it taking that long and the numbers they had to do it at how it would even be feasible. Besides if you were a pet shop would you buy a $4.99 newt or a $10.00 newt, I just don't think it will or ever could work. This is just my opinion but I am sure someone with more knowledge about the situation will chime in.

Later,
Justin



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Old 19th December 2008   #3
Rodrigo
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I know, thatīs why iīm so skeptic about this. I breed them too and i know they re not easy to raise, but i have to admit it sounds very suspicious that now they are selling smaller animals, at higher prices, and that could fit what you expect from a CB animal.

I know this is a crazy idea, but could it be possible that certain petshops are actively trying to pass imports as CB animals(very convincingly) to confront the growing preocupation about the whole WC issue??

Man, one of these days iīll start worrying that the government is trying to control me via satelite....



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Old 19th December 2008   #4
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
I know this is a crazy idea, but could it be possible that certain petshops are actively trying to pass imports as CB animals(very convincingly) to confront the growing preocupation about the whole WC issue??
I really hope that the pet trade hasn't stooped to this level. I don't know the whole story but do you know how many stores are selling these CB animals. I am hoping that it's just a few of the more popular stores actually selling true CB orientalis and since they get alot of traffic it just makes it seem like there is more CB stock in the pet trade than there really is. Boy I hope that makes sense cause if not I am going to look like an idiot.

Quote:
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Man, one of these days iīll start worrying that the government is trying to control me via satelite....
Hell they are probably working on it but thats a whole new can of worms.



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Old 19th December 2008   #5
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

It doesn't seem impossible to me at all. Using large ponds and farming like a fish hatchery or a fish farm would be relatively easy, especially if you fenced in the yards and had an easy way to collect the terrestrial juveniles...such as putting out cover objects or drift fences. There's precedent for raising small amphibians for the pet trade...India does it with Hymenochirus in massive numbers, and those are VERY difficult and time-consuming larvae for the home hobbyist.

Quote:
I know this is a crazy idea, but could it be possible that certain petshops are actively trying to pass imports as CB animals(very convincingly) to confront the growing preocupation about the whole WC issue??
What growing precoccupation? On this board perhaps? I don't think the pet shops really care about that sort of thing, they're just interested in streamlining and making a profit. If the animals are small, terrestrial, and lacking in belly pigments, it points to farming.

If it is farming, it makes one wonder why they decided to go that route. It wouldn't be because of any WC vs. CB philosophical debate. It would be a matter of ease and profit...perhaps it's not as easy to collect the same numbers anymore?



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Old 19th December 2008   #6
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Juveniles can be collected in massive numbers using the same methods used in capturing adults.

Pictured below (in the background) is a drift fence with five gallon bucket pit falls used to census Spring migration of salamanders. Juveniles were sampled in the Spring and Summer using the same fence by burying buckets on the pond side of the fence.

So, if juveniles are being ship in from overseas they may simply be collected from wild stocks. Your local pet shop owners would not know the difference.
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Old 19th December 2008   #7
Rodrigo
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Tim, that was one of the suggestions i made to the people in the other forum. I can see how collecting juveniles seasonally would even be eassier than collecting adults.

Nate, iīm not saying itīs impossible, but itīs unlikely that Cynops orientalis is being massively bred when it seems so easy to just go out and pick hundreds of them. It would be very good news though.
I wasnīt referring to this site about the "growing preoccupation", mostly i was talking about some spanish sites....i know of some small town petshops who are probably not going to sell any newts because the local interested people do not want them if they are WC. And i can see a petshop owner picking the smallest one from a bach to help pretend they are CB....after all iīve been blatantly lied so many times i believe theyīd do anything.
Anyway it was just a crazy thought, just for fun.



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Old 19th December 2008   #8
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I am way out of my league here because I am a mere and humble axolotl keeper, so what I am about to write is ignorant and therefore maybe stupid. Here in Berlin, though, C. orientalis is a very common salamander in pet stores. I mean very common; you can usually find at least one for sale in even the smallest pet shop.

Because of my ignorance you will know more than I why some of them are in aquaria and some are in terraria, but I have seen very many in terraria that are roughly 4 cm long; I've even seen smaller ones for sale. Because of the sheer numbers available and their sometimes tiny sizes, I wonder if it is possible for such a tiny WC to survive shipment? I would think that these animals mut come from a relatively local breeder.

I apologize again if what I have said is stupid. I just wanted to give a report of what I have seen here in Germany, in case it helps this discussion.

-Eva



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Old 20th December 2008   #9
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I've heard rumors about a facility in Asia that was undertaking (or at least claiming to undertake) mass captive breeding/farming of C. orientalis. So it's not impossible. And I agree with Nate that it is technically feasible, but still economically questionable (i.e., questionable in the sense of whether it would be more profitable than collecting from the wild). It's an interesting observation, but I don't think there is any way to know if it's true or false.



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Old 20th December 2008   #10
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I guess youīre right, itīs hard to know wether itīs true or not.
I just thought maybe somebody knew something....worth checking i guess.
The fact that youīve also heard the rumour probably means something though.

Blueberlin, donīt apologize!!! Your observations are the same as most people have when they see these newts in a pet-shop. The fact that some are terrestril and some are aquatic is probably due to some of them being far more stressed or ill than others though.
Them being so common in pet-shops doesnīt necessarily mean some one local is providing them, think about Pachytriton labiatus, they are also VERY common, but i dare to say non of them is CB.



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Old 21st December 2008   #11
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
Man, one of these days iīll start worrying that the government is trying to control me via satelite....
They already are, it's called television.



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Old 21st December 2008   #12
Rodrigo
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Then i guess itīs a good thing i donīt watch any telly xDDD



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Old 23rd December 2008   #13
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Ok so maybe what I don't understand is that I go into any old pet shop or even garden center that offers fish tanks and dog food, and they have one or two (or three..) C. orientalis for sale. Not one or two shops, but all of them. This in Berlin. Then I travel to another town in Germany and it is the same. This has to be thousands of salamanders, just in Germany. And Germany is just one country in all of Europe. When one figures in the (sorry to put it bluntly) death rate of shipped WCs, how many must they be shipping to get this number into shops for sale? I wouldn't have thought that there are so many salamanders in the wild that one could catch billions of them to ensure that millions of them penetrate the world market. I didn't think there were that many in the wild to start with.

-Eva



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Old 23rd December 2008   #14
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I'm sure part of it has to do with strict environmental laws in developed countries so it is easiest just to get them from some other less strict country.

Again, I think breeding P. waltl or some other similar sp.(maybe T. cristatus complex or even Mesotriton) would squash this trade. But I suspect in Europe their are laws that will make that difficult...and it'd be tough to regulate if people start capturing natives and selling them as farmed also.



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Old 23rd December 2008   #15
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
I can see how collecting juveniles seasonally would even be eassier than collecting adults.
There's certainly a precedent for this; WC juvenile Notophthalmus used to be sold in relatively large numbers in the UK pet trade (as 'Red Efts').

As an aside, I suspect that these were the 'red lizards' that occured in such large numbers that Charles Fort thought they might have fallen from the sky:
"In the Public Ledger, July 23, 1886, it is said that upon the morning of the 19th of July, at Hobdys Mills, Pa., after a severe rainstorm, the ground was found to be covered with bright red lizards; roads and fields scarlet with them. They were an inch and a half long; row of small black spots on each side. It seems that all were alive. In two hours all had crawled out of sight. "
(from http://www.resologist.net/corfpl01.htm )

Charles Snell suggested (in a BHS Bulletin article) that harvesting juvenile newts from garden ponds (particularly T. (=L.) vulgaris & T. (=L.) helveticus) has no negative effects; he recorded an increase in newt numbers despite removing large numbers of juveniles.

Harvesting juvenile Cynops from semi-wild ponds could be a relatively sustainable way of supplying Cynops to the pet trade. It's a shame the juveniles are trickier to keep than adults.

There's some interesting information on Bullfrog farming here:
http://www.fao.org/fishery/cultureds...na_catesbeiana



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Old 23rd December 2008   #16
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Eva, iīll quote a post of Peter Lembcke:
"1,635,362 C. orientalis were exported between 1998-2002"
Itīs not billions but itīs indeed an amazingly high number of animals.

For the time being, iīm still inclined to think the C.orientalis available in regular pet-shops are still WC.

I too think P.waltl would be an amazing substitute, and would make everyoneīs life so much eassier...
However, here in Spain it simply can never happen....but, what about P.nebulosus??? Itīs legal in every single european country, and if iīm not mistaken itīs as easy as itīs spanish cousin.



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Old 23rd December 2008   #17
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

I was told by my petstore as well, which I know the owner very well. However, I have never believed in it.
But I agree that it is possible to do it by farming and that is what the petstore owner told me. So maybe if they are breeding newts using the farming method, they really might not need much work to get a great mass of them.

And if they just ship the newts when the newts just become terrestrial, I think it will be rather easy for the newt farm to raise them up to that point. What I wonder is that if they are shipping out newts any larger, they might have difficulty feeding them in the terrestrial stage.(I dont think they will have the facilities to force them in water for all stages of life.) So, maybe this is the reason why they are shipping the newts in such a young stage of life during terrestrial. It also make sense that they will ship it at that stage, since when the C.O. metamorphs, it take a good couple of weeks for it to really start eating.

I remember when I was still a kid, in Hong Kong, the fishstores are selling C.O. in mass and small. W.C. or C.B? That I am not sure. But they sell C.O. at rather young age, since they dont really give them much water.



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Old 31st January 2009   #18
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Default Re: Mass captive breeding???

Farming, for the most part is not much more than controlled wild caught. Large ponds are dug and breeding stock is placed in them and they are allowed to do their thing. This has several advantages or traditional WC. First it allows the farms to control predation. They can take steps to keep predatory fish or birds or what have you off their stock thus insuring more babies are brought to saleable size. Second, they can standardize their ponds to make collection easier. If all their ponds are 10 meters wide an 1 meter deep they can use the same collecting equipment on all of them. Third they not only benefit from natural food sources like mosquito larvae etc. but they can also supplement the feeding of the babies to bring them up to saleable size faster. Fourth, they can take steps to prevent disease and parasites by treating the ponds if they so choose. This allows more, healthier individuals to be produced as medications can work to keep down diseases that normally might be assciated with such high population densities.

With such low profits for each item we all know that the only way to make such a venture possible is to maximize the number of items available to sell and reduce expense to the bare minimum. As a result of all the things above more babies can be produced and they can be raised faster than relying strictly on nature. In fact, in countries wher labor costs are low it may be even more economical than traditional WC methods which might entail traveling some distance to the collecting ponds. It also has the effect of making all the animals pretty much the same size when harvested. I think that is why, when you see a tank full of smaller than full adults, but all the same size animals, you can be pretty sure that these animals were farmed.

IMO farmed animals are a step above WC but they should not be seen as the equivilant as a true CBB specimen. The animals are often over crowded which can lead to stress. They still need to be shipped which leads to additional stress. Medications, especially antibiotics, may actually lower their resistence in the long run. In most cases they are still exposed to the open so the exposure to certain parasites that may not be treated for is a possibility.

I just don't see many store being able to obtain true CBB specimens. Still, if you put a fence around a pond so your newts can't get out isn't that in essence keeping them captive. If so, wouldn't any babies technically be captive bred. That is why you see so many farmed animals being listed as CB, and that's why I distinguish between farmed animals as CB or farmed, and true captive bred and born animals as CBB. These animals, the tru CBB ones, are the ones that are produced by the hobbiest who has a male and a female in their care and manipulates the conditions to get their charges to reproduce, and its these animals that I seek out to sell in my store.



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