Laotriton laoensis

lou

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Hi, I am really considering getting some Laotriton laoensis, I hearded they are coming into the contry (usa)
are they worth breeding, are they diffecult to keep , these will be wild caught, do they fair well in captivity? any insight would be nice, thanks
 

Azhael

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I´m sad to hear there are going to be new imports...The way asiatic species are imported it´s just tragic...
I wish any importations of rare and very valuable species like L.laoensis would be done differently (actually i wish all importations were different).
Personally i don´t think it´s a great idea to go for them. They are susceptible to all the typical problems of asiatic imports, they are not the easiest of species and getting them to breed is definitely no easy task.
It´s indeed a nice project, but i wish importations such as this were done properly and destined to serious and experienced breeders, rather than being offered in the trade...I can just see them being bought by some guy who wants something cool, rare and expensive, and going to waste...poor things, it just breaks my heart...

Does anyone know the legal situation of these imports? I remember hearing that Laotriton imports where illegally acquired and shipped, but i don´t know how true this is.
 

eljorgo

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Azhael is way too correct. It makes me a terrible headache they are going into the USA to be offered out there to any newbie capable to kill them in a matter of days.
Worst, to normal pet shops like the one I saw today. 15 paddletails in 3cm of water. with powerful bowls of light and no hides. One female completely bloated... This sickens me way too much. Like Azhael said here, these guys need to go to really experienced people. Most of all they shall not be importer by major organizations. when importing at least hope it was like some cases in Europe. A small bunch of care for the nature individuals. who will agree to send in small numbers to major keepers to then be distributed and sold. not mass and careless importing. At least those cases here in Europe the rate of survival and health level is nearly 100%. This is positive working importing. Mass importing like H. orientalis, P. labiatus, P.chinensis/hongkongensis is simply catastrophic. And I recall to those who still don't know it. L.laoensis has a very, but very very limited distributional area. really small. And they are not very common. So I'd rethink a lot before doing it.
 

Jennewt

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It's nice to see Azhael and eljorgo in agreement;)

Yes, they are undoubtedly wild-caught. They are coming into the US legally, although I don't know anything else about their origin with certainty. Speaking for myself, I choose not to buy.
 

michael

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I believe these animals were first offered to zoos, aquariums, museums, and advanced (?) hobbyists. It appears they are being imported to the U.S. with the idea of promoting captive breeding of them. They are not real high priced. Nobody is getting wealthy off of them. They are promoted as w.c./ l.t.c. animals. They are supposed to be wild caught animals that have been in captivity for 1 year. They don't seem to be imported carelessly like some amphibians have been.
 

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They are reputedly young adults, a total of 100, supposedly being surplused from a Thai breeding operation. They are not cheap. A small bunch are headed my way.
 

Azhael

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Surplus of a breeding operation? That´s substantially different than WC. Obviously i have no knowledge about all this, but isn´t it strange that there are different versions of where they come from?
I find it a bit difficult to believe that if they were originally offered to "profesionals", they were rejected and left to be sold in the trade. I apreciate the possibility of stablishing new breeding groups for this species, it would certainly be VERY benefitial to have a more solid and varied captive stock, but i very much doubt that´s the real reason. There are ways and ways of importing, and when the well-being of the animals and their future importance for the captive stock is what you have in mind, you don´t import this way... There´s just a lot that sounds dodgy about all this...
To me it´s a bit like a wolf in sheep´s clothing....you hear things like breeding operation in Thailand, LTC, aimed first to the professionals....but then what i see is another old, asiatic, mass importation....o_O
 

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I know for a fact one of the major sellers of Laotriton in the U.S. offered them to zoos, museums, aquariums, and advanced breeders before he offered them to the general public. Zoos and institutions have to go through a lot of red tape to purchase animals and that is my guess why they were not all picked up by the professionals. I do know some zoos and breeders have taken advantage of the opportunity.
 

Otterwoman

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Well, all the animals that we now supply cb in the US started as wc imports. Look at the progress we've made with kaiseri.
 

Azhael

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I do know some zoos and breeders have taken advantage of the opportunity.
Ah, that is indeed good news.

You are obviously right, Dawn, but personally i think that doesn´t justify importations the way they are majoritarily done. Of couse imports are necessary, the hobby can´t exist or evolve without them, but that doesn´t mean the way to do is to collect in mass, ship in terrible conditions and sell them through petshops...
In fact i find that these kind of importations don´t really foment captive breeding (best example ever: H.orientalis), but actually foment a rather exploitative view of the animals.

The case of N.kaiseri validates my point, the way i see it, because the same (or better) results could have been achieved without the need for illegal exploitation and compromising of the species. A few controlled, honest, properly done, legal imports, would have had little or no impact in the wild populations. Even significantly threatened species can support a certain degree of sustainable exploitation, there are some rather inspiring examples out there.
 

Otterwoman

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Well, I don't think these guys are going to end up in pet stores and I'll admit I'm one of the people that are getting them, and I have only the noblest of intentions to try to cb them. I also think from what I know about this delivery that they are being treated very well and not the way many of the mass shipments are. So wish us luck and maybe in a few years we'll have enough of them that they won't need to be imported. As I understand it, T. verr aren't being imported any more, and they are being captive bred here. That's a good thing.
 

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I'm pretty sure this is well-managed import, not a mass money-making endeavor. Founder stock needs to come from somewhere. I'm sure most will go into capable hands. I couldn't get any because the genus is illegal here. :mad: They aren't cheap at all, thus negating most fears that they are going to be distributed to kids who think they are just "cool". Anyone getting them please post lots of pics! :D JVK
 

Jennewt

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They are reputedly young adults, a total of 100, supposedly being surplused from a Thai breeding operation.
That's one of the stories I've heard, but I've also heard that they are adults that were kept in captivity for a breeding program that never actually happened. Breeders don't wait until animals are near-adult to sell them, so I think the latter is more likely.

The progress we've made with kaiseri may have come at the expense of some wild populations of the species. Not worth it, IMO. And CB kaiseri are not what I would call available in the US, despite the number of adults that got here. Same thing for any number of other species I could name. I predict the same thing for the Laotriton; the adults will get here, but a few years from now there will not be any CB being offered. So it goes.
 

FrogEyes

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Ten were paid for, and that was all that was available when the order was placed, out of a total of 100. 100, comparatively speaking, is a tiny number. I was given first crack at everything this supplier bought. I spoke for all of them, though I will likely talk to a couple of other experienced enthusiasts in Canada and split them up. I would guess that between Dawn and myself, a minimum of 15-20% of these animals are going into experienced hands, and that's just two people posting to this thread.

That's one of the stories I've heard, but I've also heard that they are adults that were kept in captivity for a breeding program that never actually happened.
That's actually closer to what I heard. I was using a broad brush when saying "surplused".
 

michael

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I couldn't get any because the genus is illegal here. :mad: They aren't cheap at all, t :D JVK
Where are you located? I'm not aware of a state in the U.S. that has outlawed Laotriton.
 

FrogEyes

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Since they were initially described as Paramesotriton, they would be illegal anywhere that banned Paramesotriton before the name Laotriton obtained widespread acceptance. Changing a name doesn't change legal status.

A number of states have rather broad bans which would include this species regardless. Washington state has an enormous prohibited amphibian list which specifically lists many Asian salamanders. Double checking, those are just examples, and Pachytriton and Paramesotriton are prohibited in their entirety. The genera Ommatotriton, Calotriton, and Lissotriton are not mentioned, but the species OF these genera are specifically listed as examples of prohibited species under older names. Thus, you have to conclude that Laotriton is Paramesotriton in Washington law. I vaguely recall Paramesotriton being banned in Oregon as well, but haven't relocated the legislation to confirm.
 

Azhael

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I´m happy to hear that these imports are at least being treated with more care than is usual and that at least a few are going into very capable hands, i honestly am. I share Jen´s fears and opinions on the matter (deeply), though, but i certainly wish you both, Dawn and FrogEyes, the best of lucks with them. I sencirely hope you succeed in breeding them in the future.
 

paul_b

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AW: Re: Laotriton laoensis

They are reputedly young adults, a total of 100, supposedly being surplused from a Thai breeding operation.
Never belive this!
It takes 4 - 5 years to bring them from larvae to adult and it is very expensive!
Noboby could pay this!

Laotriton laoensis are protected in Laos since few years - so these are illegal!

But it is not neccesary to take them from the wild - we breed them well in Europe, now in the second generation!

Paul
 

Azhael

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Paul, that´s what i had heard, that all Laotriton imports were currently illegal, but i was unsure of the validity of this statement. As usual, when the animals arrive to their destination, they become legal, as used to happen with N.kaiseri (a species that has never had a known legal import as far as the irani government is concerned) and still happens with many european species. However, if the rumours are true and these were part of a failed breeding program, then the fact that they are now being introduced to the public does not necessarily mean their origin is illegal. Animals have been transfered from scientific studies or breeding programs into the hobby before, and it CAN be legal.
I just wish people were more open about information and we didn´t have to deal with rumours or hearsays...

Anyway, the damage is done, they aren´t going back to their habitat no matter what, so i´m at least relieved that a few will have a good chance in capable hands.

I do think that a small amount of imports is necessary. If all the captive stock comes from a single breeding group, the future of the species in captivity is doomed. We need genetic variability to avoid excessive endogamy and ensure that they have a future. As i have said before, i just wish those few necesary animals came to the hobby by different means (legal, careful imports of few animals from well studied, healthy populations).

By the way, Paul, a friend of mine got second generation eggs this year :) but so far it seems they are not fertile. I have everything crossed, optic nerve included, for him, though.
 

paul_b

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AW: Re: Laotriton laoensis

In August 2008, the Lao Department of Forestry listed Laotriton laoensis as protected from commercial trade.
So all that are captured later I think are illegal.

But collecting for pet trade is not the main problem!
The greater problem seems to be drying the animal for use in traditional medicine.

All imported laoensis should come to experienced breeders, to flood the pet trade with breeding this beatiful species!

It is still difficult to breed them successfull - but it is possible and we have F2 larvae here.

Paul
 
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