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Re: Breeding wild-extinct species (was Re: That lazy BOT (was Re:decent war))
Now that everyone else has had a shot at you, Shireen, it is my turn. :-)
Shireen Gonzaga wrote:
> OK, let me cause a little trouble, then.
> I've been very interested in why people feel it is important to
> preserve -- in captivity -- a fish species that has gone extinct in the
The original intent of KCC was never to preserve fish for reintroduction.
If put in new waters, they would just be another exotic for the native
species to contend with. Why put them where they went extinct. The
probability is usually tiny or none that the original cause has or can be
Collectors would bring fish in from newly accessible jungle areas of
Africa, development would then kill off the wild fish. The captive
population was often pretty and easy to breed, so the better (i.e., more
consistent) breeders would quickly tire of them and move on to something
new and rare and more challenge. KCC was set up to persuade a few breeders
to make a conscious commitment to keep a population going for a few years.
The intent was to bridge those population slumps that had obviously lost
us several nice aquarium species in the 70 and early 80s.
The process is being repeated in Brazil, so the SAA cooperation with KCC
has become a significant asset to the hobby. Roger Broussea and others
have proposed that we form consortia to buy marginal farm land to keep
habitat from being destroyed for ineffective ranching purposes.
> What's the point? That species can never be returned to the wild since
> generations of captive breeding have made them a different creature
> compared to their wild ancestors -- will they have the smarts to
> survive? Even if the habitat is restored, would it have the right
> ecological requirements to support that fish, or would the reintroduced
> fish be able to support that habitat's ecology?
Moot point unless we can find some reason to introduce an "exotic" species
where it does not belong. In actual fact dozens of species of tank fish
are in all kinds of native waters in the southwest. We kill thousands
every year in trying to improve habitat for pupfish, springfish and dace.
They easily establish themselves and adapt to local conditions. Tougher
killifish would do it much better in many places.
> Is it done to honor and appreciate a species that took millions of
> years to evolve, only to be wiped out by habitat loss/pollution?
Only by the more dedicated fanatics. Most are because we like the fish,
and can't count on commercial sources to replace it if we let it go.
> Is it done because you're fascinated by, or wish to study a creature
> that evolved in a very specialized ecological niche, like the desert
> pupfishes? Or maybe you just want to brag about it? (Hey, I like to
> brag about the uniqueness of my Endler's Livebearers ... :-)
Different strokes for different folks. The AKA is a hobby organization,
and properly concerns itself with those aspects of the fish that relate to
> Or do you think these captive species (many generations of captivity,
> that is, not just a few generations) can be reintroduced to their
> restored habitat?
Little doubt that it could happen, but not by the usual F&G bureaucrats.
:-) They have a very poor record, compared to the morons that think they
are being "kind" when they dump their goldfish bowl in the creek.
> I'm just interested in how people feel about this, philosophically.
> Personally, I don't know what to make of it.
I like the hobby, and feel we assume a certain responsibility to the fish
when we keep them captive. Losing a species to the hobby is a sad end that
we can't come back from. Therefore, I have been willing to enjoy a species
or two that I might otherwise not have kept, to help that happen.
I also enjoy learning about unusual fish, so have kept a few rare ones at
times, just for my education. Surprisingly, they turned out to be as
interesting and fun as my blue and red fish from the jungles of W. Africa!
> On a related note, for those of you who don't know, JR Shute and
> company at Conservation Fisheries are doing excellent work in
> reintroducing endangered fish to restored habitats. Check out their
> neat website at http://www.conservationfisheries.org/
> Just thought I'd stir the mud a bit .... :-)
We all heard that "Giant Sucking Sound" as you tried to remove your foot
from it . ;-)
Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351
[Not that I approve striking first,]
Ask France to join a coalition?
Might as well bring the Glee Club to a gang fight.
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