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Species maintenance -LONG Reply
>>Even having done that, I am a bit pessimistic about the chances of a
group of hobbyists, whose ability to contribute over the long term is not
guaranteed, being able to sustain such a program.<<
True. But there are hobbyist and the there are hobbyists. I'm still new,
having only been back into fish keeping for 2 years now. And this return
is my first time with Killies.
I am not a breeder. I have manages to breed and raise a few of the
relatively easy species, but I have managed to loss more fish than I've
raised. I joke slightly when I say I put the "kill" into "killifish."
But that doesn't mean that I or others like me, cannot be groomed on the
proper methodologies and, more importantly, the proper philosophy that
can contribute to a successful long tern species maintenance program.
There are several keys to the programs success:
1. Defined, obtainable objectives.
My perception is that the AKA's intent is not to reintroduce species to the
wild but to preserve a selected few in the hobby. The criteria for
selection was also well thought out and realistic.
2. A dedicated core of implementors.
Tom Grady, Dr. Harry Specht and others have demonstrated this to be
This is an area where the greatest amount of work needs to be done. A
great deal has been done already. As Tom pointed out, he's published
several reports to the BNL already and is preparing a larger report right
The area that needs constant attention is educating the average
hobbyist, the Bill Vannersons out there, to the important aspects of the
hobby that will convert some (but not all) to the higher level of hobbyists.
Much of the groundwork is already in place. We have had many
discussions on proper naming and location codes. This teaches the
necessity of distinguishing different populations. There has also been
some scientific discussions on killies as well in JAKA. Although these
discussions will not make a scientist out of me, it does raise my
awareness of the ecological importance of the fish in my care. These
raise my level of involvement beyond that of a regular hobbyist that buys
a bag of Tetras from the local fish store.
Overall, these efforts start to move me from a "collector" to a "breeder."
to borrow someone else's terms.
I guess what I really want to point out is that the educational aspect of
species maintenance should never stop. The should be awareness from
both the program specific point of view, such as Tom's reports, to and
the general proper respect and procedures in which hobbyists, such as
myself, should adhere to.
And don't be too critical. Not everyone has what it takes to become a
species maintenance breeder, nor does everyone have the desire to
become one. But some will.
There's been a sense of cynicism in some of the recent messages about
species maintenance. I hope that the few of you who have made it this
far down in this message may see that there are positive things
happening because of the program. And my "hat's off" those that are
actively involved in the programs. You will make a difference.