RE: NANFA-- Collecting ethics

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 12 Jan 2004 11:35:26 -0500

One species of cold-blooded vertebrate affected by collecting (ANY
collecting) is the green salamander, _Aneides aeneus_. It's a high-altitude,
rock crevice dwelling species native to the southern Appalachians. Chris
Wilson at Appalachian State Univ. in NC did his doctoral work surveying
several NC populations in the 1990s and observed a dramatic decline, both
during his field work and especially compared to earlier surveys from the
1970s. The species may actually be four species, all of which currently
exist as isolated "population islands". Several populations exist on public
lands. Both scientific and hobbyist/pet-trade collecting appear to have
contributed to destabilizing increasingly vulnerable populations (so-called
stochastic processes, or in this case, decline through random events).

For a review of WIlson's work and status of this salamander, go to:

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

> ><)> Still waiting for evidence that collecting of fish
> ><)> or any other cold-blooded
> ><)> animal has ever lead to extinction.
>This is where I think that the views on this topic are nearsighted. It is
>not that it may lead to extiction, it is that it is not helping to preserve
>the species by still allowing for unrestricted collection or possession.
>You are reducing genetic diversity and therefore *possibly* weakening the
>species as a whole. There is much that humans don't know about population
>dynamics and that is why I vote for erring on the side of caution and not
>allowing just anyone who thinks they know what they are doing to keep the
>species. Unfortunately, it is reactive and not proactive, but that is a
>whole other thread ;).
>Nick Zarlinga
>Aquarium Biologist
>Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
>216.661.6500 ext 4485

Rethink your business approach for the new year with the helpful tips here.
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