Captive breeding. A subject of extreme importance in the herpetology world, and now with the Lacey act restricting the importation of some of the most desired and frequently kept snakes, it is now a necessity for keepers here in the Unites States. Though before we all begrudgingly accept captive breeding as some sort of less than ideal form of making animals available to the public, let's take a deeper look into why it's so important.

      Wild populations are not an endless supply. The more we take out of the wild, the longer it takes to replenish their numbers, and the more of an impact it has on the environment they are from. While some people may desire a wild caught due to them wanting a wild caught specimen, not only does it affect the species and the environment but the animal you get also has a much higher chance of having disease or parasites!

      As well as being more beneficial for the species, the environment, and giving you a healthier animal, captive breeding has some added benefits as well. When we breed in captivity we can select for certain traits that we desire. Colors, patterns, behaviors, and attitudes can all be selected for with the help of captive breeding! Without the work of breeders around the world we wouldn't have all of the cool morphs that we have today, a majority of our pets would be much more aggressive than they are today, and a good portion of the animals available for purchase would be extremely rare! It's highly possible that without the help of captive breeders you wouldn't even own most of your animals.

      Now that we've established that we don't want to be getting our animals from the wild, lets talk about why the newest changes to the Lacey Act are horrible. To be able to breed an animal, you first need animals to breed. If you can't get enough of those animals to start breeding them, then you are faced with either inbreeding, or simply letting them die out in captivity. So let's hypothesize what might happen if a new species comes into demand, and there isn't enough of an established breeding business here in the states. Well there is still going to be demand for them obviously, but instead of getting them from a breeder or from legal importation, they will be illegally imported. Now I don't know if you have seen the methods that people use to smuggle animals into the country, but they are horrible. A good percentage of them will die in transit, so to counteract this, they smuggle more. Now they get here, but not in enough numbers to breed them, so to meet demand, they just poach and smuggle more into the country. A good portion are dead, the wild populations are poached, and there still aren't enough in the states to breed them. Thanks Lacey.

If you feel like trying your hand at breeding, take a stop at our Husbandry and Handling section of the website. We've got probes, feeding tools, as well as tongs and gloves for hadling some of the more aggressive cold blooded animals.

To ensure that your hatchlings are healthy, visit our Incubator Page and purchase the right incubator and bedding so that your eggs will develop correctly.