I have long been witness to the nutritional value of earthworms, and have even experimentally reared several amphibian and fish species on “earthworm only” diets (please see article below). In my experience, whole, well-fed earthworms come very close to being a perfect food item for a wide variety of carnivorous herps, fishes and invertebrates. What’s more, many animals cannot resist them – even those that rarely if ever encounter earthworms in the wild. Indeed, earthworms are often the first choice of zookeepers and experienced hobbyists seeking to induce feeding in “picky”, wild-caught or newborn amphibians, fishes and certain reptiles. Read More »
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Red Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) have been introduced worldwide and are believed to negatively impact many species. However, direct evidence concerning their affect on other turtles is scarce. A recent study involving Sliders, Spanish Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) and European Pond Turtles (Emys orbicularis) has shed some light on the subject.
It’s easy to imagine that introduced Red Eared Sliders would create problems for native European turtles. They are larger than many species favoring similar foods, breed rapidly, adjust well to human presence, and are very aggressive in the pursuit of food and basking sites.
I have noticed that Eastern Painted Turtles have declined in several habitats now occupied by Sliders, but am basing this on observation only, not study. Others voice the same concerns, but again have been unable to document just what, if anything, the Sliders are doing to nudge-out the natives. Read More »
Some time ago I posted an article concerning possible new Federal regulations that could limit the trade in live amphibians (read it here), and promised to notify folks when the government asked for public comments. That time is now upon us.
The Proposal – History and Intent
The proposed regulations stem from concerns that the trade in live frogs and salamanders (and frog legs) is aiding the spread of 2 deadly amphibian diseases, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (“Chytrid fungus” or Bd) and Ranavirus (please see the article mentioned earlier for details). Read More »
Hundreds of amphibian species have been drive to extinction in recent years, and an estimated 30% of those remaining may soon follow. Because most are difficult to find, herpetologists are now asking the public’s help in locating 100 species that are considered extinct but may still hold on in small numbers.
The recovery effort, launched this month (August, 2010) by Conservation International and the IUCN, spans the globe. Even questionable sightings and photos are welcome –after all, a dog in Montana tipped researchers to the fact that the Black-Footed Ferret was not extinct (by killing one!), so you never know…
There is even a “10 Most Wanted List”, the members of which I’ll describe below. Read More »