Exotic terrarium animals

Exotic terrarium animals – what you need to know before you decide to buy them

In the terrarium you can keep exotic animals belonging to different groups. They can include all kinds of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and even small mammals. Modern living toads, frogs, salamanders, crocodiles, turtles, lizards and snakes are loved for their unusual body shape, attractive colors and interesting habits. The world of invertebrates is also rich in fabulously colorful arachnids, isopods, centipedes and beetles. The choice is huge. But before you make it, check the needs of a given species. Such knowledge will allow you to prepare the appropriate aquaterrarium or terrarium equipped with all necessary accessories. When deciding to breed or raise exotic terrarium animals, it is also necessary to pay attention to such issues as species protection, dangerous and invasive species.

Protection of species – CITES Convention

Many exotic animals available to terrarium fans in the trade are subject to monitoring and legal protection regulated by the CITES Convention, due to the threat of extinction in the wild. The purpose of the convention is to protect wild populations threatened with extinction by controlling, monitoring and restricting international trade in them, their recognizable parts and derivative products, as well as to ensure international cooperation to reduce illegal trade in specimens of endangered species and raise awareness of human pressure on wild plant and animal species. Species under such protection that find their way into commerce cannot be sold without appropriate documents certifying their legal origin, and their possession should be reported to the relevant authority. If you are going to buy such a species of animal, check what conditions the seller and you as the caretaker must meet in order for you to legally become its owner. Detailed information can be found on government websites in your country. It is also worth visiting CITES and IUCN.

Dangerous species

Some species of animals have been listed as dangerous to human life and health. They may be kept and bred only by authorized bodies such as ZOOs or by persons with appropriate permits. Check the regulations in your country.

Alien invasive species

Alien invasive species (AIS) are plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are not native to ecosystems and can cause environmental or economic damage, or negatively impact human health and negatively impact biodiversity. This problem affects virtually the entire Earth. As a result of competing for food, predation and the spread of pathogens, they can reduce populations of native species or eliminate them altogether. The spread of alien invasive species is fostered by international trade and related transportation, as well as tourism, trading of animals and plants for hobby and, unfortunately, the irresponsible behavior of aquarium, terrarium and horticulture fans. When an alien species enters a new environment, and the conditions are favorable enough for it to not only survive but also reproduce, over time it can strongly reduce the populations of native species. As a result, alien invasive species can have a huge negative impact on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and, of course, natural ecosystems.

You might wonder why I’m telling you about it. I want to draw your attention to the responsible approach to exotic animals kept in homes. Every now and then you can hear sensational reports of exotic fish and reptiles being caught in the wild. Releasing reptiles, amphibians or aquarium fish into the environment is not only illegal, but also causes the “released” animal a great deal of suffering.

Remember that importing alien invasive species from abroad, as well as keeping, breeding, propagating, offering for sale and disposing of imported specimens, requires a special permit which is issued only in very specific cases. Therefore, when deciding to buy, for example, a turtle or other animal foreign to the native fauna, be sure to check its status in your country to avoid possible trouble. Also, take a look at the Convention on Biological Diversity website.

Are terrarium animals easy to tame?

It is important to remember that animals kept in terrariums do not meet the requirements most people have for domestic pets. Although some of them can be tamed and recognize the owner and associate him or her with food, you can’t count on a strong bond forming between you and the animal. You won’t teach them tricks or responding to a name. If future keepers of a tortoise, lizard or snake are aware of this and do not expect attachment from their animals, they will certainly avoid disappointment, and terraristics will introduce them to the extremely interesting world of animals. Those for whom observation alone is not enough will surely find species that they can pick out of the terrarium from time to time to interact with them more closely. However, the vast majority of terrarium animals don’t like to be taken out of their hiding places very often.

Dawid Krótki

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