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Good news about Leopard tortoises in Gauteng

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Good news about Leopard tortoises in Gauteng

Postby Bushviper » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:31 am

I have just had a long and interesting conversation with Nature Conservation

Gauteng Nature Conservation have decided that they will allow the public to keep Leopard tortoises if they can be legally acquired. It does however limit you to one sex and breeding is not allowed.

If you are a member of a Herpetological association you can have pairs and will be allowed to breed Leopard tortoises.

If you are no longer a member of a Herp association you must pick which one you would like to keep and they will remove the others from you.

If you have any way of proving that you have illegally had a Leopard tortoise for a period of 5 years or longer they will give you a permit for it as long as you only have the one, or two of the same sex.

The various chairmen of the Herpetological associations will be meeting with them early next month and new regulations regarding catching permits, releasing problem animals, keeping permits, exotic venomous snakes and keeping of exotic crocodilians will be discussed.

Education and environmental awareness programmes will also be discussed and posters are envisaged for reptile conservation efforts. The PROMOTION of the keeping of indigenous snakes will also be discussed. This was initiated from their side!!!!!

It looks as if finally many years of head butting might pay off.
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Postby Bushbaby » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:06 am

Kewl!! Did they actually phone you?? I thought they just do things and let you know afterwards. hee hee
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Postby snake-5 » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:10 am

Um ok but why only 1 of the sexes of leopard tortoises, if more people breed them then there numbers would increase
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Re: Good news about Leopard tortoises in Gauteng

Postby Spoon » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:11 am

Bushviper wrote:I have just had a long and interesting conversation with Nature Conservation

Gauteng Nature Conservation have decided that they will allow the public to keep Leopard tortoises if they can be legally acquired. It does however limit you to one sex and breeding is not allowed.


Woohoo!!! I can get a tortoise! :D When they say legally acquire they obviously mean via someone who has permits etc to breed? And would you need a permit if you are keeping just one? How are they going to regulate this? Why would they disallow breeding though? Surely logically if more people are breeding them then there is less chance of them becoming endangered or extinct etc?
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Postby Bushbaby » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:12 am

I think it would probably to prohibit the trade in tortoises or aquiring them from the wild and saying "I bred them". Face it, if you breed them, where are you going to release them and know they will survive??
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Postby froot » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:12 am

A move initatied by Natcon to accommodate reptile keepers? Wow! This must be embraced with gratitude and willingness work together. I wonder if they've realised that the community is as concerned about reptile conservation as they are.
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Postby snake-5 » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:12 am

Maybe they just clicked that development=loss of habitat=loss of species.
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Postby Nasicornis » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:20 am

That sounds great!

One or two of the things to be discussed worries me a bit though, like exotic venomous snakes and exotic crocodilians. What do you think they are planning for these?
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Postby Colinh » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:34 am

I am very greatful for the work BV is doing on our behalf that is ensuring that we can continue loving and enjoying our hobby. Just hope that some TWAT does not try and seek loopholes to smuggle again. Thanks BV
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Postby Deon » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:49 am

Well it seems that they are starting to follow the Cape. May be that some of the Cape Regulations have been filtered through to you guys. What is great for us in the Cape, is that we have all our reptiles on permit, so if you want to get indigenous on permit we already have it ready for SALE. :-) The move to indigenous keeping was expressed some time back by Cape Nature and permit applications have also shown this.
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Postby MacAdder » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:13 pm

I see no comparison between Tvl and the W-Cape ‘conservation’ by-laws.
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Postby Deon » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:16 pm

Thats okay if you don't MacAdder, not to worry. Indigenous seems easier to keep in the Cape and maybe the same shift will happen in JHB.
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Postby Bushviper » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:52 am

The reason why they dont want Joe Public breeding tortoises is because when he has too many he may try to release them. That is where the problem comes in. The correct habitat and sub species is relevant here. If you are a member of a herp association then usually you will have access to far better resources and be able to make a more informed decision.

Tortoises have had some of the worst release successes of all reptiles. After a long period in captivity most die a slow death when released.

A condition is found commonly in captivity called "Runny Nose Syndrome." If this is allowed into the wild population it could wipe out huge area which naturally had leopard tortoises surviving and doing well.

Joe Public does not know about these things but we do, and as a result will not release the wrong animals into the wrong areas.
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Postby MrG » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:54 am

This good information BV.
I'm a supporter of reptile owners being members of a Herp association and that the rules and conditions of keeping, catching etc. be negotiated by the chair persons with Natcon.

The most valuable input is from those with experience and knows whats happening in the trade. ;)
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Postby MacAdder » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:39 pm

I in turn do not agree with the idea of being forced to join any group to show a responsibility for owning an animal.

I choose not to debate this issue here as it is like having to join a social club or church group before being able to getting married. :-?

By the way I am Joe public and believe I am reasonably responsible enough to do my own research before taking in any animal.
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