Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Snakes exotic to South Africa with venoms that are considered to be medically important.

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Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:38 pm

I just read an article on Atheris matildae, when it was still a very recent discovery.
The author mentioned that a new strategy was being tested, the animals are said to have been bred at a facility in Tanzania, and the 'first few dozen offspring' were to be 'given' to collectors in an attempt to limit illegal collection.

Anybody know if anything ever came of this and wether they had any success ?
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Re: Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Postby Westley Price » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:46 pm

What I liked about the first publication about the species, is the fact that they didnt give away any specific locality info.

It is well known that poachers/collectors use scientific publications to decide where to go collecting because typically exact locality info is given, but with A. matildae only a broad area was pointed out.

So for guys who really want to have this species, it would just be easier to buy a CB specimen from one of the legal European owners instead of making the trip to Tanzania in vain.

Having said that, I am not sure how effective the strategy has been, but I would think very successful.
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Re: Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:38 pm

Yes that was part of the strategy, but it would not have remained a secret for long, hence the captive breeding project.

So I take it that successful breeding did occur and offspring made it to private collections ?
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Re: Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Postby Bushviper » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:50 am

I dont think it was a bad idea. However the trappers have been catching in that area for years now and dont know what they are catching. As a result the species has been exported albeit under the incorrect name. This is how one or two arrived in SA. I think they will be bred quite easily in Europe and I dont expect them to command such serious prices that poaching will become a problem.
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Re: Atheris matildae conservation strategy-success or not ?

Postby Ruan Stander » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:29 pm

Spot on. That's why it's no monumental task to determine localities. Bushviper, would they not be a tricky species to breed like ceratophora ? It seems you reckon they'll be easier to breed ?
I also agree regarding the prices, they are pretty much ceratophora to the untrained eye, and the morphological differences are so minute I would just get a ceratophora with a lot less elbow grease.
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