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Old 01-24-2013, 02:58 AM
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Default Who imports Mantellas?

I'm curious of who is importing Mantellas frequently?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Most mantellas come into the USA from two importers, LA Reptiles and Richard Stubbs. They sell to other suppliers and at some point they get to you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Thank you. I don't think they will get to me; it was an informative question for me.

It seems that a concerted breeding effort could greatly reduce the demand of imports, slowly reducing the harvesting but not eliminating it. Itís not an extensively fruitful venture but personally rewarding. However, that's a different discussion for a different time.

Thanks for the quick response.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

The imports are sustainably harvested, that is not the problem impacting them. The problem is habitat destruction. If people would buy up and protect their habitat, that would do more good then anything else. Move more towards that direction.

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Originally Posted by Dendrobati View Post
Thank you. I don't think they will get to me; it was an informative question for me.

It seems that a concerted breeding effort could greatly reduce the demand of imports, slowly reducing the harvesting but not eliminating it. Itís not an extensively fruitful venture but personally rewarding. However, that's a different discussion for a different time.

Thanks for the quick response.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
The imports are sustainably harvested, that is not the problem impacting them. The problem is habitat destruction. If people would buy up and protect their habitat, that would do more good then anything else. Move more towards that direction.
Just out of curiosity, how do they go about "sustainably" harvesting wild caught critically endangered frogs? I'm not being an ass btw. I'm assuming you know something I don't and I'm curious.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
The imports are sustainably harvested, that is not the problem impacting them. The problem is habitat destruction. If people would buy up and protect their habitat, that would do more good then anything else. Move more towards that direction.
Although I'm not natively against import and buying of wild caught frogs, I would personally like to see efforts on both fronts with mantella. I am making some efforts on my side, donating a percentage of money from frog sales to conservation, ideally doing as you suggested - buying relevant habitat.

I don't work with any mantella yet, but would like to in the near future.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

There are similar movements in the reef community that fall under the sustainable reefing guidelines. Before leaving the hobby a couple years ago, I strictly purchased my corals from farms and via aqua culture. Same to be said for fish.

Good luck with the Mantella project. If hobbiest don't think we have a direct impact...negative and positive.... then we are only fooling ourselves.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quite a few fishing areas are sustainable and net caught. It provides an income for the locals, supports entire communities. If you want to protect it, make it a renewable resource that provides jobs.


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There are similar movements in the reef community that fall under the sustainable reefing guidelines. Before leaving the hobby a couple years ago, I strictly purchased my corals from farms and via aqua culture. Same to be said for fish.

Good luck with the Mantella project. If hobbiest don't think we have a direct impact...negative and positive.... then we are only fooling ourselves.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Understory is offering the following for their March shipment...

M. aurantiaca
M. betsileo
M. crocea
M. viridis

-Chris
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
Quite a few fishing areas are sustainable and net caught. It provides an income for the locals, supports entire communities. If you want to protect it, make it a renewable resource that provides jobs.
Well, kind of. There is no standard practice currently in place around the industry though various organizations are working towards that effort both independently and with various world governments (see Marine Aquarium Council for one example). Net catching most species is not very efficient and cyanide is still a very common practice, especially with most of the wild caught reef fish. Even thought the use of cyanide is mostly illegal throughout the world for fish gathering, it's still described by most in the industry as a reality when it comes to fishing. Stunning the fish makes them a ton easier to net.

As far as the workers, it's cheap/untrained industrial labor with numerous risks to the people involved that include paralysis, bends and drowning. The legal implications are great as well when you consider the demand of the hobby (referring to illegal fishing practices and coral infraction). The work is also mostly done within non regulated working environments. We all have visions of glorious careers of fish collectors/divers/communities sustained on fish trade, but it's generally far from the truth and filled with poverty/despair. Yes, it definitely provides some sort of income to people that desperately need it, but the money is supplemental if nothing else, is often times temporary and isn't an end all to a community thriving.

As far as making is a renewable resource, you basically need to surplus the population then farm the heck out it to create an appropriate population. Given the biodiversity of the traditionally fished/coraled areas, you are doing nothing more than creating multiple chances for variance to the natural balance. The risk for chaos grows exponentially.

Here's a decent article stating facts supporting both of our points

Marine aquarium fish trade study reveals fewer fish, more species imported than previously estimated

I would argue that if you want to protect it, make it a self sustainable industry all while making the crop a renewable resource with stricter regulation and oversite. Bravo to all the reef farms both in the artificial and natural environments.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

There are many countries that jut supply net caught fish, Fiji, HI, Mexico, Australia, the list continues for a while. Most of the larger importers refuse to buy cyanide caught fish. Cyanide is still common in some countries, but it is decreasing. I even have a friend going to the Phillippines to teach a bunch of collectors there how to catch with nets, once they learn, it spreads.

I am very close to the fish collecting community...what you are saying isn't what I have seen with my own eyes. Perhaps in some areas, but not the ones I've seen personally.

As for you article, notice the quote from Les Kaufman? He knows what is up, great guy, too.

The trade needs improvements and I know the majority of wholesale owners are constantly working towards them. I've seen it in action.

As for MAC, failed to start with. But that's a whole other can of worms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
Well, kind of. There is no standard practice currently in place around the industry though various organizations are working towards that effort both independently and with various world governments (see Marine Aquarium Council for one example). Net catching most species is not very efficient and cyanide is still a very common practice, especially with most of the wild caught reef fish. Even thought the use of cyanide is mostly illegal throughout the world for fish gathering, it's still described by most in the industry as a reality when it comes to fishing. Stunning the fish makes them a ton easier to net.

As far as the workers, it's cheap/untrained industrial labor with numerous risks to the people involved that include paralysis, bends and drowning. The legal implications are great as well when you consider the demand of the hobby (referring to illegal fishing practices and coral infraction). The work is also mostly done within non regulated working environments. We all have visions of glorious careers of fish collectors/divers/communities sustained on fish trade, but it's generally far from the truth and filled with poverty/despair. Yes, it definitely provides some sort of income to people that desperately need it, but the money is supplemental if nothing else, is often times temporary and isn't an end all to a community thriving.

As far as making is a renewable resource, you basically need to surplus the population then farm the heck out it to create an appropriate population. Given the biodiversity of the traditionally fished/coraled areas, you are doing nothing more than creating multiple chances for variance to the natural balance. The risk for chaos grows exponentially.

Here's a decent article stating facts supporting both of our points

Marine aquarium fish trade study reveals fewer fish, more species imported than previously estimated

I would argue that if you want to protect it, make it a self sustainable industry all while making the crop a renewable resource with stricter regulation and oversite. Bravo to all the reef farms both in the artificial and natural environments.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Also, collectors don't get the bends anymore, almost all spevies are collected in shallow water and those deeper water species are collected with scuba or traps. Again...seen it in action, and participated, myself.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

All great stuff B.P. I would hope that Kaufman could see the value in additional aquafarming methods as a means to even go-with wild caught (this being more possible in the coral farming than fish trade) in an effort to advance the hobby and return a balance of nature.

I hear ya on Fiji and (parts of) Mexico, but come on man... using Hawaii and Australia is a bit of a padded statement The biggest problems we see currently are with sub standard practices are in south east Asia or other wise "third world" economies.

What type of fish does your friend catch? I hope the locals buy into his methods. That's great to hear and I'd love to hear some feedback via a non-hijacked thread, LOL. Very cool stuff!

It sounds like you've got some great experiences with the fish community. You travel is genuinely envious! Though I haven't been fortunate to travel overseas, between importer/wholesaler/vendor talks in my past and general vicarious observation of written literature of both insider and outsiders-looking-in (to the hobby), I seem to find that once you get beyond the tourism co-driven fishing establishment that poverty is a constant norm and many of the problems listed are more prevalent than the money makers want us to believe. The industry is just so amazingly huge.

Anyway, as I said before: Bravo to all those geared towards sustainability. Bravo to your pal too for sharing knowledge. I personally avoid taking anything wild caught by personal choice. I think a Mantella project would be awesome if the OP is successful. Madagascar is a fraction of the size of the world's reef systems. The risk of mismanagement is huge.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
The imports are sustainably harvested, that is not the problem impacting them. The problem is habitat destruction. If people would buy up and protect their habitat, that would do more good then anything else. Move more towards that direction.
Do you have a reference documenting that they are being sustainably harvested? I would be interested in seeing the data proving that to be the case particularly given the rate of habitat destruction... I have to admit I find it highly suspicious of the claim that you could have sustainable harvesting occuring when huge amounts of the habitat is being destroyed... so I would really like to see the hard data....

Some comments

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Ed, feel free to investigate further. Not really something I want to put my limited time towards in providing you hard data when that serves me no purpose. This info is based of talking to exporters and biologists in Madagascar.

Habitat destruction is the problem right now...not collection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Do you have a reference documenting that they are being sustainably harvested? I would be interested in seeing the data proving that to be the case particularly given the rate of habitat destruction... I have to admit I find it highly suspicious of the claim that you could have sustainable harvesting occuring when huge amounts of the habitat is being destroyed... so I would really like to see the hard data....

Some comments

Ed
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

How about this....show me hard data they are not currently (under CITES QUOTAS) being harvested in sustainable numbers.

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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Do you have a reference documenting that they are being sustainably harvested? I would be interested in seeing the data proving that to be the case particularly given the rate of habitat destruction... I have to admit I find it highly suspicious of the claim that you could have sustainable harvesting occuring when huge amounts of the habitat is being destroyed... so I would really like to see the hard data....

Some comments

Ed
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

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Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
How about this....show me hard data they are not currently (under CITES QUOTAS) being harvested in sustainable numbers.
Actually, I don't have to.. I'm not the one making the claim that they are being sustainably harvested. Can you provide the report to CITES indicating that they are being sustainably harvested?

I'm going to point out that making a claim of sustainable harvest and habitat destruction in the same sentence is oxymoronic....

I sent Devin Edmonds a e-mail to see if he has anytime to comment on the claim....

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Ed
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Pumilio View Post
Ed, feel free to investigate further. Not really something I want to put my limited time towards in providing you hard data when that serves me no purpose. This info is based of talking to exporters and biologists in Madagascar.

Habitat destruction is the problem right now...not collection.
So what your claiming is that habitat destruction isn't affecting the ability of the populations of Mantella to support collections for the pet trade? And your claiming that the numbers collected aren't impacting the populations at all?

I have to say that this is contrary to the discussions I've had and gotten from the literature and the biologists on the ground... And we both know that permits can be laundered or mislabled to allow for passage through CITES...

See my comments above...

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

We really don't know how sustainable the collection of most Mantella species is. We have some data, such as how many are exported each year and a bit on the numbers of adult Mantella at certain sites, but it isn't enough. I'd be skeptical of any claim that the highly-threatened Mantella species (M. aurantiaca, M. crocea, M. bernhardi, M. expectata, M. milotympanum, M. viridis) are harvested sustainably.

Note that a CITES export quota isn't always the same as the number that are collected. I've heard of hundreds of Mantella sitting in warehouses in Tana left to die because the quotas were filled already for that year but the frogs had already been collected. Export quotas also don't take into consideration at what sites frogs are collected from. If 50 Mantella aurantiaca are collected from each one of the ~20 breeding ponds to supply 1,000 frogs for the pet trade I would suspect it isn't as large of a problem as when say 500 frogs are collected from the same 2-3 breeding sites year after year, which is how it works now.

Instead of looking at CITES quotas you really need to go to the specific sites where Mantella are collected, see how many are collected from that site, and then have a descent grasp of the population dynamics.

In terms of driving a species to extinction, sure collection of Mantella for the pet trade is a threat dwarfed by the ongoing rapid loss of habitat here, but it still can contribute to local population declines. If you want numbers as I mentioned above there aren't a lot of good ones, but here's one "The amount of collecting activity focussed on M. cowani
was very high until a few years ago. Available data state that collectors used to collect
2,000 individuals per day, but in 2003 only 100-150 individuals per day were
collected by an entire village." That's from 2006. See http://www.nandoperettifound.org/doc...8_strategy.pdf Over-harvesting isn't going to immediately cause the extinction of a Mantella species, but it sure can contribute to local declines. As a whole, Mantella are up against a lot and collection for the pet trade certainly can't be helping the way it goes now.

There is, however, a new national conservation strategy for M. aurantiaca ratified by the Malagasy government and established largely by the NGO Madagasikara Voakajy (Our Current Projects - Madagasikara Voakajy) which includes a section with actions needed to establish a sustainable harvest. This is encouraging and hopefully trade regulations will be adjusted to align with the actions outlined in this conservation strategy.

A complete ban on the exports of Mantella would work too if a sustainable harvest cannot be established. Don't be fooled, local people who live where Mantella are do not make a living by collecting frogs, a couple people in a village get a bonus for a few weeks in the rainy season and that's it. By bonus I mean 10 cents per frogs. The people who profit from the trade are the retailers and dealers abroad and the exporters in Tana.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

You know every cb mantella I have every produces has only been sold for the price I paid for my WC adults, which I got most of them at wholesale.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Who imports Mantellas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devin Edmonds View Post
I'd be skeptical of any claim that the highly-threatened Mantella species (M. aurantiaca, M. crocea, M. bernhardi, M. expectata, M. milotympanum, M. viridis) are harvested sustainably.
Thanks Devin, that's what I was getting at with my question before. I can't imagine the collection of any critically endangered animal could be sustainable.
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