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Discussion Starter #21
Just to wrap up my thought, I'm not accusing anyone of anything nefarious. It would be great to hear from the folks that are working with this frog and know if they are having success or not. That's it.

Richard.
 

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I would love to say also that giving a bunch of offspring to a zoo would be a good idea as well but coming from a zoo background I know that most zoos don't put in the needed time for species unless someone high up says yep we should care about this. I have seen many zoos get a hoard of golden mantella and feed them only pinheads and watch as their numbers slowly fall. If someone were to send cowanii to zoos they would have to do their homework and also hope that the zoo had someone just as passionate about these frogs. For now I would say its best for the pro mantella keepers to build a good solid base before these make it mainstream.
Logan
I'm missing the connection here between pinheads and the decline of the mantellas... I've kept aurantiaca on pinheads for a decade without the slow decline mentioned above.. and yes I did breed them..

Ed
 

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Thank you for your important input. I too have known people in various zoos and the stories I have heard are awful in somee cases. One that still sickens me is hearing how some zoos are under order to crush the eggs of Critically Endangered Radiated Tortoise( From Madg. Richard) because the zoos did not need any more of them, and cannot let these last of their kind animals go to the public. The govt and all its tentacles are a self serving money making machine when it comes to things like this, they murder for the sake of conservation countless animals, Joe Blow gets them and the govt and tentacles jump in and literally make a federal case and drain money from the "offender". sorry, an emotional subject for me.

Hi Bill,

With respect to destroying eggs.. it doesn't help to manage the population to hatch and release surplus animals to the pet trade, as those animals are not going to be part of the program any longer. It has little or nothing to do with the goverment policies as USFWS would issue CBW permits for those animals (as Bill Zovickian has assisted people for more than a decade in getting CBW permits).

As I noted above there is no net benefit to the population as the assurance colony in captivity is being managed for genetic diversity,and to minimize genetic adaptation to captivity...

I'm not sure what case you are referring to about someone getting busted.. so I don't see the link to the SSP.
 

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Ed sorry if that was odd sounding.
I wasn't trying to say that pinheads don't work as a food item, I was saying that after working at a zoo i know sometimes pinhead orders come up short or dead. As hobbyists we have lots of backup plans while some zoos dont care enough. The times of year that yield more problems with pinhead deliveries usually showed some of the mantella frogs dropping off since the food source wasn't constant enough to support the size of the group. I personally use to bring in my own cultures when we had shortages of pinheads at the zoo but my herp curator at the time said they were a waste of time. Of course he had no problem with me keeping skinny frogs fed but the point is when you have a huge collection of stuff sometimes zoos dont care enough about big groups of small frogs as long as some eat and some live. As we know with mantellas though this can make for very poor breeding.

sorry if I rant
Logan
 

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Ed sorry if that was odd sounding.
I wasn't trying to say that pinheads don't work as a food item, I was saying that after working at a zoo i know sometimes pinhead orders come up short or dead. As hobbyists we have lots of backup plans while some zoos dont care enough. The times of year that yield more problems with pinhead deliveries usually showed some of the mantella frogs dropping off since the food source wasn't constant enough to support the size of the group. I personally use to bring in my own cultures when we had shortages of pinheads at the zoo but my herp curator at the time said they were a waste of time. Of course he had no problem with me keeping skinny frogs fed but the point is when you have a huge collection of stuff sometimes zoos dont care enough about big groups of small frogs as long as some eat and some live. As we know with mantellas though this can make for very poor breeding.

sorry if I rant
Logan
Hi Logan,

Thanks that makes it clearer.

Ed
 
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The internet is not the only place to share results of breeding a rare species. I'm sure the people involved care enough to chat with others to cross ideas back and forth. Sharing the information in public just to brag means nothing to me. Just to hear some responsible froggers tell me that the species is in good hands at the moment is good enough for me. Good to know they're out there and hopefully doing well! Gorgeous species.
 

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Thats an amazing looking frog! I hope it become a staple in the hobby and hopefully more can be done to protect those left in the wild.
 

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Cowani may be an amazing looking mantella but when it comes to their husbandry they can be an absolute nightmare to work with.They take a long time to reach sexual maturity and like most mantella's have an age where they get shit in order breeding wise.But here lies the problem those who have them have old specimens ages undetermined are they just reaching there groove or have they started there downward spiral we dont know.
As far as dispersing them into the hobby who would they go to.I know of two people and they have only a few frogs combined.So that theory is pretty much useless.The simple fact is we need wc's to come into the hobby in order to keep them from going under.
Hopefully it will happen and soon.
If you want your experience with mantella's there are many to choose from(already in the hobby) and they deserve our attention to.
 

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I guess i'll contribute my little tidbit here, even though most people have heard it before :eek: When I talked with a guy who had cowani "back in the day" (not that long ago really), I did quiz him about their care (as opposed to aurantiaca), mentioning the Staniszewski caresheet, and he seemed somewhat nonchalant in my memory. He said he had them breeding, and that all that was needed was "misting the hell out of them". Maybe he was full of it, sure didn't sound like it. I was more interested in the almighty AZUREUS and Golden Mantellas at the time, ha,ha:rolleyes:. I do know that cowani were never dropping from the sky by the bushel-full. I tried getting them off our lists at a petshop only about a year or so later, and they were nowhere to be found. They are truly one of my dream frogs. Kudos to anyone who has kept them alive this long, that is a true measure of husbandry in my opinion. JVK
 

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If I remember correctly an export quota of 0 was set around 2003. This means that any animals are left from before 2003. If I also remember correctly this species was predicted to have a generational time of around 5 years in the wild, which may be an indication that they may actually have a functional life span similar to some dendrobatids.

My copy is packed up so I can't pull the exact information but I suggest Glaw, F., and Vences, M. (2007). Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Köln

Ed
 

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I actually have a copy of the hard back Chimera edition of Mantellas and the estimate for lifespan on highland species like Cowani is upwards of 10 years and possibly closer to 20.
 

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From what I've read, cowani produce fewer, but larger eggs. (Remember the fecundity article I posted?)

I believe the person that registered the cowani pair with ASN only had about 12 tadpoles hatch and unfortunately only a single froglet made it. So, don't put your hopes up too high that the species is going to be widely available any time soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Thanks Doug,

The issue for me wasn't that I wanted any or cared if they would be available, just how they were doing in the hobby. I appreciate the answer.

Take care, Richard.
 

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For those who are wondering, I managed to get in touch with the TWI cowani keeper. The froglet is now a very large juvenile (still unsexed), but no eggs yet this season. However, the frogs are still in a dry cycle and the keeper prefers to take things slowly since rushing the old pair could result in bad eggs. However, calling has been heard.

Hopefully the keeper gets better luck than a single froglet this season!

Honestly, more mantella species have been bred in the last few years than when I first entered the hobby. I used to only see aurantiaca and crocea available CB, but now I see laevigata, expectata, ebenaui, and viridis more frequently :)
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Thanks for the update, Doug. Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

Take care, Richard.

For those who are wondering, I managed to get in touch with the TWI cowani keeper. The froglet is now a very large juvenile (still unsexed), but no eggs yet this season. However, the frogs are still in a dry cycle and the keeper prefers to take things slowly since rushing the old pair could result in bad eggs. However, calling has been heard.

Hopefully the keeper gets better luck than a single froglet this season!

Honestly, more mantella species have been bred in the last few years than when I first entered the hobby. I used to only see aurantiaca and crocea available CB, but now I see laevigata, expectata, ebenaui, and viridis more frequently :)
 

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I talked to a researcher in Madagascar and they have discovered a new population of cowani in uncleared forest. That's very good news!

Some bad news: I also followed up with the same cowani keeper and unfortunately, the old male passed away :(

The good news is, there were three more froglets produced so that makes a total of four CB cowani. The person keeps in touch with Ron Gagliardo and a few other key conservation folks.
 
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