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Discussion Starter #1
I was browsing the Science and Conservation forum and came somewhat to a revelation of sorts.

Is the hobby really as conservation minded as we tout it to be?

As I browsed the forum it became painfully obvious that that forum is not visited very often at all. In fact, it is one of the least used forums on DB despite it being one of the older ones. I can't help but think that this is a reflection on what people deem important when it comes to the hobby. I am somewhat disappointed to see that we get far more posts on something like why vivariums have changed over the years than we do for a topic about a dam going in the Amazon which will decimate Galactonotus habitat.

We see things like don't hybridize frogs, which has a conservation-based argument a great deal of the time, but I wonder how much of that is people truly interested in conserving the genetics of the species in the trade, and how much of it is simply tradition? Do folks, for example, really understand the consequences of hybridization? Do people understand the threat of chytrid? And do they actually do something to help prevent its spread?

We also see a number of people who support Treewalkers, which is fantastic, but how many of those people, I wonder, simply throw money at an organization in hopes that someone else will actually do the work to conserve species? I think that a number of people have this idea that they can't do anything, which really isn't true.

So is the hobby really as conservation-minded as it claims to be? If so, why is the Science and Conservation used so little? Some thread don't warrant much discussion, for sure, but others, such as the loss of Galactonotus habitat, should warrant discussion.
 

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I was browsing the Science and Conservation forum and came somewhat to a revelation of sorts.

Is the hobby really as conservation minded as we tout it to be?

As I browsed the forum it became painfully obvious that that forum is not visited very often at all. In fact, it is one of the least used forums on DB despite it being one of the older ones. I can't help but think that this is a reflection on what people deem important when it comes to the hobby. I am somewhat disappointed to see that we get far more posts on something like why vivariums have changed over the years than we do for a topic about a dam going in the Amazon which will decimate Galactonotus habitat.

We see things like don't hybridize frogs, which has a conservation-based argument a great deal of the time, but I wonder how much of that is people truly interested in conserving the genetics of the species in the trade, and how much of it is simply tradition? Do folks, for example, really understand the consequences of hybridization? Do people understand the threat of chytrid? And do they actually do something to help prevent its spread?

We also see a number of people who support Treewalkers, which is fantastic, but how many of those people, I wonder, simply throw money at an organization in hopes that someone else will actually do the work to conserve species? I think that a number of people have this idea that they can't do anything, which really isn't true.

So is the hobby really as conservation-minded as it claims to be? If so, why is the Science and Conservation used so little? Some thread don't warrant much discussion, for sure, but others, such as the loss of Galactonotus habitat, should warrant discussion.
JP,

My take is that most people including myself talk a good game but actually do very little. I think we have the typical American disease of short attention span and desire to see the next flashy thing to come down the pike. Just my thoughts.
 

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Interesting topic. I would like to think I am conservation minded when it comes to this hobby, as well as my addiction to inverts, aquariums, fish, and insects.

Unfortunately my scientific selfishness often takes over at the chance to personally own and study an extremely rare plant, insect, fish, or frog.

The scientific side of nature fascinates me, including natures ability to hybridize. I realize this pisses some people off, and in my defense I haven't ever hybridized any frogs and don't have plants to. I have hybridized several extremely rare fish and come up with some amazing morphs! All, of course, for personal research.

Without mixing the pot too much, I wish there was better light shed on those that do hybridize responsibly. There are a few of us out there that love to study on a more in depth level and would never compromise the purity and integrity of the species in the many nature related hobbies.

As for donations to organizations, I never do it. I choose to donate my time and personal research. Many of the local universities love volunteer work and rouge documented research :) I find it much more fulfilling, and interesting, to be hands on then to donate and hope I saved a tree somewhere...

When it comes down to it, some hobbyists love to help, others simply love the frogs they keep, others love the science of it all. All of these are OK in my book.
 

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You are dead on, JP. However, I don't think it is intentional, per se, but more a result of folks not knowing how to take that step. In addition to supporting organizations like UE, as well as local conservation efforts, there are many opportunities (IMO) for the hobby to give back. Most recently, I've been working to get the NEFG (New England Frog Group) to fundraise for Devin's project in Madagascar. Funds were raised at AFD that will go directly to aid in amphibian conservation. Hence, indirectly, those that donated to/attended AFD contributed to amphibian conservation. However, I'd love to see more people be proactive about donating to conservation efforts. Something like a frog sales tithe of 10% directed to amphibian conservation projects, grants for investigation, etc.

Sorry, havent had my coffee yet so words aren't particularly flowing this AM. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think that the idea of donating a portion of money from auctions or sales or whatever is great. UE is an excellent example of how this can be translated to direct conservation action and buying up of land to protect habitat. The problem I see with that is that it is a very removed action (although this is not necessarily a bad thing). Personally, I'm more along the lines of EntoCraig where I don't really care to donate money, but will very willingly donate my time to actually see something done (maybe I'm a little paranoid that for some things, I don't actually know that my money is going towards a project of interest for some groups). But, some donations are better than nothing, for sure!

I just wonder how much interest there actually is in conservation amongst the hobby. It only seems as though a handful of people post about conservation topics. I wonder if it's apathy, not caring, or just intimidating to walk into a discussion amongst people who are well versed in the topic?
 

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I just wonder how much interest there actually is in conservation amongst the hobby. It only seems as though a handful of people post about conservation topics. I wonder if it's apathy, not caring, or just intimidating to walk into a discussion amongst people who are well versed in the topic?

Bingo. Some people really care, some dont have much interest, or awareness. I dont think it necessarily a bad thing, some people simply only hold an interest in the frogs themselves. In my opinion, the biggest push in this hobby should be being a responsible hobbyist. Whether its care, collecting, breeding, or even cross breeding. I will always support responsible hobbyists, even if I choose not to participate in the same activities.
 

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I think a large part of the problem is that significant portions of the hobby still considers captive breeding the frogs as a form of conservation. I addressed that in this thread http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/sc...t-vs-captive-bred-conservation-efforts-2.html

Giving money to a conservation organization can be a good idea if there isn't anything else they can do.. as that support can be important. As an example TWI finally started giving out small grants this year that support amphibian conservatiion and if the support continues we will want to do that again next year.

As an alternative, people who are home owners can also add Amphibian Habitat into thier yards which helps local populations. see Operation Frog Pond | Tree Walkers International for more information.

As another example, there is little interest in the hobby for sustaining the captive populations for the long run. This is being clearly made by the poor support for several different programs that are out there.


It isn't just one thing that impacts real conservation efforts but a number.
 

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All this does in my area is feed the Herons!!! HAHA!
Isn't this symptomatic of what we are discussing in the thread? It implies that since the herons will predate on the frogs, it isn't worth trying.

There are things that can be done to reduce heron predation... We have had both Great Blues and Night Herons visit the small 50 gallon pond in our yard yet the frog population has persisted..


We have several species using the rain garden we put into the back yard... and even in the vegetable garden. The following is a shot of a metamorph on a cherry tomato.
 

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Isn't this symptomatic of what we are discussing in the thread? It implies that since the herons will predate on the frogs, it isn't worth trying.
This was 100% a joke. ;)

The herons do show up and eat a few, but there are frogs every year.

Conservation + the Circle of life.

I highly recommend a small water feature with amphibians or fish in every backyard!!!
 

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I think that the idea of donating a portion of money from auctions or sales or whatever is great. UE is an excellent example of how this can be translated to direct conservation action and buying up of land to protect habitat. The problem I see with that is that it is a very removed action (although this is not necessarily a bad thing). Personally, I'm more along the lines of EntoCraig where I don't really care to donate money, but will very willingly donate my time to actually see something done (maybe I'm a little paranoid that for some things, I don't actually know that my money is going towards a project of interest for some groups). But, some donations are better than nothing, for sure!

I just wonder how much interest there actually is in conservation amongst the hobby. It only seems as though a handful of people post about conservation topics. I wonder if it's apathy, not caring, or just intimidating to walk into a discussion amongst people who are well versed in the topic?
I really wish I could play an active role in conservation projects, but it's a time suck that I don't currently have.... Maybe in the future when things slow down for me a little....

Is it important (to me)? Absolutely. And I did read about the dam and the galactonotus.... So, why didn't I post? Because I've seriously got nothing to contribute to that discussion... unless you want a "Oh, that's horrible! Someone should really do something about this...."

For now, until I've got time to both figure out what I _can_ do and then follow through and _do_ it, I'm going to have to be content with my passive role in supporting others in their conservation work....
 

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Is it important (to me)? Absolutely. And I did read about the dam and the galactonotus.... So, why didn't I post? Because I've seriously got nothing to contribute to that discussion... unless you want a "Oh, that's horrible! Someone should really do something about this...."
My thoughts exactly. Posting in a hobby related thread has at least some chance of making a positive impact on someone, but if Brazil wants to destroy their own land there is nothing we can do about it.
 

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My thoughts exactly. Posting in a hobby related thread has at least some chance of making a positive impact on someone, but if Brazil wants to destroy their own land there is nothing we can do about it.
Actually there is. For starters eat less Beef since destruction for grazing land is one of the biggest causes of deforestation in South America.
 

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It is hard to be in the world we live in now and still try to save it. Everything we see as a need usually has some negative effect out there. I try to do my part by reducing use of many things. I don't have to preach there is info on a million things to do out there. I am very happy to say that I helped my parents set up a 175 gallon pond last year with lots of hardy plants like lilies and horsetail ferns and many other plants. My dad almost put koi in it but I told him I would eat his koi if he did. When I was there this weekend I was very happy to find grey tree frogs happily calling and eating around this very pond. They are on the edge of a town but still didn't think it would be that fast. Anyway there is always more that can be done. If you have a local zoo, check with them. When I still worked in the zoo world there was always some fundraiser and project going on to support. We did a lot for umbrella species as well as things like atelopus and wyoming toads. Ray that sounds great. I hope more people can help Devin out. Im just glad this is something being brought up, always a good subject.
Logan
 

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Actually there is. For starters eat less Beef since destruction for grazing land is one of the biggest causes of deforestation in South America.
Unless something has recently changed the US does not allow imports of Brazilian beef due to foot and mouth disease, and hasn't allowed it for about 10 years. I could buy every steak at the supermarket and it wouldn't make the least bit of difference to Brazil.
 

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Unless something has recently changed the US does not allow imports of Brazilian beef due to foot and mouth disease, and hasn't allowed it for about 10 years. I could buy every steak at the supermarket and it wouldn't make the least bit of difference to Brazil.
Not quite. Remember the US also exports beef to other countries. The more we consume internally the less there is available for export and thus more global demand for other sources of beef such as Brazil. Think globally act locally :) We are all connected these days.
 

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I saw an article recently outlining the recent agricultural practices in the Amazon, and I think more acerage is being converted to soybeans than cattle ranching these days.
Ill try and dig up the article

It can be hard to find a way to make an individual contribution to conservation, especially on a global scale. Im a BIG proponent of starting local. There are a LOT of local habitat rehabilitation volunteer opportunities out there, so everyone with a few free weekend hours can do their part. Saying people are not conservation minded because they cant directly contribute to rainforest protection is unfair I think. I love the rainforest, but I don't have the money to contribute to direct habitat protection abroad, although I donate to WWF when I can
 

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Not quite. Remember the US also exports beef to other countries. The more we consume internally the less there is available for export and thus more global demand for other sources of beef such as Brazil. Think globally act locally :) We are all connected these days.

The real problem is the result of factory farming.. the greater amount of enviromental damage is done by the clearing large areas to plant monocultures like soybeans which are used to make feed for factory farming.
If you want to make a difference, you should actually eat more sustainable produced beef (pasture raised and grass finished) instead of meat that has been fed grains from a monoculture system.
 

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The real problem is the result of factory farming.. the greater amount of enviromental damage is done by the clearing large areas to plant monocultures like soybeans which are used to make feed for factory farming.
If you want to make a difference, you should actually eat more sustainable produced beef (pasture raised and grass finished) instead of meat that has been fed grains from a monoculture system.
As much as I agree with this, it is irrelevant to the Belo Monte dam issue, you can't raise cattle underwater.
 

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mmmmm scuba cattle. The higher pressure underwater makes the meat SOOOOOOO tender
 
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