Friday, May 14, 2010

Pet Trade Logistics

(Picture from here.)

We have pet turtles. The majority of them are captive bred and we like that for a reason: the terrible logistics of the pet trade. Most imported reptiles (or any exotic) come from the third world. This makes sense given that the developed world has largely depleted its own stock of reptiles or didn't have much to begin with. The path goes like this:
  1. capture
  2. holding in the source country
  3. shipping
  4. holding in the target country
  5. distribution to point of retail
  6. retail sale
  7. home husbandry
There have been some estimates that each step can take as many as 50-80% of the animals. But, even if only 10% are lost at each step, a hundred animals in the wild drop to forty-eight in the home. If 30% are lost at each step that forty-eight drops to eight.

We reasoned that reversing that logic, by competing with wild caught animals, any captive bred animal in the pet trade saved at a minimum forty-eight animals. Breeders lower demand on the retail end. It's not at all clear that this might have any effect. We'll see.
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