So I have the opportunity to buy a blotched blue tongue from a small batch breeder I’m friends with (who will not be named in this post) but I’m not sure if I should. I don’t have enough money to buy a pair so I’m not sure if it would be fair to the American reptile market if I bought just a single blotched blue tongue as a pet and didn’t breed them. What are your thoughts about buying extremely rare animals as a pet only?
I’ve wondered that myself about quite a few species, including a couple skinks. I think for me it’s a case-by-case situation dependent on context.
For example, I’m interested in a captive bred Peter’s Banded Skink. They have just started to successfully be bred in captivity (in the UK, that I know of). So, if I’m willing to pay the higher price tag for a captive bred animal that I only plan to keep as a pet, is it wrong for me to remove an individual from the breeding population? You could ask the same sort of question about bobtail/shingleback skinks (outside of Australia).
Or when brand-new morphs pop up. Is it wrong for someone to buy a super-new animal morph to keep as a pet? For example, when the first Axanthic Melanistic Lilly White crested geckos are produced, would it be super evil to buy one just as a companion animal?
Though it’s different looking at a species’ availability vs. morph availability, I feel like they share a basic idea: Is it ok to remove highly desired, newly available types of animals from an initially small breeding pool, thus slowing the progress/availability of that trait/species in the reptile hobby, and possibly lowering the genetic diversity in the breeding population?
Hrm. Many possible takes here. Maybe you could get a male, and bring him back sometimes for Skink Dates so your friend could continue using his genes in their breeding projects? Work out a Stud Fee?
I have decided to pass up the opportunity for a blotchie and instead just purchase an eastern from that same friend. At this point I feel like there are enough breeding essterns in the U.S. to justify me getting an eastern as just a pet.