Wild Caught ⚠️

Just a little change coming up:

Soon all Wild Caught animals listed for sale on MorphMarket will have a warning :warning: icon on them.

The warning icon can help potential buyers make more informed decisions and discourage support for these practices. By discouraging the purchase of wild caught animals, we can greater encouraging captive breeding programs and help reduce the demand.


WC animals have an important place in herpetoculture, are essential to the development of viable captive populations and to the continued viability of established populations. Labeling the purchasing and/or selling of WC animals as irresponsible is I think unfair and somewhat shortsighted. The practice has its place and if MM feels the need to to address it that’s all good but the language it chooses to use speaks volumes.


The problem with this, is that just about anyone can import unprotected wild caught animals and sell them for a quick buck without properly establishing them. There are a lot of species that do not adapt easily or well to captivity (much like dragon snakes) and will die in the care of the uninformed/uneducated. The buying and selling of wild caught animals shouldn’t be to your everyday pet keeper, and should be reserved for people that know what they are doing and want to try and breed them to establish a captive population. I think the idea is to also push people to produce captive populations themselves instead of being a mass importer and only selling wild caught. That way we can help curve wild population decline of many species.


You have some very good points there but do also consider- it’s not a stop sign. It’s a Be Aware sign. Only those reasons you’ve stated should be used for buying wild caught animals and then only for species not endangered already, you’re correct.
I think the aim here is to make people more aware so they can prioritize CBB over Wildcaught unless that’s what they’re actually searching for.


Thats not what was said.

Both of these are my statements, not MorphMarkets and neither state that WC is irresponsible… just that it enables a greater ability to promote responsible breeding practices.

Edit: this came off very sharp sounding… that was not my intention.


Indeed. Again this is my own words, not MMs, but implementing a warning icon instead of completely disallowing listing has several advantages for the industry:

By still allowing the listing of wild caught animals but clearly indicating their status with a warning icon, it promotes transparency and enables potential buyers to make informed decisions.

It ensures that individuals are aware of the origins of the animals they are considering and encourages them to think critically about the impact of their choices. “Why does this ad have a big warning sign… can I find the same animal without that warning sign?”… Purchasing face to face or whatever, that cannot be guaranteed.

MorphMarket also has the opportunity to engage with sellers who may currently engage in these practices. And can initiate conversations and provide educational resources to raise awareness about the potential negative impacts of certain wild caught trades. Over time, this engagement and dialogue may encourage sellers to reconsider their practices and transition towards responsible breeding or captive propagation. If that opportunity is missed then these animals will just continue to be unnecessarily pulled from the wild and sold somewhere else.


The language you have used is plain and clearly implies WC is irresponsible but offers no context. That’s fine and the policy is fine. The warning icon and language send a message. Making a stand is MMs right but I think there is more nuance to be had here.

Not the words of MM? Do you not administrate on behalf of MM?

The point of my comment is not to start an argument but simply to state that the manner in which change is communicated matters and I think many would agree that new management communication has been poor.


I’ll agree to a degree here.

IF we have WC animals brought in to establish an animal as captive bred then yes.
For Example. Mangrove monitors. We don’t need WC anymore, leave them alone now. We need to have decent people breeding them in captivity to establish them well here. (I know of a few working on this). Same with other reptiles.


A lot of WC brought into shops (here in the uk) recently (end of last year/beginning of this) they did not get quarantined and as soon as they were in they were listed for sale.
Basically all of the animals sold have died.

A warning sign I thinks brilliant.


Although that was not the mindframe in which it was wrote, I will reword my initial post to be less underhanded sounding.

I do, but I am also a user of the forum first and foremost.

I realise my response was a bit sharp, I apologise for that and I did not take your reply as argumentative.

… this has nothing to do with “new management”… I have been here for many years.


Please state all species in question, numbers of animals and evidence of mortality. This is a hot take that requires some explanation.

Could you also share your source? This is a bold claim.

It is clear from this short thread that the nuance which is absolutely essential to discussions such as this is absent. I had hoped for a more robust discussion.


This is no different then certain morphs having indicators mentioning having a wobble. Its simply informative so a buyer can make the best choice.
A lot of newer people in the community dont know, or arent prepared, which sets both sides up for failure. Failure for the animal could mean death.
Wild caught isnt bad, but not everyone wants the risks or work associated with wild caught.


Sounds like a good idea to highlight what is wild caught.


Absolutely no issue with the policy. Better informed buyers are the backbone of a healthy sales eco-system. Holding vendors accountable and ensuring they are more transparent is something I am very much in favour of.
It is the language used to communicate new policies such as this and the bias indicated by the administrative and community support team members that I take issue with.


Caiman lizard for one. I don’t think any survived to my knowledge.


The last thing we want is for a new pet owner to receive an animal that they are unprepared for. It is not good for the animal or the buyer, and we want people to have a good first experience with reptiles. While wild caught animals aren’t inherently bad, they do tend to require more experience than captive bred of the same species. We must inform and educate new pet owners, and not set them up for failure.

Wild caught only make up less than 3% of listings on MM, but the issues associated with them are a large enough concern that we have to take some action. The way I see it, we had two options:

  1. We make MorphMarket a captive bred platform. This forces all wild caught elsewhere, even sellers who are properly treating and quarantining their animals.
  2. We add a warning to any wild caught animals to assure that new pet owners understand that the animal is wild caught and may come with additional health concerns.

A warning is fine, but the larger problem is sellers labeling wild caught animals as captive bred. Most new buyers know that captive bred reptiles are preferable to wild caught, but they get duped into buying wild caught reptiles labeled as CB. Experienced keepers of blue-tongued skinks, green tree pythons, emerald tree boas, etc. can typically identify wild caught imports easily, but new keepers lack the ability to do so.

I suspect a warning for wild caught reptiles will only further incentivize dishonesty.


And how can you know for sure if the seller is being honest about the animals origin?