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Threat to hobby
#1
Like most hobbyist, my passion for dart frogs runs deep. Many years after I meet my first Dendrobatidae, I’m still completely captivated with their highly evolved colorations, their behaviors, their calls, and the most of all the nuances between morphs and localities which includes husbandry, visual and behavioral differences. I hold dart frogs in the highest regard as prefect little gems of nature.

You may see me as a business owner who has taking his hobby to another level, but I am not writing as Brad from Dendrobati, I’m writing as Brad the passionate hobbyist who has grave concerns about our beloved dart frogs. The same reason that I and many others obsess over our frogs is at risk for being lost. We all know the pressure put on the frogs and hobby from rural development, chytrid, smuggling, and many other factors both human and nonhuman. However, that may not be the greatest risk to the hobby. The greatest current risk to our hobby is the onset and acceptance of hybrid frogs.

Hybrid, cross breed, out breed, mutation breed, whichever term you want to give it, it completely contradicts the reasons why I am so passionate about dart frogs. I think many of you can say the same.

There are Dendroboard threads with strong undertones of support for hybridization, defended by just a few patrons. There is a largely controversial breeder who is likely going to start wholesaling and e-comming hybrid frogs in large numbers. There is a professional photography site selling stock images of hybrid dart frogs for marketing use. There are zoos producing hybrid frogs. Yet there is little that we are doing to combat this threat and to preserve our cherished naturally amazing frogs.

It is time for us, as a community, to rally and act. It is time for a collective effort to promote why we feel so strongly against hybridization and why it is unnecessary. It is time for an anti-hybrid campaign.

I would like to form a commission to start addressing this issue collectively. There are great efforts to a successful campaign, including websites, marketing, publication, forum patrol, and many other facets. For today, I challenge each of you to list below the reasons, in bullet format with 10 words or less per item, why our dart frogs should remain pure.

Stay tuned!
Brad
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#2
I think I speak for every regular member of this forum when I say that we are strongly against hybrids, and knowingly dealing with people who deal in hybrids will get you shunned from this community.

There are multiple reasons for this, but the primary reason is the desire to preserve the phenotype and genetics of wild populations. Simply put, we want examples of the way these frogs exist in the wild, not designer morphs and hybrids. Hybridization may also result in genetic bottlenecks and deficiencies, and some of the populations that we keep may not be around for additional collections. Once the blood lines are contaminated in closed hobby populations this cannot be undone, therefore, hybrids potentially threaten the work of so many hobbyists to preserve these lines over the years.
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#3
There is indeed a threat but certainly not a huge or 'new' threat. The sky is not falling.

To put this in perspective, if I may:

I assume you are talking about safe frog. Here's the analogy - a keg party.

Most people behave themselves. Some people sneak in, don't pay the cover charge. Grab a cup and try to drink for free ect. Safe blah blah is kinda like that only their shoes are dirty and mud caked and they are slopping beer on the furniture. They may have thrown up in the upstairs bathroom ect.

Meh.

A little clean up. A little disservice to the hobby (party). The show will be over soon. Despite the shiny website, I doubt there is much of a profit going on. It is more likely dying a slow death on the vine then you think.

Minimal worry.

Just continue to buy from LONG TERM hobbyists that are on FORUMS and have FEEDBACK on said forums. If newbies buy safe frogs and they die like so many carnival goldfish - oh well. Better those types of frog become 'loss leaders' or sacrificial.

some thoughts.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#4
Good analogy, Phil. However, I think it’s a little more complex than that. A few days after that keg party, there’s little left but a distant memory. When a commercial entity starts releasing hundreds of hybrid frogs of breeding age in pairs, dispersing to reptile show vendors cross the country, the hobby may be forever changed. A community outreach effort today will deter some sales and slow down the wholesale of some of these frogs. I don’t want to stand by and hope for the best.

I agree that the commercial entity behind a lot of this will be short lived. Their frogs will long outlive their business. I’ve seen frogs at local and regional reptile shows that I strongly suspect came from them, I suspect you may have too. I don’t look forward to seeing hybrids at a show.
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#5
Short of the Florida business - 'Underground Reptiles', I think is the company....can anyone report on seeing the safe frogs at any reptile show or pet store? I really don't think they sell that many frogs. That's why you see them offering adult frogs - not enough people are buying them.

There is NO demand for designer frogs like there is for the silly, ignorant people who engage in the carmel, spyder, ghost, pastel, cinnamon, cinnaBUN, tremper, clark, blah blah morph snake and gecko people.

I'm willing to bet that there will NEVER be a designer dart frog hobby. The Ponzi, pyramid scheme shyster people cannot make it work for frogs. It just won't work like it seems to for the reptile people.

Ever.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#6
I'm leaning more towards the mindset that we need to speak up now. A little additional conversation now, could prevent some headaches later. Also, I Think there is a real risk for newer hobbyist purchasing hybrid animals. Their first "hobby experience" could be a pretty harsh welcome from the forums when they discuss their new frogs only to find out they're hybrids. At a time where we need new hobbyists to expand the hobby, this combination could ultimately drive them away.
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#7
^ agree
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#8
I think there was talk that some of the designer frogs were being sold at white plains. this was a couple of months ago.
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#9
Give written information with frogs that are sold.
People do not retain information when purchasing their first frogs, and the first step at keeping things "pure" is to know what you have. It does not have to contain any information about the breeder/seller, just the frogs.

We can advertise the "purity" of animals with terms like "locality specific" or "population specific". If this became a normal practice, new hobbyists would have an easier time making the distinction. I remember the impact and significance of CB when purchasing some of my first animals long ago.
Chris Sherman
One big methane burp from the ocean could make everything here obsolete.
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