Talk about "IRONY". Keep people from maintaining species in captivity and at the same time the "light bulb" moment of having to bring amphibian species into captivity to save them from extinction. Watch National Geographic's video clip on Golden frogs in Panama. Great set-ups-modeled after work we were doing 20 years ago and begged zoos and officials to let us set-up: both Golden frogs and Golden toads (now presumably extinct)--but then they had no interest whatsoever in doing so.
Flash forward 20 years where our energies have gone into maintaining captive populations of snakes and lizards, so we have hundreds of species being maintained in captivity-well ahead of any disaster and now they want to legislate against it.
They are spending millions of dollars on this at the end of the road, when we would have been willing to do this just as we did the snakes and lizards. Why is there such a total disconnect between what is going on? Talk about reinventing the wheel. I'm so glad they are all patting themselves on the back for waking up 20 years after the fact and realizing what to do. At least they have acknowledged that their "leave the population alone in the wild" action plan was a bit short sighted. Sadly, too late for many species.
If this isn't a clear acknowledgment of us being 20 years ahead of our time and now being vindicated I don't know what is--but, even with this glaring example of why captive populations are so critical, every week legislation is being passed to try and stop the keeping of populations of the species of the world in captivity.
Regarding Golden frogs in Panama--I will post a paper I wrote in 1985, yes that is correct 23 years ago about needing to study these frogs. I submitted it for funding and it was rejected. At the time Dave and I collected data that never before had been assembled and not a single entity was interested in pursuing work with the species. I have to look back on our records but I believe we submitted an article to National Geographic (need to double check this), which was also rejected. Instead we submitted a photo article to ZooLife magazine, which was printed. I'll dig that up and see if we can scan it for you. I will post the original paper and data, which in all honesty is astounding in lieu of what they say is happening today.Tracy