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Exotic Amphibians And Reptiles In New Zealand

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Chlidonias, 12 Mar 2011.

  1. Bailey13

    Bailey13 Well-Known Member

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    I remember when they first arrived, around 1997 or so - there was a big drama because they had something like 2-3 pairs arrive and then one (or more?) of the females dropped a pile of unexpected babies and the keepers had no idea how to care for them. I recall speaking to one of the senior keepers about this as the time as I was with the NZHS committee and I interviewed him about it for Moko. Not sure where they original came from, but I got the impression it was the states.
     
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Great to see this species being spread around a little, as I said before, hopefully more zoos will start keeping this fascinating species. Ti Point has heaps of them, and I think they'd be willing to share a few more. Sad to hear about what happened to Auckland's colony, I wonder if that has put a lot of other zoos off them?
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the initial list has now been updated to include changes within the thread. Feel free to point out any errors.
     
  4. Cassidy Casuar

    Cassidy Casuar Well-Known Member

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    According to the 1986 document of the Conservation Status of New Zealand Wildlife, both L. colubrina and L. laticordata have occurred in New Zealand.
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    laticordata in that document (and others that had quoted it) is a misspelling of laticaudata and it was actually a misidentification.

    However, oddly enough, Laticauda laticaudata has been recorded in New Zealand recently and there are now four species of sea snake on the NZ list, although it doesn't really change anything as the two latest species are only known from one specimen each.

    Up until 2005 there were two species recorded from NZ, namely Pelamis platura (aka P. platurus) which is the most commonly-recorded species, and Laticauda colubrina which is only occasional.

    In 2005 there was a taxonomic revision of L. colubrina which resulted in some new species being named, one of which was Laticauda saintgironsi. This new species is more or less found only around New Caledonia but during the research for the revision it was discovered that one of the older L. colubrina specimens from NZ was actually of this new species. So the NZ list got bumped up by one.

    Some time very recently (definitely after 2010 but I don't know the exact date or locality because I can't find any publication about it) an individual of Laticauda laticaudata reached NZ. And that makes the fourth species.
     
  6. Cassidy Casuar

    Cassidy Casuar Well-Known Member

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    Have living specimens of Rana pipiens ever been kept in New Zealand? I have seen a preserved dissected specimen here.
     
  7. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    I still wonder why NZ has this - imo paraneua like - law about the import of snakes, especially nonvenomous that couldn't survive in the wild of NZ.

    In Central Europe, there are escapes of exotic snakes every year (mostly corn snakes, but also boas and even venoumous snakes) but none of them was able to survive or even establish in the wild. So why not allow at least NZ zoos to bring in some non-invasive and nonvenomous snake species? Where is the danger?
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never heard of any. Presumably you saw it in a school or university lab or maybe at Te Papa, and have no idea of its age? It may have been imported already preserved. Universities usually imported their live amphibian specimens from Australia (cane toads and clawed frogs).
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Why snakes are not allowed to be kept in zoos, or as pets? Even some snake to escape, and even if can survive in the New Zeland wilderness, that would not be enough for snake to establish a population? Maybe because of fear that such snakes would influence detrimental to the population of endemic New Zeland animals for praying upon them?

    I think that is the biggest fear, is in it?
     
  11. JigerofLemuria

    JigerofLemuria Well-Known Member

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    Do you know where in Ireland those saltwater crocodiles are held?
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    they went to Reptile Village Zoo, now called the National Reptile Zoo.
    http://www.zoochat.com/17/saltwater-crocs-hatch-216549/

    EDIT: this year (March 2016) some or all of them went from the National Reptile Zoo to the Dingle Oceanworld (although this article says the Reptile Zoo acquired them via being "rescued from private collectors in Ireland and in the UK").
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rescued-reptiles-find-new-home-in-dingle-aquarium-386975.html
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2016
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  14. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Rather unexpectedly, a new exotic amphibian species has established a small breeding population in Coromandel - the Alpine Newt (Ichthyosaura alpestri). Eradication works are continuing and will hopefully be successful - this species is not kept by any zoos in New Zealand, and was presumably illegally smuggled into the country by hobbyists.

    Article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03036758.2016.1216455
    The article also discusses other reptile and amphibian introductions in NZ, not all of which are documented in this thread (although none have a known continued presence). For example, Eastern Banjo Frogs established a wild population in Auckland in 1999, but have been eradicated. It also notes the recent establishment of an exotic newt in Australia - the European smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) has established in Melbourne.
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that was unexpected news! For both the NZ and Melbourne aspects.

    I did have mention of the banjo frogs and cane toads specifically in an earlier version of the list (in the opener to the Amphibian part) but removed them because they weren't relevant to zoos or current species.
     
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  16. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    It really was quite unexpected, and odd that it wasn't widely reported in the media. A new species establishing is big news. A search for "alpine newt" turns up nothing on Stuff, whereas searching "newt" only seems to find articles on Newt Gingrich and Newt Scamander. A general web search finds a couple of NZ Herald articles, including one that states that over 300 individuals had been captured at Waihi. There are also web pages from MPI about the species, so it doesn't seem to have been kept secret.
     
  17. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it's a scam advert. While there probably are chameleons held illegally in NZ most people wouldn't be stupid enough to advertise them like this, and they wouldn't cost $300. The same advert is on other sites, e.g. for Australia.
     
  19. Kawekaweau

    Kawekaweau Well-Known Member

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    Other than the Litoria frogs, alpine newts, banjo frogs and rainbow skinks, what other exotic reptiles and amphibians have been found wild in New Zealand?
     
  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the usual ones you might expect - axolotls, red-eared turtles and snake-necked turtles all turn up quite often. There have been more exotic ones as well. I used to do occasional contract work for MaF as an exotic fish and reptile person (for illegal species) and was told of various situations, the main one I recall being a colony of brown snakes living in a rubbish dump in (?) Wellington. Snakes turn up more frequently than one might expect, either smuggled or accidental in cargo.