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  1. #1
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    Default Help me understand ----IMPORTS

    Honestly, I do not know very much about the importing/farming of Boas. But I do know that I see alot of pics or ads each year with plenty of them . I am mostly curious as to why America is still importing Boas that are already abundant here -- Specifically , all of the common BCI's , and Bcc's that have been around for years (Surinams, Guyanan, Peruvian, Brazilian) ? I understand that there are some Boa locals that are more rare, and not very diverse genetically , so importation of those (if possible) has its place . I also feel that if something shows up to be a genetic anomily (morph-type) then its worth ataining. But I need someone, or someones to help me understand why anyone would still support importation of those Boas that are already abundant here from captively bred, genetically strong animals. Like I've said, my knowledge of this topic is puny , but in my puny opinion , shipping hundreds or thousands of Boas over here just to pick out those with color, or big tails, or peaks , or whatever, isn't something that I support . We could produce those desired traits on our own with the tons of captive Boas we already have here. Is there still a need to add genetic diversity to the popular BCI's, and BCC's ?
    I have thought of this topic for years, but recently with all the talks of ethics, and people cutting back on producing litters , this seems to be more concerning than ever . I know that some will reply with a post saying something like "its for money , or greed" , but that set aside, I mostly want to know why people look for imports in an already genetically strong local ?
    Jonathan Brady posted a thread a week or two ago, and the pic was some WC sub-adult, and adult Guyanans . The one bright Boa was as cool as I've ever seen before. The others had very desirable qualities, but I could only feel bad for these animals and didn't see any reason to support importing them -- they should still be living free in Guyana, imo . We can already make those great looking Boas with the captive ones that are here, right ? This is not in any way intended to be a slam on JB or anyone else who collects imports. I highly respect JB and his opinions , so I am anxious to here from you mister . Help me understand. I am seeking and hoping to be educated from this thread. I do not know about this side of the industry at all.

    This thread is intended to hear and share each of our views . I hope that no one gets upset.
    Just say "NO" to FACEBOOK !

  2. #2
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    You can not set aside the money factor, it is the driving force. As long as there is a demand for them here in the US and abroad, their will be collectors in SA supplying those demands.
    People new to the hobby may also regard an import as a bargain for the price when compared to the price of cbb offspring. Usually not a good move, but it seems like it up front.
    I personally do not see the "need" to import so many boas from countries that have been open for years, but again, as long as the money is there they will continue to come in.
    I would like to see Brazil open up, if just for a short period of time.

  3. #3
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    Its all about genetic diversity... look at some of the species that havent been imported for over a decade..... Like Dumerils.... and Jungle carpets.... the gene pool is getting to be almost identical across the board....


    Yes... I would love to see Brazil open up..... but whos to say Brazilian boas don't make it here by being smuggled across borders... to southern Surinam...etc
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyudsai View Post
    Yes... I would love to see Brazil open up..... but whos to say Brazilian boas don't make it here by being smuggled across borders... to southern Surinam...etc
    That is not only a possiblity, it's probable. But when the shipment comes out of Suriname, how do you call them Brazilian?

  5. #5
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    Good stuff David

    For starters I can only speak on the BCC side of things and the limited numbers that actually do get imported, I think I remember seeing recently that Suriname has a quota of around 2000 boas approved for export and Guyana was the same or slightly higer...Brazil is and has been closed for quite some time and Peru is very very limited as to how many can be exported.

    In terms of me or probably most BCC people that read this would only want to add the best of the best wild caughts to our collections, for the most part i see only a handful of BCC from the shield that I would even consider...that statement gives a lot of power to your point about why we need to keep bringing so many over...my answer is you have to do a lot of digging to find that diamond in the rough.

    Now on the same thought path if Brazil especially central and eastern Brazil were to export I personally would dedicate much of my time to acquire certain animals but I would also be less hung up on the perfect pattern or intense color look as I am with the other BCC...Why? because like you mentioned earlier we can refine and breed for certain desirable looks, yes it may take longer but I am sure you see my point.

    Genetic diversity is another plus to import stock, but how many of the babies brought in actually go to someone who will be able to care for these animals into adulthood or actually get them to contribute thier genetic diversity...I would think the numbers are shockingly low

    Now to move on to the BCI...I am at a loss there unless they are locale specific or unique as I assume that the majority of the BCI would probably be used to morph... but to counter my last opinion, I guess diversity is just as if not more important to them as they are to the BCC.

    I can not speak for JB and if I know him at all you will see a very well thought out reply from him soon if he does not beat mine to the punch first. As for my OPINION with what JB has done and is doing, he has and is continuing to acquire the nicest Guyana BCC that he or anyone else can find....and because they are from the wild or were concieved in the wild you are looking at top quality foundation stock...not refine linebred or inbred animals. JB is trying his best to give the very often mis-labeled Guyana BCC it's fair turn at being accepted as beautiful red tails that are not "Suriname". Just my thoughts and again I am sure JB will elaborate.

    I would love to see a BCC or a BCI association of sorts be formed to use a poll of oinions that would set standards based on color contrast pattern and maybe a few other desirable traits that would be considered for importation into the states....but would that mean all the less desirable ones would go oversees or back into the wild...what would that do to the wild population?

    Dang sorry this went on so long....Fun stuff
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking.

    Joel Thomas

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billw View Post
    That is not only a possiblity, it's probable. But when the shipment comes out of Suriname, how do you call them Brazilian?
    SHould we call them Suriname just because they flew out of Paramirabo..... there is the locality dilemnna
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_Thomas View Post
    Good stuff David

    For starters I can only speak on the BCC side of things and the limited numbers that actually do get imported, I think I remember seeing recently that Suriname has a quota of around 2000 boas approved for export and Guyana was the same or slightly higer...Brazil is and has been closed for quite some time and Peru is very very limited as to how many can be exported.

    In terms of me or probably most BCC people that read this would only want to add the best of the best wild caughts to our collections, for the most part i see only a handful of BCC from the shield that I would even consider...that statement gives a lot of power to your point about why we need to keep bringing so many over...my answer is you have to do a lot of digging to find that diamond in the rough.

    Now on the same thought path if Brazil especially central and eastern Brazil were to export I personally would dedicate much of my time to acquire certain animals but I would also be less hung up on the perfect pattern or intense color look as I am with the other BCC...Why? because like you mentioned earlier we can refine and breed for certain desirable looks, yes it may take longer but I am sure you see my point.

    Genetic diversity is another plus to import stock, but how many of the babies brought in actually go to someone who will be able to care for these animals into adulthood or actually get them to contribute thier genetic diversity...I would think the numbers are shockingly low

    Now to move on to the BCI...I am at a loss there unless they are locale specific or unique as I assume that the majority of the BCI would probably be used to morph... but to counter my last opinion, I guess diversity is just as if not more important to them as they are to the BCC.

    I can not speak for JB and if I know him at all you will see a very well thought out reply from him soon if he does not beat mine to the punch first. As for my OPINION with what JB has done and is doing, he has and is continuing to acquire the nicest Guyana BCC that he or anyone else can find....and because they are from the wild or were concieved in the wild you are looking at top quality foundation stock...not refine linebred or inbred animals. JB is trying his best to give the very often mis-labeled Guyana BCC it's fair turn at being accepted as beautiful red tails that are not "Suriname". Just my thoughts and again I am sure JB will elaborate.

    I would love to see a BCC or a BCI association of sorts be formed to use a poll of oinions that would set standards based on color contrast pattern and maybe a few other desirable traits that would be considered for importation into the states....but would that mean all the less desirable ones would go oversees or back into the wild...what would that do to the wild population?

    Dang sorry this went on so long....Fun stuff
    getting new.... untapped genetics from Brazil would be priceless IMO.... just think of the added possibilities.....
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyudsai View Post
    SHould we call them Suriname just because they flew out of Paramirabo..... there is the locality dilemnna
    That's the dilemma....we don't know where they came from, despite catching a flight from Suriname. A few maybe came from Brazil, Guyana, French Guyana...who knows?
    I do agree that some new blood that knowingly came from Brazil would be priceless!

  9. #9
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    EXCELLENT TOPIC DAVID.
    Over the years I have collected boas that have caught my eye and in so doing have both CB and WC boas in my collection.
    My very first import was my Hog Island Boa Valkin..............I have had him for many years and love him very much.
    In attaining him I learned a lot about parasites..............YUCK..........and they SUCK.
    He had an amazing disposition for a WC boa and perhaps it was because he had found a good home and no longer had to worry about itchy.........yucky............blood sucking parasites............he also gets meals he doesn't have to hunt down.............and no longer has to fight to survive or hide because he may become dinner for something else.
    Now on the other side of this comment.
    After doing some research and talking to some trustworthy people......I later learned that a large amount of boas from the Cayos Cochinos Islands had been taken without proper permits............hhmmmmm..............not good..........IMO.
    In the wild these boas are protected due to there limited numbers and for them to be poached was sad to me.
    When wild animals such as these are taken from the wild..........many die due to stress and illness.
    I am sure in the wild there mortality is higher...........however..........it becomes even worse when they are taken ........... stuffed into bags..........hauled off to some sorting facility............and the pretty ones are shipped off.
    I do not know what happens to those that are not the "desirables".
    It is a endless circle for debate...............just like puppy farms are..........yet they still exist.
    Boas that are farmed are in question as well............I have heard some pretty sick stories and thus must say I cannot condone them.
    However..........I would be a hypocrit if I said that I do not appreciate WC boas by saying one should not own them.
    Why...........because...........I have more than one in my collection.
    Most are old and from other people who bought them as origianl imports and are either out of boas all together...........or from people I trust.
    Blood lines will always be in question..........as will locale..........but........I must admit that the appreciation I have for these animals is immense...........and I enjoy having them.
    One thing I do not do is look specifically for WC boas............I would prefer to have a clean and healthy CB boa from someone I know who took the time to do it right.
    Will I give up my WC boas............HELL NO........but I will not go out of my way to aquire them.
    One other thing about WC boas that is a small plus ..........is that you know they will fit into any project since as far as you know...........Mother Nature did not mix a Costa Rican with a Peruvian.............
    Again.............great topic and I hope more people chime in with some fun responses.
    I am a boa addict
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  10. #10
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    My thoughts on imports. OOOOHHHHHHH BOY! Here we go! lol

    I think responsible importing is not a bad thing. Using the word "reponsible" necessarily mandates that we define it. Well, my definition of responsible will differ as much as yours and your best friends will from each other, and that'll differ from the guy down the street. But just to give you an idea of the actual numbers of boas leaving these countries, I'd like to cite Vin Russo's book, The Complete Boa Constrictor. On page 279, you can see that he lists the export quotas from a few countries.

    Colombia: 18,000 Boa Constrictors (farmed live young)
    Nicaragua: 15,000 Boa Constrictors (farmed live young)
    Guyana: 2000 Boa Constrictors (live wild caught)
    Surinam: 1010 Boa Constrictors (live wild caught)

    An obvious difference here is the sheer number of boas that are exported out of the countries. But look at the parenthesis. In Colombia and Nicaragua, they're farmed live young meaning the boas are captured gravid and held until they've given birth, and then the adults are supposedly released back into the wild. Or, (and this is just a guess because I don't know this for sure) adults are captured and bred in captivity down in the country of export. In Guyana and Surinam, the boas are captured in the wild and shipped out. They are of various sizes.

    Assuming the concentration of boas is the same per square mile (I don't know if it is or not), and if more boas left in the wild means greater responsibility, we're seeing a greater responsibility excercised in Guyana and Surinam. Obviously, the sheer numbers mean that the countries of Guyana and Surinam are not impacting wild populations like Colombia and Nicaragua, but does the fact that they're exporting adults play a larger role? I think it could be argued either way.

    Based on my OPINION that you could argue either way the one having the most impact just based on farmed vs WC, we'll look at numbers of boas per square mile of land mass.
    Colombia is approximately 441,000 square miles.
    Nicaragua is approximately 50,000 sq miles.
    Guyana is approximately 83,000 square miles.
    Surinam is approximately 63,000 square miles.

    (citation: Wikipedia)

    Based on that:
    Colombia is exporting one boa for every 24 square miles.
    Nicaragua is exporting one boa for every 3.3 square miles
    Guyana is exporting one boa for every 42 square miles
    Surinam is exporting one boa for every 62 square miles

    My guess is that there are probably several boas in each square mile. Perhaps dozens or hundreds. I don't know that we'll ever know because they hide VERY well!

    I think this breakdown provides a much different view of responsibility when it comes to exporting.

    The other way to look at it is in a black and white manner. Is it right, or is it wrong to export boas, or any wild animal for that matter. I think if we thought it was wrong, we'd be partnering with PETA and other special interest groups.

    The grey area of course is for folks who say, exporting when there's nothing in captivity is ok, but once you have a sustainable population, you should stop. Well, what's a sustainable population? We probably have it for Colombians and Nics. Definitely not for Surinam and Guyana BCC.

    But, what about plain ol' normal Colombians. How many are there? How many are produced yearly? Not as many as there could be because of the morph market. If we were to stop importing Colombians, how long would it take before CBB babies with NO morph genes at all in their familial history are still obtainable? My guess is, not long. You'd have a few, but demand would exceed supply.

    As for BCC, the quantity of CBB babies each year is not nearly enough to satisfy demand. There are what, maybe 2 dozen litters per year of Surinam and Guyana boas? If that. At 10-20 babies each, that's not many.

    In the past, I would have thought that was enough to satisfy the market demand in Guyana Shield BCC. But since I produced a few litters myself, I realized how HUGE this market is. There are SO MANY GUYS that are into BCC and they NEVER post on the forums. There are guys with dozens upon dozens of BCC in their collections and you wouldn't know their name. They read the forums and peruse the classifieds but never post. They occasionally produce litters that they either wholesale or contact a few private people and the litter is sold. Or they just keep their adults and don't breed them because they like them

    Also complicating things for BCC is the fact that so few people are able to produce them consistently. You've got guys like Gus, Vin, Rob T, Bob Futo, Barry Miller, I'm now adding Richard Cineceros to this list, Mike Eckert, and some other guys that I'm missing and that's it. I hope to join that list one day, but my paltry 3 litters doesn't equal consistency.

    As for why I like WC stuff. Look at the names mentioned above, how many of those guys work with animals labeled "Guyana". One. Mike Eckert. And his animals were CBB from Tom Carlton. And he sold off his adults. If I want something different, I HAVE to go with WC. Oh, I forgot that Vin produced a litter this year too. So, two.

    I also LOVE the idea of being able to produce F1 babies from WC stock. It gets me revved up to know that should the two animals in my collection stayed in the wild and met, they could have produced what's now in a pile of goo and little heads in my house! And being able to offer that kind of healthy genetic diversity to other folks to enjoy and hopefully reproduce really gets me going. Also being the person they come back to for more outcrossed Guyana boas from different animals makes me happy. This is what I'm hoping for in the future. Being able to offer 100% completely unrelated pairs of spectacular boas during the same season, that's COOL!

    The genetic diversity is big for me. In fact, I've had SEVERAL guys tell me I should repeat the last pairing for Rose's litter as they swear it's by far the best Guyana litter ever produced. I personally would rather diversify the blood out there and try another male. In fact, I have two males (both WC) lined up that are already with me before I even THINK about repeating that pairing. So repeating that pairing, although marketable, isn't on the forefront of my mind and if it happens, it'll be years down the road. In reality, it probably won't happen at all because I don't know how many litters I want to try to get out of Rose. Each litter risks a females health and she's the cornerstone of my collection.

    So anyway.... lol...

    To sum it all up. I don't think importing non-endangered boas from the wild is a really bad thing. There are THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS in the wild. In fact, the two biggest threats are deforestation and habitat destruction, and the skin/meat trade. I think if countries are responsible about it, pulling animals out of the wild can be a very sustainable resource and source of income for those countries.

    However, I do think that if captive populations are such that there truly is no need for more animals and new blood, the importing should stop.

    I also think that if someone purchases a WC animal, they should spare no expense treating it for parasites and infections of any kind. Fecal exams should be run on every animal and the resulting parasites and bacterial infections should be cleared up. Only once the animal has a few clean fecals in a row spread over several months should the animal be considered healthy. I also think that if you pull an animal out of the wild, especially one whose subspecies and/or locality is not readily available, every effort should be made to reproduce that animal at least one time in captivity to give a purpose to importing it.

    So there's my diatribe... and I'm sure I, like the energizer bunny, could keep going, and going, and going... lol But I'll spare you Although... you did ask for it!

    Hope that clearly explained my philosophy and thoughts on the issue. It's a good topic that should absolutely be addressed and explored. If anything is unclear or I created any questions or comments, definitely share!

    jb

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