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Over hunting?


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#21 Offline matt123 - Posted September 22 2017 - 5:51 AM

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Interesting that this is the conversation that has arisen.

 

I am valiantly telling someone on my fish forum not to release a local catfish into one of the lakes around here.

My argument is that since the fish was not only hatched, but also reared in captivity, and there is no knowing where exactly this was done and in what conditions. So yes, you may see that catfish in these lakes, but this catfish has been exposed to many other environments. And I am assuming this same instance applied to previous generations.

 

I guess I didn't think about my house being something that exposes them to something new. My friend is visiting and is from out of town, and that is another thing they are exposed to! She lives in NYC so there's no knowing the host of pathogens she brought with her.

 

I didn't think much about locally caught ants (local as in my backyard) being exposed to pathogens and the like since I'm dealing with the international fish trade as a baseline.

 

Don't release locally caught ants. I for one will be taking it as a lesson in responsibility and preparedness to do my best for the critters lives I decided to play god with.


Edited by matt123, September 22 2017 - 8:16 AM.

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#22 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 22 2017 - 6:06 AM

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I was unaware that there were so many credible myrmecologists on this forum.

Sarcasm?



#23 Offline JackPearl - Posted September 22 2017 - 6:08 AM

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I was unaware that there were so many credible myrmecologists on this forum.


Neither, people really know their stuff.

#24 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted September 22 2017 - 6:32 AM

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Taking only bacteria into consideration, these organisms evolve very quickly and are even able to absorb plasmid DNA from unrelated bacteria via conjugation. Our homes are relatively exotic environments with the potential to introduce new flora to an animal or to alter the existing flora. Contact between native environments and nonnative environments should always be minimized. Just because nobody is observing the consequences of seemingly small human interferences such as these, does not mean we shouldn't take precautions against the fundamental mechanisms of disease. The least we can do is not release the pets we dedicated to caring for after we removed them from the wild.


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If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

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#25 Offline yen_saw - Posted September 22 2017 - 6:54 AM

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In my opinion, species declining due to over-hunting is nothing compare to ecosystem damage due to industrial development. Deforestation alone easily done more damage by destroying the habitat. Pollution, farming/agriculture, climate change, etc also contributing to it.


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#26 Online FeedTheAnts - Posted September 22 2017 - 7:02 AM

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There is another thing to consider. It is not legal to release any wild organism that has been in captivity back into the wild. Get that?? It is Illegal, as in by law you can not do it, you can receive a fine regardless if it is native to the area or not. Whether or not you get one is another thing.

That is not true that you can't release ants back were you got them, I don't know where you must have gotten that info.


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#27 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 22 2017 - 7:44 AM

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It is 100 percent accurate. It is illegal to release any wildlife which has been held in captivity regardless of where it came from. Although the law mostly is applied to larger mammals, birds etc it does not preclude the authorities from including insects in it's enforcement. Such releases when done are done so only after careful research to make sure there will be minimal repercussions.


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#28 Online FeedTheAnts - Posted September 22 2017 - 7:58 AM

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Really, next time I see someone release an ant colony into the wild then I'll contact the authorities. Let's see what there reaction is!

Well sir, you see, I saw this kid pick up some ants and bring them into his house, and a few days later he brought it back outside and let it go...

Your right, it does apply to mammals and birds and such, that is why pet stores always tell the people buying pets to never release them, and they are completely right, but the government does not care about ants, unless we are talking about imported, invasive, diseased, endangered...


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#29 Offline ultraex2 - Posted September 22 2017 - 8:08 AM

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Taking only bacteria into consideration, these organisms evolve very quickly and are even able to absorb plasmid DNA from unrelated bacteria via conjugation. Our homes are relatively exotic environments with the potential to introduce new flora to an animal or to alter the existing flora. Contact between native environments and nonnative environments should always be minimized. Just because nobody is observing the consequences of seemingly small human interferences such as these, does not mean we shouldn't take precautions against the fundamental mechanisms of disease. The least we can do is not release the pets we dedicated to caring for after we removed them from the wild.

 

I totally understand your point, but as far as insects go tons of them go in/out of people's houses all day everyday and have been since houses were invented and no one has ever observed random insect populations dying off because a fly flew into their house for a week and they shoo'd it out the door.

 

Perhaps people should observe the wild colonies before and after they release a captive one?  It's pretty widely accepted that you can simply release native captive ants with little to no effect on the environment, and I don't think anyone has ever heard/observed it being detrimental even anecdotally.  At this point, if one is to challenge that, then I would believe the burden of proof is on them to prove that it isn't safe, not just say "X & Y could potentially happen".  It's just as likely I walk outside and get hit by a meteor - could it happen in theory?  Yes.  Does it happen enough that I should never go outside?  No.


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#30 Offline Barristan - Posted September 22 2017 - 8:21 AM

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Nobody expects the myrmecological inquisition.


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#31 Offline Zeiss - Posted September 22 2017 - 8:46 AM

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Nobody expects the myrmecological inquisition.

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#32 Online FeedTheAnts - Posted September 22 2017 - 9:42 AM

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You should never release exotic ants. Native ants that were collected in your area are fine.

Honestly this whole "the ants can get a disease in your house" myth is utter nonsense, diseases don't pop out of thin air. Unless you have other exotic ants the risk of something getting transmitted is zero. If this was a problem all house ants (wild ants that love nesting inside houses) would be a grave threat to their local ecosystem.

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#33 Offline Reacker - Posted September 22 2017 - 10:17 AM

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Taking only bacteria into consideration, these organisms evolve very quickly and are even able to absorb plasmid DNA from unrelated bacteria via conjugation. Our homes are relatively exotic environments with the potential to introduce new flora to an animal or to alter the existing flora. Contact between native environments and nonnative environments should always be minimized. Just because nobody is observing the consequences of seemingly small human interferences such as these, does not mean we shouldn't take precautions against the fundamental mechanisms of disease. The least we can do is not release the pets we dedicated to caring for after we removed them from the wild.

 It's pretty widely accepted that you can simply release native captive ants with little to no effect on the environment, 

 

 

 

Accepted by who? Hobbyists armed with nothing more than self-serving rationalizations? As far as I have seen the actual Myrmecologists who bother posting have been universally against this practice.


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#34 Offline Serafine - Posted September 22 2017 - 11:15 AM

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If pathogen transmission from captive local ants to wild populations was such a huge issue all ants that love to nest in houses (in Europe that's for example Lasius brunneus, Lasius emerginatus and Lasius neglectus which love to nest inside walls and insulations, while Lasius flavus often nest next to house walls, Lasius niger and Formica fusca often forage on balcony areas and sometimes even have satellite nests 50 meters above the ground on the top of high buildings) would be a grave danger to their local fauna as they usually grow very well in these manmade environments due to the constant heating (and often food supply as well) and as such can spam their surroundings with ridiculous amounts of alates.

Ants have started to adapt to human settlements before we even bothered to call them ants and probably raided human houses and garbage dumps since the stone age - actually the situation was much worse before as for centuries european cities didn't even bother to properly dispose their garbage (and lots of third world cities don't bother even today). In the tropics semi-nomadic species (black crazy ants, ghost ants) are constantly entering and leaving houses, it's literally impossible to keep them out. Any pathogen that is present within the houses will long since be present in wild populations due to the ants' constant interactions with human habitats.

The situation may be different in the just recently colonized United States but in Europe and most other parts of the world ants and humans have been interacting for millennia, if not longer.


Edited by Serafine, September 22 2017 - 11:19 AM.

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#35 Offline ultraex2 - Posted September 22 2017 - 1:10 PM

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Taking only bacteria into consideration, these organisms evolve very quickly and are even able to absorb plasmid DNA from unrelated bacteria via conjugation. Our homes are relatively exotic environments with the potential to introduce new flora to an animal or to alter the existing flora. Contact between native environments and nonnative environments should always be minimized. Just because nobody is observing the consequences of seemingly small human interferences such as these, does not mean we shouldn't take precautions against the fundamental mechanisms of disease. The least we can do is not release the pets we dedicated to caring for after we removed them from the wild.

 It's pretty widely accepted that you can simply release native captive ants with little to no effect on the environment, 

 

 

 

Accepted by who? Hobbyists armed with nothing more than self-serving rationalizations? As far as I have seen the actual Myrmecologists who bother posting have been universally against this practice.

 

 

Can you provide a source from a myrmecologist?  Because as far as I've seen, only other hobbyists have been saying to not release them as well.

 

Antscanada, on his reasons to keep ants, lists being able to release them at will into the wild (assuming native species) as one of the reasons on why you should keep ants and that it may even help to propagate some of the native species, too.  It's also mentioned here http://www.antscanad...our-ant-colony/if you do a ctrl + f for "release".  

 

As others have stated, there are plenty of ants that nest in/around homes and insects in general.  I could even go as far as saying that people shouldn't capture wild ants from outside and bring them into the house because the ants/insects that are in my home will get diseased and die - as far as I know there's no evidence to suggest that it's detrimental to the ecosystem.

 

I'm totally open to changing my opinion, but I need evidence to see otherwise.


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#36 Online FeedTheAnts - Posted September 22 2017 - 1:21 PM

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Can you provide a source from a myrmecologist?  Because as far as I've seen, only other hobbyists have been saying to not release them as well.

 

Antscanada, on his reasons to keep ants, lists being able to release them at will into the wild (assuming native species) as one of the reasons on why you should keep ants and that it may even help to propagate some of the native species, too.  It's also mentioned here http://www.antscanad...our-ant-colony/if you do a ctrl + f for "release".  

 

As others have stated, there are plenty of ants that nest in/around homes and insects in general.  I could even go as far as saying that people shouldn't capture wild ants from outside and bring them into the house because the ants/insects that are in my home will get diseased and die - as far as I know there's no evidence to suggest that it's detrimental to the ecosystem.

 

I'm totally open to changing my opinion, but I need evidence to see otherwise.

 

Exactly, I completely agree, and to say that it is indeed illegal is preposterous.


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#37 Offline Reacker - Posted September 22 2017 - 10:09 PM

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Perhaps I am mistaken but I believe that our very own gcsnelling posting in this thread telling you not to release ants is a Myrmecologist. I suspect batspiderfish may be as well though I don't know for sure. 

 

Speaking of self-serving justifications, thank you for demonstrating exactly my point by citing that antscanada advertising page as though it is in anyway authoritative. 


Edited by Reacker, September 22 2017 - 10:10 PM.

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#38 Offline Zeiss - Posted September 22 2017 - 10:50 PM

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Speaking of self-serving justifications, thank you for demonstrating exactly my point by citing that antscanada advertising page as though it is in anyway authoritative. 

I thought that was hilarious.



#39 Offline LC3 - Posted September 22 2017 - 11:15 PM

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A rule of thumb is that protocols like these are meant to be in place to stop something potentially bad BEFORE it happens, they are not meant to be put in place AFTER that alleged thing has happened. Otherwise why would we even have them in the first place? Pretty much can be summerized in one phrase: Better safe then sorry. It's not a very hard concept to understand, humans have a history of putting things accidentally in places they aren't suppose to be with terrible results, so we should probably not be doing it if we can avoid it.

 

Say for example the reason we have fire safety protocols is because we know a building might catch on fire, chances are a well constructed building catching on fire is pretty low, but we are not going to test if said building can catch on fire and burn to the ground before we instill a fire safety protocol. We have different buildings that have caught on fire and we know they don't end too well. So we are going to make a fire safety protocol before it might happen to this building.

 

I'm not even sure why people debate about this so much, there maybe will be a negative effect on the ecosystem and no benefit for you by putting colony raised in captivity back in the wild.


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#40 Offline Barristan - Posted September 23 2017 - 12:34 AM

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So provide some statistics about the danger and maybe I will be convinced that it is too dangerous to release native species. But all I hear is: "we are myrmecologist listen to us" but if you are so sure about the danger you must have some reliable data you could share with us. 

 

Let's forbid candles they might cause fire it is too dangerous and Barbecue it contributes to global warming!

 

My experience at least with some German myrmecologists is that they follow their own agenda which is often not supported by facts but by arguing with their rank as scientist.

 

For example one German myrmecologist said that a leaf cutter ant species from Mexico (which did escape and ate some roses in neighbor's garden) could survive the winter in Germany, have nuptial flights etc. He even gave interviews to German newspapers and told them this nonsense. Of course the colony died during the first winter. So currently my trust in myrmecologist regarding danger for nature is almost at 0. A lot of them try to push their own agenda even ignoring facts and science.

 

I released a Camponotus vagus colony in my garden four years ago. This species is classified near extinction in Germany (but is quite common in Southern Europe). The colony still lives in several pieces of dead wood. Of course no infection did spread and no wild ants became extinct due to my actions :-)


Edited by Barristan, September 23 2017 - 12:45 AM.

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