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Old 09-28-2015, 03:27 PM
371 posts, read 257,423 times
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Originally Posted by nezlie View Post
My experience with this, about taking critters home, is that it is essentially a death sentence for the critters. It's bad enough that they are not going to be fed their appropriate food (takes a lot of effort to find it and most people don't have the time or inclination), but when you take an animal out of it's habitat (home area), bring them home, and then later dump them someplace else, it's basically all over for the animal. Or if you keep them and find they won't eat what you're giving them, you might get a good lesson in starvation.

There's nothing wrong with learning about nature, in place, without displacing the creatures. With today's technology, you can examine the animal where you find it, take out your cell phone and take lots of pictures, and when you get home, get on the internet and read up about them and see pics that others have taken of the same animals. It's a better way to learn about nature..... for all concerned.
I think the solution here is not prohibition but education.

Before taking an animal home-all involved should understand that it is not to be re-released...it is to be kept for the duration of its lifespan. To successfully keep an animal alive it is necessary to know or learn quite a bit about the animals natural history. I learned a lot about roly-polies in trying to keep them alive. They dry out and die quickly without a source of moisture-but will also die when too wet. The blue ones tend to die no matter what eventually(later in life I learned they are infected with a virus). At a very young age I eventually figured them out and reared a multitude of generations of the little creatures.

Yes, many creatures do die when brought home by children, and they will all die eventually. I killed plenty when I was a child. Providing the integrity of the place they come from remains as it is-their will be more next time...and for the next cohort of children. We learned pretty quick if we flipped the same bricks and took every last rolly polly from under them eventually their would be fewer roly pollies-mainly because the microhabitat under the bricks would start to dry up.

The hands off method of going on the internet and reading is I think a deep problem with how we are connected to nature today. Reading is great-but that is a supplement to close behavioral observations. The most realistic way to get detailed behavioral observations is in captivity-ideally with an animal that the children can also observe in nature. The one nice thing about technology is it allows observations to be compared with those of other people and for children to contribute to a common body of knowledge-such as inaturalist.

Last edited by bornincali; 09-28-2015 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:29 PM
371 posts, read 257,423 times
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Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
I'd like to see the landscape around the average urban or suburban area become more natural, providing habitat for the wildlife that can exist there, instead of the artificial lawns and pavement that exist. Then the kid could see a common frog or toad in their backyard and see how they survive. I do agree to a point that allowing kids to take a common frog or something in as a pet has kindled many a future scientist or conservationist in them, but the laws also have to be written to protect the wildlife from abusive people who are destructive.
I agree. I was lucky enough to grow up somewhere-that despite being very suburban-does support a decent amount of wildlife. Despite having lots of toads in the backyard I still learned a lot from the ones that I detained over the years. I've visited a few of my stomping grounds as a child and it brings back fond memories.

One of my favorite spots-a roadside drainage ditch near an apricot orchard no longer exists. It looks like the parcel is being developed so the ditch is now underground and buried. It was probably more of a sink anyway(frequently toads and treefrogs would breed when the water was low in spring and then they would pulse water through it later washing away most of them)...but I bet I wasn't the only kid who enjoyed catching all those tadpoles over the years.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:33 PM
371 posts, read 257,423 times
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Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Nothing wrong with any of this. But for the most parts, states aren't going to enforce regulations on an 8 yo having a non E/T/SC species taken by a kid for a pet. But one of the arguments against this, is often animals are taken from one location (say where the family went camping) and then released in another which is potentially damaging as a spreading mechanism for zoological diseases.
This is a potential problem. I think the best way for this to be addressed is education.

Don't relocate animals. Don't release pets. If you cannot keep an animal any longer either find it a home with someone who wants it or euthanize and dispose of correctly. I would even argue for not releasing animals back to the same place they were captured-many childrens books instruct that after finishing with raising tadpoles the baby frogs can be re-released. I suppose as long as no other aquatic creatures are being kept in the same household the risk is minimal but still there.
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:12 PM
Location: california
5,690 posts, read 4,912,127 times
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When I was a kid we played with every thing even black widow spiders and trap door spiders and snakes and lizards and every single critter dad brought home for us to look at.
You respected the world, but your wen't afraid of it .
For my family , every time there was an opportunity I bought books on every thing imaginable on living things out side .even trees and rocks and other natural wonders.
I was an assistant boy scout master for a while and it was fun introducing "life" to these boys.
I cringe when I see parent afraid of every thing and afraid to let their kids learn about life and discover survival of the fittest.
Most people do not know or care where their food comes from.
I believe it is very important to know exactly where ones food comes from, and how it's processed and why we need it.
Catching and cleaning fish is a great lesson in biology and anatomy and the value of life and proper care.
My own kids I took to greater levels with a microscope to see even further in the world we live in.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:00 PM
Location: West Virginia
515 posts, read 655,691 times
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With adult supervision, there's a great learning opportunity in exposing kids to nature. Let them touch a frog or a snake, catch a butterfly or a lizard and explain to them why or why not it would make a good pet. As a hunter and fisherman, I taught my kids to respect the animals, harvest only what you can use and enjoy watching other animals go about their day. Spend some time with them out in the woods or on a lake and let them see for themselves how mother nature takes care of it's own. Mother Nature's methods aren't always pretty to watch but she's been in the business of managing wildlife for a long, long time.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:20 PM
Location: West Virginia
515 posts, read 655,691 times
Reputation: 1228
I guess I should have added that where a species is protected by law, teach your kids to obey the laws and educate them as to why those laws were put in place.
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