you didn't mention that a) it was long ago, b) you were a student c) collecting for a university program. I understand now.
Hello Marius, sorry about that. I did realise in retrospect that I had been remiss in that respect.
Also, sorry about the delayed response. This is a very good blog in general, but I can't find any facility to email me when there is activity on any thread that I am participating in. That is a very useful facility!
Always asking me to bring him chameleons and such, as he's a collector (got quite a bit of exotic stuff, breeding small scale as well). Me always telling him to go to hell, that I never will, that it is because of people like him that things are becoming extinct!
I have some sympathy with guys like that who can breed species, more than with some mindless purists that refuse to permit any
activity that they personally regard as "unnatural" (to the extent of shooting animals that become "too" habituated to humans or appear outside their canonical range!)
All the same, I am worried about such activities if the animals are not free-ranging and self-sufficient. Apart from what happens if the person is no longer able to look after his wards, it seldom is possible for there to be backup. We had a caracal kitten once (legally!) and even before it was mature I had to give to to a local zoo because I was sent overseas. There were other problems as well, but with domestic animals. Fortunately we were living on a farm then, but even so it was traumatic; heaven knows what we would have done if we had been living in town without suitable contacts!
First had to Google those scientific names you're popping there!
Yeah. I reckoned that you could do that if necessary, but in context the actual spp did matter!
Cape Clawed Toad, Cape Platanna, or Gill's Platanna (Xenopus gilli) - that's not the "normal" platanna, is it? Too lazy to search further right now...
Yep. It is slightly smaller than X. laevis, though larger than some other African spp. and has a speckled belly. It is endemic to the Cape and somewhat threatened. Our water is rather kaolin-rich where we live, so our dams are generally between pH 7 and 8, some occasionally over 8. I understand that X. gilli prefers acid fynbos waters. Dunno. Hard enough to get the others. I'd like to get some terrapins too, though people with experience tell me I'm nuts. Apparently they are not simpatico. But I don't intend handling them, and we don't have any threatened creatures in the dams to mention.
But you DO want interesting little critters, that's for sure!
They are all interesting!!! I write a weekly few paragraphs for our newsletter, nearly all on creatures that occur in our "retirement village" and people who did not even know what occurs here are always telling me how much they love reading the stuff. For heaven's sake, are they all nuts? What is so interesting about ants? Or mossies? or reed frogs? or bee flies? Or geese? Or geckoes? or...
But somehow there always is something to write, and someone to read it...
will probably be some time before we get down there again.
Some time, any time... Just contact us first. We are pretty actively busy and prefer our visitors not to arrive at dooiemansdeur or have to be squeezed in between appointments!