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From the American Tarantula Society President...if you are a Poecilotheria owner, breeder or dealer, please read, share and participate:
This is a request for facts concerning the economics, keeping and breeding of many Poecilotheria species to be submitted to the United State Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding the Endangered Species Act (ESA) petition to list 11 species (P. fasciata; P. formosa; P. hanumavilasumica; P. metallica; P. miranda; P. ornata; P. pederseni; P. rufilata; P. smithi; P. striata; and P. subfusca). The petition can be reviewed at this link and is only concerned with those 11 species.
The Petition process for ESA listing includes a 90 day Public Comment period which ends February 3rd, 2014. The facts requested by the USFWS regarding ESA listing of these 11 species are quite specific. Please feel free to review what information is requested at the .pdf file link below. Opinions or commentary outside the requested information is not used and may be deleterious to our efforts to maintain Poecilotheria with our captive bred hobby.
In short, to demonstrate our hobby does not require wild caught individuals to maintain it, we suggest hobbyists to provide the following information on a species by species basis if possible:
1) Numbers of total animals you have owned of the concerned species (using the current USFWS nomenclature).
2) Total number of breeding attempts you have made per species.
3) Total number successful eggsacs you have produced and total number of spiderlings produced.
4) Total monetary values associated with these species including sales, purchases, and maintenance/supplies.
By combining the requested information via the .pdf file with the below URL on “Tips for Submitting Effective Comments”, we can provide the best information available to the USFWS about our hobby. For those who are zoo personnel, arachnologists/entomologists, or biologists, please feel free to provide your expert commentary above and beyond that requested here.
Comments should be made via the link below or to the physical address listed on the link below. This final link also provides a summary of the requested information. As a hobby, we can provide information on domestic populations, active breeding within the hobby which demonstrate no strains on the wild and native populations.
Please remember this is a process, one which requires INFORMATION and FACTS. This is not a form letter equating to an opinion poll, this is not a vote for or against the ESA listing of these species. Only facts are beneficial in any way. All comments may be reviewed here:
The ESA listing process and the impact on the US hobby could easily take five years. ESA listing of one or more of the 11 species could result in the cessation of all interstate travel of the species under review, effectively removing these species from the hobby. There is no possible way to predict what could happen, so it is our best interest to demonstrate responsible care and propagation of these priceless organisms.
Please comment, even if no numbers of animals are reported, comments about maintaining ownership and sales matter. If you do nothing else, please go to the comments site and say something such as:
“Regardless of ESA listing of one or more species, please provide for the exemption of captive bred animals from the possession and interstate sales regulation."
Any questions regarding this request may be sent to [email protected] before the Febuary 3rd deadline. This is an informational email only, not a USFWS submission email.
*Note to dealers: All comments are public record. Please provide information to your comfort level as sales can be a sensitive subject.
*Professionals who would like to offer further input are invited to follow the requested information guidelines. It would be especially informative from those who have visited India or Sri Lanka and have firsthand accounts as current data is very limiting. Zoo personnel who know of active breeding of these species are also encouraged to provide that information.