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 Post subject: Regarding Locality Data and the Ethics of Collecting
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:28 pm 
ATS Vice President
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 6414
Location: New Mexico
It has come to the attention of the ATS Executive Board that recently there has been increased interest in large-scale collection of US native tarantula species for the international pet trade. We have received reports of commercial collectors seeking locality data for rare species as well as seeking recruits to actually collect the spiders for money. The intent is to collect as many spiders as possible for export.

Although we sincerely hope what we've heard is not true, we would like to plead with all of you, members and non-members alike, to NOT assist with any deliberate wholesale exploitation of our US tarantulas. If you know where to find wild tarantulas, DO NOT share this information! That includes in discussions on our message boards, or any of the others. If someone asks you to collect hundreds of spiders for a fee, just say no!

We, of course, recognize the need for collection for the purpose of captive breeding and scientific research. We are not against individual hobbyists collecting a few spiders for their own enjoyment and we're not even against limited and responsible collection for resale. However, what we ARE against is the wholesale destruction and elimination of local tarantula populations in the name of making a quick buck.

In addition to the ethical concerns expressed above, this commercial collection may also be illegal. The exporters in question may not have the export permits needed to do it legally, and at least some of the target tarantulas exist on private and federally protected land. Anyone participating in this activity could find themselves in violation of the Lacey Act which can carry hefty fines and even jail time if caught.

We must strive to fill the demand for our native spiders legally with captive bred spiderlings. It is up to the hobbyist community to manage our resources responsibly.

Sincerely,

The ATS Executive Board


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