RichFrye wrote:What I consider to be a comfortable breathing room for breeding groups of any hard/next to impossible to replace darts as a real long term project is a bare minimum of three breeding groups of the one locale. And the first releases going to at least a couple good friends who will absolutely get my line back to me if there is a catastrophe and my line is lost at my site.
No, nobody that I know of or have heard of has anything close to that going here in the U.S. But, most don't go that far on many lines of the easy stuff either.
As Rich pointed out, most folks are not even trying this with more common animals, which, in my view, is something anyone with multiple tanks and a hankering to hang with this hobby for more than a year or two should start thinking about. This is a way to give back to the hobby, picking a locale, and dedicating extra space to it. I ranted about it here, but I think it's time to work out a blue print of sorts for those who are interested to follow.
My personal project frog is D. tinctorius Lorenzo. I've acquired animals from three sources representing the only two lines I am aware of in the US hobby. I've been managing my pairings and lineages of the animals I produce. I've held back offspring to guard against losses (which I have experienced), and I've tried to place animals with folks that have been in the hobby a while so I have a better chance of ensuring those precious few animals will ultimately breed and contribute back to the hobby and keep the locale going. Here are the highlights from my approach, and I'm hoping others will contribute ideas here so we can keep a master list going.
- Obtain animals from multiple sources, preferably with different lineages.
- Setup a tracking system to track your founders stock as well as their offspring. I like using meaningful codes (to me) that can identify sex, age, and source of an animal.
- Create ID labels for your animals and move them with animals as you begin to pair/group animals of different lineages.
- Be prepared with three (I use four) full size enclosures to handle your breeding pairs / groups. I prefer four groups since most folks like purchasing four froglets at a time. In theory I can offer four animals from four different parental pairings ensuring that a hobbyist that receives my groups has the best chance at "less related" animals, rather than sibling groups.
- Ensure you have at least an equal amount of grow outs to sort your animals based on lineage.
- Don't get into this for the money - be willing to cut discounts off retail for getting frogs in the hands of good keepers that are likely to be in the hobby for a while. This mirrored Rich's note on placing animals with friends that will be there to help out in the event of a catastrophe.
So what else am I missing?