We have received a lot of questions about how to take care of wild caught reptiles and amphibians.
First off wild caught animals are much harder to keep alive in captivity. They were not raised in cages on set foods. For example, a hognose snake is a toad specialist in the wild but in captivity it feeds on rodents. A large percentage of wild reptiles and amphibians will die in captivity because people do not know their needs and requirements. Plus it’s very stressful for an animal to be removed from its natural environment and placed in foreign surroundings with strange creatures staring at it and handling it.
Another thing is that every reptile and amphibian you take out of the wild reduces the genetic diversity of that population. You are taking their DNA out of that gene pool. And as we know a lot of reptiles and amphibians have suffered population declines so they need all their individuals and diversity. Now with the emergence of the Snake Fungal Disease and Chytrid 2.0, plus all the other nasty fungi and viruses affecting amphibians and reptiles, there is a chance you could accidentally spread a disease to your pet snakes or frogs at home. You could also accidentally spread a disease to wild snakes or frogs if you release your wild caught pet into a new habitat.
There are a ton of good reptile and amphibian breeders across the country and some great stores that sell healthy pets. There are plenty of ways to get a happy, healthy reptile or amphibian pet without having to take one out of the wild. So the next time you see that cute frog or neat snake, take only a photo and leave it to continue its life as a wild animal.