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Australian Endangered Species - Save by Adopting as Pets

Professor Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum in Sydney wants to use endangered Australian animals as pets to save endangered species. He says "No animal that human beings have turned into a domestic pet has ever died out. It's the ones we don't value that become extinct." Professor Archer wants Australians to stop keeping the usual run of the mill pet animals and replace them with some of Australia's numerous endangered species. He says that such animals as the:
  • Sugar Glider (a form of small flying squirrel)
  • the Greater Glider (a type of possum)
  • and Mitchell's Hopping Mouse
make excellent pets.

By keeping them, Australians would develop a greater understanding and concern for the plight of such creatures in the wild.

Amongst conservationists in the UK, which includes the majority of zoo personnel, such an idea is anathema.

I have long argued that domesticating all sorts of common exotic species happily satisfies the very human urge to keeping something "different".
So what it is a colour mutation worth hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds, such as many snakes and lizards have these days? It's not having any negative effect on conservation far from it. It is creating an alternative demand for captive-bred specimens, as opposed to animals transported from the wild. What's more, there is a highly-educational function, involving a detailed knowledge of the creatures' habits and genetics, to be developed if you are going to tackle the subject seriously.


Australian Wildlife and Ecosystems


This Australian site features free-use pictures and Real Video clips and educational info about Australia's unique wildlife and ecosystems.
Videos: rainforests, mangroves, Great Barrier Reef, arid inland, island ecosystems.
This site is operated by an independent wildlife and education video producer and features extracts from the video series "The Living Landscape-an Australian Ecosystems Series" coproduced by Gulliver Media (Aust.) and the Department of Education, Queensland.