The decision to list five Sri Lanka tarantulas as endangered drew cheers from wildlife advocates even as U.S. collectors worried that the regulatory web will actually reduce the number of captive-bred spiders by discouraging breeding. The Fish and Wildlife Service posted its final rule Tuesday granting Endangered Species Act protection to the five vividly colored tarantulas, among the largest in the world, whose population is declining in the wild as a result of habitat loss.
“We’re thrilled that these beautiful spiders, imperiled by human greed, now have additional protections to help them survive,” said Taylor Jones, WildEarth Guardians endangered species advocate. “We hope these protections encourage conservation and raise awareness about the plight of these species in the wild and the perils of the exotic pet trade.”
Less thrilled was Phil Goss, president of the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers, who said the federal designation will make it more difficult for tarantula lovers to breed, trade and sell the hairy arachnids.
Under federal law, endangered species may not be sold or transported across state lines without a permit under the captive-bred wildlife registration program, even if they were bred in America.
Courtesy of www.washingtontimes.com