The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them. Conservation is nearly always a multi-pronged effort, requiring education, habitat preservation or restoration, and carefully planned rehabilitation and guided propagation.
Our particular efforts will be focusing on habitat restoration and protection in the native ranges for species of concern.
While we do maintain captive groups of many of these species, we do not do so under the misconception that their offspring will help native populations. Instead, we keep them for the following reasons-
1) To better understand them. In doing so, we can help ensure that future generations in captivity can be optimally cared for. Not only their behaviors and husbandry requirements, but also their reproductive cues. We are thankful to have wonderful exotics veterinarians who share our interest in researching the reproductive physiology.
2) Animals already in captivity are typically not suitable for re-release, for a plethora of reasons. So those already in captivity can best serve their species and genus by being animal ambassadors to raise awareness, and through meticulous and strategic breeding, increasing the captive population. For the species like Abronia, which are now internationally protected under CITES (Appendix I and II depending on species), a major contributor to their population declines has been illegal collection for the pet trade. However, despite international protections, more continue to be poached from their habitats in Central America and smuggled into the states, where survival rates are not great, often succumbing to parasite loads or dehydration from improper care. Refining the husbandry standards for these species, and increasing captive populations can have tremendous impact to diminish the demand for wild caught specimens.