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Reptiles and Amphibians

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reptil11.gif (97100 bytes)No one can be really sure how many different species of reptiles or fish there are in the world's zoos. In Britain the largest collections are at London Zoo which at any one time has around a hundred different reptiles, and almost two hundred different fish.  Most zoos have fairly traditional aquariums and reptile accommodation, but few are making a very good effort to breed the reptiles in particular. This is important because both groups of animals tend to be largely ignored when zoos publish or discuss their breeding successes or failures. A great many reptile and fish species, probably well over three quarters, never breed at all, and their zoo populations are often bolstered, ironically, by illegally imported animals confiscated and donated to the zoo by customs officials.

Undoubtedly the best British reptile collection, so far as breeding success is concerned, is at Jersey Zoo which devotes considerable effort to hatching and rearing a whole variety of endangered snakes, lizards, and tortoises. Look for signs that the animals are breeding.

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Editor: Jon Clarke    Research: John and Sue Ironmonger, Ray Heaton, and the readers of goodzoos.com   Illustrations by G.L.Grandy. Thanks to John Ironmonger for the original idea of GoodZoos.com.

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Last modified: July 29, 2005