Great post Linds
I am going to base my argument on boas as that is what I am most familiar with so here it goes
I personally like morphs but I also really like and appreciate locality specific animals. Unfortunately many of the locales in captivity are not anywhere near pure often times. One mans suri is anothers guyanan or peruvian. Are they seperate locales or are they just different looks present in one population. Info on catch locations is often very poorly documented or is even falsified.
The other thing is that many locales are also very inbred most people do not realize that all of the Bolivians in captivity are descended from a group of something like less than 10 animals. Other locales which would be inbred would be the many of the Island boas, Hoggs, Crawl Cay, Corn Island etc. Many of the locales are also selectively bred for high widows peaks, partial striping, ladder tails, really red tails etc. The way some of the locales look now may not be what they actually looked like in the wild per say.
Sometimes I find the whole morph dedate rediculous we are not breeding these animals to release back into the wild. It would be like saying you are breeding teacup poodles in the hope of one day reestablishing a wild population in Banff National park. Additionally you could not even release a pure locality snake back into its so called original habitat if you wanted to. Are we releasing Hoggs back onto the Island to bring the population back from extinction.
Alot of times these so called locality purists slag the morph people but at the same time I have seen these self professed purists go ahead and breed a nicaraguan boa to a columbian boa because they did not have a mate for the nicaraguan at the time. And just for this reason many of of the wild type boas out their are a mish mosh of various locales and no more pure and sometimes more inbred than my snow boa. At least with the snow I know her grandparents were unrelated this cannot be said of alot of the wild type boas out there. I also beleive if you do breed morphs buy unrelated animals, outcross, ask where the parents came from etc inbreeding is not good for any type of animal or people why would inbreeding be all right in snakes or other reptiles.
Lastly it is the morphs that drive the hobby. It was not until people started looking at some of these animals as investments that we really made some strides in captive breeding and husbandry. It was the albino boa and ball python that really brought these snakes to the forfront, it was the albino leopard gecko which made people go nuts over these great little lizards. However you may feel about the morphs if it was not for them we would not have what we have today.
Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by BigDan; 09-16-03 at 11:08 PM..