Pet Reptiles and Amphibians
Herpetoculture is the keeping of live reptiles and amphibians in captivity, whether as a hobby or as a commercial breeding operation. It is predominantly, but by no means exclusively, an amateur activity conducted by people with little or no formal background in herpetology or other natural sciences. It is slightly different from pet keeping in that a few of its practitioners are somewhat more dispassionate towards their animals; few herpetoculturists give names to their animals, which they might dismiss as sentimental anthropomorphism. All are nonetheless dedicated to their collections, which are frequently sizeable, and spend much of their spare time, money and energy tending to them.
Decline in Amphibian Populations
Dramatic declines in amphibian populations, including population crashes and mass localized extinction, have been noted since the 1980s from locations all over the world. These declines are perceived as one of the most critical threats to global biodiversity, and several causes are believed to be involved, including habitat destruction and modification, over-exploitation, pollution, pesticide use, introduced species, climate change, increased ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) and disease. However, many of the causes of amphibian declines are still poorly understood, and the topic is currently a topic of much ongoing research. Calculations based on extinction rates suggest that the current extinction rate of amphibians could be 211 times the background extinction rate and the estimate goes up to 25,039-45,474 times if endangered species are also included in the computation.