Ensuring a healthy habitat | Current problem


DDuring the pandemic, as the public sought to cope with feelings of social isolation and discomfort with the changes in their lives, interest in pets of a wide variety of species increased exponentially. and continues to grow to this day.

But sometimes well-meaning pet owners and water gardeners find they are unable to take care of their pet or their garden, or they think a pet would be “better” to live like a pet. wild animal. Some of these pet owners may make an uninformed, but well-meaning, decision to release their pet into the wild. In almost all of these cases, owners are unaware of the potential impacts on native species and their habitats.


When former pets are released or escape into the wild, they take their appetites and illnesses with them and can have detrimental effects on surrounding habitats and species. It’s up to us in the pet care community to do all we can to help prevent the pet trade from being one of the many pathways for invasive species.

Protection against invasive species

As is the case with non-native species from other sources, such as food fish, agricultural and landscape plants, hitchhikers and stowaways in cargoes, most pets introduced have not been harmful to the environment, economy or human health and safety. . However, a minority of introductions have caused considerable damage, leading to existing and ongoing restrictive regulations on the possession of certain pets by many government agencies.


Habitattitude is a non-regulatory initiative developed in collaboration by the Companion Animal Industry Joint Advisory Council, representing the community responsible for pet care, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as government agencies responsible for regulating and managing invasive species. The term “Habitattitude” arose out of the interdependence of habits, attitudes and habitats.

Through research, education and informed choices for pets, Habitattitude seeks to educate consumers to make wise choices about pets to avoid situations where an uninformed choice can lead to the pet owners to possibly research options for rehousing the pet.

As the owner or associate of a pet business, pet owners can turn to you for advice and guidance when selecting the next pet for their family. In these situations, the Habitattitude.net is a great resource you can share to help them make an informed decision. Advice reviewed by experts includes factors such as level of care, supplies, maintenance, and lifespan that are important to consider so that the pet owner remains happy with their choice and that the pet owner stays happy with their choice. animal be well cared for in a home forever. Moreover, by having these facts at hand, your store is seen as a valuable resource, helping you to develop a long term relationship with the customer.

A knowledge base

For new pet owners and those with limited knowledge of invasive species, Habitattitude.net is the perfect place to start learning. The site explains some of the basic terminology and provides examples of invasive species as well as information on risks, pathways and prevention. Sections are devoted to aquarium fish, reptiles and amphibians, water gardening, and classroom pets.

The most important information for current pet owners is that they should never release their animals into the wild as this is probably not good for the animal and could negatively impact native species and their animals. habitats.

But pet owners who can no longer care for their pets have options. There is a section on the website with tips and suggestions for repatriating a pet, and the “In the News” section highlights local surrender events across the country. If your store also accepts pets, make sure your customers know about it through in-store signage, in-bag inserts, or social media posts. Habitattitude.net offers downloadable resources that partners can use for this purpose.

To increase awareness of making smart pet choices, we need the support of our pet care community. Register on Habitattitude.net to become a partner and help us promote responsible animal care and a healthy environment. Since its launch, animal retailers across the country have displayed the Habitattitude logo on signs, fish bags and boxes, while conservation agencies have displayed posters at meetings and trade shows.

As a member of the Habitattitude Partner Network, you will have access to brand use and images for display in documents, on websites, at trade shows and exhibitions, and in retail establishments. . Organizations and businesses, including animal and water garden business owners, government agencies, environmental organizations, academic institutions, educational bodies, industry associations, recreational clubs and aquarium and herpes class instructors and more are eligible to join and be featured on the website.

Visit Habitattitude.net for more information or contact [email protected] if you have any questions. PB


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