This isn't a gerbil, but posting info about it just for interest sake. The grasshopper mouse is an amazing predator rodent! I've just watched a documentary that showed a grasshopper mouse kill a scorpion and tarantula spider! There was also a grasshopper that was killed and then dragged into the burrow, to be fed among the grasshopper mouse litter, which descended on the carcass like hungry lion cubs! Amazing!
I also happen to see a book about desert animals, which include something about this grasshopper mouse. Below are some exerpts:
"The animal weighs less than two ounces and measures only about 4 inches in length...These tiny mice have been known to kill and eat deer mice, pocket mice, and voles, and in captivity they have killed animals as large as kangaroo rats and cotton rats."
"At night the grasshopper mouse emits high-pitched howls, which it produces by raising its snout to the sky like a Liliputian wolf...Only in North America is there a small rodent that roams the desert on the darkest nights seeking other rodents as prey, and only in North America does that small predator rear up on its hind legs and howl like a wolf."
From Mares, Michael(2002). A Desert Calling: Life In a Forbidding Landscape.
Unfortunately, no. All I have are my gerbils only, and only 2 at that! I've owned a couple of dwarf hamsters before. Haha, I'm not a big collector/breeder, only interested to read about and see gerbils and other rodents.
I would like to own more gerbils and other rodent types, but I know I probably wouldn't be able to cope. So just keeping it to only 2. I don't want to buy or adopt on impulse just because I want a gerbil of a particular colour, or because the price of a gerbil is relatively cheap.
Anyway, where I live, not many other rodent types are available. You can probably get mice and rats here, but there's not much interest here. Even for gerbils, there's only very limited interest here. Dwarf hamsters are most popular. I believe I've seen something that looks like a Shaw's Jird here in a pet shop. It was very pretty! Other than that, I don't think one can get those exotic rodent types easily. The authorities are also rather strict here regarding the keeping of exotics as pets. Many species are prohibited here.
But I'm glad gerbils are allowed. I'm just happy to have my 2 gerbils for now!
Post by Ritzie/Admin on Feb 15, 2004 13:25:47 GMT -8
Dwarf hamsters and Syrian (gold-)hamsters are also in the Netherlands very popular!
Why are the authorities in Singapore rather strict regarding the keeping of exotics as pets? Is it because they want to protect the native species? To prevent that invasive species (non-native species) oust your native species?
I know that Mongolian gerbils also prohibited are in California (USA) and I thought also in Australia! But I'm not sure.
I study Wild Life management, so I'm very interested in this! I know many invasive species (most of the times European species) have have caused many problems in Asia, Australia! They have even wiped out some species (see another website of me: www.petermaas.nl/extinct/english.htm.
But good for you that Mongolian gerbils are allowed!
I'm no ecology expert, but I would suspect that the authorities have to control animal importation and pet keeping for some reasons:
1. Like you said, one reason is to protect the native animals. If exotic species are allowed as pets, some owners are likely to release them into the wild after they grow tired of them. This may affect the ecology of the wildlife here.
2. Some species are endangered. The control is to prevent the trade, import and export of the endangered species, so as to protect them. Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), so I guess the authorities have to follow its guidelines.
3. Introduction of new species may also possibly bring diseases previously not known locally to the wildlife here. There is also concern this could spread to humans.
Actually, Singapore does not really have much of an ecology to speak of. The country is very, very small, smaller than most cities in other countries. Much of th small island-state has been urbanised, so we only have very small pockets of nature left. I don't know what kind of native species we are protecting actually. This is certainly not a hotbed for animal species. But in our neighbouring countries such as Malaysia or Indonesia, there are still large areas of tropical forests.
There are also people who argue that endangered species should be allowed as this will actually help to preserve the species. The argument being that people will breed them for pet-keeping and help it to propagate. Of course this argument will not apply to the severely endangered ones. I'm kind of undecided on this argument though, but there is a point to it perhaps.
However, i would guess that the authorities would be more likely to adopt a "play safe" policy with regard to ecology control, rather than a liberal one. This is because ecology matters are hard to monitor, and I don't think there are many ecologists here either.