It is amazing how an industry can go from being the scourge of reptiles to being one of the biggest heroes. Not too many years ago reptiles were decreasing in numbers rapidly due to the constant harvesting of reptiles for the pet industry. Captive breeding programs were not very effective. Today reptile breeders are responsible for the resurgence of many species of reptiles, bringing them back from the brink of extinction, and improving the quality of reptiles for pet owners around the world.
The biggest issue which had prevented successful reptile breeding in the past was determining the sex of the reptiles. Today with research was done by biologist, zoologists, and breeders of sexing reptiles has become commonplace, and relatively easy. By knowing the proper sexes it is possible to pair up the right reptiles for a successful breeding program.
This does not mean reptile breeders have it easy. Even with all the advancements breeding reptiles is a big challenge. As an example, lizards require very exact environmental conditions to breed. This includes proper lighting, humidity, and temperatures. If any factor is not right breeding will not occur.
The same factors are present in almost any type of reptile. The captive environment must be fine-tuned to the specific species in order to have successful breeding programs. This is one reason reptile breeders are very specialized. It is not an undertaking which most normal home enthusiasts have much luck with. A professional breeder will invest in humidifiers, lighting systems, proper landscaping, and temperature control to make everything perfect for their reptiles. With a great setup, they will have successful breeding on a consistent basis.
This is not to discourage anyone from trying to start a breeding program for themselves. If you take the time to learn about different species of reptiles you will discover some are much easier to breed than others. Choose a breed which is easier to get started with and learn the intricacies of reptile breeding before you jump into more difficult reptiles.
Keep in mind many reptiles can lay very large hatches of eggs. If you suddenly have success you may find yourself with 50 eggs which are all fertilized and about to hatch. This presents you with the exciting adventure of finding customers. Established reptile breeders always have a long list of pet stores and enthusiasts waiting for their reptiles. You probably will not. Make sure you think ahead.
If this is your first adventure into breeding, make sure you are prepared for taking care of all the babies. It is not like having a litter of kittens or puppies. The mother is not going to nurse the babies. You will be responsible for having the proper food on hand for these hungry hatchlings.
Reptile breeders have a challenging, but highly rewarding career. They are building a great business, while at the same time protecting the lives of reptiles in the wild. If you choose to become a breeder yourself, take the time to learn everything you can, it will pay you back with less heartache, and higher profits.