Exotic species are generally described as foreign or non-native species. The introduction of an exotic species in an area is often regarded as alien species. Check out Animal Abuse In Pakistan And What Can Be Done About It?
Exotic pets are exotic species that have been brought from their native location to new habitats as pets. Wildlife is most commonly used as exotic pets. These are rare species that shouldn’t be considered pets.
EXOTIC PETS IN PAKISTAN
Recently a trend has been observed in Pakistan where people are keen on keeping exotic pets. From exotic lop-earned rabbits to hamsters to non-native species of cats and dogs etc, all of these animals are easily available in pet stores in Pakistan and their demand is on the rise. There are also a number of videos available on social media that represent the presence of exotic species being used as pets in Pakistan, and these videos are promoting keeping exotic animals as pets. It is a matter of fact that there are no strict laws and regulations regarding the protection of animals or animal rights. People want to compete with each other in showing off, that is why sometimes the wildlife, native and exotic both, is being used as a party prop or wedding prop.
WHY EXOTIC OR NON-NATIVE ANIMAL SPECIES SHOULD NOT BE KEPT AS PETS?
Pakistan is a semi-arid country with mostly hot climatic conditions, while some specific parts of the country has hot humid weather. Many animals that are brought in Pakistan from other countries cannot survive hot weather and eventually die, because they have specific adaptations for (like thick fur etc.) and are used to the colder weather conditions of the part of the world they belong to. Such animals require air conditioning to survive and even when it is provided, their lives are miserable as they are stuck at homes and cannot go out in their natural habitat. Wildlife that is supposed to be free from human intervention is now kept in cages or homes for human amusement.
Exotic species that are used as pets suffer pain, loneliness, and injuries. Animal abuse is also observed in Pakistan, like any other part of the world. Animals are kept hungry, not fed properly, and have no suitable habitat for their living.
Due to profits associated with exotic species demand for exotic pets, poachers are involved in illegal wildlife trades. The wildlife is kept in miserable conditions, some die during captivity. Poaching activity poses serious threats to the population of wildlife. Check out Illegal Wildlife Trade in Pakistan – Threat to Endangered Species
Even the conditions of some Zoos in Pakistan are not meeting the international standards for wildlife protection. Kaavan elephant in Pakistan was an example of animal life in some zoos here. And even though not all zoos are like that and provide better living conditions for animals, still it is a sad reality that animals suffer in zoos. You may like to read Are Zoos A Necessary Evil For Species Conservation?
EXOTIC PETS AND THEIR IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF PAKISTAN
Exotic species are most definitely showing negative impacts on the environment of Pakistan. The introduction of an alien species to a place is always destructive for native species. There is a competition of food, shelter, and other resources between exotic and native species that ultimately leads to the elimination of native species. Exotic species usually don’t have predators and native species have to deal with the competition with exotic species as well the competing environment. Every native species is serving its purpose at its location. Accidental or even intentional introduction of species can wreck havoc.
Elimination of native species and replacement with exotic species brings other environmental issues such as pest outbreaks. This creates an imbalance in the ecosystem.
Disease outbreaks are a direct consequence of species introduction in an area. Such interaction between wildlife and human could bring disaster to the environment.
Due to varied climatic conditions, Pakistan hosts a diverse variety of plants and animals. There are number of plants and animals that are included in the endemic species of Pakistan, so we should be promoting these animals and plant species instead of bringing in exotic pets that can lead to an ecological disaster. Hunting and poaching are common in the region due to which the country suffers economic losses. People’s negligence towards animal welfare is costing animals lives. When we humans would realize that animals feel pain too? Awareness campaigns should be carried out throughout the country to make people aware of the wildlife, their importance, and well-being along with their natural habitat.
Also, check out Anthropogenic Factors That Cause Species Decline
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– MS Environmental Science
– Content Writer
Researcher, Nature Lover, and Environmentalist