Author (Your Name)

Jessica L. Beetz, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


Philip J. Nyhus

Second Advisor

Russell Cole


This study examines the private ownership of exotic species, a topic very relevant to conservation that has long been ignored in the public sphere of policy and discussion. The private ownership of exotic species is a multifaceted issue that affects not only conservation, but also the domestic industry, world trade and education. The volume of trade in live animals is remarkably high and growing, making studies that investigate the implications of this trade on the endangered and threatened species even more pressing. This thesis investigates whether or not animal species held in captivity by private owners benefit conservation of their greater wild populations. A population of animals can also exist solely in captivity, allowing for its continued existence, but in this study I am not considering the existence of captive populations alone, without connection to the existence of the species in the wild, for example through reintroduction plans, as conservation initiatives.


Animal ecology, Exotic animals -- Conservation, Exotic animal owners, Wild animals as pets