Last updated on May 9th, 2023 at 02:32 pm
When considering owning a tarantula as a pet, it is crucial to do thorough research to understand the necessary care and requirements for the species. With proper care and attention, owning a pet tarantula can be a fascinating and rewarding experience.
1. Research thoroughly before getting a pet tarantula in NZ. This includes local regulations, appropriate species to keep, and necessary equipment.
2. Make sure you buy your tarantula from a reputable seller who can provide information on the tarantula’s care and its origin.
3. Set up the tarantula’s enclosure following the guidelines for its species. This will involve choosing appropriate substrate, temperature, humidity, and hiding spots.
4. Feed your tarantula with a varied diet of insects appropriate for its size and species. Avoid feeding it live prey that could harm it.
5. Handle your pet tarantula with care and only when necessary, as excessive handling can cause stress and potential harm to the spider. If you are unsure about handling, seek guidance from a qualified expert.
Understanding New Zealand’s Biosecurity Regulations
New Zealand is known for its stringent biosecurity regulations to protect its unique flora and fauna. These regulations are designed to maintain the country’s biosecurity status and prevent the introduction of diseases and invasive species. Therefore, bringing live animals to the country requires strict adherence to biosecurity measures.
Animal imports are subject to certain conditions, procedures, and permits to ensure that they meet the biosecurity standards set by the government. The quarantine process aims to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious diseases, pests, and weeds. Any animal (including pets) imported into New Zealand must undergo a quarantine period and thorough biosecurity checks before being allowed to be released into the country.
Examining the Legality of Keeping Tarantulas as Pets in NZ
Tarantulas have become increasingly popular as exotic pets. However, the legality of keeping tarantulas as pets in New Zealand is a bit fuzzy. Some species of tarantulas are listed as pests under New Zealand’s Biosecurity Act 1993, making them illegal to keep as pets.
Others might require a special permit to import or keep. The Department of Conservation (DOC) regulates the importation of wildlife into New Zealand, and they have a list of permitted tarantula species. If you intend to bring a pet tarantula into New Zealand, you must check what breeds are allowed before importing them.
Tarantula Breeds That Can Be Imported into New Zealand
The following four species of tarantulas are the only ones that can be legally kept in New Zealand:
- Chilean rose tarantula: a popular and docile breed, known for their calm nature and relatively low maintenance needs.
- Mexican redknee tarantula: another docile breed that’s also easy to care for. They have distinctive red-orange knee joints on their legs.
- Brazilian black tarantula: a large and relatively aggressive breed that requires experienced handling.
- Costa Rican zebra tarantula: a shy breed that doesn’t thrive in captivity, so they might not be the best choice for beginners.
Factors to Consider Before Keeping a Pet Tarantula in NZ
Before bringing a pet tarantula into your home, there are several important factors to consider.
1. Space requirements: Tarantulas require adequate space to move around, molt, and hunt. A spacious terrarium with hiding spots and climbing structures is essential.
2. Diet: Tarantulas are carnivorous and need a steady diet of live insects, such as crickets, roaches, and grasshoppers.
3. Temperament: Some tarantula breeds are docile and calm, while others can be aggressive or easily stressed. You must handle them with care and learn how to read their body language to avoid accidents.
4. Lifespan: Tarantulas can live up to 30 years in captivity, so they’re a long-term commitment.
How to Care for Your Pet Tarantula in a NZ Environment
To keep your pet tarantula healthy and happy, you need to provide proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips:
1. Terrarium setup: A tarantula’s terrarium should simulate their natural habitat. It should have a substrate layer for burrowing, a water dish, hiding spots, and climbing structures.
2. Temperature and humidity: Tarantulas are sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Keep their terrariums at a temperature range between 20 to 26℃ and 60 to 80% humidity.
3. Feeding: Feed your tarantula live insects once or twice a week. The insects should be gut-loaded and dusted with a calcium supplement.
4. Handling: Handle your tarantula with care and avoid unnecessary stress. Always wash your hands before and after handling them to prevent introducing bacteria to their habitat.
Risks Involved in Keeping a Pet Tarantula in NZ
Keeping a pet tarantula in New Zealand comes with some risks. Accidents can happen, especially when handling tarantulas. Bites from some breeds, such as Brazilian black tarantulas, can be painful and cause allergic reactions in some people. Besides, tarantulas can also escape from their terrariums, which could pose a risk to people and other animals if not found and removed.
Alternatives to Pet Tarantulas in NZ Homes
If you’re not comfortable with keeping a pet tarantula, there are several alternative exotic pet options available in New Zealand. Some of these include geckos, chameleons, and bearded dragons. These pets require special care and attention, but they might be a better option if you’re not ready for the commitment and risks of keeping a pet tarantula.
In conclusion, while keeping a pet tarantula in New Zealand is possible, it comes with some risks and legal restrictions. It’s essential to do your research and follow the biosecurity regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal experience. If you’re ready for the challenge, a pet tarantula can be a fascinating and unique addition to your home.