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Chat Transcript
Kamuran Tepedelen 12/14/99

Jeff Barringer - Our first guest tonight is Kam Tepedelen from Bushmaster Reptiles. Kam has spent years herping in and out of the US and he is currently the owner of Bushmaster Reptiles, which specializes in Indonesian herps. I guess I'll go ahead and start, Kam how many times have you been to Indonesia?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, about 23 times in the last 9 years. All total about two years in Indonesia.

MikeB - I have read interviews or something like that and i heard about a farm you have down there? Reptile farm that is (obviously) can you explain a brief tour of the facilities, and stuff like that, animals there etc?
Kamuran Tepedelen - I have a partner in Indonesia, and he has built a "farm" on the outskirts of Jakarta. What I mean by farm, is more of a holding facility. However we do breed Frills, and Chondros, and are working on a number of other things. The farm is about three acres, and has a three bedroom house on it with several outbuildings.

JeffB - Kamuran what laws does Indonesia have concerning exportation of herps?
Kamuran Tepedelen - They have a national quota for CITES as well as Non CITES animals, and you must obtain permits for EVERYTHING before exporting. Each exporter is given a percentage of the quota at the beginning of the year, and that is what they get to export. Our farm currently has the largest quota.

JFORKS - I know that you sell most of your animals, but are you keeping any for your own breeding as of now? and if so what?
Kamuran Tepedelen - No, not anymore. It became too difficult to keep a private collection while traveling so much. I do however have quite a few animals on loan to a friend in Germany.

anaconda11 - Since retics are becoming ever so popular again, where do you see the exportation of them going in the next few years?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, I think that more and more people are breeding them here domestically, and so I would guess that the import numbers would fall on the "normal" types. The Sulawesi yellow heads, and some of the island forms may continue to come in.

BillC - What are some new reptiles you plan to breed, and/or sell from your farm?
Kamuran Tepedelen - We are working with V. prasinus, the Green Tree Monitor.

kevinB - Of all the dwarfs retics that you have cared for or breed what is the easiest to take care for easiest breeding and most gentle dispositioned retic? Or just the best first retic to have? So far i would get the kayudi from looks.
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, either the Kayuadi, or Jampea. Really those are the only "TRUE" Dwarfs that I know of. many people are referring to many types of Retics as Dwarfs, but only those two would come under the Dwarf category if you ask me. Both are normally quite gentle.

JeffB - How has the recent political turmoil affected exports?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, it has cut down on the variety of reptiles which we';ve been able to export. With all of the fighting going on in the Mollucas, we haven't been able to get many animals from Aru, Ambon, Halmhera, and the surrounding islands. The airports have been burned, and people have fled the island of Ambon.

JFORKS - Have you seen any hostility in person?
Kamuran Tepedelen - I did while I was in Jakarta, but for the most part I try to stay away from the hot spots. There is an overall feeling of unrest in the country that I never felt before

anaconda11 - What would you consider to be the hardest animal to obtain in Indo for exportation?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, this year it would have been the Black Tree Monitors, or some of the other animals which came from those areas we just talked about. If you mean what is the most difficult to find, well, then that's a tough one. There is a softshell turtle we're trying to get out of Irian jay which has proved to be difficult.

BillC - I have observed that house geckos aren't the most sought after gecko in the gecko family. Personally I find their appearance appealing. my question is, how do they stack up to other, more popular geckos, as far as personality, care and your personal fascination?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Well, I guess I would have to say that I don't keep them for long at my facility. We sell them by the hundreds!

kevinB - What are the prices of the red mountain ratsnake now and how will their availability and prices be in the future. Also where do they come from and are there any laws against export of W/C?
Kamuran Tepedelen - $3000.00pr, and all are CB by Klaus-Dieter Schulz in Germany.

JeffB - Kamuran, recently someone advertised here in the classifieds some Komodo Dragons - do you feel that the time is right for Komodo Dragons in the private sector?
Kamuran Tepedelen - You must be kidding! It's not that I don't think the private sector should have them, but I can't imagine anyone being able to offer legal ones other than a Zoo. Very few private people could offer a Komodo what it needs as far as a Captive environment.

JFORKS - With all the instability in Indonesia, you must be considering life after importing and exporting, would you consider becoming a breeder? Or what other plans might you have?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Actually, I can't wait to be a hobbyist again. I would love to keep herps as a hobby, and not as my source of income. Anna says she'll support me the rest of my life!

anaconda11 - Because of the use of retics in skins trading, do you see a high depletion in the number of retics?
Kamuran Tepedelen - No, not at all! Study after study has been done on the skin trade, and there is no slowing them down!

BrianT - How many new species and subspecies of varanids do you see come into the US each year?
Kamuran Tepedelen - You won't see many more new Varanus coming into the US if USFWS has anything to say about it. There is his catch 22, which goes like this. Varanus are CITES, and so ANY and ALL Varanus must come into th US with a CITES permit. So, if it is a new species, there is no way to bring it into the US now, unless it comes with a CITES permit which reads Varanus sp! No country on earth is going to issue a CITES permit which reads Varanus sp. , and USFWS is not going to let in any new species unless it comes with this type of permit. So you will now see all of the Germans describing all the new varanus sp. Believe me I've been through it with them over V. yuwonoi, and V. melinus, both of which I brought to the US first.

caolan - I have a question about black tree monitors, have you ever found eggs if so where were they laid? And what is the USFWS?
Kamuran Tepedelen - I have never found any Black Tree Monitor eggs in the wild. USFWS stands for United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

CWeb - What's the real deal with Chondro farming in Indo? How many people are actually breeding these guys as opposed to hatching babies from collected gravid females? I've seen some extravagant claims in the past few months and I'm wondering if these are all just hot air and hype.
Kamuran Tepedelen - I can only confirm what our farm does. We do breed them, and we do hatch thm from gravid females. Both of which are legal. If you ever buy Chondos from an importer, please ask to get a copy of their CITES permit. It should have a (C) for Captive bred, and a (F) for Farm bred. As for the other farms, I have also seen those claims, and I find them impossible to believe!

D-tails1 - What is your take on farm bred Chondros showing up at Captive bred shows?
Kamuran Tepedelen - If they are truly farm bed, then I think it should be allowed. However, I'm sure this would b met with some resistance from the domestic breeders.

JFORKS - What other countries can you/are you importing from?
Kamuran Tepedelen - Tanzania, China, Guyana, Ghana, Germany, and a few others which I can't recall at the moment.

sailfin - If the Ambon Sailfin isn't allowed to be imported how come juveniles are still being sold on lists? And what is there status in the wild?
Kamuran Tepedelen - The Ambon Sailfin is allowed, is Hydrosaurus amboinensis which isn't allowed, and strangely enough that comes from Sulawesi, and not Ambon. The one which you find in Ambon is H. weeberi. They are common, very very common!

JeffB - We are out of time, I want to thank Kamuran Tepedelen for being here with us during chatweek99!

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