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OK to mix bolivian red foot with venezuelan?

Discussion in 'Redfoot and yellowfoot tortoises' started by jacksknight, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. jacksknight

    jacksknight Member

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    I'm just curios, not for breeding purposes just in general? I was reading mixing cherry heads would be bad or not optimal at least, but has anyone kept the other breeds together?

    Thanks!
  2. Redstrike

    Redstrike Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I think this is personal preference but it does provoke a lot of passion from folks here. I think most will tell you they keep localities (they are not different breeds) separate. This tortoise has a wide native range and the localities have thus developed some phenotypic differences. Most like to retain these characteristics that designate which locale they are currently raising. However, there's no rule that says you can't mix tortoises from Columbia and Grenada and you may produce some beautiful hatchlings in doing so.

    It's up to you.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I'm one of those that believes in keeping like with like and not creating a bunch of mixes.
    domalle, gingerbee and jacksknight like this.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It's probably a moot point. People who breed RFs and russians (not to each other) have not paid attention to breeding like with like and what we have here in America is a bunch of mutts.
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  5. jacksknight

    jacksknight Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I was more thinking just in terms of how they get along with each other. My wife got a new tortoise over the weekend, so the count is up to three. I'll post some pictures of him/her later.

    Thanks all!
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    In my limited experience, this is hit or miss with RFs. Most of the time, most of them seem to get along really well in groups, but most people who have kept this species for a while will tell you all about the ones that didn't get along, and we've seen a couple of examples of them doing serious damage to each other over the years.

    @ZEROPILOT might be able to lend some experience based advice here.
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  7. Redstrike

    Redstrike Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yep, me too.
  8. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    As Tom said already.
    Whenever you mix up same species tortoises into a group. The outcome may be good or bad. Most times Redfoot groups will live harmoniously with a large enough area to do so. Some time an individual will have to be relocated/traded. The chance that there will be issues usually arises when the there are several males and not enough females. Generally you want 3 females per male.
    As far as mixing Redfoot with Cherryheads....I never have.
    But I see nothing wrong with doing so. Especially in an all female herd.
    I'm NOT a purist and they are very close cousins. Not a different whole species.
  9. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Bolivian redfoots are currently one of the most highly valued, limited and expensive of the different forms of redfoot. Bolivians, as well as the tortoises from the neighboring South American country of Paraguay, attain the greatest size, by many magnitudes, of all other redfoot forms. If you truly have a genuine pure Bolivian redfooted tortoise, Chelonoidis carbonarius, it would be unwise to mix with any other redfoot form. Should breeding occur, obstetric problems would be likely. On the basis of potential size alone, they should be isolated from other forms.
  10. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The Red-Footed tortoises on Grenada and the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean are descended from animals brought in the recent past from adjacent areas in northern South America, including Colombia, so they are closely related. Since Northern Redfoot lineage has been muddied by collection for the pet trade and interbreeding in captivity, and since any hope for ever sorting them out scientifically is probably lost forever, mixing some of these island and northern redfoot forms in captivity is not so problematic. I would still argue for preservation of any proven and distinct forms by separation.
    TammyJ likes this.
  11. Redstrike

    Redstrike Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree.
  12. Redfoot NERD

    Redfoot NERD Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    Once again we are STILL dealing with the misunderstanding that Brazilian locale [ aka cherryheads ] are not redfoots..
    but a different tortoise other than a redfoot. Anyone who has seen the different locales over the past [ at least ] 20 years
    has seen the G / C. carbonaria in every color and characteristic imaginable. { I actually hatched "BLACK" Brazilians ].

    So [ in "most" captive breeding situations ] many if not most hatchlings we see today are mutts anyway as Yvonne mentioned.
    And yes the main problem arises when too many are in too small of an area - regardless the 'sex-mix' - that's been my
    findings' .. in response to 20 some years of 'redfoot-email' questions I've received.

    AND @domalle we are seeing integrates among the locales "south/west" of Brazil also... aka Bolivian... which is my
    all time favorite. Plus how difficult is it to find "pure" locales.. unless you are or know who imported them from wherever.
  13. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Yes. Although Redfoot seem to be the most tolerant species. They are not always willing.
    You will encounter individuals both male and female that will not cooperate in a small group of about 8. (In my situation)
    This might be remedied by a larger space and/or by keeping even more animals together. I can't say.
    In my experience these animals needed to be kept solo.
    This is for the individual tortoise and the herd.
    Not all Redfoot will live in harmony with others.
    As far as temperament, I am not aware of Cherry headed Redfoot being any more or less aggressive than the other Redfoot types.
  14. treefrog010

    treefrog010 Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree with Jack. Trying to maintain pure Bolivian bloodlines is essential to avoid what has happened to most redfoots.(except some of the over 30 year old specimens) since people had one type but not a pair, they paired with another redfoot to produce offspring. However, now we have mostly “Mutts” I will not do this to Bolivians also.
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