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STANDARDS

CCSS: 4.NBT.A.1, 3.NBT.A.3, MP6, MP8

TEKS: 4.2A, 3.2A

Taking Tarantulas

Smugglers steal spiders from the wild for the pet trade

Konstantin Kamenetskiy/Alamy Stock Photo (backpack); Michel Gunther/Biosphoto/Minden Pictures (tarantula in backpack)

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a pet tarantula. If so, you might want to reconsider! Some pet stores sell tarantulas that are taken from the wild. This is known as the illegal pet trade. It affects tarantulas and other types of spiders and animals.

Tarantulas can be found all over the world, but many species live in the tropical areas of Central and South America. Spider smugglers visit countries like Mexico and Brazil. They capture spiders and sneak them out of the country to sell as pets. Officials have found stolen spiders stuffed in Nintendo cartridges, crammed in shoeboxes, or packed in take-out containers.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a pet tarantula. If so, you might want to reconsider! Some pet stores sell tarantulas that are taken from the wild. This is known as the illegal pet trade. It affects tarantulas and other types of animals.

Tarantulas can be found all over the world. Many species live in the tropical areas of Central and South America. Spider smugglers visit countries like Mexico and Brazil. They capture spiders. Then, they sneak them out of the country to sell as pets. Officials have found stolen spiders stuffed in Nintendo cartridges. They’ve also found them crammed in shoeboxes. Some smugglers pack them in take-out containers.

AARON FAVILA/AP PHOTO

These rescued tarantulas were found at an airport in the Philippines.

That means if you see an adult tarantula for sale, there is a high chance it has been taken illegally from the wild. A young spider for sale, on the other hand, was likely bred in captivity, explains Ernie Cooper. He investigates stolen wildlife.

Mexico and Brazil both have strict laws that protect spiders. Tarantulas caught in the wild are not allowed to be taken out of the country. Yet many people break these rules. It’s also extremely difficult to catch people in the act.

Stolen spiders are often bred. Then their young can be sold “legally.” This cycle is an ongoing problem, explains Cooper.

Anyone looking to buy a pet tarantula should do his or her research. “Avoid rare species,” says Cooper. “People should always research a species before they buy an exotic animal.”

If you see an adult tarantula for sale, it may have been stolen. There is a high chance it was taken illegally from the wild. A young spider for sale, however, was likely bred in captivity, says Ernie Cooper. He investigates stolen wildlife.

Mexico and Brazil both have strict laws that protect spiders. Tarantulas caught in the wild are not allowed to be taken out of the country. Yet many people break these rules. It’s also extremely difficult to catch people in the act.

Stolen spiders are often bred. Then their young can be sold “legally.” This cycle is an ongoing problem, explains Cooper. 

Anyone looking to buy a pet tarantula should do his or her research. “Avoid rare species,” says Cooper. “People should always research a species before they buy an exotic animal.”

The report recommends that government agencies teach others about better spider trade and breeding practices. This should cost 1 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars. How much is that?

The report recommends that government agencies teach others about better spider trade and breeding practices. This should cost 1 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars. How much is that?

The report also recommends that government agencies educate the public in key communities about stealing tarantulas. This should cost 6 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars per location. If there are 3 locations, what is the total cost of the recommendation?

The report also recommends that government agencies educate the public in key communities about stealing tarantulas. This should cost 6 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars per location. If there are 3 locations, what is the total cost of the recommendation?

The report advises that government agencies and scientists work together to decide whether a tarantula species should be added to the list of threatened species. It estimates the cost of this effort to be 4 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars. How much does this recommendation cost?

The report advises that government agencies and scientists work together to decide whether a tarantula species should be added to the list of threatened species. It estimates the cost of this effort to be 4 × 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 dollars. How much does this recommendation cost?

A. Complete the equation to find the cost of doing tarantula field studies from 2017 to 2019:

67 × 10 × 10 × 10 = _________

A. Complete the equation to find the cost of doing tarantula field studies from 2017 to 2019:

67 × 10 × 10 × 10 = _________

B. Complete the equation to find the cost of doing tarantula field studies from 2019 to 2021:

95 × 10 × 10 × 10 = _________

B. Complete the equation to find the cost of doing tarantula field studies from 2019 to 2021:

95 × 10 × 10 × 10 = _________

C. Will tarantula field studies done from 2017 to 2019 cost more than those done between 2019 to 2021? Explain your answer.

C. Will tarantula field studies done from 2017 to 2019 cost more than those done between 2019 to 2021? Explain your answer.

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