Review: Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation by John Courtney-Smith from Arcadia Reptile
Most responsible reptile and amphibians keepers - especially those who do not study herpetology - will rely on books and the internet for information on how to provide the best care they can possibly provide to their herptile. However, finding accurate information and advice based on research and not opinions can be a pretty difficult task at times.
There are a number of reptile and amphibian husbandry guides out there, and let me tell you - being someone who has bought and read quite a few of those, the discrepancies and inaccuracies in some of them are very scary. For that reason, despite studying herpetology, when it comes to the care of these animals in captivity I will often refer to a reputable exotics specialist vet.
There are quite a few brands out there dedicated to coming up with products that will help you care for your herptile. However, in my opinion, not many of them will invest the same amount of time, effort and money into the type of in-depth research that Arcadia does. From the adequacy of UV lighting to humidity levels and life enrichment, they have pretty much set themselves apart as a brand that not only provides products for the care of these types of animals but also one that genuinely cares about the proper care of these animals in captivity.
They have previously launched a couple of very good books on herptile nutrition and prevention of metabolic bone disease in captivity. However, this latest issue was about a subject that I feel the herptile keeping community needs to address. It is extremely important to ensure that you give your herptile everything they need to grow up strong and healthy. It is also very important to ensure that you provide them with life enrichment. Essentially, life enrichment is at the core of this new book and the reason I loved it so much.
John Courtney-Smith has beautifully presented us with evidence-based reasons and methods to recreate a herptile's natural habitat in captivity. The concept is absolutely nothing new. In fact, if you follow passionate exotic specialist vet, Sean McCormack, you would have already seen many posts on his social media emphasising the importance of mimicking an animal's natural habitat to provide life enrichment. However, John has now ensured that the concept is tried, tested and explained in great detail. He also made it available to all herptile keepers out there and for that, I must thank him.
I will not go into further details as I hate spoilers and strongly believe that you would benefit from reading the book. However, I will say that this is not the type of book you read, put down and forget about. It's the type of book you read and keep handy for references and ideas going forward. Lastly, I would like to highlight that this is not a sponsored review but my 100% independent opinion on the book.
If you are in the UK and would like to buy the book, you can get it from Amazon and some reptile shops as well. Enjoy it!