BION HISTORY of BION
Reptile breeding center at BION Terrarium Center
In fact, habitat loss by now is identified as the biggest threat to wildlife throughout the world. In this regard, reptiles and amphibians are no exception. Captive breeding is a working model for maintaining an endangered species under artificial conditions.
Starting in 1993 as a commercial import-export operation we came in 2022 to Reptile’s breeding and propagation center with emphasis on captive breeding of rare and therefore, conservation of endangered species. Since healthy, adapted captive-bred reptiles are available in the market, the poaching pressure on wild populations decreases significantly!
Today our facilities provide all conditions for keeping and breeding a wide range of captive-bred reptiles – from geckos to monitors. At the moment, we maintain 20 separate laboratories, a greenhouse for large species, quarantine area and live feed laboratories to raise various insect species for our animals. The total area of our facilities is more than 2000 m2. This enables us to keep simultaneously about 70 reptile species in good quantities.
We specialize in: leaf-tailed geckos, terrestrial geckos, spiny-tailed lizards, rare agamas and iguanas, various chameleons, skinks, etc. New species are added every year.
We have successful experience in shipping to Canada,the U.S., Mexico, Chili, Argentina, Salvador , Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and many EU countries.
We support and develop the Responsible Herpetoculture at every possible level.
To support our activity pls join us on https://responsibleherpetoculture.com.ua/membership/
Since 1993, BION Terrarium Center has been engaged in the import/export and breeding of exotic invertebrates, amphibians, and reptile species. Initially we majored in re-exports from Africa, Asia and South America. Step by step we developed strong connections with breeders in Europe. Each year we increased the number of сaptive bred species at our stock as well.
In 2001 we launched the facility under roof for breeding & quarantine purposes + administrative office as well. During next 19 years we upgraded available space and developed new facilities for keeping and breeding reptiles. Much was done for training and professional growth of BION staff. All animal-related transportation was organized strictly according to IATA & CITES standards.
In 2010 we opened BION BREEDING CENTER. For many years we have been quite active in collecting and establishing parent stock of the rare and valuable reptile species for breeding purposes. By now we have collected a unique breeding stock of rare reptile species originated from Australia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Somalia and other countries. All breeding stock has a proper paperwork. We are in touch with reputable breeders and experts all over the world. Most animals are presented in pairs/couples or breeding groups, some species are being reproduced in many generations.
In 2011 BION founders set up the Reptile and Small Exotic Animal Zoo, namely “EKZOLAND”. Our Zoo offers educational programs for kids and adults, tours, and special events. Zooculture is able and should become a lifeboat for animals from endangered or near threatened natural populations. Our Zoo is the full member of the Ukrainian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (UAZA) we keep high standards of exposition and keeping.
In 2017 we launched RESPONSIBLE ZOOCULTURE Сеnter as a special place for seminars, training courses, and other events related to advocacy of zooculture. This Center combines an area for animals with modern displays and laboratories + conference hall, guest rooms and exotic café namely “Feon”Ny Ala” (“Spirit of the forest” – Madagascar)
In 2017 BION’s team initiated RESPONSIBLE HERPETOCULTURE project as a new solution to global reptile conservation. We started from the Parson’s chameleon (conservation in nature and by maintaining a gene bank in a form of groups of breeding animals at captivity). This event was officially presented by DMITRI TKACHEV, BION’s Director and Owner, at the 1st International Conference ”Herpeton 2019” (June, 2019, San Diego, USA). The project is managed together with Sergei Prokopiev, well known chameleon’s breeder and BION regular partner. We keep regular line with reptiles’ breeders and experts involved in RESPONSIBLE HERPETOCULTURE with BION all over the world. Many supporters and followers help us make this project beneficial. For more information about RESPONSIBLE HERPETOCULTURE, please click here. As part of this project BION’s international team made a trip to Madagascar in November 2019.
As for many institutions worldwide our main achievement in 2020 was our survival. Even during this difficult year we managed to find out quite important advantages. We strengthened and rallied our team spending a lot of time to enrich our experience in keeping and breeding, to improve our approaches and to start new optimistic and ambitious breeding projects. Among them – Calumma parsoni (Tamatava, Orange Eye) breeding project; to do this a legal breeding stock from proper locality was imported from Madagascar and special lab with big enclosures was created. Currently the animals are being adapted to the new annual cycle. In addition, we started similar project with panther chameleons aimed at establishing captive-bred parental stock consisting of several pure (not cross-bred) lines: Nose Be, Ambanja, Ankaramy, Ambilobe, Tamatava and Vohemar. A total amount of 200 F1 babies that will form the main breeding stock in the nearest future have already hatched. Also we are proud to report about great amount of captive-bred Eublepharis angramainyu, Eublepharis fuscus and Eublepharis angramainyu, unprecedented number of captive-bred Uroplatus species (Uroplatus phantasticus, Uroplatus ebenaui, Uroplatus henkeli etc.). Several species, like Xenagama batilifera, Euridactylodes agricolae, were bred at BION for the first time.
The new breeding laboratory for large lizards in our RESPONSIBLE ZOOCULTURE Center is already opened. The additional room for babies with 2 incubators should de be ready to support us for 2021 season.
We continue with enthusiasm our RESPONSIBLE HERPETOCULTURE project aimed at creating and managing stable ex situ populations of amphibians and reptiles by private breeders, breeding centers and/or zoos worldwide against the background of global destruction of natural ecosystems. Currently special online educational platform is under construction, while Facebook group RESPONSIBLE HERPETOCULTURE is already active and gathered around 1800 followers worldwide.
We strongly believe that with current wildlife politics, herpetoculture is at a crossroads and will not survive without positive public relations and the values and goals of Responsible Herpetoculture.
Therefore, we spent the whole of 2021 preparing an international online project namely RHP in support of our world and our values.
The RHP summary in brief is following:
We are creating an online platform that will enable people to share and publish their knowledge, exchange experience with all those interested, cooperate with each other in order to improve and develop their own breeding, research and conservation projects within the framework of RHP. The RHP official publication is bimonthly RH Journal completely prepared by the RH experts and breeders.
The RHP is advocating and advancing responsible approach to keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians in the private and zoo sectors, preserving their experience and achievements and sharing them among all interested parties.
Since February 24 the life of BION Terrarium Center has dramatically changed.
As the result of Russian aggression against Ukraine, started on February 24, 2022, BION lost for indefinite period of time all opportunities for business activity (the main part of it being export of captive-bred reptiles).
In addition to a potential military threat, our main risk today is the lack of reserve funds in order to live through the economic blockade. During 2020, due to coronavirus pandemic we had no opportunity to earn money. This period has depleted our reserves. Our income comes from the export of captive-bred reptiles. In 2021, we began to recover and resumed the work we had been doing since 1993. Now, due to the war, airlines stopped flying to/from Ukraine.
At the beginning of Juneб 2022 we evacuated from shelling zone near Kharkov and accept here in BION our friends and partners with 1 dog + 1000 lizards.
Today we have about 3000 reptiles in our care, from geckos to rhinoceros iguanas, plus our EKZOLAND Zoo with lemurs, other primates and small mammals, which had to be moved outside the city. This is a huge farm that needs to be fed, maintained, treated and observed.
During BION’s existence and operation since 1993 we contributed to herpetoculture by sharing our experience, developing new approaches, conducting scientific research and establishing new species. Most of this work was made as our passion and strong intention to develop the so-called ex situ conservation through responsible keeping and breeding of reptiles and amphibians in artificial conditions. Without BION efforts some species would not be around for today. Examples of our work can be easily found on our Facebook page, Facebook group, YouTube, Instagram channels, etc.
In a middle of war zone, on March 31, 2022 we officially launched an online platform namely Responsible Herpetoculture Project (RHP) https://responsibleherpetoculture.com.ua/
We are deeply grateful for your support https://bion.com.ua/bion-supporters/