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For exotic pets, the most popular are also most likely to be released in the wild

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Among pet snakes and lizards, the biggest-selling species are also the most likely to be released by their owners — and to potentially become invasive species, according to a Rutgers study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick ecologists provides new clarity on how and why the exotic pet trade has become the primary venue by which reptiles and amphibians arrive in non-native lands, the first step to becoming ecologically damaging invaders.

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