Vojtěch Víta

I am a lifelong reptile enthusiast, as I have grown surrounded by a lot of fascinating animals my father kept, and I had the possibility to try keeping my first reptiles at a very young age.

Since 2008 I am fortunate to work in Prague Zoo as an expert reptile keeper. Thanks to my proffesion, I had invaluable possibilities to work with a wide spectrum of reptiles and amphibians, including some of the most emblematic species. Here, I also got a chance to learn all about husbandry to the slightest details from real experts. By the time, I have visited number of exotic countries, with a purpose of observing animals in their natural environment to learn about their natural behavior.

In my personal collection, I‘m especially focused on anguid lizards of genus Abronia. I‘m working with them since 2010 and since this time, I was able to reach about fifty breedings of many different species and distinctive local forms. I have also reached long term repeating breedings of the same individuals as well as producing up to own F3 generation.

I have organised several field trips to the distribution areas of abronias in purpose to observe them in the wild, study weather conditions and natural cycles. So far I have been in habitats of more than two thirds of described (and undescribed) species and distinctive local forms. My prime aim is to reach and share knowledge about abronias to help build a sustainable captive population, to minimalize impact on wild populations due to demand on these popular lizards.

As a result of my long term study, I prepared a lecture „Abronia – natural history, field observations, captive husbandry“ to be presented in a symposium of Gothenburg herpetological society.

In my other lecture I will talk about field herping in Mexico, especially dedicated to its southern part. Mexico is within the real hotspots for diversity of herpetofauna. Number of species is enormous, as well as their uniqueness. Together with its well known cultural richness, Mexico is simply country worth visit.