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 Post subject: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 6th, 2017, 7:31 pm 
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http://kjzz.org/content/417977/how-big-problem-reptile-poaching-arizona


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 7th, 2017, 9:04 am 
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Typical Bullshit. The Russ Johnson interview was a joke. He makes all the typically outrageous (lies) statements regurgitated by all these clowns . He talks about poaching in others states and mentions the southeast, diamondback's as an example. Why mention diamondbacks? Its completely legal to collect diamondbacks. According to Johnson poaching reptiles in Arizona is rampant and amounts to millions of dollars? Where is this figure derived from? All the reptiles he mentions (throwing in his own pricing guide) are Fk'ing tough to sell. There is not millions of dollars in the "black market" trade of Arizona reptiles or reptiles in general. Statements making such claims are the pathological delusions of people (jerkoffs) who are obsessed with the idea that there are poachers behind every tree. This combined with the idea that they need a villain to pump up their own self righteous importance. All believed and justified in their minds because every now and then someone gets caught with OMG, a couple common animals.

Montane rattlesnakes, Gilas that kind of stuff. There is very minuscule market for any of them. Most of the people that want them already have them.The few others with an interest don't have the money to buy them. To further the point all are being bred in sufficient numbers to flood whatever market there is. The market has never changed for Gila monsters or montane rattlesnake's. It was always very small. In the best years only a few are sold. Idiots like Russ Johnson think that a price on the Internet is what the animals are actual selling for. You can ask anything you want but with stuff like twin spots or ridgenose. Most deals involve someone sitting on the animals forever then trading with someone else for other reptiles.

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The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office tells us they’ve only received two submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months under the part of state law dealing with Game and Fish violations.
MCSO spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto says the office generally doesn’t get a lot of cases, and those it does get are most often misdemeanors


That's because its done on such small scale there hardly any body to catch. If it was as common and profitable as they try to make it seem, there would be many more arrest. They don't mention what the submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months were for. Common sense dictates if they were reptile related she would have given some details.

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Jacinto says, the punishments don’t always seem like big deterrents to poachers.
 
"In a lot of cases, they would rather go in there, and plead to the Class 2 felony and accept the fines and charges of that, knowing that they can turn around and perhaps do it again and make more profit out of this illegal activity," she said. 


In a lot of cases? She just said they don't get a lot of cases.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 7th, 2017, 9:26 pm 
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WSTREPS wrote:
Typical Bullshit. The Russ Johnson interview was a joke. He makes all the typically outrageous (lies) statements regurgitated by all these clowns . He talks about poaching in others states and mentions the southeast, diamondback's as an example. Why mention diamondbacks? Its completely legal to collect diamondbacks. According to Johnson poaching reptiles in Arizona is rampant and amounts to millions of dollars? Where is this figure derived from? All the reptiles he mentions (throwing in his own pricing guide) are Fk'ing tough to sell. There is not millions of dollars in the "black market" trade of Arizona reptiles or reptiles in general. Statements making such claims are the pathological delusions of people (jerkoffs) who are obsessed with the idea that there are poachers behind every tree. This combined with the idea that they need a villain to pump up their own self righteous importance. All believed and justified in their minds because every now and then someone gets caught with OMG, a couple common animals.

Montane rattlesnakes, Gilas that kind of stuff. There is very minuscule market for any of them. Most of the people that want them already have them.The few others with an interest don't have the money to buy them. To further the point all are being bred in sufficient numbers to flood whatever market there is. The market has never changed for Gila monsters or montane rattlesnake's. It was always very small. In the best years only a few are sold. Idiots like Russ Johnson think that a price on the Internet is what the animals are actual selling for. You can ask anything you want but with stuff like twin spots or ridgenose. Most deals involve someone sitting on the animals forever then trading with someone else for other reptiles.

Quote:
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office tells us they’ve only received two submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months under the part of state law dealing with Game and Fish violations.
MCSO spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto says the office generally doesn’t get a lot of cases, and those it does get are most often misdemeanors


That's because its done on such small scale there hardly any body to catch. If it was as common and profitable as they try to make it seem, there would be many more arrest. They don't mention what the submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months were for. Common sense dictates if they were reptile related she would have given some details.

Quote:
Jacinto says, the punishments don’t always seem like big deterrents to poachers.
 
"In a lot of cases, they would rather go in there, and plead to the Class 2 felony and accept the fines and charges of that, knowing that they can turn around and perhaps do it again and make more profit out of this illegal activity," she said. 


In a lot of cases? She just said they don't get a lot of cases.

Ernie Eison


I disagree. When I was in Arizona over the summer there were many cars obviously looking for snakes. If you decide to pick up more than legal or take a protected species, no one knows! Game and Fish does not pull over a large number of vehicles; I didn't even see any game and fish wardens for the week I was there in prime areas right during monsoon season! Ernie, as with the collecting topic on the main forum I fail to understand your instant disregard to poaching which I think is definitely a problem. For us legal herpers and those of us that collect legally we don't want poachers ruining the game for us and giving a bad rap to us. Whatever measures can be taken to reduce poaching should be taken and especially given the fact that we do not know to what extent this poaching happens. Unless you are involved in the black market yourself you have no proof that Arizona herp trade is occuring on a small scale.
-Jeremy


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 12:08 pm 
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Hi Jeremy, I appreciate your concern for poaching. I have been herping a long time and have seen on many occasions a plethora of vehicles cruising for snakes during prime time. That doesn't mean anyone is poaching. I have first hand experience of your preconceived notion that everyone but you is poaching. No disrespect intended just pointing out the false mindset that a lot of people have. I'm not sure where that mindset comes from. Someone said it's so so it must be true? I digress. Rarely has there been numbers of snakes found on any given night to suggest poaching would be of any benefit to those that would poach for profit. You stated "...as with the collecting topic on the main forum I fail to understand your instant disregard to poaching which I think is definitely a problem." You think there is a problem, so does Game and Fish, but what evidence is there that the poaching in AZ is a problem. A few cases a year resulting in conviction is no indication of a systemic problem. "Two submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months under the part of state law dealing with Game and Fish violations." That would hardly qualify it as being a "Problem". Does poaching happen sure, is it a problem, not with out evidence to support and quantify it as such.

Chicago has a systemic problem with murder being it's 2 homicides per day in the past year, and is well documented.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 6:14 pm 
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rpecora wrote:
Hi Jeremy, I appreciate your concern for poaching. I have been herping a long time and have seen on many occasions a plethora of vehicles cruising for snakes during prime time. That doesn't mean anyone is poaching. I have first hand experience of your preconceived notion that everyone but you is poaching. No disrespect intended just pointing out the false mindset that a lot of people have. I'm not sure where that mindset comes from. Someone said it's so so it must be true? I digress. Rarely has there been numbers of snakes found on any given night to suggest poaching would be of any benefit to those that would poach for profit. You stated "...as with the collecting topic on the main forum I fail to understand your instant disregard to poaching which I think is definitely a problem." You think there is a problem, so does Game and Fish, but what evidence is there that the poaching in AZ is a problem. A few cases a year resulting in conviction is no indication of a systemic problem. "Two submittals for prosecution in the past 12 months under the part of state law dealing with Game and Fish violations." That would hardly qualify it as being a "Problem". Does poaching happen sure, is it a problem, not with out evidence to support and quantify it as such.

Chicago has a systemic problem with murder being it's 2 homicides per day in the past year, and is well documented.


Hi Mike. Very true. The only distinction I would draw here is that we essentially know as a fact that there are 2 homicides a day in Chicago; there aren't really homicides that no one sees or hears about, a clear majority are documented. For cases to be submitted for poaching the poachers need to be caught or seen, which is rare. How easy would it be to poach or collect illegally with no one seeing? I am not saying that poaching is a major issue, all I'm saying is that we simply do not know how much it occurs.
If you take into consideration Anza Borrego, which is a state park and collecting is banned, it would be extremely easy to collect illegally in the park and no one would know. Obviously you're not going to submit yourself or turn yourself in if you are poaching, so we are relying on either fish and game checking cars or someone seeing someone collect. I think a majority of collectors or poachers are smart enough to collect only when no one is around and pretend they are just herping or taking photos when they are not. When I saw you when I was photographing that speckled rattlesnake, obviously I didn't, but you have no way of knowing that I didn't collect that snake, and you probably wouldn't suspect me either.
Just my 2 cents.
-Jeremy


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 7:04 pm 
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Fair enough. To prove your point I don't know that you didn't take that snake. I'll take your word that you didn't. You can assume it's happening, but to denigrate people with this rhetoric and/or implement regulation without evidence to properly define the problem you will have no idea if that regulation will be effective. As for the rhetoric, well most people see through that anyway. I just don't understand the need to come out and go on about poaching when the evidence doesn't reveal it as the problem they make it out to be. It's self serving if anything. Should Game and Fish quit doing their job of course not. My point is that we shouldn't assume off the bat that someone is poaching just because they are in the field or road cruising, especially without evidence to support it. Don't we criticize LE when they rush to judgement?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 7:28 pm 
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There are no other vertebrate animals easier to capture, more convenient to conceal in silent compact storage for a significant time frame without care support. None.

To not recognize how exploitable those factors are shows either denial or lack of insight.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 7:33 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
There are no other vertebrate animals easier to capture, more convenient to conceal in silent compact storage for a significant time frame without care support. None.

To not recognize how exploitable those factors are shows either denial or lack of insight.


No one is questioning the ease of which they can be exploited. Where is the evidence by poaching?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 7:42 pm 
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Ive been in the reptile trade since 1981, to late 2015. My thing was husbandry and care education.

But I have been brought everything there is to bring.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 7:45 pm 
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Meaning what exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 8:00 pm 
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There are and has been alot of dirtbags involved with reptiles and they see reptiles in the wild as Free Money.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 8:36 pm 
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rpecora wrote:
Fair enough. To prove your point I don't know that you didn't take that snake. I'll take your word that you didn't. You can assume it's happening, but to denigrate people with this rhetoric and/or implement regulation without evidence to properly define the problem you will have no idea if that regulation will be effective. As for the rhetoric, well most people see through that anyway. I just don't understand the need to come out and go on about poaching when the evidence doesn't reveal it as the problem they make it out to be. It's self serving if anything. Should Game and Fish quit doing their job of course not. My point is that we shouldn't assume off the bat that someone is poaching just because they are in the field or road cruising, especially without evidence to support it. Don't we criticize LE when they rush to judgement?


Yes, that's true. I am not trying to accuse anyone or assume that people I see are doing bad, I guess I'm just disagreeing with Ernie's confidence that poaching is occuring to such a minimal and non - problematic scale as it could be due to the fact we just don't know.
I would be extremely curious to talk to someone like Kyle Chang with Cal DFG who stops people on WW. I'm sure he has pulled over many with snakes that didn't have licenses. I feel like we just need more game and fish patrolling the roadways. I'm 100% happy to get stopped by DFG while out herping if it means that it'll be harder for poachers and illegal collectors to just night drive and pick up snakes.

By the way, in 2015 I've had numerous weird encounters with herpers / collectors in Anza Borrego. I reported a truck to DFG on S-2 that had at least 8 snakes in the back seats all in individual pillowcases. The collector stopped when I was taking pictures of snakes and didn't tell me much about himself. I don't think he knew that I saw the snakes in the back. Most herpers are happy to stop and say hi or introduce themselves but it's those smoked out window slow moving cars that never stop that draw suspicion. In fall I saw a car in front stop and grab a snake out of the door without getting out of the car and then speed off. We tried to chase it to get the plate (we were in the park) to no avail. I've seen people hiking roadcuts with pillowcases that have ran and hid when they see my dad and I pull up in our car.
-Jeremy


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 9:19 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
There are and has been alot of dirtbags involved with reptiles and they see reptiles in the wild as Free Money.
We both know it's not free money. Quantify a lot of dirt bags involved with reptiles?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 9:33 pm 
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Ive been privy to alot of things you havent. If you think Im going to get messy on Scotts site you're wrong.

And yeah its free money when you steal something to sell. I have grown into the opinion that most of the time collecting animals in the wild is a form of stealing.

Its also my business who I consider a dirtbag of a person and why.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 10:35 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Ive been privy to alot of things you havent. If you think Im going to get messy on Scotts site you're wrong.

And yeah its free money when you steal something to sell. I have grown into the opinion that most of the time collecting animals in the wild is a form of stealing.

Its also my business who I consider a dirtbag of a person and why.


I understand you completely. It wasn't my intention to rile you up. I was just debating the issue. It's not uncommon for people to shut it down when they are faced with having to provide facts they don't have. I do respect your anti-collecting point of view.

Over twenty years ago I too managed a store with a very large volume of reptiles and was a huge boon for the time. I saw how the animals came in from wholesalers, and independent dealers. They would come in dehydrated, full of ticks and other ailments. I am not without empathy. When it comes to our liberty's I take offense to regulation without evidence and entities that promote the same. End of story.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 10:57 pm 
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I didnt mean to sound riled. But I have held alot of stuff back here in discussions, and I also have had my own interior reckonings.

Im not overly enamored with our liberties as humans when it comes to animals. It is an unpopular and easily, rampantly critiqued view I have that I cant help after a long time seeing how immature and ungenerous we are in exercising them.

Thank you for talking with me Rpecora.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 11:04 pm 
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Jeremy Wright wrote:
rpecora wrote:
Fair enough. To prove your point I don't know that you didn't take that snake. I'll take your word that you didn't. You can assume it's happening, but to denigrate people with this rhetoric and/or implement regulation without evidence to properly define the problem you will have no idea if that regulation will be effective. As for the rhetoric, well most people see through that anyway. I just don't understand the need to come out and go on about poaching when the evidence doesn't reveal it as the problem they make it out to be. It's self serving if anything. Should Game and Fish quit doing their job of course not. My point is that we shouldn't assume off the bat that someone is poaching just because they are in the field or road cruising, especially without evidence to support it. Don't we criticize LE when they rush to judgement?


Yes, that's true. I am not trying to accuse anyone or assume that people I see are doing bad, I guess I'm just disagreeing with Ernie's confidence that poaching is occuring to such a minimal and non - problematic scale as it could be due to the fact we just don't know.
I would be extremely curious to talk to someone like Kyle Chang with Cal DFG who stops people on WW. I'm sure he has pulled over many with snakes that didn't have licenses. I feel like we just need more game and fish patrolling the roadways. I'm 100% happy to get stopped by DFG while out herping if it means that it'll be harder for poachers and illegal collectors to just night drive and pick up snakes.

By the way, in 2015 I've had numerous weird encounters with herpers / collectors in Anza Borrego. I reported a truck to DFG on S-2 that had at least 8 snakes in the back seats all in individual pillowcases. The collector stopped when I was taking pictures of snakes and didn't tell me much about himself. I don't think he knew that I saw the snakes in the back. Most herpers are happy to stop and say hi or introduce themselves but it's those smoked out window slow moving cars that never stop that draw suspicion. In fall I saw a car in front stop and grab a snake out of the door without getting out of the car and then speed off. We tried to chase it to get the plate (we were in the park) to no avail. I've seen people hiking roadcuts with pillowcases that have ran and hid when they see my dad and I pull up in our car.
-Jeremy


I find it humorous that he had 8 bags in the open if he had been poaching.

In any case. How did you know they were snakes? Did you see what kind of animals they were? Did you see them get collected, in other words you know where they were collected from? Do you know if the fella had a license or not? What I'm getting at is you probably don't know. Could have been 4 kings, a couple of boas, a glossy and a longnose. Perfectly legal with a license when taken outside the park. I've driven through the park on my way home numerous times with animals from the lower desert before. It wouldn't hurt to be less judgmental. I do admire your passion for doing it right.

I have been stopped numerous times in WW and a few times in AZ. Never had a problem with them when I had animals and when I didn't. Every encounter was cordial and respectful. AZ Game and Fish actually gave me some advise on where to go to find stuff. They were actually very knowledgeable of herps.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 11:06 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
I didnt mean to sound riled. But I have held alot of stuff back here in discussions, and I also have had my own interior reckonings.

Im not overly enamored with our liberties as humans when it comes to animals. It is an unpopular and easily, rampantly critiqued view I have that I cant help after a long time seeing how immature and ungenerous we are in exercising them.

Thank you for talking with me Rpecora.


I respect you, and thank you for engaging.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 9th, 2017, 11:14 pm 
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Thats kind of you and its Likewise - most definitely.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 11:13 am 
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When article's like this pop up no one is talking about people road cruising for glossy snakes. I've never seen a biologist say a word in any interview about the illegal collection and sale of long nose snakes or garter snakes in Arizona. Its always about the rattlesnakes and Gilas. Because that's where their funding comes from. The most conclusive scientific data base in the world confirms that there are no endangered rattlesnake's in Arizona. But the State list four as being endangered. Clearly this is the product of junk science. Just like Bill Brown and friend's in the Northeast have written themselves state funded tickets for decades. By screaming (lying) that den raiders are depleting timber rattlesnake populations. In Arizona, creeps like Dave Prival (18yrs and running) are doing the same. The way they do this is by creating artificial rarity. Rarity that is produced by work that is rife with discrepancies, inaccuracies, duplications and unreliability. They need declines. No declines no funding. Falsely blaming these alleged declines on poachers works on many levels. You can regulate against poaching and more regulating means more control and more funding. Since there is no habitat destruction taking place at the study sites the biologist use to confirm these alleged "declines", poachers make a believable scape goat. One that raises the ire and garners the support of all sorts of dumb FK Do-gooders and radical activist alike. If there are a lot of dirt bags involved with the reptile trade then there is certainly no shortage of dirt bags involved in science.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 11:43 am 
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Im not going to mention my experiences with guys I have known or had contact, as most of it has been in the past and one person citing some animals doesnt really prove anything i guess except to that person. Its kind of a small pond and especially in the late 80s to mid 90s things were sizzling hot and AZ and other southwestern reptiles were hot.

All of those little rattlesnakes are candy sweet. They are exquisite and collectably tasty looking.

But if there are lapses in data and messing around because declines = finding it is too bad there isnt more scientific interest in other areas than population biology.


edit to add, declines = funding not finding but its a mildly amusing typo


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 12:52 pm 
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Ernie, I try to tolerate your rants and ignore most of your posts but I have to speak up. Since we don't have any moderation of these forums, it would show some class to edit your post to remove the personal attacks.

Dave Privall and Bill Brown are NOT creeps or liars. They have dedicated their lives to conserving rattlesnake populations and are not on this forum to defend themselves. They are funded at very modest levels and their work is extremely important.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 1:29 pm 
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If scientists were coming to my den site repeatedly, clipping my scale, drawing blood, tagging me, painting my tail...I would find another site to drop my litter too.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 1:39 pm 
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In my comment reflecting Ernies claims about funding which he has talked about as a focus of his angst in all of his posts i purposefully imbued a note of neutrality, but i do think that behavioral complexities should also warrant protection.

This gets confused in the minds of even people who spend or have spent a long time involved with snakes which is disconnective to me. Is it because the simple looking body plan of snakes and the discreet expression of their behaviors dominate and simplify our perceptions of them?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 2:46 pm 
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I was in the process of posting and I saw this, but continued

rpecora wrote:
If scientists were coming to my den site repeatedly, clipping my scale, drawing blood, tagging me, painting my tail...I would find another site to drop my litter too.


These are necessary have equivalents in other animals including megafauna. from my understanding refinements in method are a pro active value in data collection from live animals. Im wondering if what you are saying is that the actions of these are to blame for the snakes leaving an area and promoting the appearance that something else is to blame for their absence?

I think Bryan could answer this, and correct or validate my assumption that any cause and effect dynamics around this are closely examined as integral information about the subject species


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 3:52 pm 
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Im wondering if what you are saying is that the actions of these are to blame for the snakes leaving an area and promoting the appearance that something else is to blame for their absence?

That is the premise. If those doing the studies suggest that there is a population decline in a given study area where these types of molestation's are taking place and that premise hasn't been studied as a factor to decline, then they really can't say it's because of poaching or over collection alone, especially since there is no evidence to support those claims. Just throwing it out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 4:10 pm 
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I could see how repeated predator/escape contact which is probably how those interactions are processed could have an effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 4:37 pm 
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Interacting and disturbing the snakes can have an effect. But we account for that when we model population dynamics and demography such that trends are not related to disturbance. Can we know that with 100% absolute certainty? Of course not, but to the absolute best of our abilities in the field and the data analysis, we can eliminate confounding "nusiance" parameters such as study related disturbance ie variation in capture probability.These studies take decades in the field and in front of a computer. Its frustrating when someone naively claims to have complete understanding of a very labor intensive and complicated process such as wildlife demography. We apply these same principles to management of game species. Snakes are just now catching up.

Brown's New York horridus populations are at the northern extent of the species range. Those populations seem to be secure due largely to intact habitat, secrecy of dens sites, public education, and avoidance of the past persecution (including both legal and illegal take) that horridus has suffered throughout its range. This seemingly secure status could easily change with loss of only a few reproductive females from the population.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 5:10 pm 
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Naive, no. Complete understanding, no of course not. That's why I brought it up to learn and/or be convinced otherwise. It's the peoples responsibility to question government. I don't recall the premise being mentioned before or reading a study that specifically mentions it. Can you point me in the right direction? I appreciate that you responded, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 6:28 pm 
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I don't have access to my reference software now so I can't give any snake specific examples.But I'll update this post in the morning with some snake references.

Animals reacting negatively to capture and disturbance is a general phenomenon and has been modeled since at least the 1950s. Its similar to how they would react to interaction with a predator, ie the ecology of fear. Even insects and other non-vertebrates learn to avoid predators in a predictable fashion.

It seems more complex with rattlesnakes. In my data I do not see a strong effect of capture on recapture probability in the models but I see it in the field, so my predictions are not supported by the data. This really isn't a compelling scientific issue so for now I'm not doing much with that data. Other researchers such as Bill Brown have long noted the "spook" or "intimidation" factor in rattlesnakes.

I do think its important to question how our government implements science based management. The science itself is constantly questioned and subjected to criticism.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 7:47 pm 
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Birds of a feather . Like Brown , Dave Prival loves to expound his own personal obsessions about snake hunters. And both are more then happy to do this with a great deal of distortion. In the case of Brown and his buddys Stechert, Harwig and Martin. They leveraged their position by lying about how they surveyed hundreds of rattlesnake dens in every northern state. Anyone who knows what they talking about knows that this is impossible given the time frame. They wrote the rattlesnake "conservation manual". A lie filled rant against their few and needed enemies. Basically a couple of collectors who caught rattlesnakes for the state of NY during the "bounty" years and knew that these scientists were flat out liars. Art and Rudy were the guys that showed the "experts", Brown and company how to find rattlesnakes. The manual has a few words about habitat destruction and 8 pages about the den raiders (see my last post it will help to clarify the reasoning behind this).

Brown couldn't find dens without Art and he hated Rudy and lied about him to the point of being psychotic. Rudy was no angel but the way Brown vilified him (gotta love all the A-Hole keyboard gangsters that trash Rudy based on the lies Brown spread) things got to the point that even Brown's followers thought Brown went to far. Back to AZ and the rattlesnake poachers,

Quote:
Prival’s estimates that perhaps 70 twin-spotteds still dwell on this slope, down from an estimated 86 in 2009. Poaching is only making it worse. “If just seven of those snakes are taken by poachers,” he says, “that’s 10 percent of the population right there.”


Prival admits his number's are only guess's but he follows with a definitive statement that if seven of those snakes are taken by poachers,“that’s 10 percent of the population right there.” No it isn't 10 percent of the population. Its ten percent of the population that Dave could count. Any legitimate biologist will tell you its impossible to accurately count the number of snakes in any population. Even the(cough) great Bill Brown admits he can only count by complete guestimate maybe 25% of the rattlesnakes found in the "dens" he's been studying for 35yrs.

That's the beauty of it for the Dave Privals and Billy Browns of the world. They can just throw out numbers to fit whatever they need. For the fun of it lets say 70 snakes. Out of seventy snakes if this is a heathy functioning population certainly a good deal of breeding is taking place. But Dave's poor snakes are being reduced according to his guesswork at a rate of about 2 or 3 snakes a yr (roughly 3% or 4 %). Using exceptionally low ball numbers. Lets say out of 70 snakes. A total of 12 in the entire population (17%) are reproductively active females. If only 6 females ( say 9 %) breed based on a biennial reproductive cycle . Each produce 5 young (a very reasonable number for twin-spots) That's 30 young annually per season. If only 10% of the young survive (3 per yr) that would be sufficient recruitment to maintain the population. And this based on the most parsimonious estimate.

Pathologically Prival then says poaching is only making the declines worse and his proof. In TEN YEARS. ONE guy was busted with a SINGLE male twin Spotted rattlesnake. Prival milked this bust for all its worth (and still is) publishing a lengthy story that was more Hemmingway then scientist. A story that incuded this little disclaimer,

"Does the removal of a Twin-spotted Rattlesnake, a Banded Rock Rattlesnake, two Ridge- nosed Rattlesnakes, and three Gila Monsters from the wild have a measurable impact at the population level? Almost certainly not." Dave Primal

And that's the game in a nutshell. Mix a little fact (for credibility) with a ton of speculation made to sound factual. Use this deception to push naive and gullible people with no practical experience into believing the chosen narrative. In this case the narrative being duplicitous declines and dubious depletions.


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On popular internet reptile-trading sites such as "not allowed", a prime twin-spot can easily fetch $1,500.


The only Twin spots I saw for sale this yr were a perfect 1.1 proven adult pr. $1,800.00 for the pair with complete legal documentation. And the guy couldn't get it. Ridgenose are an even tougher sell.

For all the alleged poaching. There certainly aren't many Twin spots or Ridgenose rattlers to be found for sale. The high asking price for these snakes is proof that these animals are few and far in-between. You can rarely get them and it has always been that way. If they were being poached as regularly as some claim, they would be a dime a dozen by now. Instead they have always held their market value this is because there are very few available and a very limited number of people interested.

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Internationally, the black market in wildlife is a multibillion-dollar industry


For what kind of wildlife ? Certainly not Arizona rattlesnakes. Just like Brown with his BS about his beloved timber's, Prival will be shut down in hurry if he try's to blame any sort of Arizona rattlesnake decline on the international trade. Every reptile exported from the US is completely documented. The record will show that no Twin spots or Ridgenose are being exported.

Quote:
collecting twin-spotted rattlesnakes is illegal in Arizona — and a federal law called the Lacey Act prohibits buying and selling protected wildlife

Prival believes that only tougher federal laws, such as one prohibiting the sale of any live wildlife



Here Prival tips his hand. Just like Timber Billy Brown , Twin Spot Dave possesses a pathological desperation to believe anything that serves his cause and he will distort what doesn't until it meets his own agenda. Clowns like Brown and Prival refuse to look past than their own prejudices. They know if they do they will only disappoint themselves with the truth.



Ernie Eison

Bonus info,

Quote:
Brown's New York horridus populations are at the northern extent of the species range. Those populations seem to be secure due largely to intact habitat, secrecy of dens sites, public education, and avoidance of the past persecution (including both legal and illegal take) that horridus has suffered throughout its range. This seemingly secure status could easily change with loss of only a few reproductive females from the population.



The NY "dens" Brown studies are on Tongue Mountain where over twenty thousand Timber rattlesnakes were taken. To take a shot at Brown (a little payback) Rudy published a topographical map showing the exact location of all Browns den sites and challenged one and all to go and see for themselves. After all the years of heavy and legal collection and the Dens exact locations being publically disclosed. There are still a lot of Timber rattlesnakes found in these places. The proof is Brown has been collecting paycheck's for the past 35 yrs guessing about how many snakes he's counting.

Its insane but expected that a scientist would say something as crazy as this when talking about Timber rattlesnakes , "This seemingly secure status could easily change with loss of only a few reproductive females from the population".


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 8:17 pm 
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Ernie, your grasp of population biology is as tenuous as your grasp on reality.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 11th, 2017, 10:02 am 
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Make no mistake Dave Prival is a lying radical activist. Obsessed with his dislike of snake hunters/collector's. In his press interviews, in his personal writing's, even in his "official research" he try's to manipulate the truth at every turn. He is so wacked out that even when his own research produce's no reasonable cause, he still has to in anyway possible place blame on the illegal collection of snakes for the pet trade.

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We conducted a 13-yr study of Crotalus pricei in Arizona's Chiricahua Mountains, capturing 306 individual snakes and recapturing snakes on 155 occasions. Juveniles shed and fed more frequently and grew more quickly than adults. Spiny lizard (Sceloporus) scales were found in 78% of fecal samples, making Sceloporus the most common prey item for both juveniles and adults. Males became larger than females at 5 yr of age, a year or two after females reached reproductive size. Although 45% of adult females were gravid, reproduction was not typically biennial and larger snakes were more likely to be gravid than smaller adult snakes. Survival rate (mean ± SE) at our most-studied site was 0.707 ± 0.0334 and detectability was 0.309 ± 0.0386; detectability was positively correlated with number of search hours and negatively correlated with dry weather. Mean population size at this site was 67 snakes, and there was no evidence of a population decline over the course of the study. However, age class structure was skewed toward younger snakes at the site, probably due to illegal collection of snakes for the pet trade.

David B. Prival and Michael J. Schroff



Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 11th, 2017, 1:22 pm 
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Thanks Bryan.

Ecology of fear was precisely the point. It seems logical that it would be a preservation of life mechanism. I'm sure we've all made a wrong turn at some point in our lives and instinctively knew we will never go there again. With animals the repeated "spook" effect by predators I think would be just the same. It may be to a lessor degree in snakes and certainly fish. Now for the counter argument. I continue to find the same species of snakes in the field (including rattlesnakes) in the same places year after year, and I'm not the only one going to these places year after year. So, based on these experiences in multiple locales, if animals are diminishing in a certain area it doesn't appear due to collection or other types of human interactions notwithstanding development. It would seem plausible that it's due to some other phenomena. Has there ever been a study conducted to specifically prove or disprove the hypothesis of field collection as a cause of the decline in a specific snake population?

I don't have an academic grasp on science but from what I know it has always been about questioning what we know to find out what we don't, and it has to be objective.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 11th, 2017, 2:42 pm 
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Quote:
Has there ever been a study conducted to specifically prove or disprove the hypothesis of field collection as a cause of the decline in a specific snake population?


I think there is some literature on this for rattlesnake round-ups in Texas and New Mexico. More specific to field collection, I've seen some studies on lizards and turtles. If you're interested, I can try to pull some of those papers. I'm not arguing that field collecting and poaching are having widespread impacts on North American snakes - just that the potential is there. Most of these studies are commercial collection focused rather than recreational collection.

Quote:
Now for the counter argument.

Sometimes the ecology of fear doesn't work the way we think it should. Mice don't avoid locations with predator scent, instead they chose high cover habitats where they are more protected against predators. Snakes often don't have a choice with some of their habitat selection. They require certain habitats and disturbance or not, they come back to hibernacula or maternity areas regardless of disturbance. But ecology of fear is perhaps a good starting point. Even grasshoppers shift their habitat use when spiders are present.

Edit- Thinking about the effects of collection on a population, with enough data on the demographic vital rates, simulation would provide the answers. How much of in increase in loss of reproductive females (or other age-sex classes) can the population endure, while maintaining a stable population growth rate?


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 12th, 2017, 3:55 pm 
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Quote:
Has there ever been a study conducted to specifically prove or disprove the hypothesis of field collection as a cause of the decline in a specific snake population?



The first question is. What constitutes a snake population?

There have been collection study's (Joan Berish, Kevin Enge's 102-page treatise, and others ) that have determined the collection of snakes for the pet trade has negligible impacts. The Cites convention I discussed in the "Why You Dont Collect" thread on the main forum conducts countless study's on commercial collection impacts and sustainability. If your looking for sound evidence that collection for the pet trade has or is jeopardizing the of any of snake species, you wont find it in any credible study. To be clear about collection,

In the states the only large scale /mass collection of snakes is for rattlesnake round ups, meat and skins. I believe (but not proven) this can be linked to decline's in certain portions of the range for the very few species it pertains to. A profound distinction must be made between mass collection for skins, meat and round ups and the small scale but often overblown collection involving the pet trade. There is no comparison. Trying to make the argument that collection for the pet trade is placing added pressure on any snake species. Is the equivalent of saying that after it rains for 40 days and 40 nights , throwing a bucket of water on the earth only adds to the flooding.

For example as studied by Fitzgerald and Painter they determined that more than 100,000 western diamondback rattlesnakes are taken annually for the skin trade (2 million over 20 years). Eastern diamondbacks taken at about 10,000 a year for decades. Still the overall population's of these rattlesnakes like the timber rattlesnake that was for 50 yrs the target of a government bounty, is in the millions.

Goverment Funded Snake hunts

The most concerted snake eradication efforts (Timber rattlesnakes in NY, Brown Trees snakes , Burmese pythons) in the history of the United States have never put a dent in the populations of any of these snake speceis. This in spite of hundreds of millions of dollar's being spent on trying to eradicate these snakes. The rattlers are still there, the pythons, the tree snakes all thriving in large numbers. Short of completely destroying habitat. Snakes cant be eradicated in a piecemeal way. No scientist can claim to count more then a fraction of any snake population. Yet some ( Prival, Brown for example ). Refuse to acknowledge the same limitations that apply to themselves as surveyors also apply to their hypothesized "exploiters".  You cant collect what you cant count.

That's why dubious biologist who make careers out of "studying endangered species " disregard the findings of their own research and reach for embellishment's and speculation. Dave Prival provided a good insight to this ploy in the piece I posted. Dave wants everyone to know that his small study site was being poached. And after 13 yrs of "study" he is forced to admit that there is NO decline. If looked at objectively. Prival's carefully chosen words backfire on him. Privals study demonstrates how inconsequential live collection is. Then there's Timber rattlesnake guru Bill Brown,

Brown's carefully edited and often repeated information about the reproductive biology of the Timber rattlesnake is misleading and the only straw he can grasp at. FACT: When food and cover are plentiful (like in the mountains of PA and NY) snakes for the most part reproduce rapidly. The survival rate of the young is high. Snake populations bounce right back. Just like they have on Tongue Mountain and around Lake George in NY. These the most heavily hunted Timber rattlesnake locations in the US. Brown has told wild tales about large numbers of rattlesnake dens being wiped out by "den Raiders" but has never produced any evidence of this. At one point Brown said contradicting himself and the rest of his buddy's that den shading was good for the rattlesnakes because it makes it harder for poachers to find the dens. Maybe Brown should go back and read some of his own work.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 12th, 2017, 4:29 pm 
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Thank you both.

I have read some dialog as Ernie has pointed out and other reports over the years and there is it seems some contradictions to conclusions that have been made and the evidence to reach those conclusions.

My interest in this is purely to get grasp what the documented data sets show. Bryan if you can cite study's that include the data sets in regards to any of my questions it would be appreciated. This purely personal in nature so as to come to my own conclusion. Please don't feel obligated and certainly no rush. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 13th, 2017, 11:40 pm 
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In order to have more studies scientists would need more funding, wouldnt they?

There are areas in human health research that are lacking funds so where is it going to come from?

One camp wants to protect them, the other camp wants to use as many as they can for their own purposes, if we value some of our neurons more than others we wait for data while ignoring whats really true.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 14th, 2017, 9:48 am 
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Quote:
One camp wants to protect them, the other camp wants to use as many as they can for their own purposes, if we value some of our neurons more than others we wait for data while ignoring whats really true.


How do you determine what's true without data?


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 Post subject: It's Official!
PostPosted: January 14th, 2017, 5:31 pm 
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Ok too cryptic. My bad.

How about looking at a totally different angle:

Petco could provide funding for the studies and usark could come up with the researchers. It could be like a Micheal Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley kind of thing only they actually get into bed with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 20th, 2017, 9:35 pm 
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Glad I wasn't drinking something when I read that.

In life, all life, there is a balance in nature required for it to perpetuate. If we as humans wish to determine what actions are necessary to prevent it's extinction and it's allowable take we have to have the objective data to support the actions we take to make it so.

In regards to blanket statements of poaching and climate change as a cause for a decline in any population whether isolated or not there has to be evidence to support it. Lacking that evidence it brings into question the integrity of the science used to prove other aspects of any report that so states it.

I'm all for leaving everything alone and letting nature determine it's rightful course. Human's are just as much a part of nature as any other animal and inherently have the right to all that is nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 21st, 2017, 7:13 pm 
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We have previously shaken hands on this thread in good spirit. I was not going to reply and definitely not with any renege of it, but because I have such an opposite view that seems under represented on this forum I feel compelled to share my response to this comment:

rpecora wrote:
Human's are just as much a part of nature as any other animal and inherently have the right to all that is nature.


Humans are aberrant in almost every way in their relationship to other organisms and natural systems on the planet. We have willfully divorced ourselves from being a part of nature to being a super-parasite.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 21st, 2017, 9:04 pm 
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All respects.

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Humans are aberrant in almost every way in their relationship to other organisms and natural systems on the planet. We have willfully divorced ourselves from being a part of nature to being a super-parasite.


I don't disagree with that statement (parasite) we are to some degree I suppose, except we didn't really divorce ourselves from nature. Everything we have is of this earth. Everything we will have is of this earth. Nature taking it's course.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 21st, 2017, 9:32 pm 
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Money is one epic anomaly that makes us different from everything else alive


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 21st, 2017, 10:42 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Money is one epic anomaly that makes us different from everything else alive


That is true. Therein lies the rub.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2017, 5:35 am 
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Quote:
In regards to blanket statements of poaching and climate change as a cause for a decline in any population whether isolated or not there has to be evidence to support it. Lacking that evidence it brings into question the integrity of the science used to prove other aspects of any report that so states it.

I'm all for leaving everything alone and letting nature determine it's rightful course. Human's are just as much a part of nature as any other animal and inherently have the right to all that is nature.


Experience and knowledge is what causes me to bring into question the nonsense being published into todays world of fast food science. Without a doubt there is no legitimate science or integrity to be found in the "work" of scientist like Brown and Prival. Guys like Brown and Prival are fully aware that nobody is going to carefully read their papers and dissect the data in any critical way. That is why they place their "Power points in the abstract's" where it will be seen and repeated. And that's a real issue that leads to copy cat scientific frauds. The Timber rattlesnake provides a good example. What you find in "new" works are basically compendiums of previous literature. Echoing previous misgivings. These copy cats reference old material and make no attempt at reexamining it for flaws. They then mix erroneous and misleading statements with their own half assed work and attempt to draw conclusions form it. This forces anyone researching species such as timber rattlesnakes or twin spotted rattlesnakes into dealing with overblown accounts of human exploitation to the point of obsession, as expelled by creeps such as Prival and Brown. Two scientist who have made lengthy career's out of screaming Poacher ! Decline ! Climate Change ! Decline ! Every time they feel their funding is slipping.

Philosophical bullshit aside (that's the straw people grasp at when they have no supporting facts). Time and time again sustainable harvest, bag limits has proven to be the most effective conservation tool.This intelligent approach is always strongly opposed by pathological biologist. Scientist whos lively hoods depend on convincing people that their "career" species is vanishing to the point that the loss of even a few animals could push the species into extinction. To admit that their "career" species is prevalent enough to allow for even a small harvest or that hardly anyone would be interested in them anyway. Would be the kiss of death for their ride. And so they keep lying.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching in Arizona
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2017, 6:14 pm 
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You get real personal Ernie when you do these posts about Scientists. You talk about their inner motives, their psychic landscapes, to a detail that isnt possible for you to actually know.

All the character assasination - a constant and creative well of it.

Why is that? The sheer amount of time and posts on other peoples threads - what is it you are trying to do here?

What do you do now, anyway? You said you dont sell pythons any more to dealers in Russia. Which is what you said you did at one time, except for a couple animals. So in the spirit of honesty that you frequently state others do not have, what do you do now?

And why dont you post a thread topic yourself, instead of attach your views about scientists exclusively on other peoples?


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