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 Post subject: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida war
PostPosted: January 24th, 2017, 7:29 pm 
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Well this is interesting.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/e ... 33064.html


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: January 25th, 2017, 7:38 am 
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The pilot project, being funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is also relatively cheap: just $68,888 for two tribesmen and two translators for two months.

Armed only with tire irons to punch through dense burma reed and sharp limestone rock and trailed by biologists, the pair are on the lookout for the sparkle of snakeskin in the bush


Almost 70 grand for what ? Has the cost of tire irons gone up that much ?

Quote:
Metzger said. So far, the Irula effort works out to about $4,920 per snake


So it cost five grand a snake for these two guys to find one in Florida. But everywhere else the big python's are hunted. Trappers get maybe 12 bucks a snake give or take. And that is only if the animal is in flawless condition. When I go looking for pythons. It cost me about 30 bucks in gas and cheese burgers per snake.

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“We’re going to be calculating python per dollar and python per hour,” he said.


I can do that calculating for them right now. The answer is these guys are stealing tax payer dollars hand over fist.

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Since the Irula have been so successful in their homeland at removing pythons, we are hoping they can teach people in Florida some of these skills,”


They have been successful because there was a lot of snakes to catch and a lot of people out catching them. Mass collection = Mass population.

There is no secret snake catcher magic. Everyone knows the python's habits. What they like. The only difference is the amount of time put in. The more you do it the better you get. You develop an eye for it but that doesn't exclude you from the fact that snake hunting for the most part comes down to gamblers luck. Only when snakes are abundant is it possible to find any snakes. To this extent snake hunting is self-controlling. Once the snake population drops off to a certain level the rate of encounter falls with it. It becomes impossible to find them. These guys are finding snakes now because conditions are prime.


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But the number of voracious snakes, blamed for nearly wiping out the population of small mammals in Everglades National Park, keeps growing.


If the food source has been nearly wiped out how does the population of snakes keep growing? As it has been amply demonstrated the "decline" of small mammals is nothing more then a biological hoax. The study's prove that the majority of the python's diet consist of invasive rats (what a surprise). Another fact is that the entire range of the introduced python's is comprised of less then 2% of undisturbed native habitat and is home to more non native species (thousands including nine species of mammals) then any place on earth.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: January 25th, 2017, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Location: San Francisco, California
Speaking of $, how much money is saved by putting failed visual morphs in the freezer?


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: January 31st, 2017, 4:02 pm 
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The idea of having Irula snake trackers train to target python has been percolating for years among Mazzotti; award-winning herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, a leading conservationist in India and alum of the old Miami Serpentarium; and another Serpentarium alum, South Florida herpetologist Joe Wasilewski.


To put this bullshit into perspective. At the core of this fiasco , Joe Wasilewski , Rom Whitaker and Frank Mazzotti.

Joe Wasilewski is called a wildlife biologist but he's really a wannabe "croc hunter' and doesn't know much about the snakes he drags around by the tail to impress the tourist. Rom Whitaker is better but no less in love with the camera. Mazzotti and the pack of flunkies that tag along are all doing this for the publicity. That's why this little inclusive rat pack got together. Mazzotti and friends need to keep the pythons in the news. Wasilewski and Whitaker just want to keep themselves in the news. No doubt they are hoping to pitch this escapade if they haven't already to National Geographic .

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Even to South Florida experts, Irula tracking techniques seem mysterious. They move slowly and rather than focus on roads and levees where snakes have typically been found basking, they head straight for thick brush.


Its mysterious to look for snakes in cover? Most people are lazy and snake hunting is hard work. People like to look for snakes by riding around and hoping to see one crossing the road or by going to easily accessible places with recognizable cover. Most snakes do not cross roads or live in easily accessible places. I'm not saying having the Irula tribesmen along would not be beneficial. The smell of curry and stale cigarette's could help to keep the bugs away.

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UF biologist Ed Metzger has so far determined that seven of the 13 snakes captured would not have been found without the trackers.

Irulas first spotted a tail near the 18-inch opening of a 27-foot long shaft covered by ficus roots.


Ed Metzger isn't going to report that the Irula tribesmen haven't been much help and put the kibosh on the potential for more funding. Four snakes were resting in the 27-foot long shaft and the Irula tribesmen were given credit for this discovery. I guess Wasilewski , Mazzotti and the rest of the tag along biologist are to stupid to investigate a perfect man made den site when searching for snakes.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: January 31st, 2017, 6:16 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Location: San Francisco, California
Your cavil destroys your cause.


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: April 24th, 2017, 8:46 pm 
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WSTREPS wrote:
Quote:
The pilot project, being funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is also relatively cheap: just $68,888 for two tribesmen and two translators for two months.

Armed only with tire irons to punch through dense burma reed and sharp limestone rock and trailed by biologists, the pair are on the lookout for the sparkle of snakeskin in the bush


Almost 70 grand for what ? Has the cost of tire irons gone up that much ?


Probably primarily for the cost of transporting, housing, and paying four people from the other side of the world. I don't know how their finances work and they certainly could be inflated, but transport alone would run close to $10,000, a reasonable salary for four people for two months of work might be another $24,000, and then a few grand for room and board. That gets you over halfway there before field expenses or any of the in-house staffing involved in the project.




WSTREPS wrote:
Quote:
Even to South Florida experts, Irula tracking techniques seem mysterious. They move slowly and rather than focus on roads and levees where snakes have typically been found basking, they head straight for thick brush.


Its mysterious to look for snakes in cover? Most people are lazy and snake hunting is hard work. People like to look for snakes by riding around and hoping to see one crossing the road or by going to easily accessible places with recognizable cover. Most snakes do not cross roads or live in easily accessible places. I'm not saying having the Irula tribesmen along would not be beneficial. The smell of curry and stale cigarette's could help to keep the bugs away.


I have never met a herper in my life who looked for snakes the way the Irula look for snakes. I'm sure you have of course, and that you've just been waiting to bless us with all your interesting tales of field herping that you always love to share on this field herping forum.


And I can't possibly imagine what possessed you to throw in that racist jibe as if it would help your cause on any planet. "insert profanity here".


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: April 27th, 2017, 1:52 pm 
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This was 70K spent on a self serving publicity stunt by a couple of buddy's, Joe Wasilewski , Rom Whitaker and Frank Mazzotti who are part of a little club they call the "Croc Docs". If any of the money was spent on housing it went to Wasilewski. That is where the Irula "snake trackers" stayed. Whitaker dreamt up this little scheme and Mazzotti pitched it to the state who in true moron fashion signed off on the grant.

The Irula are not amazing snake catchers, they don't do anything special. They have caught snakes for generation's just like the hunters in Thailand, Malaysia , South America etc. The story about the Irulas being the worlds greatest snake hunters came from Rom Whitakers made for TV antics on National Geographic. He gave his Irula buddy's that title. If this was a legit idea it would make far more sense to get professional snake trappers from Indonesia, Thailand or Malaysia. People who speak English and for generations have specialized in collecting pythons in habitat that is not to dissimilar to the Florida everglades then to use Irulas from India, people who now catch mainly cobras and cant speak English.

Like I said this is not about catching snakes. Its about publicity. Wasilewski is a side show performer at Parrot Jungle who dreams of being the next "Croc Hunter", Mazzotti is the "scientist" in this stunt, he doesn't know much of anything about python's, Rom Whitaker is the schemer that pushed this idea. Whitaker set up his Irula pals in a venom collecting business back home and its been bank. But the real money is here in the states. Getting his Irula pals hooked up with a high profile snake project here in the states could be a gateway to some very lucrative contracts. Five times what they have been getting. That's the real end game behind this stunt.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: April 27th, 2017, 5:40 pm 
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WSTREPS wrote:
This was 70K spent on a self serving publicity stunt by a couple of buddy's, Joe Wasilewski , Rom Whitaker and Frank Mazzotti who are part of a little club they call the "Croc Docs". If any of the money was spent on housing it went to Wasilewski. That is where the Irula "snake trackers" stayed. Whitaker dreamt up this little scheme and Mazzotti pitched it to the state who in true moron fashion signed off on the grant.


If that is the case, a FOIA request for govt agency emails between the parties involved could reveal it.


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: May 19th, 2017, 11:27 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
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It cost me about 30 bucks in gas and cheese burgers per snake.

Thanks for almost making me spray my durian pudding across the room. Never seen our hobby in these terms :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: June 22nd, 2017, 12:03 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
I'm with Ernie on this one. What a total crock of bullshit and waste of money, a farce really. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 6:24 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
Sorry to beat an old, dead horse, but if I were a FL taxpayer I would be outraged at paying for some foreign guys to essentially go on a vacation and walk around looking for snakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 9:00 pm 
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stlouisdude wrote:
Sorry to beat an old, dead horse, but if I were a FL taxpayer I would be outraged at paying for some foreign guys to essentially go on a vacation and walk around looking for snakes.


Yes, I'm sure that the average Florida taxpayer's largest concern is the 0.002 dollars that they had to give towards this project.

If they had brought in TWO THOUSAND of the "foreign guys", the per-taxpayer cost would have been....one dollar.

And it's not like there aren't dozens (possibly hundreds) of FHF members who have gotten expenses reimbursed by various governments to look for snakes.


But I guess the real issue is that it was some "foreign guys" who apparently did this "to essentially go on a vacation." Because if there's one vacation that every tribal south indian man dreams of, it is to hole up in some government employee's home and walk around Everglades scrub looking for pythons for a few weeks with only two interpreters who even can speak your language.

:cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida
PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 12:47 am 
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"I've got nothing against foreigners, some of my best friends are foreigners, but these particular foreigners aren't from here!"
- Geriatrix


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