Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Kelly Mc » April 26th, 2014, 8:07 am

Data Base contest?

wow.

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gbin
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 26th, 2014, 8:11 am

mikez wrote:... It may not be accurate to the big picture but the impression can be formed of a bunch of people rushing around the countryside flipping everything is sight with the sole purpose of counting more stuff than anyone else...
I certainly get that impression from these message boards occasionally, too. It appears as if Dan does as well given his talking about the dismaying situation he found as if it were a result of such competitive behavior in his opening post. Mind you, that kind of behavior might not really have been the cause of this incident, but it seems pretty reasonable to suspect that it was.

For my part, unless Dan actually got a convincing confession from someone otherwise, I tend to think it was just done by some careless novice(s). Most of us aren't nearly as kind to the habitat (and in some cases more directly to the animals, too) as we should be when we begin in this hobby, especially if we do so without someone with more experience to show us the way. I myself bought a Stump Ripper very early in my herping career, for example, and for the first year or two thereafter the way I used it really lived up to its name. I didn't do anything so careless as to drop a rock or log on a snake, but I still cringe to think of the wake of habitat destruction (flipped rocks and rolled or downright demolished logs as well as ripped stumps) left behind by my slob hunting. Live and (hopefully quickly) learn, I guess...

Gerry

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gbin
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 26th, 2014, 8:15 am

Kelly Mc wrote:Data Base contest?

wow.
Kelly, I think the goal of those contests is admirable; they're trying to encourage people to rapidly build up the database, which they see as useful for conservation purposes. But for my part I also think it's misguided because such contests encourage overly competitive behavior, and lots of people in the herp community have already shown themselves to be prone to that problem.

Gerry

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by dthor68 » April 26th, 2014, 9:00 am

gbin wrote:
dthor68 wrote:It may be BS to you but I take a lot of pride in the fact that I would rather starve to death than sell a wild animal. You are in fact the one who has taken this thread off course. You are the only one here preaching a viewpoint. And, you are the only one here demonizing another. And I am sure you will continue.
Uh-huh, that's what this thread is all about, people selling wild animals. And you think "collectors" (which it wouldn't surprise me includes you, going by the definition of someone who's still holier than thou) are really swell people, too. :roll:

The one thing that seems completely honest and accurate in your contributions to this thread is that you take a lot of pride, dthor. Indeed, you're making it more and more clear that pride is the major (if not the only) motivation for all this garbage you're dumping here. Just for fun, why don't you take another peek at Dan's opening post and see how far afield you're trying to drag the discussion from its actual topic - ringneck snakes crushed by apparently carelessly replaced rocks in a KS field, remember? - just so you can show us all what a superior herper you are.

Gerry
"all this garbage you're dumping here."

I have 2 sentences worth of information, that's very little garbage. You, on the other hand, have been running your mouth since yesterday.


"Just for fun, why don't you take another peek at Dan's opening post and see how far afield you're trying to drag the discussion from its actual topic"

The thread is called "Snake Killers in OUR OWN RANKS! I would hope that you are smart enough to piece that together. First of all, I am not in your rank, thankfully. There are two ranks, those who care and those that do not. The person who killed the Ringnecks is from the group that does not care the same group that collectors are in. From all of your ranting the only thing you have said with any truth is that I promote division, I am guilty of that.

"just so you can show us all what a superior herper you are."

Are you 12?

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gbin
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 26th, 2014, 10:34 am

dthor68 wrote:"all this garbage you're dumping here."

I have 2 sentences worth of information, that's very little garbage. You, on the other hand, have been running your mouth since yesterday.
Here are some of dthor's contributions (so far) to a thread about ringneck snakes having been killed by the apparently careless replacement of the rocks they were under by one or more unidentified herpers - with no evidence nor even suggestion that collecting, selling wild animals, etc. had anything whatsoever to do with it:
dthor68 wrote:Dan, I would not say "in our own ranks". I would never consider a collector "in my ranks". Sure we share the same interest but we are as different as night/day, democrat/republican. There is a huge difference between those who want to take and those who want to leave alone...
dthor68 wrote:It may be BS to you but I take a lot of pride in the fact that I would rather starve to death than sell a wild animal...
dthor68 wrote:... There are two ranks, those who care and those that do not. The person who killed the Ringnecks is from the group that does not care the same group that collectors are in...
Plus, of course, a lot of garbage aimed personally at me (which I won't bother to repeat here) for daring to point out that he's repeatedly tried to take the thread off topic to indulge his "us" versus "them" mentality and desire to do some holier-than-thou preaching about it.
dthor68 wrote:Are you 12?
Do you mean, like someone whose apparently favorite response to being (rightfully) criticized is to cry "No, I'm not! You are!" might be assumed to be?

:roll:

Gerry

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by mikez » April 26th, 2014, 11:29 am

Kelly Mc wrote:Data Base contest?

wow.
Yah, CONTEST. That's what various forum moderators and chapter presidents have been calling it. If that's not enough there's this:

"Scoring
1 Point for =Every Entry
1 Point for =Every County
1 Point for =Every Species
1 Point for =Every DOR
1 Point for =2012 County Record (The first entry of 2012 for a species in a county)
1 Point for =2012 Personal County Record (In other words if you enter a skink in LA county for YOUR 1st time in 2012 you get a point)
2 Points for =County Record (True NAFHA county record)
5 Point Bonus= 25+ entries of a species in a county (Any species you record 25 of in a county you get a 5 point bonus.)"

and there's the bragging, rating individuals, challenging other regional forums etc.

Sorry if I don't believe there is value in 10,000 records of redback salamanders or tree lizards or whatever. Nor can I believe anyone so worried about finding the most stuff is gonna take their time and be careful in the field.
I know there is a need with some to be accepted by the academic/F&G/LE community. Unfortunately, no matter how many thousands of data points you collect, if you're not already one of them, behind your back, they consider you just another poacher.

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gbin
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 26th, 2014, 12:26 pm

mikez wrote:... if you're not already one of [the academic/F&G/LE community], behind your back, they consider you just another poacher.
Now, now... I know that mindset is dismayingly (and unjustifiably) common among wildlife academics/managers/law enforcement, i.e. herpers have a legitimate beef on this account, but please keep in mind that there are a number of people who participate at this very website who were/are/will yet be members of that large, diverse group and don't feel that way. And there are others who don't participate here who don't feel that way, either.

Gerry (who has certainly put in time as a wildlife academic, and might well again in the future)

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by mikez » April 26th, 2014, 12:55 pm

haha, that's not the first time I got you with that whole academic thing, nor the first time you called me on it. ;)

I was intentionally generalizing to make my point. Not all academic/F&G/LE types view herpers as poachers, I've been told. May be true but does not reflect my own experience in the east. I've interacted with the feds and several new England state agencies and have been treated hands down everytime as a poacher when approached in the field. Should be mentioned I've never poached, let alone get a record as one, nor have been found with tools or bags or evidence of collecting. I've been told individuals seen near timber dens were poachers "casing" the area. Implication being twofold; one, no one but acedemics and LE have the right to observe timbers, even on public land, and two, lack of collecting tools is not proof of innocence. In that state at least you are a poacher until proven otherwise.
On a related note, speaking of collecting data and publishing statistics. If every herper seen near a timber den is assumed to be a poacher, how accurate are the statistics which are so often quoted about the number of poachers out there. I bet we've all been counted as a poacher and included in some statistic somewhere at least once.

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gbin
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 26th, 2014, 4:45 pm

Yeah, I knew you were singing an old tune to me, amigo, but I felt compelled to dance to it, anyway. ;) The thing is, it just fits so well with the message dthor (repeatedly) prompted me to deliver: All that "us" versus "them" stuff, be it between herpetoculturists and field herpers, "collectors" (in the many self-serving ways people define that term) and other field herpers, or wildlife academics/F&G/law enforcement and herpers, does nothing good for the habitat, the animals or our community. Criticize people's behavior when it seems appropriate to do so, sure, and maybe even the people themselves when they are recalcitrant about it. Make note of behaviors that are unhappily common among groups of people, even. But don't make splitting people into groups an outright goal, try not to judge everyone in a group as if they were all alike, and focus instead on eliminating partitions and urging people toward common purposes. Unless one's motivation is simply self-glorification (at whatever cost that might come), that's clearly the way to go - for the habitat, the animals and our community.

Nice to see you, by the way. :beer: Check your PMs.

Gerry

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Aaron » April 26th, 2014, 8:57 pm

There are two ranks, those who care and those that do not. The person who killed the Ringnecks is from the group that does not care the same group that collectors are in.
Collecting is usually not the most serious threat to herps. Therefore it's unsupported to make that the sole, or even the primary criteria, for ranking who cares about herps and who doesn't.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by gbin » April 27th, 2014, 6:23 am

Aaron wrote: Collecting is usually not the most serious threat to herps. Therefore it's unsupported to make that the sole, or even the primary criteria, for ranking who cares about herps and who doesn't.
Of course:

- Collecting isn't any kind of criteria whatsoever for ranking who cares about herps and who doesn't.

- Collecting (as opposed to kill harvesting) isn't demonstrably any kind of threat whatsoever to herp populations.

- Collecting isn't at all the topic of this thread.

But y'all have fun with yet another reiteration of all this self-aggrandizing garbage, anyway...

:roll:

Gerry

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Brandon D » April 28th, 2014, 10:20 pm

decided not to add to this thread

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by jonathan » April 29th, 2014, 9:10 pm

mikez wrote:I confess I don't exactly know how the data base contest works.

Wouldn't think they were photographing every snake for data, is that how it works? These guys with 800 redbacks salamanders have submitted 800 redback photos? I was thinking they were counting milks and kings and estimating ringnecks.
Well, for every single one of the friendly database contests that are out there, only photos are counted. In fact, only separate data entries with photos are counted. You also must have a GPS entry for each locale. It's possible to make a data entry without a photo, and in certain cases it can be helpful data, but that's not being counted as part of any of the friendly competitions.

If anyone has 800 redback salamander entries in a database contest, then yes, they have 800 separate redback entries with photos, GPS locale, written locale, and other data recorded in every single one.

mikez wrote:No I'm not accusing anyone, just threw that out there. Comes from my perception of these forums after lurking and participating since it formed. It may not be accurate to the big picture but the impression can be formed of a bunch of people rushing around the countryside flipping everything is sight with the sole purpose of counting more stuff than anyone else. I kinda felt that might leave disruption in its wake, at best. It sure is not the way to appreciate or learn anything about nature in my flawed, dysfunctional opinion.
I don't think you've formed that opinion based on any of the actual actions of the participants themselves.

The image that you have in your head, which doesn't match the behavior or words of database participants, would fit a lot better to characterize the people who are not collecting data on every herp they encounter. How can you rush around the countryside flipping in manner you suggest if you're carefully taking data on every one? It's the people who don't care about the data, and who don't care about the "trash" herps, who are going to rush around until they find the one thing they're looking for.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 30th, 2014, 2:42 am

mikez wrote:Sorry if I don't believe there is value in 10,000 records of redback salamanders or tree lizards or whatever.
Provided the database contributors are consistent in their efforts, there is immense value in logging every specimen you see, even common ones.

What if 10,000 tree lizards are recorded one year, and the next only 7,000, then the year after that, 12,000? Population trends over time may start to be seen., and potentially be able to be correlated with weather, predator abundance, food availability, etc. What if new county records are discovered, because even though "everyone's" seen those lizards in the area, nobody bothered to document them because they weren't the "target species?"

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by jonathan » April 30th, 2014, 3:13 am

gbin wrote:
Kelly Mc wrote:Data Base contest?

wow.
Kelly, I think the goal of those contests is admirable; they're trying to encourage people to rapidly build up the database, which they see as useful for conservation purposes. But for my part I also think it's misguided because such contests encourage overly competitive behavior, and lots of people in the herp community have already shown themselves to be prone to that problem.
I hope everyone knows that "contest" is just a way of talking about it. As far as I know no prizes for "winning a contest" were ever rewarded, and you'll have to look pretty hard to find more than 1 or 2 people ever bragging about winning any contest. Though there is quite a lot of congratulating of others regarding the data they collected, which I would think is a nice thing.

Actually, the main goal of the database contests was simply to publicize the database and to keep it in people's minds. The main point of the scoreboards was to give people a nice tool to track the data they had collected, and to highlight the need of the collection of more diverse data sets - more counties, more species, more country records, etc. It was a motivation tool for some people, and a few people got competitive - like I said, maybe a dozen - but for the most part it was just a way to attract interest in the database and keep it on the minds of NAFHA members.

And it worked. The database wouldn't be where it is today without that participation tool. Look at these year-by-year data totals:

2006: 771 (started in November, I believe)
2007: 5180 (only 541 from California)
2008: 6377 (only 727 from California)
2009: 8833 (3473 from California!)
2010: 23594
2011: 32030
2012: 30885
2013: 36284

The first California contest was 2009. The national contests were created in 2010.

Note that after the database got started, entries outside of California stagnated at about 5,000/year for 3 years, and entries within California were in the hundreds. When the California contest started entries quintupled (and are now around 10,000/year, more than ten times their pre-contest levels). When the national contest was started, the numbers for the rest of the nation more than tripled immediately, and continue to grow. These year we're on pace for more records than ever, even though a lot of the country has had long stretches of terrible weather for herping.

A second correlation, though not as closely tied, is the fact that there had been zero data requests from academics/researchers/conservationists/wildlife managers before the contests started. The first data request (which was California-specific) from the naherp.com database occurred 11 months after the first California contest started, and the data requests really started picking up about a year after the national contest started.

If you criticize the contests because you don't think the database is a good thing, that's fine. But if you like the database, it seems like the contests have been essential in promoting it to the point where it's a useful tool. We're at 170,000 records now, and should hit 250,000 in 2016. We're at 54 data requests that have been made, with 2/3 of those in the last 20 months. I think it's reasonable to say that without the contests we'd still be below 50,000 records and the few data requests that would have been made would have been far less beneficial.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by jonathan » April 30th, 2014, 3:24 am

mikez wrote:Sorry if I don't believe there is value in 10,000 records of redback salamanders or tree lizards or whatever.
The data collected has been extremely diverse. For the record, there are only 968 tree lizard entries (split among 8 subspecies) and 2831 eastern redback salamander entries. Your bias against what you consider to be common species is one of the things that we were trying to counterbalance against with the database contest. Before that, people would enter kings and milksnakes and other "cool" things into the database, but almost always ignored most frog and lizard and "trash snake" species. But that data is vital, for "common" species like the western toad here in southern California can start disappearing too.

The first data request ever made in the Northwest region was for a habitat niche study of fence lizards. Unfortunately, few people had entered fence lizards in the Northwest, and so the data requesters gained little benefit from their request, something that still irks me today.

And, ironically, a request just this year was made for our redback salamander entries, by the natural resource ministry of the Quebec government, in order to study the supposed ties between climate and stripe color prevalence. The request specifically asked for areas where 15+ salamanders had been recorded...making high volume of data records specifically useful.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by jonathan » April 30th, 2014, 3:30 am

mikez wrote:Nor can I believe anyone so worried about finding the most stuff is gonna take their time and be careful in the field.
Do you have a single example of someone being as worried about finding the most stuff as you indicate? Or a single example of a NAFHA database participant being careless in the field due to a desire to collect more data than everyone else?

I think that overall the database and the contests have been positive factors towards herpers paying more attention to all the herps they see, and that the NAFHA community has played a positive role in treating herps and all of nature ethically.

mikez wrote:I know there is a need with some to be accepted by the academic/F&G/LE community. Unfortunately, no matter how many thousands of data points you collect, if you're not already one of them, behind your back, they consider you just another poacher.
Many people in NAFHA are already part of the academic/F&G/LE community. One of the best things about NAFHA is its relative diversity compared to almost every other herp-related group I've been around. There are very few people who care about herps, and we'll be a lot better off if we work together. I think that the database has very positive potential in helping "amateurs" and "professionals" work together, and in improving relations between academic researchers and government agencies and LE and your average weekend (or weekday) field herper.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by brick911 » April 30th, 2014, 7:54 am

I gave out prizes for my database contests. I really don't care to explain myself to mikez or any other haters. But I thought I should mention it since Jonathan mentioned not knowing of any prizes.

Bob

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by SurfinHerp » April 30th, 2014, 8:52 am

Thanks Jonathan for explaining the NAFHA database contest so well!!

I participate in the contest and have herped with numerous other guys who do as well. We don't go around flipping rocks and logs as fast as we can. We don't carelessly kill snakes, and we don't trash the habitat we herp in! That notion is just nonsense.

Personally, I've been focused on finding San Diego County lifers. Quantity of herps is not my goal. So I've been going to remote locales, and hidden pockets of habitat, all over the County looking for the most difficult to find herps. Often times I don't find much of anything. The database contest has helped motivate me to keep going. I appreciate the recognition I get from the other CA chapter members when I make a good find or have a good year. I believe almost all the other contestants feel the same way. No harm in that.


Jeff

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Soopaman » April 30th, 2014, 9:02 am

I think it stands to reason that neither the database nutters nor the folks that collect a few snakes are the problem here. Such blanket statements are rife with prejudice and elitism.

It's obvious it was inexperienced herpers, and Dan has said as much and the responsible parties have been made aware of the results of their haste.

It's a great PSA about being careful in the field. I had an experience this year where we flipped a broad-banded copperhead under some tin. We photographed it and I lifted the tin slightly and let him crawl back under. I came back a couple of weeks later and found the carcass of that copperhead, having been pinched and trapped by the tin. I now no longer lift cover objects to allow animals to crawl back under. If they can't make it back under without me assisting, I let them stay out. They'll either find new cover or find the point of entry I didn't see.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by hellihooks » April 30th, 2014, 10:10 am

More recently, here in Ca, we have started a slightly different type of 'database contest'... 'BEST entry of the month/season'... focusing on better, more complete (data wise) entries. It made good sense when the database was 'young' to build up entry #'s towards encouraging more data requests, and as Jonathan points out...worked VERY well... so now we're working on 'quality' as well as 'quantity', which I believe will bear good fruit as well... and I hope will be picked up 'Nationally' as well. The great thing (IMO) about a 'quality' contest is... ANY Member (no matter how new, or how few entries) can, with a concerted effort, win the BEOTM contest. The congratulations of your friends/peers is the only reward... but that's pretty rewarding, in my book... ;) :thumb: jim

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Brian Hubbs » May 4th, 2014, 9:13 am

OK...as a "Contest" participant, but more as an addicted data collector because of the early contests, I can attest to the value of the database as a mapping tool for science. It has made me see how little data we really have (game organizations and academics included) and how much more we really need. I'm not going to write an essay on the benefits of documenting every species I see, or documenting problem areas for different species as I note them, because you either get it or you don't. The bottom line is that much of what we "know" about herpetology is "assumption" based on a lack of data. The http://www.naherp.com database is simply trying to fill in the gaps, and it's fun to do it. We were able to provide data to the CA F&W dept. last fall for species of special concern, and actually showed them how their range map for the CA glossy snake was off by quite a bit of range. So, we're helping in whatever areas we can, at our own pace. If you herp and take pictures anyway, you might as well enter them into the database and make a contribution to our understanding that will help preserve these species in the future. If you don't, you're only making a contribution to your own selfish pleasure.

As for the dead ringnecks, there is an area that I don't believe anyone even thought of or addressed (I may be wrong as I didn't read every word posted here). That area is "rockhounds" or fossil collectors. Kansas is a mecca for certain fossils, and one day I watched a group of fossil people literally tear a road cut apart to find good fossils, paying no attention to the damage they were creating for the herps or even noticing them. Dan said the damage was on a "roadside". Herpers are not the only one's that hit roadsides. This could have been done by fossil hunters. Possibly...who knows...? But, having said that, I have also seen the dead ringnecks and skinks at popular herping hillsides, even in the mountains of CA. So, I agree herpers need to be more careful, and educated about what they are doing out there.

An added benefit of the DB is that you can see your own entries on google earth. Here is where I've gotten my 1800+ Western Pond Turtle records from:

Image

And here's a closer view of one section of that map:

Image

White borders around the markers denote problem areas facing the turtles. Yeah, this is probably just a big waste of time... :roll:

Here's a few places I've marked on google that I still need to check for the turtles in that area...it never ends...I attack it like a war campaign to fill in gaps as time allows me to do it. The pond turtles are my main focus, and Fundad is doing a similar thing with rosy boa populations, documenting them from as many hills and mountain ranges as he can. We do not visit the same places over and over, but instead, like Sufinherp, we explore new areas all the time.

Image

As an aside to the database mania, one of the benefits it has taught me is how to herp more effectively for many species I once ignored. In the last 3 years I have been bitten by the "county record" bug, and have now contributed almost 100 official county records to Herp Review as a result. I have concentrated on turtles in the Midwest, and really enjoy stopping at bridges and getting county records for Map Turtles, or scanning a pond for Painted turtle county records. This may seem mundane compared to Milk Snakes or Kings, but I think it's a hoot.

Everyone has their own reasons for herping, but many of us like to take pictures and make a useful contribution from those pictures, and if it takes a contest and some friendly competition to motivate some people to do that, so be it. By the way, I have more entries in the database than anyone...4,000 more than the nearest competitor, and 246 species (not just tree lizards and kingsnakes). I'm just competing against myself at this point... :lol: 8-) and I believe in what the database can offer, and in the difference it can make.

So, my challenge to the life listers and fanatical field herpers who don't contribute what they see to the database is...DO IT! Make a difference. Don't just talk about herps, do something to help them survive. Do something to help create more lenient regulations if you think those are justified. Do something to address the problem areas facing some of our herps. Do something...don't just talk about it. And data is the best place to start, because without data you're just a bunch of talk. :thumb:

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by dthor68 » May 6th, 2014, 12:38 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote: So, my challenge to the life listers and fanatical field herpers who don't contribute what they see to the database is...DO IT! Make a difference. Don't just talk about herps, do something to help them survive. Do something to help create more lenient regulations if you think those are justified. Do something to address the problem areas facing some of our herps. Do something...don't just talk about it. And data is the best place to start, because without data you're just a bunch of talk. :thumb:
Please explain how giving away specific locations will help herps survive?

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 6th, 2014, 12:48 pm

dthor68 wrote:Please explain how giving away specific locations will help herps survive?
By default, some databases (like NAHERP) only identify locations down to county. You can choose to release more specific data to academic researchers and/or state game departments.

However, other databases default to exact coordinates, requiring you to take extra steps to obfuscate the data (e.g. making a "circle of error" wherein the actual location lies)...examine their policies carefully and use them wisely...

A database, in the most broad-brush sense, can serve to show that hey, even avocational herpers like most of us may have no problem locating large numbers of endangered/threatened/"concerning" herps; even if the people paid to find them have difficulty... 8-)

craigb
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Post by craigb » May 6th, 2014, 1:40 pm

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dthor68
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by dthor68 » May 6th, 2014, 2:30 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:
dthor68 wrote:Please explain how giving away specific locations will help herps survive?
By default, some databases (like NAHERP) only identify locations down to county. You can choose to release more specific data to academic researchers and/or state game departments.

However, other databases default to exact coordinates, requiring you to take extra steps to obfuscate the data (e.g. making a "circle of error" wherein the actual location lies)...examine their policies carefully and use them wisely...

A database, in the most broad-brush sense, can serve to show that hey, even avocational herpers like most of us may have no problem locating large numbers of endangered/threatened/"concerning" herps; even if the people paid to find them have difficulty... 8-)
Thank You Chris.

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by simus343 » May 6th, 2014, 2:39 pm

To expand a bit on what Chris said:
The universities, conservation organizations (private and/or public), state agencies, and federal agencies that protect them and prosecute those who take protected, threatened, or endangered animals without the correct permits and permission need to know where various species live in order to judge to what extent the animal occurs. Say US Fish and Wildlife hires biologists to find as many of species X over the course of 5 years. The biologists only find 8 of the animal alive and say 12 DOR, making 20 specimens. That is all the data that was able to be collected in the set time, and therefor what the federal agency will base its decision of to give a species protection or not. Now if they have the assistance of recreational herpers and herpers that work for other groups that the federal agency overlooked, some of whom may have access to private land that the "agency" was not allowed on, this can give a better idea of the range and abundance or rarity of a given animal.

While having a "high" count may not get an animal listed and therefor not help protect the animal immediately, long term population studies can be done to see if every original amount of time, in this case 5 years, if the population is decreasing or increasing. Say over 5 years with the help of people such as ourselves, not working on the original hired team, 426 specimens of the species X are documented. Over the next 5 years if someone is watching documented sightings of the species, only 217 are found, and in the next 5 years only 59. This means that the animal could very well be in need of protection, if not even listing it as threatened or endangered based on the circumstances. This also means, in my own conservation orientated opinion, that we should take time to document all of our herp sightings no matter how common we think they may be. It could just be a "local thing."

Releasing county by no means reveals the location of the animal. What if it is an isolated population on private property or on a restricted military area? Random "pet-trade-poachers" will not be able to access these areas without the risk of anything from being fined to stepping on a land mine or having a bomb dropped on them. County details are safe enough, in my opinion, to release. And yes, some databases may be set up to reveal the secret locations so take the time to carefully read through the terms of agreement that a database has for data release. I spent several hours reading through N.A.F.H.A. and H.E.R.P. a few times and mulling it over for a while before I signed up and they take steps to make sure that specifics of my data are not release unless I want them to be, based on how I restrict my data input. Now I just need to buy a new computer with an SD card slot that works so that I can attach pictures to the data submission :? .

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Brian Hubbs » May 6th, 2014, 3:11 pm

Very good responses guys, and I should have made my point a little clearer in the first place.
1. HERP is a private, non-profit database.
2. We OWN all of our data individually, and only release it if we trust the person requesting the data.
3. You don't even have to disclose the county name to the public.
4. My google eath images are only seen on my computer. Everyone else has the same opportunity to see THEIR own data on google earth on THEIR computers.
5. My pond turtle records serve to show problem and safe zones for the turtles, and that is my emphasis. I am not trying to de-list them, but only to give a better view of the overall situation and where problem areas exist. I do not believe a small bag-limit would hurt the turtles, but I really don't care if that bag-limit is ever given.
6. All data is good data, whether it is sensitive or not.
7. HERP is at : http://www.naherp.com It is not affiliated with Nafha anymore. It is stand alone, with a free or a paid membership, depending on how much say you want to have in how we run the database.
8. My images above were intentionally made to be ambiguous as far as exact localities are concerned. I closed all place names and roads to make it difficult to even find the region depicted.
9. The vast majority of my 1,811 turtle records are from ponds and lakes, where access to the turtles is difficult at best.
10. Most of my records are from private property, including a few military bases. Some are even from sewage ponds...a very undesirable habitat for poachers... :lol:
11. Most of my private property and some public property areas have not been surveyed before by govt. or private researchers, so the information is new and recent.
12. I've been observing these turtles for 45 years, but have learned more about them in the last 4 years than I did in the previous 41 due to this project/obsession.

Image
These 6 turtles = 1 database entry.

Image
These 102 turtles = 1 database entry.

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M Wolverton
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by M Wolverton » May 6th, 2014, 3:51 pm

I went to that spot a week after you did and all those turtles were mashed under rocks.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by Brian Hubbs » May 6th, 2014, 3:56 pm

:lol: I didn't even take that picture...so nanner, nanner...

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Re: Snake Killers In Our Own Ranks

Post by hellihooks » May 7th, 2014, 11:59 am

At HERP, you also have the ability to ceed, or give your entries TO HERP, as part of a permanent data resource, making said data more valuable to (and for) researchers (citable) and governing agencies... hence... more and more data requests every year. a governing board at HERP decides who can access what data, for the data that HERP owns. I give all my Data to HERP, as I trust the board to administer it well... :beer: jim

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