[URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

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klawnskale
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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 17th, 2014, 3:11 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:Actually, they weren't my boards...but I know who put them there. The only boards I ever had anything to do with burned up in a fire started by homeless people. The only reason I am concerned and the reason the people who put the boards there are concerned, is because that is a small, isolated population of snakes, that if wiped out, has nowhere to recruit from. It contains several different pattern morphs. I have not been there in a few years, but i get reports from the people who record the different kings they see and who monitor what is going on. Get off your high horse and stop thinking everything people do is for selfish motivation. Is that how you are? Is that why you associate so much with that mentality? I've been having pleasant conversations with you so far Hanna for a long time, don't make this a flame war because of your ego...If you did as much research and field study on things as you do attacking people on forums you might know a little more. And if you ever read one of my big books cover to cover you might understand me a little better. Maybe you need to see a counselor about anger issues...you seem to have many. My anger issues stem from the plight of the animals, yours I'm not so sure about... :roll:
No anger issues. I just detect alot of insincerity. Alot of whitewashing. Thank goodness you know very little of what I have been doing. Yeah, I guess the responses you posted above regarding the homeless people are completely devoid of hostility. Deflecting the anger on someone else is pointless.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 17th, 2014, 5:19 pm

You know...just once I'd like to see you apologize to someone for making a mistake. You know very little about most people on this forum or their motivations. I'm sorry if you sense a lack of sincerity somewhere, but I'm pretty blunt about what I think...and what I say...right or wrong.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 17th, 2014, 5:52 pm

Prove I'm wrong. You had a chance when I was working at the DTRNA. You never showed up. I would have been convinced then if I saw.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 17th, 2014, 6:24 pm

I have a job that requires that I travel to certain places at certain times of the year. The need to pay bills makes me stick to my schedule pretty tightly. I wasn't able to get to the high desert this year at all. It wasn't on the way to or from where I was working. I work in AZ in the winter, coastal CA in the summer, and the Mid-west in spring and fall, hence why the vast majority of my naherp records are from those regions. I wasn't even able to meet up with hellihooks in San Bernardino county to see pond turtles this year. I really wanted to do that but the timing was bad. Sorry I couldn't visit you. Sometimes I have good intentions, but the opportunity to fulfill them does not arise at the right time. I can't be everywhere all the time. You know, all my pond turtle records have been gotten either on the way to or from an area I needed to work in or sell books in or while I was working in an area and had a few hours to spare, or while visiting my son in the Sierra foothills. It's getting harder and harder to just go where I want when I want. I haven't even been able to road cruise in AZ yet this year due to a foot infection, and I live here. I did manage to go out of my way and visit NorCal once this summer for 3 days, but I worked in Red Bluff along the way to pay the expenses and sold books to several new outlets. It's sad that the almighty dollar controls our lives like that, at least us self-employed people. The homeless don't have that problem, they just camp out, do drugs, and beg money on freeway offramps. I think I'll start asking them if they can spare a dollar for a herp trip. :lol:

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Klawnscale.. please read

Post by Speckled Rosy » July 19th, 2014, 8:35 am

Sorry to hijack the original topic of this thread.. I feel I must say a few things, since a place and species found there have already been dropped..

Klawnscale, you couldn't be more wrong about the park in question... I am the person, along with a good friend.. who set up extensive study sites in H.P and literally every other corner of urban LA. I have been working the area for almost 5 years now.. It is absolutely depressing to see that the nature conservancy types, like yourself, destroy the upland habitat, once again, in order to improve long lost wetland habitat and make a (cleaner, friendlier park). Let me start by telling you a little about myself.. I have been an avid, yet responsible herper, for many years now. I was introduced to the prospects of urban searches by non other than Brian hubbs. Both of us are extremely interested in kingsnakes.. and preserving their habitat in southern California, where they are most threatened. I grew up in Torrrance, a few miles from Machado lake.. I have been going there for many years, and started my extensive study of the area, with Brians encouragement about the fall of 09.. Hear is generally, what I have found in my reasearch of the area (by area, I mean lake and upland habitat, also wilmington drain and other fields) (and by reasearch I mean, I didnt go to college, Im not a certified biologist. But have managed to recover a 1000% more upland data than any city hired biologist on the project..

My finds:
-Over 60 California kingsankes from Machado mostly and one from Wilmington drain which is the only native snake I have been able to locate in four years of study at that site. Several unique and interesting color and pattern morphs, which I feel are different than other parts of the LA basin.. Also just for your information, 99% of kings were photoed and released.. Aside from a few specimens that have already had their habitat destroyed, or those that I felt should be bred to prevent loss of the localized genepool..

-45+ San Diego Gopher snakes

-Countless.. meaning in the hundreds.. Both types of slender salamander native to the area.. Blackbelly and Garden.

-countless alligator lizards and the obvious fence lizard population..

-a few western skinks..

-Cross one street from Harbor, and add: several San Bernadino Ringnecks, Coachwhips, and a thriving Sideblotched lizard population.. and probably legless lizards, though I havent been able to find one..

I feel legless lizards were right under my nose the whole time in parts of machado and neighboring fields..



What I did with the data:

-put it all into the naherp database..

-Contacted the cities of Harbor city, San Pedro, Wilmington.. to try and submit my data to this project, that I have known about for many years, since the passing of prop. O. Sent emails with all my data on a Google spreadsheet to the mentioned cities.. Called, kept calling, then got tired of calling.. Stopped in at some of the work sites, as they were destroying habbitat, and talked to the bioligists on site (Russel Sweet), offered my remaining boards to aid in study and removal of threatened herps.. They seemed somewhat interested in my finds, were certainly surprised at what i had been finding and seemed to have very little knowledge that these animals were even still there. And said they couldnt do much at that point in the project. Talking to the biologists may have been at a later date, but I have been contacting the cities involved starting about three years ago.. and.. Ive given up! And with the way you make it sound, it will go the way of the fenced in marsh habitat created in 07, further up the freeway, that was never marsh habitat to begin with, just one of the last great upland habitats in urban LA.. now gone forever..

I appreiciate anyone who has dedicated their life to studying and saving animals and habitat.. I Just think yourself and other groups like the nature conservancy have some things wrong.. Please allow me to tell you what I think is wrong with your type of solution:

-First off, not everyone interested in snakes, kings.. is a poacher.

-The habitat restorations that disk or disturb an area first, then bring in native plants and irrigation are great for looks, but in my extensive studies around LA, these restored areas are actually devoid of fuana life. The rodents aren't used to burrowing in permanantly wet soil, the snakes and lizards don't follow the rodents, because of lack of holes in the ground.. and most of the delicate lifeforms (salamanders, legless lizards) don't survive any kind of soil manipulation, digging or disking..

-Fencing in an area, so just you, and your state certified wildlife buddies can enjoy it, is wrong.. and its whats wrong withour country.. we are letting the control of things get away from the people. I have lived in this area all my life and have seen first hand the troubles a place like Machado lake faces. The homeless will always be a problem.. They have destryed my sites and desroyed raw land in their activities, but Its the cities allowing it that are to blame.. and I feel they have been purposely allowing the park to get to the state it is in, so they can restore the whole place, wipe it clean, not have to worry about native species, because they assumed they would be all gone. Just thank their lucky stars I didnt find a legless on Machado property.. this all would have been stopped.. I have often thought about going to the newspapers with all of this, might be my last resort, but alas, the project is too far along.

Am I opposed to cleaning up the lake? No.. Do I think they should leave as much upland habitat intact and keep transients out? yes.. There is not one native thing left in the waters of Machado.. besides value as migratory bird habitat. Do I think the water will ever be clean enough for native reptiles and amphibians to return? No.. No matter how much you clean the lake, it is in the middle of a city and the water quality will never be even close to pristeen. Do I think its cool, that kids can see at least one type of invasive water snake, that has miraculously been able to live in contaminated city waters? Yes.. Do the water snakes appear to not be adversely affecting any other species, in and around the lake? Yes, from what I can tell, probably dont eat anything a garter wouldnt have eaten and I'm almost certain they eat bullfrogs.. aside from just being invasive, its nice to see life, intsead of no life.. I think Kings, gophers, and other species are likely to hang on there, but in much smaller and more fragmented numbers and habitats. We cant afford to loose any more urban basin habitat in Los Angeles county. Its getting attacked in many locations right now, not just the harbor area..

One of the biologists actually stated that he was hoping newts and other native reptiles and amphibians would some day return.. lol!

Thanks for letting me state my point, as a resident of that area and someone who loves all herps and wants to see the kids of that ecomomicly depressed area, always have access to them.. ...and please, let me know if there is still anything I can do to help the animals I love.. I have offered al of my data and board locations before and no one, including the onsite biologists were really interested.. In my opinion, there is probably a legless lizard and a ringneck or two, that will be be trampled by this project.. Its avoidable.. but we have to make the right decisions now.. Its never too late.. If you want me to go clean up my study sites then I will, but I think they are usefull untill the restoration comes through them..

Sincerely,
Daniel (speckled rosy)

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klawnskale
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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 19th, 2014, 9:19 am

Thanks for letting me state my point, as a resident of that area and someone who loves herps and wants to see the kids of that depressed area always have access to them.. Please let me know if there is still anything I can Do to help the snakes I love..

Sincerely,
Daniel Lawrence[/quote]

Danny:
While I appreciate your efforts in informing me about your project, I do not work for any nature conservancy. I was an independent contractor working for the USGS studying the population of Nerodia in Lake Machado. I have absolutely nothing to do with the restoration project. The biologists you spoke to are only there briefly to record and assess what they DO find during surveys. This can be problematic when it comes to accurately assessing herp populations because of the general secretive nature of most herp species. Unfortunately, a good portion of these biologists are versed at multispecies inventories and not well informed about herp phenology and behavior. Many are bird or mammal experts and are requested by the clients to also include herps in their assessments. I would suggest you contact a fellow by the name of Martin Byhower (if you haven't all ready). He is one of the civilians who has been organizing the habitat restoration around Lake Machado. Although his intentions are good, they ultimately favor the bird population in the park. This would explain the implementation of disking; if it is happening (although I don't think they would do anything like that, but who knows) Disking is used to provide fodder for migratory waterfowl like ducks and geese. Mr. Byhower is a birder and he has been involved in habitat restoration in the Madrona Marsh with some deletrious effects because of his lack of knowledge of amphibians, Due to the uninformed volunteers working alongside him, chytrid fungus was introduced to the chorus frog population in the Madrona Marsh because somemone illegally translocated red legged frogs from a Ventura County population that were infected by the fungus in an ignorant attempt at repatriating this species back into Madrona. Martin works very closely with the local parks and municipal agencies involved with this project. I just want to let you know when he told me over the phone what happened at Madrona, I was so upset that I never spoke to him again. If you communicate to him the right way, he maybe willing to listen. Here is a link to his webpage with contact info: http://www.birdingsocal.com/about_us.html Good Luck!

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Speckled Rosy » July 19th, 2014, 9:45 am

Thankyou very much for your response. I apologize for lumping you into the whole restoration project, but Im sure you understand my frustrations.. I wish I would have applied myself, like you did and became a biologist.. I could perhaps do more for these area's. My parents would have paid for it. I chose to be a contstuction worker instead.. lol! Again thankyou for the possible lead, sometimes it is just a matter of getting the right name. I believe I have met Dr. Byhower, I think he is the one, that leads bird tours through the park.. I have his card.. and will contact him..

Again thankyou for letting me vent my frustrations,

-Dan

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 19th, 2014, 10:28 am

Just make sure Hubbs doesn't take the initiative and contact Byhower before you do and start chewing his ear off with his tactless rhetoric. Then you can kiss any hope of cooperation good bye.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 19th, 2014, 10:35 am

And now Hanna, you have "the rest of the story"... ;) I'm glad Danny decided to clue you in. I am very careful about talking about what other people are doing around here. And don't worry, I have given up on L.A. ever being close to what it once was...and will not contact anyone. I've tried that in the past, very tactfully, and met the same frustrations as Danny. I'd rather record pond turtles. The truth is, most of the restoration people are bird oriented and are not concerned about common kingsnakes or any other herp. Our words fall on deaf ears. The next area to be destroyed for herps will probably be the Ballona wetlands, if the bird people get their plan adopted. Oh well, it was a nice place while it lasted. One forum member, a biologist who is currently inactive here, has done a lot of official research there and recorded a lot of snakes and other herps. I hope they listen to his input, but judging from past experience, they won't.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by daniel » July 20th, 2014, 12:24 am

With regards to the legless lizards that Daniel referred to, I am confused... what protection does a SSC designation give a species, other than protection from sport take? Please forgive my ignorance on this if i am wrong, but i believe none.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 20th, 2014, 7:52 am

I just noticed that Martin Byhower is doing restoration work at Lake Machado the second Saturday of each month from 9:00AM-12:00PM. It might be worthwhile for some of the South Coast CA NAFHA members who are interested to join up in the work. Go in armed with lots of educational material from solid resources, like Southwest PARC's guidlines for habitat restoration for native herps or something similar. Any way you can minimize herp impact regardless how small can in the long haul be helpful. Here is s link:
http://pvsb-audubon.org/kmhrprestore.html

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Speckled Rosy » July 20th, 2014, 11:33 am

Thanks for the link.. Just checking it out, I realize I am a little one sided on trying to save reptliles and amphibians. There are many other species like the butterfly, that need help. Sounds like I need to get more involved, and suggest ideas that can work for all species. The restorations done by the conservancy, are certainly an improvement, when they are grown in a few years later, and drip lines removed. I think the herps need a bigger voice, in all this though.. And maybe I can give it to them..

Daniel, to answer your question.. Im not sure. I haven't read the laws in their entirety.. A species of special concern is just that, it receives special consideration. A nearby city, is doing a legless study possibly for that reason..

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 21st, 2014, 9:37 pm

I really like the discussion going on here. Thanks for your hard work studying that area Danny.

Finding both species of slender salamander there is interesting. I'm intrigued by the slender populations I've seen at Machado Lake and across the PV Peninsula. As far as I can tell, no one has included any of these populations in any of their DNA studies of SoCal slenders, and I'm convinced that something unusual is going on - either unusual morphology due to environment, hybridization, genetic outliers within the species, or even a seperate species. I really hope that someone does genetic studies of these salis. It would be important to get genetic samples from Machado Lake - including the Wilmington Drain area, the direct vicinity of the lake, the marsh, and the higher ground above. Unfortunately, I don't think those samples can be collected without a formal study.

The rest of the upland finds in that area (especially coachs and side-blotched) are very interesting too. Quite rare to find either or those in that corner of LA anymore.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by jonathan » July 21st, 2014, 10:22 pm

klawnskale wrote:Due to the uninformed volunteers working alongside him, chytrid fungus was introduced to the chorus frog population in the Madrona Marsh because somemone illegally translocated red legged frogs from a Ventura County population that were infected by the fungus in an ignorant attempt at repatriating this species back into Madrona.
Seriously, volunteers just tried on their own to relocate an endangered species?

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by klawnskale » July 22nd, 2014, 8:00 am

Seriously, volunteers just tried on their own to relocate an endangered species?[/quote]

Yup. The problem is some of this restoration going on is not being supervised under the auspices of a formally trained ecologist/biologist who has certification with the State. Being a science teacher/naturalist may not mean you are aware of all the regulations and long term impacts of some of the decisions being made. I told Martin that if he had the input on his projects from such a biologist that this incident most likely would not have occurred.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by 1happyturtle » July 27th, 2014, 9:39 am

Hello everyone! I've greatly enjoyed the discussion on this thread and the amazing photos posted by Brian Hubbs.
If you want to get an idea of all the species at Overfelt Gardens ponds (manmade percolation pond) in San Jose please check out my photos here: http://turtle2pond.tumblr.com/Images Clearly there is atleast one massive soft shell and atleast one river cooter. There may very well be other species as well but since they are all covered in mud you can't easily see any markings.

Only one pond is left. All other ponds have dried and the turtles have all grouped in the last remaining pond.

klawnskale, yes I did contact the Silicon Valley CTTC and the president, Gilbert Castro told the CDFW biologist that no he is unwilling to help (I have a copy of this email on the site listed above) but told the Mercury news reporter that he would help "if asked". I respect all the work CTTC has done for turtles and tortoises and many years ago the chapter in Van Nuys helped me rehome 3 female RES which I adopted from a classroom but the fact stands that one thing was said to a state official and another was said to the press.

El Garia, fangsheng is a real problem. The photo shared by klawnskale shows a similar belief practiced by Southeast Asians and the script looks like Cambodian. East Asians (Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans and Japanese) under Buddhist influence believe they are committing good karma by freeing turtles often from live market situations. Some Southeast Asians (Burmese, Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodians) have similar beliefs with the added superstition that releasing a turtle can also "carry away" bad luck and by giving them a chance at life one is extending one's own life. Good intentions gone horribly wrong for the animal and the environment.
To this day there is a live market in San Jose which sells RES and it is very likely the source of the turtles in Overfelt Gardens.

Fieldnotes, I love your idea! Aestivation is the only shot these turtles have at surviving at this point.

Fundad, these turtles are innocent victims of peoples' ignorance. They did nothing wrong and certainly didn't find their way to the ponds on their own. I think we as people should work on doing the right thing by educating the public and treating these animals fairly rather than adopt a "let them die" stance.

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Re: [URGENT] Native and non-native turtles NEED HELP

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 27th, 2014, 10:08 am

My advice to you would be to just go in there and collect the turtles and put them somewhere where they cannot get into a natural water situation. This idea would include land-locked golf course ponds far from any permanent stream, a zoo pond, cemetery pond, or botanical gardens pond. You will have to decide whether that is a valid solution based on your feelings about legalities. I would not farm the invasives out to inexperienced turtle keepers or they might end up in some creek or pond that has Western Pond Turtles. This is a tough situation, and I feel for the RES and others, but I don't know what else to recommend.

Your photos show one other option...go into the park and dig under the trees and create a mixture of soft dirt and leaves for the turtles to aestivate in. Dig several areas 6 ft by 10 ft. The turtles will find them if it comes to that, but the toxic water is not really a threat...they can live in sewage ponds...very well in fact.

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