Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

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yolodave
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Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by yolodave » May 25th, 2015, 8:41 pm

I spent the weekend in Coalinga, Californa where they were celebrating the Horned Toad Festival. Enjoy this exciting race in the Horned Toad Derby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwK5MGV08H8

Dave

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Owen
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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Owen » May 25th, 2015, 9:23 pm

So Mossy Dave :lol: , did you bust them?

Last year's sign:

Image

...and I found this about 3 hours after seeing the sign:

Image

The ironic thing is that it's probably the worst lizard to race. They run 3 feet and stop.

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Gluesenkamp
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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Gluesenkamp » May 26th, 2015, 4:29 am

Are they racing wild-caught lizards?

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Zach_Lim » May 26th, 2015, 9:26 am

Sponsored by Bud Light? I'd figured it would have been Coors or something haha

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » May 26th, 2015, 9:31 am

I just wanna know if they were selling cool T Shirts. i would have bought one.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » May 26th, 2015, 9:44 am

To me, it doesn't even matter whether they were wild-caught. It sends the totally wrong message, especially to kids - Horned Lizards are fun to collect and keep, and it's OK in general to turn wild animals into a freak show. I suspect that this derby was (ill-)conceived of some time in the 1950's and Coalinga still hasn't quite come to grips with the fact that we are now in the 21st century. Someone (like, uh, DFW ? :lol: ) really ought to shut that derby down. There are plenty of other, non-harmful ways to have fun nowadays. I don't mean to suggest that heads should roll. Clearly, these people are just clueless and don't mean any harm. They just need to be brought up to date on the SSC status of HLs and politely told to please pick a different animal to race (how about a rat race? :crazyeyes: )

Robert

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Steve Bledsoe » May 26th, 2015, 11:07 am

If they are using Coast Horned Lizards in this ill-conceived event, then there should be a lot of tickets issued by the DFW, and for sure some heads should roll!

I agree with Robert - wild caught or not, this sort of thing should be strongly discouraged and protested, if not declared totally illegal.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by yolodave » May 26th, 2015, 11:28 am

Appreciate hearing opinions about this. The Coalinga Chamber of Commerce has been doing this derby for 79 years. They have some sort of permission from our Department, but I'm certainly not going to discuss that situation here.

The animals are collected up a local canyon, marked and released to their same locations after the derby. They recite an extensive conservation message about horned lizards prior to every race.

The horned lizard is a local icon for this community. It is the mascot for their high school team, there are multiple pieces of art and imagry around town. It is celebrated annually with this festival that includes a parade, a fair, a 5K run, golf tournament and lots of good fun. I don't see a similar number of people feeling that good about a reptile anywhere else. With all that positive energy surrounding horned lizards, I see it as good thing. Sure it would be good for them to know more about protecting this animal and therein lies our opportunity.

When we disconnect people from the environment and the cool critters that live there, it is the beginnng of the end. They will no longer care about what happens to open space around them. My own experience in northern Orange County is a case in point.

As a kid, I used to find horned lizards in Anaheim, California along the Santa Ana river. Now, you're lucky to find a fence lizard. That connection has been severed and those values are no longer instilled into children exploring neighborhood vacant lots, sand pits and stream beds.

Time to quote Dave Alvin: "I played in the orange groves, 'til they bulldozed down all the trees
Now I stand out in those dead stumps, and I smell the blossoms on the leaves."

So, make sure you spend some of your herping time educating others and understanding how they perceive these incredible animals.


Dave

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » May 26th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Dave,

Thanks for the additional background information. That does put it into a different perspective, and I understand your point about connecting people to the natural environment.

But I strongly doubt that the derby has actually (re-)connected the local community to their natural environment. If it had done so, they would have learned by now, 80 years into it, to respect HLs (and other wildlife) for what they are - wild animals, not objects for their amusement. They would have every child in their community learn about the natural history and conservation status of HLs, etc., at which point local children would no longer want to see them paraded for show. Nicholas would throw a fit if our local community had a HL derby, or a Fence Lizard derby for that matter.

So, I would say this is simply a case of "old habits are hard to break." Coalinga has had the HL derby for 80 years, it has become part of their culture, and they will be damned before they give it up.

Robert

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Owen » May 26th, 2015, 3:56 pm

yolodave wrote:
Time to quote Dave Alvin: "I played in the orange groves, 'til they bulldozed down all the trees
Now I stand out in those dead stumps, and I smell the blossoms on the leaves."

Dave
My favorite Dave song... I like Phil's version better, though.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » May 26th, 2015, 4:26 pm

RobertH: if only you would re-read out loud to yourself the wording of your posts. I hope you seriously don't think that the language and tone in them would be productive in trying to instill a different viewpoint in people who have been raised in a myriad of different backgrounds than your own. Having worked as a Naturalist professionally in conjunction with government agencies for the past three years, I can tell you right now, that your chastising tone would not be beneficial towards trying to sway the opinions of others to 'see the light' as you do. Is it your purpose to lecture people when and if you do public outreach? This generally does not end in positive results when trying to educate the public. Diplomacy and tact, as well as highlighting in a positive light on how the natural history of a sensitive species can benefit the parties involved would be a more constructive approach. It ends up that this event is most likely not as harmful to the native population of horned lizards around Coalinga as your knee jerk response indicated. If you want to enlighten people, I don't recommend the approach of communicating with people that makes them think that you regard them as mindless knuckleheads. This borders on hostility which only escalates to anger. People do not like to be lectured down to with arrogance. Please tell me I am wrong and this is not the approach you utilize when interacting with the public, and bear i mind; if you do public outreach representing herp conservation, then you are an ambassador on the subject for everyone else who is involved in the same mission. Actual case in point here when learning how to communicate effectively can attain positive results: John Jensen; published lead herpetologist of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources managed to get the residents of a small town in Georgia (Claxton) to change their annual rattlesnake roundup which involved abuse and butchery of the animals into an educational, money making event as a rattlesnake festival where the snakes are showcased and celebrated. No more killing or abuse. And he managed to accomplish it by being educational as well as tactful and devoid of any condescension.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » May 26th, 2015, 6:28 pm

Hi Hannah,

This is unfortunately another one of those instances where you are reading things into my posts that aren't there. Nowhere did I say or suggest that a public outreach effort should be made - by anyone - much less in an arrogant, condescending manner. What I said was that - and why - the HL derby has not (re-)connected Coalinga to the natural environment as Dave suggested it might have. If Dave is right and I am wrong, then the HL derby may be a good thing. If Dave is wrong and I am right, then there is no obvious justification for the HL derby. This argument is an argument we are having right here on this forum and is not addressed to or otherwise meant for the good folks of Coalinga.

Robert

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yolodave
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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by yolodave » May 26th, 2015, 7:14 pm

Let's not bicker and argue about who suggested what (to play upon a certain medieval Monty Python script) but instead enjoy the awesome t shirts available for purchase.

Image

Dave

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by condyle » May 27th, 2015, 9:05 pm

Hmmm....

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » May 28th, 2015, 10:33 am

.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » May 28th, 2015, 11:20 am

Porter: There is a behavioral phenomenon known as "habituation": which can develop over time within a given wild population of species that are consistently exposed to human interaction. Habituated wild animals lose their fear of humans, which means their stress levels are far lower than they would be for another animal that may not have had the same "flooding" of exposure. While I was working onsite at the Desert Tortoise Preserve, I actually witnessed this behavior amongst individuals of several different species of herpetofauna whose territories were within the Visitor's Center area. The species list included Desert Tortoises, Side Blotched Lizards, Coastal Whiptails, Desert Horned Lizards, and Red Coachwhip Snakes. People could stand inches (sometimes even less) away from some of these individual herps and they would carry on about their business as if the gawking humans weren't even there. Several visitors to the Preserve remarked how they were able to take photo after photo or videos of horned lizards perched on top of a harvester ant mounds as still as statues in ambush mode and suddenly spring to life and lap up an emerging ant. This example of human/herp interaction could be evidence that due to continuous exposure to non threatening human presence, that the animals develop a tolerance. I would believe the same would hold true for the horned lizards utilized for the Coalinga Festival. I can bet that a good portion of the horned lizards are probably recaptures as well. I am not condoning the needless, abusive or pointless handling of wild animals here; I am just as you did stating my observations. The most wonderful of all the observations I made of wild behavior within the Visitor's Center was a red coachwhip snake that took up residence in a rodent hole under a creosote bush right next to my trailer. He would periscope his head out and grab clueless side blotched lizards that passed within grabbing range and take his meal to eat in peace down into the burrow. Believe me; he was well aware I was watching him ;)

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Helleri » May 29th, 2015, 1:28 am

The best adaptation an animal can have is one that makes it useful to humans. Because we are living in a time of mass extinction (caused primarily by us...But none the less). I think having an annual competition like this can actually be a good thing. Especially if they are wild caught (but, released afterwards). It seems to have served as a 79 year pseudo-accounting of the species. They like their horned lizards and want them to stick around. So, if ever there comes a point that they don't. Have enough for their event. They will probably do what they need to in order to ensure that their tradition can continue. And, it's a good vehicle to use to get peoples attention and create new conservationists.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » May 29th, 2015, 8:16 am

Sounds like a great experience Hannah. I would've loved to have photographed that

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Speckled Rosy » May 31st, 2015, 12:57 pm

I've heard of this event before, and it sounds like a good way to raise awareness. The lizards are returned to their habitat, fish and game approved.. I think being from SoCal, its easy to think of the Coastal horned toad as extremely rare, but perhaps in other areas, like Nor-Cal, they are much more common.. I have seen this to be true throughout Baja California, where the species appears to be doing fine..

-Dan

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » May 31st, 2015, 2:49 pm

Coast Horned Lizards used to be about the most common species there was, where I grew up, in Highland Ca. I could find a dozen, in any given field. in 30 min. Now you're lucky if you can find one, if you look all day... :shock:

I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those tee-shirts, and am frankly APPALLED that the State not only allows and condones this... but is complicit in breaking their OWN LAWS to do so. :shock:

Slavery and women's sufferage were 'long-standing traditions' as well... it's time for the State to say you just can't do this anymore... It's against THE LAW. Since when are exceptions to LAW made for traditions??? The definition of a Law is... NO Exceptions!

Someone should point that fact out to F&G... :roll:

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Helleri » May 31st, 2015, 7:45 pm

Whoa...an annual event that some people don't like is not comparable to something like slavery. Slavery was not a tradition. If it were that would suggest that it was about values a select group of people had. Slavery was (and actually still is) a world stage issue. One that when it was legal in many countries, was about far more then a group of peoples individual values or beliefs being flawed. That kind of parallel only minimizes something that should not be minimized and inflates something else that is controversial amongst a relatively small group of people at best.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » June 1st, 2015, 7:12 am

Abuse is abuse... and while slavery is done for profit... this is worse... for it's done for 'fun' (along with profit)

What do people learn about HL from this event? that they will run from percieved threats? and aren't that hard to catch? oh... and you can ignore the law when you choose to?

The negligible (if any) positive utility gained for the species at large is (IMO) not equal to the negative utility suffered by the individual animals.

So... lets break the Law so some people can have fun and make a bunch of money, at the expense of a protected species, while teaching all the wrong lessons about them.

To me... this is no different than a 'State run' rattlesnake roundup... all benefit to a select group of people with little to no benefit for the animals in question.

I consider this Scandelous... and frankly... the heads of those who allow it should roll. :(

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by MarcLinsalata » June 1st, 2015, 10:01 am

Sorry your light-hearted thread turned into a shit show, Yolo Dave. And people are wondering why no one wants to post on this forum anymore?

This is a town's tradition, and I'm sure that million dollar profit they must have rolled from this thing went to the town to clean up their parks or throw some new books in their schools, etc.

This lizard race is in no way equatable to slavery.

"..................................... the negative utility suffered by the individual animals."

Ask all of the lizards that you guys have all 'noosed' over the years how they felt about it.

If you disagree with harmful traditions then stop supporting firework shows on 4th of July..................

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » June 1st, 2015, 11:29 am

Sorry your light-hearted thread turned into a shit show, Yolo Dave. And people are wondering why no one wants to post on this forum anymore?
I have to say that it's almost funny - but not actually funny - how this thread has developed:

- A forum member and biologist who works for the Department of Fish and Wildlife posts a video showing a protected herp species being suddenly placed in a wide open, bright space surrounded by a ton of screaming people and loud music, asking us to enjoy the HL derby.

- When I point out the obvious - that just maybe the derby isn't quite so educational and may send the wrong message - another biologist jumps on me accusing me of being ignorant and arrogant.

- When Porter carefully suggests that just maybe the lizards may not be enjoying the show, he's told, again by a biologist, not to worry because these lizards are probably used to it.

- When Jim argues that the HL derby is not justified just because it is a long-standing tradition (like slavery also was) and that the State publicly breaking, or allowing questionable exceptions to, its own laws may send the wrong message, he is ridiculed, called a hypocrite, and accused of (further) ruining this forum.

Folks: Put yourself in the position of someone who is not familiar with this forum - the publicly visible part of a group ostensibly dedicated to herp-related conservation and education - and ask yourself what that person would think when he or she reads this thread. Welcome to Bizarro World.

Ironically, I complained in another thread (Pet Peeves) that most of what is posted on this forum is uninteresting and meaningless. This thread shows the flip side of the problem: When someone finally does post something interesting and meaningful - and in this case controversial - we have a tendency to turn a bona fide argument into a battle of ad hominems.

So, let's add to the code of silence another layer of meaninglessness - no more controversial topics. And if someone inadvertently posts something controversial (as I think happened in this case), let's all pretend that we are in agreement and that all is well in Bizarro World.

Robert

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 1st, 2015, 11:51 am

Well, all I can say is...Were safe for now. Thank goodness were in a bowling alley...and this forum needs to be more like Pleasantville...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ6QzkIwQu0

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 1st, 2015, 3:04 pm

Image

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Thorny » June 1st, 2015, 3:15 pm

I've decided I want to play.

From talking with many a graduate student and discussions at the Flat-tailed horned lizard workshop I am currently under the belief that Phrynasoma are incredibly sensitive to being moved around. While I understand that the lizards' locations are recorded and they are placed back where they were found I've also been repeatedly told that relocating these lizards what would be comparable to the discrepancy of a Garmin GPS device is enough to do them harm. I also question just how seriously someone can take the importance of putting these lizards back where they were found while simultaneously thinking that using them in a public spectacle is appropriate.

I don't see this event as comparable to noosing. Noosing puts an individual at risk versus large swaths of a population. Noosing and photographing a lizard likely only puts a lizard under stress for half an hour at most, not for hours or days if collected before hand. Noosing is unlikely to spread disease by bringing several individuals of a solitary species in close contact with one another. Noosing does not teach the public that these lizards are a toy or novelty item. Also, without good reason, I would not noose a protected species.

While I am willing to acknowledge the possibility that coastal horned lizard populations could be quite healthy in this area I could use the same argument to do something similar with desert tortoises in some of their strong holds, which would be an absurdity. Doing an event like this with a wild animal, ANY wild animal, seems inappropriate and cruel.

I agree with Hellihooks, I see this event more akin to a rattlesnake roundup than a true educational opportunity for the public.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 1st, 2015, 7:36 pm

I think it is amusing how some participants here are quick to play judge and jury because they proclaim to be such empathetic experts on this species; and interesting on how some of the complainers are some of the worst culprits when it it comes to causing stress to wild herps. If you firmly believe in your convictions, then stop herping all together because every time you pick one up and impede its ability to escape from you, the herper who is the perceived threat to the animal,or disturbing its refuge to grab it out to pose it for a photo is causing some type of needless stress. So think very carefully and take a good long look in the mirror before you cast dispersions and proclaim yourselves as the guilt free righteous.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » June 1st, 2015, 8:14 pm

Not to inject politics into this... but Imagine if say Hillary or some other high profile person had attended... You can BET pundits would be having a field day (their kind) with a gov agency breaking it's own laws... for whatever reason... It's LIZARDGATE... :crazyeyes:

You have to pick your battles... I'm against slavery (which is as bad now as it's ever been)... I'm against discrimination and racism....and I'm against animals being abused for fun and profit. Whether it's rattlesnakes, HL, or just a side blotch lizard... herps are something I WILL stand up and fight for.... AND...'special or preferential treatment' for ANYONE... especially when it breaks laws AND is ecologically problematic really irks me (as an environmental ethicist)

Nafha has no rules concerning online ettiquette, other than Scott's basic no cussing, and be respectful. Since when is holding a strong opinion about something, and clearly stating one's position 'verboten'??? I don't see that I showed anyone any disrespect, as I have no need to employ logical fallacies. (I chose hyperbole intentionally)
I challenge ANYONE to argue that this is ok, on ANY level... but be forewarned... I don't argue unless I KNOW I'm right, and am very experianced in Ethical Debate, at the University Level.

This actually reminds me of something (and is analogous) that happened in my College Days... In Psychology, it is considered unethical to conduct any experiment on people without informed consent... doing so will get you called up to face an Ethical Review Board... as in it's a really serious offense. Colleges have a 'rotation' of subjects fit for the Experimental design and Research Paper writing classes, and 'volunteering behavior' happened to come up the year I took those classes. Typically these experiments would start by walking up to a person and asking them if they would agree to take part in a psychology survey... if they said yes we would proceed with the survey... if they said no... we would check the no box and move on to the next person. Anyone see the problem? checking the 'no' box and later running statistical analysis on that data, not only lacks informed consent, but even worse includes those people in the experiment AGAINST their stated desires... :shock:

I did the experiment and wrote the paper (for an A+) but... raised quite a fuss, and actually put in the paper that I was doing it under protest. Later that year I took it to the ERB's (ethical review board) yearly review, and stated my case. They were shocked and chagrinned that in ten years of having this experiment in the rotation... none of them had ever noticed that it lacked 'informed consent' and worse, went exactly against participant's wishes not to participate.

That experiment, and others like it, are no longer in the rotation.

My point?... sometimes, somebody has to stand up and say WTF???

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » June 1st, 2015, 8:28 pm

More ad hominem arguments from Hannah.

For those not familiar with the term:

An "argumentum ad hominem" means responding to arguments by attacking a person's character, rather than to the content of their arguments. (Wikipedia).

Robert

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Helleri » June 1st, 2015, 11:17 pm

I was not trying to ridicule Jim (dad) over the slavery/womens suffrage thing. Was just saying...not a good a comparison. The two things are very different in to many ways to use one fairly in talking about the other. I am wondering a few things though. Like, how many of the people posting so far have been to this event? And, how well cared for are the captive animals (if they are being well fed for instance, doesn't that give them a leg up upon release)?

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 2nd, 2015, 7:05 am

RobertH wrote:More ad hominem arguments from Hannah.

For those not familiar with the term:

An "argumentum ad hominem" means responding to arguments by attacking a person's character, rather than to the content of their arguments. (Wikipedia).

Robert
Why so defensive in your responses, Robert? Surely if my opinions do not apply to you and your behaviors then there would be no reason for you to regard them as ad hominem attacks. I witnessed a few years ago your outreach techniques at a society meeting; so the little taste I received of your methods were rather condescending and preachy; so my opinions are based on first hand experience. But I digress. You and Nicholas go out herping on a fairly regular basis (I would guess a couple of times of month?) I rarely have the opportunity nowadays to engage in that activity. So let's do the math: the probability is far higher that you and your son are stressing a higher percentage of wild herps. You love and respect them that much, then just admire them from a far with no direct contact. Be nice to people. Don't treat the public like clueless dweebs who cannot be educated (even if you really believe that).

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » June 2nd, 2015, 7:49 am

I intentionally used slavery as an 'extreme' example, to get folks to really think about what is occuring here... taking a living creature into captivity and forcing it to do your bidding. While slavery was strictly 'for profit'... one can argue that morally this is even worse, as it's done for profit AND entertainment.

I don't buy that there is ANY redeeming value, like education... hell... they call them 'Toads' when they are lizards... :shock: and sets the example that Humans can do whatever they want to with 'nature', and that our desires (even enterainment) outweigh all other considerations.

It is only a matter of 'degree' that these two activities differ... they are in the same 'family' of behavoir... and should one care to argue that it's not comparable because people are way more important than lizards... that then comes under the heading of the long-standing (but as of yet unanswered) philosophical 'Moral Standing' question.

And Hanna's seemingly ad hominem argument (I believe) is more than just an emotional appeal (attack on the man)... it is a call to Kantian 'universitality' and even Christian doctrine... 'Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone'... both of which are founded in the 'Golden Rule' principle of "do unto others..." (which BTW, some version of is contained in every major Devine Command theory{religion})

While we all LIKE to think of ourselves as 'idealists', in the real world where the rubber meets the road, we are forced to be more utilitarian... and Hanna's argument that lots of herps are needlessly stressed, all the time, by many people, for a variety of reasons might carry some weight. There is however a big difference in temporarily stressing an animal to collect data that will benefit that species as a whole and stressing an animal for entertainment purposes. And of course the whole spectrum between those two extremes, with cost/benefit analyses for each... but (IMO) the ultimate question being... Who benefits??? The given species, or people? Which brings us full circle back to Kantian 'Intent'... wherein the moral intent of a deed is all that matters. Its clear to me, that in this case... the intent is to please people... and the hell with any other considerations, including the law.

And Jahred... HL eat ants almost exclusively so I doubt the lizards are fed a correct diet, and other insects provided (like crickets) are actually bad for them.

I think a lot of parralles tween this event and the Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee can be made... they been doing the frog-jumping contests since 1928, when they used (i believe) Red Legged frogs, but now use Bullfrogs... cause... oh that's right... can't find Red Legs in Calaveras Co. any more... :roll:

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Fieldherper » June 2nd, 2015, 9:57 am

Wow. Such vitriol over people playing with a few horned lizards in a tiny parcel of their habitat. It doesn't bother me a bit. I guess that ideally they would be left alone, but I believe the net effect is positive for the species. The locals love their horned lizards. They will tell others about them, kids will remember it and grow up and tell their kids, etc... In the end, we protect what we know and like or love.

It's certainly better than an old school rattlesnake "roundup."

Does anyone think that this is even in the top 100 threats facing Phrynosoma in CA?? Let me think: HABITAT DESTRUCTION (strip malls, solar farms, housing developments, wineries), invasive nonnative ants, road mortality, feral cats/dogs/pigs, crows, natural predators, etc.....

Drive through the coast ranges sometime and make note of how much land has been drastically altered. THIS is where the vitriol should be directed!! Nonetheless, horned lizards are currently doing fine and are common in many areas.

I'd be OK with the Coalinga event even if they dressed the little things up in cute outfits and had a pageant. I may draw the line at threatening them with a coyote puppet to see who could squirt blood the farthest, though---that seems exploitative.

Think about the next time you enjoy your nice CA wine.

FH

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by RobertH » June 2nd, 2015, 9:59 am

Keep the ad hominem arguments coming, Hannah. :lol: I think everyone is beginning to get the picture ...

Robert

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 2nd, 2015, 11:13 am

"Drive through the coast ranges sometime and make note of how much land has been drastically altered. THIS is where the vitriol should be directed!! Think about the next time you enjoy your nice CA wine."
I dislike wine in general, and greatly dislike CA wineries...the grapes of wrath...they have destroyed so much habitat it isn't funny. I think Nafha should start a campaign to get all environmentally concerned groups and individuals to boycott CA wine.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 2nd, 2015, 12:11 pm

RobertH wrote:Keep the ad hominem arguments coming, Hannah. :lol: I think everyone is beginning to get the picture ...

Robert
Who is everyone? You appear to be the sensitive one responding. Including anonymous "everyone" to try to save yourself from embarrassment .
So, I do not see any evidence of "everyone" chiming in for your defense.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 2nd, 2015, 12:14 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:
"Drive through the coast ranges sometime and make note of how much land has been drastically altered. THIS is where the vitriol should be directed!! Think about the next time you enjoy your nice CA wine."
I dislike wine in general, and greatly dislike CA wineries...the grapes of wrath...they have destroyed so much habitat it isn't funny. I think Nafha should start a campaign to get all environmentally concerned groups and individuals to boycott CA wine.

Hubbs at least sees the big picture as the problem rather than nitpicking on the isolated actions of a few.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 2nd, 2015, 12:15 pm

Does anyone think that this is even in the top 100 threats facing Phrynosoma in CA?? Let me think: HABITAT DESTRUCTION (strip malls, solar farms, housing developments, wineries), invasive nonnative ants, road mortality, feral cats/dogs/pigs, crows, natural predators, etc.....

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: ;)

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 2nd, 2015, 12:28 pm

Hubbs at least sees the big picture as the problem rather than nitpicking on the isolated actions of a few.
Hubbs has always seen the big picture...hence my frustration with certain laws and the way the ESA is handled... ;)

However, Hubbs is vehemently opposed to anyone collecting animals that do not do well in captivity...including Horned Lizards and adult Western Pond Turtles..

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » June 2nd, 2015, 1:04 pm

So, if it's important to collect and recollect these lizards to make people aware of how important it is to protect them... how important is it for field herpes (people who care these creatures) to have the right to move a protected species out of the road when they come across one...especially salamanders and snakes that have fallen asleep to the warmth of the road? How close are we to going the extent of these actions to having, say a, test or exam yearly that's based on identification and other important knowledge to obtain an additional license or sticker that allows qualified field herpers to save individuals from cars and trail loving mountain bikers?

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » June 2nd, 2015, 1:10 pm

seems both require a little stress for a positive impact...

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 2nd, 2015, 1:12 pm

I see nothing wrong with moving them off the road. But, if you find a turtle on land (not road) don't move it to water if it's a female. she is probably on her way to lay eggs. If it's a male traveling toward water, I see no problem giving him a lift.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by klawnskale » June 2nd, 2015, 1:18 pm

Let me also clarify that even researchers and biologists doing field work on wild animals cause stress to them from being captured and processed. I do not want anyone here to get the impression that I would hold bios in some sort of elite high regard exempt of the same principles. Stress is stress regardless who the source is. Granted, recaptured individuals used in a study will eventually become familiar with the routine and as a result may suffer less stress than a new capture, it is the discretion of the researcher to decide whether a specific population of animals has been subjected to enough repeated stress and thus find another population to continue their research. I know of one professor studying C. oreganus in the Central Coast who gives a study population a 'break' for a couple of seasons and searches for different populations not all ready studied within her research area. There is a disease spreading among rattlesnakes in the eastern and southeastern United States that one study hypothesis puts the source on biologists being the vector for it; and not only carrying and transmitting the disease, but due to disturbing the animals repeatedly, maybe the source of the stress compromising their immune systems. There was a study also done by the USGS about three years ago on how much handling desert tortoises can tolerate while being processed. It was surmised the tortoises can tolerate about 20 minutes of handling before they start to express the classic physiological symptoms of stress. So, exercising discretion when handling wild animals is germane. I agree with Hubbs that species that do not respond well to captivity should not be kept as long term captives. But in the case of the Coalinga Horned Lizard Festival it was only a couple of days and then the specimens were released. These are not the same conditions as in attempting to keep it as a pet. And let us ALL remember, we engage in herping as a hobby. How different is this from being a source of entertainment? The end result for both is personal gratification.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 2nd, 2015, 2:31 pm


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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » June 2nd, 2015, 3:21 pm

klawnskale wrote: But in the case of the Coalinga Horned Lizard Festival it was only a couple of days and then the specimens were released. These are not the same conditions as in attempting to keep it as a pet.
How do you know this... have you been there and verified that... does anyone, including the State, check on the HL's treatment and condition? I seriously doubt that they collect all the Horned lizards they need in one or two days... and like in rattlesnake roundups... it's probably over a course of weeks to a month. Do certain people collect all the lizards for racing... or is everybody who wants to bring one allowed to do so? Where is the Oversight?
klawnskale wrote: And let us ALL remember, we engage in herping as a hobby. How different is this from being a source of entertainment? The end result for both is personal gratification.
Uhhhh... that may be true on FB or FHF... but this is Nafha... a Data Collecting group, and while many members Do Enjoy data collection, wildlife photography, personal collection and/or locality breeding... the point is... we FOCUS on the ONE Aspect of herping that is done for the good of the herps... data collection. Which begs the question Hanna... if you don't collect and submit data... why are you here...on Nafha forums again, with your ALWAYS disparaging comments?

Robert and Nicholas STARTED herping as pure Data Collectors and even now, years later have ever only kept one or two native herps. Nicholas, at age 12... WON last year's Ca. data entry contest, and in addittion to developing his photographic skills to a professional level, gives talks on reptiles FOR FREE, as opposed to you, who makes her living from doing it. Preachy??? Really??? When you do one tenth the good those two do, for herps, on a yearly basis... you can talk about 'preachy' They, by their hard work and committment have earned the RIGHT to say what's best... for everything they do is done to the highest possible ethical standards... :shock:

And I don't buy the 'not even in the top 100 threats' arguement... We all KNOW about these over-arching problems... which are all the MORE REASON to do something about something we CAN do something about. What gets my goat, is my friends and I don't even touch Coast Horned lizards, and advise others not to, as against the law... but for the purposes of 'tradition'... others can race them??? I can't have one in a tank... to teach folks not to touch them, and to only appreciate them from afar, and maybe take a pic... and others can RACE them??? I lead pickets and protests against development where they still occur, trying to reduce habitat loss... AND OTHER'S CAN RACE THEM???

I REALLY think the agencies that condone and allow this to happen need to re-examine their rationals for doing so.

If any of them want to discuss it in person... we could meet a Sambos... you know... that pancake house that had the liitle black boy 'Sambo' (who lead a tiger around a tree so fast the tiger turned to butter, for thier pancakes, i guess :crazyeyes: ) as their mascot... oh wait... they closed those all down... :shock:

I guess some traditions aren't worth keeping... :crazyeyes:

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » June 2nd, 2015, 3:28 pm

That kind of knowledge, distinguishing male and female along with breeding season, would/should be included in the exam. It takes about 30 seconds to move an animal off a road to safety... 30 seconds of stress = one saved life. Two days of stress = possible interest from the community (or someone) that will equal the concern of the average field herper. After doing the math, it's pretty obvious which is more important to survival and less stressful on the toad. Every high school has a mascot. Doesn't mean everyone who goes to that high school is gonna care to know about the details of it. They only will if they have personal interest in it, for whatever reason. You can't make a person who is afraid of spiders/snake start loving them... no matter what you tell em. I believe some of those towns people will, or already do, care a lot for their mascot! But others think its a big ugly frog. Those people aren't ganna stand around to here a speech about something they don't like to begin with. So, at best... you'll be recruiting more field herpers.

Also, just to clarify... the tags/license/sticker wouldn't allow collection or bagging. Only removal from roads. Hobby or not... I know there are people who care enough to purchase an extra tag to save what they care about. Those people don't need to be taught to appreciate these creatures... they choose to on their own. It's in their hearts. It's not just a hobby, but a lifestyle.

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by hellihooks » June 2nd, 2015, 3:59 pm

Richard... it's probably more like a week or two in captivity, being fed an incorrect diet (if fed at all) to be followed by being poked and prodded into running a 'race' and then taken back out to be released... probably all at the same spot... :shock:

And what do folks learn through this? That behavior like this is ok, and everybody makes a lot of money from the tourists... oh yeah... and that laws don't apply if you're 'special' and gots a 'tradition'. :roll:

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » June 2nd, 2015, 4:13 pm

Hey, Jim :beer:

Yeah, I read your response that got posted before mine, AFTER I submitted. I was going off Hannah's couple days. Instead of editing, I just left it. Also, shoulda quoted Brian. That's what the male/female/spring is about... I'm a little forum illiterate these days..lol Hannah, I mean no disrespect as well! In fact, I would like to visit you for photography purposes. I think we talked about that a few years ago. If work permits, I may be able to do a desert trip this year. Nothing but respect to all sides, people... :)

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Re: Coalinga Horned Toad Derby

Post by Porter » June 2nd, 2015, 4:27 pm

...nuff said

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