...florida python hunt results ...

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regalringneck
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...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » February 27th, 2016, 7:33 pm

... pyty the reporter didnt give the stats for the last several years "hunt" & even better pythons (by age class) / hunter / hours effort ... then we'd have some real data to consider. Body condition appears to be high in the few i see... which would indicate prey is not particularly limiting. It'd also be intrstng to know the ratio of rocks to burms & wether or not hybrids are being seen .... ah well we hafta take, if not be content w/ the crumbs we get ... any miami folks want to give us an update on the boa constrictors ?


106 Burmese pythons captured in Florida, including 15-footer

By JENNIFER KAY0

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The 106 Burmese pythons captured over a monthlong hunt won't help control Florida's invasive snake population, but wildlife officials said Saturday that doesn't matter as much as the awareness they bring to the state's environmental concerns.

Thousands of pythons, far from their natural habitat in Southeast Asia, are believed to be stalking Florida wildlife in the beleaguered Everglades. The tan, splotchy snakes can be elusive in the wetlands, but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say volunteer python removal programs and two state-sanctioned hunts since 2009 are focusing more eyes to the problem.

"Whether they're fishermen or they're hunters or they're hikers or they're birdwatchers — they're all looking for the python," said wildlife commissioner Ron Bergeron. "The success of the 'Python Challenge' has broadened out to thousands of people now."

PYTHON CHALLENGE

The longest python caught during the hunt that ran between Jan. 16 and Feb. 14 was 15 feet long. It was caught by a team led by Bill Booth of Sarasota.

Booth's team also took home a prize for largest haul of snakes: 33 pythons.

Over 1,000 people from 29 states registered to remove pythons from South Florida's wetlands.

Daniel Moniz of Bricktown, New Jersey, suffered bites to the face, neck and arm from the 13-foot-8.7-inch python that won him a prize for the longest python caught by an individual.

Faced with a winter layoff from his landscaping job, he completed the wildlife commission's online training and spent a month biking over 40 miles a day over levees through the wetlands, eventually bagging a total of 13 pythons.

The longest one tried to swim away, until he dove on top of it. "I got it under control and stuffed it in a pillow case," he said.

Frank Mazzotti of the University of Florida said the stomach contents of the captured pythons are still being analyzed, but so far the prey has included a fawn and a wood stork and other large wading birds.


Once the necropsies are complete, the hunters can reclaim their dead snakes. About a third of have been turned over to Brian Wood of All American Gator in Hollywood.

Half the hunters want him to make something from the pythons they caught — a wall hanging, a pair of boots, or a purse for the wife at a fraction of the cost of a python clutch bearing a luxury designer logo.

The other half are selling him their dead snakes for up to $150 apiece — about the same price Wood pays for fully processed, tanned and dyed python skins imported from Asia. (In Wood's store, swatches show python skins dyed teal, rose pink, pale yellow and metallic gold, among other hues.)

Wood also turned about 20 pythons caught during the 2013 Python Challenge into accessories. Pythons that once slithered through the Everglades now slide out of pockets as black-and-white billfolds or hang off arms as roomy purses. A couple now stride down sidewalks, transformed into pairs of Chuck Taylor sneakers.

"It's kind of cool to be able to get something that's invasive, not something that's endangered," Wood said.

He says he regularly supplies European luxury brands with alligator skins, but they aren't interested in Florida's pythons. The state's invasive snakes aren't tracked by international trade conventions, and the volume can't compare with the hundreds of thousands of python skins supplied each by about 10 countries in Southeast Asia.

They're also looking for sustainable sources of python skins, while Florida just wants to be rid of its python supply.

Unfortunately, pythons are not Wood's only supply of invasive species leathers.

"I'm trying to promote this lizard we have that's taken over," he says, meaning iguanas, which his sons are hired to hunt in South Florida's urban and suburban environments.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 6th, 2016, 2:51 pm

... anyone noe if a nile monitor has shown up in a python yet? or a nile rooting up a pythons nest? surely an iggy has ... haha ... gotta love it ... exotic herp mngmt via exotic herps :p

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by reptologist » March 7th, 2016, 5:10 pm

I want to ask a question. I don't want to come off as a wise guy or even a person who doesn't support the eradication of the invasive pythons. I'm simply asking because I really want to fully understand the results of such an unintended release of an invasive species. If a thousand herpetologists spent a month specifically looking for pythons and only captured just over a hundred snakes, is there really an epidemic? That's only 1 snake per 10 hunters. Is it possible that the pythons have introduced another food item (juvenile pythons) to the native species of fauna? My next question is about other reptile species found in conjunction with the pythons. I don't know how accurate the report was but I remember reading an article that stated that as a direct result of the pythons eating raccoons, skunks, and opossums, the local native reptiles have experienced a significant rebound because the pythons are eating the main culprits of nest raiding. Does this have merit? I hope my comments will met with interest.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 7th, 2016, 8:32 pm

briefly, because id like our florida folks to respond ... eventually ... but nothing wrong w/ your ?'s ... a thinking man working ... good on you.
Hunter success is often low, ex. ; in the low cali desert; deer hunters have a 3-11 % "hunter success" but there are actually areas w/ numbers of buras .. ... some of the best look like the friggn sahara : ]
& yes neonate pythons will provide a tasty sausage to a number of critters ... but clearly plenty are making it up to the 7-10' range. i am most interested in your ? how does this effect other squamates normally consumed my meso carnivores & large wading birds ... i took a "systems ecology" class in grad skool where we built elaborate (to us) models to try to predict some of the possible outcomes of various variable manipulations ( macro nutrients / fire - not pythons) & i bet they're still doing this, ... my philosophical critique was that they were largely additive or multiplicative functions of input change ... whereas nature i observe tends to build its "model" in the most unorthodox and non linear nor predictive manners, & then if our model doesn't fit ... we dont question underlying assumptions ... we just go back & tweak the algorithms ... perhaps use natural logs rather than base 10 (or base 60) logs... we mathematically manipulate them until they "fit" the miniscule data set that was gathered in a comparatively instant interval of time. ... then this reflective new & improved model sails thru peer review & gets published as science ( thus why we need replication thru time ) ... but i for 1 remain skeptical ... & what did Nietzsche say about this way back in the l8te 1800's :
" there are no facts, merely interpretations" .. likely still true today!
Okay nuff sed ... i must await a deeper understanding & thnx for your thoughts / rxr ...

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by s_stocking » March 7th, 2016, 9:12 pm

reptologist,

I have no doubt that the python population is enormous in number and having an adverse impact on many native species of animals. With regards to the python challenge, it's common knowledge by scientists to be an ineffective method for controlling the python population for a number of reasons: 1) the challenge was NOT conducted by 1000 herpetologists. Only a handful of the hunters were experienced at finding snakes, and only a few hunted for multiple days. Most of the hunters were amateurs and bought a license to go out for a day or two. 2) Probability of detection for pythons that are hidden and hunkered down is extremely low for even experienced herpetologists. 3) Most of the habitat is extremely difficult to access, and 4) Everglades National Park (ENP), the heart of Burm range in Florida, is off limits to the hunt. Hunters were limited to state wildlife management areas north and east of the park. This issue also came up on Facebook a few weeks ago. To quote Mike Rochford from the University of Florida:
"Pythons are a hot topic at the moment and I'm seeing a lot of comments by people who have clearly never been to the everglades and do not grasp the concepts of crypsis and low detection probability. So, to help illustrate what's going on I've created a couple images that help explain. The first shows pythons reported to EDDMapS. Anyone(?) can create an account and download these data. As you can see, most people only encounter these snakes on roads or levees which make up a fraction of the habitat in this area. The second image is identical but also shows many of the places we located pythons through radio-telemetry. It gives a much better perspective of what's going on out there. This is just a fraction of Everglades National Park and ENP is only part of their range in Florida. In fact, most pythons are caught outside ENP. Folks who have never been to the everglades must have a tough time imagining that most of the habitat shown here is mud and water that is knee- to waste-deep. Imagine walking a mile in that. I'd rather walk five miles through the desert. When you visit the park you'll notice visitors almost always stick to roads and boardwalks. Nobody looks for snakes out there yet the pythons are utilizing every bit of available habitat. ENP is 1.5 million acres and that is a fraction of the range of Burmese Pythons in Florida. Is it really so difficult to believe that tens of thousands of them are out there? 10,000 snakes occupying 1.5 million acres would give each snake 150 acres to itself. I think they are a little more densely populated than that! And they are covering more than that 1.5 million acres. And what do tens of thousands of snakes eat? I've seen 12 rats in one python alone! Even if they only eat 6 times per year that's 60,000 mammals, birds, and gators removed from the glades. And that is an extremely conservative estimate. Are there bigger problems? Absolutely! But I encourage the reptile community to stop denying the impact pythons have upon the Everglades. I can't describe how ignorant it sounds to someone who is responsible for documenting 50% of these red dots."

If you find Mike's post on Facebook you can see the maps he is referring to, or you can follow his directions and pull the data from EDDMAPS yourself-

Steve

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 7th, 2016, 10:37 pm

All I can say is don't drink the python Kool-Aid. Remember when all the talk was about how far North the snakes would be moving. LOL. To date there is zero verifiable evidence that the pythons have had any negative impact on what is called the Everglades eco system. Do not confuse the forced dooms day speculation and the bending of statistical data as true scientific fact.

No one has covered this topic more thoroughly from every aspect and provided more facts then I have. Telling the parts of the story the Mikey "Fresh" Rochford's of the world don't want known. Its a bad business and career move for them to be completely truthful. A sad but all to true fact of todays scientific community. A brief overview,

Much of the anxiety caused by the introduction of the Burmese python is due to the whimsical image that the Everglades is a beautiful unspoiled environment in dire need of rescue. An environment that has been invaded by a giant unchecked predator.

I sense that once again the python researchers have been negligent, failing to place the Everglades as it exist today into proper position when talking over the snakes and their conjecture of the potential impacts. The Burmese python has become a part of the Everglades, the real Everglades as appropriately described;

Less then 3% of the natural Everglades still exist (according to the World Wildlife Fund),

All of South Florida, from the Big Cypress Swamp at the northwest, north to and including Lake Okeechobee in the center, and the Atlantic Ridge on which the Miami metropolitan area sits, is recognized as the Everglades ecoregion or sometimes as the “historic Everglades,”

The Everglades of today is a blending of species from around the world, an ecosystem changing and adapting to new influences that have arrived with the growing flood of people that now inhabit all of South Florida. People are prevented from living in the ENP, but the plants and animals that have arrived with them know no such boundaries.

Despite the addition of so many exotic species in ENP,
the ecosystem has proven to be resilient and remains functioning and productive. Its biodiversity is greater today then at any time since the settlement of Florida.

Yes, it has to be monitored and sometimes managed. However, the fears and predictions of environmentalists that any ecosystem so riddled at all trophic levels with exotic species could not function have not proven to be true. Most of the ecosystems of the entire planet include a significant percentage of introduced species as a consequence
of the actions of humans. The simple fact is that most exotic and “alien” species, both plants and animals, don’t derail ecosystems and they may make positive contributions.

The Everglades of yesterday, the Everglades of 200 years ago, is gone. The purity of the old historic Everglades has not been experienced by any living human. It is an ecosystem that has been drained, commercially developed, has had 4 times the amount of agent orange dumped on it as was used in Viet Nam, been used as Florida's drainage ditch for over a hundred years, has had hundreds of species introduced into it and on and on.

Still, a return to that ecosystem is held as the ultimate goal by many conservationists and restorationists of the “Glades.” They fail to accept and acknowledge that the remembered ecosystem itself was but one vignette in a changing landscape. The Everglades and all of South Florida have changed, have always changed, and will -continue to change. But they will never change back.


Various actions on their part show the invasive python camp of biologists have a conflict of interest and lack of objectivity , it is provable they benefit directly by maximizing the magnitude of any problems that Burmese pythons might present, real or hypothetical. It is not an act of hostility or agenda to comment on this or to point out the glaring holes in the science presented, the far-fetched morphological and ecological information , the poor quality of the publications and the biased press releases. The failure of some to admitting even the slightest to the possibility that there has been any wrong doing on the part of the Invasive python team . This in the face of cogent evidence that is proof of their bias, their agenda.

Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Stohlgren » March 8th, 2016, 4:32 am

WSTREPS wrote:Despite the addition of so many exotic species in ENP,
the ecosystem has proven to be resilient and remains functioning and productive. Its biodiversity is greater today then at any time since the settlement of Florida.
I think you mean, because of the addition of so many exotic species, its biodiversity is greater today.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 8th, 2016, 6:01 am

Stohlgren wrote:
WSTREPS wrote:Despite the addition of so many exotic species in ENP,
the ecosystem has proven to be resilient and remains functioning and productive. Its biodiversity is greater today then at any time since the settlement of Florida.
I think you mean, because of the addition of so many exotic species, its biodiversity is greater today.

Find an Everglades Mink or Rabbit anywhere in ENP, I dare you.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 8th, 2016, 7:30 am

Find an Everglades Mink or Rabbit anywhere in ENP, I dare you.Josh Holbrook
A mink or a rabbit. In ENP, LOL. Golly Gee Whiz, I thought it was raccoon's, possums and bob cats I couldn't find, the pythons ate them all. Remember. As it turns out these animals are as common as ever. There is nothing scientifically viable to indicate otherwise.

The chances of going to ENP and seeing a mink have always been next to zero. Rabbits have also never been a common sight within the boundaries of the park. Outside the park (yes , where the pythons are found) rabbits are still commonly seen. The reason for this is simple, better visibility and outside the park more then just the people getting paid to watch pythons can look for them. Its no coincidence that when trying to promote an issue the people being paid to fight back the python invasion often restrict their comments to areas exclusive to them. Before anyone argues that many visitors venture to ENP, it must be pointed out that their access to the area is extremely restricted and so their chances of seeing certain species is also extremely restricted. Other environmental variable's come into play making it very easy to bend the data and make it appear that a very common animal is disappearing. These dirty tricks have been seen before and no doubt will continue to be seen in the comments and work (peer reviewed or not ) put fourth by the people who stand to benefit the most from it.

Like I said don't drink the Python Kool-Aid.

For the record. Josh Holbrook (published a weak paper on the subject of the pythons gorging themselves on "The Glades" mammals that was rife with gross error ( I thoroughly debunked the many falsehood's found in that paper). To put it in its proper perspective Josh Holbrook's paper was a farce. He wasn't the only one to publish such poor quality work on the topic. In fact most of everything put forth by the people who are paid to chase pythons has fallen in that category. It been nothing short of a disgraceful display of dishonesty on the part of people who are suppose to pride themselves on their objectivity and integrity.


Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by chrish » March 8th, 2016, 8:01 am

WSTREPS wrote:As it turns out these animals are as common as ever. There is nothing scientifically viable to indicate otherwise.
Peer reviewed study showing very strong evidence that the decline in marsh rabbits is directly attributable to python predation.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... 5/20150120

Here's a challenge for you, Ernie. Rather than just giving us your opinions, why don't you counter with some peer reviewed, published evidence that supports your position?

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 8th, 2016, 8:36 am

Peer reviewed study showing very strong evidence that the decline in marsh rabbits is directly attributable to python predation.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... 5/20150120
Not true, I don't have the time or the desire to dissect the exacting bias found in that kangaroo court approach to a research study. To say it is very strong evidence that the decline in marsh rabbits is directly attributable to python predation is neglecting the mitigating circumstances surrounding that study. The top down predation game was next in line after the disappearing mammal gimmick and hype had run its course.
Here's a challenge for you, Ernie. Rather than just giving us your opinions, why don't you counter with some peer reviewed, published evidence that supports your position?
I've already addressed that challenge in the past (do your homework) as well as pointing out the hypocrisy that plagues the peer reviewed system scientist like try and use as a defining mark of credibility. It is far from it. I'm not just posting opinions, I'm posting factual information that takes into account all the verifiable truth and places it into the proper context. Context that is devoid of the selective biasing found in the works of those paid to create python problems they can not prove exist using sound scientific approach's.


Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » March 8th, 2016, 10:02 am

The McCleery paper (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... 5/20150120) is the definition of strong inference in field research. The gold standard, incredibly good science. They manipulated python and marsh rabbit abundance and determined the strength of the predation interaction. This paper also corroborates the Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades. These folks are doing great work on an important topic.

Trying to cast doubt on the entire scientific establishment and personally attacking the scientists you don't agree with is wrong. I'm glad that most of the forum community is better than that.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 8th, 2016, 11:04 am

You need not introduce me here, Ernie. Many people know me or my reputation - and unfortunately for you they know yours as well. I also know better than to argue with you; so I'm going to go do some herping and you can waste another half an hour typing your next 3-page rant. Have fun, I know I will.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 8th, 2016, 12:07 pm

... surely, there are folks now cruising the flamingo rd & documenting both live wildlife & roadkill, ideally the latter b4 dawn, so the black vultures dont gobble all the evidence. This would be a perfect citizen scientist project if the park/state/university folks arent all ready hot on it. There must be reams of roadkill data from the pre-python years.
I would think by the time pythons were a serious suppressor of herbivorous mammal populations, that the age class (size) of alligators ought to skew to older = larger as they experienced less competition from their smaller breathern, as well as the caloric input via abundant & nutritious pythons swimming through their pools ?
Back to the AP report, the fellow that subdued a 13' r by himself is one loco tough sob ... when im down there, i pre load myself, 8' is pushing max, especially if im going it alone. & entering the water to grab one would be even more foolhardy.
While the appended video was staged ... its worth a look, mebbe we need to get jags back into the e-glades to fix this trainwreck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7O0y1g8FGM

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 8th, 2016, 2:45 pm

regalringneck wrote:... surely, there are folks now cruising the flamingo rd & documenting both live wildlife & roadkill, ideally the latter b4 dawn, so the black vultures dont gobble all the evidence. This would be a perfect citizen scientist project if the park/state/university folks arent all ready hot on it. There must be reams of roadkill data from the pre-python years.
I would think by the time pythons were a serious suppressor of herbivorous mammal populations, that the age class (size) of alligators ought to skew to older = larger as they experienced less competition from their smaller breathern, as well as the caloric input via abundant & nutritious pythons swimming through their pools ?
Back to the AP report, the fellow that subdued a 13' r by himself is one loco tough sob ... when im down there, i pre load myself, 8' is pushing max, especially if im going it alone. & entering the water to grab one would be even more foolhardy.
While the appended video was staged ... its worth a look, mebbe we need to get jags back into the e-glades to fix this trainwreck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7O0y1g8FGM
Probably not much direct competition between Alligators and Burms. The vast majority of Everglades Alligator diet consists of Apple Snails. Big Burms aren't always a pain to deal with. I wrangled my largest (14 ft, 7 or 8 inches) alone.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by reptologist » March 8th, 2016, 5:03 pm

s_stocking wrote:reptologist,

I have no doubt that the python population is enormous in number and having an adverse impact on many native species of animals. With regards to the python challenge, it's common knowledge by scientists to be an ineffective method for controlling the python population for a number of reasons: 1) the challenge was NOT conducted by 1000 herpetologists. Only a handful of the hunters were experienced at finding snakes, and only a few hunted for multiple days. Most of the hunters were amateurs and bought a license to go out for a day or two. 2) Probability of detection for pythons that are hidden and hunkered down is extremely low for even experienced herpetologists. 3) Most of the habitat is extremely difficult to access, and 4) Everglades National Park (ENP), the heart of Burm range in Florida, is off limits to the hunt. Hunters were limited to state wildlife management areas north and east of the park. This issue also came up on Facebook a few weeks ago. To quote Mike Rochford from the University of Florida:
"Pythons are a hot topic at the moment and I'm seeing a lot of comments by people who have clearly never been to the everglades and do not grasp the concepts of crypsis and low detection probability. So, to help illustrate what's going on I've created a couple images that help explain. The first shows pythons reported to EDDMapS. Anyone(?) can create an account and download these data. As you can see, most people only encounter these snakes on roads or levees which make up a fraction of the habitat in this area. The second image is identical but also shows many of the places we located pythons through radio-telemetry. It gives a much better perspective of what's going on out there. This is just a fraction of Everglades National Park and ENP is only part of their range in Florida. In fact, most pythons are caught outside ENP. Folks who have never been to the everglades must have a tough time imagining that most of the habitat shown here is mud and water that is knee- to waste-deep. Imagine walking a mile in that. I'd rather walk five miles through the desert. When you visit the park you'll notice visitors almost always stick to roads and boardwalks. Nobody looks for snakes out there yet the pythons are utilizing every bit of available habitat. ENP is 1.5 million acres and that is a fraction of the range of Burmese Pythons in Florida. Is it really so difficult to believe that tens of thousands of them are out there? 10,000 snakes occupying 1.5 million acres would give each snake 150 acres to itself. I think they are a little more densely populated than that! And they are covering more than that 1.5 million acres. And what do tens of thousands of snakes eat? I've seen 12 rats in one python alone! Even if they only eat 6 times per year that's 60,000 mammals, birds, and gators removed from the glades. And that is an extremely conservative estimate. Are there bigger problems? Absolutely! But I encourage the reptile community to stop denying the impact pythons have upon the Everglades. I can't describe how ignorant it sounds to someone who is responsible for documenting 50% of these red dots."

If you find Mike's post on Facebook you can see the maps he is referring to, or you can follow his directions and pull the data from EDDMAPS yourself-

Steve
Do you know of any studies on the native turtles, snakes and gators that show an increase or decrease in populations?

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by stlouisdude » March 8th, 2016, 5:30 pm

Pythons? They've nearly taken over Maryland.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 8th, 2016, 6:12 pm

Some good stuff beginning to trickle ... lets hope it becomes a torrent : }

josh, very interesting re the gators ... i wasnt thinking so much competition for food ( i thought juv & young gators mostly ate fish & turtles) but more that the P's taking small & subadult gators which seem abundant ... but apple snails ? who'd a guessed; gators competing w/ kites ? & why dont we hear about everglade kites anymore anyway? Back in the 80's they were all over the news ... please dont tell me they blinked out ... what an elegant bird.
So tell me who is looking closely @ the flamingo rd. nowadaze ? that is the transect to focus on, w/ shark valley / tamiami mebbe 2'nd & 3r'd or even Krome ... but if no ones followed up on your work ... Im going to be seriously disgusted. : {
I still like the idea of bringing in the tropical semi-aquatic jags & giving a pass to the inbred " florida x tex-ass "panthers" real Panthera sport spots, but not just when kittens ....

oh & ref you whupp'n a big one alone ... invoke the image of your mom ... you may be tuff'r than a bullshark crossed w/ a pitbull ... but 8-10' pythons dont have to breathe very often ... & you do! hoo-ah :p

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 8th, 2016, 7:55 pm

reptologist wrote: Do you know of any studies on the native turtles, snakes and gators that show an increase or decrease in populations?
I know J.D. Willson presented on some interesting research at a conference a couple summers ago where they were looking at mammal predation events in southern Florida on turtle nests, although it doesn't look like it's been published yet.
regalringneck wrote:but more that the P's taking small & subadult gators which seem abundant .
From what I remember of the dietary data (there are studies out there that are easy enough to find), gators do show up, but they certainly aren't a big prey source, precentage-wise.
regalringneck wrote:why dont we hear about everglade kites anymore anyway? Back in the 80's they were all over the news ... please dont tell me they blinked out ... what an elegant bird.
I'm no bird person, but when I lived in SFL (just over a year ago) they were pretty common several places in the northern Everglades.
regalringneck wrote:So tell me who is looking closely @ the flamingo rd. nowadaze ? that is the transect to focus on, w/ shark valley / tamiami mebbe 2'nd & 3r'd or even Krome ... but if no ones followed up on your work ... Im going to be seriously disgusted. : {
Frank Mazzotti's UF lab is doing a lot of monitoring/road surveying in ENP and elsewhere. They did publish something on mammal surveys in ENP a while back (http://www.pnas.org/content/109/7/2418.full), but I'm sure they have other stuff in the pipeline. See their Everglades Invasive Reptile and Amphibian Monitoring Program here: http://crocdoc.ifas.ufl.edu/currentprojects/

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 9th, 2016, 12:12 pm

Thnx Josh 4 the post & lynx, there are several interesting looking projects therein that are going to be of interest to me. Heres the abstract from Dorcas 2011 for evryones conveinience, It certainly appears to me to be a solid piece of work, good to see you were part of that team.

Abstract

"Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities. "

I hope someone will give us an update on the status of the miami boa's too, i haven't heard a peep about them since the big freeze in 2010. hastas / rxr

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 9th, 2016, 4:19 pm

Frank J. Mazzotti addressing the Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades.

"With few exceptions, you would get that impression from the media coverage that hoards of rampaging snakes were vacuuming up mammals in the Everglades. We don't know that ....' Frank J. Mazzotti is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


The methodology that comprised the Dorcas 2012 study was about as scientific as shampoo commercial.

For a highly detailed scientific evaluation of the Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades the following link.

http://vpi.com/sites/default/files/Bark ... HS47-4.pdf


Hum... did someone say great work ? , the gold standard, very amusing. Like the climate matching maps that forum member Bob "Narrowfellow" Reed splashed all over the front page of the USA TODAY. Wow ! Talk about some great work. It was probably the most disgraceful, fraudulent piece of unabashed fear mongering in the history of biological science.

Or perhaps the book Invasive Pythons in the United States by Dorcas and Willson is what is considered great work? A book that featured such notable quotes posted below as well as an endless supply of complete bullshit. Thru out the book the authors bend and twist verifiable biological data , mix and match species, habitats etc. distorting just about everything and anything they can as needed to paint the picture they would like people to see. Intentionally failing to accurately present even the most fundamental aspects known about the animals ecology in a truthful and informative manor.
In 2010 Skip Snow was selected by Maxim magazine as one of six people with the "Greatest American Balls " for "Catching the 13 foot alligator swallowing - basterds armed with a pair of tongs, a laundry sack and two of the biggest balls this country has ever seen."

Given the placement of the python's eyes it could see in both directions down the highway. The snake had stopped to look both ways before crossing! I do not think that even a major road would, over time, present a barrier to such cautious and patient animals." Mike Dorcus / John D Wilson Invasive Pythons Ecology of an introduced predator

How about the Savannah River Ecology Lab experiment. Was that great work? Government paid scientist (Dorcas and Willson, Gibbons) insisted the tropical pythons would instinctively adopt behavior that would save them from the cold. National Geographic filmed the famous Savannah River Ecology Lab experiment . The experiment that was designed by government paid scientist to prove the Burmese pythons would show cold weather adaptability. The predictable result was all the pythons died, froze to death. The scientist involved with project kept this result a well hidden secret for nearly a year. National Geographic quickly scrapped the film. Why? Had the snakes survived you can bet the story would have been front page news. Released to every major news outlet as soon as possible and National Geographic would have played that film on a loop.
You need not introduce me here, Ernie. Many people know me or my reputation - and unfortunately for you they know yours as well. I also know better than to argue with you, JOSH HOLBROOK

Your the one who jumped in by confronting me with a ridiculous statement. I responded by correcting you and also pointing out the glaring weaknesses in your poorly researched and error filled work. Your response is typical of those I receive when someone presents me with a challenge then gets their ass handed to them. All personal nothing factual.

Bluntly put , In the past Josh you have been a fountain of misinformation when it comes to this topic. Its not that your trying to be intentionally misleading, you just don't know what your talking about. Its the type of ill-informed crap that you and like minded individual's spew over the internet that fuels the scientific fraud's of the world. The type of people you learn from then pass it on. Everything you regurgitate comes from the fox guarding the hen house .

I have provided quite a bit of cogent evidence, biological points that can not be disputed. Instead of acknowledging this they are side stepped by those who are scared of being outed or want to take shots and cant own up to the fact that they are wrong. Bad form.

Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by reptologist » March 9th, 2016, 7:11 pm

Bryan Hamilton wrote:The McCleery paper (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... 5/20150120) is the definition of strong inference in field research. The gold standard, incredibly good science. They manipulated python and marsh rabbit abundance and determined the strength of the predation interaction. This paper also corroborates the Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades. These folks are doing great work on an important topic.

Trying to cast doubt on the entire scientific establishment and personally attacking the scientists you don't agree with is wrong. I'm glad that most of the forum community is better than that.
Bryan, thanks for posting that link. I read it but am a little confused about the results. Perhaps someone could clear up the quote below.

Experimentally manipulating marsh rabbits, we found that pythons accounted for 77% of rabbit mortalities within 11 months of their translocation to ENP and that python predation appeared to preclude the persistence of rabbit populations in ENP. On control sites, outside of the park, no rabbits were killed by pythons and 71% of attributable marsh rabbit mortalities were classified as mammal predations.

What does "experimentally manipulating" mean? Some how in my mind that means they put rabbits in a precarious situation to get a desired result. When the rabbits were not placed in a controlled site there was a 0% rabbit deaths attributed to pythons. Something just doesn't add up. I admit that I have no formal education on site studies, but the above quotation seems to contradict itself.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 9th, 2016, 9:42 pm

What does "experimentally manipulating" mean? Some how in my mind that means they put rabbits in a precarious situation to get a desired result. When the rabbits were not placed in a controlled site there was a 0% rabbit deaths attributed to pythons. Something just doesn't add up.
Your getting the idea. Contradiction (lying) is everywhere in the study's involving the pythons. They set this study up so that it would give them the maximum desired result. A common game played in the world of scientist. This python business is a huge deal funding wise and they all want in on it. The trouble is no problem no funding so they have to create a problem because they cant prove there is one.

One of the chief fire starters of the Python funding machine is Bob "Narrowfellow" Reed a friend of Bryans. Bob Reeds partner Gordon Rodda prior to his helping to start the python scandal had this to say to his fellow biologist. In Gordon Roddas own words,
Biodiversity is the bandwagon of the moment. Unfortunately, the concept is sufficiently complex that almost any population biology study, with almost any conclusion, can be framed as an effort to measure or conserve biodiversity. Based on what 1 have seen in the literature and heard at recent scientific meetings, here is a primer on some of the more popular ways to bend biodiversity data.

Suppose you wish to claim that a species is disappearing. With the explanation that time and funding were limited, you might present population trajectories based on as few as two estimates of abundance. Perhaps the final abundance estimate was obtained during a drought year. Use a technique for estimating abundance that has untested assumptions. Avoid stating confidence limits. Under these conditions a coin toss would suggest that about half of the species should show declines. If yours does, publish.

Gordon H. Rodda
From the abstract from the Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades.
Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits.


But The same group of researchers blames ....
the failure of their trapping program,[ 6053 trap-nights resulted in three python captures] on the over abundance of prey and not enough snakes.

Snow et al. (2007) the diet of ENP pythons. Only two
out of 54 prey items (3.7%) recovered from a sample of 56
pythons examined during 2003–2006 were raccoons. Opossums
made up only 1.8% of the items. Rodents, all species (including
squirrels), comprised 38.9% of the dietary items recovered from
pythons in the sample.

Reed and Rodda (2009) state that one python was encountered
in the Everglades for every 1,318 man-days of searching.
The Dorcas 2012 paper on the severe mammal declines in the everglades also contained this ,
The authors state: “However, our reliance on indirect estimates
of mammal abundance in ENP is the result of a nearly
complete absence of actual density or population size estimates based on rigorous and repeatable field methods.”


What this says in everyday terms is that they have no idea how many of the mammals were there, are there or are suppose to be there. They claim massive declines in mammal populations with out having any reliable data to go on. There was no science what so ever in this study.

They had no viable data on the population distribution, habitat preferences/requirements, densities, natural population cycles of mammals in ENP before and after Burmese pythons.
99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations , decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations
They made sure to place this statement in the abstract released to every major media outlet, its the only part of the paper the press will read. Carefully wording it knowing that the press would take it and run. They didn't say the mammals have decreased by those giant percentages, they just claimed they saw them that much less based on the use of a data skewing tactic known as corrected sighting rate. Not observation based on verifiable statistical comparison.

Its intentionally deceiving. Its all about creating a desired perception without getting caught in an outright lie.

Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 10th, 2016, 6:18 am

Ernie - You keep saying these words, I don't think mean what you think they mean.

reptologist - I believe in the context of this study the 'experimental manipulation' meant releasing Marsh Rabbits in the two areas. Generally, scientific studies are 'experiments,' in which the variable(s) to be tested are manipulated, trying to hold all other variables constant or they are 'field/observational studies' where we make observations in natural systems - so for instance, my thesis work was the latter where I looked at effects of fish in wetlands on reptile and amphibian communities. The rabbit study was sort of a hybrid between the two, you might call it a field experiment. Either way, it is the best study out there so far in terms of assessing the pythons impact because of that experimental manipulation. Experimental manipulation is vital in science if you want to figure out the mechanistic causes of things rather than simply show a correlation. Hope that helps.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 10th, 2016, 8:45 am

Ernie - You keep saying these words, I don't think mean what you think they mean.
Not to be redundant but Josh, your wrong again.

Read the statement's , compare the statistic's , it's very clear. I know what I'm talking a out. What Josh is doing is playing a classroom game, he gets backed into a corner/check mated. Then try's to sweep the pieces off the board onto the floor.

Josh's patchwork guessing, mix and match approach as to what 'experimental manipulation' meant. Proceeded by the disclaimer " I believe" is very typical of the redirect used to explain away the flaws and bias typifying results found in scientific experiments lacking in real science. Make no mistake a lot of what goes on in the world of biologist does not follow sound scientific procedure and the results of this type work is equally unsound.

The short and sweet of it is the rabbit researcher's manipulated the circumstances to provide them with the best desired result. Conducting a canned hunt of sorts.

Josh (and others) never produce any facts to disprove what I'm saying its all smoke and mirrors. On the other hand Josh's lack of understanding (and others) and inability to get even basic biological fundamental's correct is well documented. I provided facts to support this.

For the record Josh supported the findings of the bogus Climate matching maps produced by Bob Reed / Gordon Rodda. Josh warned us that the pythons are moving NORTH! The facts disprove this.

Josh concluded after 18 days of limited road cruising with NO sound data that the pythons had eaten all the mammals in the everglades.
He had an error filled and completely unscientific peer reviewed paper on this published, who reviewed that paper? A seventh grade science teacher.

Josh has referred to the Everglades as an undisturbed bastion of nature in a published paper. The truth is the Everglades is the most altered and polluted national park in the US maybe the world , home to 19 species of introduced mammals and hundreds if not thousand's of other introduced species . There is nothing left of the natural Everglades. Where the fk did Josh do his research?

Josh has made gross errors regarding the basic biology of the Burmese python again in a published paper, again where the hell did he get his information, from a TFH publication.

Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 10th, 2016, 8:57 am

***yawn*** I might take the time to make a more robust response, but I'm not really concerned with your viewpoint which is unlikely to change. For now, if anyone else has any discussions or questions I'd be glad to address them and converse with them... Although I'm largely against Python/exotic species bans, I do enjoy studying and talking about Python ecology. For all the potential bad, we've been given a wonderful chance to study an invasion first hand.

Josh Holbrook, M.S. Env. Science
FieldVentures.wordpress.com

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by mtratcliffe » March 10th, 2016, 9:44 am

Josh Holbrook wrote:***yawn*** I might take the time to make a more robust response, but I'm not really concerned with your viewpoint which is unlikely to change. For now, if anyone else has any discussions or questions I'd be glad to address them and converse with them... Although I'm largely against Python/exotic species bans, I do enjoy studying and talking about Python ecology. For all the potential bad, we've been given a wonderful chance to study an invasion first hand.

Josh Holbrook, M.S. Env. Science
FieldVentures.wordpress.com
Way to take the high road, Josh. I can't imagine what sort of jealousy issues Ernie suffers from to attack you in such a way. Never seen a single constructive post from him on this forum. I'm starting to wonder if his illustrious genius wasn't crushed by the peer-review process at some point, and now he can't help but lash out at anyone else who finds success with professional herpetological research.

You are one of the kindest and most well-respected individuals on here. Keep up the good work - you give herping a good name!

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by WSTREPS » March 10th, 2016, 11:45 am

***yawn*** I might take the time to make a more robust response, but I'm not really concerned with your viewpoint which is unlikely to change. For now, if anyone else has any discussions or questions I'd be glad to address them and converse with them... Although I'm largely against Python/exotic species bans, I do enjoy studying and talking about Python ecology. For all the potential bad, we've been given a wonderful chance to study an invasion first hand.

Josh Holbrook, M.S. Env. Science
FieldVentures.wordpress.com
Wow talk about insecure, have to get a laugh out of that tag line. What happened to "You need not introduce me here, Ernie. Many people know me or my reputation". LOL

Josh took cheap shots at me and got demonstrably called out on his erroneous work and the glaring weakness's in his knowledge and subsequent misguided statements. Now after getting completely check mated he wants to get all defensive. That post and tag line proves he doesn't have enough education to admit when he's wrong.

Ernie Eison

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by reptologist » March 10th, 2016, 1:31 pm

Josh Holbrook wrote:Ernie - You keep saying these words, I don't think mean what you think they mean.

reptologist - I believe in the context of this study the 'experimental manipulation' meant releasing Marsh Rabbits in the two areas. Generally, scientific studies are 'experiments,' in which the variable(s) to be tested are manipulated, trying to hold all other variables constant or they are 'field/observational studies' where we make observations in natural systems - so for instance, my thesis work was the latter where I looked at effects of fish in wetlands on reptile and amphibian communities. The rabbit study was sort of a hybrid between the two, you might call it a field experiment. Either way, it is the best study out there so far in terms of assessing the pythons impact because of that experimental manipulation. Experimental manipulation is vital in science if you want to figure out the mechanistic causes of things rather than simply show a correlation. Hope that helps.
Josh, thanks for providing the explanation. I did not mean to start a post war between opposing views on this subject. Looking at this from the outside, I can see that both sides feel very strongly about this issue. I think both sides are making valid points, as unpopular as that may sound. I'm hoping more research gets published. I strongly support that they do not belong there, and personally I am hoping that the pythons are helping the native reptile populations rebound. I would like to read as much on this subject as possible.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 10th, 2016, 2:12 pm

Thanks Matt, I appreciate it.

Reptologist - I actually don't feel very strongly about much on the pythons except to find out about them through research. If they're not having an effect on mammals, awesome; if so (and field and experimental evidence suggests it) it would be good to know it. I'm not a full-time herpetologist anymore (though I remain active in the field and undertake/publish research in my spare time), and at no point did I ever receive any pay for my study on the pythons - I just noticed a trend (i.e. we went on a camping trip, accidentally left some food/meat out in the ENP campground overnight, and it wasn't touched by any animals until the vultures grabbed it the next morning,) and decided to do an observational study to see if there was at least a correlation between the presence of pythons and the abundance of mammals. The study was not proof, and in fact, we don't really 'prove' anything in science, but we may fail to disprove. Like I said, I'm against the bans and all that other sort of stuff, but I'm for pursuing the evidence to its logical conclusions. I'm declining from doing any actual rigorous debating with Ernie, because it has happened plenty of times in the past and he doesn't seem to want to do anything but Trump his way through an argument. That's fine; I hope he rethinks his opinion-forming paradigm for his own sake, but all I can do on my part is to not waste my time with him directly and speak with people such as yourself who are willing to at least consider the existing body of evidence, as well as conflicting ideas and opinions (and all of these are, indeed, different things.)

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn » March 20th, 2016, 1:22 pm

WSTREPS wrote:All
Various actions on their part show the invasive python camp of biologists have a conflict of interest and lack of objectivity , it is provable they benefit directly by maximizing the magnitude of any problems that Burmese pythons might present, real or hypothetical.

Ernie Eison
And you, of course, have absolutely no conflict of interest...

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » March 20th, 2016, 3:52 pm

WSTREPS wrote:All I can say is don't drink the python Kool-Aid.
Worst summer vacation ever.

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 21st, 2016, 11:53 am

Lloyd Heilbrunn wrote:
WSTREPS wrote:All
Various actions on their part show the invasive python camp of biologists have a conflict of interest and lack of objectivity , it is provable they benefit directly by maximizing the magnitude of any problems that Burmese pythons might present, real or hypothetical.

Ernie Eison
And you, of course, have absolutely no conflict of interest...

Someone needs to take some philosophy of science... One never proves anything, they only fail to disprove. :beer:

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 23rd, 2016, 3:44 pm

... hhmmm.. so i just completed a mega swath thru the mid to se US ... incld thru the panhandle of floreeda ... & w thru tx-ass ... as i finally brought my new super exterra home where it belongs ... to az-abama ... but to the pt. I took 2 weeks + to do this, & stayed off the i-states as much as possible ... & very few DoR mammals were seen except in tex-ass ... & especially rabbits ??? I did see a number of DoR opossums & a few squirrels in the panhandle, but not much else, despite their being no pythons there ... Rabbits & hares were scare until tx. ... so what to make of that ?
Mebbe i'll post a few herp pix from along the way ... storms & cool weather largely thwarted me, but a few were fd., including a super-lifer, my crotaphytus "grand slam" ... the reticulated : } okay & my 1st chain king : } ok & a gray ratty / & a natrix if you can believe that ... & a coupla chelonians & salamanders n skinks ... not much tho for 100+ pieces of A/C, logs ... backroads / ad nauseum ... the - ... is & always will be ... the conundrum to interpret !

... rxr ...

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 23rd, 2016, 5:31 pm

Congratulations on the reticulated collared!
regalringneck wrote:a natrix if you can believe that ...
You're giving away your age. :lol:

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Re: ...florida python hunt results ...

Post by regalringneck » March 23rd, 2016, 6:19 pm

Chris make it easy 4 me ( u'r emale domain) & ill send you a shot ...those dudes & dudesses are leopards on steroids : }
& fwiw ... the Davis Mtns belong in Azassippii :p

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