Why You Dont Collect

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VanAR
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 7th, 2016, 1:11 pm

The Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, houses and maintains the largest herpetology collection in the world with over 555,000 specimens. Our collection, comprised primarily of fluid preserved specimens, includes representatives of about 63% of the approximately 15,000 known species of the world's herpetofauna.
Ok, so on average that's about 37 specimens per species, collected over the past ~160 years, or on average, 1 individual every 4.3 years (let's be generous and say 1 per 4 years).
The numbers available are monitored and controlled by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna). The total number of export permits for the three major country's that export ball pythons this year was around 120, 0000 total
120,000 individuals of ONE species per year?
They [scientists] are some of history's biggest and most self-serving commercial collectors.
come again?

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by ThomWild » August 7th, 2016, 2:03 pm

dthor68 wrote:Let me make it clear that I am all for anything that science does, whether collecting or killing. I am ONLY against collecting for profit.
This is an interesting statement to me. To assume the scientific community is free and void of all Machiavellianism seems as naive as those stating that commercial collecting of herps has zero impact on wild populations. It also contradicts the very basic, foundational principles of science, namely inquiry and questioning. Simply claiming something is for science doesn't negate the possible negative ramifications that may come from said "science." Do you buy products off the store shelf simply because they use the terms green or eco-friendly?

I recently made the mistake of purchasing a product because it claimed it helped orphans in Haiti. After looking more closely at the product only 2% of the net profit went to helping orphans in Haiti. That isn't completely terrible especially if I have to buy the product anyway, but if my intention is helping orphans in Haiti there are far more effective measures of doing so. As it is with science; there are a lot of people and organizations throwing around the word science because they know it will help them make money. Some of their work may be good and beneficial, maybe even revolutionizing, but if they are in it for the money (a phrase scientists usually find laughable) or prestige then how are they any better than someone who makes a few bucks collecting herps?

-Thomas

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by stlouisdude » August 7th, 2016, 3:26 pm

I would say 120,000 ball pythons sounds reasonable. In 2015, Ghana's quota for ranched ball pythons was 60,000. While that sounds like a lot, in MO alone the 2014/2015 deer season saw 258,341 deer harvested (http://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trap ... mmary-2014)

Now what's funny is we discuss things like someone picking up a snake seen crossing the trail, while people in charge of managing commercially viable species in the real world talk in terms of thousands of animals per year. I wonder what they would think about the risk Steve poses to the Western Diamandback pop. if he does end up frying his pet up for dinner tonight?

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 7th, 2016, 4:03 pm

All animals live in the real world.

If someone wants to show a little mercy for what crosses ones path, well the more unnecessary class in this life, the better.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by ackee » August 7th, 2016, 5:44 pm

All animals includes all people, and there truly is only one world: reality. Virtual reality is a conceit, a redundancy, nothing more than images that disappear when the power shuts down, living or electric.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

.

120,000 individuals of ONE species per year?

For use as a sustainable resource. And as previously stated that's an estimate of the number of permits issued. Not the actual number shipped. Permits equal the maximum number determined by African based biologist that can be sustainably harvested. All the permits are sold but not all filled and that money goes to both African and US wildlife agencies. The proof of success is in the results.

Results that have proven to one of West Africa's most important conservation tools. Prior to ball python ranching, ball pythons were most commonly sold by the metric ton for food. Killing everything, burning the rainforest and trying to farm was the only way they could think of to make ends meet. Today as long as the business holds up. Economically and environmentally things will keep going in the right direction. This is only one example of how intelligent and sustainable wildlife management benefits not just a privileged few but everyone .

Self righteous grandstanding is seldom meaningful beyond a personal level and can certainly lead to horrific results in the long term. I don't like hunting but understand the viability and useful benefits that result from it. Because I don't like it. I don't look at hunters as being wrong. I simply choose not to hunt but I understand and respect the big picture and purposefulness of hunting. A smart person understands that there is more to right and wrong then just their own personal view or cultural teachings.

Ok, so on average that's about 37 specimens per species, collected over the past ~160 years, or on average, 1 individual every 4.3 years (let's be generous and say 1 per 4 years).

They [scientists] are some of history's biggest and most self-serving commercial collectors. come again
They [scientists] are some of history's biggest and most self-serving commercial collectors.

I will say the above break down of the numbers is far from the actual annual take in terms of killing for science. Millions of animals are killed for "research". Edgar A. Mearns for example is considered a hall of fame ornithologist, He alone collected (Killed) thousands of birds for the Smithsonian and many other species (he killed everything). He was only one of many, generations of scientist that killed and cataloged. Its not only the Smithsonian. Its countless other institution's that do the same. When their not killing their own animals . There are giant supply companies that ship millions of dead animal's , many wild collected of all types. Science supports, participates and profits from the intentional killing of millions of heathy animals. You cannot say killing for science is less egregious then other forms killing wildlife.

It should be specified that the live trade may seemly take a large number of certain individual species. But most species taken are only collected in very small numbers. And the total numbers are comprised of species that are generally common and wide spread. Overall the number of species collected for the live trade represents only small faction of the species on earth.

Science on the other hand collects and kills every living species on earth. The rarer the better. And offers from these killings with few exceptions virtually nothing in return that is actually usable. Wildlife preservation and conservation are not result of giant library's that in place of books use dead animal's to fill their shelves. All for the most part useless except to the scientist that collect a paycheck working as the planets librarian's.

I certainly know the difference between research that is meaningful and demonstrably applicable to the living world and the nonsense that comprises so much of what's found in the hallowed halls of scientific mortuaries. Evolution, systematics, taxonomy, paleontology are you kidding me. Freezing or using chloroform to kill a heathy snake or the killing of any heathy animal something that is done millions of times over in the world of academia , shoving the corpse in a bottle filled with formaldehyde, alcohol or whatever concoction they deem suitable . For mostly taxonomic reasons, detailed morphological study etc. So the librarians can spend their days fiddling with the Dewey Decimal system of life on earth . Is garbage. Counting scales never helped or saved anything. The money wasted on these ventures would be better served buying sprinkler systems so Arizona's Gila monsters don't die of dehydration.

Ernie Eison

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 7th, 2016, 8:43 pm

Self interrogation of one's actions and motives, professional or personal is healthy and growth inducing even if contained as internal thought experience.

I offer the question I have in a spirit of neutrality and with respect to all who have conveyed firm input.

My question concerns the possibility of a nebulous factor to expansive (scientific) specimen collection, with the factor being necessity versus academia tradition.

As it seems in many practices of human endeavor that acceptance of facts happens faster than tradition changes.

Tradition can be a kind of dubious phenomenon in that way.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 7th, 2016, 10:26 pm

Ernie also more directly to you and respectfully as well, there have been comments about scientists and science in protection discussions where you have pretty strongly implied an animal activists agenda infiltrating studies, but here you have vividly portrayed science as needlessly killing healthy animals in great numbers and the disparity is confusing to me.

Having said that, your portrayal was dismaying to me, about the killing. I am not soft. Ive been around and have had to kill animals with proper manual means by the skajillions for feeders and have also euthanized other animals when it as absolutely necessary.

I also have different views on the value of neuro studies and that humans becoming more conscious about other life forms and their versions of perception and that the word activist is becoming a catchword and a strange thoroughly human political rift that has nothing to do with knowledge is juxtapositioning herpers with supposed activists. It reminds me of the socio-political rift between gays and fundamentalists at its peak in the 80s.

I know I am not well versed in many of the aspects expounded here but perhaps many others who have not actually posted are wondering similarly.

I often think the best way to learn about animals is to mentally take ones human self out of the equation entirely.

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VanAR
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 7th, 2016, 11:07 pm

Kelly Mc wrote: My question concerns the possibility of a nebulous factor to expansive (scientific) specimen collection, with the factor being necessity versus academia tradition.
Define "expansive" scientific specimen collection.

Despite Ernie's claims (which are shared by many here), the total collection impact of scientists is very small. We're talking a relatively small field of biological specialists, each of whom target a relatively narrow group of organisms in their study. Ernie's response to my comment doesn't invalidate my point- let's upscale the Smithsonian's collection impact. Again, using Ernie's own estimates, I'm saying about 1 individual per species is collected every 4 years by the Smithsonian for their research. This actually isn't an abnormally low collection rate for taxonomy-type studies, and the beauty of them is that the specimens and data (particularly genetic) are freely available to any researcher who wants to use them, once collected. They essentially don't need to be collected anymore for that type of study. Hell, most phylogenetic studies these days rarely even collect their own animals unless they need a particular locality filled- most just take pre-existing data of genbank whenever they can. Anyway, at that rate of take, to reach the level of impact of the ball python commercial take (which I completely agree is likely sustainable), you would need 480,000 scientists (or institutions), each collecting similar numbers of ball pythons.

Even using Ernie's example of Mearns collecting "thousands" of birds, let's say he collected 10,000 of a single species in a single year, year after year- ignore the dubious fact that every museum in the world would be full of just that one species of bird by now- there still needs to be 12 more people doing similar work on the same species to even come close to the impact of that sustainable ball python take.

I'll speak from experience. I conduct fairly invasive studies (using as humane methods as possible) into reptile reproduction using small Australian tussock skinks, which are highly unique as one of 5 reptilian lineages to have evolved a functional placenta (as opposed to only a single mammal lineage, btw). They are an incredibly powerful animal model for cutting-edge evolutionary study, but our work also has implications for conservation- any reproductive study is important in this respect because advancing understanding of the environmental and genetic influences on reproductive success can lead to predictive models for understanding birthrate, which along with death rate and migration rate makes up population dynamics. At the same time, these animals share the same molecular mechanisms for reproduction as do humans, so they also can provide information relevant to understanding our own biology, and potentially contribute to combating diseases like endometriosis and preeclampsia. There's a tremendous amount of potential shared benefit, across many different fields, that might be gained from studies of this one species.

They're also really cute, and I do have moments where I hate myself, but emotions like that are great for making sure you treat the animals themselves as carefully and humanely as possible, at all times. We aren't all mad scientists bent on world domination, after all.

Anyway, we hammer this species hard in the field and sometimes collect 100-200 pregnant females per season (average about 40). We also conduct mark-recapture for ecological studies, and there is so far no evidence that we are impacting the population. We are collecting about as intensively as a scientist can on any one species at any one time. Any more and we would be fundamentally limited by the logistics of proper animal care and welfare in the lab, given the many other obligations (teaching, writing, etc.) that we have. There just aren't enough hours in the day, or dollars for crickets, electricity, facility rental costs, water, and labor.

We collect about as intensively as any one group of scientists can on a single reptile species, given those logistical constraints. Our collection goes far, far beyond the effort needed for taxonomy-type studies because we need a lot of replication, and the skinks are so small that there are only so many things we can do with a given tissue sample. Even the vast majority of ecological or physiological studies of reptiles don't even come close to ours- it's a lot easier to house 200 4 gram skinks in a small lab/animal room than it is even 200 ball pythons. Still, even with our level of collection, you would need about 600 equally intensive scientists to reach the level of collection in Ernie's ball python example, and we would all have to be having similar levels of impact each year. In reality, there's maybe 2 or 3 other people that work on this species, and they work in Victoria and Tasmania, while we're up in New South Wales. We all work on separate populations, and so our collective impact is split amongst them. The other labs also do more field-based work than we, so their specimens are usually never actually collected. This is the standard for biologists who work on herps- very few people work on a single species, and of those, very few are involved in wholesale collection as opposed to field study like mark-recapture. The potential exceptions are species that are common, widespread, and are charismatic, declining, or useful for multiple research questions- things like red-eared sliders, painted turtles, timber rattlesnakes, garter snakes, green anoles, etc.

So, is scientific collection really so expansive? I'll grant you there are some bad apples out there who have done bad things (such is humanity), but these days the ability to collect in a wanton manner is severely restricted by animal ethics and collection permits. For example, there are rumors of some old scientists who used to do things like collect out an entire breeding pond of amphibians for one reason or another. Permits and IACUC approvals simply don't get issued for those kinds of collections anymore, unless there is a CLEAR need for it to occur (which is incredibly rare and takes a lot of justification). In some cases, old geezers doing things like this have even had their permits rescinded.

But still, even if you wanted to wantonly collect a huge number of animals like that, it simply isn't logistically possible for that collection rate to come anywhere near approaching what occurs in the commercial or food trades. Again, I'm not arguing from a sustainability perspective, just that the witch hunt against science, over and over again, ignores a lot of reality.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by stlouisdude » August 8th, 2016, 12:35 am

Van,

I have my doubts that those scientists successfully collected every specimen that used the hypothetical pond example. Let's say they were spotted salamanders. Some of them would not have been mature and then not have even been present in the pond itself. The evil scientist would have needed to bring in heavy equipment and dig up the entire area around the pond and into the surrounding forest to try getting them all and prevent the up and comers from breeding in subsequent years. Even if he managed to do all that, spotted salamanders in the St. Louis area quickly colonized newly created vernal pools and golf course ponds that I am aware of. To my experience then he would have needed to forever shield that pond with fencing if there was any danger of a residual population anywhere nearby. Finally, after all that, he may have succeeded in killing the hypothetical population. Meanwhile while he was doing all this killing, he could have just found a lawn chair and watched thousands killed by any number of new developments taking place nearby and their breeding ponds filled in. I use spotted salamanders because thats a species I am familiar with and because it's one of the old wives tales I've heard over and over, I do realize not every species is so resilient and of course like everyone else here I care about truly endangered animals, I just think all the talk of collecting damage when it comes to common animals is a little silly unless we're measuring in the tens of thousands.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 8th, 2016, 2:49 am

stlouisdude wrote:Van,

I have my doubts that those scientists successfully collected every specimen that used the hypothetical pond example. Let's say they were spotted salamanders. Some of them would not have been mature and then not have even been present in the pond itself. The evil scientist would have needed to bring in heavy equipment and dig up the entire area around the pond and into the surrounding forest to try getting them all and prevent the up and comers from breeding in subsequent years. Even if he managed to do all that, spotted salamanders in the St. Louis area quickly colonized newly created vernal pools and golf course ponds that I am aware of. To my experience then he would have needed to forever shield that pond with fencing if there was any danger of a residual population anywhere nearby. Finally, after all that, he may have succeeded in killing the hypothetical population. Meanwhile while he was doing all this killing, he could have just found a lawn chair and watched thousands killed by any number of new developments taking place nearby and their breeding ponds filled in. I use spotted salamanders because thats a species I am familiar with and because it's one of the old wives tales I've heard over and over, I do realize not every species is so resilient and of course like everyone else here I care about truly endangered animals, I just think all the talk of collecting damage when it comes to common animals is a little silly unless we're measuring in the tens of thousands.
My point wasn't that they collected the entire breeding population, just that they had supposedly scooped up every salamander/larva in the pond. That alone is a difficult sell to most permits/ethics committees these days. I agree with your point though.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » August 8th, 2016, 3:29 am

VanAR wrote:just that the witch hunt against science, over and over again, ignores a lot of reality.
Amen! Thanks a lot for your post. Unlikely to convince the one it was mainly meant for, but at least it's factual and objective, and enjoyed by me.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by mfb » August 8th, 2016, 8:05 am

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
VanAR wrote:just that the witch hunt against science, over and over again, ignores a lot of reality.
Amen! Thanks a lot for your post. Unlikely to convince the one it was mainly meant for, but at least it's factual and objective, and enjoyed by me.
Yep, same here.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by mfb » August 8th, 2016, 8:16 am

Kelly Mc wrote:Self interrogation of one's actions and motives, professional or personal is healthy and growth inducing even if contained as internal thought experience.

I offer the question I have in a spirit of neutrality and with respect to all who have conveyed firm input.

My question concerns the possibility of a nebulous factor to expansive (scientific) specimen collection, with the factor being necessity versus academia tradition.

As it seems in many practices of human endeavor that acceptance of facts happens faster than tradition changes.

Tradition can be a kind of dubious phenomenon in that way.
Sometimes it can be hard to interpret questions through forums, so please excuse me if I have misunderstood. But are you asking if scientists continue to collect specimens because of tradition, rather than because collecting the specimens has actual scientific benefit?

If so, I and many other scientists continue to collect specimens because they are directly valuable, and will contribute to improving our understanding of the organisms living on earth. In turn, understanding these organisms can help with conservation in many ways. In my previous post I gave a number of examples of how that occurs. Many of these examples share the same benefit: by having specimens preserved over time, we can observe changes in those organisms, and link the changes in the organisms to changes in the environment. This link is critical to providing evidence to the scientific community, regulatory bodies, and general public about which environmental disturbances are bad for a species, and which are not.

I don't personally know any scientists who enjoy killing animals, but we understand the value of collecting those specimens, and we collect in a way that won't damage the population. For example, I've studied amphibians for the past two decades. In many of the wetlands where I work, there are huge numbers of frog eggs laid. An average wood frog pond would have 100 females breeding, each laying on average 700 eggs, for a total of 70,000 eggs laid in a single year. Most of the developing tadpoles will die from predators, disease, parasites, lack of food, and pond drying. Euthanizing and preserving 30 of those tadpoles will not have an impact on this population of frogs. But those specimens can tell us about the health and genetic diversity in the pond. And in 20 years, those 30 tadpoles may be part of a study about an environmental hazard we don't even know about yet.

Best, Mike

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 8th, 2016, 8:49 am

Thank you for all of your posts!

I have deep regard for Science and I am grateful there was no misinterpretation of the query, but I know tradition exists in all formats, even the medical community, and wondered about pickled captures that perhaps some factor of the automatic might be at play - where foggy specimens are never actually used but it is a given to have them.

It isnt Science I mistrust - not even now with what has been posted lately in other threads, but human tendency I was impelled to broach.

I have found Scientists to be as warm, funny, and multifaceted as people can get. They have been my favorite people and have shown me energy and kindness as a child and even as an adult. I always thought I would have been one, but thats a boring personal story.

Nothing is more important than Science, well, compassion is but I am certain those two things can blend frequently and without strain.



edit, minor clarity fix

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by dthor68 » August 8th, 2016, 12:08 pm

Kelly Mc wrote:Thank you for all of your posts!

I have deep regard for Science and I am grateful there was no misinterpretation of the query, but I know tradition exists in all formats, even the medical community, and wondered about pickled captures that perhaps some factor of the automatic might be at play - where foggy specimens are never actually used but it is a given to have them.

It isnt Science I mistrust - not even now with what has been posted lately in other threads, but human tendency I was impelled to broach.

I have found Scientists to be as warm, funny, and multifaceted as people can get. They have been my favorite people and have shown me energy and kindness as a child and even as an adult. I always thought I would have been one, but thats a boring personal story.

Nothing is more important than Science, well, compassion is but I am certain those two things can blend frequently and without strain.



edit, minor clarity fix
Well Said.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 8th, 2016, 12:51 pm

Kelly Mc wrote: I have deep regard for Science and I am grateful there was no misinterpretation of the query, but I know tradition exists in all formats, even the medical community, and wondered about pickled captures that perhaps some factor of the automatic might be at play - where foggy specimens are never actually used but it is a given to have them.

edit, minor clarity fix

And the point I'm trying to make is that this idea of collection without purpose is incredibly rare, in reality. Animal welfare legislation (at least in western countries) prohibits any kind of take to occur unless it can be justified to the satisfaction of an overseeing animal ethics committee. Those committees are, by law, made up not only of scientists, but also veterinarians and members of the community at large, and most applications must be approved unanimously. Sample sizes must be justified statistically, species must be justified for the research question, previously-collected specimens used whenever possible, and non-animal replacements used if available, and as scientists we have to clearly explain our choices in these categories.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 8th, 2016, 1:41 pm

I can dig it. I have for a long time thought research guidelines and methodologies involving live and dispatch specimen practices should be a part of other more informal herp activities - like the use and management of other herps for food, etc, and even more general herpetoculture practices.

Im glad for the refreshment of your statements and the clarity they have provided.

Thank you.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by ThomWild » August 8th, 2016, 2:29 pm

VanAR wrote:And the point I'm trying to make is that this idea of collection without purpose is incredibly rare, in reality. Animal welfare legislation (at least in western countries) prohibits any kind of take to occur unless it can be justified to the satisfaction of an overseeing animal ethics committee. Those committees are, by law, made up not only of scientists, but also veterinarians and members of the community at large, and most applications must be approved unanimously. Sample sizes must be justified statistically, species must be justified for the research question, previously-collected specimens used whenever possible, and non-animal replacements used if available, and as scientists we have to clearly explain our choices in these categories.
Thanks for the info. I knew there was an approval process of some sort that needed to be satisfied but I was not aware that there was legislation or real continuity behind the process. I thought these types of decisions were more on an institutional level.

Is the same process required for educational dissection cadavers or is that more of a commercial endeavor? Do the requirements vary between secondary and post secondary programs?

-Thomas

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 8th, 2016, 3:39 pm

xxxxxxxxxx

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VanAR
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 8th, 2016, 3:49 pm

ThomWild wrote:
Thanks for the info. I knew there was an approval process of some sort that needed to be satisfied but I was not aware that there was legislation or real continuity behind the process. I thought these types of decisions were more on an institutional level.

Is the same process required for educational dissection cadavers or is that more of a commercial endeavor? Do the requirements vary between secondary and post secondary programs?

-Thomas
I can only speak of legislation specifically in the USA and Australia. In the USA, it was put in place in the Animal Welfare Act (1966), and committee oversight within universities was approved in the revision in 1971, and further revisions in 1979 and 1986 more clearly specified the role of the committee. Technically, it regulates the use of live vertebrate animals in teaching and research, such that any institution conducting research or teaching, which is at least partially funded by federal money, must have a committee that assesses the compliance of its use of live vertebrates. Though not technically exceptions to the legislation, some teaching universities operate without such committees if they never use live vertebrates in teaching or research, and most receive little or no federal money for either. When they do, they are technically out of compliance, but the university is too small to form the necessary staff to enter compliance, and the lack of federal funding means that nobody is really checking over their shoulders. Still, their actual use of vertebrates is miniscule in most cases.

Australia is more strict and has no such compliance loopholes that I know of. Animal ethics in research here is governed at each state level by their own animal welfare legislation. There is some variation among them, but it is mostly a competition among who can be most strict!

Educational dissection of cadavers (I'm assuming you mean human?) is regulated by other forms of legislation restricting human use in teaching/research, as well as some privacy laws probably. Animal carcasses are not regulated by animal welfare legislation at universities provided they are purchased or otherwise provided to the university after euthanasia. Once the animal is dead, there are no animal welfare restrictions- the key thing is that if a university agent (professor, student, technician, etc.) performs the euthanasia, in the field or on campus, then they ARE regulated by the animal welfare act.

In the USA, there is a bit of a loophole for animal welfare if the university purchases animal carcasses for dissection from outside providers. Usually those providers have to have their own compliance both through animal welfare and places like the USDA, FDA, etc. Probably the big example would be cat carcasses used in anatomy classes- these typically come from animal shelters after euthanasia. The carcasses are sold to science supply companies and embalmed/dyed/skinned prior to sale to the university.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 8th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Even using Ernie's example of Mearns collecting "thousands" of birds, let's say he collected 10,000 of a single species in a single year, year after year- ignore the dubious fact that every museum in the world would be full of just that one species of bird by now- there still needs to be 12 more people doing similar work on the same species to even come close to the impact of that sustainable ball python take.
Hey its fun with math time . So now we can calculate the take of any random bird species and compare that impact to the take of ball pythons in West Africa. To illustrate the harmless effect of the scientific collector . That is good science. Nah, Really its a nonsensical game for trying to down play the numbers. Save that silliness for the freshman class. By the way. If anyone reads what I actually said. Its clear that I pointed out some of the differences sidestepped in the above failed numerical analogy.

Lets cut to the chase.

All the explaining away does not change anything. It is more along the lines of an admittance of guilt. Show me where I said the collection of wildlife for science is hurting wild populations of anything. I simply and factually pointed out that every year millions of healthy animals are killed in the name of science.

The point. ........Ta-da .....Science is a mass collector and killer of the earths wildlife. I called it our for what it is. Period .

Its funny how when the shoe is on the other foot. Scientist cry the very same sentiment of what we do doesn't hurt anything. The very same one other industry's evolved wildlife collection use. But wow, go thru a paper written by a biologist and if someone whos not a scientist is catching animals. Their destroying population's, jeopardizing the future of the species etc. Collection is commonly listed as a major threat. No matter how common the species. More on that later. Bottom line . The scientific brand of animal usage with few exceptions is no more justifiable then anyone else's. So lets not pretend that it is.


killing introduced species is fine, that's different.

It is. How so ? Show me where the killing of thousands of non native snakes has resulted in any demonstrable benefit to the "native" environment, as its so often nostalgically phrased. Tell where and how this killing has resulted in the thinning of non native snake population's, produced viable information that can be used to curtail the perceived issue, where the promotion of this mindset has done anything beyond breeding the fear and hatred of snakes. It has been a benefit to the scientist involved. Again, Its essentially killing wild snakes for profit .

And the point I'm trying to make is that this idea of collection without purpose is incredibly rare, in reality. Animal welfare legislation (at least in western countries) prohibits any kind of take to occur unless it can be justified to the satisfaction of an overseeing animal ethics committee. Those committees are, by law, made up not only of scientists, but also veterinarians and members of the community at large, and most applications must be approved unanimously. Sample sizes must be justified statistically, species must be justified for the research question, previously-collected specimens used whenever possible, and non-animal replacements used if available, and as scientists we have to clearly explain our choices in these categories.


Rather then dissect that statement for its many flaws. And how easily that protocol can be circumvented and misused. I would like to note that this statement intentionally discount's the countless animals killed for science that the scientist don't collect themselves. The ones that are obtained thru scientific supply houses. As previously mentioned. No one is supervising their collection or using previously-collected specimens there. There are many ways academia lie with numbers , I have seen them all.


I'll ask a simple question. What about scientist who use their position to catch animals and sell them for profit.

OMG, say its not true. Yes it is true. And its not all that rare and they often barter in illegal wildlife. Lets use smuggler Bill Larmar as an example is he the lowest form of human life ? I mean he has done a lot of great scientific work. Right ? So does he get a pass ?

How about Tony Silva. Silva collected birds for science. Live birds and was considered one of the greats in ornithology, an outspoken protector of endangered parrots. My friend Mario made a statement against Silva for smuggling. Not only was Silva smuggling and selling the world's most endangered birds. His methods were unimaginably cruel to the birds. Birds that the biggest names in academia not only trusted him to protect but also praised him for his loving and wonderful conservation work. Dedication. That's how stupid these people are. I can give the details.


How did Tony get these birds. He was able to get any and every impossibly difficult to acquire scientific permit to collect the rarest most endanger bird species in the world. Whatever he wanted and then add in a few extras for a nice paycheck. I guess those committees are pretty half assed. And yes, they are. I have other examples that are close to me of what a joke the scientific collection monitoring system is. To this day Silva is still respected and defended by some in the world of ornithology. So much for scientific integrity.

Ernie Eison

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 8th, 2016, 4:07 pm

WSTREPS wrote:Rather then dissect that statement for its many flaws. And how easily that protocol can be circumvented and misused. I can give real life first hand examples.

I'll ask a simple question. What about scientist who use their position to catch animals and sell them for profit.
Well, now we're not talking about scientific collection anymore, are we? Like I said, there's bad apples in any bunch, and if a scientist is breaking the law or acting unethically for any reason, then they need to be held to the same standard as anyone else... and both Silva and Lamar were eventually convicted of such, were they not? BTW, Silva was a zookeeper, not a scientist at a research institution. Still, if either of their illegal methods were approved by an institutional compliance committee of any kind, then that institution risks losing its federal accreditation as a research/teaching institution.
It is. How so ? Show me where the killing of thousands of non native snakes has resulted in any demonstrable benefit to the "native" environment, as its so often nostalgically phrased. Tell where and how this killing has resulted in the thinning of non native snake population's, produced viable information that can be used to curtail the perceived issue, where the promotion of this mindset has done anything beyond breeding the fear and hatred of snakes. It has been a benefit to the scientist involved. Again, Its essentially killing wild snakes for profit .
Please note most scientists have not advocated killing pythons because they realize it's a fruitless task and a waste of money. If you have a beef take it up with the politicians pushing that method. Other methods need to be tested and a complex cost-benefit analysis performed before we will know what would get rid of the most pythons for the most feasible cost. That's not to say that controlling invasive species isn't a worthy goal. Your emotional point here about killing invasives is no different from the catlovers who say TNR is sufficient to control cat impacts on native wildlife. At what point does the welfare/ethics of the native species not outweigh that of the invasive, aside from emotional attachment?
The point. ........Ta-da .....Science is a mass collector and killer of the earths wildlife. I called it our for what it is. Period .
And my point with my calculations is that none of your points hold water relative to other reasons for collecting. Scientific collecting is a tiny drop in the bucket. Do you think scientific collection has ever come close to reaching the level of commercial food collecting? On any species? That's where the real profit margins are. Why do you think those scientists you mentioned abandoned their ethics to smuggle animals for a quick buck? Most scientists don't stoop so low because they didn't get into science to make money. Good thing too, since there's next to none in it!
Collection is commonly listed as a major threat. No matter how common the species.
And this is a topic of debate among scientists. Many of us don't buy that argument, same as you, in most cases.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 8th, 2016, 7:16 pm

Well, now we're not talking about scientific collection anymore, are we? Like I said, there's bad apples in any bunch, and if a scientist is breaking the law or acting unethically for any reason, then they need to be held to the same standard as anyone else... and both Silva and Lamar were eventually convicted of such, were they not? BTW, Silva was a zookeeper, not a scientist at a research institution. Still, if either of their illegal methods were approved by an institutional compliance committee of any kind, then that institution risks losing its federal accreditation as a research/teaching institution.


Its a direct association with scientific collection, how scientific collection is sometimes used by scientist to circumvent the system. How easy it is to get around the system. I have other first hand examples.

Silva was an Ornithologist, a scientist who used his scientific credential and expertise like others to his own advantage. No one who issued any of Tony's permits was ever put on the spot about anything. It doesn't work like that. Maybe on paper but in the real world nine out of ten times the paperwork people skate with maybe a warning or they deny knowing anything and its goes away.

Yep, Lamar and Silva were both convicted but not because anyone one on the academia side put the screws to them. It was Lamar's number finally catching up with his dumb ass and people from the live trade who turned on Silva. With good reason no one could stand his cruel treatment of the animals.
Silva loved to preach about how evil the sale of wild caught birds was. Everyone ate it up. That's how blind these people are.

Today Silva will tell you he was railroaded. And more then a few idiots believe him. Lamar will give you a BS story about how he was saving the animals from a market. It was a one time mistake. Lies. And its the same deal , more then a few idiots believe him.
And my point with my calculations is that none of your points hold water relative to other reasons for collecting. Scientific collecting is a tiny drop in the bucket. Do you think scientific collection has ever come close to reaching the level of commercial food collecting? On any species? That's where the real profit margins are. Why do you think those scientists you mentioned abandoned their ethics to smuggle animals for a quick buck? Most scientists don't stoop so low because they didn't get into science to make money. Good thing too, since there's next to none in it!


I know the point of your misleading calculations. Collectors in the live trade say the same thing. Collecting is a tiny drop in the bucket. Its true in both cases but I don't think I ever made this a debate about whos take rate is biggest. Im pretty sure my point was made clearly in my last post.

So scientists will abandoned their ethics to smuggle animals for a quick buck? What else will they abandoned their ethics for ? A sweet position, a nice career push . Gordon Rodda is the guy who can best answer that one. People do this in every profession. And they can justify whatever it is they do anyway needed to sleep tight. The code of ethics involved in science is no more sincere or more common place then what's found in any other profession.

Please note most scientists have not advocated killing pythons because they realize it's a fruitless task and a waste of money.

Part A. Yeah, most scientist aren't getting a taste of that python funding. But those that are want those snake brought in and killed. So they can study them . Sure its it's a fruitless task and a waste of money. Unless your trying to get funding then its a means to an end. After millions of dollars in funding and years of research, thousand's of dead snakes. Can anyone tell me one thing about Burmese pythons that wasn't known before a single snake was killed or a single dime spent.Iill save you the trouble. The answer is no. On to part B
Your emotional point here about killing invasives is no different from the catlovers who say TNR is sufficient to control cat impacts on native wildlife. At what point does the welfare/ethics of the native species not outweigh that of the invasive, aside from emotional attachment?
Nothing emotional about it. You said it. Killing pythons is a fruitless task. My questions were to get at a basic common sense issue.

Essentially to figure out. Why would someone who wouldn't normally kill a snake or want to see a snake killed because they think its wrong, kill an invasive snake? Thats not wrong to them? If its OK then logically why? If someone is against killing or capturing an animal for no reason then why is acceptable in this instance?

Its a rhetorical question. Because that is what they are mislead into believing is the right thing to do. That it some how helps native species. Its justifiable killing for someone who wouldn't normally want to kill an animal of any kind. I know its worthless to kill these animal's but its pushed by the scientist that collect paychecks from killing them that its a useful and positive thing. Its for research!

Ernie Eison

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 8th, 2016, 8:46 pm

its worthless to kill these animal's but its pushed by the scientist that collect paychecks from killing them
I don't have time to argue over anything else right now, but just how much money do you think there is in this? How many scientists? In the case of USGS, what do you think the percentage of a person's salary or workload go to working on pythons?

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 9th, 2016, 9:25 am

I don't have time to argue over anything else right now, but just how much money do you think there is in this? How many scientists? In the case of USGS, what do you think the percentage of a person's salary or workload go to working on pythons?
How much money do I think there is in this? What percentage of a person's salary or workload go to working on pythons?

I think its understood that its a bit more then wage percentage. There are multiple reasons behind the junk science game. ONE reason why the python's are such a juicy deal for the USGS guys and close friends is..............

How to be a successful research scientist . If you can come up with a projects that generate millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, your going to be a popular guy around the water cooler. At any institution and make many friends.

One Key step to getting this of kind of funding is by publishing papers. Not all papers are created equal. Its the " high impact " papers that bring it home in a research scientist career. The need for " high impact " papers creates a lot of peer pressure among young scientists and is one of the causes for the increasing numbers of scientific fraud cases (remember Mike Roachford and the recent Crocodile scare paper).


Short of a sharknado your not going to find any better opportunity to publish multiple "High impact " papers in science, then by publishing paper's telling the world that pythons are destroying the Everglades and spreading across the country. Making sure these papers receive press coverage by every major media outlet.

A look at the high impact paper effect. Or as its been called the “currency of fame” in science.

A small number of low impact publications is a bad start for a PhD trying to find a position in any research environment. One of the unspoken rules in research is that a successful career in science is only possible with one or more high impact papers . Jobs in the industry sector, the public sector, NGOs or teaching. Maybe a smaller research institution professor or something like that. Are open to those whos track record for publishing notable papers is poor. McDonalds is always hiring. Supposedly 97% of all PhD holders do NOT find their job in academia.

But things certainly could be a lot better, career wise if you had a portfolio that included a couple of exciting research papers in it..........................

High impact factors are the “currency of fame” in science because they lead to invitations to give invited talks and become session chairman during scientific meetings, become a member or chairman of a scientific committee, to become reviewer or editor of an important scientific journal. Not to mention you get much more press coverage after a publication. Labs with high impact factor publications attract more excellent and ambitious candidates for open positions. Scientific prizes are given mostly if not always to researchers with high impact publications. In most Western countries impact factors are a key element to evaluate the research output of an academic institution. This is important to justify current and future funding by the government. Impact factors may also substantially influence the position of universities in international rankings.


High impact factors lead to more public funding in academia There is no doubt that one or more high impact factor papers will increase the chances to get future funding. Funding is often given on the assumption that “previous performances predict future performances”. Funding committees always use impact factors as very strong arguments when deciding who gets what.

Ernie Eison

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 9th, 2016, 10:47 am

There is obviously immense emotional energy being spent - it is clear as the number of themed posts you have on FHF and their stylings. I am guessing you chose this venue to express it because there is a scientific membership presence.

I dont want to make inflammatory speculations on the core of the angst but have you ever considered focusing that energy in some other way that would utilize your gifts?

I have always thought of the Herp World as being relatively new, with vistas uninvented and unexplored.

Being veteran in the trade is an immersion in a multitudinous lab of intimate and constant contact.

I didnt like the trade part of the trade but the immersion was epic.

Something is changing, there is conflict and ungainly imbalances but I detect an almost karmic pull that can be cloaked in political rhetoric, but if watched without it, it is fascinating and has been seen before with other change.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 9th, 2016, 12:24 pm

I think its understood that its a bit more then wage percentage. There are multiple reasons behind the junk science game. ONE reason why the python's are such a juicy deal for the USGS guys and close friends is..............

How to be a successful research scientist . If you can come up with a projects that generate millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, your going to be a popular guy around the water cooler. At any institution and make many friends.
So... can I assume you think that pythons being a "juicy deal" means they generate "millions or hundreds of millions of dollars in funding"?

What do you think the USGS total budget is for invasive species? It's on the web:

https://www2.usgs.gov/budget/2016/green ... enbook.pdf

Check page F-27 to F-33

...and keep in mind that this budget is split widely among regions, species, and workers.


EDIT: also, for those of us not in the USGS and working on herps, the average NSF grant is around 2-300K spread over 3 years. Fewer than 5% of all proposals are funded, and for herp work you better have a darn good reason for requesting money because most people who review your grant simply won't care if you're just "counting scales". You must be using them as a model species to answer a big question in ecology or evolution, or their conservation must be a high priority. The herp people I know who are most successful at this are typically working on multiple questions/systems at once, and their herp research alone *might* get an NSF grant every 10 or 15 years... if they're lucky. More often, they are working on other, more fundable model systems (birds, fish, mammals in vertebrate world) and divert a small amount of those funds towards pet projects in herps- at most maybe 5 or 10K per year.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Sam Sweet » August 9th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Funny, I don't know of any work based on "collecting" of any kind that has an impact factor equal to a tiny fraction of 1% of a paper claiming to explain cancer or reporting life on Mars. Seems like all the fraudulent scientists Ernie knows should be in fields other than herpetology.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 9th, 2016, 1:49 pm

I dont think fraud and exploitation is a dominant trait of the sciences. It is much more readily found coursing through the veins of other ventures. Which is why when it has happened its such a bad bruise to see.

It seems to me that scientists become scientists because they cant stop themselves from becoming scientists and making money is not the impelling motive.

It sucks that money makes people afraid and it blocks things so cunningly we forget its not even real.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » August 10th, 2016, 3:52 am

I am guessing fewer people read this potentially interesting thread with each new, exaggerating and ridiculously generalizing post Ernie is adding. That's just too bad...

Ernie, you certainly have a lot to bring to the table but your anti-science campaign has become boring to the level of making me and likely others skip your posts. Stop destroying interesting topics and direct your efforts to something useful. Reissuing the same complaint again and again on a forum is like shouting in a dark corner of a market place. Keep it up and you'll end up with no audience. You've made your point, let's move on.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Jimi » August 10th, 2016, 3:35 pm

Ernie, you certainly have a lot to bring to the table
have you ever considered focusing that energy in some other way that would utilize your gifts?
Agreed 100%, which is why I keep trying to engage him constructively. I have my personality & communication failings, but I'm sincere. Honest, you could even say.
but your anti-science campaign has become boring to the level of making me and likely others skip your posts.
Yep. Bummer. Plus the fact that attempted engagement is often met with a stinging backhand. He'll get us all to quit one of these days. Unless he learns to hold his fire once in a while.

Oh yeah - back to the original topic. But I'm gonna invert/subvert it - "why sometimes I DO collect". I plan to pick up a lizard or two for a buddy later this month. Nothing spectacular, just one or - at most - two Madrean alligator lizards. Anyway - "why?" As a simple, easy favor for a friend - as good a reason as there ever was. I'm pretty sure he's a good keeper, and I know there's an educational component to it as well, so I'm content.

First (and I expect last) live animals harvested this year - if I even get to. And I'll be buying the state hunting license to try it. I gotta plug that old meme.

cheers

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 10th, 2016, 4:59 pm

So... can I assume you think that pythons being a "juicy deal" means they generate "millions or hundreds of millions of dollars in funding"?

What do you think the USGS total budget is for invasive species? ( Go's on about USGS budget . And how little funding is brought in etc. )

Another what do you think question. I would suggest reading my last post with consideration and thought to the big picture.

To put the VanAr response into its true perspective. In the words of Huxley “This seems to be one of the many cases in which the admitted accuracy of mathematical processes is allowed to throw a wholly inadmissible appearance of authority over the results obtained by them."


Annual funding for the USGS led brown tree snake control received millions of dollars a year from 2004 to 10. In earmarked funding . That is just some of the funding associated with that debacle.
Aug 14 2015. Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina announced $3,673,876 in grant assistance for brown tree snake interdiction and control in Guam, and prevention in the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii. Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey for research and development ($1,050,405): The USGS in partnership with Colorado State University conducts the majority of brown tree snake research, which aids all other agencies in the best practices for search and eradication efforts.
The MAJOR earmarked funding was up in 2010 coincidently the same time it became a priority of the USGS , friends and family, to get the Burmese pythons officially listed as injurious species. More on why that was so important to them below.


What government biologists learned from the brown treesnake boondoggle was how to get more than $100 million dollars from taxpayers for a completely unsuccessful program that failed in every aspect. The one exception is that, so far, the treesnakes haven’t made it to Hawaii. And even that cannot be proven to be a result of their efforts.

The following statement by the North American Brown Treesnake Control Team: “The government biologists have published (as of 2010) a comprehensive book and more than 100 papers, reports, and other products on the BTS and related topics.”

That's about a million bucks per publication. Thank you, American taxpayers . Remember these figures .

The Burmese python represents an unprecedented opportunity for snake loving scientist to make long and bountiful futures for themselves as career python hunters.

To this point the Burmese python has raked in well over ten million dollar's in funding. Spawned repeated success in producing career influencing impact factor papers and given a few enterprising scientist an opportunity to publish a well distributed book. Ah,

Who have the primary beneficiaries of that python funding been ? The core group is made up of government employees working for the USGS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. There are ancillary researchers working with the group who are not government employees. university researchers, independents but all are contracted and funded by government agencies.

The first and most important step toward getting millions of dollars in funding was to get the Burmese python and as many as possible other boas and pythons on the Injurious Wildlife List. Major funding comes when a species receives its federal and formal status as “injurious wildlife.”

Lets see...................
The basis for the action to place the great constrictors and the boa constrictor on the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act is a report issued by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) titled

Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor. This 302-page report was authored by Robert N. Reed and Gordon H. Rodda, biologists employed by the Invasive Species Programs of the USGS; it was issued in December 2009.

Just a taste of what POS that report was , Burmese Pythons may eat Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. As surprising as that statement may seem, it’s listed as a genuine possibility in Table 4.2 on page 69 of this report. There is no better illustration of the extraordinary degree of bias and unfounded speculation that comprises the bulk of this report.
Proposed new law, House Resolution #669 (HR 669), The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, is working its way through the United States Congress. This resolution was introduced by Delegate Madeleine Bordallo [D, Guam] on 26 January 2009,
The proposed new law introduced by none other then Madeleine Bordallo [D, Guam]. Her little piece of paradise gets a lot of financial help from her invasive tree snake friends. Bottom line. The bill and the basis for it are garbage, it doe not pass. But ............ Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar of Colorado and one of the USGS's strongest allies used executive order to pass the bill anyway. His boys would not be disappointed.

Even better , he gives the authors of Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor.

The Conservation Award,” the most prestigious award given by the DOI,
The USGS Technical Announcement released 14 October 2010 is a news release about these Junk scientist receiving the award from Salazar; it states that GCRAP “issued a risk assessment, paving the way for the proposal to list the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes as “injurious wildlife.
In another thread on the topic of dishonesty in Government. I pointed out how the USGS clowns used this junk science to push thru bogus but beneficial to them legislation. USGS alumni JIMI retorted something to the effect that I had my story mixed up. There's your stinging backhand.

Ernie Eison

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 10th, 2016, 6:16 pm

What government biologists learned from the brown treesnake boondoggle was how to get more than $100 million dollars from taxpayers
*citation needed
To this point the Burmese python has raked in well over ten million dollar's in funding.
*citation needed

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Jimi » August 11th, 2016, 8:34 am

the brown treesnake boondoggle
Distorted framing.

Misinformation.

Denial of reality.

Alternate universe.

Lie.

In the broadest telling, the elected leadership of Hawaii and Guam, representing their constituents' economic, public health, and ecological interests, have chosen to assign and fund - with the help of a series of Congresses and Presidents - a job to researchers and managers. Those researchers and managers have taken the assignment and done a hell of a job diagnosing and containing the problem. And it is indeed an actual problem, not some self-serving fabrication.

Talk about "talking out of school". Ernie, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Judging from the content of your posts, you simply have no clue about the complexities of (just as an example) designing, building, trialing, and then up-scaling to full operational deployment the mere door of a snake trap. Let alone where to put the door, how many doors to put on, what to make the rest of the trap out of, what size or shape it ought to be, where to stick the trap, how high to hang it, how far to separate them, what kind of a lure to use in it, how to maintain the lure's effectiveness in a harsh outdoor tropical environment, and on and on and on.

These complexities devour time and money. But that time and money was well-spent in the iterative optimization (maximizing its capture effectiveness while minimizing the price of its raw materials, bench construction, and field deployment, maintenance and servicing) of the single most important piece of the interdiction toolbox in use today.

Similar stories can be told about all the other important tools in use right now (rapid-response teams, detector dogs, toxicants, prey-base management, etc). And about the herculean task of coordinating & synchronizing the workflows and the information infrastructure of all the diverse participants and authorities, tackling all the soul-sucking administrative headaches surrounding all this, and - oh yeah - trying to keep the positive attention of the check-writers so all this effort can be sustained. Because it needs to be sustained, because containment is the only currently realistic strategy for the >200-square-mile, Swiss-cheese slab of rock known as Guam. At current levels of funding and know-how, eradication from Guam is still not a possibility.

But you know what you know, which is apparently all you need to know.

Sorry Kelley, your topic has been hijacked.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 11th, 2016, 10:17 am

No worries ;)

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 11th, 2016, 2:10 pm

...................................................................................................................
Gosh I hate to bore Jeroen and make my audience even smaller but,


Brown tree snake , Current population estimates are in the millions,

Invasive Species Branch Chief Bob Reed,
"we have the most effective snake trap in the world, we've quantified capture probabilities across ages, sizes, etc. for snakes using multiple control tools, and more recent research has led to development of aerial toxicant techniques that hold the promise of landscape-level suppression."
Yeah that's wonderful, but ......................
Bob Reed, "The snakes are still out there, and still in high densities."
USGS Gordon Rodda, " Snakes are already responsible for causing blackouts every few days."
The brown tree snake is flourishing on Guam. There are as many tree snakes on the island today, causing just as much trouble as there was the day the government scientist were brought in to solve the problem. Nothing has changed. Containment ? Snakes are still hitching rides off the island. The question is with planes, boats, jet skis, military cargo coming and going from the brown tree snakes natural range and going everywhere unchecked everyday. How come no other invasions have occurred? Not to mention the brown tree snake was found in massive numbers on Guam prior to all these wonderful containment advancement's. This with quick and easy transportation leaving to a destination of their choice at anytime. But no other populations sprung up ? Hum......................

In this paper ,
Willson, J. D., M. E. Dorcas and R. W. Snow. 2010. Identifying Plausible Scenarios for the Establishment of Invasive Burmese Pythons (Python molurus) in Southern Florida.
Bob Reeds cohorts use the insidious little brown tree snake in Guam, and point out how much vital information has been learned from that fiasco that can now be applied to the Burmese python problem.

Ok,

TRAPPING
(Reed et al., 2011). In summary, that paper recounts the unsuccessful attempts to trap Burmese pythons in an area known as Frog Pond. The study took place in 2009, at the height of Burmese python populations in south Florida, and just before the two ensuing cold winters significantly reduced python numbers by nearly half. Frog Pond is an area on the eastern margin of ENP just north of the east end of the Main Park Road. Frog Pond was believed to be the area with the densest concentration of pythons. The authors report that 6053 trap-nights resulted in three python captures; 37 rodents also were trapped.
At a cost of nearly 1 million dollars , 6053 trap-nights at a prime location. 3 pythons.
Imagine how bad the results would have been if the traps door was in the wrong place.

For generations snake hunters in Asia have trapped pythons the same way they do today. With a couple of sticks and some netting. At the right time , In a good spot they catch 5 to 10 snakes a day. The cost of the traps, maybe $5 US. And that is just two guys in worn out sandals carrying an old rice sack.

TRAINED PYTHON SNIFFING DOGS

Nothing new again. Using dogs to find reptiles has been around a long time. The cost of training, conditioning etc. for one of these scientific dogs. I'm sure very pricy . Python Pete for example a lovable little pooch was used unsuccessfully to hunt down pythons in the Glades. Poor Pete sucked at his job, he was useless .

Others using dogs, in Paraguay. Dogs are used to hunt Tegus for the skin trade , about 300,000 per year. Hunters walk around with the dogs, the dogs track down the lizards, the hunters then catch them. The cost of acquiring and training one these reptile finding machines. Get a free mutt and show it a few skins, take it for a walk.

Radio-telemetry

Not much to say, clocking in at over half a million dollars This project proved useful in one way. The scientist were able to find their dead, frozen snakes.

It would take a forensic accountant to fully break down the enormous amount of taxpayer money spent, not lowering the population of brown tree snakes on Guam.
H.R. 3479 was introduced on November 7, 2003, by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)


H.R. 3479, the Brown Tree Snake Control and Eradication Act, was introduced. Under the terms of this comprehensive legislation the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior are authorized to provide funds to support BTS control, interdiction, research and eradication efforts; nearly $18 million per year in appropriations is authorized for fiscal years 2005 to 2010 to carry out the activities and requirements established by this Act


H.R. 3479 would authorize the appropriation of $104 million over the 2005-2009 period to control brown tree snakes, an invasive species that currently infests Guam and other Pacific islands.
What can be learned from government snake eradication programs is just how impossible it is to over collect a common species, even when the collection area involves a restricted range.

Ernie Eison

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by s_stocking » August 11th, 2016, 8:53 pm

Ernie,

The Brown Tree Snake Control and Eradication Act authorized $15 million per year for fiscal years 2006-2010, or a maximum of $75 million over 5 years, not $104 million....and the act only authorized these as maximum amounts....the annual budget appropriation bills may not have fully funded the program in all of these fiscal years....

BTW what does this have to do with why you don't collect??

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by WSTREPS » August 12th, 2016, 5:04 am

The Brown Tree Snake Control and Eradication Act authorized $15 million per year for fiscal years 2006-2010, or a maximum of $75 million over 5 years, not $104 million....and the act only authorized these as maximum amounts....the annual budget appropriation bills may not have fully funded the program in all of these fiscal years....

BTW what does this have to do with why you don't collect??
The funding began 2004. The 2006 version is an extension of the funding . With the help of Chinas most Famous mathematician Chia-Chiao Lin and a pro grade abacus, its not hard to add in the additional two years of funding associated with this proposal. Keep in mind that money only represents a portion of the funding during a condensed time frame involved with not reducing the Brown tree snake population on Guam. To make it easy. By using a 100 million dollars as a benchmark. I was low balling the numbers.
BTW what does this have to do with why you don't collect??
Nothing, but I am addressing the direct questions and challenges presented by others that don't have anything to do with personal collection. As is often the case there are various off topic turns in this thread. By scrolling back it can be found that I did directly answer the topical question as posed. In addition there are many points to be found about the impacts of collection by studying the intensive, very expensive, failed Government attempts to eradicate or reduce populations of established snake species. As well as other cases of mass collection.

Ernie Eison

A bit more about trapping snakes directly from the USGS,
Trapping is ongoing on Guam in areas that require low snake densities such as cargo loading docks for air and ship traffic and endangered wildlife enclosures. This tactic works well for limited areas, but requires constant monitoring and on a greater scale is next to impossible.

Certain areas, such as limestone cliffs, are largely inaccessible for humans maintaining traps but are prime snake habitat. Restricted military areas and private property cause additional difficulties. Finally, besides the cost involved in creating, setting, and maintaining traps, vandalism frequently disrupts efforts in populated areas.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by stlouisdude » August 12th, 2016, 3:11 pm

No group of people are perfect. If a particular scientist does something unethical, then it's on that particular person. I do not appreciate being judged as a field herper by some careless dope who debarks trees or crowbars boulders. I do not appreciate being judged as a reptile keeper by people who keep frankenherp junglecorns in the far corners of their trailers. I am not unwilling to call out a particular person if I find he or she is acting unethically, but limiting the scope of the blame to those responsible and solely those, I find is a powerful tool toward widening the audience and reeling in statements that are less verifiable.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Brian Hubbs » August 12th, 2016, 6:06 pm

I only collect illegal aliens. Last night I got 426 of them from some planet outside our galaxy. They barely fit into my SUV...luckily they were all only 2 feet tall...

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 12th, 2016, 7:08 pm

I certainly hope you werent planning on keeping those aliens in tubs, Brian.

Rack systems are really only suitable for young cb humans.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Brian Hubbs » August 12th, 2016, 8:22 pm

No, no tubs...we put them in alchohol and mail them to NASA...

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 12th, 2016, 10:28 pm

Okay Brian, so at least the intergalactically dead are going to a good cause.. :thumb:


or.... are .... they..?





:shock: :crazyeyes:

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Brian Hubbs » August 13th, 2016, 11:16 am

I think so...they were all road-kill anyway...but the Men In Black seemed to appreciate them. One interesting thing about them was their language. All they kept saying before they died was "Zeeka" or something like that...I wonder how long we can keep this nonsense going? :) :lol:

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by stlouisdude » August 13th, 2016, 5:00 pm

Looks like more than just Ernie is questioning this guy's ethics
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/l ... 06872.html

The next python he encounters might be in the shower.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by VanAR » August 13th, 2016, 6:51 pm

stlouisdude wrote:Looks like more than just Ernie is questioning this guy's ethics
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/l ... 06872.html

The next python he encounters might be in the shower.
I've been dreading seeing this come up ever since it crossed my FB account Friday morning. Something like this goes so far beyond the ethics involved in science I'm sure many are going to make exactly that connection, and I honestly can't blame anyone who does so.

Having known Mike and his students for a long time, nobody I know saw this coming. A lot has been said here about his python work, but despite those opinions and what he's likely done here, my experience was that he was an excellent mentor, friend, educator, and scientist. Shocked isn't a strong enough word to describe my reaction.

It's a tragedy, and I feel very sorry for the girls, his family, and his colleagues/associates. I hope everyone involved can get the help they need, and I hope the fallout, especially from the ethical perspective you raise, SLD, doesn't impact the careers of his former students, many of whom have been incredibly successful in their own right. If anyone had a hint of this in the past I can only hope that they would have raised concerns to the appropriate authorities.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 13th, 2016, 7:18 pm

Creeps like this are horrible and found in every segment of society - and every occupation.

But it has nothing to do with Science.


*On another note completely but something to consider is I feel the scientists who do participate in FHF have been, and continue to be very gracious in professional restraint on many topics here where members have revealed gaps or misunderstandings in knowledge - in subjects where scientists conceivably understand the subject at hand down to a cellular level im sure quite often, yet; either explain gently or graciously move on without continued comment where instead perhaps such commentary might embarrass a poster.

Thats a testament to intellectual security.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by stlouisdude » August 13th, 2016, 7:26 pm

Kelley, I agree with you there. We have some great people posting here for sure. I posted the link not to suggest that scientists at large are unethical but that this specific person may have been less than honest at all times. Whether that was true in his research or not, I cannot say.

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Re: Why You Dont Collect

Post by Kelly Mc » August 13th, 2016, 8:15 pm

No no I wasnt directing my comment at you (or anyone) - Im glad I have the chance to clarify that to your reply. I was just sayin.

I had actually meant to make my asterisked comment point at some opportunity before, and its something I have noticed a long time - and include myself as a poster with enthusiastic speculations whom has been treated to generous graces by scientists here.

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