HERP users WARNING

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Brian Hubbs
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HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 5th, 2016, 8:28 am

It has come to my attention that a book on Arizona Snakes is in the process of being completed. A data request may come to us from Andy Holycross for that project, which will include range maps showing dot locations. If you have any records in the database that you do not want to publicize in a book, NOW is the time to mark those records CLOSED so they will not be released. There are many sensitive areas and species in AZ and it might not be a good idea to have their locations broadcast in a public book. Use your own judgement on this matter, and think of the consequences for the animals. Do you want certain roads to turn into something like Whitewater in CA? Do you want an area destroyed by collector's because you released coordinates for popular critters? Think about it before you release your data to any request from AZ. It might be better to only release your Non-sensitive data. Of course, if you have put all your data in HerpMapper then the damage is already done and it will all get automatically released. This is one of the reasons HERP is a better choice than HerpMapper. At least you have a choice with HERP...

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 5th, 2016, 10:58 am

Good point Brian, which is why I have contributed no Sensitive data to Herpmapper, and never will.

This whole exercise of keeping field records, and sharing them with the hope that the data can benefit science, is a double-edged sword. Data that can benefit science can also harm the animals we're trying to protect and preserve.

Is there some chance that Holycross can be talked out of using dot locations in his new book? It seems that if he's publishing a field guide for public use, there should be no reason to divulge such precise location data.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 5th, 2016, 11:14 am

It's not a field guide. It's a large book, more like Grismer's Baja book or my Common Kingsnake book. It's readership will be mostly academic, but also serious amateur herpers who still know how to flip pages in a book. :lol:

Jimi
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Jimi » October 5th, 2016, 11:30 am

Hmm. I wonder about the book format (page and map/figure size), the map scale, and the size of the dots. Will each map be a different and/or large-scale, or will each map be the same small scale, and cover the whole state? And, are they big or micro-dots? I mean, if a dot covers the entire (say) Patagonias or Whetstones or park or whatever, what harm could a public dot realistically do? How much new information could it contain? For serious amateurs, or total newbs?
This whole exercise of keeping field records, and sharing them with the hope that the data can benefit science, is a double-edged sword. Data that can benefit science can also harm the animals we're trying to protect and preserve.
I'll just add, that data that do not get into the hands of managers do nothing for protection & preservation. Such data, for such intents & purposes, do not exist. They just make up a nice tidy little private collection. Nothing wrong with that, unless you want to do something to protect & preserve. Good intentions are nice. They are necessary, but insufficient.
Use your own judgement on this matter, and think of the consequences for the animals. Do you want certain roads to turn into something like Whitewater in CA? Do you want an area destroyed by collector's because you released coordinates for popular critters?
These are pretty different concerns. This reminds me, a lot, of a conversation I had with a Utah herper this summer over in the RM chapter. A herper has to honestly answer to their own self, "Self, specifically what consequences of sharing information are you worried about?" Namely, are you worried about consequences to your hunt quality, or to the capacity of the habitat to provide for species' needs, or to excessive legal or illegal harvest of animals? There's no wrong answer unless the answer involves deception of your self or others. Don't confuse hunt quality with protection or preservation.

Not trying or wanting to be an ass here. I just get this argument from all sides, the inside and the outside, and have come to recognize the secretive attitude as a real impediment to actual on-the-ground conservation. And it does cut both ways - if agencies think something is rarer than it actually is, what herpers get is overly-restrictive regs. Just throwing that out there for consideration.

Best wishes for thoughtful actions...

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 5th, 2016, 1:27 pm

The snakes I have the concern about are not rare, not protected, and not about to be protected. I just want fewer collectors on my favorite roads and at my favorite flipping sites. My purpose is purely selfish in nature, and there is nothing wrong with that...but others might have different reasons for protecting certain animals and locations. I am going to release any data I have for SSC or protected animals, and my non-sensitive stuff. I am only concerned with one species right now, and I think you can guess what it is. :lol: I am actually even releasing a couple records for those from one well-known area and one unknown area, but no damage will be done by those releases. This is why I like HERP. I can choose what i want to do and why I want to do it.

I was told that the dots in the book will be about 5 miles across. I think for many places that is still too precise.

Jimi
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Jimi » October 5th, 2016, 3:32 pm

I understand self-interest, and I respect candid, self-aware self-interest. It's a cornerstone of rational transactional behavior. I think cynicism has largely been given a bad name - has had its meaning twisted - by those who prefer to moralize, particularly when it costs them nothing, when there's no sacrifice for them to make and they can just stick it to someone else. When cynicism gets interesting is when there are trade-offs to be made...

And I will add that hunt quality matters. Damn, I hate a crowd. I hate garbage, I don't even like tire tracks and footprints. Luckily, most herpers seem pretty lazy, and just keep going to the same old spots. OTOH, turning folks onto some new spots can spread & diffuse their impacts to older spots. So it can be a form of self-serving generosity. Not bad...

For the milk-mashers you might motivate - knowing your places is just a small part of the puzzle. When, and under what conditions, to go there is at least as important (if they knew those details, they could locate their own new spots).

How's your book coming BTW? Not wasting excessive time on birds are ya? Ha ha. I retrieved that Blanding DOR on the way back from AZ this August, it'll be in Bean by Christmas.

cheers

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 5th, 2016, 4:19 pm

The milk book is a slow motion project. It is 4th behind 3 bird books... ;) You should see the firestorm this post created on FB on the North American Field Herping page... 8-)

Also, I need to make a clarification. My purposes are not all self-serving. I am concerned with commercial collectors seeing locations in a book and taking too many animals (if possible). It has happened in CA and other states, and it can happen almost anywhere to certain species. I see no need to help the scum in their illegal activities. I know of two such people in AZ who do this type of thing. One knows his stuff, but the other is a Lemming...

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frodaman
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by frodaman » October 29th, 2016, 10:20 pm

It is my personal opinion that if you do not want something publicized, don't put in on the internet at all! 99% of my records are on a PAPER NOTEBOOK... Yep, those still exist! They work well for record keeping, and no one can get them unless they knock on my door! :beer:

craigb
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by craigb » October 31st, 2016, 11:35 am

I agree 100% .... Kent and Mr. Hubbs called me numerous times about entering my data.
My data is my own. If I post it, I know it is out there, and I document everything I post.

I still journal my outings as well.

Being a public school teacher is another reason for me to limit my internet footprint.

Herp On and I wish everyone a plentiful spring !!!


Craig

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » November 5th, 2016, 4:07 pm

Well, there is such a thing as releasing data to a responsible request. Plus, all the non-sensitive data is still useful to help understand the ranges of those animals. The beauty of the HERP database is that we can choose what data to release. By not contributing Craig, you really will have no argument when CA F&W protects another common snake...because you will have done nothing to show that the animals are not rare.

All I am doing with the potential future request from AZ is to withhold what i consider to be un-necessary dots from a map in a book...it will be a unique request if we ever see it...

craigb
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by craigb » November 5th, 2016, 5:15 pm

That is very true Brian. But they will never be able to stop me from photographing them. Or, using my materials for small group educational purposes. Again ... I get to choose who sees my stuff.

I am just a cynic.

:?: 8-)

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Biker Dave
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Biker Dave » November 18th, 2016, 9:52 pm

Has anyone spoken to Andrew about this yet?

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frodaman
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by frodaman » November 21st, 2016, 9:43 pm

Yes. I actually did some of the grunt work on the mapping for his book this past summer. I believe he is done with it already. If anything, I know with certainty that if he hasn't already requested data from HERP, he probably wont. He got most of his data from the UAZ and NAU collections.

I will say that, he is very respectful of people's wishes concerning their own records. If he does ask, and you tell him no, he won't push it.

Update: I spoke with Andy yesterday and he is NOT going to be using or requesting HERP data.

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frodaman
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by frodaman » December 6th, 2016, 10:51 pm

:beer:

hellihooks
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by hellihooks » December 7th, 2016, 10:31 am

Brian Hubbs wrote:It has come to my attention that a book on Arizona Snakes is in the process of being completed. A data request may come to us from Andy Holycross for that project, which will include range maps showing dot locations. If you have any records in the database that you do not want to publicize in a book, NOW is the time to mark those records CLOSED so they will not be released. There are many sensitive areas and species in AZ and it might not be a good idea to have their locations broadcast in a public book. Use your own judgement on this matter, and think of the consequences for the animals. Do you want certain roads to turn into something like Whitewater in CA? Do you want an area destroyed by collector's because you released coordinates for popular critters? Think about it before you release your data to any request from AZ. It might be better to only release your Non-sensitive data. Of course, if you have put all your data in HerpMapper then the damage is already done and it will all get automatically released. This is one of the reasons HERP is a better choice than HerpMapper. At least you have a choice with HERP...
Pretty funny coming from you... do as i say... not as i do??? :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: HERP users WARNING

Post by Brian Hubbs » December 14th, 2016, 10:12 am

I learn from my mistakes Jim... :thumb:

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