What do you consider lifers?

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chris drake
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What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris drake » May 29th, 2011, 8:58 pm

I was just curious how many of you guys count DORs as lifers. I've found 1 lifer and 3 would be lifers that were DORs this year so far. Tonight i found a western mudsnake dor and it got me thinking about this. I've been putting an asterisk and marking it dor next to the snake in my notes until i can find a live one. Here are the pics of my would be lifers this year so far. I guess I just need to keep trying as much as possible to get some live ones. :)

western mudsnake
Image

Grahams crayfish snake
Image

and bairds ratsnake
Image

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ErikNM » May 29th, 2011, 9:12 pm

I count DORs as lifers with an asterisk. I also try and find herps that I've already found, but lack photos of. Also, if a group of us is actively searching in the same area, I count any found by the group as lifers. If the group is in another area or another car, then I don't count those.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by mikemike » May 29th, 2011, 10:11 pm

I have a separate list for things that I find DOR, and one for things that I either see from a distance or that I see that someone else has found. As far as my actual lifelist, I only add things that I have personally found or flipped, and caught in hand, if legal. (Not collected).
If it's any species of special status, concern, threatened, endangered, etc, I count it if I spot it and get either close enough for a good voucher, or close enough to observe it in detail.
As far as roadcruising, I only count it if it's live, uninjured, and spotted by either I or someone else in the same car. If another car spots it and I pull over to check it out, doesn't count.
I know I'm much pickier than a lot of people with my list, but I can't help it. Haha

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » May 30th, 2011, 3:43 am

DOR cannot be lifers. How could they? One term has "dead" in it, the other "life". :lol:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » May 30th, 2011, 3:48 am

I do not consider deceased specimens to be lifers. Thus the DOR zonata I have in database isn't a lifer for me.

Generally I don't consider it to be a lifer unless I have had it in my hand or have identifiable photograph.
Exceptions to that rule that I consider to be part of my life list are all from pre digital camera era:

* Aspidoscelis tigris munda - I've gotten close, oh so close, several times - but damn they are fast
* Dicamptodon tenebrosus - never had in my hand, but no doubt at all that's what they were (Boy Scouts, Trinity County)

At this point, it is only a lifer if I have an identifiable photograph, but if I had it in hand and no camera or pictures didn't come out, I'd still count it.

Note that I don't insist on it being in hand. For venomous or threatened/endangered, I prefer not to handle. For harmless species from healthy populations, I do like to briefly handle, especially for photographing ID keys.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 30th, 2011, 5:36 am

I echo Mike and Funky....

Even if in a group, I don't count it unless I'm right there next to the person when I or another finds it. Case in point, I don't count an ugly grey snattlerake found last year as a lifer even though myself, Erik above, and TimCO were in the group. Tim found the snake nearly 1/4 mile away from where Erik and I were. This topic as a whole, unfortunately, is a sore subject among me and a few others here that were in the field at that time, particularly sore for me as to how things were said and viewed on this forum and a certain female herper was assumed to have been the one to find all of what she posted - I can say what she posted from at least Labor Day Weekend 2010 were not all found by her, though thanks for helping her find those animals was given early within the post(s).

My view on group finds is that unless everyone is herping the area hand-in-hand, the actual odds of you being in the area by your self, walking the same search pattern as someone yards away from where you chose to search, and finding the "lifer" animal are slim. Since 2005 there have been countless times I've hiked EXACTLY where Tim found said snake, and I still don't have it under my list.

Again, unless you're frolicking around hand-in-hand like smurfs, giving piggy-back rides, potato-sack or human wheelbarrow racing, then for me I've got to physically see, and successfully ID, or have in hand (where/when legal to do such) the animal. Group lifers are like being at game 7 of the world series, 1 out, bottom of the 9th, all tied up and you leave to go take a piss. While in the bathroom (assuming no TVs present) you miss the game winning, walk-off hit. Sure you where there in the general area, but ya didn't see it.

Image

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 30th, 2011, 5:43 am

mikemike wrote:If another car spots it and I pull over to check it out, doesn't count.
I know I'm much pickier than a lot of people with my list, but I can't help it. Haha
You're not pickier, just giving credit, where credit is due. My reply above hints at something exactly the same as what you describe road cruising. My situation involved a mexican hognose I found as a "lifer" for someone that rolled up 15 minutes later.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Paul White » May 30th, 2011, 5:49 am

I count group things as long as the group is in the same area-i.e not seperated out at two locations. I don't count DORs. If/when I find a DOR as a lifer, it's a lot more like a kick in the nuts than a lifer :lol:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris drake » May 30th, 2011, 6:14 am

well it looks like most are on the same page. I don't consider it a lifer if i'm not standing their when it is flipped or cruised or walked either. I was just interested in everybody elses thoughts and methods. As long as i can get a picture of it after I/we find it i don't feel i have to have it in hand to count.

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by mikemike » May 30th, 2011, 6:18 am

ChrisNM wrote:
mikemike wrote:If another car spots it and I pull over to check it out, doesn't count.
I know I'm much pickier than a lot of people with my list, but I can't help it. Haha
You're not pickier, just giving credit, where credit is due. My reply above hints at something exactly the same as what you describe road cruising. My situation involved a mexican hognose I found as a "lifer" for someone that rolled up 15 minutes later.
Exactly. I have a few friends that are like that. Nothing against it or them, it's just not for me. haha. I prefer to do my work and let my work show for me. I have yet to check a lot of target species off for that very reason though, that I've had people find, sometimes within ten feet of where I'm actually standing. But the way I see it, someone else finding something at least shows that I'm in the right area, and could potentially turn another of whatever up within due time.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Wayne_MO » May 30th, 2011, 6:27 am

I don't count DOR or mortally wounded soon to be DOR snakes. I do count snakes that someone in my party spots, or that are pointed out to me by others in my party if the snake is still at where it was found. By others in my party I mean small parties of 2 to 5 people where we are all herping the same general area. I haven't yet had to confront finding a lifer in one of those giant parties of multiple parties all descending on an area as part of a herp survey or a field herp forum field trip yet, but my rule would be if someone in my mini-group of say 4 found it, it counts. If some group of herpers two miles up the road found it and I arrived to a snake posed on a rock with 30 cameras surrounding it, it doesn't count.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 30th, 2011, 6:30 am

my exact take on it too Mike. The person I mention as an example busted her butt just like the rest of us but I view things differently. I have nothing against them, even if the topic is a sore point, just not my style of herping. Hell, my best friend's fianceé flipped a NM milk under a piece of 4x8 that broke in half. As we were lifting it, the board started to give, so I placed it back down, had her keep her side rested and let the board break. My side had nada, hers had a NM milk. I don't count it as she'd asked me for help on the board. Same with finding them with the Hubbster. I've still yet to find my own. I've been in the right area at the right time, just not the right place at the right time.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by mikemike » May 30th, 2011, 7:00 am

Along with DORs, I too don't count IOR snakes that I come up on and have to euthanize. To me a snake that's been hit and has to be killed is not much better a find than a snake that's already dead.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 30th, 2011, 7:20 am

A spin on the situation...

What about hiking up on a dead lifer, non-human influenced, in the middle of no where? I ask as an apparently very dead, but still ID'able desert massasauga was found at White Sands National Monument in 2003 during the first year of the Herpetological Inventory of the Chihuahuan Desert National Parks System. That animal was used as a voucher for the survey.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Paul White » May 30th, 2011, 7:29 am

:shock: That surprises the hell out of me. I wouldn't have expected a massagua there.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by John Williams » May 30th, 2011, 8:39 am

Of course they should be counted. You put the time and effort into finding the animal and you succeeded.


John

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by reptilist » May 30th, 2011, 9:41 am

I partake in the joy of seeing a new-to-me life form in the wild.
But, perhaps the whole "lifer" genre seems to have taken on an ego swelling aspect, somewhat like a competition.

That being said....
Damn the Hubbs for finding that abberant molossus instead of me!
:lol:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chad ks » May 30th, 2011, 9:53 am

I count any animal seen as a wild type even if it is dead on the road, but like Eric I include special notation to indicate more to be desired, like a live specimen. To me it's idiosyncratic to say that DORs shouldn't count, what if it gets hit right in front of you? Not to mention that for science, DORs certainly count. If you found a DOR state record, it would definitely count, so why wouldn't it be included at least as a note on a lifelist? What if you found a freshly hit but DOR Crotalus lannomi?

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by MHollanders » May 30th, 2011, 10:11 am

I'm pretty lenient with this stuff. First of all, I don't keep a life list so it's not all that important to me. If an animal is DOR, I count it. If someone else flips the animal, I count it. If someone comes back from the woods with an animal, I won't count it was I wasn't even in the area. Whatever, it doesn't matter anyway.

Chris, if you want to see a live Graham's crayfish snake, let me know. They're abundant in my neighborhood.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Paul White » May 30th, 2011, 10:23 am

The main reason I don't count DORs is because I don't derive any satisfaction from them. I feel sort of disappointed and sad. Nothing to do with data or integrity or anything.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris drake » May 30th, 2011, 10:25 am

That would be great Matthijs. Thanks.

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Ross Padilla » May 30th, 2011, 10:31 am

chad ks wrote:To me it's idiosyncratic to say that DORs shouldn't count, what if it gets hit right in front of you?
Then it should count because you would have got to it before it got off the road had that other car not been there.
chad ks wrote:What if you found a freshly hit but DOR Crotalus lannomi?
I wouldn't count it because there's no certainty it would have still been there if it wasn't hit.

I'm pretty strict when counting lifers for my self. In a group setting, if I take them to my boardline and they flip a herp I would consider a lifer under one of my boards, I'd count it because I know I would have flipped one of those boards. If they find it where I probably would not have looked, I won't count it. If they take me somewhere I've never been and didn't know about, I wouldn't count anything as a lifer, even if I flipped it. I don't even count the snakes I seen as a child because I wasn't a herper and was not looking for them at the time. Maybe if I was competing with others to have more on my list, I wouldn't be so strict. lol

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Mike VanValen » May 30th, 2011, 2:12 pm

I sure do count DOR's as lifers. The final goal is to see a living specimen. "Lifer" to me means what you have seen in your life so far, so dead counts :lol:

Oh, if I hear it but don't see it, it doesn't count. I'm talking anurans.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by justinm » May 30th, 2011, 5:42 pm

Chris,

I think this a pretty odd time to bitch about someone? I know who you're talking about and I helped this person find a lot of lifers and was very happy to share in her joy when she visited my area. To be honest I think you're kind of a kook if you don't count a lifer when you help lift a piece of AC, get over yourself already. You sound like a certain better than everyone else person from a certain state that starts with a certain letter K.

I count lifers if the guys I'm with find it and I'm there to enjoy the excitement. That is the joy of herping with one or two people. You can find even more things.

I try not to stop for DOR's and haven't found one that would be new yet.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by MHollanders » May 30th, 2011, 7:14 pm

I'm glad the bitching on (what I'm pretty sure is) KW continues even without his presence. :lol:

Justin, you don't stop for DORs, or was that a typo?

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Shane_TX » May 30th, 2011, 9:50 pm

I was just curious how many of you guys count DORs as lifers.
I do, with an asterisk. Just because it happened to be dead doesn't mean that I didn't find it "in situ".

My lifelist is more of a databank than anything, but it does require a certain degree of direct observation. In the field, I draw the line if something was found outside of casual conversation distance. Even then I have excluded lifers because someone found something by a means I wouldn't have employed. If someone happened to flip a board before I did, who cares, I would have flipped it without them; the moment isn't quite as sweet but the company normally makes up for it.

I'm glad I started a lifelist some years ago...without it I would have almost certainly forgotten a few species.

Shane

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 30th, 2011, 9:53 pm

justinm wrote:Chris,<BR sab="769"><BR sab="770">I think this a pretty odd time to bitch about someone?
Nope, this thread just saved me from asking the question myself and actually starting the thread. This thread actually allows us as a community to air out and brainstorm on what should and should not be counted as a lifer.
I know who you're talking about and I helped this person find a lot of lifers and was very happy to share in her joy when she visited my area. To be honest I think you're kind of a kook if you don't count a lifer when you help lift a piece of AC, get over yourself already.
Plenty over myself, matter of fact if you ask one of the participants in this thread I'm actually rather humble, open, and welcoming and rarely, if ever ask for anything in return. Hell, I even invited him and another forum goer to help me years ago for a survey. That said, I also enjoyed my time spent in the field with the certain individual you and I speak of. We had fun, learned some photography pointers from one another, and got to goof around with herps - can't complain about that one bit. What did bug me some was that particular trip wound up becoming centric around that individual and her needs (demands) once 2 other herpers joined up. But, I guess that's my own fault as no one was pointing a gun at me keeping me there. Unfortunately for me, I forgive, just don't forget very easily.
You sound like a certain better than everyone else person from a certain state that starts with a certain letter K.
Dead wrong again. I just view lifers differently. It was the way my best friend and I viewed it from the get go, well before we were even driving; we were just competitive with one another that way. Where you do have me, is that I try to be the best I can at finding things of my own. But I also greatly enjoy and relish in herping within groups. Those group (4+ people) outtings for me started in 2002 while enrolled in the NMSU Herpetology course and grew to what's become an annual outting that started at the Chiricahuas and has now just become somewhere of choosing for Labor Day Weekend.
I count lifers if the guys I'm with find it and I'm there to enjoy the excitement. That is the joy of herping with one or two people. You can find even more things.
Agreed, but where I don't agree is when even within a group you can wind up being quite a distance away from one another. As such, I've already stated my stance on that matter. It's not a matter of me trying to be better than someone other than against my own self.

That said, I guess mike's, funk's, and my points are all moot. When I google various terms such as "birding + rules of adding to life list" many hits basically result in the general concensus that ultimately the rules are up to you and how stringent you want to make things.

Enjoy the season, it's bone dry out here and I've not gone herping as a result of it and gas prices. Too bad you, myself, and a couple of others couldn't have made the 4 corners survey going on right now. The herping gods know I could have at least used the break from reality.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chad ks » May 31st, 2011, 12:45 pm

I was once on a trip when someone found an obscurus nearby. We all high tailed it over and saw the critter in situ and took some shots of it. I count it on my lifelist because I saw the animal just after it was found and because it was unmolested (they're protected) until a permitted person came over to measure it. That's fair in my opinion...however if the situation had been slightly different (for instance if I hadn't seen the snake in situ or at all, or if it was shown later) then I wouldn't count it. Even as it is I include a notation to suggest that it wasn't my find. In some situations it is always a group find because it requires many manhours to find a critter and in certain conditions it's just plain luck.

There is, though, a reason why it's blatantly obvious (imo) that a find like what I just described is not the same as actually making the find personally. And that reason is the fact that if and when I do lay eyes upon and discover an individual such as the one mentioned above, I will get (I believe) an entirely different degree of satisfaction from actually sighting the animal. A notation on my lifelist (be it DOR or a group find) is meant to indicate that there's still reason to revisit the lifelisted animal and search for a live specimen of a personal find. Just a few thoughts. :thumb:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by walk-about » May 31st, 2011, 2:41 pm

All 'herpers' should take note from our 'birder' friends. If I am standing under a tree with 10 other birders, and atop the branches we view a never before seen, yet identifiable avian, then it would indeed be a lifer to all of us. Does not matter who saw it first. Secondly, if it is a road-kill herp, and never seen before by me, then guess what, it is a 'lifer'. My first blacktail rattler, earth snake, spiney softshell turtle, coachwhip, and mojave rattler - all of them 'lifers' at one point, and all were smashed good on the roads from which they attempted to cross. In fact, these roadkill have served invaluable to my scientific research over the last 25 years. Research that is often impossible to obtain from a live specimen. Love roadkill. Love lifers. Just my take.


Rock ON!


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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by ChrisNM » May 31st, 2011, 8:53 pm

chad ks wrote:I was once on a trip when someone found an obscurus nearby. We all high tailed it over and saw the critter in situ and took some shots of it. I count it on my lifelist because I saw the animal just after it was found and because it was unmolested (they're protected) until a permitted person came over to measure it. That's fair in my opinion...however if the situation had been slightly different (for instance if I hadn't seen the snake in situ or at all, or if it was shown later) then I wouldn't count it. Even as it is I include a notation to suggest that it wasn't my find. In some situations it is always a group find because it requires many manhours to find a critter and in certain conditions it's just plain luck.
Not in situ and molested....
There is, though, a reason why it's blatantly obvious (imo) that a find like what I just described is not the same as actually making the find personally. And that reason is the fact that if and when I do lay eyes upon and discover an individual such as the one mentioned above, I will get (I believe) an entirely different degree of satisfaction from actually sighting the animal. A notation on my lifelist (be it DOR or a group find) is meant to indicate that there's still reason to revisit the lifelisted animal and search for a live specimen of a personal find. Just a few thoughts. :thumb:
...Thus I side with this rationale. I guess poor wording on my part to convey what you've just done in very much fewer words. The exception is I don't life list it. That circumstance is more of a mental note, got to see and possibly photograph it, now I need to personally list it. I think of it as what the asterisk is to baseball statistics.

I guess that's selfish of me? That's kind of how I took the kook comment from Justin.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Curtis Hart » June 1st, 2011, 7:55 pm

I have much looser requirements for listing than many of you it seems. I basically follow ABA, without counting things heard or mortally injured. I do not count DORs, although in my head, I know I saw them and am much more motivated to find them alive. I only have 3 that are bothering me at the moment, Crab-eating Raccoon, Southern Tamandua, and Ornate Box Turtle.
While I agree it is preferable to find an animal yourself, rather than be called over to it, and preferable to find it on the crawl or basking rather than flip it, and better to hike or kayak it, than road cruise it, I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em. Just last week, Jason Folt and I were in the last minutes of a great, but rather low herp content trip. He saw some tin as we drove by and we turned around and started flipping. It turned out to be the best tin site I've ever seen in Michigan. He quickly flipped 2 Milks and then as I was holding them, and he was still flipping, an Eastern Hognose turned up. That was a lifer for me. I don't feel bad I didn't notice the site as we drove by, it didn't bother me he flipped it. For me the excitement of both of us enjoying that good of a site, with that good of snakes, with no expectation of it 5 minutes before, was better than it happening any other way.
My lifer Bird-voiced Treefrog was found by a certain female herper who has been referred to earlier in this thread. I would not have found it otherwise, but I still count it. It doesn't bother me and I doubt that it bothers her.
ChrisNM wrote: This thread actually allows us as a community to air out and brainstorm on what should and should not be counted as a lifer.
While it is nice to find out what other peoples thoughts are on the subject, I think everyone should decide their own criteria for their life lists. I will not be changing my list to your rules, and I'd be absolutely shocked if you took up my criteria.


The one area I am strict with mammals and herps(but not birds), is that I do not count ferals. While I saw Rhesus Macaque in Florida around 2003, I didn't count it until I saw it in India in 2010. While it may not make a whole lot of sense with the previous statement, I do count reintroduced animals, such as the Black-footed Ferret. There may even be a couple cases where I would count an animal in captivity, if the only remaining specimens were captive. Lonesome George, or perhaps Vancouver Island Marmots, if the reintroductions fail. That is obviously not the ideal way to see those animals, but it's the only way.

Good luck adding to your lists everyone, no matter what your requirements,


Curtis Hart

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » June 1st, 2011, 9:59 pm

I count released specimens (RES, Map Turtle, Spiny Softshell, American Bullfrog, Chinese Fire-bellied Newt) - I think I probably have seen RES and American Bullfrog in native habitat, but I can't be sure.

Non natives may be released individuals or they may be prodigy of released individuals, I don't have a way of knowing.
I suspect most if not all wild Bullfrogs I have encountered are from established populations and not releases, I suspect most RES I have seen are from populations that either primarily or entirely recruit new members via released pets. The spiny softshell and painted turtle (I believe western, anyone know for sure? http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=51803 ) were with very little doubt released, and the Chinese Fire-bellied Newt was also almost certainly released.

The house gecko I found in Emeryville, CA way back when I don't count. It was right outside the East Bay Vivarium. Not even completely sure what species it actually was, probably Mediterranean.

I'm trying (slowly but steadily) to get my entire life list photo documented in NAHERP - still lacking quite a few, but someday, I hope I can just use NAHERP as my life list. Means I need to find a live zonata since I have a DOR there. Also means I need to get to Michigan / New York / Pennsylvania / Florida / Kansas / Colorado (or at least to where I can document species I found in those states).

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Nathan Hall » June 2nd, 2011, 3:53 pm

Glad you posted this, Chris. I too count DORs, but I also mark 'em with an asterisk. I've found entirely too many dead "lifers".

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Natalie McNear
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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Natalie McNear » June 2nd, 2011, 5:11 pm

Do a lot of you guys actually keep a physical list of species you've seen and when you found it and whatnot? Either in writing or on the computer I mean. I've never really felt the desire to do that sort of stuff, and I don't put much emphasis on whether something is a lifer for me or not. I see lots of new lizards everywhere I go, but frankly, most lizards bore me and I generally won't even bother photographing them even if they're a new species (the Racerunner I flipped in Arkansas was an exception, that thing was awesome).

I (usually) remember which species I've seen before, but that's about it. For me, the experience as a whole is much, much more important than whether it's technically considered a lifer or not. Say, for example, I'm herping with friends in AZ and one of them finds a Mexican Hognose about 100 yards from me and catches it, and then everyone gets to check it out and take great photographs of it. Or, I go out there by myself, see a hog basking and take a quick crappy voucher shot, but then when I try to catch it, it bolts down a burrow or something. I would rather experience the first situation, even though I didn't find the snake and it wouldn't technically be a lifer by most people's standards, because I would get to handle, examine, and appreciate the animal up close.

I don't consider herping to be a competition, so having a long list of species doesn't really mean anything to me. Neither does searching for animals that don't particularly interest me, even if I've never seen them... Rattlesnakes don't interest me much, so if I was driving out to Inyo County, it would be for the Rosy Boas (not a lifer) rather than Panamint Rattlers (would be a lifer).

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chris drake
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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris drake » June 2nd, 2011, 5:37 pm

I don't think of keeping a life list as a competition. If it was a competition i think we would see alot more people posting their lifelist on here. I just want to keep personal records of what i've found and havent. One day i would like to look back and say i found everything there is to find in Texas and have it documented for myself with pics and notes. I'm about 1/2 way there by the way. :) I have a friend and sort of mentor that is 71 and has found every snake in Texas but 2 nerodia. The Brazos and Concho watersnakes. I hope he gets those 2 soon and meets his goal. I really don't think its about bragging rights. But hey everyone is different and approachs herping differently.

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 2nd, 2011, 5:37 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:frankly, most lizards bore me
You just made me cry. :cry:

:P

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Natalie McNear » June 2nd, 2011, 5:48 pm

LOL, can't help it... It probably stems from growing up in an area where there are only four species of lizards and all of them are extremely common.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » June 2nd, 2011, 5:48 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:Do a lot of you guys actually keep a physical list of species you've seen and when you found it and whatnot? Either in writing or on the computer I mean.
I don't, but I did put some of my non CA herps from my lifelist in the NAFHA as unvouchered, when there were not a lot of vouchered records from the area and I'm sure of where it was and positive on the ID.

I've been meaning to make a list. I've stumbled upon a few lists that belong to people here (IE Jeremiah Easter had one online, don't know if he maintains it).

I use to maintain my CA lifelist over at calris, but I haven't updated it. That's kind of why I'm working slowly but steadily at getting new records for past lifers in nafha - let it automate the list.

The darn cryptic species complexes make it hard. I don't know if the black salamanders I found on a scout outing at a place I can't remember (think north of Russian River but I really can't say) were the central lineage or (currently un-described) northwestern lineage, so I guess if I document either again - they would be a half-lifer ;)

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Nathan Hall » June 2nd, 2011, 5:49 pm

Competition? No. I (we) simply like finding species that we've not found/seen. Finding new species to me is a fundamentally integral part to herping. I've never posted a list for others to see. Quite frankly, I don't care. To each his/her own.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » June 2nd, 2011, 5:50 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:LOL, can't help it... It probably stems from growing up in an area where there are only four species of lizards and all of them are extremely common.
I've heard there was an anecdotal report of Aniella pulchra in Marin County, but subsequent surveys turned up nothing. Maybe it was just a sharp-tailed snake that crawled through yellow pigment?

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » June 2nd, 2011, 5:53 pm

Nathan Hall wrote:Competition? No. I (we) simply like finding species that we've not found/seen. Finding new species to me is a fundamentally integral part to herping. I've never posted a list for others to see. Quite frankly, I don't care. To each his/her own.
Competition seems silly since no two people have had identical opportunities to herp the same geography at same time of year, but I still think it is neat to see what others have found.

Some people (IE Chad Lane) have a nack for finding herps others often miss, and while its not a competition, credit is due where credit is due.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chris drake » June 2nd, 2011, 5:58 pm

i absolutely agree people deserve credit for their hard work and efforts. I also enjoy seeing what others have found and compare. Thats what can make fun trips when you and others all go looking for a target species none of the group has found yet. Sharing a lifer experience with others is great.

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Natalie McNear » June 2nd, 2011, 6:08 pm

Most of my experiences with life listing are from birding, where a lot of people are SUPER competitive about it. Whenever someone gets back from a trip, they make sure to mention they added x amount of new species to their life list. On birding forums a lot of people have the number of species on their life lists posted in their signatures (in addition to state lists, year lists, country lists, etc.) and there are even events in the birding community (Big Days, Great Backyard Bird Count) that simply involve counting as many species as possible in a given space/timeframe. It seems that birders make a much bigger deal about actual numbers, but they are a lot less picky about what's considered a lifer and what isn't... Finding vagrant birds is rare in most areas, so usually the migrants you add to your life list were originally found by someone else who reported that find to an email list or something. Herpers wouldn't take to that very well. :lol:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Nathan Hall » June 2nd, 2011, 6:10 pm

I should elaborate. I've not posted my life list. I do enjoy seeing what others find. Of course. I just think the whole idea of competition is silly. We all herp because we love seeing herps in the wild. It's in our DNA. As much as we're all very different, we share a love for herping. I still have field guides that my patents gave me 25 years ago, and I even marked species I found when I was 10.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Nathan Hall » June 2nd, 2011, 6:11 pm

*parents

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 2nd, 2011, 6:38 pm

I guess I would be considered rather strict when it comes to my lifer list...I don't count dors, or stuff that others in a group find (I'll say I've seen one, but not personally found one) For me to count it, it has to be found/spotted by me, and alive and well. That's NOT a good way to build your lifer list up... :roll: I'm not (that) competitive (anymore)... it's just a matter of my personal standards...It's MY lifer list of living herps. It will contain ONLY living herps that I have personally found.... I WILL NOT settle for anything less.
The one exception I will make, is if more than one car is in the group... if someone in the following car has never seen a certain herp that the lead car cruised 1st, and collects the data/voucher pics...I have no problem with them counting it as a lifer. In that case, it is just a matter of which car was leading. Same with group outings... someone wants to count something I find... no problem.
Truth is... I haven't seen many lifers I haven't found myself... if I was say, in another state, and someone taking me somewhere cruised say... a blacktail... I'd probably count it... but not if he flipped one right next to me in the field.... go figure... :roll:
Something else I do, that most people probably don't, is keep a locality list for species... for instance...I haven't found a norcal Western skink yet (well... saw a HUGE one... but no shot) amd when I do... I will count it as a lifer 'Nor-cal Skiltons'.
My list ain't that long (but it sure is skinny... :crazyeyes: ) BUT... it's all mine :D :D jim

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by FunkyRes » June 2nd, 2011, 6:41 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:Finding vagrant birds is rare in most areas, so usually the migrants you add to your life list were originally found by someone else who reported that find to an email list or something. Herpers wouldn't take to that very well. :lol:
And with good reason.
There was a case (I read about it here) where a pair of nesting birds had been seen in a county where it had not been seen in many years.

A scientist, I believe working for the DF&G but I might be wrong about that, got the locale from the list - and killed them for taxidermy as he needed a taxidermy pair of that species for some purpose.

There was a huge uproar over it.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Bryan_Hughes » June 3rd, 2011, 10:07 pm

For me, if it's in the wild, photographed in the habitat, living and healthy, it counts. Who cares who saw it first?

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 4th, 2011, 7:15 am

For me... finding lifers is like poetry, and I prefer writing in 'form', where there are specific constraints that must be followed. Why? because the more difficult something is to do, the more rewarding accomplishing it becomes. There is a level of personal satisfaction I strive for, which I can only reach by meeting the criteria I have set.
So for me, Lifers are not just marking something off a list, they are a list of personally satisfying moments.
This poem, which I submitted in jest, took an Honorable Mention (along with my 1st place finish) at a Jr College-level writing contest, and adequately translates to my feelings about finding lifers... :D

Damn You Walt Whitman

Damn You Walt Whitman,
For what you began.
Once poets wrote Poetry---
Now everyone can.

They scratch and they scribble,
And write what they will.
They call it Free Verse---
I call it swill.

No meter, no rhythm,
Not even a rhyme,
No talent required---
just write for a time.

All is acceptable,
And anything goes,
They call it a poem---
I call it prose.

To write unconstrained,
Where no rules apply,
Anyone can do it---
Just give it a try.

No matter how bad,
It's always called good.
Expressing themselves---
Not everyone should.

So you think you're a poet,
Better than the norm?
Then why don't you show it---
Try writing in form!

:crazyeyes: :D :D jim

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Daryl Eby » June 4th, 2011, 8:37 am

Love that poem Jim and agree with the sentiment.

I changed a few words to keep it on topic.

Damn You Lame Herpers

Damn You Lame Herpers,
For what you began.
Once herpers found herps---
Now everyone can.

They gather and they cruise,
And rely on the group.
They call it Field Herping---
I call it poop.

No research, no challenge,
No using their minds,
No talent required---
just claim other’s finds.

All is acceptable,
Just see something new,
Then call it a lifer---
Even if in a zoo.

To see a new species,
Where no rules apply,
Anyone can do it---
Just give it a try.

No matter who found it,
Even if it is dead.
Just call it a lifer---
Pat yourself on the head.

So you think you're a herper,
Your list is not overblown?
Then why don't you show it---
Find herps on your own!

-For the record, I note DORs and group finds with an asterisk. The goal is finding them live in the field and getting a decent photo. Heck, I'm still looking for my first "field sighted" lepidus. I've found them on the road, in a group (spotted by others), and even found one myself while night hiking at 2am. However that one gave himself away by rattling AFTER I had turned away. I won't be fully satisfied until I SPOT one myself without it rattling first.

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