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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 2:21 pm 
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justinm wrote:
Show me a European forum with this many active field herpers that are herping Europe. Then I will tell you you'll see the same behavior.

You are probably right = I am honestly happy that there aren't that many European fieldherpers (bit tongue in cheek, but actually true sentiment)... One of a few reasons why we went to AZ in September rather than August, actually.
Yet, I often wonder what's more significant - the number of herpers or the conservation status of the species. The latter is definitely a disaster in Europe for a lot of species. Limited-range species in Europe can be ruined by a single poacher doing a single day's 'work', immediately affecting the entire global status of that species. Surely both factors matter; just a thought... My US experience is obviously limited, but (as far as that has anything to do with anything) it strikes me how high herp abundance in CA and AZ is vs. in Europe. It's also site-specific - a lot of European herp habitat is a tiny patch surrounded by anthropogenically destroyed azoïcum, while a lot of good places seem sooo vast in the US.

Brian Hubbs wrote:
You seem to suddenly be too young and ignorant to understand that the U.S. and it's herps are not a level playing field...yeah...it's all good... :lol: :o :roll:

Or its herpers ? ;) Not a specific judgement to anyone, but I sometimes get a feeling that in these discussions herper's joy is mixed rather wildly with species conservation. Not the same thing, I'd say. I (personally, but I'm sure Brian has thought about it too) often wonder how spreading info (e.g. like writing books, internet or other) on the whole balances out - good to enhance people's love for herps, but maybe also bad (for herps and long-time herpers alike) when attracting too much disturbance, collecting, ... ?


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 2:43 pm 
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Arguing with Brian Hubbs is like being a libertarian in the US; it'll never get you anywhere. He makes the same arguments over and over again without every truly addressing the question at hand... he just repeats himself and probably feels great about it.

I think a lot of the folks on this forum would shit their pants if I posted a thread with 10 journal articles disclosing exact locations for these sensitive species. But no, apparently snake poachers only browse public forums. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 2:57 pm 
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muskiemagnet wrote:
... explain to me why you had to step into a comment that was obviously meant for james? i don't get it. why do you care? you are acting like i personally attacked you in some way. if it was "benign" in your opinion, why do you act like it wasn't? let james get out of it what he wants to. it wasn't meant for you in the first place, hence "james" at the beginning of the post. you are the one who decided to insert yourself into a situation that clearly did not involve you. go away.

Sorry to have upset you, Ben. I don't feel that you personally attacked me (before your last post, and I understand that you were angry when you wrote that ;) ), and I also don't feel that I acted as if you did. Please keep in mind how easy it is to take things the wrong way here. I responded to what you posted to James simply because I saw what you wrote as misrepresenting the situation (regardless of your intent) and I meant to correct it. I don't really care who wrote something nor who they wrote it to, if I see something in a public forum that I believe is misleading, particularly on a subject I have any interest in, I'll write myself to correct it. If that bothers you then it bothers you. It's nothing personal from my end, in any event.

Jeroen, how dare you mention "August" in the same sentence as "AZ"?!? :lol:

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
... Limited-range species in Europe can be ruined by a single poacher doing a single day's 'work', immediately affecting the entire global status of that species...

Can some of Europe's herp species really be that limited? I guess I'd have to see the evidence behind the claim. It's pretty clear that such situations are downright rare over the rest of the globe.

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
... I (personally, but I'm sure Brian has thought about it too) often wonder how spreading info (e.g. like writing books, internet or other) on the whole balances out - good to enhance people's love for herps, but maybe also bad (for herps and long-time herpers alike) when attracting too much disturbance, collecting, ... ?

It's certainly something we all should think about, and I don't mean to be interpreted as arguing otherwise. There were many fewer herpers around the U.S. back in Kauffeld's day and yet his books embroiled him in debates on the subject. But both reason and evidence suggest that it's not something we should generally worry about, let alone attack each other over. There are real threats out there to the wildlife and wild lands we all love, after all.

MHollanders wrote:
I think a lot of the folks on this forum would shit their pants if I posted a thread with 10 journal articles disclosing exact locations for these sensitive species. But no, apparently snake poachers only browse public forums. :lol:

Indeed! :lol:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:05 pm 
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I too often wonder to what extent we are secretive based upon the perceived need to protect animals and their habitat...doubtless in some cases such secrecy is warranted IMO. Yet in others, it appears that ego is the primary factor.

We can say that we are keeping things a secret because we care about the animals and don't want to see them poached by unscrupulous douchecanoes....and that's a fine argument and one few would argue with...However, if we counter that by stating the generally accepted notion that habitat destruction is THE #1 threat to the vast majority of species, then our reasoning gets a bit murky. Yes (at least in Az) habitat has been altered and changed due to herpers...no one that has herped here would suggest otherwise...But to what extent is such alteration permanent? As an example, there's a well known locale in southern Az that has a variety of sensitive species...that place is THRASHED on a yearly basis...garbage, rocks flipped and not placed back, etc...Yet that place STILL turns out animals...

Now, I'm NOT suggesting that habitat preservation to the extent possible isn't important...it is...I'm stating 2 simple facts: 1) The place in question gets pounded at the same times every year and 2) Animals are still found there with regularity. That's all....take from that what you will.

If we accept for a moment that habitat destruction (in the form of irrevocable habitat loss i.e. parking lots, strip malls, etc.) is the single largest threat to the vast majority of US herps, then to what extent is our being secretive about locales helping the species in question? It would seem to me that if we knew of locales that harbored sensitive species, and a major corporation proposed building a strip mall on that particular plot of land, we'd almost be compelled to advertise the fact that we knew the sensitive species lived there in an effort to save the habitat (and by extension the animals).

I'm going to go out on a limb here and speak personally regarding the spots that I know....Yes, I have spots that I keep "close to the vest"...Yes, I have an interest in ensuring that the animals that live there continue to prosper...Yes, part of my "closeness to the vest" is due to the fact that I enjoy going out and observing animals without being interrupted by another human being...Is that selfishness? If so, ok...I'm fine with that...I'm also fine with admitting that there's a bit of ego involved as well...It makes me feel good to go out and observe and photograph animals pretty much anytime I want to...Overall, I'm not worried about the species' survival in the larger scheme of things because the species I'm referring to are not confined to a small geographical area (most of them). But I stay hush hush because I'm able to do what I enjoy doing with a minimum of interference from others...

Now, if I saw someone else herp in the same areas I'm referring to, how would I react? Well, it's happened a time or two (or more)...Guess what? This is public land we're talking about here...These people have as much right to herp it as I do...If they found it through their research and hard work, then awesome...I know some that would get downright pissed and curse the other person out (or worse). But in reality, we don't have a right to do that. Provided that this other person is legally doing what they are entitled to do, then they can do it...If I don't like it I can go to another spot.

There just seems to be so much ego driven crap in the herping world these days....so much "well, I'm a better herper than XXX because..." It's no wonder that a lot of good people have chosen not to contribute to this and other forums anymore...They probably figured their time was better spent out in the field seeing cool stuff than sitting at a computer pissing and moaning about two sides of the same coin. And you know what? They're probably right.

-Kris


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:12 pm 
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Kris, not to get all biblical on you or anything, but "you and I are as one"...

Seriously, well said.

:beer:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:14 pm 
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gbin wrote:
Jeroen, how dare you mention "August" in the same sentence as "AZ"?!? :lol:

Oops... I did it again :crazyeyes:

gbin wrote:
Can some of Europe's herp species really be that limited? I guess I'd have to see the evidence behind the claim. It's pretty clear that such situations are downright rare over the rest of the globe.

I'll start a new topic with a list of coordinates soon :crazyeyes:
What I described is also exceptional here, but it's an extreme of the gradient that does exist, yes.
Imagine really(!!!) small islands with enough isolation on a geological time scale to allow speciation and then a single lizard "lover" that drops by.
Similarly, some destroyed areas surround yet another type of "islands". This destruction can act through actual habitat loss but e.g. also introduction of alien species (e.g. Alytes muletensis Majorca Midwife Toad that was nearly gone in part due to introduction of Iberian water frog and viperine snake, but luckily seems rather easy to breed and reintroduce). Then again, others might argue that genetic erosion already may have lifted those cases across their due date, turning them into lost causes, yet inbreeding seems to sometimes act really weird in herps (vs. mammals).

gbin wrote:
But both reason and evidence suggest that it's not something we should generally worry about, let alone attack each other over. There are real threats out there to the wildlife and wild lands we all love, after all.

Thanks for that, feels like fresh air right now ;)


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:17 pm 
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azatrox wrote:
Yet that place STILL turns out animals...

OK, but a bit tricky, as you don't know if that's going to last forever, especially if more and more people would come. Depends on a lot of factors. You'd need some kind of unfundable research to find out.

(Might seem contradictory to my earlier posts, but really isn't = it's not easy)


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:20 pm 
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Gerry....

LOL thanks...I don't doubt that most here have a sincere desire and passion for making sure these animals survive...I think virtually everyone here does...But there's more going on than just that, and I have yet to hear hardly anyone step up and say:

"Yes, I have spots that I don't share because I like going there and seeing animals."

So I just said it. Call it ego, call it selfish, call it whatever...But for the most part the one doin' the callin' better acknowledge it on their level too....

Let's just call a spade a spade and stop with all the "I'm better because I want to make sure the animals are safe. It's not about me, it's about the animals" BS...

Yes, it is about you. It's about me. It's about all of us. It's about the animals too.

Whew....I need a beer. :beer:

-Kris


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:27 pm 
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OK, but a bit tricky, as you don't know if that's going to last forever, especially if more and more people would come. Depends on a lot of factors. You'd need some kind of unfundable research to find out.

Jeroen, you are 100% correct. I don't know that. And yes, a long term study would be needed. I'll simply add that this place has been a well publicized locale for a variety of species for YEARS. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that this place is probably one of the top 3 most visited locales when people visit Az....It happens every year, like clockwork. Even still, animals are still found and found with regularity.

Will that happen to infinity? No idea....I'm just stating facts.

I think it's important to mention for the viewing public (lest one choose to twist words) that I in no way condone poaching, habitat destruction or leaving a place in any manner other than how one found it.

-Kris


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 3:33 pm 
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Jeroen, those rare "island" species to which you refer need a lot more solid protection than merely not being mentioned in an internet forum - and if they have such protection then whether they're mentioned in an internet forum doesn't really matter, does it? ;)

Kris, speaking of card suits, I agree in spades. I hope no one took from all my talk about selfishness that I think people are bad for being selfish, because that's not how I feel at all. It only makes sense for people to want to give special protection to things that are special to them. Like you, I just think we should be honest and call it what it is, not dress it up as something more important and definitely not beat up others for not sharing our view of it.

I'm in fact going out to get a beer right now. I'll tip one in honor of everyone here. :beer:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 5:26 pm 
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OK, so what I've learned from this thread is that:

1) Timbers are in such good shape that it doesn't matter if we talk about times of the year when you can see the most at a den. OK, I won't worry about that anymore.
2) In AZ, August is the time to go. Fine. Everyone should herp AZ in August for EVERYTHING... :lol:
3) Easterners, and some westerners, have no clue about timing for certain species. Good.
4) There seems to be some confusion about my intelligence and book writing. My books only deal with Kingsnakes. That's not a sensitive genera in my mind, but I did withhold good localities and almost all localities in the Common Kingsnake book...just to make people read and look on their own, as well as to protect my selfish interest spots. My Venomous book does not mention seasons.
5) A lot of people on this forum have the makings of magnificent bores.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 5:31 pm 
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5) A lot of people on this forum have the makings of magnificent bores.


Image

oh, you said BORES..... my bad


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 5:49 pm 
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What does recommending caution gain me and my selfish ways? Doesn't make sense. Kris, are you really saying that the only reason people like myself recommend caution with this type of info is because I'm selfish? :?:


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 5:57 pm 
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muskiemagnet wrote:
james, you didn't do anything wrong. timbers can be a hot topic here. that was the beginning. i think the issue occurred when jgeorge mentioned an exact county in KY. some feel that this is too specific, and i agree. those who live in the area probably feel the same. those who do not, most likely, do not see it as a bad thing.
-ben



Apparently my mention of a county was wrong. Sorry for that. According to range maps Timbers potentially occur in around 90 of KY's 120 counties. I wasn't trying to pinpoint a location.
JOSH

ALL INFO REMOVED FROM ORIGINAL POST


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 6:30 pm 
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Some people are learning...good...It makes my heart glad... :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 7:58 pm 
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Kris, are you really saying that the only reason people like myself recommend caution with this type of info is because I'm selfish?

Mike...no, that's not what I'm saying at all! And I don't think anyone is admonishing you whatsoever for recommending caution...

Mike...allow me to clarify as it appears that clarity is in order...I don't know you...therefore I'm certainly not in a position to question your ethics, your motivations or anything of the sort. I apologize if you felt my rambling was directed at you...I can assure you that it wasn't.

I'll admit that (for me) there is a selfish aspect of wanting to observe and photo animals without bumping into other herpers...Is that the ONLY reason I exercise caution in disclosing info? Certainly not! I have a genuine interest in doing my part to see that these animals continue to remain viable parts of the varied ecosystems in which they exist...My admitting that I have selfish reasons for keeping certain things hush hush in no way negates my love and respect for the animals. By that same token, I have to admit that I enjoy going to undisturbed areas to see these creatures for my own benefit too....If I didn't derive some sort of enjoyment from it then why do it, right?

Your desires and intentions are your own. Just about the worst thing one can do is infer as to what another's motives are based upon something that's typed in a forum...To my mind, that's how a lot of this nonsense with grudges and personal crap starts anyway...So let me be clear...Your reasons for doing what you do are your own, and I'm not questioning them or calling them into question in any way...

I'm simply stating that I've GENERALLY heard the "secrecy for the protection of the animals" argument quite a bit from many different people, but what I haven't heard is that there's a selfish reason we keep things secret as well...I'm just trying to keep things as real as possible in admitting that for me, both exist.

Does that make me better than anyone? No...it just makes me perhaps a bit more forward than others may be comfortable with.

Hope this clarifies.

-Kris


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 18th, 2012, 11:35 pm 
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Still no one has addressed the issue that everything can be found in journal articles, books, websites, etc.

Oh right. That's outside the circle we're going around in.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 1:40 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Some people are learning...good...It makes my heart glad... :thumb:


Are you going to restrict data to your timber records that are currently publicly available from the database? Just curious, it seems hypocritical to say that others are giving out too much information with the county and date if you don't follow those guidelines yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 5:20 am 
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azatrox wrote:
Kris, are you really saying that the only reason people like myself recommend caution with this type of info is because I'm selfish?

Mike...no, that's not what I'm saying at all! And I don't think anyone is admonishing you whatsoever for recommending caution...

Mike...allow me to clarify as it appears that clarity is in order...I don't know you...therefore I'm certainly not in a position to question your ethics, your motivations or anything of the sort. I apologize if you felt my rambling was directed at you...I can assure you that it wasn't.

I'll admit that (for me) there is a selfish aspect of wanting to observe and photo animals without bumping into other herpers...Is that the ONLY reason I exercise caution in disclosing info? Certainly not! I have a genuine interest in doing my part to see that these animals continue to remain viable parts of the varied ecosystems in which they exist...My admitting that I have selfish reasons for keeping certain things hush hush in no way negates my love and respect for the animals. By that same token, I have to admit that I enjoy going to undisturbed areas to see these creatures for my own benefit too....If I didn't derive some sort of enjoyment from it then why do it, right?

Your desires and intentions are your own. Just about the worst thing one can do is infer as to what another's motives are based upon something that's typed in a forum...To my mind, that's how a lot of this nonsense with grudges and personal crap starts anyway...So let me be clear...Your reasons for doing what you do are your own, and I'm not questioning them or calling them into question in any way...

I'm simply stating that I've GENERALLY heard the "secrecy for the protection of the animals" argument quite a bit from many different people, but what I haven't heard is that there's a selfish reason we keep things secret as well...I'm just trying to keep things as real as possible in admitting that for me, both exist.

Does that make me better than anyone? No...it just makes me perhaps a bit more forward than others may be comfortable with.

Hope this clarifies.

-Kris


That does clarify, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 5:39 am 
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Quote:
Still no one has addressed the issue that everything can be found in journal articles, books, websites, etc.

Oh right. That's outside the circle we're going around in.
Yeah this is true and I have personally done it with journal articles several times over. Even when they're being secretive and not disclosing an exact location then google maps, combined with resources on the internet have allowed me to figure out the exact area being talked about. Honestly I think the need for secrecy is typically a little overhyped. I figured out an exact location of an extemely sensitive population of an endangered herp (atleast in that area) using clues from a scientific paper, the clues I used were vegetation in the area, mention of soil composition, they mentioned there was a river nearby, and a couple other similar things... I cross referenced parts of the state that the herp was found in with all of the above factors and figured it out, it wasn't too hard. I did this because I was bored and had some time to kill, a somewhat knowledgeable poacher who has a monetary interest in this will be able to figure it out and probably be willing to work alot harder at it than I did. Where do we draw the line of secrecy? Using those same methods, I'm fairly positive I could figure out alot of exact locations from posts on this forum that show photos of herps... Ok well I see that plant there is only found in the western half the state in lowland forest, the soil beneath the herp is loamy/micaceous/etc... Oh and that pretty rock that the herp is posed on there, according to the geological survey (which I can consult online) of the state is only found in so and so counties. I doubt I could pull this off everytime but with some knowledge of the state in question and some time as well as a photo heavy post I dont think it would present too much of a problem. So no more photos of herps unless you lay a tarp out and put them ontop of it and god forbid any habitat shots... OK guys??

I guess one thing I would be concerned about with posting sensitive locations is that some overzealous newb herper goes there and inadvertently destroys the habitat eg, tearing apart logs, ripping away moss, not putting cover back, etc... You just don't have the same appreciation for things when they're just handed to you. I think that new herpers should learn on their own with some guidance from the more experienced so that they can learn how much work goes into finding these spots, how rare many of them are, etc... and then these herpers will develop an appreciation for how much work goes into it and how special these spots are.

I agree with the no exact spots posted rule, why make it too easy for someone who has bad intentions but honestly if someone wants to they're going to figure it out one way or another, but why make it too easy? Anyways like others have said there are much more real/serious issues out there than poaching when it comes to conserving various species.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 7:46 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:

OK, so what I've learned from this thread is that:
1) Timbers are in such good shape that it doesn't matter if we talk about times of the year when you can see the most at a den. OK, I won't worry about that anymore.

...


3) Easterners, and some westerners, have no clue about timing for certain species. Good.

...

5) A lot of people on this forum have the makings of magnificent bores.


1)

From our dear friends Conant and Collins (AKA the bible that everyone owns a copy of):

*removed voluntarily*

Are timbers in trouble? No.

Are timbers in some areas (periphery) in trouble? Yes. Should we be working to protect the timbers in areas of their decline? This is philosophical, but I would say that yes, we should try to preserve these critters where they occur in different, particularly in differing political areas. While NH probably has less than 100 snakes, NY has about 100,000 (I can try to find that citation if anyone wants it).

Localities are not a secret in the NE. You want to find timbers? You look at this range map, availble publicly on the NYS DEC's website:
*removed on my own account*

and then go to any bar in those counties, and ask the locales where the snakes are. They will tell you. Guess what? We still have timbers in almost everyone of those quads. Why? Who the hell wants to buy a timber rattlesnake, let alone MULTIPLE timber rattlesnakes? The demand is simply not there. IMO (show me evidence and I am more than happy to change my opinion).


3) I don't see any evidence in this thread that shows that "herpers" in general are ignorant to timing. We know timing is important for herps, we just don't see it as a factor driving their decline when it comes to this "collection" pressure that hypothetically exists.

5)

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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 8:15 am 
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John Vanek, I would like to see where you got the number 100,000 for the Timber Rattlesnake population in NY, thank you. Additionally, what the NY map does NOT show is where the estimated 26% of dens in NY that are extirpated due to bounties, extermination and collection used to be. It also does not mention that another 5% of the existing known dens are close to extirpation. Interesting that you think that they are doing so well in New York that you put a map up on the forum, and then gave some pointers on how to narrow the search down.

RW


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 8:33 am 
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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... ities-say/

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article ... 394716.php

Quote:
Why? Who the hell wants to buy a timber rattlesnake, let alone MULTIPLE timber rattlesnakes? The demand is simply not there. IMO (show me evidence and I am more than happy to change my opinion).
Mind changed?

Atleast one of the guys in the article (the one they mention trading for timbers i think) was a member on here, when he got charged I looked up his posting history. Guess what? Tons of posts asking where he could find timbers or asking people to take him out to their timber sites. So I guess some poachers are idiots afterall and do rely on forums...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 8:50 am 
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Wow.

Not cool John.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:05 am 
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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:14 am 
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Gee, John, give the whole store away, why don't you?!? Now I'd better fill the car trunk with pillowcases and head up to NY myself before the snakes are all gone. Oh, but wait, is this the right time of year for me to really make a killing on them? It'll cost me a fair bit for gas to drive all the way from TX to NY and back, after all. Please advise.

:lol:

Antonsrkn wrote:
Mind changed?

Not in the slightest. There's a huge difference between "poaching occurs" and "poaching occurs in great enough numbers to actually harm a population." There's also a huge difference between turtle kill harvest for the insatiable Asian markets and any kind of rattlesnake harvest (let alone live rattlesnake harvest for the pet trade). And finally, of course, there's a huge difference between "poaching occurs" (at whatever level and for whatever purpose) and "poaching occurs because people post information on the internet."

:roll:

Gerry


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:23 am 
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Gerry said:
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And finally, of course, there's a huge difference between "poaching occurs" (at whatever level and for whatever purpose) and "poaching occurs because people post information on the internet."


How do you know? Do you know all the poachers, and how they get their info? Did you know I was a poacher once? It was way back before the Internet, so it was harder then...and I was more about saving animals than selling them, but I still poached a bunch. :lol: How do you think I learned so much about kingsnakes? 8-) It just comes back to my earlier statement, many of you have no idea what all the variables are and how they add up...you might understand 4 seasons, but many do not understand the seasons within a season. The internet can be very harmful to localized populations when people post the best dates and pictures of habitat...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:29 am 
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Do you guys know where that map came from?

Google: "nys timber rattlesnakes"

That map is the second link, and is linked to in the first link.

I will bet a million dollars that a poacher (a poacher looking to harvest at a level detrimental to the population) will google before the snake and the state before searching this forum.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:29 am 
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Why make it easier for the stupid poachers? yes, believe it or not, there are stupid poachers and there are very well informed poachers. You probably know some of them and don't even know you know them...I could make a list of poachers that frequent this forum, some posters and some lurkers. Most are benign right now...but some aren't. That other site that sounds like kingsnake has a lot of them too.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:33 am 
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Ridge Walker wrote:
John Vanek, I would like to see where you got the number 100,000 for the Timber Rattlesnake population in NY, thank you. Additionally, what the NY map does NOT show is where the estimated 26% of dens in NY that are extirpated due to bounties, extermination and collection used to be. It also does not mention that another 5% of the existing known dens are close to extirpation. Interesting that you think that they are doing so well in New York that you put a map up on the forum, and then gave some pointers on how to narrow the search down.

RW


Ah, I apologize. I misstated that, it was referring to a different population. I was wrong, and I have no problem addmiting that.

That NY map DOES show the extirpation, as the Conant and Collins map is a more historic map. They have been extirpated throughout most of their NY range, including Long Island.

What are the main causes of timber rattlesnake decline?

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/64318/0 wrote:

1. HABITAT DESTRUCTION: In states where the snake is legally protected, housing developments near rattlesnake dens are causing the most serious problem. Current laws generally do not mandate habitat protection for endangered or threatened species. In some areas, persons encountering rattlesnakes in new developments have cooperated with protection efforts by calling persons authorized to catch and transport live rattlesnakes. This is an important factor in successfully protecting rattlesnake populations near developments.

2. MARKET HUNTING: Bounty systems have caused a high level of deleterious exploitation and significant reduction or extirpation of populations by a mere handful of people (W.S. Brown unpubl. data). In some areas (e.g., Pennsylvania) bounty hunting led to rattlesnake hunting among the general population and became a major outdoor activity promoted by sports and civic groups. Commercial collecting for the pet trade is an ever-present current threat, despite some decline in recent years. Single individuals have been responsible for removal of several thousand snakes (Stechert 1980). Today, a growing number of persons maintain reptiles in private collections. Timber rattlesnakes, beautiful and easily kept in captivity, are much sought-after. Private collectors are supplied by an often illicit network of collectors, dealers, and buyers.

3. SNAKE HUNTING FOR "SPORT," ORGANIZED SNAKE HUNTS OR "ROUND-UPS." In Pennsylvania, organized snake hunts caused injury and cruelty to captured snakes, displacement from familiar range, removal of gravid females from already-depleted populations, and habitat destruction by snake hunters (Galligan and Dunson 1979, Reinert 1988). Despite regulations, timber rattlesnake populations in Pennsylvania were legally "harvested" at a nonsustainable level, leading to the collapse of most den populations (Martin et al. 1990). In response, Pennsylvania regulations were amended such that the open season extends from the second Saturday in June through July 31, with daily bag limit of one snake. These regulations should protect snakes at den sites, prevent stockpiling of snakes, and discourage rattlesnake hunting altogether.

4. SHADING-OVER: In some regions, several investigators believe that "shading over" by the growth of large trees on and near a den may be causing conditions that are incompatible with long-term viability for timber rattlesnakes. According to this view, there is a need for an open, lightly wooded or brushy early successional plant association to provide an optimal denning environment. In contrast, Martin (pers. comm. 1990) says: "Shading over of the den site does not present a problem for snakes at emergence time when the trees are bare or just starting to leaf. The problem is shading over of the rocks that are used as gestating and birthing rookeries." Similarly, in Connecticut, G. Hammerson (pers. obs.) found that heavy shading (in summer) did not discourage den use, but he observed reduced use of a gestation/birthing site after it was shaded by growing vegetation. The possible threat of shading-over deserves further study, but it seems likely that shading has temporary, localized effects that are insignificant over the long term on a landscape scale.

5. LOGGING: Commercial tree removal may not necessarily cause long-term harm to a timber rattlesnake population's habitat, but can pose a direct threat to the snakes if conducted during the active season (mainly April-October).

6. ROAD MORTALITY: New Jersey Pine Barrens populations suffer from excessive mortality of gravid females due to vehicular traffic on roads and trails (Zappalorti and Reinert in Tyning 1992). Ill-placed developments and associated new roads and increased traffic can lead to increased mortality of rattlesnakes even in areas several miles from the development.


Sure, it says that people have collected "thousands" of snakes, but that was in the 1980's, before all the protections, and only a few years after the end of the bounty, and probably wasn't in NY.


My point is that timbers are a wonderful species, one who is (no doubt) in delcine in the NE. HOWEVER, there are REAL THREATS out there, but we only quibble about the small (questionable) threats. I LOVE TIMBERS AND WANT THEM PROTECTED.

I will be more people who don't even know what a timber is kill them in their backyard with a shovel, or run them over with their car, than are "killed" (removed from the population) by recreational poachers.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:42 am 
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So putting a map on the Internet for yahoos to use to kill rattlers is a good idea? I just sent an e-mail to that webmaster:

You might want to rethink having a map of known timber rattler quadrangles on your website for everyone to see, given its protected status and sensitive nature. I'm just saying, that's a pretty stupid thing to put on the Internet if you give a damn about the safety of the snakes...


I hope they get the message...

There are things the public needs to know about herps, and then there are things that should never be openly discussed...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:43 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
So putting a map on the Internet for yahoos to use to kill rattlers is a good idea? I just sent an e-mail to that webmaster:

You might want to rethink having a map of known timber rattler quadrangles on your website for everyone to see, given its protected status and sensitive nature. I'm just saying, that's a pretty stupid thing to put on the Internet if you give a damn about the safety of the snakes...


I hope they get the message...


No need, I removed it. I forgot that was against the terms.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 9:45 am 
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I sent the e-mail to the state of NY webmaster for that state site...not FHF...we'll see if the common sense kicks in and they pull it...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:05 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
I sent the e-mail to the state of NY webmaster for that state site...not FHF...we'll see if the common sense kicks in and they pull it...


Either way, I had no intention of violating the TOS here. Take a look at some of the other maps, for kicks :lol:


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:07 am 
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I'm not getting into the debate, but I will say I've often wondered why such a detailed map was online and so easily accessible.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:07 am 
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Looks like that E Milk really needs to be protected...LOL


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:10 am 
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Poacher = a Herper that takes something that is protected, or over their bag limit.. Often times poachers are herpers just starting and want to collect a room full of herps..

This is the type that doesn't know where to start when researching and often gain a ton of information here on these forums.

Commercial Collector= Someone who collects for $$. The Real Pros. These people don't need a lot of help in most cases, and know a hundred places to find that help.

See the differences?
Fundad


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:31 am 
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John Vanek wrote:
Ridge Walker wrote:
John Vanek, I would like to see where you got the number 100,000 for the Timber Rattlesnake population in NY, thank you. Additionally, what the NY map does NOT show is where the estimated 26% of dens in NY that are extirpated due to bounties, extermination and collection used to be. It also does not mention that another 5% of the existing known dens are close to extirpation. Interesting that you think that they are doing so well in New York that you put a map up on the forum, and then gave some pointers on how to narrow the search down.

RW


Ah, I apologize. I misstated that, it was referring to a different population. I was wrong, and I have no problem addmiting that.

That NY map DOES show the extirpation, as the Conant and Collins map is a more historic map. They have been extirpated throughout most of their NY range, including Long Island.

What are the main causes of timber rattlesnake decline?

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/64318/0 wrote:

1. HABITAT DESTRUCTION: In states where the snake is legally protected, housing developments near rattlesnake dens are causing the most serious problem. Current laws generally do not mandate habitat protection for endangered or threatened species. In some areas, persons encountering rattlesnakes in new developments have cooperated with protection efforts by calling persons authorized to catch and transport live rattlesnakes. This is an important factor in successfully protecting rattlesnake populations near developments.

2. MARKET HUNTING: Bounty systems have caused a high level of deleterious exploitation and significant reduction or extirpation of populations by a mere handful of people (W.S. Brown unpubl. data). In some areas (e.g., Pennsylvania) bounty hunting led to rattlesnake hunting among the general population and became a major outdoor activity promoted by sports and civic groups. Commercial collecting for the pet trade is an ever-present current threat, despite some decline in recent years. Single individuals have been responsible for removal of several thousand snakes (Stechert 1980). Today, a growing number of persons maintain reptiles in private collections. Timber rattlesnakes, beautiful and easily kept in captivity, are much sought-after. Private collectors are supplied by an often illicit network of collectors, dealers, and buyers.

3. SNAKE HUNTING FOR "SPORT," ORGANIZED SNAKE HUNTS OR "ROUND-UPS." In Pennsylvania, organized snake hunts caused injury and cruelty to captured snakes, displacement from familiar range, removal of gravid females from already-depleted populations, and habitat destruction by snake hunters (Galligan and Dunson 1979, Reinert 1988). Despite regulations, timber rattlesnake populations in Pennsylvania were legally "harvested" at a nonsustainable level, leading to the collapse of most den populations (Martin et al. 1990). In response, Pennsylvania regulations were amended such that the open season extends from the second Saturday in June through July 31, with daily bag limit of one snake. These regulations should protect snakes at den sites, prevent stockpiling of snakes, and discourage rattlesnake hunting altogether.

4. SHADING-OVER: In some regions, several investigators believe that "shading over" by the growth of large trees on and near a den may be causing conditions that are incompatible with long-term viability for timber rattlesnakes. According to this view, there is a need for an open, lightly wooded or brushy early successional plant association to provide an optimal denning environment. In contrast, Martin (pers. comm. 1990) says: "Shading over of the den site does not present a problem for snakes at emergence time when the trees are bare or just starting to leaf. The problem is shading over of the rocks that are used as gestating and birthing rookeries." Similarly, in Connecticut, G. Hammerson (pers. obs.) found that heavy shading (in summer) did not discourage den use, but he observed reduced use of a gestation/birthing site after it was shaded by growing vegetation. The possible threat of shading-over deserves further study, but it seems likely that shading has temporary, localized effects that are insignificant over the long term on a landscape scale.

5. LOGGING: Commercial tree removal may not necessarily cause long-term harm to a timber rattlesnake population's habitat, but can pose a direct threat to the snakes if conducted during the active season (mainly April-October).

6. ROAD MORTALITY: New Jersey Pine Barrens populations suffer from excessive mortality of gravid females due to vehicular traffic on roads and trails (Zappalorti and Reinert in Tyning 1992). Ill-placed developments and associated new roads and increased traffic can lead to increased mortality of rattlesnakes even in areas several miles from the development.


Sure, it says that people have collected "thousands" of snakes, but that was in the 1980's, before all the protections, and only a few years after the end of the bounty, and probably wasn't in NY.


My point is that timbers are a wonderful species, one who is (no doubt) in delcine in the NE. HOWEVER, there are REAL THREATS out there, but we only quibble about the small (questionable) threats. I LOVE TIMBERS AND WANT THEM PROTECTED.

I will be more people who don't even know what a timber is kill them in their backyard with a shovel, or run them over with their car, than are "killed" (removed from the population) by recreational poachers.


Quote:
Ah, I apologize. I misstated that, it was referring to a different population. I was wrong, and I have no problem addmiting that.


Right, because 100,000 is a loose estimate of the population across it's ENTIRE RANGE.

Quote:
Sure, it says that people have collected "thousands" of snakes, but that was in the 1980's, before all the protections, and only a few years after the end of the bounty, and probably wasn't in NY.


Uhhh, they were protected in 1983. And that sure didn't stop a certain notorious a-hole poacher that was operating primarily in NY. In fact he bragged about taking more than 9000 Timber Rattlers out of the wild up until he dropped dead a couple years ago. Granted, from what I hear he liked to brag, it might have been only a few thousand. :roll:

Quote:
My point is that timbers are a wonderful species, one who is (no doubt) in delcine in the NE. HOWEVER, there are REAL THREATS out there, but we only quibble about the small (questionable) threats. I LOVE TIMBERS AND WANT THEM PROTECTED.


Yes, habitat destruction is a greater threat. But when ONE determined poacher can take thousands of Timber Rattlesnakes out of the wild, you better believe that poaching is a threat to them too.

RW


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:35 am 
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I doubt there are only 100,000 in the total population (are you including Canebrakes?). Just by the sheer size of their range and what I have seen in GA, I would estimate all Timbers and Canebrakes to number well over a million. Not that we should encourage poaching...but here are some staggering numbers for you:

In Ca there are over 120 million California Kingsnakes and at least 30 million western Rattlesnakes (C. o. oreganus and c. o. helleri). The range of those rattlesnakes is minuscule compared to the half the U.S. range of Timbers. Scientists always seem to underestimate populations to make the point that animals should be left alone, however, most of the estimates you read are hogwash. Just multiply whatever a researcher says by 10 or 100 and you'll get a more realistic number. Now, I happen to have a very good idea of how many kings and western rattlers are in CA because I've seen thousands of them...all over the state.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:38 am 
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Fundad wrote:
See the differences?

I sure do, Brian. One of the differences that you didn't name but that is obvious from what you did present is that herp poachers abusing information that others have posted to an internet forum is at the very most a trivial concern.

- People should at least take a moment to think about the potential for abuse of the information they're considering posting online.

- But people should also keep some sense of priority, and understand that the risks associated with their sharing information on herp hunting times and locations are quite likely minor or nonexistent.

- Accordingly, while people should of course feel free to jealously guard information if that seems best to them (for whatever reason they might have, including that they were dropped on their heads as children and they believe the accidents left them with the extrasensory ability to predict the future), they shouldn't incessantly scold - let alone viciously attack - others who choose to share information.

Suns do explode. We know that. We know that our sun will someday do likewise. Some of us might choose to worry about that, as is our right, but the rest of us shouldn't be vilified for applying a more rational set of priorities to the way we think and act.

Gerry


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:46 am 
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Why do we need bag-limits Gerry? Maybe we don't by your reasoning...we certainly don't for some species, but we have them anyway...in most states. Are those states just ignorant? I think some of them are, but I'm asking you...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:56 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Why do we need bag-limits Gerry? Maybe we don't by your reasoning...we certainly don't for some species, but we have them anyway...in most states. Are those states just ignorant? I think some of them are, but I'm asking you...


I think that bag limits are useful for monitoring purposes. We know that some species have been wiped out or nearly wiped out by unregulated harvest (white-tailed deer and wild turkey come to mind). They are also useful to limit harvest to the personal level, as to not allow/ incentivize market harvesting.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 10:59 am 
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Market harvesting (and I won't even comment on how you compared a turkey to a snake) is only increased by protective laws. It increases the value because the animal is now unavailable to the masses. All protected species are worth more now than they were when they were legal to harvest. That's the law of supply and demand, pal...read up on it sometime. Protection from collection (outside the ESA) is the worst thing a state can do for a species. It just makes it worth more money, a lot more money...why do you think the prices for certain turtles are so high, and the prices for Mtn Kings? In 1977, when CA protected all herps from commercial collection rosy boas were going for about $20, and Cal Kings were worth about $10. When I collected some in 1987 and sold them I got $125 a boa, and $35 a Cal King...because they were no longer readily available, and captive-breeding hadn't really gotten going yet. Now, I will say that the prices of commonly bred species have dropped, and that's good...but there are plenty that are still very valuable because they are not bred in quantity and cannot be collected in numbers from the wild.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 11:06 am 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
I doubt there are only 100,000 in the total population (are you including Canebrakes?). Just by the sheer size of their range and what I have seen in GA, I would estimate all Timbers and Canebrakes to number well over a million. Not that we should encourage poaching...but here are some staggering numbers for you:

In Ca there are over 120 million California Kingsnakes and at least 30 million western Rattlesnakes (C. o. oreganus and c. o. helleri). The range of those rattlesnakes is minuscule compared to the half the U.S. range of Timbers. Scientists always seem to underestimate populations to make the point that animals should be left alone, however, most of the estimates you read are hogwash. Just multiply whatever a researcher says by 10 or 100 and you'll get a more realistic number. Now, I happen to have a very good idea of how many kings and western rattlers are in CA because I've seen thousands of them...all over the state.


The estimate I saw was not counting canebrakes and stated that the population probably exceeded 100,000. And who knows, there may be a lot more than that. Just not in NY, not even close. I think we are on the same page by the way, there is a gigantic difference between the vulnerability of a communally denning species like Timber Rattlesnakes and something widespread and secretive like Eastern Milksnakes. A determined person could (and has) wipe out a Timber den within a few years. It would be impossible, IMO, to collect Eastern Milksnakes out of existence.

RW


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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Market harvesting (and I won't even comment on how you compared a turkey to a snake) is only increased by protective laws. It increases the value because the animal is now unavailable to the masses. All protected species are worth more now than they were when they were legal to harvest. That's the law of supply and demand, pal...read up on it sometime. Protection from collection (outside the ESA) is the worst thing a state can do for a species. It just makes it worth more money, a lot more money...


I certainly agree that a herp is different than a big game species. However, it is well documented and known that in the case of white-tailed deer and turkey, increased protection was necessary (along with re-introduction and education programs). Time for a new battle! :beer:

Also, RidgeWalker, I agree with you.


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People don't sell turkeys and deer for pets...they eat them and mount them...and there are far fewer deer and turkey than snakes...it's a completely different situation...


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 11:25 am 
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gbin wrote:

Antonsrkn wrote:
Mind changed?

Not in the slightest. There's a huge difference between "poaching occurs" and "poaching occurs in great enough numbers to actually harm a population." There's also a huge difference between turtle kill harvest for the insatiable Asian markets and any kind of rattlesnake harvest (let alone live rattlesnake harvest for the pet trade). And finally, of course, there's a huge difference between "poaching occurs" (at whatever level and for whatever purpose) and "poaching occurs because people post information on the internet."

:roll:

Well now I'm confused, you and I are talking about 2 (or more) different topics, I was addressing the quote below, where John states that there is no demand for timber rattlers. Based on the stories above there is atleast enough demand for people to go through a considerable amount of trouble to acquire/transport them. Not once did I state or even imply that "poaching occurs in great enough numbers to harm a population", however now that you said it yes, yes it can. This guy Emanuele tesoro (former FHF member) was caught with 35 wild-caught Massasaugas which he was attempting to trade for timber rattlers (in new york!). Massasaugas are a threatened to endangered within much of their range and many populations are genetically isolated from others and taking 35 individuals out would be a very serious blow. Also like I mentioned before, preceding his arrest this guy repeatedly asked where timbers were found or if someone would take him to their timber spot. So I feel its justified to say "poaching occurs because people post information on the internet.", not every time someone posts a location will a poacher pull his boots on and head out there. But to say that no poaching (of a sensitive species or a sensitive population) would result from people posting locations on the internet is naive. I don't think that's what you're trying to say, because in other threads I have seen you participate in, you have seemed reasonable and to have a sound head on your shoulders. However if that is indeed what you are saying even after being presented with direct evidence... then Gerry, you're being willfully ignorant and stubborn.

:roll:

Initially, the only thing I was doing was presenting john with direct evidence that indeed there is indeed atleast some demand for multiple timber rattlers. Both articles mention illegal collection of rattlesnakes, and a demand for timbers... :shock:

John Vanek wrote:
Why? Who the hell wants to buy a timber rattlesnake, let alone MULTIPLE timber rattlesnakes? The demand is simply not there. IMO (show me evidence and I am more than happy to change my opinion).



Additionally, I dont understand the all or nothing mentality people have. So I'm against posting specifics online, so peoples reactions are "WHAT, YOU THINK POACHERS ARE GOING TO DESTROY THE POPULATION???" or vice versa "POACHING IS A HUGE DEAL, EVERYTING IS AT THREAT!!". No poaching isn't going to wipe out (most) populations but it sure doesn't help either, to me the argument that poaching won't ultimately doom a population is like a hospital staff saying to a patient "well we're going to ignore your broken arm and only worry about your cancer", sure poaching isn't going to eradicate a species but its not going to help anything either.

EDIT: let me say that I agree with the earlier post, differentiating between commercial collecting and poaching. Everytime I used the word poaching in this post it was meant to be synonymous with com. collecting. Im talking about people trying to make $$.


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 11:33 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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A minority of people in any population has a combination of both common sense and intelligence. I think Anton is one of those people. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 11:41 am 
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Anton, you are correct. That said, I think NY TR are a completely different situation than NY massasaugas. I had the good fortune of working on a NY massasauga conservation project, and I think you are spot on that those 33 poached animals could have a huge impact, considering there are literally only 2 localities where they still occur.

I also agree that poaching can be a problem at the locality level, and can be a more serious problem in some areas (NH, ADKs) over others (SE NY, PA).


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 Post subject: Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m
PostPosted: October 19th, 2012, 12:32 pm 
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Still workin' on that common sense angle, eh John...well, keep workin' on it...you're makin' progress... :)


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