What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the most?

Extended discussion forum.

Moderator: Scott Waters

User avatar
Jeroen Speybroeck
Posts: 818
Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » October 18th, 2012, 3:14 pm

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 ;)

User avatar
Jeroen Speybroeck
Posts: 818
Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » October 18th, 2012, 3:17 pm

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)

User avatar
azatrox
Posts: 793
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: Arizona

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by azatrox » October 18th, 2012, 3:20 pm

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

User avatar
azatrox
Posts: 793
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: Arizona

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by azatrox » October 18th, 2012, 3:27 pm

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

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 18th, 2012, 3:33 pm

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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 18th, 2012, 5:26 pm

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.

User avatar
VanAR
Posts: 590
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:36 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by VanAR » October 18th, 2012, 5:31 pm

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

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

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2073
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Mike VanValen » October 18th, 2012, 5:49 pm

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? :?:

User avatar
jgeorge
Posts: 22
Joined: March 1st, 2012, 6:37 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by jgeorge » October 18th, 2012, 5:57 pm

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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 18th, 2012, 6:30 pm

Some people are learning...good...It makes my heart glad... :thumb:

User avatar
azatrox
Posts: 793
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: Arizona

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by azatrox » October 18th, 2012, 7:58 pm

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

User avatar
MHollanders
Posts: 583
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by MHollanders » October 18th, 2012, 11:35 pm

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.

User avatar
Andrew G
Posts: 278
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:53 pm
Location: South-Central Kansas

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Andrew G » October 19th, 2012, 1:40 am

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.

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2073
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Mike VanValen » October 19th, 2012, 5:20 am

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.

User avatar
Antonsrkn
Posts: 971
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Antonsrkn » October 19th, 2012, 5:39 am

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.

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 8:15 am

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

User avatar
Antonsrkn
Posts: 971
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Antonsrkn » October 19th, 2012, 8:33 am

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... ities-say/

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

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Bryan Hamilton » October 19th, 2012, 8:50 am

Wow.

Not cool John.

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Fundad » October 19th, 2012, 9:05 am

Image

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 19th, 2012, 9:14 am

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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 9:23 am

Gerry said:
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...

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 9:29 am

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.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 9:42 am

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...

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 9:45 am

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...

User avatar
brick911
Posts: 3488
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Location: Morrisville, PA

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by brick911 » October 19th, 2012, 10:07 am

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.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 10:07 am

Looks like that E Milk really needs to be protected...LOL

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Fundad » October 19th, 2012, 10:10 am

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

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 10:31 am

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.
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.
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:
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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 10:35 am

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.

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 19th, 2012, 10:38 am

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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 10:46 am

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...

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 10:59 am

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.

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 11:06 am

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

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 11:08 am

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...

User avatar
Antonsrkn
Posts: 971
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Antonsrkn » October 19th, 2012, 11:25 am

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 $$.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 11:33 am

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:

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 12:32 pm

Still workin' on that common sense angle, eh John...well, keep workin' on it...you're makin' progress... :)

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 19th, 2012, 12:38 pm

John Vanek wrote:
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.
John beat me to it, here. To add to what he had to say both more specifically and more generally, I'll say that mostly I don't think herp bag limits are needed, but herp management is certainly useful, and monitoring/controlling take is a useful part of management for harvested species.
Antonsrkn wrote:Well now I'm confused, you and I are talking about 2 (or more) different topics...
You're right, Anton, on top of the fact that electronic communication is difficult at its best, our discussion is going in various directions all at once. To make matters worse, when I posted the message you're referring to I was reading and writing via my smartphone from a veterinarian's waiting room (we've a sick cat) and so didn't give it the time and attention it really deserved. Let me try to make amends now...
Antonsrkn wrote:... 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...
Ok, but I think John wasn't really trying to claim that no one has ever wanted a timber rattler and poached to get it, he was simply writing in shorthand fashion to say that there is no meaningful - as in, to an extent that would actually affect a population - demand (it's more of that problem with communicating in this medium; and John, please correct me if I'm wrong about your intent). I responded by saying that just because poaching exists doesn't mean that it exists in great enough numbers to harm a population, as I understood you to be arguing with that point. After all, although none of us like poaching or want it to occur, what really matters is whether it causes any actual harm.
Antonsrkn wrote:... 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...
I'm sure you're not going to be very happy with what I have to say here, but... Your example doesn't come close to proving the case to me. Thirty-five massasaugas certainly sounds like an unpleasantly large number, all right, but we'd have to do some actual number crunching for me to agree that it constitutes any real threat to the population(s) from which they were taken, let alone that it amounts to "a very serious blow." Mind you, I'm not saying this wasn't a harmful number in this case, but only that it's not yet evident to me that it was. In the early part of my career I spent quite a bit of time doing such number crunching, focusing particularly on small or very small population biology, and I understand that harvest numbers that sound frighteningly large can in reality have neglible or no effects on a population, depending on the specifics pertaining to that population. This really isn't something you can eyeball or intuit with much degree of accuracy given how much one situation can vary from another.

Too, and I raised this point as well somewhere up above, if a species/important population is truly in dire enough straits that the removal of a few or even a few dozen individuals can cause considerable harm, then it needs far more tangible protection than merely to have information about it kept out of internet forums. People who care should be rallying for that protection, not wasting their times policing online message boards.
Antonsrkn wrote:... 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."
Ah, but see, all you did is (sort of) establish that at least some poachers at least sometimes seek information in internet forums to aid them in their illegal activity, not that this happens with any meaningful frequency nor even that they enjoy any real success from it. (And then there still remains that question of whether any meaningful harm was done to the species/population/site as a result.) As various people have pointed out, there are plenty of much more fruitful ways (both on- and off-line) for poachers to obtain the information they're seeking, too. Further, I don't recall any of the many, many debates here on the subject of the "need for secrecy" arising from someone asking to be taken to rattlesnake dens. Generally what prompts this incessant nonsense doesn't come anywhere near being that relevant. Someone posts a map that might allow people to know (as if they didn't already, or couldn't very easily find out elsewhere) what county a snake species is found in. Or asks what span of months might be most likely for seeing a species (as the original poster here did). Or posts a travelogue here that simply lets people know "I found this species of snake recently." It's a far cry from any of that to "Would someone here please show me exactly where I can find a timber rattlesnake den in my neighborhood?"

Again, I agree that herp poaching happens. I can readily believe that at least sometimes it is at least in some small way aided by information someone posted in an internet forum, too. But I also agree that suns explode. It's absolutely fine with me if people want to modify their behavior out of fear of these things, even if I feel sorry for their utter lack of perspective and sad for their misdirection of passion, but it's not fine with me if they incessantly chastize - or do much worse to - others for not behaving likewise. That's the bottom line for me.

I hope that clarifies things, and again, sorry for not being clearer in my previous post.

Gerry

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 12:48 pm

I agree with you about most herps not needing bag-limits...but I still think common sense and caution are necessary on the Internet, no matter what were talking about...unless it's fence lizards or Cal kings... :lol: Now, I really need to go do stuff...so you guys have fun here...

and John, the sense you were referring to is spelled "cents", not sense...at least, that's the only way I can even comprehend your mugger statement... :lol:

User avatar
Phil Peak
Posts: 523
Joined: June 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
Location: Kentucky
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Phil Peak » October 19th, 2012, 1:49 pm

Poaching is a real threat to TR populations, especially here in KY where the OP lives. Unfortunately there is a well documented trade among the religious snake handlers and those that provide them with illegally collected TRs.

Here is an example of this activity,

http://fw.ky.gov/app/news/newsdetail.aspx?id=362

Phil

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 19th, 2012, 3:02 pm

Phil Peak wrote:Poaching is a real threat to TR populations, especially here in KY where the OP lives. Unfortunately there is a well documented trade among the religious snake handlers and those that provide them with illegally collected TRs.

Here is an example of this activity,

http://fw.ky.gov/app/news/newsdetail.aspx?id=362

Phil
Sorry, Phil, but the information provided at that link doesn't establish that poaching is a real threat to timber rattler populations in KY or anywhere else. It documents that poaching certainly occurs there, and at levels that I personally would opine call for law enforcement attention (which I'm happy to see it is apparently getting). But whether or how much of a threat is actually involved is a population biology question, and as such simply can't be answered by numbers on take alone. Most wildlife populations can handle considerable (what some here would even deem shocking levels of) harvest with no negative repercussions, and virtually all can handle at least some. How much harvest KY timber rattlers can safely handle requires calculation or at least careful estimation in order to rationally assess any suspected threat, and without such number crunching guesses just aren't reliable. I want to emphasize that as in the massasauga example above, I'm not saying that the KY population isn't being harmed by poaching, only that this isn't sufficient evidence to say that it is.

Gerry

User avatar
Phil Peak
Posts: 523
Joined: June 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
Location: Kentucky
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Phil Peak » October 19th, 2012, 3:31 pm

Gerry,

I guess we could all suppose that collecting large numbers of gravid females of a late maturing snake species that has relatively low reproductive output, and insuring that not only these individual snakes are gone from the population, but also the possibility for additional recruitment vanishes with them will not harm this community of snakes.

Unfortunately all things cannot necessarily be calculated as readily as you may assume. The reality is there's lots of speculation when it comes to the population dynamics of wildlife. Based on what we do know about the biology of this species it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution. Wildlife departments nationwide are short of man power as it is. Do you really believe funding would be appropriated to conduct a comprehensive study on whether or not TR populations can withstand these depredations?


Phil

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 4:05 pm

Thanks for the link Phil. Here's another example of what a single poacher can do.

http://www.cnah.org/news.asp?id=436

RW

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 4:31 pm

John Vanek wrote:Yes, poachers could do that back when 1) it was legal and 2) they had economic incentive.
1) You might want to look up poaching in the dictionary.
2) Everyones's economic incentives are different, and poachers don't just poach for economic reasons.

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 4:45 pm

John Vanek wrote:
Ridge Walker wrote:
John Vanek wrote:Yes, poachers could do that back when 1) it was legal and 2) they had economic incentive.
1) You might want to look up poaching in the dictionary.
2) Everyones's economic incentives are different, and poachers don't just poach for economic reasons.
1) I think by this point you know what I mean.
2) Sure, but poachers aren't collecting at a level that is devastating like collectors were back in the 70's and before when there was a bounty.

Right now, the risks of smuggling out snakes from the NE are much greater than before Operation Shellshock and The Lizard King. People who wish to collect large numbers of these animals will go to areas where there is more incentive/less risk.
You are assuming that someones who poaches is thinking clearly and logically. Most of them are idiots.

Good night, I am done here, I give up.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4732
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 19th, 2012, 4:47 pm

Good night, I am done here, I give up.
My sentiments exactly... :lol:

User avatar
Ridge Walker
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Ridge Walker » October 19th, 2012, 5:20 pm

John Vanek wrote:
Ridge Walker wrote:Good night, I am done here, I give up.
I'm sorry if I offended you, that was not the goal.
Not offended, just frustrated. And I really do have to get up obscenely early in just a few hours, so... :sleep:

RW

User avatar
gbin
Posts: 2293
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by gbin » October 19th, 2012, 5:31 pm

Phil Peak wrote:Unfortunately all things cannot necessarily be calculated as readily as you may assume. The reality is there's lots of speculation when it comes to the population dynamics of wildlife...
I don't mean to offend, Phil, and I'm going to assume that you don't either. But I must say that there was a time when I did these kinds of calculations for a living, and it's neither as difficult nor as expensive as you suggest. One builds a model incorporating the best available information/estimations on just the kinds of things you mentioned (age at maturity, fecundity, etc.), one runs the model to see an approximation of what the population is up to, and then one subjects the model to various manipulations meant to represent potential threats of interest (such as harvest by poachers) and runs it again and again to see what kinds of overall effects these potential threats might have. Better initial models can be made with more complete initial data sets, of course, but surprisingly good models can be made with surprisingly sparse beginnings, and they are readily improved by tweaking as additional data becomes available. I'm not making some kind of grand claim about myself here, either; there was a time when I would have been comfortable calling myself a full-fledged or at least a budding population biologist, but such is really not required. The general methods are likely taught in every beginning basic wildlife course, people in wildlife agencies all across the country doubtless sit at their computers and create and run such models with regularity, organizations even exist that provide modeling experts as needed to guide the efforts of those charged with managing small populations but for whatever reason lacking personnel with the necessary training. If KY's principal wildlife agency hasn't already created and run such a model for the timber rattlesnake there, I strongly suspect that it's because they don't feel the species is under anywhere near sufficient threat there to justify the modest time and effort required. Seriously, there are probably a number of graduate students at yonder university who could do the number crunching for them/you at little or no expense. Or, given that you yourself obviously have considerable expertise on the species' life history, you could probably arrange to sit in on an appropriate university course or at least borrow enough of a professor's time to learn how to do it yourself and then actually do it yourself. (No, I am not being sarcastic.)

Gerry

User avatar
Phil Peak
Posts: 523
Joined: June 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
Location: Kentucky
Contact:

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Phil Peak » October 20th, 2012, 2:33 am

Gerry,


So what you're saying is you could walk into a 100,000 acre tract of Kentucky hill country and gather all the information you needed to determine just exactly how stable the resident population of TRs may be and that this undertaking would be neither difficult nor expensive?

I'll have to admit I'm a bit cynical of how accurate a modal would be that is comprised of such little information as you suggest. I'm willing to listen to what you have to say though Gerry.

I'd be interested in hearing how you would proceed with this endeavor.

Phil

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: What months are you going to see Crotalus Horridus the m

Post by Bryan Hamilton » October 20th, 2012, 6:34 am

I think Gerry is making population modeling sound just a little easier than it actually is....

One of the biggest difficulties for me was to recognize that the models are not reality. They are not intended to be true. But they are very useful to ask meaningful biological questions about your system. For example how many females would have to be removed from your population to induce a decline? How quickly could that population recover from a decline? There are some baseline parameters you would need to know such as survival, reproductive rate, sex ratios. These might be available from the literature in enough detail to feed the models.

The software learning curve is pretty steep and you need enough understanding of statistics to interpret the results and verify the model assumptions. Its taken me several years to be comfortable with models and I still struggle when I switch from the models I use (abundance) to a different model (survival). We all have different talents I guess.

I don't think it would be easy but its definitely worth pursuing especially for some of the species of management concern. I'm thinking of species with limited distributions and habitat availability. There might even be some non-game funding available from the state to have a university do the modeling.

Post Reply