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 Post subject: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 2:16 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:19 am
Posts: 1985
Location: Redding, CA
There is a real problem with the Internet and specific localities.
I'm not just talking about people spilling the beans for a particular Rosy locale.
I'm not even talking about people searching online vertebrate museum data.

I just found a web site I'm sure some of you know about but I won't mention - funded by *****.

Enter a genus and species name, and you get a KML file full of records from several vertebrate museums opening on your desktop. The flags indicating way points have the museum reference, so it is easy to tell how recent the records are.

That, I'm guessing, is a major factor in peoples sites getting slammed by irresponsible herpers.

What can we do about it?
Should we encourage museum data to be made available only to those who can justify their purpose, and museums that go along with that, should they request that their data be removed from resources like the one I just mentioned?

Ease of access is being done in order to assist researchers, but is the potential harm that can be done from no checks existing before data is distributed too great to justify ease of access?

It is undoubtedly impossible to stop scientific info from being used for nefarious purposes or by people who will destroy habitat to find their target, but can we reduce how often that happens by making it more difficult to find exact localities, and should we?

I think we should, and I think this needs to be discussed by the museums that have this data.
It will make things more difficult for me, sure, as I don't have any credentials, but maybe it would make things better for those doing genuine research who don't want to show up at a site they've been studying for 10 years only to find a crowbar has been there.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 3:38 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:05 pm
Posts: 846
Location: Kansas
There is a resource like that for many states, but the one for Kansas is password protected. However, in my experience, the museum scientists and their lackeys are just as likely to pillage an area and destroy habitat. I won't turn in specimens from my best spots or any of my friend's best spots for that reason.


Dan


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 3:56 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Location: Illinois
When I've turned in County Records, the State Herpetologist always asks for locality data and GPS coords. That is one of the reasons I don't supply them.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 5:53 am 

Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:10 pm
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This forum has become a joke, there is recently very little herp content and nothing but the same banter over and over and over again.

Whatever happened to fieldherpers.com


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 6:03 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
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Location: Los Angeles County
There is a Ton of information online, but finding it requires research. Every minute someone spends researching = more appreciation of the herps and habitats they are found in..... A person that spends 20 hours researching his next trip is much less likely to give up information to just anyone..

Fundad


Quote:
This forum has become a joke, there is recently very little herp content and nothing but the same banter over and over and over again.


I disagree there is a ton of herp content on this forum.

Fundad


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 6:06 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:01 am
Posts: 244
BradB wrote:
...there is recently very little herp content...


Are we looking a the same forum?


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 6:31 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:19 am
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Location: Redding, CA
BradB wrote:
This forum has become a joke, there is recently very little herp content and nothing but the same banter over and over and over again.

Whatever happened to fieldherpers.com


I'm sorry you feel that way.
August isn't generally the best month for herps, at least up here. I could post some fence lizards, treefrogs, and bullfrogs if you like.

This to me though is a serious issue. From this web site, a few clicks and I have a bunch of precise locales from many sources for whatever species I want with driving directions.

A couple decades ago, guarding the information was not quite as necessary. GPS was military, tools to nicely plot locales on digital maps with highways and driving directions simply did not exist, at least not online. Etc. - but tech has made too much information readily available in a form that makes it too easy for abuse. This is something I think scientists need to think about when they deposit specimens in a museum and something I think the museums themselves need to think about.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 6:42 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 9:52 am
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Location: Lexington Kentucky
:?:No disrespect but....... I think that posting this method to find locales will just add fuel to the fire! Imagine how many herpers who had no idea of this method now do.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:20 am 

Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:10 pm
Posts: 80
I was being somewhat sarcastic in my previous statements, and I understand that it is all in good cause. But does it not seem to you all that as soon as one post dealing with locales gets buried another one arises? Do you remember Diamondback Dave's post not but two months ago or so? I know its all in good nature and for the better but at this point anyone who frequents this forum should know how people feel about giving up locales, etc.

The point of this is that everyone just needs to get back to what were all here for to begin with... Herping!


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:50 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:48 am
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Location: Seattle, WA
There is plenty of room on this forum for field reports and for heated discussion. Why would anyone want to limit it to only field stories? For those of us who have been on these forums for 10+ years, only the best photos and reports really float our boats anymore, but peoples opinions always remain interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:55 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
There is plenty of room on this forum for field reports and for heated discussion. Why would anyone want to limit it to only field stories? For those of us who have been on these forums for 10+ years, only the best photos and reports really float our boats anymore, but peoples opinions always remain interesting.


Well said!


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:17 am 
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Joined: July 8th, 2010, 10:14 am
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Location: Eastern Washington
Maybe it is just lame WA, but I just don't see these awful scenarios likely to play out in my state. Heck, the only people likely to use info in this forum in Washington state are members and not likely to do harm on what they are looking for.

Case in point...

Went to Vantage, WA with Andy on Fri the 13 and we meet up in the parking lot of a gas station. The attendant came out and saw snake hooks and started flapping his jaw asking if we were 'hunting' rattlesnakes. He started talking about a local guy that got 10-15 a few weeks ago. I asked him what the guy did with them and I was told that they were turned into soup most likely. Needless to say I didn't get to see any Westerns that night but Andy was lucky enough to see one or two before I arrived. This was local poaching and it is my assumption that it is rather unlikely for these kinds of people to get this kind of info off of the internet. These guys that go out and do this sorta thing here in WA just know where things are at because of word of mouth from other people they know or due to them living alongside said species.

I am sure that due to the southern states having MANY more species than WA it is a more probable scenario, but do any of you have actual proof that your information is being or has been used by indigents and poachers?


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:20 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
So here is my $0.02. This is seriously difficult information to restrict for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, nearly all of the museums ans research institutions out there in possession of specimens are public institutions. They are funded to a large degree by public dollars, and as such their research findings have to, by law, be available to the public. Additionally, many of people's popular spots are on public lands, again funded by public dollars and the animals themselves are public resources.

While I agree that conservation should be a major focus of this forum, restricting access or information that belongs to the public isn't the way to do it (at least not lawfully or feasibly). The best thing to do is to mount a serious campaign against those that sell wild-caught animals and to educate those buying the animals who don't know the difference. If you take the legs out from under the wild-caught pet trade, then those irresponsible folks won't have a reason to go out and collect the animals in the first place.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:46 am 
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BradB wrote:
This forum has become a joke, there is recently very little herp content and nothing but the same banter over and over and over again.

Whatever happened to fieldherpers.com


lol

There are many other forums, and I suggest giving as many as possible a look. Find one that "works" for you and frequent it. But calling this forum a "joke" is in itself a hilarious joke. This community is active, diverse, responsive, and talented. The facts do not support calling this place a "joke" or contenting there is "little herp content" posted.

NAFHA, The Forum, HN Magazine.......ALL are populated with a ton of people who are sharing a ton of great content. The facts just do not support your comments.

Best of luck wherever you choose to frequent. FHF goes on stronger than ever, regardless of who comes and goes. And that is the real beauty of this place, it is a community, not an individual. People try to copy it, beat it up, drag it down, and it never works.........all because of this fantastic community of field herpers and academics.

Thanks,
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:58 am 
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Location: kaukauna, wi
Schell wrote:
The best thing to do is to mount a serious campaign against those that sell wild-caught animals and to educate those buying the animals who don't know the difference. If you take the legs out from under the wild-caught pet trade, then those irresponsible folks won't have a reason to go out and collect the animals in the first place.



exactly. their is no way one can stop the masses.

herps are mine as well as everyone else's. we need to focus on the removal of specimens. stop stealing from me. let everyone else enjoy what it is that you enjoy. please, i want to play too, but you have to share the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 9:23 am 
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Location: Iowa
How accurate is most of the data? I have searched through records for species in Iowa, and the GPS coordinates provided for most are just the coordinates to the general area. Some records say they are from a certain town, and the GPS is just the coordinates to the town. Others may be for a specific park, but the coordinates are still just for the park in general.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 9:24 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Schell makes good points about publicly funded institutions and research having requirements to keep their info fairly open. Once we start treating info on public land like national security items we're going to both look incredibly paranoid (bad PR) and we'll start alienating people that would help/be interested in herping.

I'm not opposed to collecting and maybe selling WC animals on a small scale either--I know that'll raise some hackles, but I figure populations can be actually managed (we do it with mammals, via hunting--how many white tails are shot every hunting season in Texas?) and it works OK there. Yeah the jackass that blast open a den site and takes everything may have done major damage (and should be smacked and fined), but I sort of like having bag limits like we do with mammals and birds (at least in theory). It works for other wildlife, and I'd imagine there's a lot more desert kingsnakes or western diamondbacks than there are mule deer here, along with a higher reproductive potential (but probably lower recruitment). No more than X amount of any given species and Y amount total in your posession while out in the field or something...if collectors can't have more than 10 or 20 snakes total on their persons/possesion while they're in the field, large scale collection just got a lot less lucrative since they'd have to drive back to the hotel or house and dump their catch and come back (if most of the good herping is in more remote areas this could be a real kick in the nuts for them). But it'd still allow breeders to go collect founding stock, it'd allow some small scale trade in WC stock, and still afford some protection to the animals. Along with that I'd like to see serious regulations on habitat alteration/damage (the aforementioned damage to denning sites being an example), and an increase in preserved land in general.
The idea that collection or exploitation is entirely bad from an ecological view is, I suspect, incorrect.

edit: psyon's point about how exact those are is a good question too. For instance, when I mention Palo Duro State Park...it's something like 29,000 acres now after they added some land back in 08. It's not gigantic/huge but it isn't exactly tiny....my favorite herp trail there is a 10-12 mile round trip depending on how you do it, hiking over fairly rough terrain.

edit 2: PDSP is now 29,000 acreas, not 25, and there's a few thousand acres surrounding it that're part of the park system I guess? The website was sort of vague and I didn't feel like tracking down too much more.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 9:28 am 
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Location: Kansas
Not to contribute to the hijacking of this post, but if there is a better field forum out there, I'd like to see it. This place is as good as it gets in my opinion.


Dan


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 4:04 pm 
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Schell wrote:
So here is my $0.02. This is seriously difficult information to restrict for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, nearly all of the museums ans research institutions out there in possession of specimens are public institutions. They are funded to a large degree by public dollars, and as such their research findings have to, by law, be available to the public. Additionally, many of people's popular spots are on public lands, again funded by public dollars and the animals themselves are public resources.

While I agree that conservation should be a major focus of this forum, restricting access or information that belongs to the public isn't the way to do it (at least not lawfully or feasibly). The best thing to do is to mount a serious campaign against those that sell wild-caught animals and to educate those buying the animals who don't know the difference. If you take the legs out from under the wild-caught pet trade, then those irresponsible folks won't have a reason to go out and collect the animals in the first place.


I agree.
Lets don't keep records from the public. I hate when a select few think they have more right then the general public.
Glad to see people wanting to propect the herps, but we all should have the right to pursue herps if done legaly.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 4:52 pm 
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Location: Redding, CA
Schell wrote:
So here is my $0.02. This is seriously difficult information to restrict for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, nearly all of the museums ans research institutions out there in possession of specimens are public institutions. They are funded to a large degree by public dollars, and as such their research findings have to, by law, be available to the public. Additionally, many of people's popular spots are on public lands, again funded by public dollars and the animals themselves are public resources.

While I agree that conservation should be a major focus of this forum, restricting access or information that belongs to the public isn't the way to do it (at least not lawfully or feasibly). The best thing to do is to mount a serious campaign against those that sell wild-caught animals and to educate those buying the animals who don't know the difference. If you take the legs out from under the wild-caught pet trade, then those irresponsible folks won't have a reason to go out and collect the animals in the first place.


California Diversity Database is funded by the public but it would cost me $600 to get access.
Being able to walk in to a university and submit a request and get the info is different than getting a collection of info from several institutions all mapped out.

Quote:
How accurate is most of the data? I have searched through records for species in Iowa, and the GPS coordinates provided for most are just the coordinates to the general area. Some records say they are from a certain town, and the GPS is just the coordinates to the town. Others may be for a specific park, but the coordinates are still just for the park in general.


That's easy to tell, since they are distributed in a KML file. Where there are lots of push pins very close to each other, it probably is a locale. Where there are lots of push pins at same spot, it may be a general geo-reference.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 4:57 pm 
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Joined: June 27th, 2010, 12:27 pm
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Location: Terlingua / Marfa, Texas
Schell wrote:
So here is my $0.02. This is seriously difficult information to restrict for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, nearly all of the museums ans research institutions out there in possession of specimens are public institutions. They are funded to a large degree by public dollars, and as such their research findings have to, by law, be available to the public. Additionally, many of people's popular spots are on public lands, again funded by public dollars and the animals themselves are public resources.


Sounds like the same dichotomy that the National Park Services faces. On one hand, they are charged with protecting this nations most precious wild lands and historical places. On the other hand, they are charged with making those places accessible to the general public. More often than not, those two objectives are in opposition. Trying to find a reasonable balance usually just pisses off the folks of both sides.

Perhaps whatever regulatory bodies oversee museums could establish some sort of protocol where all info is public UNLESS it is demonstrated that release of certain specific information could be detrimental.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 5:51 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 409
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
I turn in records for MO, and I do supply GPS data. If a researcher is going to use the data, saying something like Duck Creek CA is not very specific. It spans 3 counties! It would be helpful for he/she/they to know the specific locations specimens had been collected. If the information gets misused in a way that is unlawful, the MDC will investigate that. In other words, I believe gathering GPS data for records is important and I always do so. I also believe we must trust law enforcement to determine what is and what is not OK and provide them the data they need to do so.

Then again, I'd think twice about giving gps data to the guy who publishes maps to endangered species microhabitats online. Although, it was very helpful in finding them lol


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 6:01 pm 

Joined: June 21st, 2010, 9:33 pm
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The way to keep shoplifters from stealing is not to keep it a secret where all the stores are. Poaching is a crime, make strict penalties and enforce it as you can. If you're worried about others doing something legal to your favorite public lands site like flipping a rock though, tough! It's public land. If you want to keep it secret for your personal interests, I almost certainly don't care, that's your right (although there are times when you SHOULD tell government authorities or scientists your localities, no one benefits from you letting a good population become paved over after you die because no one knew it was there). I truly believe these databases are a net benefit for everybody, herps included. And I don't think you will make any inroads in convincing the museum folk otherwise. I also think they withhold exact locality data for endangered species (?). Make the problem information overload, the bottleneck is analyzing the data. Overload the system with localities and we'll get away from this stupid habit of hitting the exact same 10 spots in a state over and over again. I've brought this up a couple times, nobody seems to think there's anything to it, but I think it is right. I've used the databases myself to find localities that are much closer to home to find target species, thereby saving gas, effort and spreading around impact. Eat local foods, herp local herps.

Also, a lot of that data is exceptionally old and a sizable percentage is in error. A museum couldn't think of something more desirable than for a bunch of herpers to go out in the field and verify that herps still exist at localities. Keep good notes and any professional herpetologist will absolutely accept your data. This is a great activity that should be taken up MORE rather than less. Old localities from the 30's? Go check them out and see if there are still the same species there! Find out they're not? Why not? Go check more localities, build up data, maybe someday you can make a case for either a species being in need of conservation and do something actually productive rather than griping about the boogey man poachers and griping about how your favorite spots have too many footprints. Sorry for my skepticism, but I don't see effective conservation being done by a coalition of curmudgeony herpers, I only see land use policies and laws doing that. To get these laws in favor of herp conservation you need data and to get data you need museums and a scientific community with easy and free access to them.

We're also only talking about a handful of species that might be overexploited anyway, so there would only be an argument for restricting access to a handful of species. By and large, I doubt too many are out there prowling the internet for localities to find Thamnophis elegans....besides me.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:24 pm 
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I'm not as worried about poaching for the pet trade as I am about young herpers who destroy habitat to get their prize either because they don't know any better or don't care.

Let's face it, everyone likes to see photos of the harder to find stuff, so finding those species earns you a certain amount of "street cred" on various forums etc. That's what I'm worried about.

I must confess, I downloaded and saved a couple of files myself - though the same information was already available to me via vertebrate museums, from this site I don't have to figure out which museums have records for which species to find possible locales (what I'm interested in particularly is Rana pretiosa and Rana sierrae - the latter I've found in the wild before mid 80s, but the pop I found then is allegedly now extinct).

Eventually I also want to find Rana luteiventris and Rana muscosa but the former will require quite a travel on my part (and I suspect I already know where to go, certain NP is allegedly full of them) and the latter, I want to wait until the population recovers some more and may require I see it in the wild with an escort, unless I stumble upon a population that isn't in a protected area, so I didn't bother getting the kml files for those. But how easy it was to get KML files for just about any vertebrate species on the planet kind of shocked me.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:27 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:05 am
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If your spot is on the internet, it's probably not yours.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:32 pm 
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Crotalus wrote:
If your spot is on the internet, it's probably not yours.


Not true.

At least not in CA with its huge population. There are probably very few areas that are currently herped that were not previously herped by someone else before any of us were lingual enough to say the word snake.

If vouchers were taken, there's a good chance it is on the Internet.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:39 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:05 am
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Uh, like I said - if your spot is on the internet, then its probably not YOUR spot. If someone herped there before you, it's kind of hard to claim it as yours...
That said, California is massive, there are plenty of areas that are unherped, and plenty of things left to find...

-JJ


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 7:39 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 8:09 pm
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I was honestly shocked to here that museums and other databases share this information so easily. Mind you that database I send my info to is Fish and Wildlife run, they only give the information to those with a formal request. IMO spots should be shared only by word of mouth among people that know and trust each other. An overseeing organization cannot weed out the crooks as well as individuals with something personal to lose. Send the information into a database for sure. It might save your spot from developement one day; but don't make it public data.

Ian

ps, I've been with holding my opinion for a while, but with all the "herping spots being overpopulated" type discussions I figured I'd point out that it's really just a reflection to the world overpopulation problem. The number one thing you can do to help the environment over the long term is to reduce the next generation. Limit your offspring to one.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:13 pm 
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joeysgreen wrote:
Limit your offspring to one.


Limiting offspring is problematic if our society does go to a more socialized structure for things like health care and retirement. It can result in a lot of older people dependent upon socialized services and not enough people in the younger generation to pay for it.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:20 pm 
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I have nearly two hundred wild-caught specimens from my research that I'd like to deposit in the MVZ. However, I've seen zonata localities torn to shreds over the past decade and I worry that the increase in herpers, instant online information from forums, and exact locality information from online museum records is attributing greatly to this damage. I will not submit my specimens until some checks are in place to restrict access. We're in the process of establishing a request and sign-up to gain access to zonata locality information (i.e., you must have a valid reason as to why you are requesting exact locality data). As far as I know this would only pertain to zonata, however, I've expressed my concerns to the head curator at the MVZ and he agreed that this might be a good idea with any highly sought after and desirable herp.

Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 16th, 2010, 8:26 pm 

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Quote:
Limiting offspring is problematic if our society does go to a more socialized structure for things like health care and retirement. It can result in a lot of older people dependent upon socialized services and not enough people in the younger generation to pay for it.

Too true. Not to mention labor difficulties. That said I'm tyring to convince the wife to have 0 or 1 children (although that's because kids terrify me more thn an angry mamba)


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: August 17th, 2010, 8:57 am 

Joined: June 14th, 2010, 12:55 pm
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Location: Columbus, OH; Ithaca, NY; Pueblo, CO
Is this a real or perceived problem?

Anything more than anecdotal evidence out there that says online locale info is causing habitat damage, illegal collecting, etc.? Or that shutting down that flow of information would significantly decrease those problems? How much of it has to do with other factors like increased population growth, pet trade, etc.?

Is hiding the information really the best solution?

If there's enough information available to make people dangerous, it seems adding more or less information to the mix are both reasonable approaches to the problem. On one hand, "Shut it down" is an easy thing to say -- but a cop out IMO and hardly practical. On the other hand education has a good track record for curbing these kinds of problems... :thumb:

There are probably some easy ways the field herping community could educate folks on how to (1) be more responsible in the field and (2) to work locally to protect sensitive areas.

So lets hear some of those ideas: what are effective ways to foster good field herping habits? Curb bad habits? Conserve sensitive locations? Educate young newbies about protecting habitat, illegal collecting, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 5th, 2010, 5:41 pm 

Joined: September 5th, 2010, 9:35 am
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Too many monkeys in the jungle. In my youth, i'd never have dreamed of the amount of attention herps are getting now, but hey, nothing is immune from us.

Not to worry too much. We won't be around forever like we are now.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 5th, 2010, 7:34 pm 
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BradB wrote:
This forum has become a joke, there is recently very little herp content and nothing but the same banter over and over and over again.

Whatever happened to fieldherpers.com


we must evolve as well.

i went out to a local fox snake spot tonight. three kids flipping rocks. i asked if they found anything. they said no. i showed them a large fox snake i released tonight. they were happy to see such a large snake that they didn't even know was an inhabitant of the small locale. i showed them the areas that the snakes used to crawl into the rocks for the winter, and they were intrigued. i mentioned red-bellies, and they had no clue. fortunately, i was able to turn one up for them. i had no option but to educate at the time. i told them of the friends i had on the forum, and that we all gather info for the common good. i hope i made a point. i mentioned how sensitive(in my opinion) the info is. recommended not to collect, not tell everyone of the area, and told them a few pointers on how to find snakes at different parts of the year. i fear i may have told them too much, but they showed genuine interest. give them enough info, and they will understand and, hopefully appreciate. the fact that they were out there looking shows the appreciation in my mind.

this thread, and i have not even made my way to the end, is my biggest fear. we must protect the resources from problems within. i will have anyone's back when it comes to helping others(museums and the like) understand the issues at hand. i understand that info is public, and i would never want it any other way, educate, educate, educate.

ben

if you think it's a joke, log off and don't return.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 5th, 2010, 11:09 pm 
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The problem with most university and museum collections is that they are public funded (taxes), and thus open to the public. No one can refuse anyone access to museum records from institutions that are public. Unfortunately, that applies to the MVZ too.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 6:25 am 

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Lots less people are collecting, the mentality seems to have evolved somewhat. That's good.

What's not is that snakes are sensitive to human harassment, good intentioned as well as ill.

A snake doesn't care how much all those people ferreting them out, circling them for photos, handling them, etc. love them. It is harassment to them and causes environmental stress.

In areas where the habitat is small and the herper traffic large, i expect there may be a significant negative effect.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 9:04 am 
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The way I normally think of it is, if a measly human being can catch a snake, then something with a much better sense of smell, such as a badger or coyote, certainly could have just as easily.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 9:34 am 
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Quote:
There is a Ton of information online, but finding it requires research. Every minute someone spends researching = more appreciation of the herps and habitats they are found in..... A person that spends 20 hours researching his next trip is much less likely to give up information to just anyone..
Fundad

I think Fundad nailed it. Very good point.


Quote:
That [sites that give collection info], I'm guessing, is a major factor in peoples sites getting slammed by irresponsible herpers.

I think you might be jumping to a conclusion here. I can definitely see how that connection would be made, but it seems like a bit if a stretch.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 9:39 am 

Joined: August 13th, 2010, 4:36 pm
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Get off your A$$ and find some new spots if your spots are getting pounded.

It is a huge country filled with relatively unexplored "spots".

Nothing is more satisfying than finding your own new spot.

Feel the satisfaction.

..........................................


On a separate note, this is by far the best field herping forum out there.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 10:30 am 

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John Vanek wrote:
The way I normally think of it is, if a measly human being can catch a snake, then something with a much better sense of smell, such as a badger or coyote, certainly could have just as easily.


We will always find ways to justify what it is we like to do. Our reasons may or may not have any truth to them.


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 1:03 pm 
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gulo wrote:
A snake doesn't care how much all those people ferreting them out, circling them for photos, handling them, etc. love them. It is harassment to them and causes environmental stress.

How about the snake in your avatar? Was it not manipulated to pose that position on dirt in the middle of the day like that? Or do you not practice what you preach?

gulo wrote:
In areas where the habitat is small and the herper traffic large, i expect there may be a significant negative effect.

Like Whitewater, A short 5 mile stretch of road that has been pounded for decades? What sort of "significant negative effect" would you expect to see there?


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 2:56 pm 
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Let's not start the Whitewater thing again...here...here's the answer so there will be no argument:

Whitewater has been road cruised for over 60 years. There has been no change in the number of snakes that are found on that road since the 1950s.

Whew, I thought we were gonna get in a debate there for a second... :lol:

Of course, the major change that HAS taken place is that some of the herpers just take pics now, instead of collecting everything they see (like they did in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s) :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 3:08 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Let's not start the Whitewater thing again...here...here's the answer so there will be no argument:

Whitewater has been road cruised for over 60 years. There has been no change in the number of snakes that are found on that road since the 1950s.

Whew, I thought we were gonna get in a debate there for a second... :lol:

Of course, the major change that HAS taken place is that some of the herpers just take pics now, instead of collecting everything they see (like they did in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s) :lol: :lol:

That is not the answer because that is not what I asked. Now either work on your reading comprehension, or go find some place to sell your books. :roll: :shock: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 3:27 pm 
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Oh, I'm sorry Sir...let me try again...THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WHITEWATER AFTER 60 YEARS OF HERPING. Is that better? :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 4:49 pm 
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Only "he" can answer the question, so buzz off before I get my friend to beat you up. :lol:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 5:12 pm 
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I'm telling Fundad that you put his pic on here... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 5:34 pm 
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Honestly Mr. Hubbs, how have you arrived at your assessment? I really want to know how you figured out that there have been no changes in the herp population in Whitewater over the past 40 or 50 years...


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 5:40 pm 
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Kent VanSooy posted his fathers field notes from the late 50s on here, and a typical night in those days was the same as today. Sorry you missed it. Also, I frequented WW a lot in the early 80s, and see no difference between those nights and today. Like anywhere else, there are good nights, and there are bad nights, but there is plenty of habitat on each side of the road to continue to support healthy populations of critters, no matter how many people hunt the road. However, the real WW expert is Fundad. Ask him...


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 6:28 pm 
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i've been mulling over in my head all day regarding the fact of getting up-tight about such a topic. it is the way it is wherever it is. get used to it, and do what you can to improve/protect it. bitching gets nowhere. i've done it to, but long story short, have fun while you can.

ben


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 Post subject: Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...
PostPosted: September 6th, 2010, 8:22 pm 
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