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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 4th, 2013, 6:45 pm 
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SLD, a couple years ago, Dave Weber, AZ Chapter/NAFHA president, showed us a Game and Fish map of each of the herps in AZ. I was blown away by the inaccuracies and info that was outdated. This is one of the problems with agencies that we're talking about. They often don't have experienced personnel in the herpetology field and consequently often are using poor basic information to make decisions. Don't get me wrong, I'm still all for working with these agencies.

Let me give a good example which also supports Richard's contentions. One of the snakes I do field work with is the Northern green ratsnake, Senticolis triaspis intermedia. This is partly because I specialize in ratsnakes and keep a collection of them. I received notice from AZG&F that green rats were under consideration for protection several years ago. I argued aggressively against listing for several reasons. First their range map only showed like four ranges in Southeastern AZ that had green rats. There are approximately 13 "Sky Island" ranges in s.e. AZ and most of them have green rats. However, many have never been collected, so weren't included in the range by biologists. Green rats are also very common along the border with Mexico and in Mexico all the way down into the tropical zone. If you've ever looked for green rats, you'd know that almost all green rats are collected on a few main roads in four or five ranges. They rarely are ever seen by hiking in the wild. They have been collected for years by road cruising and they are still common along these roads. The roads, btw, probably cross less than 1% of the green rat's habitat. There is no way that recreational collecting will threaten this species any time in the future. The new mines proposed for several ranges are going to destroy far more snakes and habitat. Another thing is that this species is disjointed, only occurring in the lower to mid-elevations of the Sky Islands. That doesn't mean they should be protected, even if some local populations are smallish. Mountains have been ravaged by wildfires for millennia, but the snakes are still common. Green rats are now pretty common in collections which is reducing the demand for wild caught specimens.

SLD, I do believe some small populations of herps do need some form of protection. One question I have is who gets to make the decisions? Along the border with Mexico we have numerous herps that come into question. One is the vine snake, which is not now protected due mostly to the input of field herpers, I believe. They are quite common in their given habitat. Can we protect this habitat? Same habitat also produces the thornscrub hooknose snake and Yaqui blackhead snake, neither of which venture very far into AZ, but both common in their habitat. Neither are protected, which is my stance. Along with these snakes there are at least two species of frogs which are fairly uncommon in this same habitat. The lowland leopard frog and Chiricahua leopard frog are protected. And, yet, Border Patrol builds roads through their habitat. The forest service, which supervises most of the habitat in this area, are also the same agency which gives permits to the mining companies. The lake in the area is full of red-eared sliders, bullfrogs and crayfish, all invasive species, imo. What really is the threat here?

That brings us to the question of when we should protect a species and how? A frog that had been extirpated from the Santa Rita Mountains has recently been reintroduced. Should they be protected from collection? I think so, but how do we do it? A population of twin-spotted rattlesnakes (protected) are in the Chiricahua Mountains, but you can drive right up to their small habitat. Does the protection help them? Game and Fish officers have to watch the habitat all the time to keep poachers from taking the snakes, even though most of them are marked by researchers. Does this affect the rest of the population, at least three ranges in s.e. AZ? Ok, how about another species that maybe should be protected. How about the Mexican garter snake? They used to be common in AZ, but population increases of humans and resultant high water usage has reduced their habitat so much that they are rarely ever seen even by the most ardent herpers. How can we protect them if they don't have any habitat left?

I'm sure there are some species outside AZ that probably benefit to some degree from protection, and I'd be glad to discuss this with whoever, if I have any experience or info concerning those species.

Best....Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 4th, 2013, 9:47 pm 
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I think the primary threats to the Mexican garter where they still remain are bullfrogs and crayfish. Crayfish and other introduced species are the primary threat to the Narrow-headed garter also. However, the Cochise county Milk Snake does not need to be protected., but I don't know enough about the box turtle to make a statement on it. I thought it deserved protection, until Fundad pointed out why I don't see many. :o


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 5th, 2013, 9:44 am 
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I think you're right about the garters, Brian. I tend to collect crayfish and bullfrogs when I'm in habitat like this. They are good eating and I don't think there's a bag limit on either. But we need all the help we can get in this respect.

The Cochise milksnake I'm up in the air about. I assume you don't think they're threatened, because they are so hard to find, reclusive, etc. That's true, and I personally still have never found one, but they do have a very small range in AZ.

Since you mentioned the desert box turtle and it was mentioned before by Richard and myself, I'd like to give some reasons I opposed listing this species. First, box turtles make an excellent pet, and many young school children learn about herpetology by keeping a box turtle, as I did many years ago and some of my friends still do (in the Midwest). Box turtles come out after the rains and get run over by cars by the dozens, not any different than a school kid picking one up from the highway. Of course road mortality, predator mortality, and development take a vastly higher number of turtles than collection by a few individuals do. The box turtle used to have a much larger range in AZ than they do today. We used to have them in the Santa Rita's and Green Valley, and as a matter of fact, one was found in GV last summer (could have been released though). Their disappearance has to do with development and cattle grazing, the spread of desert and mesquite, and lowering of the water table. Where they do still occur they are abundant; and like with the green ratsnake, collecting roads are few and far between. Also, they occur on ranchland, which is pretty vast and inaccessible, as it is with the milksnake and massasauga rattler. The box turtles seem pretty darn safe where they're at. Just some of their habitat needs protecting, especially if ranchers decide to start selling to the developers. As it stands now, no one gets to keep or study the box turtle. Even moving them off the road is technically a problem. When I stopped traffic last summer on the Stateline Road in s.e. Cochise Co, to move an adult female, I was worried that one of the stopped cars could be Game and Fish, but they were all locals and all gave me the "high five," as they passed by. Then I was also able to get my photos. Some winners that day.

PS: A large amount of habitat is currently being protected along the San Pedro River in Cochise County (San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area) which helps the desert box turtle, but mostly is for birds and vegetation, etc. The Nature Conservancy is doing good work there to help restrict land from ranches wanting to buy grazing rights from the State. The Forest Service could help a lot in the future if they decide to protect Forest Service lands associated with the Huachuca and Chiricahua Mountains.

Thanks for the input. Love this thread... :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 5th, 2013, 10:34 am 
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I agree, Terry - this is a great thread and I hope it continues. Personally, I would like to see Andy Gluesenkamp weigh in here, too, since he's had personal experience on the regulatory side of the issue.

One of the factors that I haven't seen mentioned in the thread, when it comes to pressures on herp populations, is fracking. As I'm sure many of you are aware, deep south Texas must one of the most herp-rich environments in the United States, and back in the '80s it wasn't a bit unusual to find over 100 snakes on the road in a 3-4 hour period in the right conditions. Nowadays, since the opening of the Eagle Ford Shale deposits to fracking operations, the incredible density of oil industry truck traffic on those roads has made road cruising impossible (even before it was made illegal), and has to be responsible for the road deaths of thousands of snakes every week. And that's road traffic alone, ignoring the possibility of other potential effects on the environment down there. Now it's true that, like west Texas, there are thousands of square miles and not all that many roads, but the biggest snake populations seemed to be in just a few particular areas, and those areas are among the most heavily impacted by all the traffic. All of that said, you sure don't want to try to convince anyone who lives in south Texas that fracking is a bad thing, or that herp populations are important enough to justify scrutiny of fracking......the economic impacts to those little towns is really amazing, though it's a near certainty that at some point in the future, it will all go away, leaving only the skeletal remnants of the Big Boom behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 5th, 2013, 11:33 am 
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Thanks, Mark. I didn't know about the fracking. I don't think we have that here in s. AZ. I can add that to the list of things that make herping difficult in TX. Next to TX and CA, AZ is starting to look pretty good, another reason for us to keep working with wildlife agencies. Maybe someone could also weigh in and discuss things that make herping in N. M. difficult.

:crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 5th, 2013, 3:56 pm 
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There's nothing difficult about herping in NM, as long as you aren't trying to find those two garters we already spoke of, if you know what you're doing. Very few people, lots of land=lots of herps. Unless your N. M. stands for something else...?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 9:58 am 
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I am talking about New Mexico, Brian, because CA, AZ, N. M., and TX are the southern-most states of the Southwest. I was thinking maybe N. M. is difficult, because of their listings of protected species, or their collecting laws, or fracking, or development, or whatever. The fact that the human population is rather light is a good point. I know there are some protected species in the southwestern corner. I also wonder what their laws say about photographing herps alongside highways, because we do spend some time there during monsoon season and inevitably run into some herps worth photographing.

PS: Moving north, there are some other interesting states, such as Utah.

:crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 12:12 pm 

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I find NMGF quite reasonable - generous, even - in terms of providing for public (including nonresident) access to wildlife, and not laying a bunch of value judgements (leading to outright bans or serious-hassle-procedure) on top of various uses. They do commercial permits. They do venomous permits. They require a hunting license, and a habitat stamp if hunting federal public land, but it's all cheap and available at Wal-Mart.

I can't speak to scientific permits but since they have (and have had, longterm) some good academic herp talent there, I guess that says something - academic herpers haven't simply abandoned the state in frustration. (It can happen...)

Not sure about specific photo regs. I don't do that so don't worry about it. But since I'm always going to move a live animal off a busy road, I always just buy whatever license is required or offered to "take wildlife", and thereby fully-cover myself.

Other, interesting places nearby do not all share these characteristics. I'll just stop there.

I absolutely adore herping New Mexico. Tons of public land, so great access to non-domesticated landscapes. Yeah, they're having a "fluid minerals" boom just like a lot of places right now. But I don't usually target the eastern side, or the 4 corners areas. I like south of I-40 and west of I-25 the most, and other than uranium I don't think there's much "energy" there. It's really quiet country, compared to AZ or SoCal. Or just about anywhere. It's great.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 4:26 pm 
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I was confused because you wrote (and continue to write) N.M. instead of NM. WTF? :lol: I photograph everything I see in NM and do not buy a license. I do not collect, so I do not need one. I have seen so many NM milks that I don't need any or want any. In fact, I have seen so many milks in other states (including AZ) that I have no desire to ever collect another. I have found NM G&F to be very helpful, in fact it was Charlie Painter who showed me Herp Review and wrote up my milk snake county record back in 1997. I have since published or will publish about 100 county records from the U.S. (including 6 milk snake county records). I have 42 to send in right now.

Jimi: Your a funny guy... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 6:53 pm 
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Jimi, that's a nice critique, and I agree that NM sounds like a great place to herp. The three areas I've been in were all enjoyable and productive, which would be along the Rio Grande, west/central mtns, and s.w. NM. Thanks for the comments.

TC :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 7:01 pm 
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Brian, I don't collect anything in NM either, but was just curious about the details. BTW, I always thought the New Mexico abbreviation was N. M., because it's two words, but I actually like your way better. I think I'll start using the shorthand method..heheh!

I know you look for milks a lot, Brian, but how do you find so many NM milks? I assume you see many of them in NM, and you probably find some under rocks and some road cruising, but what's the method that works best for you, and don't say "Buy my book, and you'll find out." I already have all your books, except that new one, and I'll buy that one next time you're in GV.

:beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 7:55 pm 
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I've never road-cruised a milk in NM. BTW, NM is the proper postal abbreviation. Just like North Carolina is NC. But, I digress...
I have flipped NM milks under just about every type of cover, except logs (see my naherp entries-but about 5 or 6 of them were never photographed, so are not in the database). It's just like in the Midwest...you need moisture and sun (sometimes cloudy days are good, and even rainy days, it depends on what was happening the days preceding those conditions). April thru Oct. However, this only applies to eastern NM. The west is tougher due to different weather patterns.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 8:00 pm 
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New Mexico's Jemez Mountain Salamander...

Interest in this salamander, Plethodon neomexicanus, started with an article in Nature Conservancy magazine (March/April, 2013), p. 28. The article is titled, "Hot on the Trail", by Heather Sisan. Scientists working with the Conservancy are trying to find out how many salamanders there are and where they live. The Center for Conservation Biology is doing the study and using dogs to help sniff out the salamanders. They want to find out where they're at, "so that controlled burns and other work to reduce the threat of intense wildfires won't harm the salamander's habitat."

I liked this because it shows several things: interest in rare herps by The Nature Conservancy; the use of dogs to help locate these hard-to-find herps; and the interest in preserving habitat related to the salamander. One point being that indiscriminate tree harvests or random "controlled burns," could do serious harm to the salamander's habitat. I believe this is an important concept of this thread...to help protect habitat.

As a side note, I once used a dog to help find Eastern box turtles in Northern Michigan. I discovered the dog while bird hunting with a friend and he let me use the dog to locate about half dozen box turtles in one afternoon in a county where we thought the turtles had long been extirpated. That was in Northwestern MI (Lower Peninsula).

According to Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico, 1996, Degenhardt, Painter, and Price, p. 29, increased timber harvests by the U.S. Forest Service has made the salamander vulnerable and should be protected from unregulated collecting and from destruction of habitat on federal, state, and private lands. This salamander is listed as endangered by NMG&F, and as a Category 2, Notice of Review species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USDI, 1994). What can be learned from this?

TC :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 8:07 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
I've never road-cruised a milk in NM. BTW, NM is the proper postal abbreviation. Just like North Carolina is NC. But, I digress...
I have flipped NM milks under just about every type of cover, except logs (see my naherp entries). It's just like in the Midwest...you need moisture and sun (sometimes cloudy days are good, and even rainy days, it depends on what was happening the days preceding those conditions). April thru Oct. However, this only applies to eastern NM. The west is tougher due to different weather patterns.



Thanks for the info, Brian... :mrgreen:

I thought the milks would be difficult in Western NM. The habitat is a lot like AZ's, isn't it? Eastern NM seems to be the best part of the state to do flipping then.

Best...TC


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 8:15 pm 
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I edited my post since you copied it. I have actually seen about 20 milks in NM. It's gotten kind of boring...but I haven't seen any in the last 2 years, and there are many counties I haven't sampled yet. I need to spend about a week in that state.

Check out the melanistic ring-neck: Record 166809
It's a Prairie/Regal intergrade.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2013, 9:29 pm 
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Very nice ringneck and milks. Did you find the two species in similar habitat? Thanks... :thumb:

Quote: I edited my post since you copied it. I have actually seen about 20 milks in NM. It's gotten kind of boring...but I haven't seen any in the last 2 years, and there are many counties I haven't sampled yet. I need to spend about a week in that state.

That sounds like fun. Last time I was up by Albuquerque I only stayed three days and it was too short. There were a lot more species I wanted to see. If you go in 2014, please let me know.

Follow up on three species (in NM): green ratsnake; Mexican garter snake; and narrow-headed garter snake. All three of these species are listed as endangered by NMGF.

The green ratsnake is only found in s.w. NM in two known ranges and possibly two more, undocumented. I don't agree with protection of this species for the same reasons given on the AZ green ratsnakes.

The Mexican garter snake can rarely be found in NM anymore, mostly for lack of habitat. What little habitat is left is mostly on private land, as far as I can surmise from Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. This species suffers from predation by bullfrogs, as mentioned by Hubbs, and is in jeopardy. Because there are so few individuals left in NM, I don't mind the no collecting tag for this species, but that will likely do little to prevent their fate.

The narrow-headed garter snake suffers from the same problems as the Mexican garter. However, they have a little more habitat and aren't in jeopardy of extirpation at this time, imo. It's most important to protect their aquatic habitats and food base and reduce the invasive predators. Hopefully the no-collecting ban will help conserve their numbers, but that only works with honest collectors.

Side note: The Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico is an interesting and helpful resource for studying and helping to find herps in NM. I wish AZ had a reference book like this one.

TC :sleep:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 7th, 2013, 9:52 am 
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I found them in the same habitat, except ringnecks seem to be in some places and not others. I guess i would say ringnecks and lined snakes are spotty in distribution.
AZ will have a snake book, once Holycross finishes it. It's amazing that no one can produce a good book for CA, not even an accurate field guide.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 9th, 2013, 8:16 am 
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That ringneck snake is unique, Brian. I don't think I've heard of a melanistic one before. Will it be featured in your new book?

I'm glad to hear that Holycross is working on a herp book for AZ. His first field guide was a nice addition and I take that with me everywhere.

I found something interesting in the Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico on the title page. It has to do with a way we can help with conservation of herps in that state. Let me quote it here: "Share with Wildlife is a non-profit fund dedicated to the conservation of all wildlife in New Mexico. Administered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Share with Wildlife is supported entirely by voluntary contributions - most received through the state income tax check-off. Share with Wildlife funds research, habitat protection, wildlife rehabilitation, and public education, with an emphasis on projects benefiting nongame wildlife, including state and federal endangered species."

I remember a program similar to this in Michigan from when I lived there. I used to make a contribution from my tax return every year. I'm not sure if any other states have this type of program.

Brian, you mentioned ringnecks and lined snakes both have spotty distribution. That makes sense since NM is one of, if not the driest, states in the Union. Both of these species need some moisture in their habitat to function properly. Another natricine snake from Eastern NM with spotty distribution is the Western ribbon snake, a species listed as endangered by NMGF. Although their range is fairly broad, not much of it has the microhabitat they need. I still wonder why protection is needed for this species, while there are others with much more limited distribution that are not protected. I suspect it has to do with how difficult it is to find the herp.

:beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 9th, 2013, 9:14 am 
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No, I found that ringneck after the book was finished.

Don't know anything about the ribbon snake there. Haven't seen one. I just don't spend much time in that state. It's a drive-thru place usually, and usually too dry to see anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 9th, 2013, 10:47 am 

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Quote:
I'm not sure if any other states have this type of program.


Many states have a voluntary tax check-off program.

Non-game wildlife funding is a large and interesting (some might say depressing...) topic. The general experience - around the country - with voluntary tax check-offs for wildlife is, they simply don't work. (Funding is a perennial topic of discussion when biologists get together in regional or national meetings.) I think here in Utah we get about $12-15K per year. Fifteen grand will get you one tech, in a truck, with modest gear and supplies, for half a field season (people cost nearly twice what they make, what with the employer having to pony up unemployment, SS, medicare, and if the hire is lucky, health insurance).

Bottom line - small amounts like that aren't even worth the paperwork to accept & track them (you know, because of govt's proclivity for "waste fraud and abuse" there are lots of laws & regs we gotta comply with). Chasing, getting, administering, and then reporting on 8 or 10 little pots like that to have a little crew for a summer, you lose your ass and your mind on all the paperwork.

I've mentioned the "wildlife management business model" here before. Mainly it's something called "user pays". Traditionally it has been considered that there are no nongame users. So we haven't come up with a socially-acceptable, politically-palatable way to make "them" (you all) pay. So - even though it sucks - wildlife agency program managers are stuck, engaged in a perpetual game of "grab-ass", chasing mostly small ephemeral pools of money, pushing obscene amounts of paper when we get any money, trying (with surprising but exhausting success) to keep a small crew of great biologists employed and busy on "the right stuff", etc.

We either need to have you guys step up as "users" who pay (extend the same old business model to new clients), or we need a new business model (something closer to "everyone pays, a little tiny bit"). I advocate the latter, since wildlife actually belongs to everyone, not just "users". But right now that's a pipe dream. So - please buy a license. If you don't like where the license money would go (e.g., just some fish hatchery or whatever), work with the agency on a better solution.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 9th, 2013, 10:59 am 
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...well since the threads been completely derailed & hijacked...(by folks who know better) ... but i also note we beat that prohibition topic like a dead equine.
Not only do we have voluntary ck-off's here in az, we also tap into 10 mil of state lottery $$ via a citizens initiative many moons ago (state parks is supposed to get anudda 10, but the politicos siphoned that part away) & to complete Jimi's last point on funding, states & their subdivisions (counties/cities) can use these funds to "seed" for matches; some more than 1:1 for bigger grant $$'s so even a small fund is way better than none @ all. The real challenge I found having sat on many grant review committees, and written plenty of others ... is finding worthy projects to fund! But that muchachos is a fodder for anudda rant, in another thread, in anudda time ... : }


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: December 9th, 2013, 1:12 pm 
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It's fun to hijack threads, but I think in this case it was unintentional... :o


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 26th, 2014, 3:37 am 
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Imho, this seems quite relevant in this context.

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/18/318307574 ... r-a-threat


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 26th, 2014, 7:01 am 

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I have it on fairly good authority that a herp stamp of some kind is in the works, here in Ca... to allow data collection on SSC's... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 26th, 2014, 11:19 am 
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This thread seems focused on the negatives of collecting. Lets talk about the positives

1. Allowing people to collect fosters interest in herps, particularly in children.

Ok, so some people are going to claim they never collected anything. It is amusing to read the stories of old school naturalists. Such creatures as birds were regularly caught and brought home as pets. Today you cannot do so, not even something like a crow or raven which are incredibly common. Sure, a lot of animals will die, and some will be inhumanely treated. I feel the benefits far outweight these small costs. I feel we in our nature try to divide animals between those we harvest and those that are taboo. We shoot turkeys, not songbirds...Eat pigs, but not dogs...and so it goes on. So the black and white "collect or not?" is a very natural mode of thinking.

2. Perception that something is illegal is all that it takes to discourage involvement.
-If collecting is looked on as bad, then this by nature will discourage people from collecting. Even the "Oh that little lizard would be happier free, you should let it go" knee jerk reaction. I am not defending wanton and wasteful killing of animals sometimes displayed by children...but youth and adults should not be discouraged from bringing back finds in the field. Ecologically speaking, it matters not at all if a lizard is collected and kept in an awesome terrarium at home, kept in a pickle jar, pickled in a jar, or eaten with a side of pickles. Certain options are more educational than others, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 26th, 2014, 9:03 pm 
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It is good for an interest to be fostered and encouraged, especially if it leads to more people caring about our natural world.

But it is also important not to engage in fiction, and automatically assume the capture of an animal leads to a deepening interest in conserving our wild habitats, or learning about herps .

Very often it is simply the desire to have something alive to play with. This goes for adults and children.

So the the reasons and the option of leaving an animal in the wild instead of in a pickle jar, or a terrarium, should always be explored.

I do not think there are small costs when the opportunity for learning all of the ways we can enjoy and protect nature are examined, including not directly possessing it, are not explored.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 7:16 am 

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the only native herps I keep are used for public education herp talks, and the negative utility suffered (which is debatable, they are well-kept and safe from predation) by one individual herp, is far less than the positive utility garnered by the species at large, by people learning to live with them, and not kill them on sight. :) jim


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 7:22 am 
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hellihooks wrote:
the only native herps I keep are used for public education herp talks, and the negative utility suffered (which is debatable, they are well-kept and safe from predation) by one individual herp, is far less than the positive utility garnered by the species at large, by people learning to live with them, and not kill them on sight. :) jim



Does NAFHA know that you're collecting. OMG Jim that's against your club's rules. You're breaking the rules Jim.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 7:52 am 
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Sometimes I think people think they look or sound cool and sciencey if they take on a stoic affectation about herps, especially if they think scientists are looking on.

So they will make a point of being cavalier about the value of one animals well being, and the prevention of its misery, and keep referring to population ecology, etc.

Scientists are often as emotionally intelligent as they are smart in other ways. I can see in my minds eye the reactions of dismay at the fate of an individual animal in many discussions over the years.

If there be no regard about one Least, your meter of care may be hard to start period, beyond just talking chilly ideology.

I keep a uvb light, a small tank with a screen top, and a couple other things to loan to people who have caught a wild herp and "cant decide what they are going to do with it" .

So I give them the stuff on good faith until they decide, since there is a definite reluctance to purchase gear for an animal that was acquired for free.

I haven't had anyone keep any of the stuff, although they usually end up keeping it longer than planned before they are able to get their own.

That way it doesnt have to stay in the jar, or get released in the park.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 8:27 am 

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justinm wrote:
hellihooks wrote:
the only native herps I keep are used for public education herp talks, and the negative utility suffered (which is debatable, they are well-kept and safe from predation) by one individual herp, is far less than the positive utility garnered by the species at large, by people learning to live with them, and not kill them on sight. :) jim



Does NAFHA know that you're collecting. OMG Jim that's against your club's rules. You're breaking the rules Jim.


Now you're stalking me, from thread to thread, to attack me? :shock: If you had ever read the Nafha's bylaws, you'd know that collecting is only prohibited at official Nafha outings (like the National Meet) and what members lawfully collect/keep on their own, is up to them.
there's a name for what you're doing... it's called 'cyber-bullying', which is more and more, an actionable offense. Please stop harassing me.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 10:11 am 
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I see FHF as a wondrous amoeba, catagorically separated by permeable membranes. The opportunity for even more entities to develop is rich and inviting.

Respectfully, not knowing the origins of beef between you both, I can't help but comment as one who has followed each of your posts as among my favorites on the forum, that together you would make a dynamic combination, and that you both have such powerful herp soul.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 12:12 pm 
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The first animals I collected(bugs and then moving on up) were probably taken for very basic reasons, scientific research was certainly not the intention. I'm pretty sure that all babies/toddlers are fascinated with things that move-cars, wind up toys etc. Well, here are squirmy little things that move all on their own! And look! If you poke them-they move even more...my poor mom had to institute a "downstairs rule". That is, anything alive was to stay downstairs...which did not prevent me from smuggling dragonflies and daddy longlegs into my room.

That is how it all begins. You would be kidding yourself to suggest otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 12:21 pm 

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As a 5 yr old, living on base housing at Homestead AFB...I brought home a lizard, which bit me... so my mom made me let it go. Then I brought home a little water snake, that bit me...so my mom made me let it go, Then I brought home a little turtle, that left a triangular blood blister on my finger, where it bit me, and took a chunk out of my brother's finger, where it it bit him...so my mom made me let it go. Then I brought home a baby gator... and... well.. you know what happened... :roll: :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 12:50 pm 
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I would give anything sometimes, if I were kidding.

I'm glad the seed sometimes falls on vital soil.

But the option and reasons to not take an animal from the wild, should always be broached.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 1:00 pm 
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I do see your point. I do. And I try to nourish it when I see it. I do.
I am only offering a view from another angle, that is also a large reality, and incompatible with caring about nature, and the guys that live in it, and make it what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 1:10 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
I do see your point. I do. And I try to nourish it when I see it. I do.
I am only offering a view from another angle, that is also a large reality, and incompatible with caring about nature, and the guys that live in it, and make it what it is.


Kelly: Some people have frontal lobe developmental issues and unfortunately actually believe their own lies to justify their behaviors and as a result of this, are truly bereft of moral compass. This comment ofcourse is in no way directed at you. That's all I have to say here...


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 1:23 pm 

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Moral compasses come in various versions... Kantian, Ultilitarian. etc. and what is 'moral' depends on which compass one chooses to utilize. mine is the neo virtue theorist model... which points to the perfect mean between extremes... which I hope this reply conforms to. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 1:50 pm 
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Perhaps I see end means as my compass, and a casual enabling attitude as troubling somehow, and anti evolving for individuals and culture. I think it is very limiting to assume the only way people will care about animals is if they are easy ones to catch, and keep alive in restricted circumstances.

If we are to enable it in our attitude than we also must be willing to help harder.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 2:51 pm 

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Did you ever recovery your facebook access Kelly... you would be thrilled at the education, and rapidly spreading appreciation of ALL wildlife, by more and more and MORE members every week... (now over 4,000) at our High Desert Wildlife Group. A TRULY moral and noble grass roots movement... :D You would be so welcome and appreciated there... as would Hanna. :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 3:30 pm 
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No i thought my gf had it but it was myspace, I had FB briefly but don't want to do that again, is there any other way?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 5:27 pm 

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For years I refused to do the facebook thing...even though my daughter had set me up a 'homepage' years ago. But... as I've been again forced to mention elsewhere, at this site... Nafha has no rules regarding online behavior of members, and even if we did...abrogated moderating powers over to Scott Waters several years ago, so we can't pull a post or thread, for rudeness, vulgarity, cyber-bullying etc...if we wanted to.
On our FB wildlife page, here are but the first of a reasonable set of rules: High Desert Wildlife Group Rules

#1-Addressing Language: please keep all language family friendly-no obscenities. Keep it clean people!
#2-No defamation of character or name calling of page members will be tolerated.


People like Justin would be banned, just for what he said on this thread, and people really seem to appreciate that they can go to this facebook page, and not be abused... we are adding roughly 1000 members a month, and everyone is polite, friendly, and helpful...and REALLY appreciate the educational opportunity we (including many former and current Nafha members) present.
We have a network of wildlife rescuers all across the Victor Valley, and our response time is usually within min. We are organizing citizen science projects and even have an account at HERP, and 'regular folks' (some terrified of reptiles) are collecting pics/data on the herps they see, to be reviewed/submitted. We do more educating in one day, then ALL of FHF/Nafha does, in a month.. :shock:
It is, in a word...Astounding I haven't seen anything like it since the original 'ecology movement' from the mid-late 60's (which I joined as a 7th grader... :lol: )
It just occurred to me... WTF am I still doing here... :shock: Oh yeah...hope you make your way over there... I will miss talking to you and other friends I have made here. :(
Hopefully, a similar group will start up in the Bay area... I have a feeling this will in fact be the new paradigm in citizen science, and groups of our sort will start popping up EVERYWHERE... :D
https://www.facebook.com/groups/highdesertwildlife/


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 27th, 2014, 7:29 pm 
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Its very inconvenient to not have FaceBook, but it was too much traffic and sent countless things to my email that disturbed me slightly.

But The High Desert Wildlife page that I looked at online, made me want be there, everything about it was intensely cool, especially the rehab work.

It is a great place, truly.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 4:42 am 
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Joseph S. wrote:
The first animals I collected(bugs and then moving on up) were probably taken for very basic reasons, scientific research was certainly not the intention.


Maybe not the intention, but that is exactly what you were doing...taking an interest in an animal, collecting it so you could observe its behavior, which maybe led to further questions, and so on. :thumb:


Quote:
That is how it all begins. You would be kidding yourself to suggest otherwise.


I agree.

I also support parental tolerance of such behavior as you mentioned (my mom let me have various reptiles and amphibians, as well as a few other critters, but drew the line at "snakes, or anything that looks like a rat").

It's much preferred to the reaction I get from many parents at educational displays, who see the snakes and shepherd their children away, telling them, "Eww, yucky." :? I always try to engage them (diplomatically) to ask why they feel that way. I may not change their minds, but at a minimum the kids are exposed to a different perspective.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 5:16 am 
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hellihooks wrote:
For years I refused to do the facebook thing...even though my daughter had set me up a 'homepage' years ago. But... as I've been again forced to mention elsewhere, at this site... Nafha has no rules regarding online behavior of members, and even if we did...abrogated moderating powers over to Scott Waters several years ago, so we can't pull a post or thread, for rudeness, vulgarity, cyber-bullying etc...if we wanted to.
On our FB wildlife page, here are but the first of a reasonable set of rules...

Before I respond on topic, let me just say...

I think it shows extreme disrespect for this website's owner and community - that adds up to all of us who are happy to be here - to post here for the obvious purpose of encouraging folks to leave here for elsewhere. If you want to go then go, Jim.

It's nice to see you stand up to a bit of cyberstalking/bullying, though - even if you're apparently only willing to do so when you're the target of such misbehavior. :roll:

Don't enjoy my criticism of Jim too much, Justin; I agree with his assessment of your post to him above, and wish you'd knock it off.

Ok, back to this thread's dead horse of a conversation...

Joseph S. wrote:
The first animals I collected(bugs and then moving on up) were probably taken for very basic reasons, scientific research was certainly not the intention. I'm pretty sure that all babies/toddlers are fascinated with things that move-cars, wind up toys etc. Well, here are squirmy little things that move all on their own! And look! If you poke them-they move even more...my poor mom had to institute a "downstairs rule". That is, anything alive was to stay downstairs...which did not prevent me from smuggling dragonflies and daddy longlegs into my room.

That is how it all begins. You would be kidding yourself to suggest otherwise.

I'd say there's a lot more to it than simply an impulse to grab things that move. It seems amply clear that humans are inherently motivated to keep living creatures in captivity. And I see nothing whatsoever wrong with that impulse, either.

What's wrong is when people don't harness their impulses to their rational thoughts. I wouldn't dream of trying to teach a child (let alone an adult) "thou shalt not touch." Go ahead and touch - and collect, too, if you wish; I want you to be as connected as you can be to the wildlife and wild lands still around us. Just be sure to do it in accordance with the law and with deference to the animals' welfare and habitat integrity.

So many problems would be headed off if we simply emphasized to beginners of any age not "Don't collect!" but instead simply "Don't collect without a plan!" When I first moved to AZ the herping friends I made there were amazed at my lack of the typical newcomer's sticky fingers, my not wanting to bring home whatever prize a day in the field or a night on the roads might turn up. "Are you against collecting?" they asked. "Heck, no," I replied, "we just haven't come across any of my targets." See, before I ever even reached AZ I'd come up with a very short list of species I would collect and keep if found, and before I ever hunted for any of them I made sure that I was ready to provide for their care. (As best I could, anyway. I've always liked the challenge of keeping things that are little known or are known to be difficult. And I'm not about to pretend I've always been successful with them.) Sure, I thought the first glossy snake I ever found was awfully pretty and I was awfully tempted to take it home, but I hadn't planned on it so I didn't do it. And my first AZ coral - wow, like a glowing jewel in the night! - was a powerful temptation, too, but it hadn't made my list (and so I hadn't prepared for it) when I wasn't suffering such temptation, so why on earth would I hastily add it when my thinking was so much less clear? In all the time I lived in AZ and in the many, sometimes lengthy visits since, I collected but three snakes: my first AZ mountain king and a pair of Sonoran lyres. (Plus a number of feeder lizards to get the lyres started, of course.) Impulse harnessed to rational thought.

I know there are actually a lot of herpers who behave that way. Hopefully most who collect do so by the time they've been in the hobby any real time. But I know it's pretty rare among beginners, and not nearly as common as it should be among those who have been around longer, either. I'd sure like to see more effort put there than in some foolish campaign to get people to stop collecting.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 11:32 am 
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Quote:
I'd say there's a lot more to it than simply an impulse to grab things that move. It seems amply clear that humans are inherently motivated to keep living creatures in captivity. And I see nothing whatsoever wrong with that impulse, either.

You may well be right. E. o. Wilson's biophilia hypothesis. What is somewhat disturbing to me is today in many youth(or perhaps, people in my age group) this biophilic response seems strangely lacking. It is one thing to be afraid-but not interested? It strikes me as very sad-they are missing out on so much that would not only improve their quality of life but also potentially that of others. If some critters do die(and many did in my case) on the pathway of a child's learning about the natural world, to inspire a kid to study, research, and learn more...and perhaps really contribute to the field of knowledge, in educating others, and in meaningful conservation efforts-then IMO the "sacrifice" was well worth it. I would not be where I am at and pursuing what I am now if I was prohibited from interacting with nature in this way.


Quote:
What's wrong is when people don't harness their impulses to their rational thoughts. I wouldn't dream of trying to teach a child (let alone an adult) "thou shalt not touch." Go ahead and touch - and collect, too, if you wish; I want you to be as connected as you can be to the wildlife and wild lands still around us. Just be sure to do it in accordance with the law and with deference to the animals' welfare and habitat integritySo many problems would be headed off if we simply emphasized to beginners of any age not "Don't collect!" but instead simply "Don't collect without a plan!" ..............
..............I know there are actually a lot of herpers who behave that way. Hopefully most who collect do so by the time they've been in the hobby any real time. But I know it's pretty rare among beginners, and not nearly as common as it should be among those who have been around longer, either. I'd sure like to see more effort put there than in some foolish campaign to get people to stop collecting.

Gerry


Gerry this is excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 12:24 pm 
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Joseph S. wrote:
... If some critters do die(and many did in my case) on the pathway of a child's learning about the natural world, to inspire a kid to study, research, and learn more...and perhaps really contribute to the field of knowledge, in educating others, and in meaningful conservation efforts-then IMO the "sacrifice" was well worth it. I would not be where I am at and pursuing what I am now if I was prohibited from interacting with nature in this way.

You and me both, amigo! :beer:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 5:27 pm 

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gbin wrote:
I think it shows extreme disrespect for this website's owner and community - that adds up to all of us who are happy to be here - to post here for the obvious purpose of encouraging folks to leave here for elsewhere. If you want to go then go, Jim.


It is my hope that Scott takes my post for what it is... a 'heads up' that his business model of little to no oversight, is less attractive than what other sites are offering, and an impetus for leaving. Unvarnished honesty IS the highest form of respect, IMO (and BTW...thank you for yours). If he's smart (and we all know he is) he would reinstate moderating powers to the Nafha
gbin wrote:
It's nice to see you stand up to a bit of cyberstalking/bullying, though - even if you're apparently only willing to do so when you're the target of such misbehavior. :roll:


My crusading days are over... I've done my best for the last several years, to be an affable, contributing member, and actually... haven't really seen much misbehavior, other than what is directed at me, from one person.

In all fairness, there are things about the FB page that ARE NOT as good as what Scott offers here... such as the level of expertise available here... case in point Gerry... how long should a lyre, that refuses to eat, be kept, and are there any tricks you know of, to get a lyre eating?
With probably 50 wildlife questions a day, (mostly 'what kind of bug is this?', by brand new members) a query like that gets buried quickly, @ HDWG.
If I do leave the FHF forums, it won't be because I want to, it will be because I was forced to, by unprovoked attacks.

By way of getting this thread back on track, we, at HDWG do also discuss issues such as 'to collect or not', on a more basic, pedestrian level, more suited to the membership we serve.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 095&type=1
(post provided as comparative example, not promotion)
Which begs the question... which is more efficacious, and serve's/helps herps more... high-level abstract discussions, or 'taking it to the streets', per se...???


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PostPosted: June 28th, 2014, 7:56 pm 
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Thoughtful wild collecting with a plan, or a child keeping the salamander they found. I understand, would not want some kind prohibitive blanket. Of course not.

We can be all inclusive about input and aknowledge each others observations without defaulting to the same old Lets Debate Thing, cant we?

Im not crying boo hoo over the sceloperus that ends up over handled and passing away, but i do think it sucks, yeah, and i dont think it is the vivid segway to a future in zoology in the Great majority of cases. It usually isnt.

What troubles me the most are the herps caught by people usually on vacation in other locales, sometimes even out of state, that are kept for a while and then, when it steadfastly refuses to feed, or when the cost of acquiring proper caging are realized, they are released into native domains.

This happens regularly. The most troubling situations involve school teachers whom are remiss to do any research. The one that had me speechless was a teacher that made a field trip with her students to release animals here she had collected during her vacation in the Sierras, after having them in class for a semester.


So ironically, i put my back into it, to get people to keep the wild herps they catch, just so they wont let them go.


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PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 4:45 am 
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hellihooks wrote:
It is my hope that Scott takes my post for what it is... a 'heads up' that his business model of little to no oversight, is less attractive than what other sites are offering, and an impetus for leaving. Unvarnished honesty IS the highest form of respect, IMO (and BTW...thank you for yours)...

You weren't simply offering criticism of this website, Jim, and you know it. You were in fact redirecting people to another, potentially competing place online where you'd like them to go. In your more recent post you even went so far as to include a link to that other place to make it easier for people to do so. Let's not pretend otherwise, shall we?

hellihooks wrote:
https://www.facebook.com...
(post provided as comparative example, not promotion)

Uh-huh. R-i-i-i-ght. :roll:

So much for your honesty.

hellihooks wrote:
... Gerry... how long should a lyre, that refuses to eat, be kept, and are there any tricks you know of, to get a lyre eating?

Kelly Mc wrote:
What troubles me the most are the herps caught by people usually on vacation in other locales, sometimes even out of state, that are kept for a while and then, when it steadfastly refuses to feed, or when the cost of acquiring proper caging are realized, they are released into native domains.

This happens regularly. The most troubling situations involve school teachers whom are remiss to do any research. The one that had me speechless was a teacher that made a field trip with her students to release animals here she had collected during her vacation in the Sierras, after having them in class for a semester.

So ironically, i put my back into it, to get people to keep the wild herps they catch, just so they wont let them go.

I pasted these quotes together because they actually revolve around the same subject, and my reply addresses that subject...

I can certainly relate to your concern, Kelly. It seems I'm constantly encountering nature centers that think it's a good practice to catch and hold animals for a season and then release them, year after year, and it really sets my teeth to grinding. Even if those animals are being put back in the exact spots where they were found, such behavior is very ill-advised both in terms of the long-term prospects of the animals involved and the risks posed to their wild populations. It is also quite often blatantly illegal. If they feel their budgets can't support caring for those animals in perpetuity then they should 1) come up with alternative exhibits (i.e. not collect the animals in the first place), 2) have a plan in place for adopting the animals out to responsible caretakers when the season ends, or 3) humanely euthanize the animals when the season ends. Yes, I too think #3 would be a fairly despicable animal management plan, but it would still be preferable to releasing those animals back into the wild.

Jim, my answer to anyone who asks any question such as the one you posed about lyres is simple: You never collect and keep an animal for personal use and then later release it. See what I wrote above as to why not. Taking an animal out of the wild entails taking responsibility for its life thereafter and its eventual death. All the more reason never to do so without a solid plan in place beforehand, and all the more reason to put substantial effort into making the plan a success afterward. As I said, I've lost animals I've collected and tried to keep; indeed, one of the Sonoran lyres I mentioned collecting in AZ was a very young juvenile male that died within a year of my collecting him despite my best efforts on his behalf. I wasn't (and still am not, even after all these years) happy about that, of course, but at least the experience was instructive for me, particularly with respect to that species; I ended up an even more discriminating collector and a better keeper. In any event, such an outcome was a risk that I acknowledged and accepted before ever bagging the animal. That's when the hand-wringing, hard decisions should be made, not afterward.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 5:55 am 

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It seems surprising to me that more of this is not simply common sense. I would consider releasing an animal after exposing it to captive conditions to be far worse than simply killing it outright. I actually use 10% bleach on any equipment I use between locations from a fresh bottle and my field clothes go straight into the wash along with bleach. I actually even do that when I've visited other peoples' collections. I don't keep a big collection, but most of the animals I do have are not cheap.

I like the "collect but only if you have a plan" idea much better than impulse collecting. I also think there are a few situations where collecting is a bad idea. One example, Collard Lizards won't move through forested areas in MO to repopulate isolated glades. Where a small population of this lizards exists on a isolated glade surrounded by trees, I would not collect there. That energy would be better spent knocking down cedar trees than chasing lizards around. On the other hand, I would find it hard to believe someone could collect enough milk snakes to make any difference in the same habitat.

The other side of the coin is the animals we keep, their stories are part of the magic of keeping them. Knowing the history of the animal can make keeping it a richer experience. I think it will almost impossible in the future to convince the public that their daily activities are to blame rather than boogie man snake collectors and I expect that keeping snakes will continue to come under attack in a manner that makes little sense. Well intentioned nature centers and conversation employees often spread these myths, unfortunately. Snakes are probably the most docile and interesting animals to look for and the public should be encouraged to enjoy them.


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