A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Scott Waters » October 17th, 2011, 12:22 pm

chad ks wrote:
Daryl Eby wrote:
hellihooks wrote:I resign as moderator.
Thanks for trying! Seriously.

This discussion has become too unwieldy. I supported the idea of breaking it out into separate topics and possibly even a separate sub-forum. Your efforts to start some of those separate topics was helpful. Too bad all those new threads got consolidated back into this monster thread. The odds of converting all this discussion into a workable document just went from unlikely to impossible. Without some means to separate and deal individually with the many different sub-issues, this whole exercise will likely result in more harm than good. Every time we get close to moving forward on one point, three more points pop up and pull us back. Sad! :(
Daryl, I disagree with you. There's nothing sad about it, and this thread should be the one. If points continue to pop up, then good, that's supposed to happen.
LOL. Nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to FHF. This community has proven that many times over. Chad is right, this venting is a good thing. And sure, there will come a time to begin formatting some of these things.

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Re: Reptile behavior, for Bryan

Post by -EJ » October 17th, 2011, 12:37 pm

More insightful input. If you actually read through this thread I does show you the closness of this forum. To me it's kind of interesting.

Oh... ego... ehhh... I'll leave that alone.
justinm wrote:Wasn't there already a thread that nobody cared about (this one viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8296&start=325 )? Can't you just put it there, or wouldn't your ego let you? ugh some of you guys who want to argue are really pissing in my cereal.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by justinm » October 17th, 2011, 12:58 pm

EJ,

It's often helpful to proofread when trying to sound sage. Your lack of complete sentences and herp related content still astound me.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 17th, 2011, 1:21 pm

I really hope you're not that anal in real life... if you are... it's going to bite you in the arse.

As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?

I love you man...
justinm wrote:EJ,

It's often helpful to proofread when trying to sound sage. Your lack of complete sentences and herp related content still astound me.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 17th, 2011, 2:34 pm

Frank,
I'm sure you have a pretty full plate right now (defending your incoherencies) but I have a funny story for you. Josh (geckoguy) and I were cruisen for his lifer shovelnose several months ago, and we decided to chase a thunderstorm through a certain mountain range. We missed the actual downpour, but the dirt road was big puddle after puddle, and for a while, a running stream, and the temps dropped from 90 to 68.... :shock: We saw NOTHING until we got clear of the clouds and back to the desert proper, and the temps had climbed back up to 88-90. I remember remarking to Josh: "Wow... God sure cooled that place down!" :roll: :lol: :lol: :D jim

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by RobK » October 17th, 2011, 2:40 pm

-EJ wrote:As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?
Yes, it does matter "how it's conveyed" if you want your message to have its intended impact.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by VanAR » October 17th, 2011, 2:51 pm

I'm sitting out of most of this conversation (for now), but wanted to chime in on this:
As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?
I don't remember reading the post to which this refers (and I'm not picking specifically on EJ), but it absolutely matters how you convey a message, precisely because if you don't convey it in a manner that is understandable, the message is NOT conveyed.

Communications 101- how you communicate affects the ability of your intended audience to understand the message. Its one of the biggest problems I have with a number of the more prolific posters on this thread. I'm not naming names, but some of your posts are EXTREMELY hard to understand, and I'd wager that at least part of the reason why people disagree with you so much is because they can't understand what you were trying to say in the first place.

Its not the audience's job to decipher your hieroglyphics- its the communicator's!

Van

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 17th, 2011, 3:03 pm

Give that a little thought. If there is an error... the anal retentive will pay attention... yet another group has taken notice.

In reality... there was no intent. I wrote what I did and didn't give much thought as to the grammar.

The intent was to get attention...
RobK wrote:
-EJ wrote:As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?
Yes, it does matter "how it's conveyed" if you want your message to have its intended impact.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 17th, 2011, 3:12 pm

Key word... understandable. Does it really matter how it is spelled or placed in a sentence? I think most if not all understood even though it was not grammatically correct.

I recently submitted an article to a magizine. It would seem that much of it was not grammaticly correct. It was changed... and change the whole context of the article.

Last point... yea... I write the way I speak. Those that read my writings seem to like this... regardless if it is grammaticly correct. I do this because this is what I like to read.
VanAR wrote:I'm sitting out of most of this conversation (for now), but wanted to chime in on this:
As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?
I don't remember reading the post to which this refers (and I'm not picking specifically on EJ), but it absolutely matters how you convey a message, precisely because if you don't convey it in a manner that is understandable, the message is NOT conveyed.

Communications 101- how you communicate affects the ability of your intended audience to understand the message. Its one of the biggest problems I have with a number of the more prolific posters on this thread. I'm not naming names, but some of your posts are EXTREMELY hard to understand, and I'd wager that at least part of the reason why people disagree with you so much is because they can't understand what you were trying to say in the first place.

Its not the audience's job to decipher your hieroglyphics- its the communicator's!

Van

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Bryan Hamilton » October 17th, 2011, 3:21 pm

Hi Frank,

I’m not taking your posts personally, even though you’ve called me out by name….

I can see you are very frustrated with field biology and me in particular. I'm not arguing that studies can have negative effects on their subjects. Behavioral studies are particularly sensitive to effects of the observer on their subject.

How do you know what you are observing is "natural"? Simply observing the system has an impact. We can agree on that. Your behavioral questions are likely far more sensitive to observer effects than are my questions, which are related to survival, reproduction, feeding, and habitat utilization. I realize that the behavior of individual animals affects these variables. But why stop at individual behavior? Why not take things down to the physiological or biochemical level? At some point you have to abandon the reductionist approach to address the questions of interest.

We're obviously not going to agree on methods. Your methods as well as mine are flawed. That’s part of science. I’ve taken the time to get the approval of animal care use committees for my research and am using standardized, peer reviewed protocols to address my research questions. I hear what you’re saying about radio transmitters and PIT tags and I disagree with most of it. I’m always open to new methodologies though.

From what I can tell you watch snakes (do you still feed them?) and document their behavior. That’s cool. I’m doing something different. Maybe you can do a post on you research and give me a little more perspective on what you’re doing?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 17th, 2011, 5:58 pm

-EJ wrote:Key word... understandable. Does it really matter how it is spelled or placed in a sentence? I think most if not all understood even though it was not grammatically correct.

I recently submitted an article to a magizine. It would seem that much of it was not grammaticly correct. It was changed... and change the whole context of the article.

Last point... yea... I write the way I speak. Those that read my writings seem to like this... regardless if it is grammaticly correct. I do this because this is what I like to read.
VanAR wrote:I'm sitting out of most of this conversation (for now), but wanted to chime in on this:
As long as I convey my message... does it really matter how it is conveyed?
I don't remember reading the post to which this refers (and I'm not picking specifically on EJ), but it absolutely matters how you convey a message, precisely because if you don't convey it in a manner that is understandable, the message is NOT conveyed.

Communications 101- how you communicate affects the ability of your intended audience to understand the message. Its one of the biggest problems I have with a number of the more prolific posters on this thread. I'm not naming names, but some of your posts are EXTREMELY hard to understand, and I'd wager that at least part of the reason why people disagree with you so much is because they can't understand what you were trying to say in the first place.

Its not the audience's job to decipher your hieroglyphics- its the communicator's!

Van
I thought he was talking bout me... :roll: :lol: Which is pretty damn funny, when you think about it... :lol: :lol: jim
Either way Van... point taken.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Retes » October 17th, 2011, 6:45 pm

Hi Bryan , and thank you for your nice reply.

I am not frustrated with you in the least, I have a gut feeling your a good guy. But even good guys have to look the other way at times.

I am frustrated with the past methods and PEER baloney. hahahahahahaha Lately there are some and more will follow that are actually working in these areas.

I am not sure what you think I do, I have been on field studies, for a very long time. Mostly rattlesnake, with Dave Barker, and Hugh McCrystal, Bern Tryon, etc. Even thought I am a kingsnake, turned varanid specialist. In the field we do pretty much what you do.

In the field, I am the dog, I find the animals, hahahahahahaha Thats my job.

We have been doing a longterm Willard/lep tag and recapture study for over 18 years.

I did watch that site for a dozen years before that. Which gave me a little perspective on long term changes.

I have also been doing longterm observation on Diamondbacks and Gilas. Some pairs have be observed for over 32 years(gilas) and 22 years(diamondbacks)

At home, I do watch animals, this is were I have manned, based on the falconry term, many reptiles. Some diamondbacks have been coming in for 8 years, the coachwhips you have seen here, One was here last week, and Several spinys that stayed with me up to 8 years.

ALso three generations of roadrunners PESTER ME to no end.

THese animals teach me how they can manipulate their "normal" defensive behaviors to include a predator, me.

While they do not truely trust you, they do allow you in their behavioral circle. The roadrunners actually take me to their nests to feed their young.

What have I learned, well, all these animals teach others of their kind to use me, They learn by watching eachother. That includes the reptiles.

Oddly, all the longterm individuals are females. Males do not meed me, hahahahahahahahaha

Doing this has allowed me to observe breeding copulation and nesting. Which otherwise would have been difficult.

These animals come and go and at times are gone for over a year, and then return and "remember" exactly where and when do utilize me. They all are reluctant around other humans. And all are site specific. that is, away from certain areas, they are not so trusting.

of interest, the lizards and birds, seek me out, just to hang out, or entertain themselves. They appear to like to just be around and watch. The snakes not so much, they are more task driven.

The key with all these animals is, do not breach their defences. In otherwords, respect their behavior.

Last night a female atrox fed on three mice. As a neonate, she fed daily, now as an adult, she feeds in the spring and late fall. And is missing during reproduction.

Anyway, your reply was a bit like someone else that stated dirtbikes effect them dozers, all manner of other things so its Ok if I do too. Only your telling yourself that even the presense of your smell effects them, so picking them up and cutting them open is OK.

I think I have stated two important things, One, breaking their defensive behaviors should be avoided. And two, doing that can negatively effect their survival rate by causing them to avoid set routines. That is, the level we should be concerned with is where we cause disruption to a successful routine.

consider, with rattlesnakes, they utilize winter sites, breeding sites, rookerie, etc. They use them because they are successful doing so. Causing them to avoid those sites cannot be benefitual. CAN IT?

Consider, this site is NOT a science lab, we should set our area of ethics somewhere, shouldn't we. So ethically we should set it around the area where harm can come from our actions.

I think everyone is so heated for several reasons, one is, they somehow think they have to obey these ethics as if they are Law. correct me if I am wrong, a good percentage of folks BREAK THE LAW. You do not have to strictly obey ethics, but ethically, you could. Cheers

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 17th, 2011, 7:25 pm

Frank,
I have long respected your work in the field, but you have at best a rudimentary understanding of what ethics actually is. But that's ok... nobody can know everything, but please read my explaination of ethics, addressed to EJ.
As a bio psych student (neurophysiology) I would call BS on some of the claims you've made concerning reptile and avian cognitive abilities, but as a student of environmental ethics, I have been recently(several years) been focusing on a groundswell of scientific discoveries revealing higher abstract abilities in many Animals... from octopi to birds to 'lower' mammals, such as squirrels.
While reptile brains are 'less-developed', I have to admit I have seen what SEEMS to be a recognition, and behavioral repetition that approaches cognitive remembering, in some snakes and lizards and torts, (from desert to galops) I have worked with.
In fact... I have to admit that I rely upon a crotes reluctance to re-visit an area where they have had even one unsettling interaction with a human (me) when doing Crote relocations. I move them to a different part of their home range, (near as I can tell) and have yet to have one return to the capture site... :shock:
BTW... there is a new program on Nature, about crows passing down info, bout the people who tagged them, to their offspring. The offspring clearly recognized and followed the researchers... having never seen them before... :shock: jim

PS... anybody catch the GREAT pun I slipped in there... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol:

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by jonathan » October 17th, 2011, 11:07 pm

I wanted to summarize this very long thread, and ask what we could do from here to get to something constructive.

Here's what I've seen so far:

Chad started out with a great post. Read it. A number of people chimed in to support these issues being addressed.



Collecting

Psyon, BChambers, Jim, Brandon D., Kevin, and Mel support legal recreational collecting, but not commercial collecting. Kris and Chad Lane have no problem with legal collection, and Owen has no problem with it as long as it's not in his spots. Chris said that it’s hard to tell younger herpers not to collect when all the old-timers did it when they were young, and he said he doesn’t have issues with the collection of a specimen or two. Gerry generally supported controlled harvests but not uncontrolled harvests. JDM supported both personal and commercial collecting.

Van felt collecting was a debate of the past because most are no longer vocal on it. DragonJCO agreed. BChambers thought the personal collecting issue had become a “live and let live” subject, while commercial collecting was anathema to most.

Daryl suggested that collection is helpful in cases of habitat destruction, while Gerry and Bob thought we should be focusing more on stopping the habitat destruction. Paul White felt that focusing on habitat destruction was a losing cause in the long run, and we should focus on educating people on snakes and overcoming fears to help with first steps first. Kent and Bob thought we should fight on, even if lose sometimes. Lashinala2 was anti-development as well. Brandon D thought habitat protection should take priority.

There was a huge argument starting on page 5 over whether the term “field herping” involved collection or not, and the argument ended up extending into several additional threads that were long in their own right. Too much to summarize, but you can read the threads.



How we influence laws and regulations

BChambers thought laws should be data-based (with help from NAFHA), and in the absence of data should be conservative but reasonable. Kris supported data-based legislation, is wary of the unintended consequences of too many laws, and cautiously supported the regulation of collection until such data exists. Owen agreed with Kris. Jonathan supported data-based regulations and hadn’t seen any shift in NAFHA’s herpers rights/conservation focus. He also felt that NAFHA is having an influence on policy in California and gave examples. Jim referred to Article II of the NAFHA bylaws which addressed that NAFHA is about getting better data for both purposes of herper’s rights and conservation. Frank feels laws on non-profitable wildlife are politically motivated and have nothing to do with conservation. Vince supported herpers acting to conserve habitat and reform laws. JDM felt herp populations should be managed for use, not just protected. Jimi and others distinguished between conservation and preservation, says that policy should be data-based and developed by managers, not lawmakers. Several members affirmed Jimi’s contributions.



Sharing information online

Diamondback Dave saw a balance necessary in the sharing of information online, and wants more restrictions on who can access this shared data. Chad Lane now waits some time before posting trips online and shares many of the same thoughts as DBDave. Gerry thought sharing information is minimally impactful and probably does more good than harm. Brandon D thinks localities shouldn’t be posted too specifically but sharing is otherwise okay. Aaron said that he’s on the cautious side of posting but doesn’t support an elite forum. EJ and stlouisdude, were less worried about sharing information online, Daryl was more worried



Disturbing herps

Chad Lane had seen some snakes reappear at the same spot after disturbance, and some not. He felt that it depends on species and individuals. Van and BChambers felt that the hands-off policy has more to do with “preservation” than “conservation”. Frank said that most people here are ignorant of ethology, and feels that herps are more effected by our actions than we think. He supported some sort of herper enjoyment/herp middle ground.

There is way more discussion on this issue on pages 8 through 15, but there was too much for me to summarize.



Cooling herps

Jim felt cooling herps was questionable. Phil had never heard of it and didn't like it. Bryan admitted to doing it. Frank says it’s common. Daryl has done it and thinks it’s okay if the cooling is moderate.



Overall ethics list

El Bufo Grande, Jonathan, Jeremiah Easter, Joey, Jimi, Chris, and Gary supported making an ethics list. Gerry thought it was a great idea but doubted it would come to fruition.

Gary posted his own ethics list from californiaherps.com as well as Bill Love’s “herper etiquette”. Ribbit, Kent, Jeremiah, Van, Jonathan, PNWHerper and Jim supported Gary’s californiaherps.com page. Frank and Gerry didn’t support Gary’s list. Chad thought it needed changes.

Chad summarized a list of points based on the American Birding Association’s ethics format. It can be found on the bottom of page 6. Daryl and JDM suggested some edits on page 8. PNWherper praised it as well.

Gerald said that coming to a consensus on an ethics list is difficult, then showed what the Southwestern Herp Society had adopted. Chris suggested making ethical guidelines with a “degree of concurrence” on each one based on forum polls. Frank suggested drafting 5 people to write the ethics guidelines. He also wants more debate on actual specifics of herping ethics. Several people suggested an ethics forum, which was vetoed by Scott.




There were other things I left out, either because they were just fighting or because not many people picked up on the theme (like Jim's archetypes). There's also a discussion of the "are people more important than wildlife" question on pages 3 through 6. You can read the thread if you want to see everything. Where do we go from here?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Scott Waters » October 18th, 2011, 1:00 am

Well done! I am producing a Herp Nation LIVE (hosted by Dan Krull) segment on this topic. Anyone who wishes to be in the roundtable discussion (conference call), email me....

scottwaters at herpnation.com

scott

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Kent VanSooy » October 18th, 2011, 4:33 am

Nice Jonathan! Exactly what is need here, IMHO.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Phil Peak » October 18th, 2011, 7:01 am

-EJ wrote: I recently submitted an article to a magizine. It would seem that much of it was not grammaticly correct. It was changed... and change the whole context of the article.
Exactly! What you should take from this experience is the importance of self editing. No author should allow his or her work to be compromised simply because they failed to present an acceptable product.

Phil

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 18th, 2011, 7:03 am

Get people to agree to tackle one subject at a time, until some agreement is reached, before bring up the next topic? :thumb: Nice summary Jonathan... very diplomatic. :) jim

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Daryl Eby » October 18th, 2011, 7:14 am

Thanks for the summary Jonathan. I could nit pic, but doubt I could have done better. Condensing 15 pages of windbaggery down to a single concise post is quite a feat.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by jonathan » October 18th, 2011, 7:23 am

Jim - I agree. One topic at a time is good. I'm not sure about a single moderator though. The FHF (in my experience) is a pretty free-flowing place, and threads are moderated quite loosely. That fits the personality of herpers in my experience. If we get progress, it's going to have to happen collaboratively/organically.

And you're right Daryl, there are things in my own post I would nitpik too. I know a couple times I lumped some opinions together and oversummarized, and I probably favored the things I prioritized. I also left out some things, and got lazier and lazier as I got deeper into the thread. Hopefully anything really vital I left out will continue to be read and reiterated on the thread.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by JDM » October 18th, 2011, 7:43 am

A good and much needed summary, jonathan.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Don Becker » October 18th, 2011, 7:45 am

Jim referred to Article II of the NAFHA bylaws which addressed that NAFHA is about getting better data for both purposes of herper’s rights and conservation.
I talked with Chad about this on the phone briefly last night. I am of the opinion that if our goal is to collect data, that we can not also advocate for laws to be changed one way or the other based on that data. People will think we have a reason to skew our data our own favor. I hope that our data is used to make the right decisions, but I think if we ourselves are advocating either way for the laws, that people could see us entering data with prejudice. If we wanted a species protected, what would stop anyone from withholding data. If we wanted something unprotected, what stops anyone from forging data to make it look more abundant?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 18th, 2011, 8:08 am

Which is why you did not see it in print. It seems that there are many who do see my work as acceptable. Next book due out in Jan/Feb.

2 books in print... quite a few articles in Reptiles.

Phil Peak wrote:
-EJ wrote: I recently submitted an article to a magizine. It would seem that much of it was not grammaticly correct. It was changed... and change the whole context of the article.
Exactly! What you should take from this experience is the importance of self editing. No author should allow his or her work to be compromised simply because they failed to present an acceptable product.

Phil

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Phil Peak » October 18th, 2011, 9:29 am

-EJ wrote:Which is why you did not see it in print. It seems that there are many who do see my work as acceptable. Next book due out in Jan/Feb.

2 books in print... quite a few articles in Reptiles.

Phil Peak wrote:
-EJ wrote: I recently submitted an article to a magizine. It would seem that much of it was not grammaticly correct. It was changed... and change the whole context of the article.
Exactly! What you should take from this experience is the importance of self editing. No author should allow his or her work to be compromised simply because they failed to present an acceptable product.

Phil
My point is this EJ - Most authors are unwilling to allow others to edit their work to the extent that it is no longer their thoughts and words. If by necessity the editing is so heavy that the entire context is changed, you should recognize this as a problem. I'm not trying to be critical but rather constructive by bringing this to your attention. When we write books and articles it is important to us that it is our words, thoughts and concepts. Anything less should be considered unacceptable IMO.

Phil

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 18th, 2011, 9:33 am

Spot on... thank you.
Phil Peak wrote:
-EJ wrote:Which is why you did not see it in print. It seems that there are many who do see my work as acceptable. Next book due out in Jan/Feb.

2 books in print... quite a few articles in Reptiles.


Exactly! What you should take from this experience is the importance of self editing. No author should allow his or her work to be compromised simply because they failed to present an acceptable product.

Phil
My point is this EJ - Most authors are unwilling to allow others to edit their work to the extent that it is no longer their thoughts and words. If by necessity the editing is so heavy that the entire context is changed, you should recognize this as a problem. I'm not trying to be critical but rather constructive by bringing this to your attention. When we write books and articles it is important to us that it is our words, thoughts and concepts. Anything less should be considered unacceptable IMO.

Phil[/quote]

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by RobK » October 18th, 2011, 11:15 am

-EJ wrote:Key word... understandable. Does it really matter how it is spelled?
What if someone consistently posted field reports with out of focus photos and incorrect ID's? You offer constructive criticism and they respond with, "Does it really matter if the photos are in focus and the ID's are accurate?"

I'm not trying to bust your chops here; I get that you feel people understand your point, regardless of the spelling. However, to tie all this in with the topic at hand, using spell check is the ethical thing to do. It's all about the ethics.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 18th, 2011, 11:35 am

come on... not the same thing.

Sorry... I get a giggle out of putting it to another anal retentive individual.

What's one got to do with the other?

If it's not speeled right... it's unethical?????
RobK wrote:
-EJ wrote:Key word... understandable. Does it really matter how it is spelled?
What if someone consistently posted field reports with out of focus photos and incorrect ID's? You offer constructive criticism and they respond with, "Does it really matter if the photos are in focus and the ID's are accurate?"

I'm not trying to bust your chops here; I get that you feel people understand your point, regardless of the spelling. However, to tie all this in with the topic at hand, using spell check is the ethical thing to do. It's all about the ethics.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by JAMAUGHN » October 18th, 2011, 11:54 am

Jonathan,

Your summary is thorough and comprehensive. Thank you for that. I agree that it is something necessary at this point.

JimM

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Daryl Eby » October 18th, 2011, 12:18 pm

-EJ wrote:If it's not speeled right
I thank ... tha wurd your looken four is ... "spelt"

Can we get back to arguing about things that REALLY are related to herping ethics?

Have we agreed to focus on one issue at a time? If the current issue is EJ's writing style, can we table it and pick a new issue?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by -EJ » October 18th, 2011, 12:26 pm

That's the problem with anal retentive individuals... they focus on one specific thing and loose sight of the big picture...

I can't see why this is a big thing... but then I can... It looks like a control issue. Those that collect to no end... destroy habitat in the process... yea... I don't think they are reading this $hit. Tis is kinda preaching to the Kwier.
Daryl Eby wrote:
-EJ wrote:If it's not speeled right
I thank ... tha wurd looken your four is ... "spelt"

Can we get back to arguing about things that REALLY are related to herping ethics?

Do we even have a current hot topic? Have we agreed to focus on one issue at a time?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Dan Krull » October 18th, 2011, 1:04 pm

JONATHON! I wish I knew you were doing that! I was doing the same thing. :( Thanks though. I'm glad it's there.

I talked to Scott today about doing the round table, and I'm very excited, but a bit worried. This will surely be the most challenging Herp Nation I have ever had to do, but it could also yield some amazing results. I can't wait to hash this out.

One thing I would add, however, is this: I know that posts have a tendency sometimes to go one way or another on a subject depending on who posts the first few responses.

This thread has been heavily trafficked by those of us who are pro responsible personal collecting, anti commercial collecting, and pro conservation, but the anti collecting crowd has not spoken up. I don't know for sure if that is because of who responded first, but if that is the case... I would like to extend the invitation to anyone who would like to represent that point of view in the round table. There is room in the debate for a hands off point of view.

I look forward to discussing this with everyone!

Dan

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by joeysgreen » October 18th, 2011, 1:26 pm

I lost my post somehow so here's the quick rewrite.

Jon, thanks for the summary.

I concurr with the idea that we need to itemize our discussion in order to remain productive. The californiaherps.com (Gary's?) list seems like a good place to start as it's already an itemized list.
Chad, because you started this thread, and are a leader in this area, I vote that you start a new thread titled something like "Herping Ethics Point #1" and we can discuss and rehash point #1 off of Gary's list. When that dies down or we come to a concensus a "Herping Ethics Point #2" can be started.

Ian

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Scott Waters » October 18th, 2011, 1:42 pm

Lets keep it contained in here, for now. I know things have gone all over the place, but for now.....keep the ideas flowing.

scott

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by azatrox » October 18th, 2011, 9:31 pm

Jonathan,

IMO you did a wonderful job of cutting through the "fluff" of off topic rants/tangents/etc. and getting to the meat of the issues in your summary. Much appreciated.

While I think we should be moving towards consensus (or at least a greater understanding) of core issues that affect all of us, I think it's also important to recognize (and appreciate) the wide breadth of ideas we all have. So long as ideas and thoughts are expressed in a respectful way, I think everyone here has a right to express theirs. Even if said ideas run counter to my ideas of "what is" or what "should be", the originator of said views should be encouraged to express their thoughts. Even if someone were to post about how they believed commercial collection was ethical, or mass manipulation of animals at denning sites was ok (two things I'm personally against) that personal should be given the same opportunity to express their views as anyone else. The aversion to "group think" is something I think we should all encourage.

I think that's part of what makes this site so good...many different people from many different backgrounds with many different beliefs....That's not to say that "dust ups" won't happen (or shouldn't necessarily happen in some cases)....Intellectual, well reasoned discourse is the lifeblood of a healthy organization...Conflict isn't necessarily a bad thing....so long as said conflict is handled in a respectful, mutually expressive way...

-Kris

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by lashinala2 » October 19th, 2011, 3:28 am

(warning-partial fluff content) Regarding the 'collecting vs. anti-collecting' crowd, I'm kind of struggling with some issues:
I volunteer as a merit badge counselor for boy scouts, and specifically reptile care, so I guess in the end I'm indirectly encouraging it like it or not. And my son raises turtles in this capacity.
At the same time, I've come across people who were collecting 'crawdads' near a mountaintop in Huntsville...(to eat? to keep? to sell? who knows) and convinced them that these weren't the same mudbugs from the valley (the fact that they were living above 1300 feet on a mountainside should have given it away) and maybe they should leave them be. The crawfish were washouts from a cave...another vulnerable and irreplacable ecosystem. Had it been Tennessee cave salamanders the same ethic would have come into play. Obviously there are other issues that can be brought up....chytrid (Bd), ranavirus, etc. Anybody been to the Nashville Zoo and seen the display on chytrid? It's humbling to think that we could be responsible for so many extinctions through collecting and research...of the same herps we were trying to learn about.
In theory, the more experienced we get as herpers, the more cautious we become to ecosystem degradation as we witness it firsthand, time and time again. This wasn't as much an issue in the past as there had always been somewhere for the animals to run to, always another empty lot. As each checkerboard fills in on each map, green areas being replaced by beige or gray, each small 'metapopulation' dies out. It's not getting replaced by the one next to it as it was in the past. It's now a parking lot, a Walmart/Dollar General, houses, a road, or a field tilled 4-6 times a year by a guy barely breaking even. Good news for coyotes and rats, bad news for most herps, with a few exceptions.
At the same time, there's a price to pay for instructing a human being. We are complex, and usually need something personal, something 'to have and to hold' in our lives to change how we see something. There's nothing like your own personal collection of herps to show you how much care and attention (and money) is required to keep an animal alive in the artificial environments we create for them. It's expensive, both monetarily and environmentally, for humans to learn...particularly (IMHO) for males who usually only learn from several failures how to be successful at something. If everybody keeps a collection, it's obviously gonna have an affect on the environment (see tiger/bear parts in China kept in stores to be sold later) so a lot of people have assumed an 'I'm the exception to the rule' ethic that they can keep something that others couldn't. This is how the hyacinth macaw ended up where it is. Others will follow.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by JDM » October 19th, 2011, 9:41 am

lashinala2,

I too am a merit badge counselor for the reptile and amphibian study merit badge. The requirements do not say that you need to collect a reptile from the wild. They do not even need to keep a herp. They can keep a herp for credit, but they do not need to. I usually maintain my own captive bred corn snakes that can be used if they want to keep one for credit.

As a counselor, you should be informing the scouts that there are laws in relation to herps and what the local laws are. This should include letting them know about whatever legal licenses would be required if they decided that they wanted to collect something and instructions on being responsible in this regard. I think giving them a list of reasons to not collect and even encouraging the benefits of working with captive bred herps would be a great idea as well. Maintaining a collection of herps doesn't mean that they need to be wild-caught.

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Re: Hellihooks and ethics

Post by Retes » October 19th, 2011, 4:51 pm

Hello Jim,,

I think you are making my point for me. You stated that I have a rudimentry understanding of ethics, sir that is true and the point.

I ask to ask, you are you setting this ethics for? Advanced folks such as yourself, or for other newbies with a rudimentry understanding of ethics.

To me, you were being WAY to advanced, you're missing your target. The target is not highly educated folks.

Correct me if I am wrong but, I think the intended target is younger, inexperienced herpers, They are the individuals that will benefit from some guidance.

In a nutshell, most of the herpers I know were very hard on the animals and the habitat as youths, it took many of us, many years until we learned to be more sensitive to our animals and surroundings.

I think having a simple easy to understand, list of ethics will be far more effective them what you folks are talking about. In otherwords, your missing the target.

Which is something you, all of you have failed to define as well.

You folks really need to define a target, then define a method(the ammo), then define how your going to get this across(the gun) Then make your dang list(shoot the gun) The shooting is always the last thing you do. The first is, DEFINE THE TARGET, hahahahahahahahahahaha sorry I had to do that.

About the animal behavior you mentioned. I report what occurred. I reported it based on what the animals DID. Not what you read or studied, etc. But I am going to take this up on another thread.

What I find odd is again that old academic approach. Please understand, you can do what you want. But what you fail to do is look at observation in another way.

For instance, with academics, many folks here go in the field, they read all related papers, Then go in the field. That is what I call prejudiced. I think you/we would be better off learning non obtrusive methods of observation, then to TAKE DATA. A great example is, your telling me what their brains are capable of, based on what you've read. I am reporting what they DID. Period. Not how they did it. those two things do not have to go hand in hand. They indeed did X, how they do X is not based on your understanding of their brain. My guess would be, they are either not using that mechanism in the brain, or your understanding is flawed. The fact is, they did X.

For instance the discussion on snakes and hearing, many say, they cannot hear because they do not have eardrums/Tympanic membrane) The reality is, an eardrum or tympanic membrane is not required to hear, the inner ear is required in order to hear. An eardrum or tympanic membrane only defines HOW it hears, not that it hears. again I wander. Thanks and sorry

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 20th, 2011, 11:38 am

Frank,
Most people don't have a clear understanding of what 'Ethics' is... they think it's a set of platitudes that tell people how they should behave. In the simplest sense, this is true... the 'easy to understand' platitudes are the result of 'ethics'... which is all the well-argued and logical reasons that the platitudes are true, (or false) for SOME people, who happen to share that particular philosophical outlook.
People view life differently... for some, it's ALL ABOUT what pleases them..."Egoists' Others believe "Everything that you do, is gonna come back to you"... Altruists. "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"... Kantian Moralists or 'Golden Rule' (which BTW is contained in every major World Religion). 'Whatever serves the greatest good'... Utilitarianists. 'Moderation is the key to life'... Virtue Theorists. And there's roughly another 1/2 dozen other major 'stances'... :roll:

So when people with differing basic outlooks come together to discuss whats right or wrong regarding ANY behavior... there are going to be differences of opinion, because they don't all view things the same way.
The true job of an ethicist is to clearly, impartially and comprehensively detail ALL the REASONS a given action might be right or wrong, by either one, several, or all the existing perspectives.... and ONLY THEN, possibly suggest which one he/she might find the most logical or 'morally correct' way of seeing things and/or addressing specific behaviors.

So... in order to get these simple 'platitudes' or even ethical 'guidelines' that can be easily understood by everyone... A TON of work has to be done, at a very high level, to insure that what we recommend, as 'guidelines' can be supported as logical and morally correct, by AT LEAST, one moral perspective.

This is why, as moderator, I had suggested (back on pg 12):

Our opinions here at FHF, however, may or may not generalize to the world at large, and if that is the goal, we need to expand our scope of input (increase sampling size)
Now moderating, my opinions will not be expressed, so I'll need some input on
1) scope
2) process
3) resolution of term(s)
4) ethical topics


Sound familiar Frank? it should... :roll:
"You folks really need to define a target, then define a method(the ammo), then define how your going to get this across(the gun) Then make your dang list(shoot the gun) The shooting is always the last thing you do. The first is, DEFINE THE TARGET, hahahahahahahahahahaha sorry I had to do that."

We're saying the SAME THING, but one is slightly more, uhhh, 'coherent' ?
Bottom line... everyone brings to the table what they can... I'm not the most experienced herper, not the smartest, not the most educated, and not even (by any standard) the most 'moral' :roll:
What I can (and tried) to bring is some experience in Ethics and 'ethical discourse', and the structure and order required for this effort to succeed. And I know a lot of big words... but USE those words BECAUSE they MOST PRECISELY express what I'm trying to say... not to show off. :roll: :D cyaaaa... jim

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Retes » October 21st, 2011, 8:54 am

Again you reply shows what I am talking about. Your shooting over the target.

Your making the whole project far to complicated and for no actual reason. Your building a space ship, when whats needed is a skateboard.

I will use me for example. Anytime someone posts a long wordy post, 99% of the readers tune out most of it. Why, because this is not a place we WANT TO WORK. We come here to enjoy something. To have fun.

If your ethics are "too much" and anything over a sentence or two will be too much. Most people will simply not care to read or even think about them.

You mention some post way back in the begining. So I will too. I Just can't remember what page.

Proper trouble shooting technique, and in this case it is, simplest things first. Jim thats how you get things DONE. Just the whats easy and simple. If not, you will go on and on and not get anything done. Which is what is happening.

Lets actually talk about "those ethics" Oh, you have not come up with anything yet. Your sorta copying someone elses set of ethics. Cool.

As I have mentioned many times, my only concern about THIS FORUM is, two things.

1.The impact on the INDIVIDUAL snakes(herps).
2. The impact on the habitat and the enviornment.

This site is a gathering of people that do one thing, go in the field and find herps. So the above two things are THE CONCERN.

Which is why I and other serious field herpers, do not post much(actual content) on here.

You talk about ethics yet the use and creation of AC lines is promoted here. You do understand, thats illegal to do in most cases.

ALso using AC lines is behaviorally altering the animals natural behavior. Your attracting individual animals to behave in a way that was not there before people placed boards or tin(ac). AC lines are nothing more then a trap for people to FIND, secure and manipulate herps. I do not believe anyone here observes the herps under AC.

So the folks here rationalize that AC is good, because it serves a purpose, it traps(attracts) animals.

So are AC lines ethical? within this group, or outside this group?

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by muskiemagnet » October 21st, 2011, 9:42 am

ok, per request, i am going to get into this discussion. unfortunately, i cannot make it through the whole thing.

i got the jist at the beginning, but at the end, it seems like there is movement to get these "ethics" on paper. that's cool by me. i will pm to find out where this is right now. i'd like to be involved. i do have some stuff to say that i was thinking about while reading the beginning two pages.


it makes me happy to see the fruits of conservationism. i believe that this nation is on the verge of finally really being able to see it. i was looking through a birding field guide recently, and i realized where we have come. this, i believe holds true in all aspects, and not just birds. it's a testament though. rachel carson wrote "silent spring". i believe it was in the early sixties. DDT was the topic. this sparked a movement. DDT was banned, and the water birds survived.

i read the field guide to get acquainted with my local wisconsin birds. i can't find it to be a birder, but i just wanted a base. the field guide was published in the mid-ninties. whooping cranes, white pelicans, american egrets. these birds were not even mentioned to be in wisconsin, but they are. except for the crane, they are flourishing. hooray for rachel carson.

gray wolves in yellowstone. another success. even after much legal issues. the science taken from this is amazing. the health of yellowstone is much better. pronghorns are doing better. elk are less. riparian areas are growing back(due to less elk) thus creating food for an expanding beaver population. songbirds are nesting in the willows in said riparian areas. all from what? the presence of an apex predator.

we are seeing it now. aldo leopold, john muir, and many others set this in motion a hundred years ago. again, we are seeing it now.

that being said, i think the debates that have been going on are good, but i think we are putting too much into it at times. the biggest one that i have been involved in is the "how do we affect timbers at the dens" debate. i agree we do, but what are we doing? we will never know. too many factors to consider. let's face it, the snakes will survive. they may become more reclusive, but that can only help them. we need to remember to compare. then vs. now. timbers were being eradicated in wisconsin until '75. they are doing well. can they do better? sure. the current active densites in the state are healthy and getting better. range expansion will follow. let's not beat ourselves up for having a negative impact. most of us "tread lightly", and this is what we should be doing. keep it up. do not forget that these snakes have survived far worse than this. the argument that activity is changing. maybe, but this is normal. we live in an ever changing world. you and i have had to adjust our whole lives to change. what makes you think that animals don't do this? it's necessary.

one more point. i know i'm getting long-winded.

habitat. habitat. habitat.

let's use whatever influence we may have to help the organizations who save/restore habitat. my greatest timber memories were made possible by the nature conservancy. these silly debates may not have to happen if we have "timbers coming out of our ears".

conservation is a long process. it takes lifetimes to see. let's try to take a step back once in a while. everyone here deserves a pat on the back. we are here, and discussing "our" future.


-ben

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Jimi » October 21st, 2011, 10:53 am

Jonathan - thanks for the summary. This is an epic-long sticky, it needed some digestion & synthesis.

Just one refutation:
Jimi and others distinguished between conservation and preservation, says that policy should be data-based and developed by managers, not lawmakers.
I'd never, ever say policy should not be developed by lawmakers or at least elected or appointed people. Never. In the Public Trust Doctrine schema, "the public" are the beneficiaries of the trust, and "the government" are the trust-fund managers and the trustees.

It is crucial to keep in mind some distinctions within the term "the government". Policymakers - elected and appointed officials, AKA "publicly-accountable people" - are the trustees. Staff - hired professionals; "professionally-accountable people" - are the managers. Managers develop and use "narrow-band" (species, habitat, ecology, etc) data; policymakers use data too, but I'd call it "broad-band" data - they MUST add economic & social considerations, for example.

Wise policymakers/trustees talk to beneficiaries AND managers to decide what the best overall policy is, then direct managers to execute (as in "executive branch") that policy. But managers don't, or shouldn't, make policy. It's "above their pay grade", and anathema to small-r republican or representative democracy.

Thanks all, for bearing with the junior-high civics lesson. We can all get wrapped around the axle if we forget this stuff. Look at the country right now. Anyway, if you don't like how herps are managed in your state, don't talk to the staff (i.e., hired people), talk to the Wildlife Board or the Director (i.e., elected or appointed people). Those are the lowest-level policy guys in wildlife management. Staff execute the Board's, or the Director's, or the Legislature's, or the Governor's policy - not their own; at least that's how it's supposed to be. If things look different to you, speak up with your policy people. Never forget you're the beneficiaries of the trust fund; it's your stuff. If you have a beef with management of the trust, bring it up with the trustees, and let them handle the managers. And if the trustees are the ones at fault (e.g. by letting the value of the trust principal be degraded), then work to correct or replace them.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by hellihooks » October 21st, 2011, 11:02 am

That's fine Frank,
Lets talk about laying boardlines. Most are made by redistributing already illegally dumped ac (which is personally all I've ever done)
It's like finding a sally or frog under a cow patty... cows ain't indigenous, and neither are their piles of crap. Or... consider finding black widows in your garage... compared to how many you see out 'in nature'

Your basic 'philosophy' seems to be that people are separate from the natural world, and anything we produce is 'not natural' Others will invariably argue that people ARE a part of the natural world, and even all the debris we generate is natural as well. See? Different basic philosophies produce opposite conclusions. We will see this for EVERY SINGLE TOPIC that comes up.

The 'moral value' of a 'boardline' lies not in the boardline itself... but rather in the motivations of the person who laid the boards. If you lay out boards, simply to gives herps a good place to live, with no intentions of ever returning... I find that hard to oppose from any perspective. On the other hand, a lot of people would find a commercial collector, laying out boards to collect every herp he/she can find....'morally questionable'.

Jeff Lemm has boardlines at the WAP, which he uses to collect data on reptiles, which is used for the benefit of the species at large, so IMO, HIGHLY ethical. Herps don't know that boards aren't natural...they just naturally employ the best micro-habitats they come across.

If a boardline is NEVER flipped... is it a boardline or just a great place for a herp to live? That's 'ETHICS' Frank... the 90% of the iceberg that's below the surface... not the 10% we see as the 'topic'. I'll leave all the other aspects of 'boardlines' (and there should be a ton) for others to address, as they see fit, and according to the positions they hold.... :D jim

Edit.. Jimi... Social Justice Theorist... welcome aboard... :thumb: Chad's area of expertise, I believe. :D

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by jonathan » October 21st, 2011, 12:56 pm

Thanks for clarifying Jimi. This is the statement you had made that I had gotten that conclusion from. I now understand it slightly differently with the clarification you have given:

Jimi wrote:
Would you support legislation that permits collection of a species without sufficient data to suggest that the collection is sustainable (this is the default position as it appears to me)?
I prefer that managers do the managing. Utilization of a particular species is "down in the weeds" enough to qualify as management, not policy. Trustees do policy. Elected and appointed people are policymakers. Hired help are managers. It might be that this "default position" is the implicit policy (established by elected & appointed bodies or individuals) of some states; if the beneficiaries think their trust fund is being depleted, then bring it up with the trustees. I think it is proper that the trustees establish liberal policy in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Phil Peak » October 21st, 2011, 2:34 pm

Retes wrote: You talk about ethics yet the use and creation of AC lines is promoted here. You do understand, thats illegal to do in most cases.
ALso using AC lines is behaviorally altering the animals natural behavior. Your attracting individual animals to behave in a way that was not there before people placed boards or tin(ac). AC lines are nothing more then a trap for people to FIND, secure and manipulate herps. I do not believe anyone here observes the herps under AC.

So the folks here rationalize that AC is good, because it serves a purpose, it traps(attracts) animals.
Unless one is trespassing or dumping illegally I'm not aware of any states regs that specifically outlaw the deployment of artificial cover (AC). I'm certainly no expert on the law but, this is news to me. Also Frank, please consider that the animals natural behavior is not being altered. They are doing what they have always been doing (thermoregulating, digesting meals, hunting for prey, gestating young, searching for mates, preparing for ecdysis, etc..) only in a different situation. The laying of AC only helps to facilitate these activities and gives the herper some measure of control. These are not traps since snakes come and go as they please. And YES, AC is good. In some regions of the country it is probably the most effective way to reliably locate snakes. If the deployment of AC helps researchers learn more about the distribution of species, population densities, activity periods, habitat utilization, etc.. then why would this be unethical? This is not a competition. The goal should be learning more about the snakes themselves and how we can contribute this data to assist in the development of effective conservation strategies.

Phil

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by ugh » October 21st, 2011, 2:41 pm

Phil Peak wrote:
Retes wrote: You talk about ethics yet the use and creation of AC lines is promoted here. You do understand, thats illegal to do in most cases.
ALso using AC lines is behaviorally altering the animals natural behavior. Your attracting individual animals to behave in a way that was not there before people placed boards or tin(ac). AC lines are nothing more then a trap for people to FIND, secure and manipulate herps. I do not believe anyone here observes the herps under AC.

So the folks here rationalize that AC is good, because it serves a purpose, it traps(attracts) animals.
Unless one is trespassing or dumping illegally I'm not aware of any states regs that specifically outlaw the deployment of artificial cover (AC). I'm certainly no expert on the law but, this is news to me. Also Frank, please consider that the animals natural behavior is not being altered. They are doing what they have always been doing (thermoregulating, digesting meals, hunting for prey, gestating young, searching for mates, preparing for ecdysis, etc..) only in a different situation. The laying of AC only helps to facilitate these activities and gives the herper some measure of control. These are not traps since snakes come and go as they please. And YES, AC is good. In some regions of the country it is probably the most effective way to reliably locate snakes. If the deployment of AC helps researchers learn more about the distribution of species, population densities, activity periods, habitat utilization, etc.. then why would this be unethical? This is not a competition. The goal should be learning more about the snakes themselves and how we can contribute this data to assist in the development of effective conservation strategies.

Phil

Can't disagree with most of this but while laying out AC may not be altering their behavior(this is debatable even) it is unquestionably altering habitat and is essentially trapping snakes,just not in the conventional sense of the word,maybe better described as baiting them?luring them?still comes down to timing at that point though of course.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by muskiemagnet » October 21st, 2011, 3:56 pm

boardlines? who cares? herps will use whatever they have. if the boardlines didn't exist, they would be fine. the only negative i can see is that these lines can attract the wrong people. unethical? no debate. it doesn't matter. selfishness, maybe. it's harder to find numbers in the natural state. boardlines are for those who want numbers. is there a possibility said lines may be exploited, yes. can they be used for beneficial reasons? yes. ethics is of no concern here. the only way one can see ethics in this tangent is if the placement of the AC might ultimately be exploited by a bad seed. so yes then, don't lay out boardlines.

i see that we are arguing silly details. "herping ethics", that's the topic. yes, boardlines play a role, but we cannot go so deep before understanding this as a whole. are harpers creating a negative impact on herps? i do not believe so.

let's face it, we will never attain utopia. we cannot. as the human race strives to survive, others will fail. that is the stewardship that we MUST strive for. it may seem simple, however, it is not. as of now, we are fine, as a race that is. a hundred years from now, it may not be this way.

wilderness areas. they are not wilderness. a fire breaks out. politicians see the enormous wealth being burned up. they cut roads for fire crews. now citizens want to use these roads for "recreation". now the asses bring in there hummers and decide that getting muddy is fun, thus destroying a wetland. the organisms within said wetland are disrupted/or perish. it will go on and on. why? money. that's what started the whole thing.

what happens when the crops fail in any given year? what happens when we cannot feed ourselves? did we set aside a wilderness prairie? this prairie may hold the answers to the questions we now face. detrimental questions. i've stated it before. habitat, habitat, habitat. there in lies the answers. if we do not hold on to this, the answers will be lost forever. answers lie in a wilderness area. i believe we need to coexist in soooooo many ways. this is one of them. if we neglect something, we may be causing our own demise. politicians F things up. when cash is involved, nothing goes right.

this is where the herps are involved. they are part of the ecosystem. we all love a minute part of this system. if we choose to be selfish, we stand to lose what we want. it's a large system that science will never fully understand. knowing this, why would we not want to save all of it? unfortunately, this is selfish as well, but our survival hangs in the balance. it's now necessary.

i encourage everyone here to read "a sand county almanac". this book was written by aldo leaopold. he was a visionary of conservation. READ IT!

we are at a point in existence where we are starting to see what we can accomplish. we can make it work.

a spot i frequent has a great population of blanding's turtles. this area was logged in the first part of the last century. drained for agriculture. unsustainable during the depression. land defaulted back to the state. millions were spent to restore the property back to the original wetlands. this happened in the mid sixties. now there is an extremely healthy wetland. the end result is that blanders survived. they are doing extremely well.

these animals will survive. let's stop blaming ourselves for silly stuff.

the point of this topic is to explore our actions. other topics have eluded to our "detrimental affects". let's not get carried away. this ethics question, in my opinion, has gotten way out of control. keep it simple. if we do this, the animals will be fine on there own- as long as we give them a home.

-ben

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Owen
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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by Owen » October 22nd, 2011, 9:31 am

Boardlines seem no different than a man made reef. On the negative, they can concentrate animals into one spot making them easier access to predators. On the other hand, it can bring mates together. There really aren't any boardlines around me and while I do check the one area I know every month or two, I wouldn't go out of the way to set one up since I have plenty oportunity to observe animals without it.

I did get a fresh perspctive on ethics this last week when I needed to rescue a Pied-billed Grebe from a fish hook in the foot. That is that the habitat should be as unaltered as possible and when you leave, it should be as free of man made hazards to wildlife as legally possible. After freeing the bird (I'll post the account in the birding forum), I cleaned up all the trash and fishing line on that section of shorline... OK, I didn't grab the syringe (bad ethics?), but I left it minus debris otherwise.

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Re: A Discussion of Herping Ethics (warning: long winded)

Post by stlouisdude » October 23rd, 2011, 8:09 am

Maybe calling it ethics is not the way to go, sounds stodgy and authoritarian. How about "Suggested Best Practices" and the list should be separated by region since there is a trend for people in different areas to have different concerns and methods. Just a thought.

I do not know of any issues related to putting out boardlines. Basically, you are just creating the same kind of conditions that already exist in nature (say large, flat rocks), but with the added benefit that you won't accidentally drop them on the creatures beneath and it can be placed in areas lacking sufficient natural cover to otherwise effectively search.

Retes
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Re: About boardlines, and ethics

Post by Retes » October 24th, 2011, 8:17 am

This is exactly why this site needs some friggin ethics. You guys can rationlize your way to heaven.

Boardlines are NOT NATURAL, they are put there by man. Therefore, they offer a choice that WAS NOT THERE BEFORE THEY WERE PLACED THERE. Before you place your boardlines the individual snakes were behaving naturally, that is, they were in the ground using holes close to the surface, rocks, bark, plant layers, to gain heat. NOT FLAT BOARDS or tin or rug. Those allow you the herper easy access to the herps, A ACCESS that is not natural and was not there before man put it there.

That you rationlize its natural is only you defending your approach. Period.

Spreading Boardlines is LITTERING, and littering on public or private land ILLEGAL.

That you somehow think its not litter or garbage or trash is again you rationalizing its something of beauty or whatever. Its trash to everyone else.

Its ok if you ask permission to place this trash on someones property, or even public lands. But its still trash. I hope some of you are old enough to understand, hunting TRASH piles is where the boardline idea CAME FROM.

It was a simple thought process, move the trash from areas where there were few snakes(non productive) to areas where there were more snakes(very productive) Its STILL FRIGGIN TRASH.

And Hellihooks, you seem to take everything personal. For instance, you said, you only move TRASH from one place to other. Sir, I can guarantee, others take boards and tin and place them all over.

Even worse is can trapping, which is illegal here in Arizona. I find can trap lines all the time. Of course I destroy them when I find them.

Jim I am glad your an innocent happy naive herper. But if you lived here in So Az. for any lenght of time. You would loose that naivity.

For everyone of you nice guys(respect for herps and enviornment) There are 50 bad guys that will do anything to GET THEIR TARGETS. Pics or herps.

A high percentage of those bad guys started off being nice, that is until they couldn't find that target species(poached, collected, photographed, life list, etc) It doesn't matter. They then go to the next level to find that animal, then the next. Until they have flipped everything that can be flipped. and sirs, that IS THE WAY IT IS. Which is why a growing site like this one needs ETHICS.

Ethics can possibly guide the nice guys, but will do nothing to the vast majority of herpers who are not so nice.

So yes, Phil, boardlines are NOT NATURAL, therefore, snakes using them is unnatural. A point I tried to get across to you many years ago is, WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITHOUT THE BOARDS, Its what they do without them thats natural and teaches you about THOSE SPECIES. Not how they use a boardline.

In the end, a boardline is a TRAP. its a tool to intice herps from what they do naturally(where you cannot find them) to a place where you can GET THEM(for your individual uses) Its not natural. the behavior to seek temp choices is natural, you placing a structure there to intice them to a particular spot is not natural.

I am not saying don't do that or do that, I am saying you folks need to CONSIDER, think about, etc, what your doing, not rationlize everything to your advantage. WHICH IS WHAT YOUR DOING.

Events like,

Boardlines

Radios

Posing for pics

manipulating for a multitude of reasons(handling etc)

All of those are you YOUR BENEFIT, for human benefit, none are for the benefit of the animals.

So let the rationalizing continue, at least offer some ethics.

The nice thing about ethics is, you do not have to use them. Cool huh? But at least if your aware of what your doing, you could kinda feel a little bad when your messing with animals.

But heck no, you do not want to feel bad do you? So you rationalize your bums off. Nice

p.s. this was again several rants numbers, 345320a and 6684b, thanks

RobK

Re: About boardlines, and ethics

Post by RobK » October 24th, 2011, 8:58 am

Retes wrote:All of those are you YOUR BENEFIT, for human benefit, none are for the benefit of the animals.
Since you didn't answer my question the last time I asked, I'll ask it one more time. Do you apply these same ethics you're suggesting just for herps or to all animals?

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