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 Post subject: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 8:18 am 

Joined: April 6th, 2013, 8:47 am
Posts: 15
Interested in what people keep on here, venomous wise.

I currently have:

1.1 Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan pit vipers)
1.1 Bothrops asper (Tercipelo)
1.1 Bitis rhinoceros (West African Gabs)
1.1 Crotalus cerberus (Az black rattlesnake)
1.0 Crotalus stephensi (Panamint rattlesnake)
1.0 Crotalus enyo enyo (Baja rattlesnake)
1.0 Crotalus vergrandis (Uracoan rattlesnake)
1.0 Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus (South western speckled rattlesnake)
1.1 Crotalus molossus nigrescens (Mexican black tailed rattlesnake)
0.1 Naja siamensis (Indo-chinese spitting cobra)
0.1 Naja kaouthia - Suphan (Monocled cobra)

And will be picking up the following in March:

1.1 Bothrops atrox (Common Lancehead)
1.1 Bothrops moojeni (Brazilian Lancehead)
1.0 Bothrops brazili (Brazil's Lancehead)
And hopefully some Forest Cobras, and an atrox!! Rattlesnakes are my favourite, and i still haven't got an atrox..not good.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 9:30 am 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 686
Location: AZ.
Wow, you have International exotic taste. Years ago I kept Crotalus/Agkistrodon, but no more. Having a truly secure facility is an issue, so I don't keep hots. Sometimes I make mistakes, and I have had a few herps escape, so without redundant protocols (an escape proof secure building) I won't take the risk.

I have always been fascinated with Bitis and various tree vipers, they are amazing but I will enjoy seeing others collections.

Good luck and be safe, Vic


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 9:49 am 
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Joined: March 1st, 2011, 10:26 am
Posts: 379
Location: NorCal
Living in California I'm pretty limited by what's legal, but I have 2.2 C. atrox (2 amelanistic, 2 hets) both males are het for multiple mutations. I also have one C. mitchellii CB from a wild gravid female. It's nothing special color wise, but speckleds are one of my favorites. I also have a nice group of Rio Fuerte beaded lizards.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 10:34 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
Posts: 878
I've got:
0.0.2 eastern cottonmouths
0.2.0 southern copperheads
0.1.0 carolina pigmy rattlesnake
3.3.0 canebrake rattlesnakes

I am trying to acquire an EDB or two, and a dusky pigmy.....anyone know of any out there?
--Berkeley


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 1:35 pm 

Joined: April 6th, 2013, 8:47 am
Posts: 15
Berkeley Boone wrote:
I've got:
0.0.2 eastern cottonmouths
0.2.0 southern copperheads
0.1.0 carolina pigmy rattlesnake
3.3.0 canebrake rattlesnakes

I am trying to acquire an EDB or two, and a dusky pigmy.....anyone know of any out there?
--Berkeley


Nice, I love canes/timbers. Hoping my mates pair drop some babies next year!

gila-91 wrote:
Living in California I'm pretty limited by what's legal, but I have 2.2 C. atrox (2 amelanistic, 2 hets) both males are het for multiple mutations. I also have one C. mitchellii CB from a wild gravid female. It's nothing special color wise, but speckleds are one of my favorites. I also have a nice group of Rio Fuerte beaded lizards.


Speckled's are nice little rattlesnakes. Do you have a pic of the amelantistic atrox?

VICtort wrote:
Wow, you have International exotic taste. Years ago I kept Crotalus/Agkistrodon, but no more. Having a truly secure facility is an issue, so I don't keep hots. Sometimes I make mistakes, and I have had a few herps escape, so without redundant protocols (an escape proof secure building) I won't take the risk.

I have always been fascinated with Bitis and various tree vipers, they are amazing but I will enjoy seeing others collections.

Good luck and be safe, Vic


Thanks!

Bitis are stunning animals! Especially Gaboons. I used to keep some tree vipers, but I prefer terrestrial vipers.

This is my favourite snake in my collection: Image


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 2:07 pm 
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Joined: March 1st, 2011, 10:26 am
Posts: 379
Location: NorCal
Is that a young Crotalus cerberus?

I don't have any decent pictures of the atrox yet, but I will see what I can do.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2013, 2:44 pm 

Joined: April 6th, 2013, 8:47 am
Posts: 15
gila-91 wrote:
Is that a young Crotalus cerberus?

I don't have any decent pictures of the atrox yet, but I will see what I can do.


Indeed it is!


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2014, 8:42 am 

Joined: January 30th, 2014, 3:40 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Milton Pennsylvania
I keep a wide variety of American vipers
with the exception of the Mojave rattlesnake their venom scares me.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 1:11 pm 

Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 5:43 am
Posts: 201
Location: north central Ma
I'm curious where you folks get your hots, particularly US crotes. Are there classified adds for rattlesnakes?
My interest is that I hear so much about the demand of poachers for timbers. I've always argued not much market out there. Wondering if I'm wrong?


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 1:55 pm 
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Joined: August 31st, 2011, 1:33 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan
I won't name the sites on here, but a quick Google search will show you just how big the market for venomous snakes is. It's much more of a presence in our community than you might think. You can find a huge variety of poached crotes out there. If you're concerned about buying a poached reptile, beware the abbreviation, "LTC.'' Long-Term Captive snakes offered for sale are often poached. It seems that a classification meant to assure buyers that the sellers' wild-caught stock is suited to captive life has been perverted by poachers to circumvent laws restricting commercial collecting. Case(s) in point: 80-90 percent of all of the ads I see for wild-caught Arizona rattlesnake species.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 2:23 pm 

Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 5:43 am
Posts: 201
Location: north central Ma
Thanks Joshua, although you don't make me happy. I haven't done the google search yet but I will. Seems I may have been using an invalid argument by claiming there aren't many timber poachers. Damn and double damn. Damn cause poachers suck and double damn cause I have admit to flawed argument. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 5:13 pm 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
I won't name the sites on here, but a quick Google search will show you just how big the market for venomous snakes is...

How would it do that, exactly? By showing that venomous snakes are for sale from one or more sources, by stipulating prices for them, or by documenting how many are actually changing hands? Seems to me the last of those is really the important statistic, as the first two might just be wishful thinking on the part of hopeful sellers.

And more importantly, how exactly can you tell the legal status of whatever is being sold (or trying to be sold)? Obviously if there is absolutely no possibility of a given species being sold legally, then any offers of it for sale are a sign of illegal activity (though it still doesn't tell you whether or how often those offers are actually finding takers.) Short of that, though, you're making a mighty big assumption if you're labeling it poaching without evidence.

On mikez basic question, though, I have seen firsthand that there are indeed plenty of hot keepers out there. I've met quite a number of them, I've seen some of their private collections, and I've even been to a few of their shows (where pretty arboreal pit vipers from abroad were clearly the main attraction, though U.S. rattlesnakes and other pit vipers certainly had their fans, too). Not for me, but not my place to say it shouldn't be for them, either. And although in some cases I might wonder or even suspect illegal activity is occurring, I'd never assume it - let alone claim it as a demonstrated fact without clear evidence. I'm sure at least some poaching goes on, obviously, but I suspect that for the pet trade it's actually very little. And yes, that includes timber rattlesnakes; I'm aware that evidence exists that they are indeed sometimes poached, but from what I've seen that evidence is very scant, suggesting the problem very likely is as well (especially considering all the effort given this species in the northeast nowadays). Habitat destruction, on the other hand...

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 5:59 pm 
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Joined: August 31st, 2011, 1:33 pm
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Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan
To answer your first question, Gerry, a Google search would show how big the market is by showing the variety of sites, sellers, and species on the market. If you wish to get a rough idea of how many animals are being sold, you need merely visit these sites on a weekly basis. I like to window shop for animals I'll never own, so I have many of these sites saved on my browser. It's not hard to see how many animals are posted, by whom, and how long they stay on the market.

With regard to the very specific cases of poaching that I mentioned, I've engaged in dialogue with many of these sellers and I am absolutely comfortable with that estimate. The snakes that fall into the category of poached animals are also sold almost exclusively as long-term captives, so I'm comfortable with that conclusion, as well. As I stated, I'm sure that this entire category wasn't intended to denote poached animals, but it provides a convenient way to post the status of an animal that can't be legally collected for commercial purposes. Keeping all of that in mind, what's the issue with telling someone the best way to keep from buying poached snakes is to be wary of LTC, and explaining the reason why?


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 7:17 pm 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
... what's the issue with telling someone the best way to keep from buying poached snakes is to be wary of LTC, and explaining the reason why?

I'm not raising an issue with that, but only with your apparently representing conjecture based on assumptions as if it were fact verified by evidence, especially when the issue you're addressing is something as serious as poaching. I mean no personal offense, Joshua, but hearsay offered by you (or anyone else) doesn't qualify as actual evidence of such illegal activity any more than does whatever extrapolations you (or anyone else) might have made from the advertising of animals on seller's lists found on the internet - which is to say, not at all. (As just one example of the kinds of errors you may be making in the latter regard, I'll point out that it is not an uncommon practice for sellers of whatever, not just animals, to stop advertising goods that aren't selling for a while and then resume advertising them later. As another example that springs readily to mind, sellers sometimes advertise goods that they don't yet have on hand, with the intention of acquiring them as needed to fill orders; indeed, if I recall correctly at least one of the very few herp poachers apprehended in one of those stupidly expensive sting operations was documented as acting in this very manner.)

An important aspect of conservation is the allocation of the limited resources meant to accomplish it. (Knowingly or unknowingly) perpetuating the myth - which is certainly what it gives every indication of being - that herp poaching is a serious problem encourages those resources to be misdirected = wasted. It also distracts people in general from what they should really be concentrating on: habitat destruction. Finally, it harms the relationship between herpers and officials by breeding unwarranted distrust between them; thereby folks who should be working together on their common cause are instead largely working against each other.

Present actual evidence not just that herp poaching exists (which we all know to be the case) but also that it's genuinely significant in scope and I'll readily change my view. Not until.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 8:15 pm 
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Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan
Let me rephrase this, Gerry, because you seem to have turned what I'm trying to say completely around...

First, I am well aware that habitat destruction is the (far) bigger issue. If you ever have to argue that fact, I'll have your back even if no one else will. But I'm not talking about the issues causing the great declines that so many crote species are experiencing. I'm talking about poaching, and though it's not the biggest issue, it's still an issue when it's happening to species already in decline.

Mike asked if there was a market for snakes that would be a draw for poachers. Yes, there is, and demonstrably so. My suggestion to Google it was aimed to that end and no other.

The basis for my comments about poaching has nothing to do with the frequency and/or volume of sales. Those comments are based off of my conversations with the people selling these animals. When someone tells me the blacktail they're selling was caught in the Huachucas for their breeding program and now it's for sale (just one example) then that animal and all of it's offspring are poached, period.

I'm not trying to present a case in court, so the weight of my conclusions is of little concern to me. I was addressing a fellow herper with regard to the fact that there IS a demand, that poached animals are often sold as LTC, and the reasoning I have to support that conclusion. What he does with that information is up to him and won't deter me from continuing to pay attention to this problem and referring blatant violations to Operation Game Thief.

I didn't defame any sites or sellers and I was careful to make it plain that LTC isn't an inherently evil designation, as I don't wish to cause harm to the hobby. But it's an important thing to think twice about when buying an animal. Given what I've learned, I know for a fact that if I were to sell a poached animal, A-there would be someone to buy it, and B-the best way to advertise it (without proof of lineage and unable to sell a WC animal) would be as LTC. I would be remiss in my stewardship of my environment if I didn't at least bring that up. I understand that you're trying to keep everything on the up and up, but please stop trying to read into something that isn't there, Gerry.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 4:25 am 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
When someone tells me the blacktail they're selling was caught in the Huachucas for their breeding program and now it's for sale (just one example) then that animal and all of it's offspring are poached, period.


That sort of conversation sounds more like some of the tactics used to ensnare prospective buyers, rather than being actual people selling such animals. Posting such an animal is a low-cost, passive means of conducting a sting. They're providing sufficient information for the buyer to KNOW that it's an illegal animal. If the buyer takes the bait and arranges to meet to make the transaction, BAM! Another "evil herper" fined and/or put behind bars. It's happened in the past so I'd assume it's still going on.

On the other hand, maybe the ads are legitimate, coming from folks who don't even realize what they're doing is illegal. Do you let the seller know you can't buy because it's illegal? Have you been reporting such conversations to state wildlife LE? If so, do you follow up? I'd be curious to know the outcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 6:07 am 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
Let me rephrase this, Gerry, because you seem to have turned what I'm trying to say completely around...

I don't think so, Joshua. Keep in mind that I recognize you and I actually agree on a lot things, including a number of the things you've been saying. I'm not taking issue with you in general, but only something I'm seeing you do here.

There is a very common perception out there among wildlife academics, managers, law enforcement and to some extent even the general public that poaching is rampant within the herping community. Some even essentially think that all herpers are poachers. An important component of this perception is the belief that poaching for the live herp trade is a serious problem for many species - despite the fact that (to the best of my knowledge, and I do a pretty good job of keeping up with things) it hasn't actually been shown to be a meaningful problem for any species. (Mind you, I'm not saying that the evidence suggests it's only a small problem, but that it suggests it's no problem at all from a conservation standpoint, not even for species already in decline.) The evidence shows that such poaching exists, all right, but barely - trivially from anything approaching (even) a (small) population perspective. So all of the agency money and effort and all of the political, media and public attention that non-problem is getting is just a waste, and it's even worse than a waste when you consider how it creates a situation that alienates herpers and officials.

You have indeed said a few things here that contribute to the apparently erroneous perception that poaching is rampant in the herping community. And, I'm sorry, but what you've mostly talked about to back up your statements has indeed been conjecture based on assumptions rather than fact verified by evidence, treating them as if they were the same thing. I can believe that you have encountered evidence of herp poaching before, in particular weak evidence such as the occasional miscreant's private confession (though Chris' point about that being how stings are set up is a good one, and offers yet another example of why you can't meaningfully extrapolate from sellers' advertisements) - and I'm very glad to hear you report such things when you encounter them - but you haven't come anywhere close to offering or pointing out evidence that the scale of the activity is anything but miniscule. The non-evidence you brought up just doesn't cut it as a substitute. So I'd suggest that for the good of both herp conservation and the herp community you try to be more careful in your statements about how much live herp poaching goes on. You're entitled to your own opinions, to be sure, whether you choose to base them on evidence or something else, but I can't help but take issue with someone stating their opinions as facts when the subject matter is so serious and the actual evidence is so much to the contrary.

I believe people should think not only twice but several times before buying a living animal (I reckon you agree), and I wholeheartedly agree that as part of their thinking they should consider the legality of what they're doing where such might be in question. I heartily approve of your admonitions in that regard. I'm just admonishing you not to go from there to unsupported factual statements about live herp poaching being a common phenomenon or serious problem. Or if you do, as I said, you should probably be ready to show your supporting evidence if you want to get me off your back. ;) And I should warn you, no one's managed to meet that challenge yet.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 6:19 am 
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I always let the person know the laws regarding the animal in question. I try not to be accusatory, due to the whole sugar over vinegar thing. I only report the violations that are blatantly obvious and I do so anonymously through Operation Game Thief. Some sellers that I used to see a lot, I don't see any more. Some of the biggest ones that I've spoken with are, sadly, still offering their breeding stock LTCs for sale. I have not tallied up the total impact of my calls and emails, but I sincerely hope that at least some good has come of them.

I, too, considered the possibility of undercover agents posting these kind of things, but I see two problems with that, where these specific cases are concerned. First, if the buyer doesn't specifically ask about the history of the animal, then he has plausible deniability. It's not illegal for any old license holder to sell his personal LTCs. In most cases, I only learn about the animal's status after careful, but pointed questioning. Second, some of the people advertising are large distributors. It seems incredibly unlikely that these people would intentionally let LE tarnish their reputation by posting adds under their name.

Where the LE aspect seems more likely is in the number of ads I've seen blatantly posting Arizona animals as WC, which is a clear no-no. Similarly, I see ads on a site that has more generalized classifieds (again, not naming names, but we've all heard of this one) selling these animals IN the state of AZ. This, to me, smacks of cops or morons (possibly both.)

Gerry, I see you just posted, but I haven't had my coffee yet. I'll answer you when I'm more awake. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 7:15 am 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
I always let the person know the laws regarding the animal in question. I try not to be accusatory, due to the whole sugar over vinegar thing. I only report the violations that are blatantly obvious and I do so anonymously through Operation Game Thief. Some sellers that I used to see a lot, I don't see any more. Some of the biggest ones that I've spoken with are, sadly, still offering their breeding stock LTCs for sale. I have not tallied up the total impact of my calls and emails, but I sincerely hope that at least some good has come of them.

:thumb:

Joshua Jones wrote:
... I see ads on a site that has more generalized classifieds (again, not naming names, but we've all heard of this one) selling these animals IN the state of AZ. This, to me, smacks of cops or morons (possibly both.)

Indeed! :lol:

Joshua Jones wrote:
Gerry, I see you just posted, but I haven't had my coffee yet. I'll answer you when I'm more awake. :)

No hurry, amigo, I've already spent enough time fooling around online this morning, so I'm about to head out to enjoy the day. I think we've probably both said everything we felt compelled to say, anyway.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 9:48 am 
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Another item to note is that the term "poaching" is used VERY loosely in mixed company. Regardless of laws, licenses, etc. permitting collecting activity, some people are of the opinion that ANY removal of an animal from the wild is, in their minds, "poaching." They are imbuing a (personal) moral meaning to the word, not a legal one.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 12:24 pm 

Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 5:43 am
Posts: 201
Location: north central Ma
Well I'm actually encouraged, and not ready to abandon my premis that certain nearby states way over estimate true poaching activity.
Yes I saw lots of venomous including timbers for sale but not as much as I was starting to think. Some sites were totally bogus and either just stings or idiots about to be stung. Others try to be on the up and up but reading the adds you can see some shady stuff and some adds obvious stings.

I guess maybe some daring poachers risk the huge LE presence around the famous dens in the northeast, but I just can't believe there's enough money in it for the risk. I'm personally blacklisted by local cops in one CT town for having been "caught" trying to photograph timbers on public land. If I had had a hook or a pillowcase they would have locked me up but since I didn't they harassed us for an hour and told us never to return to their town!
Can't believe it's worth maybe a couple hundred bucks to risk that.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 5:15 pm 
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gbin wrote:
No hurry, amigo, I've already spent enough time fooling around online this morning, so I'm about to head out to enjoy the day. I think we've probably both said everything we felt compelled to say, anyway.


Mostly, Gerry. It seems that it all boils down to how much liberty a person is willing to take when answering questions. I see a need to answer his question in the most honest, direct way possible (using all available information, admissable in court or otherwise ;)), where you feel the admirable need to temper your response in a way that won't reflect poorly or take resources from the real issues. I understand that, and that's why I like OGT. It's a way to take some of that particular workload off the payroll and into the hands of concerned sportsmen and women. I think you're mostly right about the scope of the damge caused by poachers. Mostly. (I'll save that debate for a day when I'm really bored. :lol: ) I assure you that it is not my intent to distract from the real issues affect the health of crote populations.

chris_mcmartin wrote:
Another item to note is that the term "poaching" is used VERY loosely in mixed company. Regardless of laws, licenses, etc. permitting collecting activity, some people are of the opinion that ANY removal of an animal from the wild is, in their minds, "poaching." They are imbuing a (personal) moral meaning to the word, not a legal one.


I agree, Chris. But I'm not cut from that particular cloth. I am very much for legal responsible collecting. I just find the poaching of threatened species morally repugnant.

mikez wrote:
Well I'm actually encouraged, and not ready to abandon my premis that certain nearby states way over estimate true poaching activity.
Yes I saw lots of venomous including timbers for sale but not as much as I was starting to think.


Admittedly, it seems that timbers are better off from poachers than tigers, desirable locality specks and blacktails, cerbs, and small montanes. Timbers are available legally from Southern states and generally carry a much lower price tag. When you get into Arizona gems, the story is very different. The point I wished for you to take away was that there is a large market for venomous snakes and that a variety of species are involved. Your appraisal of the situation NE timbers are experiencing is pretty close to what I'd give. Crotes in general? Not so easily summed up. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 28th, 2014, 5:41 am 
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Morn'n Joshua & GB, Josh, just an fyi, once az wildlf is exported out of state legally ( = caught/transported & exported w/ a license or gift letter), it is no longer under the jurisdiction of az; thus your assertion above that az wc is defacto illegal is in fact incorrect. Heres another headscratcher; there is no such az crime known as "poaching".
We who are or were paid to understand these laws, still largely can't or won't ... a wise citizen should understand; theres no way for them to decipher most of these laws/non-laws either.
Some folks, often younguns, who come to az & buy our exorbitant out of state licenses, often take a few critters (legally) home & eventually sell some of them, if they have that intent while here collecting, they commit a crime, if it occurs after they get home... its a pass. Wheres the thought poleece when we need em eh :p
Like Gerry has typed, the US reptile poaching issue is largely & especially in the west, a non-issue. We herpers do ourselves no favors & damages our image when we beat on that drum.
Heres hoping you'll post some blue racers & smooth greens once your world thaws out. / rxr


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 28th, 2014, 6:25 am 
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I think AZ's approach to herp management is very good overall and - though I'm decidedly no youngun ;) and have no interest in collecting anything there (and haven't kept any herps at all now in some years) - I always buy a license when I visit. I do elsewhere even if I think there's just a possibility of my herp hunting there, too. These licenses really aren't that expensive, especially compared to all the other things people spend money on to herp hunt (be it near or far from home), and besides being committed to staying on the right side of the law I feel that it's one way I can do my part. I just wish the hunter surveys that state agencies often send out afterward consistently included herp hunting as a possibility, so they could keep track of - and thereby come to value - the herp hunters that contribute to their coffers. I always fill out those surveys, too; if necessary I just write in the margin that I was there specifically to herp hunt rather than in pursuit of other game. :)

But I've long thought AZ could make one substantial improvement by allowing commercial as well as personal collection. Just make the commercial collection license considerably more costly and keep the bag limits down to discourage the idea of trying to make real money at it. By providing a legal avenue for such activity they'd be taking away much of the motivation some currently have to engage in it illegally, they'd take in still more money which could be used to manage the resource, and in combination with subsequent surveys they could get a better handle on demand. Sure some abuses would occur, just as at least some do now, but as I said I think it would be an improvement. And the resource can easily handle it, in any event.

Gerry


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2014, 2:49 pm 
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John, I understand that personal collection is perfectly legal. ( In fact, I mentioned that above.) I was referring to dealers who collect for commercial purposes, be it selling the collected animal or it's offspring. As you said, if it's collected with commerce in mind, it's poaching. Regarding AZ not having a ''no poaching'' statute, I realize that the name is a little off, but they do have laws to prosecute poachers. I know this because I have a conviction for illegal take. To be perfectly clear, I wasn't poaching, but trying to rectify my nephew-in-law's bonehead mistake. I got caught with his sidewinder on the way to release it where he caught it, but without a hunting license. He wouldn't speak up, so I claimed it to save my girl the ticket that the game warden was more than happy to write. (She was driving the vehicle.) The judge didn't fine me or anything, just sent me up to the local NAPA to buy a license. Long, drawn-out mess. Big part of why I decided not to collect any wild herps for myself anymore.

I don't necessarily agree with the idea that no damage comes from poaching (some specks are a good example of why) but I agree that, for most species, it's not nearly as bad as some would have people believe. It certainly can't help matters, though, for poachers to be taking genetic material away from threatened populations. We haven't seen extensive damage with a lot of these species yet, but who's to say that diminished genetic diversity won't catch up in the long run? (Imagine TA specks being known for bug eyes and spinal kinks, rather than their beautiful coloration.)

Hopefully I'll get some greens and racers to post for you. For myself, it's the 'saugs that I can't wait to see. :D

I heartily agree with you, Gerry about the surveys and the possible benefits of a commercial collecting permit like the one you mentioned. I would take it a step further, though, and ask that it be implemented like an AZ bear or lion tag. They're available over the counter, but you have to check with AZGFD to make sure that that unit hasn't had it's quota taken, and is open for hunting. (At least, I think that's how I remember it. John would probably know.)


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2014, 4:06 pm 
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gbin wrote:
But I've long thought AZ could make one substantial improvement by allowing commercial as well as personal collection. Just make the commercial collection license considerably more costly and keep the bag limits down to discourage the idea of trying to make real money at it. By providing a legal avenue for such activity they'd be taking away much of the motivation some currently have to engage in it illegally, they'd take in still more money which could be used to manage the resource, and in combination with subsequent surveys they could get a better handle on demand. Sure some abuses would occur, just as at least some do now, but as I said I think it would be an improvement. And the resource can easily handle it, in any event.


I think you're on the right track, but making the license "considerably more costly" appears to run counter to the intent of taking away the motivation to commercialize the resource illegally. From the perspective of the person wishing to break the law (who's been operating "under the radar" for years already, in some cases): "I'll keep doing it the way I've always done it, or pay $500 a year (i.e. take a $500 loss) for no substantial benefit."

I say, make make it easy for people to do the right (well, legal) thing. Make the license affordable--in fact, charge only enough to cover administration of the program. Just make reporting mandatory. Heck, set bag limits for EVERY species--including those currently protected--for a period of five years. In other words, if a person sells 3 Gila monsters per year, make it so they have no fear of prosecution, so long as the report they submit lists them. Then we'd see if demand for wild-caught AZ herps is as high as perceptions indicate.

Taking a page (literally, in this case*) from TX herping: several species, such as graybands and subocs, used to be protected, with fines of (if I recall correctly) $500 plus the market price of the animal if you were caught with one. A few ambitious folks did the requisite research to indicate the animals weren't as rare as once thought; they were just hard to locate outside the right time of year and weather conditions. Now you can legally catch them, breed them, sell them, etc. In fact, if you're not particular about locality (and many still are, more power to 'em), you can get a breeder to give you a grayband.

*"Literally" because the May 2014 issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine features an article about the upcoming third-annual Snake Days by TPWD herpetologist (and FHF poster) Dr. Andy Gluesenkamp. He illustrates the point beautifully by stating that while some participants will be looking for graybands from the wild to add to their collection, captive-bred specimens can be bought for less than the cost of a tank of gas.

Gone are the days when people could finance their personal herping adventures by vacuuming up numerous specimens and species and then selling them. Captive breeding of those species has made it not worth the trouble. The only incentive comes from the species listed as "hands off." Somewhat counterintuitively to the casual observer, allowing enthusiasts to work with such species, learn best-practice husbandry, and breed (and sell) progeny they produce, collecting pressure for those species just might taper off--the cost-benefit analysis of commercial collecting simply won't support it.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2014, 5:12 pm 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
... We haven't seen extensive damage with a lot of these species yet...

Once again I agree with a lot of what you said, Joshua, except that I'd revise the above statement to reflect the available evidence. To wit:

"We haven't seen any damage to any species from live herp poaching yet - neither in terms of population biology nor genetics - and we're not likely to."

;)

Sure, I could see trying the tag approach you mentioned, Joshua. I could see trying your more liberal commercial collection license, too, Chris, and I get your point about the possibility that it would a lot more quickly generate a lot of information about demand. I still like best the idea of making a commercial license that's just considerably more expensive than the one that allows people to collect for personal use, though. There's a sweet spot in license cost that I don't think would be too difficult to find that would make such commercial collection slightly profitable for those willing to put in the work involved, and I do think that would be ample motivation for them not to indulge in illegal activity given that there are (and always should be) penalties for such illegal activity. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to have those penalties increased, which I could definitely get behind. Just don't make the penalties so hefty that law enforcement is drawn to waste even more resources on those foolish sting operations in the hope of generating a good monetary return from them.

Gerry


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PostPosted: April 29th, 2014, 6:57 am 

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Quote:
Another item to note is that the term "poaching" is used VERY loosely in mixed company. Regardless of laws, licenses, etc. permitting collecting activity, some people are of the opinion that ANY removal of an animal from the wild is, in their minds, "poaching." They are imbuing a (personal) moral meaning to the word, not a legal one.


I'm glad to see this issue raised and discussed. It sprung immediately to mind. Josh's example of a Huachuca blacktail being offered for sale perfectly illustrates the opaqueness challenging any off-the-cuff interpretation of "what's going on". Maybe it's "poaching" - the hunter had no license, or had a sport license but harvested with the intent to sell. Or maybe it was harvested with a license and intent to keep for personal use. And then some time later, the out-of-state hunter changed his mind and decided to part with the animal. "Poacher" is about as loaded a term as "pervert" and I applaud Gerry, Chris, John et al for speaking up.

I also do a lot of window shopping for hots. I just like to know what is selling and what the prices are. I see that a lot of animals aren't selling, and that prices are mainly very low. So I think the supply is pretty low, and demand is also pretty low. Just an impression, based on near-constant inspection of individual-vendor and also "aggregator" websites. One thing that's easy to forget is, a live animal market is easily saturated if survival is high and the number of buyers is low. Once a guy gets his pair of albino atrox (or whatever he wants), he's pretty much set for a long time.

Quote:
I say, make make it easy for people to do the right (well, legal) thing. Make the license affordable--in fact, charge only enough to cover administration of the program. Just make reporting mandatory. Heck, set bag limits for EVERY species--including those currently protected--for a period of five years. In other words, if a person sells 3 Gila monsters per year, make it so they have no fear of prosecution, so long as the report they submit lists them. Then we'd see if demand for wild-caught AZ herps is as high as perceptions indicate.

Taking a page (literally, in this case*) from TX herping: several species, such as graybands and subocs, used to be protected, with fines of (if I recall correctly) $500 plus the market price of the animal if you were caught with one. A few ambitious folks did the requisite research to indicate the animals weren't as rare as once thought; they were just hard to locate outside the right time of year and weather conditions. Now you can legally catch them, breed them, sell them, etc. In fact, if you're not particular about locality (and many still are, more power to 'em), you can get a breeder to give you a grayband.


Great examples and suggestions. To the greybands and subocs I'd add (keeping with the venomous theme) Trans-Pecos copperheads and also C. lepidus. Cheaper now than in the 70's.

I only have one small quibble - the part about "charge enough to cover admin costs". I don't know of ANY state wildlife agency that doesn't have some net-loser and net-winner license programs. For example here in Utah we only "make money" on elk and mule deer - we lose money on bison, pronghorn, bighorn, moose, mtn goat, bear, lion, and every other bird and mammal we sell trapping or hunting licenses for. So I'd just suggest setting the price at something reasonable that accomplishes the purpose of the program itself - e.g., get data on demand, harvest, species distribution, hunter success, etc etc., and drive down any incentive to operate outside the law. If the herp license program had to be stand-alone self-sustaining, the licenses would be so expensive that they'd never sell, and the program would die. That's it - my only little quibble.

cheers,
Jimi


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PostPosted: April 29th, 2014, 1:37 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
I only have one small quibble - the part about "charge enough to cover admin costs". . .
If the herp license program had to be stand-alone self-sustaining, the licenses would be so expensive that they'd never sell, and the program would die. That's it - my only little quibble.



Very true. Going back to the Texas example: we have a herp stamp, in its third year now. It's $10 ON TOP of your regular hunting license (even if you hunt nothing else, you're still pouring most of your money into the general-hunting coffers, same as a deer hunter or turkey hunter). Only 600 or so herp stamps are sold per year--it in no way covers the administrative costs, but that $30-$50 going into the other funds sure is nice, I suppose. A big reason why so few stamps are sold is because you have people that say "I only photograph, therefore I don't need a stamp"--never mind that they handle the herps, pose them, etc. (technically, that's "take" and they DO need the stamp). Other reasons are that the stamp only allows you to hunt public rights-of-way (no stamp required for private land, and roads are still perplexingly off-limits), so some people again don't need them; and there is a problem of education on the existence/need of a stamp varying by where you are within the state (e.g. it's largely ignored by both herpers and LE in eastern TX).

Your explanation of the money-making and money-intensive programs is great...I think a pricier herp stamp, collection stamp, etc. would be easier to swallow if the transparency was greater in where the money goes. The pricier stamp may get to the level of "expensive" that Gerry seeks in the process. 8-) I'd prefer the herp stamp to be stand-alone (i.e. not IN ADDITION to a standard hunting license that goes unused other than to pump more money into general funds); that would help the individual herper justify spending more for the stamp. At a minimum, if someone is buying the license just for the stamp, I'd hope some of that money collected could be funneled into the Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Fund (the annual Snake Days fundraising efforts donate several thousand dollars for this cause).

Yes, I understand there are different "colors" of money, and you can't just take money from one "pot" and put it into a different program, but as long as we're dreaming, I'm gonna dream big. :D


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PostPosted: April 29th, 2014, 6:05 pm 
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I like hunting stamps, but I think part of what you should get for the extra expense is literally a pretty adhesive stamp of the kind of animal you're obtaining it to hunt (e.g. federal duck stamps for migratory waterfowl hunters). I keep my licenses as souvenirs of my past excursions, and that would really jazz them up.

There I go, raising the price of the license still more!

Gerry


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PostPosted: April 29th, 2014, 6:50 pm 
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regalringneck wrote:
Morn'n Joshua & GB...

John, please check your PMs!

Gerry


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 9:23 am 
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Dr. B, theres a PM back to you.
JxJ, very sorry to hear you got thump't trying 2 do right, we used to have a
coupla expressions that might relate to your experience; "let no good deed go
unpunished" and the other was "kill em all & let god sort them out". But its
not funny and im sorry you & so many others have been whack't by overzealous
cops enforcing far too many laws.
The stamp on top of the license is a really lame idea that the lazy agencies
adopted from conventional hunting & fishing; you already needed a hunting
license to hunt say squirrels, or fish for bass, but then you have to buy a
migratory bird stamp or whatever to hunt ducks or fish for trout. Dumbass
texicans dont realize tho that out of state herp hunters arent fishing for
anything else when they drive to Marfa! Actually tho., they really do know
what theyre doing & that is intentionally making herpers very unwelcome in the
"got-mine, keep out state".
The reason there is no mandatory reporting (anywhere that i know of), is that
everywhere the agencies seem to get it; the harvest is so miniscule its
irrelevant, so why bother w/ collecting data.
As far as "admin costs" go, trust me on this one too, they are next to nothing,
a already employed admin staffer w/an excel sheet will do it all, & the ss can
be cloned from a similar program.
We in az used to give the private license dealers $.5 per license sold & they
had to take the 2 min to finish filling them out, they still netted ~ 1/4 on the transaction!
And lastly, agency administrators can & do damn near as they wish w/ the $$,
heck i remember doing pygmy owl surveys one spring n of tucson & charging my
time & vehicle miles to a friggn coast guard watercraft enforcement fund :p (statute
of limitations has expired!). For the record tho., i never knew of any fund
diversions to indiv persons.
As to the op ? ... as indicated in my avatar; i maintain 2 weapons-grade elaps regalis under a limited security regimen and cannot recommend said for civilians ...


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 3:03 pm 
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gbin wrote:

"We haven't seen any damage to any species from live herp poaching yet - neither in terms of population biology nor genetics - and we're not likely to...


Sorry for the delay, Gerry. Just wanted to respectfully add that this statement is patently false. Aside from my own experiences (don't worry; I know that anecdotal accounts aren't admissable :P ), I know for a fact that I've read at least one study (and I'm pretty sure that I vaguely remember at least one other) centered around C. Pricei that directly contradict this statement. I'm also fairly certain that I read a similar study about pine snakes. I'll look them up and get you the links. Sorry, in advance, if it takes until this weekend for me to get around to it. :)


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 3:07 pm 
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BTW, John, thanks for the good luck. You wrote that comment about racers and greens, and I flipped a green the next day. I'll be sure you get half the photo credit in my EOY report. :lol:


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 4:49 am 
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Joshua Jones wrote:
gbin wrote:

"We haven't seen any damage to any species from live herp poaching yet - neither in terms of population biology nor genetics - and we're not likely to...

Sorry for the delay, Gerry. Just wanted to respectfully add that this statement is patently false. Aside from my own experiences (don't worry; I know that anecdotal accounts aren't admissable :P ), I know for a fact that I've read at least one study (and I'm pretty sure that I vaguely remember at least one other) centered around C. Pricei that directly contradict this statement. I'm also fairly certain that I read a similar study about pine snakes. I'll look them up and get you the links. Sorry, in advance, if it takes until this weekend for me to get around to it. :)

A fair definition of "patently" would be "as should already be clear to everyone," and as such, in the way you used it above it also suggests that I might have knowingly made a false statement. I'm not saying this was your intent, Joshua, and in fact I don't believe it was, but I felt compelled to point that out. In any event, neither is this case here. I've both advanced education and professional experience in population biology and genetics, particularly as they pertain to small populations, and out of personal interest I've also put in a fair amount of time studying the literature on the subject of whether live herp collection has measurably harmed any of the populations subject to it. In the decades I've been at it, I've yet to come across (or have shown to me ;) ) anything even close to persuasive evidence negating my statement above. On the contrary, almost all that I've found have been very many assertions, yes, sometimes even in the scientific literature but mostly in more popular fare, that live collection has harmed this or that species/population without any evidence whatsoever to back up such a claim. Sometimes they cite someone else making the claim before them (and sometimes in those citations the authors in turn cite yet someone else making the claim before them, etc.), but most often they just toss it out there as if it were established fact when it decidedly is not. And when they take a stab at providing any support at all, it invariably amounts to a very unscientific certainty about their own occasional observations ("I myself have seen collectors taking snakes out of this area by the bucketful, and have witnessed the resulting decline in numbers found at the site over the years") and unreasonable extrapolations from tenuously associated data ("that these snakes are being collected in substantial numbers is demonstrated by the prices they are advertised for on sellers' lists"). So I stand by my statement.

I suspect what you actually meant to say was that my statement is demonstrably false. I remain open to this possibility, and I recognize, too, that if a herp population were going to take harm from live collection it would by far most likely be an unusually small, isolated population of a sedentary species such as is the case with AZ's twin-spotted rattlers (or perhaps a population that was being harvested by high-impact means, such as the cyanide treatment of coral reefs to collect live fish from them, but I'm not aware of any such methods being employed to collect live herps). But as I said, it would take real data to persuade me. No hurry, but I'll watch for your citations and give them a thorough reading and assessment when you provide them. If they live up to your description then I promise I will revise my thinking and subsequent statements on this subject accordingly... But I don't believe they will. :P

And by the way, I certainly believe anecdotal reports are valuable - for pointing out things that should be given proper scientific study. But no, by themselves they're too subjective and (so far as standards of evidence go) weak in other ways to do much to bolster a case for this or that herp population having been harmed by live collection. We can go into the specifics of your personal observations if you like, but to start with the most important things first I'd rather take a look at this supporting literature that you believe exists.

Gerry


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 9:27 am 
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Quote:
Present actual evidence not just that herp poaching exists (which we all know to be the case) but also that it's genuinely significant in scope and I'll readily change my view. Not until.
Quote:
(Mind you, I'm not saying that the evidence suggests it's only a small problem, but that it suggests it's no problem at all from a conservation standpoint, not even for species already in decline.)


I dont think this will convince you Gerry, but its interesting stuff nonetheless. Its about a newt in Laos. Admittedly the paper doesn't focus the harvesting aspect too much, more like mentions it at the end and the evidence is anecdotal, but its enough to convince me that there is atleast a problem. When I have a bit more time I'll look and see if I can find any more info, but this is atleast a case where I have heard that collection was a big problem for a herp species.
http://bryanlstuart.com/site/Publicatio ... 202012.pdf
an excerpt, there is more to it and this doesn't provide the complete picture but its relevant to the discussion here.
Quote:
The primary threat to this species is overharvesting. Laotriton
laoensis is in high demand for the international pet trade
and lesser demand for medicine and food. Subsequent to its
description as a new species in this journal (Stuart and
Papenfuss, 2002), trade networks became established in Laos
to supply the international pet trade after visiting foreign
collectors (Stuart et al., 2006) began paying villagers to harvest
the species alive Villagers in Laos receive a very small
compensation (,1%) relative to the value of these animals in
Europe and Japan. The attributes of this species’ biology
(congregating in small stream pools during the day) make it
vulnerable to being harvested in large numbers; hence, villagers
sometimes reported selling it to traders in units of kilograms
rather than individuals.


I knew I had read something about pop. declines in a newt in laos but i couldn't remember its latin name so I googled it to refresh my memory so that i could more easily try to find scientific literature on it. I did bump into this, not scientific lit and theres a good bit of anecdotal evidence but still interesting I thought.
An article by the BBC on disclosing locations and herp poaching;
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17386764

an excerpt:
Quote:
The Lao newt lives on the surface of rock pools and was easy to find. Villagers were typically offered less than $1 (£0.63) for each newt. Smugglers then sold them on to hobbyists for as much as $200 (£130).

Because the newt is unique to Laos and only found in three small areas in the north of the country, the population was quickly decimated.

In 2008, six years after the publication of Stuart's paper, a biologist from the National University of Laos, Somphouthone Phimmachak, proved the species was close to extinction. Her work led to the Lao newt being granted official status as a threatened species, making it illegal to trade specimens caught in the wild.

It wasn't the first time a scientific discovery has put a rare species in danger.

"A turtle from the small Indonesian island of Roti was so heavily hunted that today it is nearly extinct in the wild," says Stuart. A rare gecko from south-east China was removed from its natural habitat entirely by smugglers who got prices as high as $2,000 (£1,272) for each.


I got caught up reading this discussion and Im really running late now so I dont have time to look, but perhaps there is some lit out there on this Roti turtle or even better this gecko that was entirely extirpated by the sounds of it. Don't know if these are valid examples and don't have time to check now but if someone else can find any additional info on them it might shed some light on the matter.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 5:07 pm 
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Anton, I'm very glad that you posted what you did, as I'm hopeful that my response (and in particular a response I provided to a similar query in the past) will prove instructive for everyone here who understandably becomes alarmed at the things they hear about this or that herp species being driven to the verge of extinction by collection for the big, bad pet trade.

You're right that I don't find the information presented about the Laotian newt situation persuasive, but I'll admit up front that I first heard about this purported example of the live herp collection problem some time ago and I haven't as yet investigated it very fully. Mostly that's because I got busy with other things and then forgot about it, and I appreciate your post, too, as a reminder to me to finally do so before too much longer. That being said, for right now I'll just point out that any mention of live herp collection (i.e. for the pet trade) that lumps it together with kill harvesting of herps (e.g. for food or traditional medicine) should raise a huge red flag in anyone's mind. This deceitful strategy is often employed to tar live collection, for which damning evidence never quite seems obtainable (I've become convinced because live collection is not really a problem, so no such evidence can really exist), with the same brush quite rightfully and terribly tainted by kill harvesting, for which damning evidence is very often readily available (because market hunting is indeed often a real and serious problem for wildlife). But of course live herp collection and kill harvesting of herps are in truth very different things, with very different expectations of effect on wild populations/species in addition (but doubtless related) to the very different levels of evidence available to document such effect. The bottom line is that there is always far, far less demand for living herp specimens than carcasses, because 1) many more people eat (or otherwise consume) herps than keep them, and 2) keepers only have so much cage space, and once that space is filled with one or more specimens they're no longer in the market for more (at least not anytime soon). The methods available for live herp collection, storage and shipment are also far, far less effective than are those often used for kill harvesting animals (e.g. there's no live herp collection equivalent of the miles-long gill nets and floating factories that are used to dispatch and package huge numbers of fish for human consumption). But as I said, I'll try to look into that newt's particular situation soon to see what I think of it specifically.

I have, however, looked into the situation of Roti's turtle. Indeed, I even wrote here at FHF about it a little more than a year ago, when someone else brought up this species' purportedly severe imperilment by live collection. What I found is what I hope many will find instructive, not just with respect to this particular story but also in general, as this kind of story - and the truth concealed behind it - has now been repeated many times by many people (including scientists who should certainly know better) in many places, and will likely continue to be so long as there are folks out there who are so convinced their negative opinion of the pet trade is correct that they don't really need to adhere to factual evidence while making the most damning case against it that they can think of.

I urge all interested readers to give this admittedly somewhat lengthy post that I wrote about Roti's turtle their full attention:

viewtopic.php?p=183202#p183202

So I don't go as long in this post as well, here's a quick summary of the general situation:

To demonstrate live collection's harm to a wild animal population, at a minimum you need at least enough basic data on that population to be able to create a reasonably trustworthy model of it and estimate its size and determine whether it's growing, stable or declining. You also need data (not just fearful thinking) on live collection levels targeting the population so that you can plug numbers into the model and take a look at what reasonably associated levels of such demand (i.e. over a range from somewhat lower to maybe even a fair bit higher than the data actually suggest) do to the population's trajectory. It's a fairly simple process but I know the data can be a fair amount of work to obtain. Still, such data have been obtained for a great many species with respect to kill harvesting, so it's not as if the difficulty involved is insurmountable. Given how interested some folks are in decrying the big, bad pet trade, it seems pretty obvious to me that the reason we don't now have a wealth of real evidence of the harm live collection is causing herp populations/species is because no such harm is really occurring.

I mentioned in the post I linked above that people should take alarming news on this subject - from any source - with a grain of salt when that news isn't actually accompanied by the necessary evidence. Given all the shenanigans that people who apparently have it out for the pet trade routinely indulge in, "a grain of salt" is truly a gross understatement. Really we're talking a chunk of salt that would choke the largest Komodo dragon.

Put your belief behind the evidence, not the source (however reliable it might seem) nor the source's rhetoric (however alarming it might be).

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 11:07 pm 

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Quote:
When someone tells me the blacktail they're selling was caught in the Huachucas for their breeding program and now it's for sale (just one example) then that animal and all of it's offspring are poached, period.




I thought Blacktails could be legally collected in AZ with a hunting license and it's legal to export them as long as you're not selling them? Correct me if I'm wrong but the captive born progeny of legally collected animals would be legal to sell (assuming the state you are keeping them in doesn't prohibit it)?

If you did that with AZ willardi, pricei or lepidus the babies would be illegal to sell(and possess) since the original adults were not legal to collect in the first place. Also, progeny of snakes taken from parks and protected areas would be illegal to sell or possess for the same reason, the adults were not legal to collect.

I agree that LTC is sometimes a red flag though. For the record, I don't keep hots but I think this is pertinant to other species as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 24th, 2014, 10:39 am 

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I really miss keeping hots....Wouldn't dare to keep them anymore with children in the house


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 27th, 2014, 6:25 pm 
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Currently, I am only keeping a Crotalus horridus and an Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen. They are for educational use. I love keeping them and natives are as far as I will ever take it, but I appreciate those of you who responsibly keep hots!


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2014, 10:52 am 
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I know almost nothing about the selling of poached animals (except for a few experiences of trying to be sold poached animals in pet stores), and I know nothing about the selling of poached rattlesnakes. But I do know about the other end of the equation - the poaching of native rattlesnakes for non-legal sales or keeping - from both 1st-hand and 2nd-hand stories from the very people who are doing it and their friends. If we were naming names, I could name three just involving rattlesnakes, and have heard other stories with no names attached.

I also believe that collecting is virtually irrelevant compared to habitat destruction when we're talking about ecological impact. And the evils of poaching have a lot more to do with the mentality of the person involved rather than actual harm to the species. (I'm not a big fan of people willing violating laws while ducking the consequences, or illegally taking shared public resources out of natural areas, or generally seeing natural populations with profit-driven eyes.) I'm just pointing out that poaching certainly does occur, sometimes by people I've herped with, and that it's tempting enough that herpers have been willing to risk being ostracized by their field-herping friends (at least two California cases of this that I know of) in order to continue doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2014, 1:11 pm 
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jonathan wrote:
... I'm just pointing out that poaching certainly does occur...

Ok, but... so far as I'm aware, everyone knows this and no one is arguing otherwise. The issues we debated for a bit above are how prevalent live herp poaching is and whether it's harming any wild populations. And as I amply pointed out above (and in other threads touching upon the same subject), it's often asserted that live herp poaching is rampant and harmful - but the actual evidence never supports either contention.

Oh, and if you have evidence of this or that person poaching, you should turn them in.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2014, 2:03 pm 

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pricei pub:
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1655/H ... -D-00002.1

noteworthy quote from the abstract:
Quote:
Mean population size at this site was 67 snakes, and there was no evidence of a population decline over the course of the study. However, age class structure was skewed toward younger snakes at the site, probably due to illegal collection of snakes for the pet trade.


haven't read the article myself, so cannot account for the closing assertion, nor evaluate the methods (principally the estimator, not the software by which it was implemented...) used to calculate demographic & nuisance parameters

thought this might be found interesting, and I'd love to actually read the article

cheers,
Jimi


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PostPosted: July 28th, 2014, 7:01 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
Quote:
Mean population size at this site was 67 snakes, and there was no evidence of a population decline over the course of the study. However, age class structure was skewed toward younger snakes at the site, probably due to illegal collection of snakes for the pet trade.

Sounds like exactly the kind of thing that gets into the abstracts and/or conclusions of a lot of scientific papers - and actually has no data whatsoever supporting it, in the papers themselves or elsewhere. Scientists aren't supposed to make unsupported statements in scientific publications, and when they do those unsupported statements are supposed to be caught and eliminated by editors or reviewers, but unfortunately plenty still make it through. Let the reader beware!

I'm not saying it's necessarily a wrong statement (though I personally am quite skeptical of it), mind you, but only that there's no way to evaluate how correct it might be without real data. As I said above, it's best to put your belief behind the evidence, not the source (however reliable it might seem) nor the source's rhetoric (however alarming it might be).

Thanks for the tip on that paper, Jimi. I'll certainly give it a look to see whether there's anything more there than I suspect is the case. (Probably find it fun to read for what actually is there, in any event.) If you don't have easy access to it yourself, PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you a PDF.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 29th, 2014, 6:36 am 
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I don't understand how anyone can complain about scientists and grant money, and how much they get paid.

I don't know much at all about government stuff but I get the impression they scrimp on allotting money for studies for things that aren't directly tied in to something lucratively anthropocentric.

Research that opens a cool window of knowledge, but requires follow up of another study, which cant be done because of no funding, and leaves questions un answered.

I know many scientists who don't get to work in their field of expertise but have another kind of job instead to live, one of them has studied lacertids all over Europe and is brilliant and works so hard at an unrelated job. He is an older person, not in the best of health, it just doesn't make sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2015, 4:00 pm 

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I love the hots! Although in Idaho we can only have wild caught native species and up to 4. I have 3 0.2 Crotalus Organus Lutosus (Great Basin). Wish I could have a collection like yours!


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 Post subject: Re: Who keeps venomous on here, and what do you keep?
PostPosted: July 8th, 2015, 8:35 am 
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Location: Pike County KY
I don't keep any hots in my personal collection, but work with them daily where I work. Currently in my care is as follows.

Agkistrodon contortrix complex
Agkistrodon piscivorus complex
Agkistrodon bilineatus
Crotalus atrox
Crotalus viridus
Crotalus horridus
Crotalus durissus vegrandis
Crotalus adamanteus
Bothrops alternatus
Bitis rhinoceros
Bitis nasicornis
Calloselasma rhodostoma
Naja naja
Naja kaouthia
Naja siamensis
Naja philippinensis
Naja mossambica
Pseudechis colletti
Heloderma suspectum
Heloderma horridum

Five days of taking care of this many animals make wanting to take care of that many more when I get home a little less appealing. We also can only own native hots in my state.


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PostPosted: July 8th, 2015, 10:47 am 
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Hey there Jayder ~

Do you find any of those guys up there more interesting to deal with, than husbandry of other guys? As far as character and acuity, ? Would enjoy hearing about your experiencing in feeding and moving them especially the cobras and any other elapids you or others keep.


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PostPosted: July 8th, 2015, 6:55 pm 
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Kelly, we strive and were trained to be minimalists with the animals. Less contact and interaction is safer for both parties. However, due to our setups for the large volume of snakes that we maintain (1500-2000), contact is made daily in the form of cage cleanings, medicating and in the case of our director , venom extractions. Tools of course are always used and range from hooks and tongs to shift boxes and cage dividers. Tubes, press boxes and plexiglass sheets are very handy as well.

As stated often, the elapids really display a great ability of thinking things out. Very intelligent animals. Many look at Cobras at being the most intelligent, but one can't underestimate Mambas, Tiapans and other elapids. They seem to be able to read your tension, and keeping a cool, calm and collected head really works to your benefit. Most Mambas are cleaned by means of divided cages and tong fed. Kaouthia, Naha, Philippinensis, mossambica and siamensis are all in rack systems so hands in care is much more frequent with face shields mandatory for all of the spitters. The vipers are all in rack systems, but they are all pretty straight forward and hook well, so are easy to deal with.


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PostPosted: July 8th, 2015, 9:22 pm 
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jayder85 wrote:
Kelly, we strive and were trained to be minimalists with the animals. Less contact and interaction is safer for both parties. However, due to our setups for the large volume of snakes that we maintain (1500-2000), contact is made daily in the form of cage cleanings, medicating and in the case of our director , venom extractions. Tools of course are always used and range from hooks and tongs to shift boxes and cage dividers. Tubes, press boxes and plexiglass sheets are very handy as well.

As stated often, the elapids really display a great ability of thinking things out. Very intelligent animals. Many look at Cobras at being the most intelligent, but one can't underestimate Mambas, Tiapans and other elapids. They seem to be able to read your tension, and keeping a cool, calm and collected head really works to your benefit. Most Mambas are cleaned by means of divided cages and tong fed. Kaouthia, Naha, Philippinensis, mossambica and siamensis are all in rack systems so hands in care is much more frequent with face shields mandatory for all of the spitters. The vipers are all in rack systems, but they are all pretty straight forward and hook well, so are easy to deal with.



Thanks for the reply Jayder.. I covet your opportunity - it must be a wonderful thing to be on the way to that job every morning.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy IMO.. Hope sometimes you find the time to share more here in this Herpetoculture Forum, that would be excellent.


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