Justification.............

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jayder85
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Re: Justification.............

Post by jayder85 » March 10th, 2014, 1:59 pm

No problems here, Bill! I had to be away from the internet for a while and it is nice to see the conversations continuing. Basically, this thread was born of annoyance at some folks in a Facebook group asking for and selling wild caught "feeder snakes", offering to collect and sale feeders on a large scale.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 10th, 2014, 9:49 pm

jayder85 wrote:No problems here, Bill! I had to be away from the internet for a while and it is nice to see the conversations continuing. Basically, this thread was born of annoyance at some folks in a Facebook group asking for and selling wild caught "feeder snakes", offering to collect and sale feeders on a large scale.

It looks like you have saved the best bit for last my friend.

Without saying well, we actually need that good science to determine whether the specific snake populations of the ecologies they are using can support feeder snake industrialization... OR speculating on "its only an esoteric demand, after all..", or waxing philosophical on the "subjectivity of Wrongness"

That just uh, seems Wrong to me. Real Wrong.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 10th, 2014, 10:25 pm

its getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the people who like snakes and the people who don't.

At least a significant proportion of the people who don't, stay away from them. Its looking like kind of a plus, as far as the actual snakes are concerned.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by BillMcGighan » March 11th, 2014, 4:56 am

That just uh, seems Wrong to me. Real Wrong
Yeah, I’m afraid the "commercialization” of this issue puts it in a much different light, which isn't good. If regulated by wildlife managers it’s one thing. Unfortunately, many states do not put the financial resources into the non-game management, so a commercial harvest is risky.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 12th, 2014, 2:09 pm

jayder85 wrote:... this thread was born of annoyance at some folks in a Facebook group asking for and selling wild caught "feeder snakes", offering to collect and sale feeders on a large scale.
Kelly Mc wrote:That just uh, seems Wrong to me. Real Wrong.
BillMcGighan wrote:Yeah, I’m afraid the "commercialization” of this issue puts it in a much different light, which isn't good. If regulated by wildlife managers it’s one thing. Unfortunately, many states do not put the financial resources into the non-game management, so a commercial harvest is risky.
(Sigh...) I see nothing annoying, wrong or risky with such a minor, makeshift business, per se. (Again, if it's being conducted in violation of the law or in a manner that disregards animal welfare or habitat considerations then that's something else entirely - but absolutely nothing has been presented to suggest that this is the case.) So far as I can tell from what's been offered in this thread, the first two condemnations are based solely on personal bias, and the last condemnation very clearly stems from a profound misunderstanding of the population biological relevance of the situation. I agree, of course, that wildlife harvests are best managed and that this is by far especially true of commercial wildlife harvests - indeed, I myself have championed that cause many times on these message boards - but regardless, there's just no way that people collecting herps to feed their captive animals or to sell to others to feed their captive animals are doing any harm whatsoever to wild populations. Both the level of demand and the means available to meet that demand are truly insignificant. You can use terms such as "large scale" and maybe those people you're referring to did as well, jader, but from a population biology standpoint it's decidedly not true.

I know that it feels good to proclaim that something you don't personally approve of is bad, but it doesn't do good; all it does on the one hand is encourage others to let their own preferences and passions lead them down their own errant paths on the subject of "how people should live" (which might be quite contrary to yours, by the way), and on the other hand alienate people who rely on more rational thought processes and decision-making to the point where they won't bother to heed you when you actually have something worthwhile to say.

Y'all do know that there are plenty of people out there who are convinced that it's wrong, risky, etc. for anyone to keep any snakes in captivity, never mind what kind of snakes or what you feed them, don't you? Heck, there are even some people who are convinced that it's wrong, risky, etc. that snakes are suffered to live at all, be they in cages in your house, in their backyard or in yonder woods. ("The only good snake is a dead snake!") If all we need to have behind our proclamations on a subject are our personal feelings, then maybe we should start threads here, too, to give folks the opportunity to provide "Justification............." for disagreeing with those kinds of assertions as well. :roll:

Gerry

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 12th, 2014, 3:45 pm

I understand your rationales Gerry, but I dont see it in an emotive sense. I think all actions have a character to them, of positive and negative forces.

Good Guidelines for using reptiles and amphibians in scientific research formats reveal that standards do exist. We could encourage they be encorperated in other areas of herp involvement. These even recognize that some design is still wanting, but actually state that the spirit of their intention be followed at all times.

A rampant mentality is unsupportable by lasting progress and cannot fuel the fitness of an entity.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 12th, 2014, 4:27 pm

I understand where you're coming from too, Kelly, and I'm sure you know I'm not unsympathetic. But...

There are standards (and should be more - and more vigorously enforced - regulations, as well) in business, too. Just because some businesses fail to live up to those standards doesn't mean the idea of making something a business is wrong. Raising rodents to feed snakes is also a business. If people want to decry bad business practices (animal welfare issues, habitat destruction, etc.) then I'll be right there with them. But that's not what's been going on in this thread.

Gerry

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 12th, 2014, 6:48 pm

What do you think of this Gerry :

While we cant control facebook, youtube, the media and people who present dubious herp activities on social media, perhaps we could compose an official stance of standards and practitioner modes, that at least align themselves to established guidelines that have been set without controversy by recognized authorities like AVMA and other large universally accepted and scholared entitites that have shaped animal use and welfare strategies?

This would be our official stance presented to the world and to people in the hobby, especially the new people. It is a solid place to start, to be fortified with the knowledge of what already stands as credible. Addendums and specifics could grow in direction from there, but without the foundation of what has already been set, trying to find out what we all do and can agree on (which will not happen) is frail chaos. imo

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 13th, 2014, 3:37 am

Kelly Mc wrote:perhaps we could compose an official stance of standards and practitioner modes, that at least align themselves to established guidelines that have been set without controversy by recognized authorities like AVMA and other large universally accepted and scholared entitites that have shaped animal use and welfare strategies?
This is what USARK, Herp Alliance, etc. should be doing, but aren't currently. Maybe I'm the only guy who's written them concerning this proposal? If enough people (more specifically, dues-paying members) chime in, perhaps they'll pay attention.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 13th, 2014, 7:31 am

Kelly Mc wrote:... perhaps we could compose an official stance of standards and practitioner modes, that at least align themselves to established guidelines that have been set without controversy by recognized authorities like AVMA and other large universally accepted and scholared entitites that have shaped animal use and welfare strategies?
Another excellent, proactive idea that I think all of us should be able to get behind. :thumb:

In implementing this idea, though, I suspect that you're going to find such standards aren't really always "without controversy" or "universally accepted." ;) For one thing, companion animal, service animal, research animal and food animal standards can and do differ from one another quite a bit. For another, some groups who have played important parts in developing such standards have displayed a tendency to cater to their own vested interests in those standards, e.g. veterinarians managed to get legislation passed in FL requiring that dogs' tails can only be cropped by veterinarian$, not by the dogs' breeders who almost always do a much more careful and otherwise better job of it.

Gerry

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 13th, 2014, 7:55 am

Im not saying to invite groups to take part in implementing standards.

but to collect facts from guidelines that already exist and these reflect a great deal of recognizable semblance that are accepted as good practices.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 13th, 2014, 12:04 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:
Kelly Mc wrote:perhaps we could compose an official stance of standards and practitioner modes, that at least align themselves to established guidelines that have been set without controversy by recognized authorities like AVMA and other large universally accepted and scholared entitites that have shaped animal use and welfare strategies?
This is what USARK, Herp Alliance, etc. should be doing, but aren't currently. Maybe I'm the only guy who's written them concerning this proposal? If enough people (more specifically, dues-paying members) chime in, perhaps they'll pay attention.

Chris I had no idea you were thinking along the same lines, and its exciting super cool as you are The Get It Done Guy :)

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 13th, 2014, 1:03 pm

Kelly Mc wrote:Im not saying to invite groups to take part in implementing standards.

but to collect facts from guidelines that already exist and these reflect a great deal of recognizable semblance that are accepted as good practices.
I understand. I'm just saying that compiling good practices from elsewhere might not be as easy as it sounds. That's not at all to say we shouldn't do it! I wouldn't dream of trying to take lead on such a project, but I'd happily help. (And I agree that Chris would be a great person to take charge, but only if he'll learn how to hand out assignments rather than try to do so much by himself. ;) )

Gerry

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 13th, 2014, 1:54 pm

gbin wrote:And I agree that Chris would be a great person to take charge, but only if he'll learn how to hand out assignments rather than try to do so much by himself. ;)
You should see my current backlog of "herp-related projects," both of an academic and organizational nature; let alone the myriad other time-sinks in my life (day job, family, other non-herp-related organizations, etc.). I'd be happy to delegate if/once I get the projects a little more fleshed-out, and preferably under the auspices of some formal, structured organizations rather than a handpicked crack team of herp git-er-dunners...

:lol:

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 13th, 2014, 1:56 pm

One recent letter I wrote to the various national-level orgs...
I am writing as a member of the “herping community.” This email is being sent to several national-level organizations.



While herping is my primary hobby/passion, I am also interested in other pastimes; one of them being radio-controlled model aircraft. I am a lifetime member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), which is the national-level organization representing modelers’ interests. You may be familiar with recent efforts to shut down or significantly curtail recreational flying of radio-controlled aircraft due to a couple of news stories speculating that “bad guys” could fill one with explosives and blow up buildings or people; of course, the media also sensationalizes any mention of such aircraft by calling them “drones.”



However, the AMA has successfully inserted themselves into current legislation which, although placing restrictions on radio-controlled aircraft use, gives significant freedom to continue in the hobby so long as such activity is monitored/regulated under the auspices of a “community-based organization.” This means that membership in AMA (which, by the way, offers insurance to cover accidents with model aircraft) helps ensure hobbyists can continue enjoying their favorite pastime.



I see significant parallels in the radio-controlled aircraft hobby and the herp community in this regard. It would be a great leap forward if the community were to get specifically exempted from new proposed rules so long as members conformed to guidance set forth by a “community-based organization” such as yours. Of course, this would not be something which could be accomplished overnight, and it would take “buy-in” from industry partners, breeders, keepers, field herpers—basically everyone interested in herps.



Should you wish to pursue this particular approach to proposed legislation, I provide relevant information and contacts for the AMA, as they may be able to assist with best practices and templates for regulation proposals:



AMA’s main website: http://www.modelaircraft.org

AMA’s recent article about their successful interaction/coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.modelaviation.com/mousigning

AMA’s Government and Regulatory Affairs office email: [email protected]

AMA’s primary government and regulatory point of contact, Mr. Rich Hanson: [email protected]



Thank you for your consideration,

Chris McMartin

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Re: Justification.............

Post by hellihooks » March 14th, 2014, 2:57 pm

Kelly Mc wrote: perhaps we could compose an official stance of standards and practitioner modes,

This would be our official stance
Who is 'we'? FHF? Nafha? both? Nafha don't do 'politics', and I doubt Scott would support such a 'polar stance' (no matter how noble) on his fully public forum... (who knows...maybe he would)

my point is... there's a lot of 'we this' and 'we that'...1st step is defining who 'we' consists of... ;) jim

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 14th, 2014, 4:49 pm

The We are the people who keep reptiles in captivity. The Stance is not a political one, its an expression of protocol in the husbandry and use of all animals involved in our care.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 14th, 2014, 4:58 pm

As an English teacher and Wordsmith you discerned the flaw I just realized in using the word Official. Even the word Stance is not really the right fit.

Personally I like Creed.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 14th, 2014, 6:01 pm

I'd call it a document laying out captive herp care and use standards. Animal welfare issues can certainly prompt debate, but I don't believe they need be - and are better off not being - political.

And in the broad sense I'd say "we" means the herp community, and in the narrow sense I'd say it means a small group of particularly interested people (i.e. an informal committee) who are willing and able to cobble together and then push a first draft (e.g. to any and all captive herp groups that might be persuaded to adopt it or a subsequent revision of it).

And I suspect Scott would be delighted if FHF were useful in such an endeavor, and I think if the document were clear and concise enough he might even want to promote it by publishing it in Herp Nation (especially if one or more recognized captive herp groups had been persuaded to adopt it).

Zoos and universities (and some other institutions) already have such documents, so it would really "just" ;) be a matter of revising those to suit the herp hobby.

Gerry

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 15th, 2014, 4:59 am

gbin wrote:Zoos and universities (and some other institutions) already have such documents, so it would really "just" ;) be a matter of revising those to suit the herp hobby.
Yes.

And once that's in place, a national, dues-paying organization needs to adopt them and use them as leverage to help quell capricious laws that seem to pop up frequently.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 15th, 2014, 12:34 pm

It could be good in broadening the perception of those orgs as singularly adversarial. When a group is only received as adversarial (which is a necessity of legislative fight) it is met with more adversarial resistance in return. This is what I have noticed with humans, especially in groups.

It presents a salient, self actualized face.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by jayder85 » March 15th, 2014, 2:49 pm

I think it is a great idea and would be happy to lend what help I could provide.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by hellihooks » March 16th, 2014, 8:38 am

I'm not trying to be a naysayer... these are great 'ideals', but ostensibly we are a Field Herp Forum... and we (as a group) cannot even agree on what THAT means. Much less agree on what standards should apply, in any of the herp-related millues....
Remember... we exist only here, in cyberspace... we are not a 'real' organization, and as such, carry little to no weight. Better off (methinks) supporting and encouraging one of the 'real' organizations (whose standards WE(?) agree with) to do a better job at what they SHOULD be doing... :thumb: jim

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 16th, 2014, 8:58 am

No 'ideals' were mentioned on this thread. I think you may be misunderstanding.

There is also no cause for concern. Alot of people work this way already, intrinsically.

Although this discussion happens to be taking place here on a FHF thread, its not about doing a FHF Thing.

I dont personally support any 'real' organizations. I just try to do the best I can wherever I stand.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 16th, 2014, 10:19 am

hellihooks wrote:I'm not trying to be a naysayer... these are great 'ideals', but ostensibly we are a Field Herp Forum... and we (as a group) cannot even agree on what THAT means. Much less agree on what standards should apply, in any of the herp-related millues....
Remember... we exist only here, in cyberspace... we are not a 'real' organization, and as such, carry little to no weight. Better off (methinks) supporting and encouraging one of the 'real' organizations (whose standards WE(?) agree with) to do a better job at what they SHOULD be doing... :thumb: jim
I'm all for creating, supporting and (as seems appropriate to me) participating in useful organizations. I recognize very well that people are more powerful united than apart, and I'd love to see the herp community someday have one or maybe two (field and captive) truly encompassing organizations. I hope for the best for the various existing smaller organizations, too, though (as yet) I choose not to belong to any of them. (Well, I have belonged to this or that regional herp club over the years, but I'm not a member in any at present.)

But much smaller groups of people, sometimes even lone individuals, can nonetheless accomplish important work. Indeed, many would argue that they have a much easier time of doing so (hence the routine formation of small committees within larger bodies). A small group here or wherever else coming up with a draft document for the captive herp hobby and then encouraging one or more relevant existing organizations to adopt that document or a revision of it is a very worthwhile way of "supporting and encouraging one of the 'real' organizations... to do a better job at what they SHOULD be doing."

And the bottom line is that advances remain advances regardless of how they are achieved.

By the way, while this website is indeed FieldHerpForum, this particular message board at this website is the Herpetoculture Forum.

A related question for whomever has knowledge of the subject: What currently existing organizations, big or small, are you aware of that focus specifically on all or some part of the captive herp hobby? To be abundantly clear, I'm not asking about organizations that include (aspects of) the captive herp hobby as only a part of their focus, but just those organizations that restrict themselves to the captive side of the herp community. (So please don't anyone use this as an opportunity to go on and on about NAFHA and what it is or isn't and might or might not someday be... :? ) I'm not opposed to doing my own homework, but I thought folks here might be able to come up with a pretty good list pretty quickly and easily, much quicker and easier than I could do by myself. ;)

Gerry

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Re: Justification.............

Post by hellihooks » March 16th, 2014, 5:04 pm

Kelly... by 'ideals'. I mean the high ideal of uniting and improving captive herp standards. I like what you had to say about 'one person' being able to make a difference Gerry...I agree. who knows... with all the solitude and time I have, at my new job, I should have time to complete projects I've had on the back burner for a while, and possibly write that book on herping ethics I've threatened to write, several times. ;) Don't even THINK I've forgotten... :crazyeyes:
For now... checking in once every several days at my house in town, is about all I can do. :? cyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 16th, 2014, 5:12 pm

gbin wrote:A related question for whomever has knowledge of the subject: What currently existing organizations, big or small, are you aware of that focus specifically on all or some part of the captive herp hobby? To be abundantly clear, I'm not asking about organizations that include (aspects of) the captive herp hobby as only a part of their focus, but just those organizations that restrict themselves to the captive side of the herp community.
The big two, at least for the USA, are United States Association of Reptile Keepers and the Herp Alliance.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 16th, 2014, 6:18 pm

I think some clarity is needed. The idea of uniting and improving herp keeping standards is a worthy goal. When I said I do try to do the best I can, the definition of that for me is, knowing that there is always Better to be done, more to learn, and having that be the constant gear to grind on. I think most of us here operate like that, from what I can see.

But Uniting and Improving Herp Keeping Standards in a cannonized way is an endeavor rife with insurmountable contention. Not very plausible for many reasons.

While ideals are important, what is meant is alot more boring and basic; which is : That recognizing animal use guidelines already exist These were developed per researched and reviewed data, so personally agreeing with them is not a factor, or uniting prerequisite. You either follow them, or you dont.

The diversity and specificities of reptiles and amphibians are a noted reality, but not a block to many basic guidelines that encompass many taxa. Biological monomorphic exceptions they are not.

Feeder Animals are Inherent to Herpetoculture. Guidelines for the management and use of rodents is clear cut, and has been in place for decades.

Any guidelines referring to herp keeping strategies, would only develop in correlation with hard data. With the implicit understanding that such guidelines are open to review and revision, per response to more data.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by gbin » March 17th, 2014, 4:32 am

Yup, another way to look at it is that we would simply be furthering the recognition and application of herp keeping standards that doubtless already exist somewhere (albeit with some revision). The very fact that most (all?) of us can't here and now point our finger at a particular set of such standards in the herp hobby suggests the exercise would be useful.

I'd caution you to keep in mind my earlier caveat with respect to assessing existing standards, though, Kelly. The sad truth is that they weren't necessarily developed per researched and reviewed data; vested interests and opinion-based biases have not infrequently played more of a part than one would like to think. Maintaining some skepticism in all directions (most definitely including toward Authority) is a good approach. ;)

Gerry

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 17th, 2014, 7:17 am

IACUC standards, and ASIH Guidelines for Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles stand out in my mind as adaptable for use without complaint.

I don't think it necessary for the Herp Hobby to demand more formality and 'hardness' in this than what is used in the practice of human Medicine which I see hinted at a lot in forum discussions about herp care, but not with exotics vets I have worked with and communicated with, nor herpetologists who are also involved in herpetoculture.

There is a trepidation I can sense, not with you Gerry, but overall, that this embryonic idea, which is more of an appeal to explore beyond complacency, that it would limit freedom, or cause disagreement of protocol.

And it is true that addendums would be made to design.

A quick example I can think of would be Sexing snakes intra caudally. Ok I think everyone could agree that anyone involved in breeding snakes who is probing them, should be using the standard implements designed for the purpose, not bent open paper clips, or cut off Q-Tips. I have seen with my own eyes a snake being probed with a paper clip, and heard anecdotally a person tell me they used QTips. This would be unsupported by the guidelines of use and practices.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by jayder85 » March 24th, 2014, 5:10 am

Here is a perfect example of working around the natural habits of a "snake feeding" snake.



Jack maintains a large collection of Eastern Corals for venom work. Imagine the number of snakes that need to be collected to feed them or the number of roadkill or stillborn snakes. His techniques maintain them on a balanced diet that is live animal free and his animals thrive.

Think it is a lot of trouble to go through? Well the time IMO is worth it to maintain healthy animals.

Just thought I would throw this out there.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 24th, 2014, 9:26 am

Kelly Mc wrote:There is a trepidation I can sense, not with you Gerry, but overall, that this embryonic idea, which is more of an appeal to explore beyond complacency, that it would limit freedom, or cause disagreement of protocol.
Can you provide links to the guidelines? I'd look them up but am time-limited today.

Getting back to my proposed model for self-regulation--

Let's say "we" (the herping community) adopt Guidelines Sets X and Y, and promulgate them through a national-level organization which collects dues.

A herper agrees to abide by Guidelines Set X for Keepers, and in return gets certain perks (reduced-rate insurance, discounts on feeders/supplies, etc) but most importantly, the assurance that nobody (i.e. government) can fault them for their practices so long as they are in keeping with the guidelines.

A dealer, breeder, manufacturer, etc. agrees to abide by Guidelines Set Y for Industry Partners, and in return gets certain perks (preferred-dealer status, etc) but most importantly, the assurance that nobody (i.e. government) can fault them for their practices so long as they are in keeping with the guidelines.

It's essentially a closed-loop system wherein participants have great confidence they're buying, selling, maintaining, and otherwise enjoying the hobby with like-minded individuals and businesses who have similarly committed to upholding a certain standard, in order to minimize outside scrutiny/interference.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 24th, 2014, 10:17 am

jayder85 wrote:Here is a perfect example of working around the natural habits of a "snake feeding" snake.



Jack maintains a large collection of Eastern Corals for venom work. Imagine the number of snakes that need to be collected to feed them or the number of roadkill or stillborn snakes. His techniques maintain them on a balanced diet that is live animal free and his animals thrive.

Think it is a lot of trouble to go through? Well the time IMO is worth it to maintain healthy animals.

Just thought I would throw this out there.

Jayder

Powerful example of professional skills and choices. Really a great example of where the bar belongs imo, the snakes deserve it to be at that level - the captives and the wilds.

Man I love that tube feed assist mechanism ! :D


Chris great unput & no I cant besides doing so would be a disservice to the potentiality of you in particular, coming across something along the way that would be of value to note. If you cant tell Im giving you a sincere compliment.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 24th, 2014, 5:02 pm

Kelly Mc wrote:Chris great unput & no I cant besides doing so would be a disservice to the potentiality of you in particular, coming across something along the way that would be of value to note.
I'll take the compliment, and any extra time you can throw my way...can't afford to go down another Internet rabbit-hole any time soon (as I am wont to do)...deadlines approaching for several projects, both paying gigs and voluntary.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 24th, 2014, 6:14 pm

That's great Chris :) yep life keeps showing up .. But let us remember we are not the only people out there, others could be thinking about these concepts and have valuable insights to share.

Jayder put a post up of working strategies that hit many notes of topic. It was in good contrast to the other not so great Coral Snake example posted earlier.

It would be great to see other positive and interesting examples posted.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 25th, 2014, 12:02 am

The Coral Snakes shown being fed ties in with what was meant by making choices within the interdisciplinary scope and protocols that are standard, proven practice in providing nutrition, in animal and even human health care sciences. This is what is meant by staying within accepted guidelines. Marine mammals, opposums, puppies, baby hyacinth macaw and other difficult psitticines, wild bird rehab, and many other - Ross Allen's hydraulic syringe and feeding of King Cobras, captured in black and white photographs in a little hard covered book about his reptile zoo in Florida was my first exposure to this method as a young person in what was at that time, a very eclectic burgeoning genre of mostly wild caught, imported reptile fauna.

So the Choice of resolving a quandry of providing good, specific nourishment in certain cases of anorexia, or specific, non cultured prey is presented here as an example of using a standard method. It is noted that the body english of a Coral Snake would lend itself to this method choice, than a hyperbolically tensile, supernaturally fast viperine, but it is an example of a choice, and wildlife independent method of captive animal care.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 25th, 2014, 12:41 am

I also want to say that dealing with animals is not a purely scientific activity. There are other aspects at play, that are outside the box of population biology, for instance.

That we choose to keep reptiles - it is a choice. Wild animals are more than a statistical figure to GP, influenced not only by "bad media" but a genuinely growing awareness of respect for the planet and its denizens. Acceptability is important regardless of what we think of wildlife organizations and entities like the Smithsonian's stances on certain issues. They are far larger than the herpetoculture community and always will be.

The power of a demeanor is an absolute reality of human interaction.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kelly Mc » March 25th, 2014, 3:52 am

If circumstances and localities where using preferred and plentiful prey items are a valid choice, i think it should be done with utmost attention to conservative take, proper transport, containment and euthanasia method. These should be carried through as expeditiously as possible. That may mean food harvested free will require some cost in set up for process, since the choice has been made to use them, and keep species that we are feeding them to.

On the internet nothing is small information. The practice of capturing lizards to break tails for scenting blood to apply on pinkies, and then releasing them, or keeping them captive for further use this way, for example, would not be a method that would be within approved use, for example. Refrain from unnecessary damage to native fauna would be a sound choice.

See: Tail injuries increase the risk of mortality in free living lizards

The key point isnt the moot impact to populace, but the fact that studies exist that we choose to aknowledge, in keeping our impact as unobtrusive as possible.

So these are some of my thoughts. I have not shared in one place before

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Re: Justification.............

Post by mikez » April 26th, 2014, 1:52 pm

I think it might need to be pointed out that force feeding snakes is not really for most "hobbyists", although I realize it is done extensively. Injuries to snake and handler as well as nutritional content of substitute food concern me. I'd prefer that be recommended only for pros and advanced hobbyists with training. Just how I feel. I realize most of the posters are in those two groups, but not necessarily the impressionable lurkers.

I used to collect bags and bags of roadkilled frogs and toads for my garters and watersnakes. One rainy spring night could give a whole season of food. I froze them in the hopes of killing parasites. Don't know if it worked but the animals stayed healthy. Although maybe not needed for relatively easy captives, I was not impressed with feeding store bought live goldfish or mice. Didn't seem natural. More a feeling than science.

I had great success keeping redbelly snakes by training them to take their slugs from forceps. Once they responded to the empty forceps, they were ready to take gut loaded guppies or earthworms from them. This diet seemed to be more than sufficient despite somewhat contradicting my "au natural" philosophy suggested above. I really wanted to keep those snakes but collecting slugs sucks and I don't do force feeding. It worked.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by simus343 » April 27th, 2014, 6:00 am

I justify feeding toads to my Heterodon platirhinos by finding and freezing fresh road kill amphibians after a rain. Toads are already dead, I didn't have to do it. Also for years now I have been attempting to breed Anaxyrus terrestris in captivity and it has finally paid off! I got a large string of eggs a few nights ago. I know where to go from here, I have been hatching toad eggs since I was 6 and raising the tadpoles into toads and raising the toads a few years after. So now I have my own captive bred feeding source for my Eastern Hognose, and as they are backyard stock, I am going to release excess into my backyard where the breeding parents were collected. The way I look at it is if an animal has gone through countless centuries of evolution to specialize on an animal type and not on others, then that is what the animal should be fed. Sad as it may be that is the price of keeping some animals.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 27th, 2014, 10:43 am

simus343 wrote:So now I have my own captive bred feeding source for my Eastern Hognose, and as they are backyard stock, I am going to release excess into my backyard where the breeding parents were collected.
If you have sufficient excess, would it be possible to sell/give them to other hognose keepers? I would think the "domestically produced, natural food source" angle would be helpful for people who might also be currently collecting wild toads but would prefer to purchase farmed toads.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by simus343 » April 28th, 2014, 5:55 am

We will see on that. I am getting a female eastern in July to breed with my male so I will be needing extras frozen for babies as well as both parents. I am only aiming for 1 "string" a year for now to save space and time as far as raising the toadlets. However, when I finish college I WILL be looking into large-scale breeding toads for the purpose of larger scale captive breeding of eastern and southern hogs in order to reduce collection pressure. Mind you this is several years off, at least 2-3 more years.

Overall the process is rather easy though. Male and female toad of given species, keep them outside in a baby-pool with a partial water area with fake or live plants in it, I find various lake shore weeds easy to transplant. Then when the barometric pressure drops the male starts calling and voila. I tried for years indoors and in a garage and it never worked. Recently I acquired a baby-pool that was going to be thrown away and set it up. Worked real well as soon as the toads were exposed to real conditions. The hardest part is the raising of the baby toads, the tadpoles are really easy to care for. A light trap helps to save money on pin heads and wingless fruit flies.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 28th, 2014, 1:24 pm

simus343 wrote:Overall the process is rather easy though.
Easy in FLORIDA, you mean. :P

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Re: Justification.............

Post by simus343 » April 28th, 2014, 6:55 pm

Well you have breeding toads in your state too yes :P? If the night time temps don't go below 50 degrees F keep the toads outside and secure, with something to put egg masses on, and the rain and barometric pressure changes will do the rest. Just got to make sure they are "awake" haha. The barometric pressure is the key part I think, so a rain chamber MIGHT work. But if putting them outside on warm nights works too, I'll go with that.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by jayder85 » April 29th, 2014, 6:13 am

simus343 wrote:I justify feeding toads to my Heterodon platirhinos by finding and freezing fresh road kill amphibians after a rain. Toads are already dead, I didn't have to do it. Also for years now I have been attempting to breed Anaxyrus terrestris in captivity and it has finally paid off! I got a large string of eggs a few nights ago. I know where to go from here, I have been hatching toad eggs since I was 6 and raising the tadpoles into toads and raising the toads a few years after. So now I have my own captive bred feeding source for my Eastern Hognose, and as they are backyard stock, I am going to release excess into my backyard where the breeding parents were collected. The way I look at it is if an animal has gone through countless centuries of evolution to specialize on an animal type and not on others, then that is what the animal should be fed. Sad as it may be that is the price of keeping some animals.
Fresh DORs can be a great resource for feeding! A friend of mine kept a Mud Snake for years, feeding it on DOR Ambystoma species that he collected on rainy nights. Another friend used strips of DOR snakes, laid across the nose of FT rats to start King Cobras on eating rodents. I personally wouldn't use something that is fly infested and laying on the road for a week to feed an animal, but keeping DORs from being wasted is a great way to go about feeding herp feeding herps.

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Re: Justification.............

Post by Kfen » May 12th, 2014, 9:59 am

simus343 wrote: I am going to release excess into my backyard where the breeding parents were collected.
Simus, I would encourage you to take Chris's suggestion of giving/selling your excess rather than releasing them back into the wild. There are a couple of reasons not to release animals that have been in captivity. The most important (in my mind at least) is the risk of disease transmission. While the risk may be low, it is still there, and I doubt you would want to be the cause of any die off of your local population.

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