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 Post subject: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 5:49 pm 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
Hey everyone,

I'm looking to put together a list of places to donate the money from a hobby business I will be starting, and was was wondering what you guys would consider the best/highest impact herp oriented conservation organizations are? I've already got Save The Frogs on the list, but I want to get another three or four.

Thanks in advance,
Gabe


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 5:59 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:13 pm
Posts: 2221
Location: Minnesota
Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (and their regional chapters)
Orianne Society
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Herps Societies (MN Herp Society)


just to name a few....

-Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 6:19 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 1720
Location: A Sovereign TX Enclave in the Greater Kansas City Area
Donate locally--Kansas City Herp Society? ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 7:12 pm 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
Chris Smith wrote:


Thanks, I take a look at those!


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 7:15 pm 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
chris_mcmartin wrote:
Donate locally--Kansas City Herp Society? ;)


I got the vibe that they were more herpetoculture oriented, but I could very well be wrong about that. I would be interested in donating to the Kansas Herp Society, though. Thanks for the suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 7:50 pm 
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Joined: May 14th, 2012, 10:23 am
Posts: 142
Location: Leander, TX
http://www.newtstees.com/apps/webstore/ ... ow/3166613

Each of these purchases donated $5 to stopping the Rattlesnake Round ups. Id say thats a good Herp oriented conservation cause.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 5th, 2012, 8:03 pm 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
AtroxKR wrote:
http://www.newtstees.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3166613

Each of these purchases donated $5 to stopping the Rattlesnake Round ups. Id say thats a good Herp oriented conservation cause.


For sure!

Do you know if they accept donations without the purchase of a shirt? I'm sure they do, but you never know...


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 4:13 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2010, 10:33 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas
Save the Frogs
Sea Turtle Conservency


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 5:26 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Not sure if these are the type you seek but they sure do good, real, work:

Zoo Atlanta
Atlanta Botanical Gardens

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 5:57 am 

Joined: September 8th, 2011, 5:12 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Oxford, MS
I personally wouldn't have Save The Frogs on the list. I've had a number of interactions with the executive director which have led me to see that he only is interested in conservation as he sees it. Despite my having a master's degree in conservation (specifically worked with amphibians), he scorned me for my suggestions on amphibian conservation, not because my recommendations were unreasonable, but because I did not give money to STF. So I won't ever recommend them.

But, I would also add The Biodiversity Group (biodiversitygroup.org) to the list. I've worked with them, and they have a number of study sites (mainly Ecuador and Mexico, but they're expanding to Vietnam) where they go to disturbed areas to survey for herps to make conservation recommendations. They've discovered a number of new species, and are doing some great work in areas that need attention.

I'd also suggest Treewalkers International (treewalkers.org) which is an amphibian conservation organization that deals with conserving wild populations through captive breeding. They do good work with maintaining captive populations of amphibians, promoting creation of habitat for natives, and coordinate with other organizations to protect habitat.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 6:25 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:05 pm
Posts: 837
Location: Kansas
The Wetlands Institute of Southern New Jersey does wonderful, high impact work with Diamondback Terrapins.

Share the Beach- is an amazing Alabama sea turtle conservation group

CNAH and the Kansas Herp Society promote citizen science and the dissemination of information extremely effectively.


Dan

PS Some day soon, I'll be proud to add Small Scale Films to that list, but for now.... still struggling.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 7:29 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Posts: 127
I would give to any organization that uses your money to purchase land. Land that would then be forever protected from any type of development or exploitation. Not only will it conserve the herps present, but everything else that resides there as well.

RW


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 7:32 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 9:06 am
Posts: 724
Location: Montana
International Reptile Conservation Foundation: http://www.ircf.org/. They do some cool stuff.

-Cole


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 8:20 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2012, 10:23 am
Posts: 142
Location: Leander, TX
Gabrial:

Yes, I am sure they take donations otherwise. If you are interested in doing so, PM me and I will get you in touch with the guys in charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 8:26 am 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!

Dan- I'm looking forward to the day I receive my copy of AlternaRush. :beer:

Atrox- I won't be starting this until next year, but I will contact you then. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 8:27 am 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
Ridge Walker wrote:
I would give to any organization that uses your money to purchase land. Land that would then be forever protected from any type of development or exploitation. Not only will it conserve the herps present, but everything else that resides there as well.

RW


That's a great idea! I will look into that.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 9:17 am 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Imperial valley, CA.
I agree with Ridgewalker, habitat is where it's at...the best move to make is secure the land, and quit arguing over how to spend $. Project Orianne is habitat based with a professional staff of vets, researchers, biologists, who are doing quantifiable work with Eastern Indigos and Gopher tortoises and other organisms that share the Florida/Georgia habitat. Also, Nature Conservancy is a big and well organized outfit that no doubt has projects near you.

good luck, once you donate, they/others will usually come to you...


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 11:37 am 

Joined: June 27th, 2010, 2:42 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Everywhere USA
The Orianne Society Staffing Agency is based on producing worthless science and getting your money. Their into acquiring land grabs for personal hunting use. They dont like it if you talk to much. Genetic based hogwash propogation and million dallor state of the art facilities will produce as many a number of captive snakes as any 15 year could do in his mothers walk in closet. They have their wardens on a leash, and may already have your sent if you "like snakes". One hand washes the other, or should I say agency.........


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 12:19 pm 
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Joined: November 6th, 2010, 9:59 am
Posts: 436
Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
I couldn't disagree more. I work for The Orianne Society, but I certainly wouldn't continue to do so if I felt the work that they are doing was "worthless". If you have any questions about the points that Dave brought up, please PM me or contact The Orianne Society directly. I can also put you in contact with the head of our captive breeding program, Fred Antonio, who has been working in zoos all of his life, and he can inform you on the difficulties of breeding eastern indigo snakes in captivity.

Dave probably has as much, or more field experience than anybody on this forum and he knows a lot about snakes based on many years of observations, but he is not a scientist or biologist. It is unfortunate that he feels so strongly against this organization, hopefully you will do some research and form your own opinions, whether you choose to donate to them or not.

-Kevin Stohlgren


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 3:32 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 243
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
Dave,

I am disappointed that you didn't have a better experience with them. I've looked through their publications and found some interesting things and intended to donate to them in this quarter in fact. That said, I don't mind hunting whether publicly or privately allowed so that doesn't really sway my opinion. If the worst thing about the organization is they use the land as a semi-private hunting area, then I am fine with that. While mom's closet may suffice for a 15 year old, and probably for some lonely 40s gents, I don't think it would be appropriate or publicly persuasive for a credible organization to use such a setup. Imagine the fear if people thought snakes might accidentally get loose? Remember, they have to appear credible to a fearful and skeptical public who *MUST* see them as experts who can be trusted to do this important work without have escapes. It's akin to asking people to allow a infectious disease warehouse be stored in the community. The government might be able to do it but what if Joe the town bar owner wanted to?


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 3:55 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Posts: 127
Just realize that if you donate to the Orianne society your money may not go towards land purchasing. A quick look at their site reveals that they are conducting quite a bit of of research....which of course costs money. Money that will not be spent on land purchase and protection.

RW


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 5:42 pm 
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Location: A Sovereign TX Enclave in the Greater Kansas City Area
Stohlgren wrote:
Dave probably has as much, or more field experience than anybody on this forum and he knows a lot about snakes based on many years of observations, but he is not a scientist or biologist.


I don't know you, and I'm not bashing you personally, but the above statement comes across as condescending/insulting to anyone who isn't a paid/professional scientist/biologist yet contributes to the body of knowledge.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 7:22 pm 
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
Sorry Chris, I understand how it came across that way, but it was certainly not my intent. I think the knowledge and experience of those who are not professional scientists is greatly useful to those of us in the science and conservation fields. The Orianne Society is even working on developing some citizen science programs. The reason I made that comment is because I was offended by Dave's comment of "producing worthless science", as I am one of those who is working on producing that science, and I feel that his attacks are unfounded and based on some agenda he has against the organization. I should have addressed that comment directly instead of being so vague.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 6th, 2012, 10:32 pm 

Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 6:49 pm
Posts: 241
Buy me a house and land in Longleaf Pine forest or in Central America and I'll steward the land til I die making sure the herps and other wildlife are free from habitat destruction, collecting, etc. They will be caught and photographed though ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 6:53 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:30 am
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Location: Clifton, Arizona
Image

http://www.reptilist.com


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 6:56 am 
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Folks' (sometimes wildly) differing opinions on various organizations just go to show that one should do a bit of homework before donating to any organization. Anyone with website design skill or access to someone who has such can set up a gorgeous, incredibly professional-looking website espousing all kinds of lofty goals, so that's only the place to start after hearing about an organization. Try to find ways to determine what their real product is. What steps did they actually take last year toward achieving their goals (in terms of land purchases, scientific publications or other accomplishments of interest)? How about the year before, etc.? Newer organizations obviously merit more scrutiny because of their relative lack of a track record, but that doesn't mean one should rule them out. See whether it's possible to find some kind of independent, unbiased assessment of them, and I don't mean just by soliciting more opinions from an internet message board - which might not be independent or unbiased in the slightest. ;) I've never understood how some people will throw donations at an organization just because they received some glossy brochures about it in the mail; "a fool and his money...," I guess.

With respect to DBD's comment about the Orianne Society producing worthless science, and Kevin's response to it: Kevin, correct me if I'm wrong, but what I suspect you were trying to get at by pointing out that DBD is not a scientist or biologist - and I myself hold this sentiment and don't see it as condescending/insulting toward non-scientists in the slightest - is that he has no apparent qualifications that qualify him to judge something's scientific worth. One doesn't have to be a professional scientist oneself, but one should at least have a demonstrated understanding of science and offer a reasoned criticism. DBD provided neither. He made an offensively unfounded and unqualified remark, and that deserved to be pointed out. If you hadn't done so on behalf of the Orianne Society, I can assure you that I would have done so myself on basic principle (and I have no association whatsoever with the society). It's strange, folks don't get on these message boards and just start willy-nilly bashing this profession or that, this professional or that, but it seems that science and scientists are always handy targets for certain people here. And then when they're rightly criticized for it, the people who acted to defend science/scientists are made out to be the bad guys.

Anyway, this is an interesting thread, Gabe, and I'm glad you started it. It'll be interesting to hear what organization(s) you decide to go with, too!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 7:50 am 
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Location: Clifton, Arizona
When it comes to conservation, I believe that compassion and communication trumps science. Why? Because the most important thing is to convince the human horde that herps are vital enrichments to our life experience. I've listened to some notable scientists talk publicly on occasion, and for the most part, they lose the interest of the crowd by being too analytical. I strive to make presentations and write articles for the normal people.... So that they will practice conservation whenever they encounter nature. Scientists deal with data, and that is good background, but the forefront of conservation is being able to present to and convert our fellow man to behave with higher regard for the natural world.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 8:30 am 
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
Thanks, Gerry. Yes, that is exactly the point I was trying to make. And I will add that I don't feel that you have to been a professional scientist to judge the work, be it science related or not, done by a conservation organization, university, or anyone else, IF you have valid points. But I do not appreciate the work that I am doing being called "worthless" without any of those valid points.

I also agree with Gerry about doing your homework on any organizations you may think of donating to. I, of course, feel the work that The Orianne Society is doing (which has included land acquisition, habitat restoration, and scientific research) is making a difference. But everyone should make that decision on their own, rather than being influenced by opinions on an internet forum.

I am just a graduate student (working on an eastern diamondback rattlesnake project), with a full slate of my own work to deal with so I don't keep up on the full scope of what The Orianne Society has accomplished so far and all of the future goals, but if anyone has questions feel free to PM me. I would however recommend contacting them directly either by phone or email and asking them questions. You should do so with any of the organizations you may consider donating to, whether it is reptilists smaller outfit or a huge organization like the Nature Conservancy. If they don't have the time to answer your questions to help you determine if their cause it one worth donating to, then they don't deserve your money.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 8:41 am 
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
stlouisdude wrote:
While mom's closet may suffice for a 15 year old, and probably for some lonely 40s gents, I don't think it would be appropriate or publicly persuasive for a credible organization to use such a setup. Imagine the fear if people thought snakes might accidentally get loose? Remember, they have to appear credible to a fearful and skeptical public who *MUST* see them as experts who can be trusted to do this important work without have escapes. It's akin to asking people to allow a infectious disease warehouse be stored in the community. The government might be able to do it but what if Joe the town bar owner wanted to?


Eastern indigos are notoriously difficult to breed successfully in captivity, long term. Part of The Orianne Society's goals for eastern indigo conservation includes reintroductions, and these reintroductions will be sustained by a captive breeding colony. In order to build this breeding colony, The Orianne Society is in the process of building a (yes, state of the art), facility that includes outdoor exclosures. You can read more in depth on this page of their website - http://www.oriannesociety.org/captive-propagation .


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 11:56 am 

Joined: May 10th, 2011, 8:23 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kansas City, MO
Well, this thread has gotten a lot more posts than I was expecting. Let me start by saying that I wasn't looking for people to decide who I donated to, I was just looking for ideas so I could weed out the ones I like. Through my own research, of course...

I appreciate all of the ideas.

Also, after a small amount of research, It looks like the CEO of The Nature Conservancy is payed nearly half a million dollars a year...

Gabe-


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 3:11 pm 
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http://www.charitynavigator.org/__asset__/studies/2010_CEO_Compensation_Study_FinalRev.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 9:30 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Quote:
I wasn't looking for people to decide who I donated to, I was just looking for ideas so I could weed out the ones I like


Amen brother.

I find the obsession with purchasing land pretty amusing. It may (or may not...) interest folks that TNC, surely one of the largest, most famous land-buying conservation outfits of all time, has made a well-considered strategic shift in the last decade away from buying land and toward influencing the stewardship of other people's land (private and public). So they're:
- conducting tons of their own and also training many, many other folks in prescribed fire and weed management,
- doing a ton of habitat mapping and forecasting for huge landowners like BLM, USFS, big timber, etc, (including - oh the horror - helping folks figure out how to earn a sustainable income off their land),
- helping with climate-change vulnerability assessments,
- and yes, still doing a lot of real estate deals - but doing a lot more "conservation flipping" and hanging onto almost nothing new.

They made this pretty profound shift because (among other good reasons) they discovered that owning land is insanely expensive, FOREVER, and that they could wring WAY, WAY more conservation value out of a donated buck by helping others manage their own land better, than by trying to buy it from them and then being on the sharp hook for managing it themselves.

It's sad, and funny at the same time, that TNC has sort of had to do this strategic pivot "secretly", because they have a huge donor base that has developed the expectation (much like we've read here) that buying land is 1) "the" right way to do conservation and 2) that's just who TNC is, for ever and ever. It's just like in politics - we can't HANDLE the truth so we don't get the truth. ("Yes sweetie, you can have it all and not pay for it. No sweetie, you won't get sick from eating 4000 calories a day of sugar and lipids. Have another pony keg of Coke and a double whopper, and why dontcha super-size those freedom fries.")

Any doubters out there can just compare a current TNC magazine with one from, say, 5 years ago. Remember that section where (kind of like in USA Today) they used to do state-by-state puff pieces and highlight a land deal in each state? Buh-bye. And now there are way more articles about TNC-led conservation science, education & outreach, influencing policy, etc. Ever wonder about that? Wonder no more.

Aside - CEOs in this country just get paid a LOT. Right or wrong that's how it is right now. TNC is a high-profile, highly-effective outfit. I don't know if that would remain the case if they paid poorly.

I won't comment on the Orianne bashing directly. I will say I have worked with them a little and have no complaints. I would add they have impressed me with their business acumen and their deeply-considered strategic approach to indigo conservation, which includes some land acquisition (NOT in overpriced Florida, but in bargain-basement Georgia sandhills - smart!), significant stewardship of those lands, some attempts to help or influence others to better-manage their own lands to benefit indigos (e.g., w/ prescribed fire), some research to help understand factors that limit indigo persistence or recruitment on the landscape, especially on the northern end of the range (e.g., too-few tortoise burrows & stumpholes, etc), and some ex-situ conservation (including captive breeding).

To some extent the ex-situ stuff operates on the same principle as TNC not being able to just come out and say "Hey, you know what, we've studied this pretty closely and that thing you want us to do is just not going to work out so well - it's not really that helpful and it's stupid-expensive". We EXPECT it, and they need - require - our support, so we force them to do it, even though it might actually be kind of dumb. It's the same thing politicians face. And we complain so much about them.



Now ain't that a bitch?



There's no silver bullet, no single answer, to conserving amphibians, indigo snakes, big cats, whatever. But thank God there's a guy out there who gives a shit about an imperiled snake species and who's rich enough and focused enough and good enough at business to do something about it, now and probably for quite a long time. I think Orianne is more of a game-changer than we've seen specifically in indigo conservation in decades. Especially if the Florida peninsula is underwater, literally, in a century or less...as seems increasingly likely.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 6:29 am 
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reptilist wrote:
When it comes to conservation, I believe that compassion and communication trumps science...

I believe that the three of them together trump any lesser grouping; they're best thought of as members of the same team rather than competitors. ;)

Jimi wrote:
Aside - CEOs in this country just get paid a LOT. Right or wrong that's how it is right now. TNC is a high-profile, highly-effective outfit. I don't know if that would remain the case if they paid poorly.

There's a LOT of room between being paid "nearly half a million dollars a year" and "poorly." :lol: I personally would have a hard time justifying donating to a conservation organization that pays its CEO so much. I also can't bring myself to donate to one that, once it gets your contact information on its list, subjects you to an unending blizzard of paper mailings promoting itself. I know that The Nature Conservancy does good things, but they're not for me. When it comes to money, I always try to get the most bang for my buck.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 12:12 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Quote:
There's a LOT of room between being paid "nearly half a million dollars a year" and "poorly." :lol: I personally would have a hard time justifying donating to a conservation organization that pays its CEO so much.


I guess this is another case of folks talking too much about stuff they don't know much about. I freely admit that on the subject of executive compensation I'm one of those folks. What's a well-paid global-level conservation NGO-CEO make versus a poorly-paid one? Shit if I know. But unlike some, I'd prefer to just say "huh - looks kinda funny but whatever - on this issue I'll defer to those whose business it is". So I say "they want to pay him a half mil - whatever, that's their business".

I work a lot, and quite closely, with TNC; have for the last decade. When it comes to conservation they seriously get it done (and not just hand-waving and suing - real move-the-needle conservation). Whole lotta bang there. Big bucks too, sure. But you don't get big bang with small bucks. I guess it's just a matter of where do you want to plug in? Small bang or big bang. To put it another way - in an investment you don't just look at the outlay - you have to look at the return.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 5:51 pm 
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I can just speak in general about conservation organizations (because I know nothing specific about any of them). But as someone whose been in the nonprofit sector for a while, those who evaluate nonprofits have been saying for a long time that looking at overhead costs is a TERRIBLE way to evaluate a nonprofit. Yes, an organization could waste tons of money in wages and office expenses. But on the other hand, an organization could rely on low-wage employees and volunteers so that all of donor money is spent on the "product", but end up turning out an awful product as a result. The truth is, in order to spend your money smartly and make the biggest difference, you have to spend some smart money on overhead, and that includes paying for good employees and doing some quality research. I'm not a fan of big CEO salaries, but I'm not going to judge an organization on that factor, when another organization might be paying it's CEO half as much but be wasting millions of dollars elsewhere due to mismanagement.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 7:32 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
... I say "they want to pay him a half mil - whatever, that's their business".

I agree. I also say (already said, actually), though, "I don't want to donate to an organization that pays its CEO a half mil - that's MY business." ;)

Jimi wrote:
... Whole lotta bang there...

Again, I agree. But as I (again) already said, it's not just bang that I'm after with whatever money I can afford to donate, it's bang for the buck.

Jimi wrote:
... you don't just look at the outlay - you have to look at the return.

jonathan wrote:
... I'm not a fan of big CEO salaries, but I'm not going to judge an organization on that factor, when another organization might be paying it's CEO half as much but be wasting millions of dollars elsewhere due to mismanagement.

And as I (yet again - sigh...) already said - indeed it was one of the things I led with in my first post to this thread - determining what an organization's real product has been is a very important step toward deciding whether to give them money. That doesn't mean that folks can't apply other criteria that matter to them (e.g. avoiding organizations that pay their top officers exorbitant sums, or that incessantly mass mail people to try to get them to donate) as well, though.

Jimi and Jonathan, if you want to donate to different organizations than I or simply disagree with me about criteria I apply in deciding among the possibilities, that's of course fine with me. To each of us our own choices, after all. But if you want to argue with me about things, can you at least make sure that your arguments actually pertain, i.e. they focus on positions I actually expressed, rather than on positions you attributed to me despite my saying things to the contrary? Thanks. :?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 7:41 pm 
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Gerry, I was not arguing with you. I was not even thinking about you or your comments in my reply. My statement was about looking at overhead costs in general (mostly due to the Orianne discussion), and I stated my own opinion about CEO salaries at the end because Gabe brought it up. I only stated what I would do re: evaluation of CEO salaries, not what you should or shouldn't do. In fact, looking over my comments again, I think that our opinions had more things in common than not.

Since I attributed nothing at all to you in my comment, nor even mentioned you or your argument, I'd prefer you take back the accusation that I attributed false arguments to you. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 8:48 pm 
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Chris Smith wrote:


That's a really helpful study Chris. One interesting fact in there is that the median CEO salary for organizations with revenue over $500 million is about $700,000 a year. So The Nature Conservancy is actually paying its CEO less than most CEOs for comparably sized charities.

Here's one chart from the pdf. The first column is charity size, the second is median CEO salary:

Size 2008 Median Salary
$13.5 - $25 Million $211,899
$25 - $50 Million $265,005
$50 - $100 Million $336,104
$100 - $200 Million $378,942
$200 - $500 Million $429,754
Over $500 Million $695,379


(The Nature Conservancy revenue for the '10/'11 business year was about $1 billion and its CEO compensation was $493,000.)


Like I said before, I'm not a fan of those salaries (I love organizations that take the approach the the highest paid employee makes no more than 8-10 times as much as the lowest paid employee), but it's still good to put the numbers into perspective. The % of revenue that The Nature Conservancy puts into CEO salary is less than 1/10 of 1% - about one nickel out of every $100 you donate. If they have serious issues with their overhead costs, then they would come from other factors than CEO salary.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 5:35 am 
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jonathan wrote:
... I think that our opinions had more things in common than not.

And there's another thing we agree on. :beer:

(I truly don't see how I can be misreading what you posted above re: arguing with me about my unwillingness to donate to organizations with exorbitant CEO salaries, Jonathan, but if I nonetheless somehow am then I apologize. I'm afraid that's the best I can offer you here.)

jonathan wrote:
... the median CEO salary for organizations with revenue over $500 million is about $700,000 a year...

I've no doubt that it's common, but that doesn't make it right. It also doesn't persuade me in the least to change my mind and give money to an organization that pays its top officer(s) such huge sums. I recognize that it's a value judgment we must each make for ourselves, but for my part I don't want ANY portion of my donations to nonprofit organizations used to make people at those organizations rich (let alone 1% rich).

Anyway, I think we've beaten this side subject to death. ;)

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 5:36 am 

Joined: June 27th, 2010, 2:42 pm
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Location: Everywhere USA
Stolhgren, perhaps you could answer some of these questions about your work with the orianne society.

What is it that you do for the organization ? What do you research exactly?

Why is it that the paid research you do could not be done by a group of qualified volunteers?

What is the conservation value of your research?

What would be the long term possible implications or future changes to conservation management if your thesis holds true?

How or what would your organization do to actually manage the real threats concerning your study species?

Perhaps the last three are similar questions but if you could answer theme individually it would be great.

On a different note, just for amusement, how would you suggest going about developing specific conservation strategies for a species of snake so elusive that no one could find it anyway?

Oh maybe ask Jerry what it is that i actually do?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 6:32 am 
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Kevin's under no obligation to answer to you, DBD, and your listing whatever questions you could think of for him doesn't justify your out-of-the-blue attack on scientists associated with The Orianne Society. Nor does it demonstrate that you're in any way qualified to judge science/scientists to begin with. If you want to persist with this, why don't you go ahead and lay out your relevant qualifications for everyone, and specify the reasoning and target(s) of your attack? You should probably start your own thread for doing so, though, unless you like the idea of making Gabe's heretofore mostly useful thread (on another topic entirely) go up in flames.

Better yet, why don't you just drop the matter entirely? Or are you just looking for a fight?...

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 7:38 am 

Joined: August 30th, 2010, 10:39 am
Posts: 156
Location: East Coast
If you enjoy the south west at all, check out Sky Island Alliance and MABA. They do a lot of great work and offer endless volunteer opportunities. Another interesting thing about this organization is that it's not restricted to herps or even to the USA- it strives to promote the Madrean Archipeligo for what it really is, rather than a region currently being torn apart by mindless fascists more interested in blasting mines and building militarized fences that only lead to the death of animals and an endless cycle of doping up, shooting up, and locking up the locals. Errrr.... yeah... just saying.... they do a good job of balancing all the stuff people here are arguing about.

And Dave, just saying, I think Kevin was trying to compliment you while simply defending himself from a broad insult... bashing a specific method of study or funding is one thing, but a blanket statement like "worthless science" is rude to a lot of people that are trying just as hard the best they know how. We all have different perspectives and backgrounds. Is getting paid by the government or an oil/ gas company to monitor a site really any more ethical? Those same companies have destroyed more than they pay to protect... and don't get me started on the government. Do you tell someone like Marty that his science is worthless when he takes you to his study sites? I don't mind you calling out the BS, in fact it's crucial that we do, but be more specific. We need to be sticking together when we have common goals- not insulting each other with vague comments. I'm sure folks like Kevin also want to help indigos and edb's and also get pissed off when their sh!tty boss gives them some sh!tty waste of time task. This bridge burning is such a waste of potential.

Anyway... check out Sky Island Alliance...

Here's one of the "volunteers" from an expedition to Sonora last year. He was living in the remote Sierras with his Mom and Dad as refugees- their whole family was murdered in our drug war- he was absolutely excited to help out (might have been all the free juice!)

Image


Here's a Craugastor tarahumaraensis (Tarahumara Barking Frog) from the same trip. This documented about a 100km range extension for the species.

Image




http://www.skyislandalliance.org/


:beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 7:59 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Quote:
I also can't bring myself to donate to one that, once it gets your contact information on its list, subjects you to an unending blizzard of paper mailings promoting itself.


Does this pass muster with your request?:

Quote:
focus on positions I actually expressed


To me, complaining about getting solicited to donate money to pay for something you want done, and have already shown a willingness to pay for, is another manifestation of what I was berating earlier - as a society, as a mob of interacting, vocal individuals - we often (in my opinion) seem to be pretty naive, pretty childish, and sometimes almost impossible in our demands. In how much space we allow to creep in between what we say we want and what we say we're willing to pay for. I'm admittedly touchy about this as I currently work in government. There has never been a harder time (in my career) to find the money to do conservation, than right now. (I also believe there's never been a more urgent time.) The hell of it is, I think it's just going to get harder for quite a while. Maybe a decade or 2. How many decisions we could make right now, will be made for us while we dicker about? How many good options will be eliminated? How many bad choices will we be left with?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - conservation is expensive. Big conservation is big expensive. Whaddaya think - a conservation NGO can just conjure money out of thin air? Absurd. They aren't a government, they can't tax (as if that were easy...sheesh). They have investments but they're (wisely) more of the low-risk, low-return flavor. They need to hustle shit-tons of cash every single day to do the big, important work we want them to get done. They can't shake us down so they have to ask for it.

As for DBD's questions - yes they are brusque, and as far as being pointedly directed at an individual in what might be taken as an attempt to shut him up, offensive. However, if we try to extend the benefit of the doubt, and focus more on their matter than on their manner, and remove the individuality - not make it about Stohlgren's work at Orianne, but about all (costly) research & management undertaken in order to achieve the benefits Gabe and the rest of us want to invest our money in - THEY ARE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. They help get at the question "What is the likely return on investment?" It is entirely appropriate in these lean times, to aggressively increase the efficiency-of-use of what money we are able to raise.

I tweaked the wording to reduce the specificity-
Quote:
Why is it that the paid research could not be done by a group of qualified volunteers?

What is the conservation value of the research?

What would be the long term possible implications or future changes to conservation management if your thesis holds true?

How or what would your organization do to actually manage the real threats concerning your study species?

How would you suggest going about developing specific conservation strategies for species so elusive that no one can them anyway?


So let's not try to shut him up, but rather, consider the questions as we decide where to invest. I don't think I'm saying anything new here, just trying to offer another angle, another perspective, and keep things constructive.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 8:18 am 
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I want to agree with Jimi that DBD's questions were good questions if asked in general and with the hope of acquiring knowledge. If asked just in order to attack a certain person or further an argument, then they lose their value.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 9:16 am 
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Jimi wrote:
Does this pass muster with your request?:

No, Jimi, I'm afraid it doesn't. I didn't say that organizations shouldn't solicit our donations, I said that they shouldn't do so by incessant mass mailings if they want to get my money. You are of course free to do otherwise with your money, if you wish.

Likewise I never expressed any imaginings about organizations "conjur[ing] money out of thin air," etc. Focus, Jimi, focus! No longer trying to generate arguments with someone just because s/he holds a different view than yours is another option, of course.

By the way, beginning your sentences with things like "we often seem" doesn't really disguise the fact that you're really accusing someone else of being something like "pretty naive, pretty childish, and sometimes almost impossible in our demands." (And for the record, I don't believe anything I wrote in this thread qualified as any of those.) You might want to dial back on that stuff a bit, or at least honestly own up to - and clearly justify - it when you put it out there. ;)

Jimi wrote:
As for DBD's questions - yes they are brusque, and as far as being pointedly directed at an individual in what might be taken as an attempt to shut him up, offensive. However...

There's no "however," here. What DBD wrote was clearly aimed pointedly at an individual, a student at that, who should not be required to defend either himself or an organization he's associated with from nebulous attacks staged for unknown reasons on an internet message board. (The fact that he asked a few questions that in general might be good to ask an organization while trying to decide whether to donate to it do nothing to change this.) At the very least he should take his nonsense elsewhere so he doesn't end up burning down Gabe's thread.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 10:13 am 

Joined: June 27th, 2010, 2:42 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Everywhere USA
For the record this is NOT an attack against Kevin. My apologies if it appeared offensive to you Kevin. I know practically nothing about him. But what I’ve heard, I pretty much like, and I have nothing against him. Period. But since he was willing to defend his research as not being worthless, then I am simply hoping he will defend why it IS…… because I suspect much of it is not, and more importantly, as Jimi eluded to, it may not be a wise investment against the very marginal returns in conservation it is likely to produce….though I may very well be wrong. My contention is with the AMOUNT of research that is being done these days, it is seemingly everywhere, and the LACK of actual protection and habitat management outside of resource utilization. My questions are pointed at the organization you work for, and the SYSTEM it must play a part in but also perpetuate at the same time. Apologies agian.

I suspect this research, which I know only a little about, is not likely to produce much in the way of findings that I am already not aware of…. I suspect then when the publications roll in. .there wont be much for actual management changes in the study areas addressed. And I suspect that someone with a .308 and book of matches might perhaps have a FAR greater affect in securing long term survivability then what this research could produce regarding the areas and species in focus. Some where in my delusion and ignorance I have a massive dis-connect between the amount of money spent on research and the amount spent on actual on the ground habitat protection.

And I have a long, long list of questions regarding the organization he works for……oh yes. I hope my suspicions are proven wrong….I like snakes more then money after all, and I enjoy seeing and saving snakes more then being a keyboard commando.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 10:38 am 
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DIAMONDBACK DAVE wrote:
For the record this is NOT an attack against Kevin. My apologies if it appeared offensive to you Kevin. I know practically nothing about him. But what I’ve heard, I pretty much like, and I have nothing against him. Period. But since he was willing to defend his research as not being worthless, then I am simply hoping he will defend why it IS…… because I suspect much of it is not, and more importantly, as Jimi eluded to, it may not be a wise investment against the very marginal returns in conservation it is likely to produce….though I may very well be wrong. My contention is with the AMOUNT of research that is being done these days, it is seemingly everywhere, and the LACK of actual protection and habitat management outside of resource utilization. My questions are pointed at the organization you work for, and the SYSTEM it must play a part in but also perpetuate at the same time. Apologies agian.

I suspect this research, which I know only a little about, is not likely to produce much in the way of findings that I am already not aware of…. I suspect then when the publications roll in. .there wont be much for actual management changes in the study areas addressed. And I suspect that someone with a .308 and book of matches might perhaps have a FAR greater affect in securing long term survivability then what this research could produce regarding the areas and species in focus. Some where in my delusion and ignorance I have a massive dis-connect between the amount of money spent on research and the amount spent on actual on the ground habitat protection.

And I have a long, long list of questions regarding the organization he works for……oh yes. I hope my suspicions are proven wrong….I like snakes more then money after all, and I enjoy seeing and saving snakes more then being a keyboard commando.

Folks suspect all kinds of things all the time, DBD. Does that mean they should feel free to give vent to their suspicions by maligning individuals and organizations on an internet message board not devoted to such a purpose? Honest criticism is one thing, this nebulous garbage is quite another. And even if you find value in it, why don't you take it to another thread so that this one doesn't end up disappearing from the board? Gabe didn't start this thread to discuss "DBD's vague, unsupported suspicions concerning The Orianne Society," after all. :roll:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 10:48 am 

Joined: June 27th, 2010, 2:42 pm
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Location: Everywhere USA
Jerry, perhaps your right.........maybe my original acusation was totally unfounded, and we should just drop it all, or maybe I should just open up a new thread "on DBD's vague, unsupported suspicions concerning The Orianne Society," after all."

Maybe you are right.


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 12:26 pm 
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Joined: November 6th, 2010, 9:59 am
Posts: 436
Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
Wow, this topic has exploded. I have not read all of these posts since my last one, but I will answer Dave's questions since they seem straight forward and honest.

Quote:
What is it that you do for the organization? What do you research exactly?

I am a graduate research assistant. I am tasked with leading a group (including biologists, managers, and policy makers) in developing a range-wide conservation action plan for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (similar to the one Marty Martin is developing for C. horridus).

I also help out with other projects The Orianne Society is working on. I have conducted indigo snake surveys and telemetry, gopher tortoise surveys and telemetry, and bog turtle surveys just to name a few. None of this includes my graduate research, which occupies most of my time.

My research is examining the effects of development and habitat fragmentation on eastern diamondbacks on Georgia’s barrier islands.

Quote:
Why is it that the paid research you do could not be done by a group of qualified volunteers?

Because what I do is a full time job.

Quote:
What is the conservation value of your research?

The purpose of my diamondback research is to examine how coastal habitat fragmentation has impacted eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. Unfortunately, coastal development is inevitable (if the economy ever picks back up). The results of my thesis will be used to make conservation and management recommendations (that will be included in the conservation action plan) as to how to protect this species on Georgia’s barrier islands and how to limit the impacts of future development. And if the eastern diamondback were to be listed under the ESA, as has been proposed (let’s not get into any opinions on this now), these results could prove even more useful.

I know you (Dave) have a good understanding of many of the underlying problems with the imperiled snakes here in the eastern US, including diamondbacks on barrier islands. You probably even have good ideas on how to protect them, but your voice will fall on deaf ears of private land owners, land managers, and (in particular) politicians if you don’t have any proof to back it up. It is unfortunate that anecdotal evidence rarely gets the wheels of conservation turning, but that is the way it goes. My research will be the evidence needed to make recommendations that people will listen to if they truly want to protect imperiled species. Feel free to disagree if you want, but that is my opinion.

Quote:
What would be the long term possible implications or future changes to conservation management if your thesis holds true?

My thesis is not so much a true/false, but I believe I answered some of the implications of my study above, although vaguely, because I don’t have the results to tell you what changes need to happen. There is currently no conservation management for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in Georgia, the recommendations from my thesis and the conservation action plan will hopefully be the first step in that direction. It will take cooperation from state agencies and private citizens, though, to make any conservation effort successful.

Quote:
How or what would your organization do to actually manage the real threats concerning your study species?

Indigo conservation and eastern diamondback conservation on the mainland of Georgia go hand in hand, so the work they are doing with indigos is also beneficial to diamondbacks. This includes land protection, land mangagment, habitat restoration, and education/outreach (of both habitat management and snake conservation). The conservation action plan we are putting together will include specific recommendations and tasks, at a state by state level, for conserving eastern diamondbacks. As well as a time line for accomplishing the goals we set forth.

Quote:
On a different note, just for amusement, how would you suggest going about developing specific conservation strategies for a species of snake so elusive that no one could find it anyway?

I guess I don’t exactly know what you are asking. Can you give me an example of a species that is so elusive that no one could find it? Conservation strategies need to be tailored to the species they are targeting and conserving any one species could be very different to conserving another.


I don’t know much about you Dave, but from what I gather, I view you as a bit of an idealist. That is, I believe your views on conservation would be to stop development, stop logging, stop large scale agriculture, stop anything else that may harm imperiled species, etc. (please correct me if I am wrong). While all this would be great (and would be my feelings as well), it will never happen. We have to develop conservation strategies that can work with our ever growing (and consuming) society. And I believe research (which seems to be the thing you are harping on most?) is an important part of the puzzle in figuring out how to make that happen.

Hopefully that answers your questions, whether you agree with my responses or not. I am not likely to devote this much time again to this derailing thread.

-Kevin Stohlgren


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 Post subject: Re: Herp Oriented Conservation Organizations
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 2:34 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 975
Thanks Kevin, sounds like an interesting thesis. Georgia has a nice array of islands, with a nice array of development intensities. When I was a kid SC's lowcountry looked a lot like GA's (Kiawah etc were just revving up). No more, no more. A real shame. At least ACE Basin got some attention.

This bears comment:
Quote:
There is currently no conservation management for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in Georgia


Not directed solely towards EDB, sure, but of indisputable major benefit - you bet your ass there is. It's just called "bobwhite management" or "woodpecker management" or National Seashore or NERR or whatever. To me it's important to recognize these facts, 1) because these are going to be the natural partners in directed EDB conservation, who will need to be engaged and influenced, and 2) to not recognize these facts, to me, invites GaDNR and "bunny huggers" to just slap a no-touch rule on EBDs there that actually won't do diddly to either keep rednecks from still whacking them, or developers from paving them over, and will result in decades of lost ground because "hey, we dealt with that!" when...they really didn't.

Personally I suspect the single most useful question you could try to answer could be - what is the minimum area requirement for (say) 95% probability of 50-year population viability? Maybe closely followed by, how much can we keep that area number low, with aggressive habitat management?

Of course this gets sticky real quick -
detection probabilities vary with cover, season, observer etc;
we have imperfect understanding of relevant variables in "habitat quality" to animals;
crotaline demographic response is so slow (in the context of an MS study) that all of this is going to be observational & correlative, not experimental/causal; differences in access and land use (e.g. is game hunting allowed there? is there a bridge to the island? ...) will confound results;
how many snakes constitutes "viable";
etc.

But in the context of Dave's questions, and Orianne & partner efforts, it sure would be nice to know if on "Preserve X" they could stop buying land there once they hit 10,000 acres, or if "potential Preserve Y" is actually just a dead-ender - to be avoided - because it's hemmed in by pavement and can never exceed 5,000 acres, and the like. Or if "Y" could be worthwhile, if managed as intensely as (and like) a quail preserve with small-grain food plots etc., but not if "managed" passively. Or if 2,000 acres of back-dune habitat is worth 10,000 acres of flatwoods, in terms of EDB carrying capacity & likelihood of 50-year viability. Stuff like that.

I understand that (and why) academics don't like to speculate or make sweeping generalizations, but on the other hand I also think they get away far too often with "management recommendations" that basically state "fund more research". So - good luck not doing that! Paper your results in all the weasel language you have to but...help. One of the greatest strategic needs in conservation is to develop "price tags", so we can answer the tough, tough question - "How much of our money do you need?". We've always skated by with a glib "More". Well - no more, no more.

Dave - these are the kinds of things good, applied research is useful for. I totally understand your skepticism about research in general, having seen WAY, WAY too much money wasted on utter bullshit research. Of course I could - and do - say the same thing about some "management". We should all ask questions. It's our wildlife, and often (not so much with Orianne though...) our money and our employees.

Cheers,
Jimi

Oh yeah, Gerry - I ain't dialin' back nuthin'


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