How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

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John Delgado
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How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by John Delgado » July 14th, 2015, 10:09 pm

I look for rattlesnakes in a specific area about 3 miles x 5 miles in a 65,000 acre BLM property.

There is a den that I check from time to time ... and although I hike right by it 2 or 3 times a week I very rarely check it, and I have not, I will not ever touch a rattlesnake at this den site. The den is known only to me and my wife and we are sworn to secrecy ... I'll never divulge the location of this den to anyone.

I have seen three (3) rattlers from this den a couple times each up to a half mile form their den.

But this one ... his name is Yogi, I have seen him now three times since April 21'st - the 3'rd time was today - I have vouchered him only 1 time so far this year, of course the April 21'st sighting. And in that voucher - I indicated that he is a rattlesnake voucher from the 2014 season.

I love this rattler - he is a beast :) A friendly beast.

So ... do I voucher Yogi every time I see him, or ... once is good? :?

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mtratcliffe
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by mtratcliffe » July 15th, 2015, 2:08 am

I occasionally voucher the same species of herps (not necessarily the same individuals) from a previously vouchered exact location once a year, to show that they are still persisting there over the changing of the seasons.

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chrish
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by chrish » July 15th, 2015, 4:54 am

I think there is value in vouchering the snake as often as you see it.
You could take two approaches. If you see it close to the same time (within a few days) at the exact same place (or with 3-4 meters of that spot - within the error range of a GPS or Google Earth), then you could just add a comment to the original record as "seen again on 7/8/15 at 9:30 am at this same spot".

If it moves a measurable distance (by GPS or Google Earth) or a significant amount of time has passed, then create a new record but include the fact that it is the same snake as record number ##### and #####. I would consider a significant amount of time as the amount of time which you couldn't rationally expect to have seen it again there.

Keeping those sort of data separate is valuable documentation. Much more so, for example, than making two records for two animals of the same species under the same board.

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Gluesenkamp
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Gluesenkamp » July 15th, 2015, 5:13 am

I agree. the value of repeated observations greatly outweighs the small risk that someone will inadvertently treat multiple observations of the same individual as different individuals. Tracking individuals over time and being able to verify individual ID are advantages of photo vouchers.

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Calfirecap
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Calfirecap » July 15th, 2015, 5:30 am

Great question and I'm with Chrish on this one, at least when it comes to distance. Time wise I would just go with adding a notation in the comments section. Record #176949 is an example of repeat find on a Dicamp.

I would also say that updating records with repeat sightings greatly enhances the value of the data.

Lawrence

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Noah M
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Noah M » July 15th, 2015, 5:35 am

It is your call, but I too have made comments or double posted so to speak. Temporal data is important.

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Fieldnotes
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Fieldnotes » July 15th, 2015, 11:32 am

When i find the same animal or different specimens close to the original account, I either update the original account or add dates to the Notes section, such as (Animals were also seen here on 12 June 2013, 4 July 2013, 5 June 2015) I will also attached new pictures to the original post, if I took any.

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John Delgado
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by John Delgado » July 15th, 2015, 1:37 pm

Great suggestions friends -- I'll go ahead and enter new voucher at each sighting, so my records show up on Google Earth with each set of pics form that particular sighting. I'll list previous sightings on each new sighting with Record Number reference.

I have 'Closed' all records of Yogi as three out of four sightings are at his den.

What I must do ... I MUST do my best to stay away from the den, only to check it maybe 3 times a season. Since I have checked the den at least 5 times so far this season (too much). I'll not be going back to the den now until Spring of 2016. Ahhhh geeze ... like keep a kid outuva candy store :crazyeyes: :lol:

Here is Yogi - From yesterdays sighting http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=233711

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Fieldnotes
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Fieldnotes » July 15th, 2015, 4:48 pm

When you live with wild snakes and lizards and see them on "your patio" almost daily, try, for example (Dates mark annual first and last observations: 6 April 2005 to November 1, 2005; 27 March 2006 to November 19, 2006; 17 February 2007 to December 6, 2007) and so on.. otherwise you will bore the audience, except for the rare, die-hard researcher of that particular species.

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Noah M
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Re: How many times shoud I voucher the same rattlesnake?

Post by Noah M » July 16th, 2015, 10:40 am

I MUST do my best to stay away from the den
Sounds like you need to go look for a different den!

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