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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 7:02 am 
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justinm wrote:
Does NAFHA know that you're collecting. OMG Jim that's against your club's rules. You're breaking the rules Jim.


Justin, I can't believe that there's a single NAFHA member who believes that collecting is against NAFHA's rules. Why do you say such things?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 7:58 am 
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As I will always say in threads that become heated.......everyone involved in the flaming needs to calm it down, please. Am I easy going with moderation? YES. That is precisely what makes this place different and of course why it is the most used field herping forum on the web. The people here have a long and respected history of getting things like this under control on their own. Yes, I can and will get involved if things deteriorate further. There is no place for personal attacks, so lets keep it above the belt folks. I understand things get heated from time to time, but they need to cool down at some point.

Membership of this free forum and the level of posting goes up every single day. We all know why, don't we? Enjoy! :)

Thanks,
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 11:50 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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Location: Hesperia, California.
gbin wrote:
hellihooks wrote:
It is my hope that Scott takes my post for what it is... a 'heads up' that his business model of little to no oversight, is less attractive than what other sites are offering, and an impetus for leaving. Unvarnished honesty IS the highest form of respect, IMO (and BTW...thank you for yours)...

You weren't simply offering criticism of this website, Jim, and you know it. You were in fact redirecting people to another, potentially competing place online where you'd like them to go. In your more recent post you even went so far as to include a link to that other place to make it easier for people to do so. Let's not pretend otherwise, shall we?

hellihooks wrote:
https://www.facebook.com...
(post provided as comparative example, not promotion)

Uh-huh. R-i-i-i-ght. :roll:

So much for your honesty.

Gerry


If you can't take me at my word, and question my honesty, I have nothing more to say to you. I 'un-friend' you... :|


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 12:43 pm 
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Yes. Re-releasing is a very common thing that is done, and indeed is technically illegal. I suppose it is ok if the said animals are held captive only briefly and not exposed to other creatures/contaminants in any way. An example would be if an animal is brought back with some native soil and kept in a terraria for observation for a few days(without being fed, say, store bought crickets/mice) and then released. But re-releasing the animal in this case has more to do with emotional sentiment then being concerned for the welfare of the species in the wild. There are still many books which support children collecting tadpoles and the releasing the frogs back to the wild(and I did this when I was younger). Unfortunately as we lean more about pathogens of wild animals we are learning this is not the best idea.

I think a lot of this sentiment is from our distance from nature in the form of being part of it, and realizing that whatever we do does affect wildlife. Modern folk today only know to either fear animals or protect/love them. The only animals they are familiar with are either pets, or zoo animals. So harvesting from nature(especially that which is not done on a huge commercial scale as on the news) is pretty foreign.

I smile a bit and groan remembering my times fishing off "The Mole" on Catalina Island-a boat ramp where a large ferry takes on and drops off folk-many sightseers who are waiting in line watching people fish off the pier. I had a funny little challenge going with myself that the only meat I'd eat for the summer would be that that I caught myself. I recall a comment from one person "You are going to eat those fish? Like, from the ocean?"

Such sheltered upbringing also results in "kindness" towards animals that is misdirected. Many fishermen enjoyed feeding fish they caught to the pelicans who waited around for handouts(I chewed out a couple people who were feeding them undersize calicos :x ). I recall one instance out of many where I hoisted a bunch of fish over the railing and unhooked and bagged them while fending off a marauding pelican. Some folk began cheering for the pelican, told me I was being mean and heartless, and telling me just to give him a fish. So while brandishing a mackerel in one hand I gave them a speech on why it is a bad idea to feed wildlife-such as how this often results in these birds being trapped in fishing gear(a few pelicans I observed had only one foot-most likely fishing line amputated the other one). Some people didn't quite get it.

~Joseph See


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 1:02 pm 
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Yes, and not only reptiles, but feeder insects, especially those that are bought in larval stage to watch metamorphosis, are acquired as teaching tools, often in numbers to be suitable for pupil groups, so its important if one is privy to that situation, be they a teacher themselves or a parent, or a provider of such in the industry to ask questions and lend guidance.

A great permanent fixture in our community would be for herp societies and engaged herp shops and any individual willing to help, to reach out in person beyond the blur of internet care sheets,to schools in your area, and teachers keeping herps in the classroom.

Most people want to do the right thing, and from what I have seen, teachers are at full capacity and quite simply are extremely busy often exhausted folks. I know alot of us do this currently, but to make it an active, solid tradition would be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 1:56 pm 
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hellihooks wrote:
If you can't take me at my word, and question my honesty, I have nothing more to say to you. I 'un-friend' you... :|

When a person's words and actions conflict, as the old saying goes, "actions speak louder than words."

Joseph S. wrote:
Yes. Re-releasing is a very common thing that is done, and indeed is technically illegal. I suppose it is ok if the said animals are held captive only briefly and not exposed to other creatures/contaminants in any way. An example would be if an animal is brought back with some native soil and kept in a terraria for observation for a few days(without being fed, say, store bought crickets/mice) and then released...

I don't believe we should choose for ourselves which wildlife laws to obey, nor rationalize to ourselves or offer others assistance rationalizing to themselves that "in this particular instance it's ok" to do otherwise.

With respect to the "if I just do it this way..." bit of rationalization that herpers sometimes indulge in to try to excuse their ill-advised and often illegal animal releases, I'll point out that even official programs involving the reintroduction/translocation of wild animals have to go through a lot (strong justification, detailed written plans, meticulous veterinary care, thorough inspection...) in order to obtain government approval, and there's solid reasoning behind that, not just bureaucracy. (Unless we're talking about fisheries; traditionally in America it's been just fine for fisheries agencies to move species around pretty much at whim - to the lasting detriment of a great majority of the country's bodies of water. :x )

I'm not saying that you ever release animals after keeping them in captivity, Joseph, but just that you should rethink your views on this a bit - especially if you ever do.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 2:23 pm 
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Re releasing is a bad idea. There is still much to be learned about disease and its transference, and nothing known of the variables that exist with an animal, its contacts, in every individual release event.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 4:30 pm 
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The above meant regarding the private sector - clarifying.

I would have to say, my dream work would be to be involved in breeding, establishing progeny for release in a scientifically stewarded population/location program, as a husbandry worker in such a program.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 29th, 2014, 5:27 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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Location: Hesperia, California.
gbin wrote:
hellihooks wrote:
If you can't take me at my word, and question my honesty, I have nothing more to say to you. I 'un-friend' you... :|

When a person's words and actions conflict, as the old saying goes, "actions speak louder than words."


You accuse many people of being dishonest, when it conflicts with your biased conclusions.
FYI... the site you say I'm promoting over Scott's, could in fact (since corporations are people) be considered a Nafha Member as the HDWG, has an account at HERP... and at least half of the administrators are Nafha members. It (HDWG) has every right to be brought up here, and HAS been brought up in our Chapter forum, with our Chapter President's full support and approval.
It is a (the?) new paradigm in citizen science, I spoke of, and brought up as a head's up for Scott.

Scott... thank you for (again) being the level-headed administrator you always have been... and if you agree that HDWG could be considered a Nafha member... FHF (containing the Nafha) just grew by 4,000 members... :D Check it out... we (the FHF/Nafha members, and me in particular) promote FHF/Nafha over there, all the time... :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 2:34 am 
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hellihooks wrote:
You accuse many people of being dishonest, when it conflicts with your biased conclusions.

No one needs consider any conclusions I might have drawn. All folks need to do is look at your actions here to see how they contrast with your words, Jim. Again, "actions speak louder than words."

hellihooks wrote:
FYI... the site you say I'm promoting over Scott's, could in fact (since corporations are people) be considered a Nafha Member...

Whatever you need to tell yourself to try to feel better about indulging in disrespectful and dishonest behavior here, I guess... :roll:

Kelly Mc wrote:
I would have to say, my dream work would be to be involved in breeding, establishing progeny for release in a scientifically stewarded population/location program, as a husbandry worker in such a program.

Kelly, I shared that dream, but only until I actually became involved in such work on the scientific side of things (and my wife far more heavily so). I'm still a huge supporter of wildlife reintroduction/translocation programs, too, don't get me wrong, but it's way too political for my tastes, and the politics (most definitely including petty personal politics) trump the science way too much of the time as well. If it moves us forward regardless (and it certainly doesn't always) then I'm ok with it, but I'd rather keep my distance from it.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 6:51 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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gbin wrote:
No one needs consider any conclusions I might have drawn. All folks need to do is look at your actions here to see how they contrast with your words, Jim. Again, "actions speak louder than words."

Your inability (or unwillingness) to comprehend does not justify breaking Scott's forum rules, by disrespecting others. HDWG is AN EXAMPLE of a extant new paradigm, founded by Nafha members, for a specific area (Ca Hi-D) Pretty much every FHF/Nafha member who lives there, are ALREADY there. Ca. Nafha's Bay area members are not, nor are it's SD, Sac., LA, etc members. It is the FUTURE establishment of 'local' FB groups, all across the country that can, and (IMO) Will continue to draw members away from FHF, given their 'better conduct' rules. THAT is the 'heads up'.

gbin wrote:
Whatever you need to tell yourself to try to feel better about indulging in disrespectful and dishonest behavior here, I guess... :roll:
Gerry

My so-called criticisms are constructive, and abide by Scott's forum rules. YOU are the one disrespecting Scott's forum rules, by disrespecting others (questioning their honesty). You don't question what people say (which would be fine)... you attack the people themselves. You are NO DIFFERENT than Justin... you just use bigger words. :roll: Which BTW, is the reason many Nafha members shy away from the main forum... to avoid you. You want 'honesty'? you got it. enjoy... :|

and while I'm SURE you will have the last word, by insulting me further (and count it as an argument 'won')... it's a 'loss' for Scott, with yet another member going somewhere else, where personal attacks are not tolerated. Enjoy your 'victory' Gerry... I won't return to this thread, given your lack of respect for this site's rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 8:40 am 
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Once a long time ago i happened to meet a guy out of th blue who i only knew on a forum i used to go on. We disagreed frequently, this guy and me.

We disliked each other online. Kinda alot.


Then we accidently met and revealed our user names, and fell into conversation about the reptiles we were looking at. And reptiles in general, and our online relationship.

We laughed I touched his forearm and he did that same thing, a very warm gesture - basically that says : I know, huh..!

It is so interesting the lifting of real life into an other realm of wispy truths and half truths, and not.


What was meant in an earlier post about the High Desert place, with 'made me want to be there..' I meant the actual place, the rehab center.


Still a very mysterious format, this cyberspace, for monkeylike me.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 10:12 am 
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gbin wrote:
With respect to the "if I just do it this way..." bit of rationalization that herpers sometimes indulge in to try to excuse their ill-advised and often illegal animal releases, I'll point out that even official programs involving the reintroduction/translocation of wild animals have to go through a lot (strong justification, detailed written plans, meticulous veterinary care, thorough inspection...) in order to obtain government approval, and there's solid reasoning behind that, not just bureaucracy. (Unless we're talking about fisheries; traditionally in America it's been just fine for fisheries agencies to move species around pretty much at whim - to the lasting detriment of a great majority of the country's bodies of water. :x )

I'm not saying that you ever release animals after keeping them in captivity, Joseph, but just that you should rethink your views on this a bit - especially if you ever do.

Gerry


This is a toughie as we'd have to define captivity first. Many folk I am aware hold onto an animal overnight to take photos the next day, for example. I'd personally be hard pressed to tell people that they'd ought not to be doing that or collecting animals permanently if they do. But many of the best things to do involving nature, education, and conservation are hardly the most popular...and if anything doesn't get people passionately debating-it is topics involving live animals. A lot of times when working with nature centers or similar organizations I usually feel people out and never disclose my true thoughts on certain topics.

I do wonder how many herpers have actually ever taken live voucher specimens? There is at least one instance where I really wish I did. If a find is really notable and photos/the specimen would be important(animal way out of range or a possible new exotic or stowaway), I think it would behoove the said person to collect and preserve the specimen.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 10:36 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
It is so interesting the lifting of real life into an other realm of wispy truths and half truths, and not.
(...)
Still a very mysterious format, this cyberspace, for monkeylike me.


Loved this, thanks. I hate checking on new posts on an interesting thread, only to find (more) uninteresting quarreling which I would love to so disappear to PM or outer space. I would love to think I'm not the only one.

In contrast, it seems there was hardly any response 'on topic', more specifically the recent link I posted. Might I guess because "collecting for fun" is hardly justifiable in a debate that critiques collecting for scientific purposes? :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 12:11 pm 
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hellihooks wrote:
gbin wrote:
No one needs consider any conclusions I might have drawn. All folks need to do is look at your actions here to see how they contrast with your words, Jim. Again, "actions speak louder than words."

Your inability (or unwillingness) to comprehend does not justify breaking Scott's forum rules, by disrespecting others. HDWG is AN EXAMPLE of a extant new paradigm, founded by Nafha members, for a specific area (Ca Hi-D) Pretty much every FHF/Nafha member who lives there, are ALREADY there. Ca. Nafha's Bay area members are not, nor are it's SD, Sac., LA, etc members. It is the FUTURE establishment of 'local' FB groups, all across the country that can, and (IMO) Will continue to draw members away from FHF, given their 'better conduct' rules. THAT is the 'heads up'.

gbin wrote:
Whatever you need to tell yourself to try to feel better about indulging in disrespectful and dishonest behavior here, I guess... :roll:
Gerry

My so-called criticisms are constructive, and abide by Scott's forum rules. YOU are the one disrespecting Scott's forum rules, by disrespecting others (questioning their honesty). You don't question what people say (which would be fine)... you attack the people themselves. You are NO DIFFERENT than Justin... you just use bigger words. :roll: Which BTW, is the reason many Nafha members shy away from the main forum... to avoid you. You want 'honesty'? you got it. enjoy... :|

and while I'm SURE you will have the last word, by insulting me further (and count it as an argument 'won')... it's a 'loss' for Scott, with yet another member going somewhere else, where personal attacks are not tolerated. Enjoy your 'victory' Gerry... I won't return to this thread, given your lack of respect for this site's rules.

I don't see a need for many more words from me to deal with what you wrote above, Jim, be they first, last or whatever. All you did was add a few bogus personal attacks against me to another repetition of your bogus rationalization for your misbehavior earlier in this thread. (I suppose maybe you're hoping you can draw me into a flame war with you so Scott will start deleting posts that make you look bad?) What I wrote that you quoted above already covers everything that I feel needs covering.

But hey, do let me know if you need any of my "bigger words" explained to you. :roll:

Joseph S. wrote:
This is a toughie...

I don't really think so, Joseph. I agree that we should try to work with people/organizations of good intent but with bad practices, not just yell at them, but the bedrock of our position should be pretty straightforward: you shouldn't release animals you've collected - even where doing so isn't illegal, as it now is in most places - and as a corollary to that you shouldn't collect animals without a plan for their captive care in perpetuity (or for their proper euthanasia and disposal). A photograph taken in a more attractive setting isn't worth breaking a wildlife law nor jeopardizing wild populations, is it? Do you think a wildlife officer would give you a break for not having a license where such is required when you tell him/her that you're only holding those animals you've bagged temporarily? Or for being over bag limits where such exist? How brief does an exposure to pathogens have to be to prevent their transmission? Who's really qualified to decide on a "five-second rule" for collected herps (as for food dropped on the ground)? You? Me?...

Jeroen, I didn't comment on your linked NPR report, but I did look it over and find it interesting - thanks! I have commented on scientific collecting (which I recognize to be incredibly valuable and of which I have done a fair amount, myself) numerous times before, though, and I guess given my limited recreational time online these days I reserve the right to choose for myself what to join in on rehashing at any given point. ;) And I'm not particularly interested in the repetitious back-and-forth that often follows someone leveling a valid criticism at someone else (as I did toward Jim in this thread), either. If more people took it upon themselves to call out misbehavior when they see it, I bet a lot less misbehavior would be occurring and a lot less foolish defense of it would follow afterward, too. Just something to consider...

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 3:07 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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For Kelly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvrcdQWz ... bedded#t=3


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 4:24 pm 
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gbin wrote:
I don't believe we should choose for ourselves which wildlife laws to obey, nor rationalize to ourselves or offer others assistance rationalizing to themselves that "in this particular instance it's ok" to do otherwise.


I wish the various groups advocating "helping turtles across the road" would abide by this--touching herps on the road being illegal in Texas... I think it's an ill-conceived law, and I'm hoping to help get it changed next year, but until then I stand by while the cars run over the turtles and I photograph the results. :?

Not all laws are based on science and/or ethics, and such laws can be changed...


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 4:39 pm 
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Yeah, that's an awfully tough one, Chris.

But, wasn't a girl just killed by a car while moving a turtle off the road somewhere? Not that a foolish law forbidding people from touching herps on the road would stop such things from happening once in a while, anyway...

Gerry

P.S. I'd say instead that woefully few laws are based on science and/or ethics.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 30th, 2014, 5:37 pm 
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gbin wrote:
But, wasn't a girl just killed by a car while moving a turtle off the road somewhere? Not that a foolish law forbidding people from touching herps on the road would stop such things from happening once in a while, anyway...


Yes, not too far from where I live. No different than if she were to have tried to retrieve a dropped cell phone, glove, etc.

At some point we have to stop trying to protect people from themselves...


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 1st, 2014, 12:08 am 
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hellihooks wrote:



Im grinning very broadly..

Thank you ~*~


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 1st, 2014, 6:06 am 
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Since this thread has been resurrected, I sense it's just right that it be put back on the rails.

I'm reposting all of Mr Hoyer's posts in chronological order for review, Mr. Richard F. Hoyer did an excellent job of addressing the actual point of his chossen topic in a factual manner devoid of bias and distraction. Many could actually learn something from what he has said.

For those who must engage in personal bickering, off topic phislosphical debate, practicing your creative writing, etc. Start your own threads about whatever it is you want to yap about or better yet read thru what Mr. Hoyer has said and try to increase your level of understanding. This so that Mr Hoyer's informative, well stated and on point post hopefully do not get lost in the endless clutter of internet forum static.

Ernie Eison

Quote:
The following is part of a post copied from the Calif. forum. I have included it here as some individuals likely harbor the notion that recreation collecting or sports take of herps can harm species.

Richard F. Hoyer
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Laura:
I continue to be totally at a loss to explain how individuals with university degrees in wildlife science can propose a no-collecting status of species for which there is no demand (such as the S. Torrent Salamander).

Such individuals should automatically understand that the reason why species have declined is invariably due to outright loss and / or degradation of habitat. It thus is just as inexplicable that instead of proposing measures to protect, restore, create favorable habitat, the focus has been on a prohibition of general or recreational collecting which in reality, is a non-issue with perhaps some very rare exceptions.

I don't mean to 'pick' on California as the misconception or perception that collecting can harm species is widespread amongst state wildlife agency biologists, conservationists, wildlife law enforcement, and both amateur and professional herpetologists. As a matter of fact, when this issue was 'discussed' years ago on the PARC web site, I discovered two individuals in population biology that also harbored that erroneous notion.

But it still blows me away that many individuals that majored in wildlife science have not grasped the fundamentals that govern populations.

Here is a hypothetical example: Entering the 2013 breeding season, assume there are 1,000,000 S. Torrent Salamander in Calif. After the breeding season is completed by say August 2013, the population had increased to 3,000,000. Given that the amount of suitable, occupied habitat remains relatively constant, what would be the approximate population of S. Torrent Salamanders going into the 2014 breeding season?

Individuals that truly grasp the basics of populations would not hesitate in providing the answer. Did I catch you hesitating? Hah! And of course, the answer would be 1,000,000. If during the winter scientists (or anyone) were to collect (preserve) 5000 S. Torrent Salamanders across the species distribution in Calif., you would still have about 1,000,000 S. Torrent Salamanders entering the 2014 breeding season and 3,000,000 at the end of the 2014 breeding season.

However, if 10% of the salamander's habitat were lost to whatever cause, then you would have corresponding decrease in population numbers. Of course there are many caveats that could produce a somewhat different picture. But this example should bring home the realities that species exist at equilibrium within suitable habitat given relatively constant environmental conditions from one year to the next. That is, numerical abundance does not appreciably change over time given those two constants. Collecting, similar to harvesting of game and commercial species, can only incur changes in populations if demand approaches or exceeds the supply produced during reproduction.

Richard F. Hoyer




Quote:
John:
You ask for evidence and yet strong circumstantial evidence has been available all along.

It is likely that in many regions of the U.S., species of earthworms have high densities and are prolific breeders. And earthworms likely have been in existence in N. Am. for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. So the question becomes, why aren't we up to our ankles in earthworms?

Earthworm population undoubtedly fluctuate greatly throughout the year as well as from one year to the next in response to varying environmental factors such as drought, precipitation, predation, floods, freezing temperatures, etc. But over the longer term, the mean numerical abundance of earthworm populations that occupy suitable habitat likely remain fairly static.

Despite the immense reproductive potential of earthworms, we are not overrun with earthworm due to one simple biological reality as follows: On the average, the mean annual attrition (death) from all sources equals the mean annual reproductive output. As a result, populations tend to remain at equilibrium, neither appreciably increasing nor decreasing.

If that were not the case and over many thousands of years, the mean annual survival of earthworms had exceeded the mean annual attrition by a small percentage each year, by now we would be up to our ankles or kneecaps in earthworms. But because we are not being overwhelmed by earthworms indicates a balance exists between the mean annual reproductive output and mean annual death of earthworms.

This basic concept of biology / wildlife science accounts for the reality that we are not being overrun by earthworms and the same reality applies to most species of wildlife. And that is why I mentioned that species tend to remain at equilibrium.

History had taught us that species have come and gone. So yes, the numerical abundance of species change over time when there occurs a change in basic environmental factors that in turn increase or decrease favorable habitats for species. But I am referring to where current environmental factors average out to be pretty much the same over each decade thereby not increasing or decreasing the amount of favorable habitat for species.

It remains to be seen if the current warming trend has any appreciable affect on the quantity and quality of habitat for many species. The numerical abundance of species will increase or decrease in relation to any increase or decrease in the amount of favorable habitat.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)


Quote:
Bill Mc--:
The first part of your post pertains to game species for which there is demand. That is a much different kettle of fish than the topic of my post which pertained to a non-game species (the S. Torrent Salamander), for which there is no demand.

You then ask, “how do we know the population dynamics in herps?” The population dynamics for herps (all non-game species) is exactly the same as for game species. That is, the same basic biological principles govern the populations of all species of wildlife.

As for the biologists involved with game versus non-games species, it has been my experience that there seems to be vast difference. Game biologists execute
methods for assessing both the numerical abundance (supply) and the demand for game species. I am well aware of the constraints faced by biologists dealing with non-game species. But I am still perplexed that for the most part, they neither attempt to estimate numerical abundance nor attempt to determine the demand for
non-game species.

If by chance you asking how to assess the numerical abundance of non-game species, I may provide an answer at a later time.

Richard F. Hoyer



Quote:
Sweet:
At some point, I believe CDFW biologist Laura Patterson did mention that UC Davis was working on a SSC document. But I have not seen a copy of that draft.

Last spring, I recall reviewing the older SSC document and the Risk Assessment protocol which formed the basis for identifying such species. I found the latter to be badly flawed as it largely incorporates a great deal of anecdotal input (guessing).

I have intended to, and eventually may find time to respond to a number of other posts in this thread.

Richard F. Hoyer



Quote:
1) The issue I addressed concerned recreational collecting (general collecting, sports take, incidental take) by hobbyists and members of the public. Commercial collecting for monetary gain is a separate topic and thus has additional considerations. Some individuals appear to have lumped these issues together.

2) My initial remarks were related to the fact that as of 3/1/13, new regulations in Calif. placed a number of species / subspecies of herps in a hands off, 'protected' status for individual with a valid fishing license. It is my position that such regulations have ZERO conservation value for such species / subspecies.

3) The basis for my stance is that for any particular species, if one examines the factors of 'demand' in relation to numerical abundance ('supply'), recreational collecting simply cannot impact species.

4) The hypothetical example I provided was for the purpose of understanding that populations remain relatively static over decades in occupied habitats. Being hypothetical, the numbers were not real as someone seemed to interpret. Instead, I could have used 'species X' or the S. Rubber Boa mentioned by someone. The same scenario would apply.

I only chose the S. Torrent Salamander as it was one of the listed species. And the irony with the S. Torrent Salamander being placed in a no-collecting status is that there is no demand for the species. If no one collects the species, can someone explain what the salamander is it being protected against? And can someone explain exactly how the new regs. actually protect the S. Torrent Salamander if demand for the species is essentially zero?

5) Some responses seem only to reflect personal feelings, experiences, beliefs, etc. I urge those individuals to step back and try to rethink this issue in a more
impartial manner. Such an approach includes some degree of analytical thinking and not just reacting because of personal beliefs or perceptions.

6) The following points may stimulate added thought and perhaps facilitate some understanding.

A) There is considerable demand for certain species of wildlife that are designated as game or commercial species. Many of these species have been harvested by humans for many decades and yet have continued to maintain sustainable populations. So if such game and commercial species can be harvested (collected) yearly and continue as sustainable populations, then shouldn't that same scenario apply to non-game species such as herps?

B) The scientific literature has many examples in which both game and commercial species have been over-harvested with resultant declines in numerical abundance. So the question then becomes, is there some published studies in which recreational collecting of non-game species has demonstrated declines in numerical abundance of such species?

I recall reference to one scholarly account in which incidental collecting of a species of turtle somewhere in the east MAY have contributed to a localized decline. In contrast to above situation with over-harvesting of game and commercial species, I am not aware of any other studies that have identified recreational collecting as being responsible for the decline of herp species. Perhaps Dr. Sam Sweet and Dr. Jeff Boundy could give some input on that issue.

C) In Calif., the annual mean harvest of elk is somewhat above 200 animal / year at least since 2004. I would hope no one believes the elk population in Calif. exists at higher densities (animals / ha) and are more numerically abundant than the majority of herp species in Calif. including those listed in the new regulations. And it would be my view that the mean, annual reproductive output by elk is lower than most (if not all) species of herps in Calif. So if elk can be removed (harvested)
annually from the wild without producing a decline in elk populations, what reasoning would support the position that doing the same would harm species of herps?

D) Two key factors are numerical abundance (supply) in relation to the amount of collecting (demand) that takes place for any given species. I won't go into those factors at this time. But I would urge others to examine those factors as they apply to the collecting of herps. Just pick a species then examine those two factors.

E) I suspect that most individuals on this forum are not aware that for many decades, some states have allowed the commercial collecting (harvesting) of herp species. (Texas, Florida, and Louisiana come to mind.) I suspect that data from those states may indicate some herps may have been over harvested. But on the flip side, I suggest that other species have been routinely harvested for decades and have continued to maintain sustainable populations. I suggest contacting Kevin Eng of the Florida Wildlife agency to obtain reprints of the data he published on the commercial take of herps.

F) Those who believe that collecting can have negative impacts on herps or have implied ethical considerations, here are some points to consider. Do you hunt or fish? What is the difference between removing wildlife from the environment through hunting and fishing vs. collecting? Do you eat fish, shell fish (oysters, clams) or crustaceans (lobsters, crayfish). If you do, then in reality, aren't you having someone else do the collecting for you?

G) What is your position with respect to the removed of herps (and other species) from the wild by researchers, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, museums, and institutions that produce voucher (preserved) specimens for research? If you have nothing against such collecting, doesn't that imply you have one standard for the above collecting and a different standard when it comes to the hobbyist and general public.

H) Someone questioned my 'credentials'. In a private message today, here is what I wrote to someone that has contributed to this thread.
"From your messages, it would seem you have a complete misconception about my 'status' in herpetology. The truth of the matter is that I am a rank amateur at best. It just so happens that in the 1960's, I made the decision to learn as much as possible about the life history of the Rubber Boa. Along the way, for a short period of time, I also became involve with the Sharp-tailed Snake and in doing so, happened to discover the heretofore overlooked new species in the genus Contia.

That's about the sum total of my knowledge in herpetology. But also along the way, I did acquired a certain level of experience about the basics of field herpetology as far as searching and finding species. That experience went well with my educational background in wildlife science. So I may come on as appearing to be 'professional' but in reality, that is a facade."

I) And last, my approach to issues has been to be as objective as possible. That is, I endeavor to adopt an impartial position and then ask questions. So long ago, I posed the question as to whether or not recreational collecting of herps could produce serious and lasting negative impacts? I have not encountered any evidence that would remotely supports the position that recreational collecting can produce lasting negative impacts.

My background in wildlife science and understanding of the basic principles that govern populations supports the position that such recreational collecting cannot
possibly harm the overall populations of herp species with perhaps some rare exceptions ----which I have yet to learn about.

For those with an open mind, I hope the above might add to your understanding. And if any one wishes, I can be contacted at [email protected] . I will be gone to the Oregon Falconer's Assn. fall meet this weekend so will not be able to respond right away.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon




Quote:
After having been gone during the past weekend, I have had a chance to read most of the recent posts in this thread. If I am not mistaken, I see a change in tone and there seems to be more agreement of certain aspects. I am leaving for Utah early Thursday but wish to provide others with some considerations to mull over with respect to the issue of 'demand'. Below are the considerations I posted on the national PARC web site in 2005.

Richard F. Hoyer

#########################################

Recreational Collecting: Part - 3: Demand
Attempts to evaluated either the supply or the demand seem not to exist for any species for which recreational collecting may be a target. Therefore, statements indicating that recreational collecting can seriously impact species are nothing more than a product of imagination, are only speculation, and thus lack credibility.

In parts 1 & 2, I touched on the subject of numerical abundance / supply. It would appear that no one seems to have given serious consideration to the subject of demand. Although demand is more difficult to assess, estimates of demand for any particular species probably can be determined. Even, without detailed analysis, there is enough general information dealing with 'demand' to arrive at a reasoned position. Below I have listed considerations relating to the factor of demand.

1) It should be understood that little to no demand exists for the vast majority of snakes and other species of herps as far as recreational collecting is concerned.

2) Demand for many species is small because their appeal is to a limited number of individuals with specialized interests. For instance, the demand for species of rattlesnakes, garter snakes, the Ringneck Snake, etc. is rather small if one takes the time to look into the issue of demand. (See item # 7 below.)

3) There are a few native snakes for which there is a broader level of interest and demand by hobbyists. The greatest demand seems to be for species in the genus Lampropeltis. Species in this genus have large distributions and thus immense numerical populations. One needs to keep in mind that many of the most highly desired species are routinely bred under captive conditions.

4) How many amateur herpetologists are in the U.S? Unlike other specialized interest groups (falconry comes to mind), there is no national organization of field herping enthusiasts from which to obtain membership numbers. If there are 500 to 1000 professionals, would there be 2, 3, 5, or 10 times as many amateurs? If we took the extreme figures, that would only be 10,000 amateurs.

5) There are some state and regional herpetological organizations composed primarily of amateur herpers and hobbyists. From my knowledge of the Oregon and Utah Herpetological Societies and a smattering of information about other such organizations, I believe that most of these organizations have rather small memberships. Even if all 50 states (N. Dakota, Maine, Delaware, Alaska, etc.) had a herp organization of 200 hobbyists, that would only be 10,000 individuals. Although not all herp enthusiasts belong to herp societies, it should be clear that the number of such individuals in the U.S. is rather small.

6) If one examines the composition of such organizations, you would find that the majority of members are primarily interested in the care and maintenance of exotic species. Fewer individuals are interested in our native species and of those, most are into the 'designer' type, captive bred morphs. Fewer individuals are active in seeking native species in the field. (Item #7 provides support for this view.)

7) There are a number of internet forums that focus on field herping. The number of individuals that belong to such forums can possibly be determined however one needs to be aware that many individuals are members of more than one forum. I could not determine the number of users of the "not allowed" Field Note and Observation forum. Fieldherpers.com lists 456 users and FieldHerpForum.com lists 393 users. Again many individuals frequent several forums.

8) Another way to potentially determine demand is from the classified advertising section on forums. The majority of such ads involve exotic and captive bred native specimens but still some assessment of demand for the various species can be viewed and calculated. I urge everyone to visit the title page of "not allowed". There you can view the number of clubs/organizations, forums, classified ads, commercial breeders, etc. all of which can provide insight to the subject of demand.

9) Besides the point that the number of individuals that pursue herps in the field is likely to be quite small, such individuals are dispersed across the nation. Consequently, collecting is also dispersed across the nation. The southern tier of states from S. Calif. to Florida possess the highest number of snakes and other reptiles and if posts on the various forums are an indication, those state have a proportionately higher number of field herp enthusiasts. In viewing the threads on the various forums, it becomes apparent that similar to birders, a good number of individuals mostly observe, list, and take photographs.

10) Except for the beginner who may retain most or all specimens encountered while in the field, individuals quickly learn that maintaining a large numbers of specimens of one or more species is a chore. Consequently, individuals become conservative and selective when it comes to retaining specimens. One way to understand this point is to ask yourselves just how often have you removed species from the wild in order to maintain them as pets, for display, or for breeding stock?

11) Once an individual collects the number of specimens with which he or she is comfortable with maintaining, collecting additional specimens is greatly reduced. Again, many of you can relate to this point having been there yourselves. Collecting for personal use is an activity that by its very nature, is self limiting simply due to expediency.

12) At any point in time during the active season, species are widely dispersed throughout occupied habitat. In addition, for a large number of species, the majority of their populations are either under ground and thus unavailable or under surface objects and not observable or readily available. Consequently, encounters and collecting are generally random as well as widely dispersed over a species' distribution.

13) As abundant as are most species of snakes (and other herps), due to the secretive / fossorial nature of many species, they can be tough to find. Even if you understand something about the biology of a target species and acquire the savvy of knowing when, where and how, many desired species are difficult to collect in any appreciable numbers. If you are not able relate to this point, then you have limited collecting experience with a limited number of species.

14) A non-random feature is that most collecting takes place near areas of ready access, that is, near roads. In comparison to the total amount of occupied habitat by species, the areas near road access is relatively small. Because of this very point and in conjunction with the important fact that snakes and other herps have limited home range territories, neither diurnal collecting near roads, night collecting on roads, or road mortality can seriously impact the overall populations of snakes or most other species of herps. The implications of the latter point (home range territories) appears to have been overlooked by those that claim that road mortality has a serious, negative impact on snake populations. Before reacting and responding (and pointing out some possible exceptions), I urge that some serious thinking be given to these factors.

15) If you understand the mechanics of predation, then you also understand that as the density of a prey population become lower and lower, they becomes harder and harder to find by a predator (including the human predator). This factor, along with the point that the majority of snakes are not exposed on the surface, makes is highly unlikely that collecting pressures can seriously impact species of snakes that command the most interest by herp enthusiasts. Most individuals will not spend countless hours seeking specimens without having success.

16) From viewing post on the various field herping forums and having contact with others, it is very apparent that few individuals have the experience and knowledge of knowing when, where, and how to collect many species of snakes and other herps. This point cannot be over stressed with the result being that for the most part, finding specimens of the desired species is mostly by random chance and good fortune.

17) The populations of snakes and other herps can be considerably reduced by floods, landslides, extended periods of drought or freezing, fire, etc. Yet species recover over time. Ask yourself if recreational collecting is likely to reduce species numbers to the same extent that occurs from these natural occurrences. And if such natural events do not permanently impact species of snakes, then how can recreational collecting produce a permanent impact?

18) Instead of painting with a broad brush and saying that recreational collecting can seriously harm populations of snakes and other herps, as Brian Hubbs alluded to in a PARC post a month or so ago, one really needs to examine each species individually. To establish that recreational collecting can seriously impact a species, one needs to provide an analysis of the supply and demand for any target species. Until such an analysis is produced, it is unwise to embrace the notion that recreational collecting can seriously impact any species of snake or other herp.

19) It is my understanding that at one point, Texas issued herp licenses or permits over a period of years and thus was able to obtain some measure of demand for their native species. Contacting the Texas wildlife agency to determine the process that state used and the result they obtained should prove informative.

Realizing that the number of individuals that participate in field herping is rather small, most lack refined skills at seeking desired species, that herp populations are immense, that most snakes with the highest demand are underground or hidden at any point in time during the active season, how few species are actually sought, how few specimens are actually collected, that the most sought after species are difficult to collect in large numbers, that the area over which collecting takes place is immense, coupled with my understanding of population ecology, recreational collecting never has been a concern. In the face of having no evidence in support the notion that recreational collecting negatively impacts species, I find it astonishing that some herpetologists and others continue to embrace such a view.

If you disagree, that's OK but I suggest you ask yourself whether or not your position is based on a rational analysis of the issue. Or is your position based on personal feelings? Or is it based on what others have speculated in the literature? To gain added insight, below I have copied the PARC post of 9/23/05 by Dr. Jeff Boundy as it relates to commercial collecting of herp species in Louisiana.

Richard F. Hoyer
================================================

In Louisiana a good bit of commercial collecting is done along roads for
several reasons. Primarily, the edge-effect provided by the long roadsides
gives a relatively higher productivity than the closed-canopy swamps, with
an abundance of shrubby vegetation and increased prey base. Under such
conditions, green treefrogs, anoles, ribbon and green snakes exhibit much
higher densities than the interior of the swamp and forest. Secondarily,
there are numerous roadside dumps that also seem to increase a prey base of
insects, rodents and lizards.

The commercial amphibian/reptile market in Louisiana is largely
demand-driven, and most species are not saleable. Thus, collectors focus on
relatively few (3-8) species that they know they can sell. The dealers have
a business/conservation sense in that they know they must not deplete their
source of income. They rotate areas for a year or more, in bison-like
fashion, leaving coveted regions "fallow" for a couple of seasons. It
works.

Jeff Boundy
LDWF



Quote:
As for the 'charges' of having started this same topic in the past, I plead guilty. I first started such a discussion many years back on the Kingsnake, 'fieldnotes' forum when some individuals voice concerns about 'over collecting'.

After joining Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) 8 - 10 years ago, I discovered that many PARC participants also believed
that recreation collecting was a problem. For those not familiar with PARC, I believe membership is largely composed of wildlife biologists (state and Fed.), conservationists, professional herpetologists, university students major in related biological fields, and a smattering of other stakeholders. I produced a number of mini-essays dealing with various facets of the issue and there followed some lively discussions.

I always try to hedge in my posts leaving room for the possibility I could be in error. But I need to see convincing evidence or be presented with solid (cause and effect) reasoning. Thus in this thread, I asked if anyone (including Drs. Jeff Boundy and Sam Sweet), knew of some scientific literature that documents significant harm to herp populations due to recreational collecting.

On the national PARC web site, I have twice requested citations that document that recreational collecting produces harm to the overall populations of herp species. I believe the only citation someone mentioned was the same as the one cited by Dr. Jeff Boundy in this thread.

State regulations that place species in a no-take / protected status often have unintended consequences. Such regulations can discourage rather than encourage research on the very species deemed to be in trouble for which baseline data is needed. In this tread, I believe Dr. Sam Sweet and Gerry (gbin) mention that very point.

For the past 12 - 13 years, my involvement with the Rubber Boa in Calif. has involved mark / recapture efforts with the largest share of those efforts taking place in Kern County. Now that all Kern County Charina bottae populations are off limits, I can no longer lawfully pursue recaptures at my various study sites in Kern County. And no longer can the individuals who have helped me with increasing the sample size of the species from Kern County do so.

To study any of the species that were designated in a no-collecting / protected status by the new Calif. regulations that took effect 3/1/13, one now needs to complete and have approved (not a given) an application for a Scientific Collecting Permit and fork over the $420 fee for such a permit.

With respect to bag and possession limits, I may be mistaken but it seems as if there is a consensus agreeing with such provisions for species of herps. Having such bag and possession limits (as seems to be the case for all herps in Calif.), implies that all herps need to be managed. Being a nuts and bolts type individual, some question naturally arise that I hope others will attempt to answer while I am away in Utah for a week.

1) What is the (original) purpose for having seasons, bag limits, and possession limits for species of wildlife? 2) What is the fundamental reason behind the need for managing species of wildlife?

Richard F. Hoyer



Quote:
Back from Utah
Some individuals indicated they believe all or most herps should be managed. I don't, and for the same reasons I don't believe worms should be managed even thought there is some demand for worms which are collected for fish bait and perhaps other purposes. I see no biological rational for managing non-game species that are not in need of being managed.

And that includes the vast majority of herp species, non-game mammals, non-game fish, and non-commercial invertebrates. I would include most non-game birds but all native birds (except the Wren-tit) are covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and thus are 'managed' as being in a protected (hands-off) status.

Thus, on Oct. 30 , I asked two questions "1) What is the (original) purpose for having seasons, bag limits, and possession limits for species of wildlife? 2) What is the fundamental reason behind the need for managing species of wildlife?"

Jimi's response of 10/30 was very informative and went well beyond what I expected. It has been close to 60 years since I was an undergraduate in wildlife science (OSU, 51 -55) so my memory may be a bit blurred. But as I recall, in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the populations of some species of wildlife were greatly reduced primarily by market hunting. Elk, deer, bison, waterfowl, and some other bird species were harvested in excess, the latter for their feathers and plumes. I believe the Passenger Pigeon became extinct largely due to market hunting.

As a result of this over harvesting of wildlife resources, where demand was outstripping annual surpluses (supply), wildlife agencies came into being along with regulations governing the harvest of species in high demand. Market hunting was eliminated for the above species. The harvest of game species then became regulated by having fishing and hunting licenses, open and closed seasons, and daily, season, and possession limits. Similar restrictions were enacted for species of commercial value.

All of the above involved species for which demand was capable of having considerable impact on annual surpluses (supply). I have yet to have anyone explain, in rational terms, why bag and possession limits are needed for species in which demand is either zero or is very low in relation to the supply (numerical abundance). So that is my take on the answers to the two questions I posed.

I will close with a quote from Jimi's post of 10/30. "I infer the reason Mr. Hoyer asks this, is he would like to illuminate the evident silliness in restricting access to species for which there is little-to-zero demand, for which there is no competing human users."

Richard F. Hoyer




Quote:
The post by Ben on 10/15 stated he liked Wisconsin's laws. Non-residents cannot collect herps and residents have bag limit guidelines.

My post last night provided my take with respect to having bag and possession limits on species where demand is small in comparison to overall numerical abundance (supply). For comparison with what Ben mentions for Wisconsin, the following is what I understand to be the case for the three west coast states with respect to the collecting of herps. Everyone can decide for themselves which makes the most sense.

To the best of my knowledge, Washington does not allow any collecting of herps. In order to do so, one must apply for and then be granted a special collecting permit. I did that very thing for a number of years in conjunction with my gatheriing information on the Rubber Boa and Common Sharp-tailed snake in Washington.

California requires a fishing license for collecting herps. And the state has both bag and possession limits for their native species ranging from 1 for the Mt. Kingsnake, 2 for most species of snakes, 4 for a few species of snakes, and larger limits for some species of lizards and amphibians. That is, even if populations of such non-listed species number in the millions, they place a limit on how many you can collect and maintain. Non-residents can collect herps provided they obtain a non-resident fishing license.

In Oregon, all non-game species (including herps) that are not listed in some category of concern, can be collected by residents and non-residents. No license is required and there is no restriction on the number that can be collected or in possession. The only stipulations are that such non-game species cannot be sold or bartered. A separate statute indicates such specimens need to be maintain in a humane manner.

So Ben, and other all herpers can come to Oregon and collect to your hearts content all non-listed species including my 'beloved' Rubber Boa. And I have absolutely no problem with such an arrangement knowing that in relation to numerical abundance and annual surplus of all such non-game species, demand is exceedingly small and that includes the Rubber Boa.

If you read my post dealing with demand, you should know that collecting live specimens for personal (non-commercial) reasons is a self limiting endeavor. There is just so much time and effort that anyone would be willing to expend towards maintaining many captive specimens.

Of the three west coast states and Wisconsin, the situation in Oregon is the only one having biological merit. Since all of the 'collectable' species in Oregon must number in the many hundreds of thousand to millions and demand is infinitesimal, there is no need for managing such species and thus no need for bag or possession limits. The situation is identical to my reference to the collecting of worms.

Does anyone on this forum believe that the populations of non-game species in Oregon, including herps, are suffering due to the lack of being 'managed' and the lack of bag and possession limits? As I mentioned previously, there is no reason for managing species for which management is not needed.

Richard F. Hoyer
Quote:

dthor68:
After having read the input contained in this thread, I was wondering if your views on collecting of herps is now the same as it was when you posted on October 17th?

Secondly, you and others got stuck on the word 'hypothetical' and seem to have overlooked the major point I was trying to make. That's okay, and if you would like an actual example, I can provide a non-hypothetical example involving a species of snakes I have studied that would provide the same major point I was trying to make with the S. Torrent Salamander example.

Third, the example you cite about humans picking millions of blueberries along the Blue Ridge Parkway I found of interest. Has this been an annual harvest of millions of blueberries along that parkway occurred over a good number of years? If that is the case, then such an example actually lends supports for my position about collecting.

Unless the harvest of blueberries has continually gone down hill year after year, that mature blueberry plants have partly destroyed, run over, dug up, etc., then your example is a classical example of a harvest of a renewable resource. The collecting (harvesting) of herps with large populations is similar.

There can be an annual take of such a resources without affecting the overall sustainability of the resource. I suggest that is the most likely scenario with respect to the collecting of blueberries along Blue Ridge Parkway. As a matter if fact, here in Oregon we do exactly the same thing with not only wild blueberries, but wild currents, salmon berries, wild goose berries, elder berries, both native and feral species of black berries, etc.

Fourth I may recall I mentioned that there are some states that have commercial take of herps and have been doing so for decades. The fact that such herps can be harvested annually and remain as sustainable population should resonate with everyone. That game species are annually harvested should also be a clear indication that herps can also be harvested (collected) without their overall populations being harmed.

Your last sentence states the following: "And, why do the pro collectors always start these threads, are you trying to make yourself feel better about the situation?"

As a serious hobby, in the mid 1960's I made the decision to learn all I could about the biology of the Rubber Boa as so little had been published on the species. I do maintain a number of specimens in order to gain information of a biological nature (diet, reproduction, growth, etc.). But the major thrust of my efforts involves mark / recapture.

Similar to Ben, I too have a philosophical bent towards allowing snakes to live out their natural lives in the wild. And recaptured specimens can provide a wealth of basic biological information such as mean growth rates for the different sexes and age classes, longevity in the wild, female reproductive frequencies, and more. At one of my sites this year, I found one boa that had been originally captured in 1991.

But I do wish to thank you and all others that have contributed to this thread. I hope at least a few individuals may have a better grasp of the issue of collecting. That others remain unconvinced is a given since my skills at communication have never been one of my stronger points. Should you or anyone else need additional input or have questions, I can be reached at [email protected]

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)




Quote:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:31 am


Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:14 pm
Posts: 246 I can understand individuals dismissing my views as someone that lacks any real credentials being void of a degree in herpetology, no advanced university degree, and without any professional affiliation. Since this thread had run its normal course, I was inclined to just let it fade away.

However, some individuals seem not to be aware that at least three professional herpetologists provided their insights within this thread. Gerry (gbin) indicated he had moved from Texas to NY and I do not know his current professional status. Dr. Sam Sweet is a long time professor at UC Santa Barbara. And Dr. Jeff Boundy has been with the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries for many years.

So I thought it might be informative if I were to copy parts of these gentleman's posts. Because the CDFW biologist (Laura Patterson) now in charge with herps indicated a willingness to learn about issues pertaining to herps, I sent her copies as well.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
gbin (Gerry) part of his post of 10/20/13
===============================
3) Blanket protection is a form of management, yes, but it's such a passive, unthinking and prohibitive form of management that in many ways it mimics no management at all, and worse, it often precludes more active, reasoned forms of management. It can and does commonly discourage, and in some cases even prohibit, efforts to learn more about and improve how we handle a given species and the threats it faces.

It all too readily allows people to believe they've done something concrete for wildlife conservation when all they've actually done is put another meaningless law on the books. And it erects yet another barrier between people and nature when now more than ever we need people to understand and appreciate nature (even if we as individuals don't particularly like all of the ways in which others find their appreciation).

Effective management targets action at meaningful threats, and meaningful threats are identified by prioritizing among possibilities by use of reason and data, not emotional appeal or personal interpretation of anyone's preferred deity's will. For these reasons I and many other long-time professionals I have known in wildlife conservation view hands-off legislation as a hinderance rather than help to our efforts.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Jeff Boundy post of 1/21/13
============================================
Our Department (Louisiana) just revised our SSC list of about 25 taxa, only three of which require more than a fishing license to collect, and no bag limits on the others. Paradoxically, we encourage researchers, hobbyists and commercial folks to report their finding or take of SSC animals. Our biologists work at maintaining a rapport with our constituents to perpetuate the existing exchange of information with the public. In fact, I have gently chastised individuals who have released or failed to document important specimens.

There's a suggestion in here somewhere for other State Agencies.

Jeff

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part of Dr. Sam Sweet post of 10/22/13
========================================
As a society we have adopted the view that we should not be causing extinctions, and that this common goal (persistence) is worthy enough that we impose restrictions on the actions of a subset of people. Most of the time the constrained subset is not actually named, but instead it becomes clear from context. The regulation "no person may take Diadophis p. regalis in California" may annoy us all, but it actually affects very few people and even fewer snakes.

Does it do any good? Of course not, collecting pressure is an infinitesimally small contributor to mortality for a snake with that ecology and distribution. Now ask yourself if that regulation would also prevent establishing a dolomite mine at the head of that valley with a haul road down the canyon carrying 500 truck trips/day. Of course not. This is what is f**ked up.

Regulations (mostly at the state level) that make individual animals untouchable but have no power to protect populations by saving habitat cannot be taken seriously as components of a conservation strategy.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part of Jeff Boundy post of 10/27/13
======================================
Having a long-term knowledge of particular species, whether few or many, does present factual evidence about the nature of their populations and the factors that positively and negatively effect their persistence. These are not gripes with local laws, but reflect a knowing (or non-dis-approvable) claim that placing a zero bag limit on species does two things: does nothing to protect the species from decline, and prohibits the acquisition of useful data about their populations. Richard Hoyer's use of the Southern Torrent Salamander is a perfect example: people are very rarely collecting them (if so, usually under a Scientific Collecting Permit), and prohibition of collecting presents a false assumption that the State has prevented a threat to the survival of the species.

Most of the non-ESA species that are presented for zero bag limits can demonstrably shown to be under near zero threat from commercial or recreational take.



Quote:
jimco742
As for your first question, there are many examples in which that scenario has taken place. As for your second question, you pretty much provided the answer yourself. And azatrox (Kris) chimed in with a good explanation as well.

Besides what has been covered in this thread, there is another way of examining the issues inherent in this thread is as follows:
For over 99 % of all species of wildlife, vertebrates and invertebrates, it should be understood that there is zero demand. So expending human effort and
monetary resources towards managing such wildlife (for which there is zero demand) is not only impractical, but a worthless enterprise as well.

The major factors that contribute to the decline of most species have nothing to do with the demand, or the collecting / harvesting of species. One can visualize this scenario by observing the number of invertebrate species listed in some category of concern by either state wildlife agencies and / or the federal government.

The vast majority of species that have experienced a significant reductions in abundance / distribution is a result of human activities other than harvesting and collecting. For most species that have been legitimately identified in some category of concern, the most common factors responsible for such decline are habitat degradation or outright loss of habitat. Where such listed species have been documented by legitimate evidence and where known or potential threats have been identified, then management strategies are clearly indicated. An example here in Oregon where managing is taking place is the Blue Fender Butterfly which I believe is both federally and state listed.

Instead of addressing the actual factors responsible for the decline of species (habitat loss and / or degradation), for reasons that are not clear (to me), state wildlife agencies have followed the nonsensical and ineffectual policy of placing species in a hands-off, protected status. Such a policy has absolutely no conservation value for the majority of species that have experienced a significant reduction in their distributions and / or numerical abundance.

I suspect that one major problem is that current legislation / regulations may not provide the wherewithal for wildlife agencies to effectively protect, conserve, rehabilitate, and / or create favorable habitat for species truly at risk.

But at the same time, I believe wildlife agencies could spend the major part of their efforts on species at risk by taking better advantage of the available processes used by land trusts and other conservation / environmental organizations (Nature Conservancy). That is, they could form partnerships with the private sector in order to preserve and set aside habitat for wildlife. I believe a current example of such a process has been the cooperative agreement between the Tejon Ranch Corporation in California and a number of environmental / conservation organizations.

Richard F. Hoyer


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There is yet another significant problem with the manner in which state wildlife agencies operate that I did not mention previously nor in my most recent post. Note that in the preceding post, I twice used the word 'legitimate' when referring to species that have been listed by state agencies in some category of concern.

Unfortunately, wildlife agencies have many bogus listings of species in some category of concern. That is, such listings were accomplished by junk-science methods without much if any valid evidence in support of such listings.

For example, in my home state of Oregon, four species of snakes were placed in the ODFW's Sensitive Species category and simultaneously placed in a protected (no-collecting) status. At the time of the initial listings, none of these species (Ground Snake, Calif. Mt. Kingsnake, Common Sharp-tailed Snake, Common Kingsnake) had been studied in this state and thus there was a TOTAL VOID of any factual evidence in support of those listing. And since their listing by ODFW, there still is absolutely no factual evidence that would support their continued listing.

It is my understanding that this same scenario applies to many, if not most (perhaps all) other state wildlife agencies.

The one example in California of which I have sufficient knowledge (evidence / data) for such a bogus listing is that of the Southern Rubber Boa (C. b. umbratica). The SRB was officially listed in 1971 by the CDFG (now CDFW), as "Rare", later changed to "Threatened" to conform with federal designations. At the time of that listing, there was no valid evidence in support of that listing. The CDFG listing of the SRB was based on the perceptions and personal opinions of a panel of herpetologists the agency had convened for the purpose of reviewing species thought to be at risk.

In 1971, there were very few SRB voucher specimens (about 19) in institutional collections and few locality records / sightings. Neither of those reasons are evidence or a valid basis for listing a species. Few sighting and few vouchers are not an indication of rarity and can be explained by other factors.

For decades, and possibly to the present time, many professional and amateur herpetologists, wildlife biologists, and others have considered the Rubber Boa to be rare throughout its distribution in North America. I have involved myself with the species since the early 1960s and I believe I have sufficient evidence to indicate just the opposite is true.

That is, instead of being rare, the species more likely occurs at normal densities in relation to the quality of occupied habitat and the existing environmental conditions similar to most all other species of wildlife. Being mostly fossorial, the species is thus very secretive not often encountered on the surface, often difficult to find thereby producing the PERCEPTION of being rare.

So the end result of wildlife agencies having listed many species by invalid methods is that they waste both time and funding toward managing non-existent and imagined problems. The Southern Rubber Boa is a classical example of that very scenario. And you can take this to the bank. I would challenge any CDFW biologist, official, herpetologist, or anyone to produce factual evidence that would support the state listed Threatened status of the Southern Rubber Boa.

Last, Kris (azatrox) mentioned the following:
"Then you're managing based upon the Precautionary Principle vs. managing based on science and scientific validation." That opens yet another 'can of worms' as some state wildlife agencies have used the so-called 'Precautionary Principle' as a justification for listing species.

I suspect that some individuals on this forum have adopted the PP as being legitimate. I consider the PP to be yet another fraud. A number of years ago on the PARC web site, I produced a mini-essay that critically examined the fallacies inherent with the use of the PP. Should others wish to be informed, I can post a copy.

Richard F. Hoyer


Quote:
John and others:
By initiating this thread, my purpose was to inform with the prospect that some individuals would rethink their positions.

But the reality is that a change in thinking needs to occur within wildlife agency leadership. Such leadership would need to acknowledge that the current policy of placing species in a protected, hand-off status has absolutely no conservation value and instead, conserving and protecting habitat is imperative if species are to be truly protected.

To understand this reality, one only has to examine what has transpired since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed in the early 1900s. The MBTA placed non-game birds into a no-take, 'protected' status. Of course, there never was demand for most species such as sparrows, wrens, swifts, vireos, swallows, warblers and the like which never have been
'harvested' either for food, feathers, or for pets.

Yet a fair number of such species have ended up being federally and / or state listed in some category of concern including threatened or endangered not because they were harvested but because their habitat has been degraded and / or converted to other human use. It thus should be clear that the original placing of such species in a 'protected', no-take status did not protect such listed species at all.

To further understand that the blanket no-take, protection policy is of no value, we only have to examine what has transpired with the exceptions inherent in the MBTA. That is, many 'game' species were exempted. Millions of such game birds have been harvested for many decades yet have maintained sustainable populations.

It seems reasonable that some wildlife officials understand the above. But because bureaucratic policies tend to have there own inertia and the current practices are so widespread and accepted as being the norm, change is not likely until some individual with stature and influence takes positive steps that could set a precedence.

Richard F. Hoyer


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The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, similar to many legislative acts and regulations, has some positive as well as negative outcomes. The early protection of the Whooping Crane and Trumpeter Swan may be examples of the former.

But if one critically examines the issue whereby legislation / regulations only involve a blanket protection of species, it should be abundantly clear that legislation, such as the
MBTA, actually has failed to protect most species. One only needs to review the number of listed species that have received the most notoriety to understand that point. Think of the California Condor, Brown Pelican, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Marbled Murrelet, and Northern Spotted Owl.

But there are many, many more species of small birds that have been, or are now being considered as candidates for listing. For instance, at the October Audubon Society of Corvallis monthly meeting, Joel Geier's presentation mentioned a few of the species here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon whose populations have been greatly reduced over the years. The species I recall Joel mentioned are the Western Meadowlark, Lewis's Woodpecker, Streaked Horned Lark, Vesper Sparrow, Common Nighthawk, Chipping Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, and Slender-billed Nuthatch. None of these species have been harvested for food, for plumes, or for pets.

My mentioning of the MBTA was meant to demonstrate how a policy of placing species in a 'protected' status is largely symbolic and does not prevent species from declining to the point of being at risk. In that way, I was trying to draw a parallel to the same type of regulations state wildlife agencies enact placing species of herps in a 'protected', hands-off status.

Richard F. Hoyer




Quote:
From the State of Calif. F & G Commission final statement of reasons for regulator action is the following statement: "The Department currently has no information about amount or effects of sport take for these animals, so it is therefore prudent to remove species of concern from collection."

This is an example of how the CDFW used the 'precautionary principle' as a form of justification. With respect to the Nov. 28th. post by Mark Brown, below is my critique of the so-called 'Precautionary Principle' I posted on the Arizona PARC forum.

Richard F. Hoyer
=====================================================

The underlying basis for the positions I have taken in recent threads have everything to do with credibility, integrity, professional conduct, and basic honesty as those values pertain to state wildlife agencies and their management of non-game wildlife. In this thread, I provide my thoughts on the so-called 'Precautionary Principle' (PP) and these same basic values are at the core of my remarks.

Background: My position has always been that science-based processes should be used to assess and manage wildlife resources. After all, isn't that the reason behind university programs in Wildlife Science so that graduate biologists will employ professional methods?

In mid 1997, I was visiting an acquaintance that had recently retired as a regional fisheries supervisor for the Calif. Dept. of F & G. We were discussing my proposed study of the Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis), a species that had never been studied in Oregon. With a complete void of factual evidence, in 1971 the ODFW placed the species in a 'Protected' status based solely on anecdotal opinion. Since no evidence existed to indicate Contia was having problems, from a biological and ethical
perspective, I expressed my view that the species should not have been listed in the first place. My friend disagreed and mentioned something close to the following: "Since so little is known about the species, it is best to take a conservative approach and err on the side of caution'. That was my initial introduction to the 'Precautionary Principle'.

In recent years when I have questioned the legitimacy of a listed species, individuals have repeated the same or very similar phraseology as a justification. It sounds so reasonable that one is inclined to accept the notion at face value. But something bothered me at the time and I began to seek answers. The following is what I have learned along with some analysis.

1) By it very name, the word 'principle' lends a measure of authenticity and legitimacy. The impression I have gotten when someone cites the PP is that they believe they are citing a basic principle of biology. Thus, the use of the word 'principle' misleads individuals into believing a basic biological principles is involved.

2) Instead of a basic principle, the PP is simply a point of view, conjecture, supposition, personal opinion, a concept, or philosophical position and thus is not factual but speculative in nature. True biological principles have support from a broad base of existing evidence. The PP lacks support from any factual evidence. Employed in a biological context (as if it were some basic principle), it is quite deceptive for those that are not aware that the PP is simply a concept or personal point of view.

3) The application of the PP concept primarily occurs in specific situations.
A) With rare exception, application of the PP is not used in connection with commercial species, fur bearers, or game species. It is almost exclusively applied to non-games species.

B) Even though little is known about the basic biology of 99.99% of all species, it is not applied across the board. The PP is applied 1) where some 'official' concerns are expressed for a species (being considered for listing) but where supporting evidence is lacking and 2) as a defensive ploy anytime questions of legitimacy arise about a listed species for which supporting evidence is lacking (as when I questioned the Contia listing in Oregon).

Thus, applying the PP is a convenient way of sidestepping the issue any time there is a void in factual evidence. As such, the PP could be selectively applied to nearly all species on this earth. Just pick a species, express a grave concern for its overall status, then cite the PP as a justification for listing the species. In this manner, there is no need to produce any evidence in support of your position.

4) Application of the PP does not truly mean 'proceed with caution' but entails a total prohibition of any use of a wildlife resource.

5) There are two inherent conflicts or contradictions between the underlying assumptions of the PP and basic tenets of wildlife science and population biology.
A) With mentioning 'the need to err on the side of caution' (coupled with a complete hands-off stance), implied is that the health of species are suspect (populations are 'sick'). In contrast, the basic tenets of wildlife science and population biology indicate the opposite situation. Populations are deemed to occur at normal densities in occupied habitat (are 'healthy'). This is due to the principle of population biology previously mentioned that species over produce their kind during reproduction.

B) The second contradiction occurs as follows: Because population biology indicates species exist at normal densities, factual evidence is needed to demonstrate otherwise. In contrast, application of the PP concept bypasses or ignores the need for factual evidence to determine if a species' health is suspect. By invoking the PP, one can simply declare that a species is suspect and should be place in a protected status.

It should be noted there is no evidence that supports the PP concept but an enormous amount of evidence exists in support of the basic tenets of population biology--that species exist at normal densities in suitable habitat. It seems not to bother advocates of the PP that in many cases, the listing of species was done without any factual evidence. Yet the irony is that proponents of the PP then mention that scientific evidence is required in order to have a species removed from a 'Protected' status.

Do you think agency wildlife biologists would recommend de-listing species based solely on anecdotal opinion without supporting evidence? Yet, with a complete void of factual evidence, wildlife agencies have listed species in a 'Protected' status base solely on anecdotal opinion. I was hoping that Arizona was different. But I see that is not the case with the recent listing of the Box Turtle where no meaningful evidence was presented that would remotely indicate the species was experiencing problems in that state.

6) It is my view that most non-game species listed in some category of concern were done so based mostly or entirely on anecdotal type information lacking factual support. When a person invokes the PP for such listed species, they are employing an unscientific concept to justify a species listed by unscientific processes. In my opinion, this amounts to one form of junk science justifying the use of another form of junk science.

7) Last, I looked into the origin of the PP. I found that a number of individuals had proposed it's application but that it was primarily aimed at technological advances. One source on its origin mentions that the PP became popular with G. Tyler Miller, an Environmental Scientist and economist. In one of Miller's books, 'Environmental Science, ninth edition' is the following definition: "The precautionary principle: When there is much evidence that an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, we should take precautionary measures to prevent or reduce harm even if some of the cause-and-effect are not fully established scientifically." Please note where it mentions "WHEN THERE IS MUCH EVIDENCE".

As mentioned at the beginning, my concern involve basic values of integrity, credibility, professionalism, and honesty. After examining the current manner in which wildlife agencies assess and list non-game species, in the past 8 years I have progressed from merely being skeptical to being cynical. I no longer accept listed species at face value and need to be shown the factual basis that support such listings. No longer am I gullible enough to accept a biologist's (or academic's) explanation that a listing was 'based on the best science available' or 'based on the best available information'. Invariably, I have found that no science was involved and the best information amounted to anecdotal opinion without support from meaningful evidence.

With many species having been listed without acceptable evidence, I find it hard to reconcile how any individual that critically examines this issue can have confidence in the credibility in state wildlife agency's lists of 'Protected Species'. How does this situation reflect on the integrity of a state wildlife agency, particularly their non-game programs? Does anyone believe that such methods are professional and are taught at university Depts. of Wildlife Science? And what does it tell you about basic honesty. In official lists of protected species, state wildlife agencies are informing everyone that these species are in need of protection. Yet agency biologists are unable to produce any valid evidence in support of such listings. (Nor are they able to explain in rational terms how a protected status truly 'protects' such species.) The situation in Oregon is a typical example in which not a smidgen of data exists in support of the 4 species of snakes listed in the 'Protected' category.

As with my prior threads, I hope that I have planted some seeds for thought.

I will close with mentioning that as an independent biologist, I am not accountable to any entities be they public or private. I am a long time conservationist having contributed financial support yearly for decades to a number of conservation organizations with my favorite being Nature Conservancy. Clearly there are some species in dire straits and others where populations have been compromised. But with the current situation in which there are an incredible number of bogus listings, it is my view that the entire conservation movement has been compromised.

The questions of why and how this has all come about I will leave for others to ponder.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon 1/26/05)




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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 1st, 2014, 6:43 am 
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Thanks. Its efficacious and well timed.

And creds to you as well for the sweepingly insulting intro, nobody does it better, you're the Kathy Griffin of herp personalities :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 1st, 2014, 7:33 am 
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What would Ernie Eison know about 'unbiased' with his arrest record? Don't you have some gerbils that need cage cleaning and feeding?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 1st, 2014, 8:06 am 
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I thought the Documentary, Propagantry line awhile back was a little less than fabulous, though. Sorry.

Richard Hoyers works and words are important and i am going to read it in full carefully.

Its good when presenting someone else's work to try not to flip an alienating tone of your own at the beginning.

You could spill your own coffee like that ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 2nd, 2014, 2:06 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
... creds to you as well for the sweepingly insulting intro, nobody does it better, you're the Kathy Griffin of herp personalities :beer:

:lol: :thumb:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 20th, 2014, 1:41 am 

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Location: Tucson, AZ
dthor68 wrote:
Verhoodled wrote:
[

Personally, I could care less if one wants to collect, it is not my business. But to think that collecting does not hurt wild populations is laughable. Sure, if one person collected one animal it would not hurt. However, it is not one person, it is many. Of coarse a collector does not want to think he/she is part of the problem, so here we are, again!


I'm totally flattered to be challenged by one who thinks the picking of a fruit of a plant equals herp collection.

Collectors aren't part of any problem. Not any more than hunting is. An animal removed from the population, whether by bullet, snake hook, or radial, is one animal removed. Precious few reptile collectors venture more than a few miles off any roadway.

Coarse (the derp is strong with this one)

"Could care less." You mean "couldn't", but still can't make a point if you had to pop a balloon.

Collectors are only an issue after a species is already doomed.

See the SF Garter snake. "Oh? Got a golf course? Plow ahead buddy!" Certainly those .2 acres of protection along the rim of a golf course pond will give them millenia of survival, no? Which is why their greatest gene pool is with breeders in Europe. SF garters will be gone from the US long before the animals with the collectors in Europe give up the ghost.

That's how AZ rolls with gilas. They're protected from everything but the bulldozer. A few decades down the line when the Flagstaff-Phx-Tucson corridor is wall-to-wall tract housing the blame will be on collectors, and not the bounty Game and Fish collected for the estimated # of animals per acre for each area bulldozed. Many AZ game and fish officers agree with this. The pushback is solely from the law enforcement branch who want their kickback.

But if you want to believe the govt has all the answers to a species protection, which it demonstrably doesn't, I won't quibble with a hallucination that only you can contend with.

If you want to believe blue ridge/smoky mtn pkwy blueberry collection (a fruit from a bush, a very easily grown bush in any east coast backyard [we had only 16 bushes, having to cull a dozen plants each year]) equals herp in any way herp collection, bravo to your ignorance of apples and oranges and herps. We all await the sequel. Which I presumes contains such stunning graphics as fridge-quality "hand turkey." Point being if you can't grow blueberries in the SE US, you certainly should be paying the ridiculous supermarket markups. Call it the incompetence tax.

Hell, we grew blueberries in our greenhouse in AZ this past year. It ain't rocket surgery mate! Like any herp, give it what it needs, and voila!

But if you can't find one of the foremost common berries in the SW US, it's not surprising you'd want to blame collectors for you inability to find any herps. Always fault others for your shortcomings. It is the American way, lately!

God forbid one ever refine and revise their tactics.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 20th, 2014, 5:45 am 
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I'm on the same side of this subject as you, Verhoodled, because it's of course the side with the preponderance of both logical argument and evidence behind it.

But a word of advice: If you want people to become better educated and accordingly change their minds on issues such as this, it can help to assume that they have done so when you haven't heard from them about it in a while. It saves them the embarrassment of having to more or less say "you were right and I was wrong," which I think is sometimes the last obstacle keeping some people from changing their views. So while I don't know that dthor68 now has a better grasp of the subject of whether live herp collection harms wild populations than he did when he wrote the comment you just responded to - which was some nine months ago - I suggest that we give him the benefit of the doubt and act as if he does until he demonstrates otherwise. ;)

Wouldn't it be a much nicer world if we more readily afforded others (and they more readily afforded us) clean slates on all kinds of subjects? I suspect it would!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: May 31st, 2015, 9:57 pm 
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Richard,

I notice in your records of the old old female you mention relocating her as neighborhood kids were catchingmany of the boas at her original home. How has that population faired since?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 2nd, 2015, 8:00 pm 

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Joseph S.
Because the boas I had been following (recapturing) for years were all gone, I no longer visited that site. Since that period of time, someone purchased the property and converted part of it into some type of industrial operation which further degraded the habitat where I use to find the species with regularity in south Corvallis.

Richard F. Hoyer


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 25th, 2015, 6:31 am 
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Do you have any idea how quickly a population could rebound after collection of many individuals?


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 25th, 2015, 8:39 am 
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I'd say that's impossible to answer without knowing a number of factors like the level of subsequent genetic drift, generation time of the species, effective population size (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_population_size), ... And that's just the 'simple' stuff, because the removal will also provide altered biotic interactions (prey & predator). Etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: June 26th, 2015, 10:39 pm 

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Joseph;
As for your question Joseph, there are many factors that affect the recovery for any particular species whose numerical abundance has been greatly reduced by some catastrophic event or as your question states, an excess take or ‘harvest.

If the collecting was a one time event, it is highly unlikely that all members of a snake population could have been found and removed. Therefore, through reproduction of the remaining snakes along with immigration from
adjoining populations, recovery likely would not take all that long.

I have one example in which instead of collecting, timber harvest and subsequent plowing of one of my study sites a killed almost all of the boas I had been recapturing for years. But the population of boas (gopher snakes, racers, garter snakes) rebounded in just a few years through reproduction and immigration.

But where collecting is involved and takes place repeatedly at a site over a prolonged period of time, then recovery would be prolonged depending on when the collection eventually ceased and whether or not there was some immigration from adjoining habitat.

And whether or not the site habitat remains in tact or is altered (degraded) is another factor. Then there is the life history of the species as a factor. For instance, a species that reaches maturity in 2 – 3 years (garter snakes) will recover faster than the Rubber Boa in which males take about 5 – 7 years and female 7 – 9 or more years to reach mature status.

I have some examples where collectors have wiped out all or almost all of the boas at some of my study sites mainly because they found the artificial cover I placed out as ‘traps’ in order to find the species. There is one site in which over time, one or more individuals removed all boas, gopher snakes, garter snakes, and southern alligator lizards but left the racers, ringneck snakes, sharp-tailed snakes, and fence lizards.

I only go back there once in a great while to collect baby voles during the spring for boa food. Once in a while, I will find a new boa and have seen a northwestern garter snake or two. But I have yet to observe any more SALs. or gopher snakes at that site.

All species will eventually recover once that individual or individuals move on or die. And of course, such collecting has negligible affect on the over all populations of those species here in western Oregon.

I really didn’t give a specific time as there are too many variable to consider and I don’t really have a clear cut example. I do have one example in which a kid trashed a site and seemingly removed (or killed) most the the boas, garter snake, S. All. lizard, and gopher snakes.. But after that episode, he never came back.

But because he degraded the habitat as well and the new owners further degraded the habitat, those species couldn’t recover as the habitat was rendered as unsuitable. But where the habitat was not degraded at that site, the boa population bounced back rather rapidly (and so did the population of garter snakes, gopher snakes, and S. alligator lizards).

Richard F. Hoyer


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 31st, 2015, 7:34 pm 
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Quote:
I have some examples where collectors have wiped out all or almost all of the boas at some of my study sites mainly because they found the artificial cover I placed out as ‘traps’ in order to find the species. There is one site in which over time, one or more individuals removed all boas, gopher snakes, garter snakes, and southern alligator lizards but left the racers, ringneck snakes, sharp-tailed snakes, and fence lizards.


There's a simple solution to that Richard...just remove all the AC and place it where it won't be found. You can set it up again in 5 years. If you initially cover the tins and boards with pine needles or dirt and grass (preferably stuck in place with wet paint), the poachers will not see the cover to hunt it...

When someone starts hunting one of my favorite spots I clean it up. If they lay out new cover I clean up their stuff too. They eventually give up and go away... :lol:

It's first come, first served... 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 31st, 2015, 8:43 pm 

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Brian,
As for removing the cover object at that one particular site, I considered doing so. But then, all of the boas I had been recapturing over about a 11 year period were now gone and recovery would take a number of years. By that time, starting over would take more time and I felt at my advance age, it wasn’t worth the effort. I left the A/C so in the spring, I could capture nestling voles and deer mice for boa food.

The sad part about that site was that Dr. Robert Mason at OSU and grad students had been using the site as part of their studies on garter snakes. So that effort was trashed as well.

At other sites that have been ransacked and / or others put out more A/C, I did what you have done as well.

Richard F. Hoyer


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 Post subject: Re: Protection--a flawed policy
PostPosted: July 31st, 2015, 11:41 pm 
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:thumb: That's the spirit...show "em who's boss...


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