Thank you... regarding my 'eloquence...' truthfully, I had feared just the opposite to be true. I'm actually a slow plodding thinker, who must rely upon years of training to 'think critically' which is reflected in my writing, as opposed to most who post here who obviously possess MUCH higher IQ's, which is reflected in how they translate their 'clarity of thought' into succinctly-phrased easy-to-understand sentences...JDM wrote: I do like the idea of hellihooks, who is much more eloquent in speech than in writing , of having a list of ethical guidelines or recommendations for commercial collectors as well as other archetypes. I am personally opposed to commercial collection, as I defined it above, but I see no need for it to be legislated out of existence. I think that people should be respectfully encouraged to not collect commercially, but for those who do it would be good to have a set of ethical guidelines. Most states already protect species that may not be able to withstand collection. I think that collection for purposes of captive breeding should be encouraged, however. I feel strongly that this activity further reduces pressures on wild populations and allows people to work with the animals that they want to. A set of ethics should apply to this activity as well.
As for 'guidelines' for a commercial collector... here's what I tried to keep to, way 'back in the day'
1) Never hit a spot more than once a year.
2) Always seek new spots.
3) Don't collect gravid females
4) Get the herps to the Dealer as fast as possible.
5) Don't collect animals in poor shape.
6) If a lizard drops it's tail... let it go.
7) Provide adequate care for the herps, while in your possession.
That's about it... as a dumb teenager, I had no clue about 'Habitat Preservation' so returned rocks and ac back to 'original condition' only well enough to (hopefully) attract more herps...
I also ran 'pit traps' out in the desert (when I lived there) hoping to score desert lizards/snakes... but they never worked. I did make a point to check them at least every two days, and filled them all up, before moving away...
Try not to bash me too hard... this was back in the 70's... it WAS legal, and I was a dumb kid out on my own, unable to resist the $50--$100 a day (which was one HELL of a LOT of money, back then) that 'snake hunting' provided. I generally drank and smoked pot all day, as well... so... think about it... party all day, get to do something that was a ton of fun, and made GREAT money doing it... could NOT resist...
Perhaps a 'Locality Breeder/collector' will favor us with guidelines for that 'archetype' and Frank will favor us his guidelines for 'observation only'... jim
edit...BTW Frank the 'Longest time spent with a wild herp?' post is right up your alley...