at Sat Aug 27 12:02:03 2011 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by dustyrhoads ]
>>We usually will not collect a snake that is less than 4 feet.>>
Hmmm…so you are systematically killing all of the established breeders? The ones that have duked it out for possibly decades. For, going on 30 years? Sorry, but what ‘management’ sense does that make? Especially in light of actual research, such as the following, which suggests that younger snakes are 20% more likely to die in a given year than adults:
Pike, D.A., L. Pizzatto, B.A. Pike, and R. Shine. 2008. Estimating survival rates of uncatchable animals: The myth of high juvenile mortality in reptiles. Ecology 89:607–611. (see direct link below)
In spite of the title, the paper still finds the aforementioned difference between juvi and adult annual survival of conspecific snakes.
If the juveniles are more likely to die (and thus, not reproduce), why would you NOT be collecting those? Let me guess, because it takes a lot of juvies to make a belt? Nothing to do with "science or management” at all. Ironically, that sounds quite a bit more hypocritical to me than the accusations you are making against keepers who have SUSTAINABLE MULTI-generational populations in captivity — i.e. we don’t have to kill animals in the wild to get new animals, we can breed them for generations (In fact, there are example after example of species we have with viable captive populations that have not been collected in the wild since you started killing them annually 30 years ago.).
Unless you are breeding rattlesnakes in captivity and they are now your main source for “round ups” then you don’t really have a case for comparing breeders to you in terms of quantitative damage done to WILD populations. It’s about numbers. It’s not "all or nothing”. For example, the ocean’s fisheries being depleted by miles-long nets and entire communities of fishermen (along with other factors) does not compare to a single person taking an occasional fish every few years.
It is not just the private sector who, in general, SCIENTIFICALLY disagrees with round ups. It’s also most academic biologists as well as zoo personnel. The Dallas Zoo, for instance, had an anti-round-up campaign and exhibit called "Diamondbacks Can’t Scream”. This was under James B. Murphy who is presently a research biologist at the National Zoo in D.C and an editor for a journal published by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the largest academic herpetological organization in the world.
No matter how you dice it, the science does not stack up in your favor. Researchers, zoo curators, and breeders can at the very least work to headstart captive-bred animals by repatriating them into the wild. You can’t return a belt buckle or a billfold into the wild.
Pike, D.A., L. Pizzatto, B.A. Pike, and R. Shine. 2008. Estimating survival rates of uncatchable ani
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