Discussion in 'Herp Awareness' started by Merlin, Jan 13, 2011.
It's not over yet!
We have been see bye the eyes of the politicians. This means it will be a never ending war of them trying to squeze laws in all different bills.
We snake owners are all just weirdo freaks anyway - why should our opinions count?
As a biology student, the most disturbing thing about this is the fact that the articles states at the end, "'The science is solid,' Mr. Strickland said, and the United States Geological Survey will soon publish a peer-reviewed answer to its critics."
...Wait. Does that mean that they've been pushing for this ban without peer-reviewed evidence? That's not science. Science is peer-reviewed. Period.
When you have peer-reviewed studies contradicting a federal agency's investigation that (sounds like) is not peer-reviewed, there's something wrong with the government's study.
I'm a very vocal advocate for the environment. The caveat is that the threats to the environment have to be well-studied in a peer-reviewed source if I'm going to advocate for a law about it. This is epic face-palm worthy.
Buut. I guess this goes to show what happens when environmental activists ignore the science, as so often happens, and the media gleefully hops on a sensationalist bandwagon...as so often happens.
Politics are rarely scientific.
Just ask Al Gore with this freezing cold and snowy global warming we are experiencing.
But that's another can of worms ;-)
No, I know. I always talk about how our new Congress is one of the least science-friendly ones I can remember (granted, I'm only 21) because of certain new Congresspeople, but it does indeed frustrate me that it can go both ways.
Shouldn't biologists be covering this? not geologists?
Feral cats and feral swine are a real problem in many parts of the world. They never mention in those reports, how many cats and swine are consumed by large feral pythons.
They make it sound like these snakes are eating people and running rampant on the streets. If snakes were able to thrive in the United States we would see established populations by now. The Burmese python was a fluke and in no way could they survive anywhere but Florida. Apparently one invasive snake is a huge problem, but the fact that almost every single lizard and gecko in Florida is an introduced species doesn't seem to warrant a look. Snakes always seem to be judged as horrible creatures for some unknown reason. When I was young I still remember my friends grandpa saw a garter snake slithering in the grass and he ran at it with a cane and beat it to death. I asked why he killed it and he said "they are bad news, no good". It's sad really.
Not unknown, but most people do not want to delve. Many cultures have maligned the snake in their folk-tales, traditions, etc.
I see a lot of it at my zoo - we have a very nice herpetarium. and a lot of people who won't go in there. We have the occasional adult scream when they see one (and one case, of a chaperon on a field trip screaming obscenities when she saw a black racer outside)
Well I knew that they were judged based on those factors but I mean come on, open an eye and you'll see they really aren't horrible creatures. It's the same with sharks, some people are scared to enter the water when in reality you're more likely to die from a falling coconut than a shark attack...people are really swayed by movies and folktale.
And the unknown. Seeing something so..different than anything we know. It fascinates those willing to learn about it, but it disgusts those who are confused. We naturally want to dislike or fear new ideas.. The thought of something that can so efficiently and elegantly move, live, even kill without natural limbs! Beautiful creation of nature..but alien to those of us who happen to be used to seeing dogs, people, cats, horses..
I used to be very afraid of snakes! But that was only because when I was young I was told to not mess with wild snakes because they might be venomous. Also my parents weren't educated on snakes so they took the 'assume all is going to kill you' idea of thinking. Which is unfortunate. But now that I have held one..hehehe..I'm hooked! <3
And yeah we are swayed by culture! We think hippos are cute....scary as heck creatures!!! Now THOSE will kill you!
I think it's because the USGS already has a really well-established Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program. They compared current damage (likely on a map) with possible places where the snakes could live (taking into account vegetation, climate, etc., I assume) on a map designed in a computer system. It's an extremely powerful data analysis tool, which is probably why USGS got it over the Fish and Wildlife Service.
I doubt that they took into account that you also need biologists doing this kind of work, too, in order to verify some of the assumptions that they had to have started from.
You're right-- there are entire islands, particularly in the South Pacific that are entirely overrun by cats. Which is totally lame-- snakes are cuter, but they get the bad press.
Probably the biggest 3 as far as how many other animal extinctions their introduction has caused.
Again, especially on small island ecosystems. If only we would pass laws to regulate the spread of people! Too bad they have already infested almost every place on earth!
The human being is a naturally, ignorant, dangerous animal, that should be approached with caution, possibly met with screaming and arm waving on site, to scare it away.
But the USGS survey has already been proven to be junk science by real scientists and biologists! The map they came up with showing the places the snakes would move into was totally insane.
Oklahoma is one of the places tht they show the pythons colonizing and I can guarantee you that they would never survive the winter here. The relatively mild cold spell they got in Florida recently resulted in the deaths of a lot of the pythons.
And we Okies call the temperatures they experienced there,...SPRING!
Last year, Florida had some unusual (for this region, anyways) cold spells. Nights below freezing, days a little above. A plethora of Burmese and other invasive pythons were found dead all over south Florida. In large numbers.
Exotic pythons have not spread with any sustainability outside of the everglades/Miami/S. Fla area because those parts of FL do NOT normally experience freezing of any type. Even Central Fl (Orlando) usually gets a night or two every year that falls below freezing, even briefly. That alone has kept the snakes from getting even this far north (only a couple hundred miles, if that.)
The problems is neatly confined to the southern portion of Florida. So far, it has been unable to extend as far as Orlando.
We still hear about the occasional animal (such as Monitors) running around here, but those always prove to be released pets, not 3rd generation offspring of released pets that have succeeded in multiplying.
There aren't even wild Iguanas here in Central Fla. I spend a lot of time outside, field herping in local state parks (some of which are huge!) and have yet to lay eyes on a SINGLE wild boa, python, iguana or monitor in this area.
The government is at it again. Don't they realize if they successfully ban one species or breed of animal another rises to take it's place? Ban Dobermans, and people start owning badly trained rottweilers, ban those and get invaded with poorly handled pit bulls. It's not so much that the species should be banned. But like many are proposing for us bully owners, a license should be held and the animal's training, housing, secure treatment should be enforced.
The pet industry is really contributing to a lot of this, so instead of selling these animals in a pet store where employees know nothing about the creatures they are providing the public, private breeders who are screening their buyers, and providing CORRECT information of feeding practices, size the animal reaches, and general care should be the forerunner of sales of these animals. Or at least make these pet stores license to sell, and enforce them providing this information.
I have been in multiple pet stores where the clerk was like, "Oh yeah.. Calci sand it great for _____ lizard, and they stay small so this 6 inch x 5 inch critter keeper is great for them. Also they do great at room temperature!"
there is also that myth that keeping herps in small cages assures them of staying a small size.
Ah-ha, I never said it was always correct. Like I said, you need biologists and climatologists to verify some of the assumptions they started from, and you need the peer-review process to make sure that your results are reasonable.
The problem with GIS is that, being so powerful, it's really easy to draw fallacious conclusions, or use it to manipulate your results to lead to the wrong conclusions.
And being a government agency,...they do what they are told to do.
In order to prove what their bosses want to prove.
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