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  1. #1
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    Post Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    It seems that my posts bring the wrong kind of conflict. I will try to keep this post agreeable enough to stay up. When I see misinformation, I post on it. When I see an opportunity to share some knowledge, I do so... and when there is a chance to spark a discussion, I am always up to reading someone elses views. However, I have a fundamental difficulty at times to blandly write a plain post. I write how I speak. Knowledge doesnt always come wrapped in a nice package, neither does humor. I usually try to include both, although for a plethora of reasons, written sarcasm and innuendo doesnt always shine through on the net.
    Its great to see a forum where enthusiasm reigns, across borders, oceans and languages. And there also seems to be a tight knit group within a much larger community of thamnophis and related keepers. There is also, no doubt, a vast wealth of knowledgeable, experienced people here.
    However, at times not everything can be taken for face value (referring to most of my posts that seem to not get a warm reception). Asking questions about something some one wrote shouldnt be taken as bickering, they should be taken as a chance to further the topic and clarify what was written. There is nothing wrong with asking for references or studies to back up a claim, but opinions are still opinions even if they go against what is accepted. I also realize I'm extremely guilty of coming across as "aggressive" in a couple of my posts here.
    This is getting long, and there is still a few things that I was asked to share in other threads so I'll get to that:
    I was under the impression my view of not releasing into the wild was the common one shared amongst herpers. I stand corrected. So heres some background ; Releasing Captive Reptiles and Amphibians
    This page alone is a great read, here is a little quote.
    California desert tortoises are under threat of extinction is because those populations not disturbed by habitat destruction are being decimated by a viral infection spread into the wild populations by sick former captives who were released into the wild...
    Websites arent always worth the ones and zeros theyre written on, but this is HIGHLY documented as one prime example. The Desert Tortoise (DesertUSA)
    Currently, the tortoises' main survival danger is raven predation on hatchlings and the upper respiratory disease syndrome (URDS) which is believed to have been introduced into the wild population in the early 1980's. According to the California Department of Fish and Game guidelines, it is unlawful to release a tortoise back into the wild after any length in captivity. This regulation is to prevent the spread of the disease.
    One more site - mainly repeating with other experts : USGS Press Release
    I realize that this isnt apples to apples, but there just arent many studies done, ( that I can find), regarding the basics of garters...forget about particulars such as this. Id love to read some though if anyone has any links....
    All of this parallels all reptiles and amphibians... And of course works the other way for feeding wild caught prey. Ive stated before, that without someone - - somewhere catching and breeding an animal, my cages would all be empty and my dogs bowl would never empty because he wouldnt be here either!
    It wasnt my true goal to ruffle feathers, only to open discussion in my own, Unique way. If anyone posts on this thread, I will gladly respond and further a conversation, but I wont be posting in the open forum anymore. (only lurking).
    A flame can spark Enlightenment
    Rancor_
    p.s Hope the stars aligned for all!

  2. #2
    Subadult snake RZL36's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    I don't think it needs to be like that.

    I like heated discussion, and I agree with you in regards to reptiles prone to disease, but in about 99% of the cases supplementing a threatened population is a good move. Usually debate rages on here, its just the personal attacks that were I problem (though I am far from any official word on your self imposed exodus) and I don't think you are solely to blame. You probably shouldn't go into new places "both guns blazing," regardless of what you know, but you ain't bothering me none.
    Rich

  3. #3
    Forum Moderator Stefan-A's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Come on, there's no point in going out with or without a bang here.

    I agree with everything you say in your opening post, asking questions shouldn't be viewed as bickering and it's perfectly reasonable to ask for references. Personally, I try to remember to add a disclaimer of sorts when I'm less than sure and I hope people will take the hint and not accept what I say without thinking and acknowledge that I'm aware that I haven't provided a credible source. Neither does knowledge always come in a nice package, but in my experience it doesn't hurt to deliver it with a smile. I'm not saying anybody should be sucking up to the people they are trying to inform, but being arrogant (which I'm definitely not accusing anybody of here), even when it's justified, is always counterproductive.

    When has knowledge ever been appreciated? A sad fact is that people are more concerned with how a message is delivered, than with its significance to the discussion. It has the status of a party trick for most people and is right up there with doing a crappy Christopher Walken impression. They're not going to change anytime soon either, so instead of banging your head against the wall, you might as well adapt.

  4. #4
    The red side of life. zooplan's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Although I had no time yet to follow your links, I can see that this thread starts with a good statement.
    I use English only for this forum and few other contacts and have always to use an online dictionary on my second screen, but some posts of your and some replies also seemed like bickering ( a new word to me) to me.
    This thread seems to show your really postive aims and gives a substantial
    contribution to the question:
    How should we appaise the "catch and release strategy" to the conservation of wild populations?
    Allready waiting for the sommer
    best wishes bis bald Udo
    Breeding Redsides EGSA-Chairman

  5. #5
    Moderator adamanteus's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Rancor, there's really no need to cease your contribution to this forum. As others have already stated, debate and discussion are welcomed here. It is the personal attacks and insults that offend people, not the fact that your opinions and beliefs differ from theirs. You have been more than willing to strongly criticize other members for the content of their posts, so when such criticism is turned on you it should really come as no surprise.

    Your posts, whether I or others agree with them or not, are a valuable contribution to this forum. You are clearly an intelligent guy, I'm sure you could articulate your point in the written word without the need to resort to insults.

    As you point out, there is a wealth of experience and expertise here, but there are also many novices with only a little knowledge on the subject. We have schoolboys starting out with their first snake, we have PhD graduates with boundless knowledge, we have experienced field workers who have been dealing with reptiles in the wild for decades. This forum provides a 'level playing field' for all, we have no ranking system here, but are all equal and treat each other with mutual respect. Any member, regardless of their experience can feel comfortable to post and discuss an issue without the fear of ridicule or attack.

    This is what makes Thamnophis.com special. We're not just a clique for the clever people.

    So please, stick around and contribute some more. Feel free to argue, debate and disagree. All I ask is that you 'be nice'.
    James.

  6. #6
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Quote Originally Posted by adamanteus View Post
    Rancor, there's really no need to cease your contribution to this forum. As others have already stated, debate and discussion are welcomed here. It is the personal attacks and insults that offend people, not the fact that your opinions and beliefs differ from theirs. You have been more than willing to strongly criticize other members for the content of their posts, so when such criticism is turned on you it should really come as no surprise.

    Your posts, whether I or others agree with them or not, are a valuable contribution to this forum. You are clearly an intelligent guy, I'm sure you could articulate your point in the written word without the need to resort to insults.

    As you point out, there is a wealth of experience and expertise here, but there are also many novices with only a little knowledge on the subject. We have schoolboys starting out with their first snake, we have PhD graduates with boundless knowledge, we have experienced field workers who have been dealing with reptiles in the wild for decades. This forum provides a 'level playing field' for all, we have no ranking system here, but are all equal and treat each other with mutual respect. Any member, regardless of their experience can feel comfortable to post and discuss an issue without the fear of ridicule or attack.

    This is what makes Thamnophis.com special. We're not just a clique for the clever people.

    So please, stick around and contribute some more. Feel free to argue, debate and disagree. All I ask is that you 'be nice'.
    Its good to see a response. I thank you. However, I dont actually believe anything I wrote was actually an insult, probably, as you stated, not written nicely. I am also always careful how I respond to actual questions.
    In herptoculture, there are several hot button issues. There needs to be, because if we as a community dont regulate ourselves...the governments approach is much easier than a few harsh questions. (a straight up ban...)
    I provided a couple of resources to back up what I was writing about....
    I know I cant know about someones background or practices unless I see or read it. But writing something and then taking exception as to how a follow up question is asked is one thing, but the answer should still be addressed.
    This species is fully protected against being sold, injured or killed in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (3). One main aim of the conservation strategy for this species is to educate people about the grass snake, and to encourage them to tolerate its presence
    This says nothing on collection. Might be protected under another piece of UK law that I havent seen. But in this country it takes some serious sanctions to dabble with any species thats protected in anyway.
    Last edited by rancor_; 11-02-2007 at 08:01 PM. Reason: speellin prablemz

  7. #7
    Subadult snake RZL36's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    I don't understand why you wouldn't propagate healthy species into an area. My thing is that humans probably kill way more snakes (willingly or inadvertently) than probably any specific affliction in the wild. I really don't think of it as playing god. I think of it as replenishing the losses of others playing god.

    However, I am not saying that captive reptiles make the best genetic stock for reintroduction. I think that ensuring that two wild caught specimens produce adequate stock for reintroduction is fine. I mean catch, breed, release. I mean releasing gravid females. Interfering as little as possible, so that these things we care about are going to be around in the future. I do respect your concern about the practice and its negative consequences if done so haphazardly.
    Rich

  8. #8
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Quote Originally Posted by RZL36 View Post
    I don't understand why you wouldn't propagate healthy species into an area. My thing is that humans probably kill way more snakes (willingly or inadvertently) than probably any specific affliction in the wild. I really don't think of it as playing god. I think of it as replenishing the losses of others playing god.
    This is true, but not necessarily correct. There, to me at least, are more ways to adversely effect the population than to aid it. Not every snake should be a breeder, possessing the correct genes to pass on to the locale of animals. Survival of the fittest cant really work if the participants are forced together. Also, I used the example provided in previous posts arguing what i had said, (loss of habitat). But assuming this isnt at all the reason, predators,(introduced or not), competition with another species, inadequate brumation spots, environmental pollution, lack of food....All of these common reasons for a decline of a species would be unaffected by simply dumping more animals into the ecosystem. They would need to be addressed first, otherwise, the released snakes would be more lunch for a predator, starve to death or freeze in the winter.
    My use of the term "playing god" was deliberate in the sense that I believe too much would need to be done in addition to producing more animals. This is not to say anyone who is releasing isnt also taking steps to better the survival of the snakes, more of a prod to find that out.
    I by no means meant anyone should justify to me what they do, not at all. But again, questions are mere questions until they are garnished with answers.

  9. #9
    Subadult snake RZL36's Avatar
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    Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    I totally agree that breeding also needs to be worked in concert to habitat reconstruction (as is being done with our New Jersey Pine Snake). You should also take into account the lessening of pollution in some areas (believe it or not some places are actually becoming cleaner). Also, the decline of snake populations, in the simplest mathematical sense, means that less snakes are going to meet and reproduce. What is the harm in assisting this otherwise natural action?

    You've never had to play "wingman" before?
    Rich

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: Going out with a bang...Long Winded Post

    Quote Originally Posted by RZL36 View Post
    You've never had to play "wingman" before?
    Now that perhaps is the funniest thing Ive read on this forum! ( at least aside from some serious posts that I found hysterical)
    And now we are unearthing more of a WHOLE story. What also shouldnt be forgotten when posting about what one does, is that impressionable readers might not know that whole story. makes a dangerous situation when people arent clear on what they mean.
    Conversly to what stance Ive taken on this subject, I do agree that work can be done by us lowly humans to better situations of animals that we may or may not have created. Without the tireless efforts of a few dedicated herpers, little would be known about even the status of some reptiles in North America, let alone how we can help them.
    They make it possible for me to sit on my butt and watch my T.s Concinus from my couch!

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