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Posted by reed on March 18, 2003 at 07:32:15:
In Reply to: Re: Snake population declines due to pet trade? posted by Richard F. Hoyer on March 18, 2003 at 01:26:18:
Richard and JDM;
We're not chasing any sort of pre-determined result in the report, i.e. I'm not assuming anything about the effects of the commercial trade in snake. Based on my calculations from the literature, road mortality has a much bigger impact, and it's pretty obvious that habitat conversion for human uses destroys more snakes in a month than the pet trade does in years.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that collecting doesn't have impacts. I've seen rocky areas in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts torn apart by folks looking for rosy boas, and these sorts of habitats won't regenerate any time soon. Numerous snake dens have been negatively impacted by collectors, although elimination of bounties for dead snakes means that many of these threats have declined for the species that aren't commercially important in the meat and skin trade. Mr. Hoyer has indicated that collecting can easily wipe out small populations of rubber boas that have been fragmented by human activities - seems to me that with the greatly increasing rate of fragmentation, we could lose snakes in all but the biggest blocks of remaining habitat. In this case collecting is by no means the primary threat, but it can help lead to decreased local diversity.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we're being as objective as possible. I'd appreciate any insights. By the way, this report will go to USFWS, so this is the time to make your voice heard!
: Are you documenting studies and reports that have found that collecting has produced no significant affects on snake populations? Or are you only interested in information that shows where over-collecting has negatively impacted snake populations?
:Richard F. Hoyer