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Posted by Travis v on April 23, 2003 at 23:20:57:
In Reply to: Who keeps us ethical? posted by erik loza on April 23, 2003 at 19:58:32:
::I live about an hour away from prime L.z. zonata habitat and believe that these are the main target for most N. calif poachers.I know of some rockpiles being destroyed by poachers coming through and tearing the place apart and taking everything they find. Rubber boas are also taken.
I consider myself an ethical herper but am guilty of shipping CA animals out of state(not for money,just other herps)but they were small amounts of larval/hatchling salamanders.I would not send to any old person,I sent them to a friend who works for the cincinatti zoo and plans to breed them.
I myself have never been burned by a field herper.
California Department of Fish and Game (which monitors this site) is so underfunded, the Govenor cut the budget so that almost 50 warden positions can not be filled. The department is largely under the control of special interest groups such as California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wild Turkey Federation that the herp community has no voice and there is little enforcement going on. 300 wardens for the whole state, can you guess where the enforcement is going on? Let me tell you, LA, San Diego, and the SF Bay Area. Why? Because they are the population centers and where patrol is most fruitful for the department. DFG has to patrol the pet stores also remember.
::I've met so highly ethical herpers in the last year. I've et some really bad characters also. Let me tell you it's hard to tell the difference until you see how they interact with not only you but with others. If they are screwing other people it's only a matter of time until they screw you. I do believe the majority of most groups of people are honest it's the small group that you have to watch out for. It is really up to the ethical herpers to police the unethical herpers. 1-888-CAL-TIPS is a number we should all have memorized so that we can turn in not only herp poachers but all poachers and polluters.
::There is a stigma within DFG that herpers are somewhat unethical and I echo the concern that herps populations could be damaged beyond repair without the state even knowing because they don't have the biologist and the wardens that they need to safe guard our fauna. Maybe if we could pay for a biologist like say California Waterfowl does we would have better herp laws and a knowledge of actual populations.
:Two simple questions: What northern California species do you believe is being poached illegally and when was the last time you, yourself were "burned" by a field herper?