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Posted by Les4toads on January 22, 2003 at 15:47:00:
In Reply to: KB you are only half right posted by Jeff Judd on January 20, 2003 at 16:53:29:
::: I am here in So Cal, they have been wiped out almost everywhere. Between the scum that catch and sell them too the bulldosers, I would say they are doomed around here. Nevada is your best bet, they could give a crap about animals. KB
: KB their are no scum that catch and sell horned lizards in California it has been illegal for years and no one is doing it. Nevada allows commercial collection so if your statement is true he wouldn't find any lizards there. I study horned lizards in Southern California and found their is only one thing and one thing alone that is driving horned lizards to extinction and it isn't the pet trade. It's the growth of human population. Many people are blind to the fact that they are as much of the problem as anybody else but try and put the blame on the pet industry or on somebody else. If you drive on roads, live in a structure, buy goods from a store, play golf or any other sport for that matter, eat California grown vegetables, you are just as much the problem as anybody else. The leading cause of death are listed in order 1.Development(No land definitly means no lizards and it brings all sorts of predators not found in the natural environment:ravens,household pets,pesticide,offroad vehicles)2.Roads(Lizards cross and bask on roads and are killed)3.Ignorant laws(it is illegal to have in your possesion either mcalli or coronatum blainville even if you are saving them from the bulldozer so they(Fish and Game) would rather see the lizards die than have a chance to live). I think Horned lizards are the most facinating creatures on the planet and should be enjoyed by anyone who has an interest in them. The only way we might save them is by preserving the lands that haven't been developed and by research on their survival as well as CAPTIVE propagation by dedicated individuals who can spread captive bred individuals across the globe to public display facilities for everyone to enjoy.
:I am sorry Jeff, but HLs are still found in the pet trade that are illegally collected, even here in California. I still see them every year and take corrective action. It is true that habitat loss is the primary reason now for HL population declines. Some laws are not helping but permits to capture HLs are a necessary practice. California Fish and Game do the best job that they can with the budgets they are given. Moving HLs from site to site does not correct the problem. Captive breeding for release may help, but even that is not a viable solution. Setting aside large tracts of land for protected habitat is a viable solution. Full protected status is a viable solution. Captive bred HLs do not promote conservation issues. Captive breeding promotes a market price that is not conservation. Many people still think that HLs can be fed crickets and mealworms and that will meet their needs. Wrong. If the HLs were meant to eat crickets and mealworms, their physiology would be different. They would have stronger biting force and different muscle development in their jaws for chewing. Captive breeding requires much more than many are willing to spend to establish such an enterprise. Once a market is established, do you really think that wild collection will stop? I do not think so. For over 15 years, I have worked with the HLs and I see only increases in abuse and wild populations declining. Permits are something that is a must at this point, and I mean for all species of HL. Research is an on-going requirement and habitat protection is also. Until people really understand the issues involved and education is a primary focus, the HLs will continue to decline and that is the sad part of the whole issue. Lester G. Milroy III