Friday, January 25, 2013

High Capacity Ovaries Banned

Just like with firearms, the problem herein discussed is being blamed on what is not at fault; well in this case at least not fully at fault. Humans are the cause of this problem just as when guns are involved; although, the thing receiving a lot of the blame actually is an animate object that can and does cause damage on its own - that is once it has been introduced into an area by people. In that regard, it is very unlike a gun (guns being powerless on their own) because it is a living and breathing creature - the Burmese Python. While it is old news that high capacity firearms magazines were, and are again being banned, it is also a fact that this high capacity egg producer has also been banned. Even though the below pictures are old, the damage done by introduced burms is ongoing. So, the pics and accompanying linked article might be some good food for thought for those folks who might want one of these huge snakes and high capacity egg producers. 

The Snake In Question.
The Reason Burms Were Banned In Florida. While a gun
cannot fire itself, you can bet a python can lay its own eggs.

This one had 59 eggs developing inside of her. Wow! That would be great news for the reptile breeder/dealer but I think you can easily understand how that could have been very bad news for the ecology in the state of Florida had this one not been dispatched before those eggs were laid and the babies hatched. The problem sure seems bad enough already without more of them - a reported 99% decrease in medium sized animal populations in some places where these snakes are found in Florida! I wonder if they offer a bounty on them; maybe I could move to Florida and make a fortune hunting them and collecting the bounty, and then opening a roadside stand selling python fritters.

You can read more about this snake here.

Many thanks to Deb H for the link and photos.

All the best,
Glenn B

Crocs On The Loose

Nile crocodile, taken at the Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm
 near Stellenbosch, South Africa. Who knows, maybe
these are some of those in question!
Okay, so most of he crocodiles that got released were only 6'6" long or less. I am not sure that is much consolation to the people who fish in, swim in, or boat on the Limpopo River, in South Africa, into which the crocs were released from a crocodile farm due to heavy flooding. So far heavy rains have taken 20 human lives and the released crocs not one - or at least that is the official word.

Update: Here is a link to a more in depth article saying that anywhere from 7,000 to 15,000 crocs were reported washed away when the flood gates were opened! And they are telling people not to worry that the crocs are going to eat them. My guess is that said number of crocs will soon be very hungry and on the prowl for whatever they can catch. This second article also said that some of the crocs may be as long as 16 feet long and they have only recovered 2,000 of them so far! And we thought we had a problem on Long Island last year when maybe a half dozen small alligators or so were found roaming about.

See ya later alligator. In a little while crocodile!

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 18, 2013

Where Have All The Frogs Gone?

It has been known, for quite a time now, that the Chytrid Fungus is possibly responsible for wiping out entire species of frogs.  A perplexing question for researchers though has been: 'How has the fungus been able to survive in habitats once all of the amphibians there have been wiped out and thus infect amphibians reintroduced to a once devastated area?'. It seems that they now have an answer in that it appears crayfish, and possibly other hosts, have harbored the fungus in the absence of amphibians.

For more information, see:

Another hat tip to Deb H for pointing me in the direction of the site where I found this article.

All the best,
Glenn B

January LIHS Meeting Review

The January meeting of the LIHS was absolutely fabulous, at least from the view of this tortoise enthusiast. The speaker, Dr. Russell, gave a really informative, interesting and all out excellent presentation on the Galapagos Tortoises. It was truly so good that I could envision volunteering to travel their to assist with Galapagos Tortoise conservation.

While there were a good number of members at the meeting, truth be told, it would have been nicer to see more of you there. One member whom I was very happy to see there was Harry F. It is always  pleasure to see him but was even more so at this meeting because he took the red eared slider that I had up for adoption. If you are interested in adopting it, you can contact talk to Harry at a future meeting.

The next monthly meeting of the LIHS will be held on February 17, 2013 from 1PM - 4PM and will take place in the Conference Center at SUNY Farmingdale. The speaker and topic for the February meeting have yet to be determined.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Little Herpy Humor

Hat tip to Deb H for sending me this one.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, January 13, 2013

LIHS January 2013 Meeting

The monthly meeting of the LIHS for January 2013 will take place on Sunday January 13th at 1PM until 4PM. It will be held in the Conference Center at SUNY Farmingdale. The planned presentation will be given by  Dr. Russell Burke and will be on "What's new in Galapagos Tortoise Conservation? Systematics points the way for the next 50 years."

Non-members are welcome, free admission.

Hope to see you there.

All the best,
Glenn B