HerpDigest.org Newsletter

Current events - Televison and News, Habitat loss. Ethics and raising awareness discussions.
User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

HerpDigest.org Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 pm

Folks, this is a great online Newsletter that I have subscribed to for quite some time. I always find something interesting in each and every issue. They do not have an RSS feed but, thanks the generosity of the owner / Publisher, I'll reprint the issues here. The next issue will not have the ">" marks on the side.

Reprinted here for Dart Den forum members and guests, with permission from the Publisher.


HerpDigest.org:

The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That
Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry
and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 9 2/17/11 (A Not-for-Profit
Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
>

_________________________________________________________________
New Book
LIFE IN A SHELL: A PHYSIOLOGIST’S VIEW OF A TURTLE by Donald C.
Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus
$6.00 S&H

> Product Description
> Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
> For more and how to order see below.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _______
> (Editor- Not all papers on herps are found in journals with herps in
> their name. A lot find there way to journals on biogeography,
> toxicity, tropical ecology and much, much more. Usually I print the
> abstract and title of at least one such article per issue. Sometimes I
> find there are too many for that approach, too many that are
> interesting, perhaps important papers that demand an issue of almost
> only abstracts to catch up. Like this one. To get the paper contact
> the name supplied. Don’t be embarrassed if some you don’t understand.
> I sometimes don’t and I’m just going on faith that my sources are
> correct and that there will be people out there that will glad
> (besides’s the authors) I published it.)
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _
> Table of Contents
> 1)Evolutionary assembly of island faunas reverses the classic
> island–mainland richness difference in Anolis lizards
> 2) Challenges in Identifying Sites Climatically Matched to the Native
> Ranges of Animal Invaders
> 3) Is the Northern African Python (Python sebae) Established in Southern Florida?
> 4)Modifications of traps to reduce bycatch of freshwater turtles
> 5)Engineering a Future for Amphibians Under Climate Change
> 6) X-Rays Reveal Hidden Leg of an Ancient Snake: New Hints on How
> Snakes Were Getting Legless
> 7) Developmental plasticity of immune defence in two life-history ecotypes of the garter snake, 8)Thamnophis elegans – a common-environment experiment.
> 8) Can we use the tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane toads?
> 9) Orientation Angle and the Adhesion of Single Gecko Setae
> 10) Larval salamanders and diel drift patterns of aquatic
> invertebrates in an Austrian stream
>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ________
> Some Announcements
>
> TURTLE POSTER STILL AVAILABLE
> For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below. Copy of poster available. Larger than what was available before. See Below for more on poster, such as what turtles are on it. LARGER jpg photo of poster than before now available.
> _____________________________________________________________
> PARC Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation: Request for Nominations!

PARC is seeking nominations for the 2011 recipient of our NEW annual cash award in memory of our first PARC Federal Coordinator, Alison Haskell (1956 - 2006).
>
> This award is to recognize an individual or group in North America who exemplifies extraordinary commitment to herpetofaunal conservation, as did Alison. Alison's tenure with PARC was tragically shortened due to a valiant, but unsuccessful battle with ovarian cancer. Members of PARC aim to keep her memory alive through this annual award.
>
> Nominations are due March 14th. Read more about the award, how to submit nominations, and about Alison, here: http://www.parcplace.org/HaskellAward.htm

We look forward to your nominations!
>
> PARC Administrators
> ________________________________________________________
> New Anole Website -
> Anole Annals (http://anoleannals.wordpress.com/), a new website devoted to all things anole. Created by a group of scientists and anole enthusiasts, the site features postings from many authors on new scientific findings, descriptions of new species, anoles in art, literature and commerce, photographs and general discussion of topics concerning the biological diversity of the 400 species of Anolis. Recent postings include discussions of invasive anole species; anole, the first gay superhero; anole origami and anoles in recent art exhibits; and a report of an anole consumed by a venus fly-trap.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ___
>
> 1) Evolutionary assembly of island faunas reverses the classic
> island–mainland richness difference in Anolis lizards Adam C. Algar,
> Jonathan B. Losos Article first published online: February 3, 2011,
> Journal of Biogeography How to Cite Algar, A. C. and Losos, J. B. ,
> Evolutionary assembly of island faunas reverses the classic
> island–mainland richness difference in Anolis lizards. Journal of
> Biogeography, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02466.x Author
> Information Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Museum
> of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street,
> Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
> *Correspondence: Adam C. Algar, Department of Organismic and
> Evolutionary Biology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard
> University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. E-mail:
> aalgar@oeb.harvard.edu
>
> Abstract
> Aim  Islands are widely considered to be species depauperate relative to mainlands but, somewhat paradoxically, are also host to many striking adaptive radiations. Here, focusing on Anolis lizards, we investigate if cladogenetic processes can reconcile these observations by determining if in situ speciation can reduce, or even reverse, the classical island–mainland richness discrepancy.
> Location  Caribbean islands and the Neotropical mainland.
>
> Methods  We constructed range maps for 203 mainland anoles from museum records and evaluated whether geographical area could account for differences in species richness between island and mainland anole faunas. We compared the island species–area relationship with total mainland anole diversity and with the richness of island-sized mainland areas. We evaluated the role of climate in the observed differences by using Bayesian model averaging to predict island richness based on the mainland climate–richness relationship. Lastly, we used a published phylogeny and stochastic mapping of ancestral states to determine if speciation rate was greater on islands, after accounting for differences in geographical area.
>
> Results  Islands dominated by in situ speciation had, on average, significantly more species than similarly sized mainland regions, but islands where in situ speciation has not occurred were species depauperate relative to mainland areas. Results were similar at the scale of the entire mainland, although marginally non-significant. These findings held even after accounting for climate. Speciation has not been faster on islands; instead, when extinction was assumed to be low, speciation rate varied consistently with geographical area. When extinction was high, there was some evidence that mainland speciation was faster than expected based on area.
>
> Main conclusions  Our results indicate that evolutionary assembly of island faunas can reverse the general pattern of reduced species richness on islands relative to mainlands.
>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _____
> 2) Challenges in Identifying Sites Climatically Matched to the Native
> Ranges of Animal Invaders 2011. PLoS One 6(2): 1-18 Gordon H. Rodda,
> Catherine S. Jarnevich & Robert N. Reed
>
> Abstract
>
> Background: Species distribution models are often used to characterize a species’ native range climate, so as to identify sites elsewhere in the world that may be climatically similar and therefore at risk of invasion by the species. This endeavor provoked intense public controversy over recent attempts to model areas at risk of invasion by the Indian Python (Python molurus). We evaluated a number of MaxEnt models on this species to assess MaxEnt’s utility for vertebrate climate matching.
>
> Methodology/Principal Findings: Overall, we found MaxEnt models to be very sensitive to modeling choices and selection of input localities and background regions. As used, MaxEnt invoked minimal protections against data dredging, multi-collinearity of explanatory axes, and overfitting. As used, MaxEnt endeavored to identify a single ideal climate, whereas different climatic considerations may determine range boundaries in different parts of the native range. MaxEnt was extremely sensitive to both the choice of background locations for the Python, and to selection of presence points: inclusion of just four erroneous localities was responsible for Pyron et al.’s conclusion that no additional portions of the U.S. mainland were at risk of Python invasion. When used with default settings, MaxEnt overfit the realized climate space, identifying models with about 60 parameters, about five times the number of parameters justifiable when optimized on the basis of Akaike’s Information !
> Criterion.
>
> Conclusions/Significance: When used with default settings, MaxEnt may not be an appropriate vehicle for identifying all sites at risk of colonization. Model instability and dearth of protections against overfitting, multi-collinearity, and data dredging may combine with a failure to distinguish fundamental from realized climate envelopes to produce models of limited utility. A priori identification of biologically realistic model structure, combined with computational protections against these statistical problems, may produce more robust models of invasion risk.
>
> *****
>
> A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at
>
> http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp
>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _______
> 3) Is the Northern African Python (Python sebae) Established in Southern Florida?
> by Robert N. Reed ', Kenneth L. Krysko, Ray W. Snow-I, and Gordon H.
> Roddal [u.s, Geological Survey,. Fort Collins Science Center. 2150
> Centre Ave. Bldg C. Fort Collins. Colorado 80526 'Florida Museum of
> Natural History. Division of Herpetology. Unive,.,i!}• of Florid,.
> Gainesville. Florida 32611 j NaTional Park Service. Everglades
> National Park. 40001 Slate Ro~<l9336. Homestead. Florida 33034
> 'Corresponding author: Reedr€'usgs.gov,
>
>> From opening paragraph
> Herein. we provide evidence suggesting the possibility of a
> reproducing population of a third species of giant constrictor in
> Florida the Northern African Python
>> From IRCF Reptiles and Amphibians Magazine Bol 17, No I, March 2010
>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ___
>
> 4) Modifications of traps to reduce bycatch of freshwater turtles:
> Bury, R.B., 2011, Journal of Wildlife Management, v. 75, no. 1, p.
> 3-5. Full text at http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/2196_Bury.pdf
> copyrighted material courtesy of The Wildlife Society Catalog No: 2196
> ________________________________________________________________
> 5)Engineering a Future for Amphibians Under Climate Change Luke P.
> Shoo1,*,Deanna H. Olson2, Sarah K. McMenamin3, Kris A. Murray4,
> Monique Van Sluys5,6, Maureen A. Donnelly7, Danial Stratford6, Juhani
> Terhivuo8, Andres Merino-Viteri1,9, Sarah M. Herbert10, Phillip J.
> Bishop11, Paul Stephen Corn12, Liz Dovey13, Richard A. Griffiths14,
> Katrin Lowe6, Michael Mahony15, Hamish McCallum16, Jonathan D.
> Shuker6, Clay Simpkins6, Lee F. Skerratt17, Stephen E. Williams1,
> Jean-Marc Hero6 Article first published online: 2/2/2011 Journal of
> Applied Ecology On-Line How to Cite Shoo, L. P., Olson, D. H.,
> McMenamin, S. K., Murray, K. A., Van Sluys, M., Donnelly, M. A.,
> Stratford, D., Terhivuo, J., Merino-Viteri, A., Herbert, S. M.,
> Bishop, P. J., Corn, P. S., Dovey, L., Griffiths, R. A., Lowe, K.,
> Mahony, M., McCallum, H., Shuker, J. D., Simpkins, C., Skerratt, L.
> F., Williams, S. E. and Hero, J.-M. , Engineering a future for
> amphibians under climate change. Journal of Applied Ecology, no. doi:
> 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01942.x Author Information
> 1 Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of
> Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University of North
> Queensland, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
> 2 US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 3200 SW
> Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
> 3 Department of Biology, University of Washington, Kincaid Hall, Box
> 351800, Seattle, WA 98195-1800, USA
> 4 School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, St Lucia,
> Brisbane 4072, Australia
> 5 Departamento de Ecologia, IBRAG, Universidade do Estado do Rio de
> Janeiro. Rua São Francisco Xavier 524, CEP 20550-900, Rio de Janeiro,
> Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
> 6 Environmental Futures Centre, School of Environment, Griffith
> University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, Australia
> 7 College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Biological Sciences,
> Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
> 8 Finnish Museum of Natural History/Zoological Museum, PO Box 17 (P.
> Rautatiekatu 13), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
> 9 Museo de Zoología, Escuela de Biología, Pontificia Universidad
> Católica del Ecuador, Av. 12 de Octubre 1076 y Roca, Aptdo 17-01-2184,
> Quito, Ecuador 10 EcoGecko Consultants, 212 Pembroke Rd, Wilton,
> Wellington 6012
> 11 Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin
> 9054, New Zealand
> 12 US Geological Survey, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Inst., 790
> E. Beckwith Ave., Missoula, MT 59801, USA
> 13 Department of Climate Change, GPO Box 854, Canberra ACT 2600,
> Australia
> 14 The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of
> Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe Building, University of Kent,
> Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NR, UK
> 15 Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Newcastle,
> Newcastle 2308, Australia
> 16 Environmental Futures Centre, School of Environment, Griffith
> University, Nathan Campus, Queensland, Australia
> 17 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
> Sciences, Amphibian Disease Ecology Group, James Cook University,
> Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
> *Correspondence: Luke P. Shoo,
> *Correspondence: Correspondence author. School of Biological Sciences,
> University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia. E-mail:
> l.shoo@uq.edu.au
>
> Summary
> 1. Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk.
>
> 2. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were grouped under three thematic areas of intervention: (i) installation of microclimate and microhabitat refuges; (ii) enhancement and restoration of breeding sites; and (iii) manipulation of hydroperiod or water levels at breeding sites.
>
> 3.Synthesis and applications. There are currently few meaningful management actions that will tangibly impact the pervasive threat of climate change on amphibians. A host of potentially useful but poorly tested actions could be incorporated into local or regional management plans, programmes and activities for amphibians. Examples include: installation of irrigation sprayers to manipulate water potentials at breeding sites; retention or supplementation of natural and artificial shelters (e.g. logs, cover boards) to reduce desiccation and thermal stress; manipulation of canopy cover over ponds to reduce water temperature; and, creation of hydrologoically diverse wetland habitats capable of supporting larval development under variable rainfall regimes. We encourage researchers and managers to design, test and scale up new initiatives to respond to this emerging crisis.
>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ______
> 6) X-Rays Reveal Hidden Leg of an Ancient Snake: New Hints on How
> Snakes Were Getting Legless
>
> ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2011) — A novel X-ray imaging technology is helping scientists better understand how in the course of evolution snakes have lost their legs. The researchers hope the new data will help resolve a heated debate about the origin of snakes: whether they evolved from a terrestrial lizard or from one that lived in the oceans. New, detailed 3-D images reveal that the internal architecture of an ancient snake's leg bones strongly resembles that of modern terrestrial lizard legs.
>
> The team of researchers was led by Alexandra Houssaye from the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris, France, and included scientists from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, where the X-ray imaging was performed, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, where a sophisticated technique and a dedicated instrument to take the images were developed.
>
> Only three specimens exist of fossilised snakes with preserved leg bones. Eupodophis descouensi, the ancient snake studied in this experiment, was discovered ten years ago in 95-million-year-old rocks in Lebanon. About 50 cm long overall, it exhibits a small leg, about 2 cm long, attached to the animal's pelvis. This fossil is key to understanding the evolution of snakes, as it represents an intermediate evolutionary stage when ancient snakes had not yet completely lost the legs they inherited from earlier lizards. Although the fossil exhibits just one leg on its surface, a second leg was thought to be concealed in the stone, and indeed this leg was revealed in full detail thanks to synchrotron X-rays.
>
> The high-resolution 3-D images, in particular the fine detail of the buried small leg, suggest that this species lost its legs because they grew more slowly, or for a shorter period of time. The data also reveal that the hidden leg is bent at the knee and has four ankle bones but no foot or toe bones.
>
> "The revelation of the inner structure of Eupodophis hind limbs enables us to investigate the process of limb regression in snake evolution," says Alexandra Houssaye.
>
> The scientists used synchrotron laminography, a recent imaging technique specially developed for studying large, flat samples. It is similar to the computed tomography (CT) technique used in many hospitals, but uses a coherent synchrotron X-ray beam to resolve details a few micrometers in size--some 1000 times smaller than a hospital CT scanner. For the new technique, the fossil is rotated at a tilted angle in a brilliant high-energy X-ray beam, with thousands of two-dimensional images recorded as it makes a full 360-degree turn. From these individual images, a high-resolution, 3-D representaton is reconstructed, which shows hidden details like the internal structures of the legs.
>
> "Synchrotrons, these enormous machines, allow us to see microscopic details in fossils invisible to any other techniques without damage to these invaluable specimens," says Paul Tafforeau of the ESRF, a co-author of the study.
>
>
> The results are published in the Feb. 8, 2011 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ____
> 7) Developmental plasticity of immune defence in two life-history ecotypes of the garter snake, Thamnophis elegans – a common-environment experiment.
> Palacios, M. G., Sparkman, A. M. and Bronikowski, A. M.
> Journal of Animal Ecology Volume 80, Issue 2, pages 431–437, March
> 2011 † All authors have contributed equally to the research presented
> in this article.&#8232;
> *Correspondence: Maria G. Palacios,
> *Correspondence: Correspondence author. E-mail: mgp@iastate.edu
>
> Summary
> 1.&#8194; Ecoimmunological theory predicts a link between life-history and immune-defence strategies such that fast-living organisms should rely more on constitutive innate defences compared to slow-living organisms. An untested assumption of this hypothesis is that the variation in immune defence associated with variation in life history has a genetic basis.
>
> 2.&#8194;Replicate populations of two life-history ecotypes of the garter snake Thamnophis elegans provide an ideal system in which to test this assumption. Free-ranging snakes of the fast-living ecotype, which reside in lakeshore habitats, show higher levels of three measures of constitutive innate immunity than those of the slow-living ecotype, which inhabit meadows around the lake. Although this pattern is consistent with the ecoimmunological pace-of-life hypothesis, environmental differences between the lakeshore and meadow habitats could also explain the observed differences in immune defence.
>
> 3.&#8194;We performed a common-environment experiment to distinguish between these alternatives. Snakes born and raised in common-environment conditions reflected the immune phenotype of their native habitats when sampled at 4 months of age (i.e. fast-living lakeshore snakes showed higher levels of natural antibodies, complement activity and bactericidal competence than slow-living meadow snakes), but no longer showed differences when 19 months old.
>
> This suggests that the differences in innate immunity observed between the two ecotypes have an important – and likely age-specific – environmental influence, with these immune components showing developmental plasticity. A genetic effect in early life may also be present, but further research is needed to confirm this possibility and therefore provide a more definitive test of the ecoimmunological pace-of-life hypothesis in this system.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ____
> 8) Can we use the tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane toads?
> Elisa Cabrera-Guzmán, Michael Crossland, Richard Shine Article first
> published online: 12/23/10, Journal of Applied Ecology How to Cite
> Cabrera-Guzmán, E., Crossland, M. and Shine, R. , Can we use the
> tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane
> toads?. Journal of Applied Ecology, no. doi:
> 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01933.x Author Information School of
> Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006,
> Australia
> *Correspondence: Richard Shine,
> *Correspondence: Correspondence author. E-mail:
> rick.shine@sydney.edu.au
>
> Summary
> 1. Native to the Americas, cane toads Bufo marinus are an invasive species causing substantial ecological impacts in Australia. We need ways to control invasive species such as cane toads without collateral damage to native fauna.
>
> 2. We explored the feasibility of suppressing survival and growth of cane toad tadpoles via competition with the tadpoles of native frogs. Compared to the invasive toads, many native frogs breed earlier in the season and their tadpoles grow larger and have longer larval periods. Hence, adding spawn or tadpoles of native frogs to toad-breeding sites might increase tadpole competition, and thereby reduce toad recruitment.
>
> 3. Our laboratory trials using tadpoles of eight native frog species gave significant results: the presence of six of these species (Cyclorana australis, C. longipes, Litoria caerulea, L. dahlii, L. rothii and L. splendida) reduced toad tadpole survival and/or size at metamorphosis. Litoria caerulea also increased the duration of the larval period of cane toad tadpoles. Tadpoles of the other two frog species (Litoria rubella and Litoria tornieri) did not affect survival or growth of larval cane toads any more than did an equivalent number of additional toad tadpoles. Native frog species with larger tadpoles exerted greater negative effects on toad tadpoles than did native species with smaller tadpoles.
>
> 4.Synthesis and applications. Encouraging the general public to construct and restore waterbodies in peri-urban areas to build up populations of native frogs – especially the much-loved green tree frog Litoria caerulea– could help to reduce recruitment rates of invasive cane toads in Australia.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> ________
> 9) Orientation Angle and the Adhesion of Single Gecko Setae, Journal
> of the Royal Society, Interface, Published online before print
> February 2, 2011 Ginel C. Hill1,*†,Daniel R. Soto1, Anne M.
> Peattie3,Robert J. Full3 and T. W. Kenny2
>
> + Author Affiliations
> 1Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
> 94305, USA 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University,
> Stanford, CA 94305, USA 3Department of Integrative Biology, University
> of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
> + Author Notes
> &#8629;† Present address: SiTime Corporation, 990 Almanor Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA.
> *Author for correspondence (ginelhill@gmail.com).
>
> Abstract
> We investigated the effects of orientation angle on the adhesion of single gecko setae using dual-axis microelectromechanical systems force sensors to simultaneously detect normal and shear force components. Adhesion was highly sensitive to the pitch angle between the substrate and the seta's stalk. Maximum lateral adhesive force was observed with the stalk parallel to the substrate, and adhesion decreased smoothly with increasing pitch. The roll orientation angle only needed to be roughly correct with the spatular tuft of the seta oriented grossly towards the substrate for high adhesion. Also, detailed measurements were made to control for the effect of normal preload forces. Higher normal preload forces caused modest enhancement of the observed lateral adhesive force, provided that adequate contact was made between the seta and the substrate. These results should be useful in the design and manufacture of gecko-inspired synthetic adhesives with anisotropic properties, an a!
> rea of substantial recent research efforts.
> _____________________________________________________________________
> 10) Larval salamanders and diel drift patterns of aquatic
> invertebrates in an Austrian stream P. OBERRISSER, J. WARINGER Article
> first published online: 1/27/11, Freshwater Biology How to Cite
> OBERRISSER, P. and WARINGER, J. , Larval salamanders and diel drift
> patterns of aquatic invertebrates in an Austrian stream. Freshwater
> Biology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02559.x Author Information
> Department of Limnology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
> *Correspondence: Dr Johann Waringer, Department of Limnology,
> University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail:
> johann.waringer@univie.ac.at Publication History Article first
> published online: 27 JAN 2011 (Manuscript accepted 9 December 2010)
>
> Summary
>
> 1. &#8194;Aquatic predators may influence drift periodicity either directly or indirectly (by non-consumptive effects involving chemical cues). We took drift samples (eight successive 3-h sampling intervals over a 24-h period) on five dates (September 2007, March, April, June and August 2008). Samples were taken at three sites (one site with trout throughout the year, two sites without trout but with fire salamander larvae as top predators from April to August, but without vertebrate predators during the rest of the year) in a stream near Vienna, Austria, to examine the effects of predators on drift periodicity.
>
> 2. &#8194;Of 45 331 specimens caught, the most abundant taxa were Ephemeroptera (32.3%; mainly Baetidae), Diptera (21.5%; mainly Chironomidae), Amphipoda (17.4%; all Gammarus fossarum), Plecoptera (5.4%), Coleoptera (3.5%) and Trichoptera (1.2%). For more detailed analyses, we chose Ephemeroptera (Baetidae; n = 13 457) and Amphipoda (G. fossarum; n = 7888), which were numerous on all sampling dates.
>
> 3. &#8194;The number of drifting baetids and amphipods, as well as total drift density, was generally higher at night than by day, although without predators these differences were significant for Gammaridae but not for Baetidae.
>
> 4.&#8194;When broken down to size classes, night–day drift ratios generally were not significantly different from equality in all size classes of baetids when larval fire salamanders and trout were absent. When predators were present, however, baetid drift density was usually higher at night, except in the smallest and largest size classes. In all size classes of G. fossarum, drift density was usually higher at night, whether with or without the top predators.
>
> &#8194;Although we could study predator effects on drift periodicity at three sites on only a single stream, it seems that non-consumptive effects may affect Baetidae. Salamander larvae, most probably via kairomones, induced a shift towards mainly nocturnal drift, which could be interpreted as predator avoidance.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
> You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which
> was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving
> HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription
> will be terminated immediately
> ________________________________________________________________
> If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
> ___________________________________________________________________
>
> Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.
> New Book
> Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald
> C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95
> plus $6.00 S&H
>
> Product Description
> Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
> Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
> Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”
>
> About the Author
> Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> _____
>
> HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
> FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A
> NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20
> TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL
> COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who
> did all the drawings for the magnets
>
> Copy of poster available. Larger than what was available before.
>
>
> PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A
> CLASSROOM.
>
> Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.
>
> The Turtle and Tortoises are:
> Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
> Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.
>
> To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
>
> FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic
> pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut.
> Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H
>
> DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS: GEMS OF THE TURLE WORLD ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
> Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00
>
> COMPLETE NORTH AMERICAN BOX TURTLE [Hardcover] Carl J Franklin
> (Author), David C Killpack (Author) 260 pages Eco Press, Amazon lists
> them at $59.95, HerpDigest sells them for $45.00 Hardcover, plus $6.00
> S&H A compilation of work of Carl Franklin and David Killpack. With
> over 30 years of field experience this book is an amazing resource for
> anyone interested in the natural history and husbandry of North
> American Box turtles. Over 300 full color photos/illustrations. (2
> copies left0
>
> THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
> It contains:
> A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color
> photos
> 101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
> Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or
> just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.
>
> THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don
> Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $81.00) I have only 3 copies left.
>
> AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES
> (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd
> Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95
> plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)
>
> “TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of
> the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64
> halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any
> nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)
>
> Coming soon the Frog Answer Guide by Michael Dorcas and Whit Gibbons.
>
> THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda
> University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
> W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors
>
> POCKET PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO LIZARDS by Robert G. Sprackland, Ph.D.
> 400 pages, almost 400 color photos of what Dr. Sprackland calls the 300 Essential-To_Know Species. Anoles to Iguanas to Geckos to Skinks. (4 1/2” x 7”), $29.95 plus $7.50 for S&H.
>
> ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman,
> Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
> 464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
> Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H
>
> EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and
> Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
> 304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304
> pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
> Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.
>
> Here are three books on turtles and tortoises worth having.
>
> Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, by Russ Gurley. ALL BOOKS BY
> GURLEY HE HAS SIGNED (only ONE LEFT of this book, and book below by him.) 300 Pages, $50.00 plus $7.50 S&H. Over 300 color photos, For the people a step above beginner.
> Talks about care and breeding the common slider to soft-shells and snake-neck turtles.
>
> Turtles In Captivity
> by Russ Gurley
> A good basic overview for Beginners. Signed by Author.
> $8.00 plus $3.00 S&H
>
> STAR TORTOISES
> By Jerry Fife
> $14.95 + $300 s/h
> _______________________________________________________________
>
> TO ORDER:
>
> ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.
>
> 1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.
>
> 2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org
>
> 3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us
> your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address
> to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this
> happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to
> prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)
>
> And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.
>
> 4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page
> http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
> and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
> Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:23 am

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 11 3/3/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
New Book -Life in a Shell : A Physiologist's View of a Turtle By Donald C. Jackson , Harvard University Press, 178 pages, $29.95 (See Article # 4 for a Review from Wall Street Journal) (Available through HerpDigest, Just add $6.00 more for S&H. See below on how to order.) _________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1)IUCN Releases Global Re-introduction Perspectives 2010
2) Man pleads guilty to taking protected species from N.C. refuge
3) Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California
4) The Beating Heart Beneath the Shell-Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle review of new book
5) Women hold key to solving wildlife trade issues in Amazon
6) Flying Mice Target Tree Snakes-Officials combat Guam’s invasive brown tree snakes by dropping poisoned bait from helicopters
7) EcoHealth Alliance Calls for Improved Education Surrounding Exotic Pet Ownership _____________________________________________________________________________
1) IUCN Releases Global Re-introduction Perspectives 2010

15 February 2011: The second issue of the Global Re-introduction Perspectives series, released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), contains 72 case studies on reintroduction efforts for the following taxa: invertebrates (9), fish (6), amphibians (5), reptiles (7), birds (13), mammals (20) and plants (12).

The series is published with the support of IUCN, the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, Saudi Wildlife Commission, Denver Zoological Foundation and Reintroduction Specialist Group. The case studies in the 2010 issue include the reintroductions of: Adriatic sturgeon in the Ticino River, Italy; Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia; saker falcon in Bulgaria; Asiatic black bear in Jirisan National Park, South Korea; and Arabian oryx in Saudi Arabia. Each case study includes the following sections: Introduction, Goals, Success, Indicators, Project Summary, Major Difficulties Faced, Major Lessons Learned, and Success of Project, with reasons for success or failure.

Go to:
http://biodiversity-l.iisd.org/news/iuc ... ity-update

For link to PDF file of the update.
_______________________________________________________________________
2) Man pleads guilty to taking protected species from N.C. refuge By Lauren King, The Virginian-Pilot February 28, 2011, NEW BERN, N.C.

A 60-year-old Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the taking of a protected species from the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.

Kenneth Dobis of Woodlyn, Pa., also pleaded guilty to trespassing on a wildlife refuge. He was sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000 in federal court, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

On May 21, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge officers observed Dobis and his son, Keith, carrying pillowcases and snake sticks along a roadside adjacent to the wildlife refuge, the news release said. The officers, with help from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, conducted surveillance on the two for the next few hours in and around the Mattamuskeet and Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuges.
The next morning, officers continued their surveillance of the pair at their hotel and saw Keith Dobis leave his hotel room carrying what appeared to be a snake in a pillowcase. Dobis placed the pillowcase inside the trunk of a vehicle, and the two men left the hotel together in the vehicle.

The officers stopped their vehicle and received consent to search the vehicle. They found a quantity of marijuana and an Eastern Pigmy Rattlesnake, a protected species under North Carolina law, the news release said. Officers also found two copperhead snakes, a rat snake, two worm snakes, three turtles, 11 frogs, a skink and equipment used to collect reptiles and amphibians.
_____________________________________________________________________
3) Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California Terra E. Fuller1,2,*, Karen L. Pope1, Donald T. Ashton1, Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.1 Article first published online: 14 JUL 2010 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International. Published 2010. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA Restoration Ecology, Volume 19, Issue 201, Pages 204-213 March 2011 How to Cite Fuller, T. E., Pope, K. L., Ashton, D. T. and Welsh, H. H. (2011), Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California. Restoration Ecology, 19: 204–213. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00708.x Author Information
1 USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Experiment Station, Redwood Sciences Laboratory, 1700 Bayview Dr., Arcata, CA 95521, U.S.A.
2 Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521, U.S.A.
*Correspondence: Terra E. Fuller,
*Correspondence: T. E. Fuller, email tfuller@dfg.ca.gov Publication History Issue published online: 2 MAR 2011 Article first published online: 14 JUL 2010

Abstract
Extensive modifications of river systems have left floodplains some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world and made restoration of these systems a priority. Modified river ecosystems frequently support invasive species to the detriment of native species. Rana catesbeiana (American bullfrog) is an invasive amphibian that thrives in modified aquatic habitats. In 2004–2005 we studied the distribution of bullfrogs along a 98-km reach of the Trinity River below the Lewiston Dam to identify habitat characteristics associated with bullfrogs and to recommend actions to reduce their prevalence in the system. We also examined native amphibian distributions relative to bullfrogs and disturbance regimes. We used regression techniques to model the distribution of bullfrogs in relation to environmental conditions. Models assessing breeding habitat outperformed models assessing bullfrog presence. Top-ranked predictor variables of bullfrog distribution included water depth, percent !
rooted floating vegetation, and river km. Most breeding sites of bullfrogs were relict mine tailing ponds or inactive side channels created during restoration activities in the 1990s. Native species were more common in the lower reach where habitats were less modified, in contrast to the distribution of bullfrogs that dominated the upper, more modified reach. To control bullfrogs along a managed river, we suggest reducing the suitability of breeding sites by decreasing depth or reducing hydroperiod and increasing connection with the active river channel. Current management goals of restoring salmonid habitat and returning the river to a more natural hydrologic condition should aid in control of bullfrogs and improve conditions for native amphibians.
_____________________________________________________________________
4) The Beating Heart Beneath the Shell-Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle By Donald C. Jackson , Harvard University Press, 178 pages, $29.95 (Available through HerpDigest, Just add $6.00 more for S&H. See below on how to order.) A Review By Jennie Erin Smith, Wall Street Journal 2/26/11

Scientists who study turtles often display an enchantment with their subjects that flowers into lyricism. Archie Carr, the late sea-turtle biologist, wrote so lovingly in the 1960s of seeing turtles, bathed in moonlight or the glow of phosphorescent surf, that his books helped nesting beaches become tourist draws from Costa Rica to Florida. One still-active Carr disciple, Peter C.H. Pritchard, produces as much erudite meditation on turtles these days as original research. Indeed turtle and tortoise science is rife with enough would-be poets that the specialist journal Chelonian Conservation and Biology for years saw fit to include a regular section of verse.

Part of the fascination involves imagining what it's like to inhabit the body and mind of a cold-blooded creature that first evolved about 200 million years ago. Thus "Life in a Shell" by Donald C. Jackson (who worked with Archie Carr in the 1970s) seems at first blush to be following the tradition. In fact, though, "Life in a Shell" is a fairly unromantic and at times technical exploration of a few physical and metabolic talents common to aquatic turtles—notably the ability, in the case of certain freshwater species, to survive under frozen lakes for months without breathing. In its opening pages, Mr. Jackson raises some intriguing questions: "Because the shell is so heavy, what keeps an aquatic turtle from sinking to the bottom?" he asks. "How do turtles manage to have sex with intervening armor?" But he admits that his insights are limited to what a turtle does, not how it feels. "I am not able to enter too deeply into the mind of a turtle," writes Mr. Jackson, who says h!
e finds his subjects "inscrutable."

In place of Carr's unabashed love of all things turtle, Mr. Jackson—a physiologist confined mostly to the lab—explains his own attraction by citing something called the Krogh Principle, "which states, in essence, that for every physiological problem an ideal animal exists somewhere for studying that problem." Mr. Jackson turned to turtles only when a toadfish failed to suit an experiment he'd designed to measure its metabolic rate in the absence of oxygen. In a turtle he found an ideal substitute—and so has continued to study the animal for 40 years.

So how do turtles survive under frozen lakes for months? This is the central question of this book and one that Mr. Jackson has spent a career trying to answer. Briefly: The shell has much to do with it. A painted turtle that finds itself trapped beneath ice, lying in mud, has enough oxygen in its lungs to last 21 hours under normal circumstances. To survive until spring it must become anoxic, metabolizing only a limited store of glycogen rather than fat (fat requires oxygen to metabolize) in a state of severe metabolic depression. Its heart beats once every 10 minutes; brain activity is reduced to almost nothing. And the shell, a large mass of mineral reserves, releases minerals to buffer an otherwise fatal buildup of lactic acid in the turtle's blood and traps some of the lactate, too, to keep it out of the bloodstream. Without the heavy shell, none of this would work.

It is quite a trick and certainly worth reading about if one can get over Mr. Jackson's somewhat narrow view of turtles as nifty little gizmos, as well as his generous self-citation. Amid all this some lyricism even slips in: "[I]n almost total darkness except for faint light that may penetrate the ice and snow cover on the pond during the brief daylight hours, in extreme cold that slows down to a minimum all of its living processes, the turtle sits quietly, scarcely moving, with only a minimal level of consciousness," Mr. Jackson writes, and it's hard not to picture oneself as a turtle in just such a state, dearly awaiting spring.

—Ms. Smith is the author of "Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers and Skulduggery."

_______________________________________________________________________
5) Women hold key to solving wildlife trade issues in Amazon Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quito, Ecuador, 22nd February 2011—TRAFFIC is applying new approaches to reducing illegal and commercial hunting in Yasuní Biosphere Reserve in Amazonian Ecuador. &#8232;&#8232;Instead of a traditional approach targeting male hunters, TRAFFIC and project partners are instead working through existing womens’ groups in indigenous communities, such as the Huaorani, to reduce the illicit trade in wild meat that is threatening many of the region’s wildlife species.

&#8232;&#8232;The Yasuní Biophere Reserve (YBR) in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The Yasuní National Park, which lies at the core of the reserve, is one of Ecuador’s largest protected areas (approximately 982,000 ha.). It contains the Napo Tropical Moist Forest, and is the headwaters of many rivers of the upper Amazon basin. &#8232;&#8232;“It was clear that the women in local communities already understood the issues caused by unsustainable wildlife trade, making them natural allies in efforts to change attitudes towards over-exploitation of the rainforest’ resources,” said Ana Puyol,

Many of the women were concerned about the sale of wild meat to outside markets, and the effects of over-exploitation both on their own food security and on their local environment. &#8232;&#8232;“Women have a strategic role to play on the sustainable use of Amazonian biodiversity and in indigenous land management, and have a wealth of traditional knowledge and practices, which are key to addressing this issue.” &#8232;&#8232;“By working with local women, we are helping to empower them and strengthen opportunities for reflection and decision-making.” &#8232;&#8232;“From the outset, men among the community have been consulted as part of the process too—widespread community buy-in for any solution to over-exploitation is essential for it to be successful in the long-term.” &#8232;&#8232;Ecuadorian legislation prohibits the sale of wildlife while recognizing the rights of rural dwellers to engage in subsistence hunting. &#8232;&#8232;However, wildlife from YBR is massively ille!
gally exploited for commercial purposes, mainly for consumption by Amazonian urban populations.&#8232;&#8232;The excessive hunting of large mammals has caused their populations to decline or be threatened with extinction both outside and on the edges of conservation and sustainable use areas.

&#8232;&#8232;This is progressively degrading the quality and integrity of these areas, with unpredictable consequences for the social and ecological future of such reserves, reducing the quality of their natural environments. &#8232;&#8232;Another serious consequence of the unsustainable wild meat trade is its effect on the food sovereignty of local and indigenous peoples and their opportunities to maintain long-term sustainable livelihoods strategies, as rodents and wild pigs are their main sources of protein. &#8232;&#8232;Led by AMWAE, a local womens group, with support from TRAFFIC and two programme partners, selected communities have been involved in dialogue both to recognize the extent of the problem and to establish commitments to reduce the scale of the external wildlife trade while securing sufficient meat for local needs. &#8232;&#8232;An agreement has been signed between AMWAE and Fundación Natura (one of the programme partners) committing communities not to tra!
de wildlife, but rather to work to ensure their families are adequately fed and their lands are sustainably protected and managed. &#8232;&#8232;A commitment was also made not to hunt tapirs (highly endangered mammals in the Amazon), even for subsistence purposes.&#8232;&#8232;

The dialogues have also examined alternative sources of income for local communities. These include cultivation of fine aroma cocoa, a native species with high export value, promoted under a scheme to ensure indigenous communities are treated equitably in the trading process, as well as production of fruit from citrus and avocado trees and traditional foods such as cassava and plantain. &#8232;&#8232;There are also plans to support hunters in producing handicrafts for sale at AMWAE-run stores to generate income to compete with the illegal sale of wild meat.&#8232;&#8232;Currently the project is working with nine strategically selected communities in two areas of the YBR, with more than 70 Huaorani families and an impact on approximately 200,000 ha of tropical forests. &#8232;&#8232;“The project has demonstrated how strengthening womens’ political leadership on illegal hunting issues substantially improves governance at the organizational and community levels,” said Puyol. &!
#8232;&#8232;“These have laid the foundation for participatory work with a vision for change.”&#8232;&#8232;TRAFFIC’s work in YBR is carried out through a project on “Diminishing Illegal Wildlife Trade in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve (YBR)” funded by the Spanish Development Cooperation Agency, AECID, led by IUCN/TRAFFIC, and implemented jointly by two strategic members of IUCN: Fundación Natura and the Randi Randi Group Corporation.
Article originally appeared on TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org/).
_______________________________________________________________________
6) Flying Mice Target Tree Snakes-Officials combat Guam’s invasive brown tree snakes by dropping poisoned bait from helicopters By Sabrina Richards, 3/3/11

For years, Guam’s skies have been nearly empty. The brown tree snake, an invasive reptile that snuck onto the island in the cargo of Navy airplanes shortly after World War II, decimated most bird species decades ago. But last September the sky was not vacant: it was raining mice.

Navy helicopters criss-crossed Guam’s jungle as mice were shot from specially-designed contraptions, all in the latest strategy to beat back the brown tree snake and allow the reintroduction of native bird species. Dead before ejection, the rodents act as tiny Trojan horses tossed into the jungle canopy. Inside their tasty exteriors scientists slip acetaminophen — Tylenol’s active ingredient also poisons these tree snakes. This strategy is the culmination of years of research by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“No one else is doing this,” says William Pitt of the USDA, who headed the research team tasked with devising the technique to scatter poisonous snake bait over Guam’s jungle.

A major goal of Guam’s snake control program is keeping the snakes from hopscotching to other islands and wreaking similar havoc on equally vulnerable ecosystems like Saipan’s or Hawai‘i’s. Currently, trained dogs sniff outgoing cargo to head off any sneaky snakes attempting to catch a free ride on Navy planes leaving Andersen Military Base. When a snake is sighted on neighboring islands, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Brown Tree Snake Rapid Response Team flies in to help local authorities capture it and determine whether there’s a burgeoning snake population.

While the diversity of species on other Pacific islands attests to the success of these measures, they are labor intensive. Most snake control happens at specific locations, like the cargo holds of airplanes or along the fences encircling the military base. This means snakes that remain in the jungle mostly slither free. Scattering mice over the forest would be much easier and quicker than slogging through the forest baiting and checking traps — the snakes would essentially get rid of themselves.

The new method takes advantage of their location and basic biology: acetaminophen is poisonous to the snakes. The mice are stuffed with just 80 milligrams of acetaminophen — equal to a child’s dose of Tylenol — then glued to cardboard strips. Paper streamers tangle in the small branches after the mouse bundles are catapulted from helicopters. “The whole idea is that they get caught in the canopy,” where only the snakes go, says Pitt.

Brown trees snakes have dominated Guam’s treetops since shortly after their arrival in the 1940s, fundamentally altering the forests. “It’s eerie. It’s very, very quiet,” says Robert Reed, a wildlife biologist with the geological survey, who works to combat brown tree snakes but was not involved with the latest aerial drop. Only a few birds remain near Anderson Air Force base, where stringent controls keep snake numbers down.

After laying waste to the birds, the snakes went after the rodents. Reed estimates that the rodent population on Guam is ten times lower than on nearby islands where the snake has not spread. The brown tree snake’s ability to persist after overwhelming its prey populations is one key to its insidious success. Rodents are rare and the birds are gone, but the snakes slither on. As Reed explains, “The snakes are just marvelously good at taking a small amount of resources in the form of prey and turning it into more snakes.”

But lobbing tasty toxic treats at the snakes will not eradicate them, Pitt says—there are far too many to poison them all. He explains that the goal is to create snake-free areas where bird species can be reintroduced. One possible bird is the Guam rail, a small flightless bird (not unlike a kiwi in looks) that is being successfully bred in zoos worldwide. Reed is optimistic. “It’s a promising technique,” he says. “Maybe we’ll be able to restore some native species on Guam some time in the near future.”
Data is already being gleaned from the aerial mouse drop. It is imperative, Pitt explains, that the poisonous mice only target brown tree snakes because the snakes are not the only scavengers on Guam. To make sure the mice aren’t going to waste, researchers glued radio transmitters to the bellies of some mice, so they can follow the signals to see whether the bait ends up in the bellies of snakes, or innocuous species like coconut crabs.

Another advantage of the aerial baiting technique is its potential for targeting large numbers of snakes at minimal cost. “People think of the helicopters as being really expensive,” says Reed, “But the alternative is to have human employees walking around and checking traps or checking bait stations all over the island” — a more costly alternative.

Haldre Rogers, a botanist at the University of Washington in Seattle, is studying the indirect effects of brown tree snakes on forest diversity. Many tree species need birds to disperse seeds to new areas and help speed their germination. In neighboring islands like Saipan, seeds travel far from their parent trees. In Guam, she says, seeds fall straight to the ground. Rogers predicts that Guam’s current forest of intermingling species will decline, as these seeds grow into clumps of the same species of tree.
Next up for the new technique: automation. Putting together the mouse baits is currently a time-consuming process, requiring human volunteers wielding hot glue guns, says Pitt. Wide-scale drops won’t become feasible until the entire process, from bait assembly to expulsion from helicopters, is mechanized.

Meanwhile, Rogers says, the aerial drop is “a good tool to have in the arsenal.” Occasionally, she encounters a rare starling near one of the military bases, when it breaks into song.
In the hushed forest, the sound, she says, is “shocking.”
_______________________________________________________________
7) EcoHealth Alliance Calls for Improved Education Surrounding Exotic Pet Ownership Movie Release Raises Questions And Concerns About Exotic Pets

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EcoHealth Alliance today announced the critical need for greater awareness and education for consumers purchasing exotic pets. The allure of non-traditional, exotic pets continues to sway consumers to purchase a myriad of non-native species including reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals. With the release of the animated feature film, Rango, pet retailers will likely experience a dramatic spike in reptile sales. The movie centers around a chameleon as the focal character played by Johnny Depp. Pet trends are often influenced by pop culture, raising concerns about the inadequate education surrounding exotic pet ownership.

“In the past decade alone, two billion live animals were imported to the U.S. with more than 90 percent of those animals intended for commercial sale. The wildlife trade generates billions of dollars of revenue in the U.S. and the countries of origin”

“We believe exotic pet ownership can be managed in a conscientious manner by retailers and consumers as long as factors of conservation, disease, and animal welfare are appropriately addressed. We urge consumers to get the essential facts to make an informed decision as opposed to an impulse buy,” said Dr. Peter Daszak, Disease Ecologist and President of EcoHealth Alliance.

EcoHealth Alliance urges consumers to ask three major questions before purchasing an exotic pet for their family. First, ask the pet retailer if the animal is captive bred. Wildlife removed from their natural environments are vulnerable to stress and disease. Studies show that 90 percent of wild-caught reptiles will die prematurely, with only 1 out of 10 reptiles achieving full life expectancy. This can have devastating effects on wild populations around the world. Second, inquire what special needs and care will be required to keep the pet in good health. Many exotic pets require specialized food, lighting, housing, supplies and maintenance and can live for many years beyond a child’s initial interest. Lastly, discuss the amount of time that must be allotted for the pet’s daily care and welfare. With these questions answered then consider how the needs of this new pet will affect your family’s daily routine and activities, while keeping in mind the Centers for Disease Contr!
ol and Prevention’s (CDC) warnings regarding contact between reptiles and small children, the elderly, and other persons at higher risk of salmonellosis that may live in your home.

There are solid examples of rising pet sales associated with popular movies featuring charismatic animals. The popularity of the film, The Princess and the Frog, was related to increased amphibian sales in 2009. That year, an outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium sickened 85 people from 31 states across the U.S. The illness was linked to contact with infected pet frogs. The median age of affected individuals was five years with 79 percent of the cases under the age of 10.

Another film, Finding Nemo, prompted an international demand for clownfish from tropical fish dealers. Often the initial nostalgia wears off leaving the average consumer less animated when contemplating the major responsibility of owning an exotic pet.

The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of wildlife. “In the past decade alone, two billion live animals were imported to the U.S. with more than 90 percent of those animals intended for commercial sale. The wildlife trade generates billions of dollars of revenue in the U.S. and the countries of origin,” said Dr. Daszak. It is estimated that a large portion of global wildlife trade is illegal and reptiles represent 69 percent of that illegal wildlife trade. The excessive demand for wild animals can ultimately deplete native wildlife populations up to 70 percent.

“The volume of wildlife arriving at U.S. ports is enormous fueling the potential to create wide-ranging negative impacts. Our main concerns include the animals’ welfare, the commonality of releasing exotic pets into the wild, the spread of disease from infected pets to people and native wildlife, and ultimately the extinction of a species,” said Dr. William Karesh, International Wildlife Veterinarian and Executive Vice President of Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance.

Exotic pet ownership continues to increase according to the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey. Last year, 62 percent of U.S. households owned a pet, equating to 71.4 million homes. It was also estimated that Americans spent $47.7 billion on pets in 2010. The urgency for improved education surrounding the ownership of an exotic animal is vital for the health of both pet and family.

About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on 40 years of innovative science, EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust) is a non-profit international conservation organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health. It specializes in saving biodiversity in human-dominated ecosystems where ecological health is most at risk from habitat loss, species imbalance, pollution and other environmental issues. EcoHealth Alliance scientists also identify and examine the causes affecting the health of global ecosystems in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide. EcoHealth Alliance’s strength is founded on innovations in research, education, training, and support from a global network of EcoHealth Alliance conservation partners. For more information, visit www.ecohealthalliance.org. EcoHealth Alliance is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organiza!
tion.

Contacts
EcoHealth Alliance&#8232;Anthony M. Ramos, 1-212-380-4469&#8232;Mobile: 1-914-787-963 _______________________________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.


HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.

“STOLEN WORLD: A TALE OF REPTILES, SMUGGLERS AND SKULDUGGERY, by Jennie Erin Smith, 2011. Crown Publishers, New York. 318 pp $25.00 The book people are trying to stop its publication $25.00 Plus $6.00

FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H

COMPLETE NORTH AMERICAN BOX TURTLE [Hardcover] Carl J Franklin (Author), David C Killpack (Author) 260 pages Eco Press, Amazon lists them at $59.95, HerpDigest sells them for $45.00 Hardcover, plus $6.00 S&H A compilation of work of Carl Franklin and David Killpack. With over 30 years of field experience this book is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the natural history and husbandry of North American Box turtles. Over 300 full color photos/illustrations. (4 copies left0

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $81.00) I have only 5 copies left.

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)

Coming soon the Frog Answer Guide by Michael Dorcas and Whit Gibbons.

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors

POCKET PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO LIZARDS by Robert G. Sprackland, Ph.D.
400 pages, almost 400 color photos of what Dr. Sprackland calls the 300 Essential-To_Know Species. Anoles to Iguanas to Geckos to Skinks. (4 1/2” x 7”), $29.95 plus $7.50 for S&H.

SNAKES: ECCOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel Editors, A Comstock Book, $60.00 Cloth, 2009 284 Pages, 6 1/8, 10 tables, 26 charts/graphs, 5 maps, 2 line drawings 2 halftones.

The first book on snakes written with a focus on conservation, editors Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel bring together leading herpetologists to review and synthesize the ecology, conservation, and management of snakes worldwide. These experts report on advances in current research and summarize the primary literature, presenting the most important concepts and techniques in snake ecology and conservation.

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.

Here are four books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, by Russ Gurley. ALL BOOKS BY GURLEY HE HAS SIGNED (only ONE LEFT of this book, and book below by him.) 300 Pages, $50.00 plus $7.50 S&H. Over 300 color photos, For the people a step above beginner.
Talks about care and breeding the common slider to soft-shells and snake-neck turtles.

Turtles In Captivity
by Russ Gurley
A good basic overview for Beginners. Signed by Author.
$8.00 plus $3.00 S&H

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h

Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:33 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 12 3/12/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
New Book
LIFE IN A SHELL: A PHYSIOLOGIST’S VIEW OF A TURTLE by Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
For more and how to order see below.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Albino Sea Turtle
2)Scientists Create a One of Kind Frog
3) Alligator Farmers Snap Back At Florida's Plan to Sever Funding - With Sales Down, They Want Marketing Aid; Ribs, Tongue and a Missing Middle Finger
4) Rescuers try to capture Hanoi's sacred turtle
5) Mini or Massive? For Turtles and Tortoises, It All Depends on Where You Live
6) Ecological Adaptation Likely to Influence Impacts of Climate Change
7) Too little done to address trade threat to Asia’s tortoises and freshwater turtles _________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
______________________________________________________________________________
1) Albino Sea Turtle
SA Reptiles: Your Link to Southern African Herpetoculture
http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewt ... 47#p201766

go site exc collection of photos of the turtles.

A posting on the S. African Herpetoculture Link

We have posted about sea turtles here before, but for those of you who don't know, Tim Baynham (nyami), Nicole Mann (hissing roach) and myself manage a sea turtle conservation project in Soyo, Northern Angola. Our project focuses on protecting nesting females, their nests and the education of the local community of Soyo.

Yesterday we recieved a call from one of the neighboring fishing villages reporting that the turtle patrol team on the peninsula had found a nest containing 13 white hatchling sea turtles. In the past, Tim and I have found very light coloured hatchlings dead in nests we have excavated, but never any true albinos. We instructed one of our team members to go out and retrive the suspect white turtles for futher inspection.
_____________________________________________________________________
2) Scientists Create a One of Kind Frog by Wynne Parry LiveScience Senior Writer
3/7/11
A newly bred hybrid frog – the offspring of two species of tropical leaf frogs – is one of a kind and even rarer than its endangered parents.

A scientist at The Manchester Museum inEngland allowed the two species of endangered Central American leaf frogs housed within the same chamber to interbreed to better understand how closely these parents are related. Understanding the genetic relationships between, and even within, species is important when trying to protect them.

This was a match made in lab heaven. The parents, Agalychnis annae and Agalychnis moreletii, wouldn't cross paths on their own, since they occupy different regions in Central America. In the past 30 years, populations of endangered leaf frogs have completely disappeared, particularly at cooler, high elevations. The amphibian-devastating chytrid fungus is implicated.

Frogs that have adapted to less fungus-friendly habitats are likely to be less at risk, making it important to identify the differences between populations, writes Andrew Gray, the museum's curator of herpetology, in a study that appeared in February in arXiv, an open archive maintained by Cornell University.

"There is also real concern that certain populations may disappear before their distinctiveness has even been established," Gray writes.

The parents look very much alike – in fact their skulls are nearly indistinguishable – but they have different coloration. Their love child resembles both, but is also distinct. It has dark red irises like the papa frog A. moreletii, and the purple-to-blue coloration along its flanks and thighs, like most A. annae, the mama frog. However, its hands and feet are more intense orange than seen in either parent.
Hybridization experiments like this are helpful in better understanding the inheritance of genes in amphibians, including those determining color patterns, the researchers _____________________________________________________________________________
3) Alligator Farmers Snap Back At Florida's Plan to Sever Funding - With Sales Down, They Want Marketing Aid; Ribs, Tongue and a Missing Middle Finger Wall Street Journal, 3/12/11 by Arian Campo-Flores

LAKE PLACID, Fla.—Genie Tillman, an alligator farmer from Lake Placid, Fla., prepared for an apparel trade show in Las Vegas last month by packing an array of reptilian wares into three large suitcases. She threw in alligator-skin bomber jackets, golf shoes and Bible covers.

"We have something for everybody," said Ms. Tillman, the 68-year-old owner of Parker Island Gator Farm here. "We even have a whiskey flask that's covered in alligator and purses for biker babes."
There are a lot of hungry mouths to feed at Gatorama, an old-time tourist attraction and alligator farm at the edge of the Florida Everglades. Judy Reich reports from Palmdale.
The trip was aimed at promoting Florida's struggling alligator industry—some 30 farms, along with hundreds of trappers, tanners and leather makers. Though demand for gator meat remains strong, tough times drove revenue from Florida alligator products down to $5.3 million in 2009, from $16.4 million the year before, the most recent state figures show.

Now, Gov. Rick Scott wants to cut off the funding that helped pay for Ms. Tillman's trip. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Mr. Scott is intent on axing what he considers frivolous spending, including a line in the state budget for "alligator marketing."

"The state shouldn't be in that business," he said in an interview in January.
The marketing money, amounting to roughly $100,000 a year, depending on the alligator harvest, is administered by the state Department of Agriculture. It pays for booths at restaurant and fashion conferences. It finances brochures about "exotic Florida alligator meat" ("For people who love adventure!"). And there's a website featuring delicacies such as "citrus glazed gator ribs."
A recent competition for chefs sponsored by the department included a dish made with alligator tongue. "Surprisingly, it was good. It was very tender," says Allen Register, owner of the Gatorama farm and roadside attraction in Palmdale.


The promotional funds come partly from the alligator industry itself. For every egg harvested from the wild, farmers pay the state $5, of which $1 is earmarked for marketing. That yielded $32,000 in 2010, which was supplemented with another $54,000 in state money.

The farmers began this arrangement voluntarily in 1993, hoping to benefit from the agriculture department's expertise in promoting more than 300 commodities.

Other states promote native flora and fauna, too. Louisiana's alligator farmers help pay for their marketing, which is handled by the state's Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. California markets sea urchin. Kansas touts buffalo jerky.

Mr. Scott's proposal has Florida's gator industry snapping mad. The governor "really doesn't know what he's talking about," says Mr. Register, whose left middle finger was bitten off by an angry crocodile.
Mr. Scott's office didn't respond to requests for comment. But in the January interview, the Republican governor said that eliminating unnecessary programs line by line in the budget adds up to significant savings.

The farmers have dealt with cuts before. Former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush cut all of the marketing money from the budget each year of his second term. The funding was later reinstated by Mr. Bush's Republican successor, Charlie Crist.

Mr. Register—who, like Ms. Tillman, voted for Mr. Scott—doesn't understand why some politicians have a beef with his industry.

"Maybe it just sounds bizarre," he says.

Raising alligators is arduous work. During egg-collecting season in July, two-person teams set out in 100-degree heat to scout marshes in airboats. One person gathers eggs, while the other fights off the mama gators. "The aggressive ones will literally get in the boat to come after you," says Mr. Register.
He fattens hatchlings in large enclosed tanks that look like mud huts, heating the water to 90 degrees to speed up their metabolism. To prevent them from brawling and scraping each other's skins, he keeps them in the dark.

Before harvesting them when they're about two years old, Mr. Register grades the quality of their hides, which means wading in with the creatures—who are four-and-a-half feet long by then—gripping their heads, and yanking them up for inspection.

He kills them with a .22-caliber bullet shot to the ear, or by severing their spines with a knife. Then he skins them and packages the meat.

As recently as four years ago, say farmers, hides could fetch $8 a centimeter from European buyers who might turn them into $15,000 handbags. Then the economy tanked, and along with it, demand for luxury goods. Today, the overall luxury market is picking up, but skins sell for $4 a centimeter, says Mr. Register.

Some farmers have had to shut down. Debbie Stewart was laid off from Froehlich's Gator Farm in Christmas, Fla., when its founder decided to retire because of the downturn. Nicknamed "Little Debbie," at 5'3" and 100 pounds, Ms. Stewart was known for her prowess with a skinning knife.
"I can have a five-footer skinned, deboned and processed in about 15 minutes," she says. She's now managing a bar and playing bass in a band.

The gator farmers say their marketing efforts have partly focused on convincing people that it's okay to eat and wear alligator. Though the animals were removed from the federal endangered-species list in 1987, some people still think the animals are at risk of dying off.

Hoping to boost sales of hides in emerging luxury markets, some farmers have traveled to trade shows in Russia and China.

At a recent gathering of farmers in Sebring, Fla., Brian Wood, owner of All American Gator Products, floated another idea: product placement. He invited Shari Cedar, a former producer of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," to give a presentation. Among her ideas, she says: getting celebrities and athletes to wear alligator-skin garb by creating "the next 'It' alligator bag."

Farmers are counting on allies in the legislature to block Mr. Scott in the new legislative session, which started on Tuesday.

Gator farmer Ms. Tillman says she's all for stanching Florida's red ink.

But, she adds, if Mr. Scott "slows down and pays attention, he will realize that our little group is not where the leak is."
______________________________________________________________________
4) Rescuers try to capture Hanoi's sacred turtle: Veterinarians want to treat legendary creature, believed to be suffering the effects of living in a polluted lake
3/9/12 Vietnam News

Hanoians cram around Hoan Kiem lake in a bid to catch a glimpse of the sacred giant turtle.
Thousands of Vietnamese jostled and climbed trees around a central Hanoi lake on Tuesday to watch rescuers attempt to save an ailing rare turtle revered by the nation as sacred.

Dozens of workers waded chest-deep through the chilly green water in Hoan Kiem lake to try to capture the giant freshwater creature for the first time so it could be treated. It is one of the world's most endangered turtles and one of only four known living in the world. In Vietnam many believe it is magical and that it helped a Vietnamese king fend off Chinese invaders nearly 600 years ago.

In recent days, photos of the turtle surfacing with pink open sores on its wrinkled neck and legs have sparked near panic among the public. Lesions were also visible on its shell. Some experts fear pollution in the lake is slowly killing the turtle, which is affectionately called "great-grandfather".
Last week, a small island in the lake was expanded with sandbags to form a platform large enough for the turtle to rest, complete with a little pond. Rescuers were hoping to coax it ashore but, when it did not emerge on its own, dozens of men waded into the water to try to gradually net the creature and drag it to the island. But even with the military involved in the rescue, the turtle managed to slip through the nets and escape.

"I'm really glad that I'm part of the rescue operation and, hopefully, it will bring luck to my family," said Nguyen Thanh Liem, 65, a retired army captain who helped pull the net along with dozens of other onlookers. "I wish that he would be immortal to bless our nation."

Liem, like many other Vietnamese, believes the Hoan Kiem turtle is the same mythical creature that helped King Le Loi defeat Chinese invaders in the mid-15th century with a magical sword given to him by the gods. After the victory, legend has it that a giant golden turtle arose from the lake and grabbed the sword in its mouth before diving to return it to its divine owners.

Experts, however, say the real creature is more likely to be aged between 80 and 100-plus years. Its sex remains unknown. It weighs about 440lb (200kg) and has a shell the size of a desk. There are only four turtles of the same species, Rafetus swinhoei, known to be alive in the world: one in another lake in Vietnam and two in a Chinese zoo.

Hundreds of Vietnamese people have worked around the clock to save the reptile by removing chunks of debris and pumping in fresh water into the lake, which is flooded with raw sewage and trash.
Once it is dragged to shore, veterinarians plan to take skin and shell samples for analysis, and later determine how to treat it.

Some gathered at Hoan Kiem lake, which translates as "Lake of the Returned Sword", worried that trying to wrangle the creature could do more harm than good.

"It's not safe to use the net to try to catch the turtle. It could worsen his wounds," said Nguyen Hung Cuong, a 19-year-old student. "The authorities should have allowed the turtle to crawl to the island by itself where they can give him treatment."
_______________________________________________________________________
5) Mini or Massive? For Turtles and Tortoises, It All Depends on Where You Live ScienceDaily (Mar. 2, 2011) —

Biologists from the UCLA Division of Life Sciences have reported the first quantitative evidence for an evolutionary link between habitat and body size in turtles and tortoises.

The study, whose lead author is a high school student volunteer in the laboratory of UCLA evolutionary biologist Michael Alfaro, is currently available online in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society. It will appear in a print edition later this year.

Turtles and tortoises, also called chelonians, represent a diverse group of reptiles that have been present on Earth for more than 200 million years. The 330 species of present-day chelonians can be found dwelling on remote islands, traveling across vast expanses of ocean, and living in desert and freshwater habitats on every major continent.

Even more surprising than the wide variety of places animals call home is the vast disparity in their body sizes. The largest chelonians weigh over 1,000 pounds and are more than 6 feet in length, while the smallest weigh just a few ounces and would easily fit in the palm of your hand.

Combining statistical computer modeling with genetic data and the fossil record, Alfaro, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and his colleagues demonstrated that different environments have specific optimal body sizes for their chelonian inhabitants.

These researchers act as "evolutionary detectives," piecing together how the tremendous diversity in living chelonians today evolved from a common ancestor that lived millions of years ago. DNA sequences from modern chelonians provide important clues for determining the evolutionary path followed by their progenitors, said co-author Graham Slater, a National Science Foundation-funded UCLA postdoctoral scholar in ecology and evolutionary biology.

The results show a surprisingly strong statistical correlation between habitat change and significant adjustments in body size. Chelonians living in marine or island habitats have an optimal body size several times larger than their cousins on the mainland, said first author Alexander Jaffe, a high school student at Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, Calif. Marine turtles have the largest optimal shell length (about 4.5 feet), followed by island tortoises (approximately 2.5 feet), while freshwater and mainland chelonians are several times smaller (roughly 1 foot).

Evolutionary biologist have long assumed there is a connection between habitat and body size in chelonians, but it was not possible until recently to show quantitative evidence for the relationship, Alfaro said.

Chelonians have had a special place in the history of evolutionary biology due to the attention given them in the writings of Charles Darwin, Alfaro said.

Giant island tortoises found in the Galapagos and Seychelles provide a classic example of "island gigantism," a well-observed phenomenon in which an island-dwelling species evolves to be much larger than its mainland counterparts. Because they provide uniquely isolated habitats, islands are regarded as natural experiments in evolutionary biology, according to Alfaro.

"Our study was focused on testing whether there was any evolutionary signal in support of the idea that being on islands allowed the tortoises to evolve large size," he said.

While it is clear that habitat is an important signal in the chelonian evolutionary tree, the specific ecological conditions that trigger the change in body size are more difficult to determine, Alfaro said.
One of the oldest groups of reptiles, marine chelonians such as early sea turtles might have fallen prey to giant seafaring Mesozoic reptiles, a situation which would make larger size a distinct advantage, Jaffe said. Larger size also plays a key role in maintaining body temperature and allowing for migration across considerable distances.

In the case of the giant tortoises, a larger body size gives them the ability to survive long periods without food, which may be necessary due to prolonged droughts that can occur in island habitats. Large body size also may allow giant tortoises to "raft" across vast expanses of ocean while going weeks without food, a feat documented through observations of giant tortoises with barnacle growth found on the mainland, Alfaro said.

"What is exceptional about chelonians is that they are one of the most distinctive groups of vertebrates, arose early in the history of terrestrial vertebrates, and persisted for a long time," Alfaro said. "Chelonians are good examples of evolutionary survivors."

The main goals of Alfaro's research group include studying the evolution of vertebrates and their subsequent diversity in shape, size and structure. This involves developing methods to identify time periods and locations on the tree of vertebrate life in which unusual amounts of species diversification have occurred, Alfaro said.

An 'incredible opportunity'

Jaffe, a senior at Harvard-Westlake School, started volunteering in Alfaro's laboratory when he was 16, after e-mailing Alfaro about his interest in conducting research. Jaffe spent almost 30 hours a week in the lab for two full summers and was able to turn his results into a first-authored paper -- a feat rarely accomplished by high school students.

"Being part of this research group has been an incredible opportunity for me," Jaffe said. "I can't say how grateful I am. Not only did I learn the tools of the trade, especially in the lab, but also what it is like to start off with an abstract question and address it through data collection and interpretation."
Jaffe hopes to study biological sciences and pursue further research in college.

"Alexander was ready to take intellectual ownership of a project," Alfaro said. "In addition to being a very conscientious young scientist, Alexander really showed an interest in the questions that we are asking and in getting the data to answer those questions."

This research was federally funded by the National Science Foundation.
For more on Alfaro's research, visit his website at http://pandorasboxfish.squarespace.com.

___________________________________________________________________
6) Ecological Adaptation Likely to Influence Impacts of Climate Change ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) —

Animals' capacity to adapt is a factor in how they are likely to respond to changing climate conditions.
This conclusion of a new study published March 2 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B is not especially surprising, says author Brandon Barton, but confirms the importance of accounting for local adaptation when determining the likely ecological effects of climate change.

The work shows that the ability of the top predator in a well-studied food web to adapt to local temperatures can preserve the ways the species in the web influence one another across a range of climate conditions. Barton, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed the work while a graduate student at Yale University.

Barton focused on a food web composed of a predatory spider, a grasshopper, and the plants the grasshopper eats. The spider's predatory behavior is temperature-sensitive: if things get too warm, it retreats to the shade and does not hunt, freeing the grasshoppers to eat more plants. Thus, in warm weather the spiders exert a larger -- though indirect -- effect on the plants.

This much was known. But Barton found that the temperature-dependence is relative. The warmer the usual conditions in a spider's home turf, the better it is able to tolerate warm temperatures. For example, at the same temperature that would drive a cool-adapted spider into the shade, a warm-adapted spider would still be on the hunt.

The new work overcomes a common limitation of many climate change experiments, in which an organism is suddenly exposed to a new set of conditions to see how it fares. Such an experimental design does not account for the ability of the species to adapt to changing conditions gradually over time.

Instead, Barton studied populations that already live in different climes. The spiders and grasshoppers he studies thrive along most of the eastern seaboard, so he compared populations in Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey, using the warmer temperatures farther south as a proxy for the changing conditions expected in Vermont over the next 100 years as projected by common global climate models.

By comparing spider-grasshopper-plant communities in the three states, he was able to look at the same ecosystem under three different sets of environmental conditions. He found that the New Jersey spiders are better able to function at warmer temperatures.

"A Vermont spider at home in Vermont and a New Jersey spider in New Jersey function the same in terms of how much the predator influences the plants," Barton explains. "But if you take that Vermont spider and move it to New Jersey -- basically a warming experiment -- you increase the effect on the plants." Interestingly, moving Jersey spiders to Vermont had no effect.

"This shows experimentally that these predators are locally adapted -- in the south, they're used to the higher temperatures," he adds.

That flexibility suggests that this food web will withstand a warming climate in Vermont, but the implications go well beyond spiders and grasshoppers. Similar principles are likely to apply to many other species as well, and adapting to changing conditions over time may buffer some ecological impacts.

However, species will probably only adapt within certain ranges and those limits will vary species to species. So we're not completely off the hook as far as climate change goes, Barton says, but it's important that ecologists have a realistic understanding of all the factors at play when forecasting the possible effects of regional changes.

"Species do adapt to their local environment, and in this system that all worked out okay," he says. "But that does not mean that adaptation will completely eliminate the negative effects of climate change."
Editor - Think about this about herps. With their need for certain tempertures, and the speed at which temperatures are going to change (and habitats) what herps will be able to adapt, which ones go extinct. Answer-Probably the rarer the herp, the more limited to one area, say an island a mountain top or valley the quickest it will go. The more common, ones like wood frogs found all the way to Alaska, down to the lower 48 some populations will survive.) _________________________________________________________________________
7) Too little done to address trade threat to Asia’s tortoises and freshwater turtles

Monday, February 28, 2011/TRAFFIC Newsletter

&#8232;Seventy experts who gathered in Singapore last week for the Conservation of Asian Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Workshop to evaluate the current status of these species in Asia found the vast majority of are nearing extinction in the wild, and very little has been done to address the problem.&#8232;&#8232;

The meeting reported that illegal and unsustainable trade was the greatest threat to the survival of this highly threatened group of species and found that laws and conventions in place to protect these animals were simply not being enforced.&#8232;&#8232;

Chelodina mccordi has almost been wiped out in the wild through demand from the international pet Southeast Asia Tortoises and freshwater turtles are among the world's most threatened groups of animals. Perhaps nowhere is the situation more critical than in Asia.

In a recently released report, Turtles in Trouble: the World’s Top 25 Most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, from the Turtle Conservation Coalition, 68 percent of those that made the list were native to Asia.&#8232;&#8232;Seventy-two of Asia’s 86 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles were assessed at the Singapore meeting, which was hosted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, San Diego Zoo Global and the IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

&#8232;&#8232;The Malaysian Giant Turtle Orlitia borneensis, one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world and found only in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra, is now listed as Critically Endangered due to illegal collection and export for its meat. The Burmese Star Tortoise Geochelone platynota, endemic to Myanmar, is thought to be possibly extinct in the wild due to relentless poaching for the international pet trade.&#8232;&#8232;Being driven to extinction by unregulated trade

TRAFFIC Southeast Asia Another key finding of the meeting was the need for research to be carried out on wild populations to understand their status in the wild, natural history and current distribution better. &#8232;&#8232;Experts also highlighted the need for increased monitoring of the trade that is considered the leading threat to all of these species. The urgent need for rescue centres and ex-situ assurance colonies was also raised.&#8232;&#8232;Alarm bells were first sounded for Asia’s freshwater tortoises and turtles following a meeting of experts in 1999, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, alerting the world to what was dubbed the Asian Turtle Crisis. &#8232;&#8232;Asia’s tortoises and freshwater turtles were being harvested in massive quantities to supply the demand for meat and use in traditional medicines, mostly in East Asia. These species are also in demand as pets. Much of the trade is carried out illegally.&#8232;&#8232;Approximately ten years later, experts agai!
n met and found the situation has gone from bad to worse.&#8232;&#8232;

Of Asia’s 86 species, close to 70 species (approximately 80%) are considered threatened. This is a dramatic increase since these species were assessed in 1999—a 90% increase in the number of Critically Endangered species alone.&#8232;&#8232;While there have been some successes over the past decade, overall the battle is still being lost, said experts who also discussed current threats and prioritized actions necessary to save species from extinction.&#8232;&#8232;“At the current rate of decline, we will lose many of Asia’s tortoises and freshwater turtle species forever, if international and national laws and conventions are not enforced,” said Chris R. Shepherd, Deputy Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. &#8232;&#8232;“Trade is the single greatest threat to tortoises and freshwater turtles – a species group that has been around since the days of the dinosaurs.

Their future is now in the hands of policy makers, enforcement agencies and conservation bodies. To date, efforts to protect these species have been far from adequate. If effort and motivation to save these species is not greatly increased, we are going to lose many of these species .” &#8232;&#8232;Shepherd urged authorities to make full use of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) under which many of Asia’s freshwater turtle and tortoise species are protected.&#8232;&#8232;

“The last ten years has shown that while it is possible to save these species from extinction, the threat of trade is still present and ever-growing,” said Colin Poole, Director, WCS Regional Hub. &#8232;&#8232;“Of particular concern is the increasing impact of the pet trade on a number of tortoise species and the growth of the demand for dried carapace from softshell turtles sourced primarily in South Asia.”&#8232;&#8232;Notes:&#8232;• The status of tortoises and freshwater turtles, as well as other useful information can be viewed by species at the

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, at http://www.iucnredlist.org&#8232;• The report, Turtles in Trouble: the World’s top 25+ most Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, can be downloaded at http://www.turtlesurvival.org/ Article originally appeared on TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

New Book
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.

“STOLEN WORLD: A TALE OF REPTILES, SMUGGLERS AND SKULDUGGERY, by Jennie Erin Smith, 2011. Crown Publishers, New York. 318 pp $25.00 The book people are trying to stop its publication $25.00 Plus $6.00

FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H

RATTLESNAKES OF THE U.S. AND CANADA, BY MANNY RUBIO [Paperback]
307 Pages Over 200 breathtaking photographs, maps, and images. Eco Press $34.95 plus $6.00 S&H Packed with information on natural history, identification, venom toxicity, and more! Detailed accounts and range maps for each species and subspecies found in the US and Canada.
(One copy left)

COMPLETE NORTH AMERICAN BOX TURTLE [Hardcover] Carl J Franklin (Author), David C Killpack (Author) 260 pages Eco Press, Amazon lists them at $59.95, HerpDigest sells them for $45.00 Hardcover, plus $6.00 S&H A compilation of work of Carl Franklin and David Killpack. With over 30 years of field experience this book is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the natural history and husbandry of North American Box turtles. Over 300 full color photos/illustrations. (4 copies left0

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $81.00) I have only 5 copies left.

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)

Coming soon the Frog Answer Guide by Michael Dorcas and Whit Gibbons.

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors

POCKET PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO LIZARDS by Robert G. Sprackland, Ph.D.
400 pages, almost 400 color photos of what Dr. Sprackland calls the 300 Essential-To_Know Species. Anoles to Iguanas to Geckos to Skinks. (4 1/2” x 7”), $29.95 plus $7.50 for S&H.

SNAKES: ECCOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel Editors, A Comstock Book, $60.00 Cloth, 2009 284 Pages, 6 1/8, 10 tables, 26 charts/graphs, 5 maps, 2 line drawings 2 halftones.

The first book on snakes written with a focus on conservation, editors Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel bring together leading herpetologists to review and synthesize the ecology, conservation, and management of snakes worldwide. These experts report on advances in current research and summarize the primary literature, presenting the most important concepts and techniques in snake ecology and conservation.

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are three books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, by Russ Gurley. ALL BOOKS BY GURLEY HE HAS SIGNED (only ONE LEFT of this book, and book below by him.) 300 Pages, $50.00 plus $7.50 S&H. Over 300 color photos, For the people a step above beginner.
Talks about care and breeding the common slider to soft-shells and snake-neck turtles.

Turtles In Captivity
by Russ Gurley
A good basic overview for Beginners. Signed by Author.
$8.00 plus $3.00 S&H

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00 _______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:32 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 17 4/12/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK
Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H.

Frogs are amazingly diverse—ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown—and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.
See below for more information on the book and how to order ______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Table of Contnets

1) 1) Coney Island, New York—An Action to Stop the Sale of Frogs Legs Join us at Nathan’s Famous restaurant on Saturday, April 30.
2) 1,800 monitor lizards seized by Thailand customs
3) USF Study Finds Common Fungicide Lethal for Frogs
4) BP Spill Fine May Undercount Dead Turtles, Birds, Group Says
5) India 'microtags' snakes to snare illegal charmers
6) Study Using Salamanders Show that Dopamine controls formation of new brain cells
7) Salmonella from Pet Frogs Sickens 200+
8) 150 turtles trapped in single net, die (Olive Ridleys)
9) Exciting Nesting News for Two Rare Turtle Species
10) TSA Europe Assists with Illegal Turtle Confiscations ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
New Book
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order. New Book LIFE IN A SHELL: A PHYSIOLOGIST’S VIEW OF A TURTLE by Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
For more and how to order see below.

_____________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
_____________________________________________________________________________
1) Coney Island, New York—An Action to Stop the Sale of Frogs Legs Join us at Nathan’s Famous restaurant on Saturday, April 30.

SAVE THE FROGS! (www.savethefrogs.com) and the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society are organizing a Save the Frogs Day protest rally at the original Nathan’s Famous restaurant, home of the hot dog eating contest—and wild-caught Cambodian and Japanese frog legs. Nathan’s Famous has been contributing to the decline of frog populations by selling frog legs at its Coney Island location for the last 50 years.

Nathan’s President (Wayne Orbitz) earns over $460,000 per year, but claims the company would “suffer an economic hardship” if they removed frog legs from the menu of their Coney Island location. Nathan’s has over 270 locations, and only its Coney Island location sells frog legs. As Nathan’s is known for its hot dogs and French fries, and can afford to pay both its President and CEO salaries of over $460,000 each, it is extremely unlikely that the company would suffer any economic hardships if they remove frog legs from their Coney Island menu.

Join us at the Coney Island Nathan’s location on April 30 from 11 am to 2 pm and help us ensure that Nathan’s employees and patrons make the responsible decision to stop contributing to worldwide frog extinctions. More details coming soon on www.savethefrogs.com and www.nytts.org.

A Save the Frogs flyer is attached (PDF). Please print and distribute! If you would like to join us, please e-mail Kay Martin, kaymartin_civetta@yahoo.com, to let us know you plan to attend.

Directions to Nathan’s: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=&ie=UTF8 ... urce=embed
__________________________________________________________________________
2) 1,800 monitor lizards seized by Thailand customs 4/8/11, BBC News

Customs officials in Thailand have seized 1,800 protected lizards said to be destined to be sold as food.
The Bengal monitor lizards, stuffed into blue mesh bags and hidden behind fruit, were found in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border.

Lizard meat is valuable and seen as a delicacy in parts of Asia.

Global trade in the monitor lizards is banned and they are protected by law in Thailand and Malaysia.
The Bengal monitors are related to other members of the monitor family, including the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, which can grow to 3m (10ft) long.

One Thai customs official said this batch of monitor lizards was a record haul and suggested they were destined for Chinese kitchens.

"They are from Malaysia and transported through southern Thailand and north-eastern Laos to China for eating," Seree Thaijongrak told the AFP news agency.

"We knew there was a monitor lizard racket... this time it's the largest seizure ever," he said.
Trade in the lizards is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

For photo demonstrating how large the shipment was go to original website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13010751
______________________________________________________________________________
3) USF Study Finds Common Fungicide Lethal for Frogs Researchers trying to determine the cause of worldwide amphibian declines turn to popular fungicide.

By Vickie Chachere, USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (April 12, 2011) - Chlorothalonil, a common fungicide used around the world on farms and golf courses, has been found to be lethal to frog tadpoles at levels below what regulators have said are safe environmental concentrations, says a new University of South Florida study published in one of the nation’s leading environmental journals.


In a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, USF biologists Taegan McMahon and Jason Rohr found that nearly every frog exposed to chlorothalonil in their study either died or suffered elevated stress hormone levels and changes in their immune cell counts, conditions which could weaken the animal and leave them vulnerable to parasites.

The finding could offer insight to a worldwide investigation of factors that might be causing widespread declines of amphibians, a taxon which many scientists view as a harbinger of potentially dangerous environmental conditions for other living creatures.

Chlorothalonil was known to suppress the immune systems of oysters and fish, but was relatively untested on amphibians before the USF study, conducted in conjunction with researchers from the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Rowan University, and the Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Fla.

Unlike chlorothalonil, most previously tested pesticides have not directly killed frogs at or below expected environmental concentrations. The expected environmental concentration of a pesticide is a concentration expected to be found in a water body that is a standardized distance from an application site, is calculated using US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) software, and is the concentration typically used by the US EPA to determine the safety of pesticides.

Lab tests showed that, at the expected environmental concentration, the fungicide was lethal to nearly 100 percent of the tadpoles in all four amphibian species tested. Moreover, concentrations of chlorothalonil four orders of magnitude below the expected environmental concentration were associated with significant mortality in two of the four amphibian species. Outdoor field experiments generally matched the findings of the laboratory experiments, suggesting that these results might be relevant to effects in nature.

The experiments also showed that the chemical was nonlinearly associated with mortality, stress hormones, and immunity: low and high concentrations caused significantly greater mortality and stress hormone levels than intermediate concentrations and controls, a dose-response consistent with endocrine disruption. In addition, for the survivors of low-dose chlorothalonil exposure, chlorothalonil concentration was inversely correlated with the number of immune cells in their liver, suggesting potential immunosuppresion of the surviving frogs.

Chlorothalonil is the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the U.S., with some 14 million pounds being used predominantly on peanuts, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, and turf grass.

The fungicide is part of the same chemical family, organochlorines, as the pesticide DDT, which has been banned for decades but remains pervasive in the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has strict standards on the application of chlorothalonil, which is known to contaminate surface waters through runoff and soil erosion. Users are warned to not spray the fungicide near water. However, it should be noted that the concentrations tested in these experiments were based on appropriate product use.

The USF scientists are focusing their 2½-year research project on the effects of chlorothalonil on freshwater organisms. Chlorothalonil binds to glutathione, disrupting cellular respiration that can lead to cell death. “Cellular respiration is an essential process for almost all living things,” said McMahon, a USF biology graduate student.

The researchers cautioned that their study has yet to determine the mechanism by which the fungicide affects frogs, only that its use raises red flags because levels expected to be found in the environment clearly have detrimental effects on amphibians, a taxon in global decline and an important biological indicator for the health of the environment.

“We don’t quite know its role in amphibian declines, but when the expected environmental concentration is associated with nearly 100 percent mortality across four amphibian species, it’s a cause for concern,” said Rohr, an assistant professor in USF’s Department of Integrative Biology.

___________________________________________________________________
4) BP Spill Fine May Undercount Dead Turtles, Birds, Group Says By Laurel Brubaker Calkins - Apr 12, 2011

BP Plc (BP/)’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed or sickened as many as 200 times the number of animals estimated by the government, an undercount that could limit the company’s spill-related fines, an advocacy group said.

The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group based in Tucson, Arizona, said in a study released today it found five times as many sea turtles, 10 times as many birds and 200 times more marine mammals were injured or died than official estimates. BP faces civil penalties based, in part, on the number of wildlife and fish killed or harmed by more than 4.1 million barrels of crude that poured into the Gulf last year.

The government’s counts haven’t been updated to reflect the dozens of bird, turtle and dolphin carcasses that are washing ashore this spring, Tierra Curry, a biologist with the center, said in today’s report. The group added those casualties to the official tallies, then multiplied those numbers “by accepted scientific multiplication factors” to reach what it calls the “true mortality counts,” she said.
“The numbers of animals injured by the Gulf oil spill are staggering,” Curry said. “The government’s official count represents a small fraction of the total animals harmed by this disastrous spill.”
U.S. tallies released in mid-February counted wildlife harmed by the spill to include 1,146 sea turtles, 8,209 birds, and 128 dolphins and whales Curry said, citing government data.

By the center’s estimate, the spill caused harm or death to about 6,165 sea turtles, 82,000 birds of 102 species and as many as 25,900 marine mammals, including four species of dolphins and whales.
Separate Studies

Scientists working for environmental groups and government agencies have been conducting separate studies to estimate the spill’s impact on Gulf wildlife, including fish and shrimp populations. The studies rely on multipliers, as scientists say exact counts of killed or sickened animals are impossible, given that the majority of carcasses sink into the ocean, rot unseen in marsh grasses or are consumed after death by predators, according to Curry.

The center has filed a citizen’s suit against London-based BP for Clean Water Act violations. It has also sued the Interior Department over offshore drilling policies’ impact on wildlife. Both lawsuits are pending along with hundreds of cases against BP and other companies involved in the oil spill, which are consolidated in New Orleans federal court.

“The Center for Biological Diversity’s is an independent study,’’ Wyn Hornbuckle, a Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “The government’s investigation and assessment of damages to natural resources and wildlife is ongoing.’’ He declined to comment further..
_______________________________________________________________
5) India 'microtags' snakes to snare illegal charmers
(AFP) – 6 hours ago
NEW DELHI — Officials in New Delhi have injected microchips into snakes used by snake charmers in a bid to regulate the basket and flute performers who have long been a favourite with tourists in India.

The chips, which contain a unique ID code, will effectively act as name-tags, allowing officials to ascertain whether individual snakes have been registered by their owners, Delhi's forest department chief Deepak Shukla said Wednesday.

India implemented laws in the late 1990s proscribing the commercial use of wild animals, including performances with live snakes.
In Delhi, the state government offered an amnesty for charmers in 2003 but only 10 came forward to register their combined stock of more than 40 snakes.

It was these animals that were tagged with the microchips in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday.
"There are many charmers who did not accept the amnesty and they will be punished if they are caught now with snakes that do not have these electronic chips," Shukla said.

The tagging process was carried out by Goa-based snake expert Nitin Sawant, who injected the chips into the tissue of 42 snakes, including king cobras, common cobras, rat snakes and one red sand boa.

"The idea behind this entire programme was to stop the random collection of fresh snakes by these traditional charmers," said Sawant, adding that many of the animals he tagged were in poor health.

"I told these charmers to give up their profession because they are not capable of looking after their snakes," he said.

The wildlife legislation has emptied most large cities of snake charmers, although a small number can still be seen around major tourist sites in places like New Delhi, risking arrest as they cajole foreign visitors into taking a snapshot for a small fee.

Animal rights groups say snake charmers are cruel impostors who use physical abuse to train the reptiles to move to the sway of their flute-like instruments.

The entertainers generally rip out the snakes' fangs and feed them milk, meaning the animals are unable to catch prey and die when returned to their natural habitat.
_____________________________________________________________
6) Study Using Salamanders Show that Dopamine controls formation of new brain cells Friday, April 8, 2011 e Science News. Source: Karolinska Institutet

A study of the salamander brain has led researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet to discover a hitherto unknown function of the neurotransmitter dopamine. In an article published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell Stem Cell they show how in acting as a kind of switch for stem cells, dopamine controls the formation of new neurons in the adult brain. Their findings may one day contribute to new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's. The study was conducted using salamanders which unlike mammals recover fully from a Parkinson's-like condition within a four week period. Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the death of dopamine-producing cells in the mid-brain. As the salamander re-builds all lost dopamine-producing neurons, the researchers examined how the salamander brain detects the absence of these cells. This question is a fundamental one since it has not been known what causes the ne!
w formation of nerve cells and why the process ceases when the correct number have been made.
What they found out was that the salamander's stem cells are automatically activated when the dopamine concentration drops as a result of the death of dopamine-producing neurons, meaning that the neurotransmitter acts as a constant handbrake on stem cell activity.

"The medicine often given to Parkinson's patients is L-dopa, which is converted into dopamine in the brain," says Dr Andras Simon, who led the study at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. "When the salamanders were treated with L-dopa, the production of new dopamine-producing neurons was almost completely inhibited and the animals were unable to recover. However, the converse also applies. If dopamine signalling is blocked, new neurons are born unnecessarily."

As in mammals, the formation of neurons in the salamander mid-brain is virtually non-existent under normal circumstances. Therefore by studying the salamander, scientists can understand how the production of new nerve cells can be resumed once it has stopped, and how it can be stopped when no more neurons are needed. It is precisely in this regulation that dopamine seems to play a vital part. Many observations also suggest that similar mechanisms are active in other animal species too. Further comparative studies can shed light on how neurotransmitters control stem cells in the brain, knowledge that is of potential use in the development of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

"One way of trying to repair the brain in the future is to stimulate the stem cells that exist there," says Dr Simon. "This is one of the perspectives from which our study is interesting and further work ought to be done on whether L-dopa, which is currently used in the treatment of Parkinson's, could prevent such a process in other species, including humans. Another perspective is how medicines that block dopamine signalling and that are used for other diseases, such as psychoses, affect stem cell dynamics in the brain."

The salamander is a tailed member of the frog family most known for its ability to regenerate lost body parts, such entire limbs.

_____________________________________________________________
7) Salmonella from Pet Frogs Sickens 200+ Monday, April 11th, 2011, NewsInforno.com

A Salmonella outbreak has sickened at least 217 people and is being blamed on pet African dwarf water frogs, according to government health officials, MSNBC reports. Most of those who have fallen ill have been young children.

The infections have all originated from one California frog breeder and the Salmonella has been identified as Salmonella Typhimurium, said MSNBC, which added that the outbreak spans 41 states and has been ongoing since April 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC investigators confirmed the presence of Salmonella in the breeder’s environment in March and tests continue to determine if there is a match to the strain being seen in the nationwide outbreak, added MSNBC.

The infections have been reported in people under one year of age and as old as 73 years of age, with a median age of five, said MSNBC; over 70-percent of those stricken have been under the age of 10 and about 30 percent have required hospitalization.

Interviews with those who have fallen ill revealed that they had contact with the frogs in the days prior to their falling ill and, of those who were able to identify the frog, 84 percent said they were in contact with African dwarf frogs, according to the CDC, wrote MSNBC. People generally fell ill between one week to eight months, with most becoming sick in about 15 days. Most people have cited symptoms that include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

CDC officials said that the California breeding center was first identified as the outbreak source in 2010 and noted that water frogs, such as those involved in this outbreak, are typically kept in “home aquariums and fish tanks,” said MSNBC. In 2009, we wrote that the outbreak had sickened 48 people in 25 states.

Salmonellae are, explained MedPageToday previously, “natural intestinal flora for all reptiles.” The problem with the small reptiles is that children likely handle them differently than they do other reptiles such as “pet snakes, lizards, or iguanas,” noted MedPageToday.

During a massive outbreak in 2007—considered the largest in this country linked to turtles—children handling the small pets experienced an astronomical 41-fold increased risk of Salmonella contamination versus control groups. Emerging evidence points to a rise in reptile-originated Salmonella outbreaks.

While salmonella bacteria are most often associated with food poisoning, a growing percentage initiate with pet reptiles, which can carry a variety of salmonella without symptoms, releasing the germ in their feces. Small pet reptiles are especially troublesome because they are often bred in crowded conditions and are more likely to be given to children as pets.

Very young children are at greatest risk for Salmonella infections and CDC officials warn that water frogs should not be given to children and that frogs should not be introduced to “homes with young children, children’s care centers, hospitals, and nursing homes,” wrote MSNBC. Health officials also point out that not just water frogs, but other amphibians and reptiles, such as turtles, can pose risks.
______________________________________________________________________
8) 150 turtles trapped in single net, die (Olive Ridleys) By DC Correspondent, Deccan Chronicle, 4/10/11

In one of the worst disasters, around 150 Olive Ridley turtles got trapped in a single net and found dead on Kothapeta beach under Vajrapukotturu mandal in Srikakulam district on Friday.

The village sarpanch, Mr Ambati Raju, said he never saw so many dead turtles in his life and blamed the fishermen from Visakhapatnam for not taking preventive measures.

He defended that the local fishermen never used such nets in which the turtles get trapped and dead.

The founder chairman of Visakha society for prevention and care of animals, Mr Pradeep Nath, said the disaster took place as the mechanised boats and trawlers did not using turtle excluding devices.
_______________________________________________________
9) Exciting Nesting News for Two Rare Turtle Species by Heather Lowe on April 08, 2011 from Turtle Survival Alliance

The nesting season for wild Asian river terrapins (Batagur) is winding down, just on the heels of the recently completed Batagur workshop in Singapore and Malaysia in February, and we hope that the training will have an impact on hatching success.

In Myanmar, Kalyar Platt (TSA Turtle Conservation Coordinator) just returned from the upper Chindwin River where she worked with field coordinator Kyaw Moe on the nest protection and egg recovery effort for the critically endangered Burmese roof turtle (Batagur trivittata). They report that in this 2010-2011 nesting season, nesting occurred as early as 9 December 2010 and continued through 26 March 2011. During this period, a total of 179 eggs were recovered for incubation. Approximately six to nine females were thought to have nested along a 48-mile stretch of the river.

Eggs were collected and then reburied in different artificial nests at the same depth as the natural nests. Each nest was enclosed with a fence to contain the emerging hatchlings. To determine nest temperatures I-button temperature loggers were placed in five nests (thank you Gerald Kuchling). The new incubation area on Linpha Beach is constructed on an open, unshaded area in fine and dry sands. Those translocated nests are being monitored daily for emerging hatchlings by noting depressions in the sand over the egg chamber. In previous years, incubation periods ranged from 70 to 170 days, and eggs deposited in December and March hatched about the same time in May when the rainy season begins.

We also have incredible news in Bangladesh, where we have been working hard to secure a breeding group of Sundarbans river terrapins (Batagur baska) - one of Asia's most threatened large river turtles. Rashid, our colleague with CARINAM, reports that on the night of April 1, under a new moon, the female Batagur nested! Details are a bit sketchy, but this is what we know: in the newly excavated pond, the female laid 28 eggs (6 were broken, and 22 were intact), 15 of which have banded. Unfortunately, she did not use the available sand bank but laid them in hard soil and some were exposed and broken. In the second pond, the other two females had been visiting the sand banks, and are believed to have laid but the clutches have not yet been found.

Additionally, Rupali Ghosh reports that our fourth female – still in private hands – laid seven eggs on April 3, then came up and laid another six eggs that she ended up smashing. The good eggs were recovered for incubation elsewhere. Obviously, we have some modifications that must be made to the nesting banks and we are still scratching our heads as to why the females are not using the sand. Regardless, this is a pretty quick start for this emergency rescue program and we aim to be much better prepared next year. Congratulations to Rashid and his team for this tremendous success, and we hope to have even better news in a few months.
_______________________________________________________________________
10) TSA Europe Assists with Illegal Turtle Confiscations by Henk Zwartepoorte on March 29, 2011

Over the past few years in Hong Kong, large numbers of illegally imported and/or traded turtles have been confiscated. On one hand, these confiscations are a good sign of effective law enforcement, but on the other hand it indicates that the mass illegal trade in Asia is on-going. The CITES Hong Kong authorities, in close contact with the Kadoorie Farm Botanic Gardens (KFBG), has offered these confiscated turtles to the TSA for re-homing within TSA assurance colonies and breeding programs.&#8232; &#8232;TSA Europe has played a vital role in re-homing significant numbers of turtles within the European zoos organized within the European Association for Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and the privately managed European Studbook Foundation (ESF). The year 2010 was a particularly busy year for re-homing confiscated shipments.

A history of cooperation with KFBG goes as far back as 2001 when 10,000 turtles were confiscated in Hong Kong and about 6,000 were shipped to the USA and Europe. December 2001 through January 2002 was a very hectic, but well-organized time in all three parts of the world. This large operation put the TSA on the map worldwide. Over the past decade, a total of nine shipments came to Europe comprised of 1500 turtles representing 20 species.

Early in the past decade, the so-called “paperwork period” took a long time, too long some times. During this time, some of the confiscated animals unnecessarily died while waiting in Hong Kong for shipment. These “paperwork periods” has become much shorter in recent years and cooperation with KFBG, CITES, and Hong Kong broker has improved significantly. This improved communication has resulted in much better results for the confiscated animals.

During 2010 three shipments of a total of 122 turtles were sent to Europe. April - 37 turtles arrived: 20 Astrochelys radiata, 1 Geochelone platynota, 1 Cuora mouhoti, 10 Cuora amboinensis, 1 Heosemys depressa, 2 Siebenrockiella crassicollis, 1 Cuora flavomarginata and 1 Indotestudo elongata July - 39 turtles arrived: 7 Heosemys grandis, 10 Cuora amboinensis, 10 Cyclemys dentata, 8 Cuora galbinifrons, 3 Cuora boureti and 1 Malayemys macrocephala November - 46 turtles arrived: 32 Hieremys annandalii, 8 Heosemys grandis, 2 Notochelys platynota, 4 Siebenrockiella crassicollis

All of the animals arrived at Amsterdam airport and as always the KLM animal hotel staff people, airport agent Malenstein Air and customs staff were very cooperative. The animals were distributed among EAZA zoos and ESF privates on the day of their arrival. Thankfully, the private recipients always arrived on time at the airport or at the Rotterdam Zoo and someone was always prepared to arrange transport to the various final destinations within Europe. Beyond the Netherlands, some animals were rehomed as far away as Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, and Austria. We wish to thank all of these private individuals for making these transfers within Europe possible.

All animals will be included in EAZA and ESF studbook/breeding programmes and as such will be part of ex situ assurance colonies. With these colonies, the TSA is aiming at securing these endangered and critically endangered species for the future.

For those of you who would like to support the shipments, medical care and placement of these turtles with a donation to TSA Europe, click here. Given not only the sheer number, but also the size of some of these turtles, shipment costs are anticipated to be high and any support that you can provide would be appreciated. One of the hallmarks of the TSA is our ability to respond quickly to wildlife crises, but we can only do so with your support.

____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

NEW BOOK
Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H. See below for more information and how to order.

Frogs are amazingly diverse—ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown—and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.&#8232;&#8232;Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some p!
eople lick toads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of trees?" and "Do frogs feel pain?"

The authors' easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations provide insight into the amazing biology of this amphibian group. In addressing conservation questions, Dorcas and Gibbons highlight the frightening implications of the current worldwide amphibian crisis, which many scientists predict will bring extinction rates experienced by frog species to levels not seen in any vertebrate animal group in millions of years.&#8232;&#8232;Packed with facts and featuring two color galleries and 70 black-and-white photographs, Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide is sure to address the questions on the minds of curious naturalists.

Mike Dorcas is an associate professor of biology at Davidson College and the author of several books on amphibians and reptiles. Whit Gibbons is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books, most recently Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gibbons and Dorcas coauthored three other books, Snakes of the Southeast, Frogs and Toads of the Southeast, and North American Watersnakes.
____________________________________________________________________
CARL AND EVELYN ERNST HAVE COMPLETELY REVISED THEIR LANDMARK REFERENCE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF NORTH AMERICA TO PRESENT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THESE ANIMALS IN YEARS.
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.

Volume Two will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico.

Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals.

Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal's diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status.

The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation.

Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject.

Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes.

Critical acclaim for Venomous Reptiles of North America"Likely to remain the standard reference for the next 20 years."—SciTech Book News"

Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find in this book a spectacular time-saver... He has done the field of herpetology a great service."—The Quarterly Review of Biology

Carl H. Ernst, professor emeritus at George Mason University and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is coauthor of Turtles of the United States and Canada, also published by Johns Hopkins. Until her recent retirement, Evelyn M. Ernst taught high school chemistry and biology and was an administrator with the National Science Resources Center. Together they wrote Snakes of the United States and Canada.
____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.


FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H

RATTLESNAKES OF THE U.S. AND CANADA, BY MANNY RUBIO [Paperback]
307 Pages Over 200 breathtaking photographs, maps, and images. Eco Press $34.95 plus $6.00 S&H Packed with information on natural history, identification, venom toxicity, and more! Detailed accounts and range maps for each species and subspecies found in the US and Canada.
(One copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $81.00) I have only 5 copies left.

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.

Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife (autographed)
$14.95 + $300 s/h

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00 _______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:43 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 18 4/20/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK
Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H.

Frogs are amazingly diverse—ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown—and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.
See below for more information on the book and how to order ______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Table of Contnets

1) DAKOTA AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE NETWORK (DARN) MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS
2) MASTERS DEGREE IN HERPETOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
3) Melanin-based coloration predicts aggressiveness and boldness in captive eastern Hermann’s tortoises
4) Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques.
5) Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.
6) Disentangling the effects of predator body size and prey density on prey consumption in a lizard
7) Giant Fire-Bellied Toad's Brain Brims With Powerful Germ-Fighters
8) Louisiana, Florida Residents Differ on Views of Long-Term Effects of Oil Spill
9) Future of Asian snakes at stake- Some 60 experts representing close to 20 governments and international and national organizations met to consider conservation priorities and management and enforcement needs related to the trade of snakes.
10) Stalking the wild salamanders of Manhattan
11) Mitigating Amphibian Disease: Strategies to maintain wild populations and control chytridiomycosis ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
New Book
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order. New Book LIFE IN A SHELL: A PHYSIOLOGIST’S VIEW OF A TURTLE by Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
For more and how to order see below.

_____________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
_________________________________________________________________
Or for a $20.00 donation donation receive a copy of hardcover edition of “Diamonds in the Marsh: A Natural History of the Diamondback Terrapin” by Barbara Brennessel. see below for some reviews and how to make your donations

Donate $45.00 or more and get poster and book.

Only 2 copies of the book left.
_______________________________________________________________________
1) DAKOTA AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE NETWORK (DARN) MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS

About the Meeting: Minot State University is hosting the 21 May 2011 DARN annual meeting, and invites you to attend.

The meeting includes:
• the usual scientific paper session
• a field trip to Simcoe Pond
• a visit to the axolotl growth facility of the AGP • free sack lunches provided by the Department of Biology • a free BBQ (perhaps at Simcoe Pond!) • an evening keynote travelogue and lecture by Ken Kozak

Simcoe Pond hosts one species of salamander, five species of frogs, and at least three species of snakes. The field trip will include opportunities to photograph all nine species, sample the drift fence with the Amphibian Growth Project (AGP) team, and pull seines in the pond. Early summer seine samples should provide 2-3 species of tadpoles, as well as larval salamanders. There should also be salamanders, frogs, and the occasional snake that wander into pitfalls in early summer as well. The list of amphibian species includes Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium), Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvatica), Northern Leopard Frog (L. pipiens), Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons). The list of snakes includes Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata), Common Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis), and Smooth Greensnake (Opheodrys vernalis). We’ll provide waders, seines, and dipnets. You bring the c!
ameras.

Ken Kozak is Assistant Professor at the Bell Museum, University of Minnesota. He specializes in the phylogenetics and biogeography of plethodontid salamanders, with heavy emphasis on the remarkable, diverse communities of plethodontids associated with Appalachia.

Call for Papers: If you would like to give a presentation at the meeting about the work you are doing with amphibians and reptiles, send a title and brief summary (which will later be featured in the DARN newsletter) by 14 May 2011 to:

Christopher K. Beachy
Minot State University
Christopher.Beachy@minotstateu.edu
__________________________________________________________________
2) MASTERS DEGREE IN HERPETOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Position Description: The School of Natural Resources & the Environment invites applications from highly motivated, highly qualified, bi-lingual students to conduct Masters Degree research in northwestern Mexico. The project will focus on chelonians, especially including status of and threats to the Desert Tortoise. This is a two-year funded research assistantship.

Duties will include:

Development of thesis project with project leaders.
Field work under rigorous desert and tropical conditions in remote locations.
Development of detailed field and data management protocols.
Coordination with collaborators, authorities, and ranchers in Sonora, Mexico.
Recruitment and coordination of field assistants, including volunteers.
Collection and importation of blood and health samples.
Production assistance for project reports to sponsor and other agencies.

Minimum Required Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, Wildlife Management, Evolutionary Ecology, or related field AND fluency (or near-fluency) in both Spanish and English; candidate must successfully apply to the Graduate Program in the School of Natural Resources & the Environment; ability to work flexibly under difficult field conditions is required.

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

Experience doing ecological fieldwork strongly preferred, especially with amphibians and reptiles; research experience in conservation biology and evolutionary ecology also preferred.

To apply (email acceptable), contact:

Dr. Philip C. Rosen, Research Scientist
School of Natural Resources & Environment University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona 85721
(520)-404-2366
pcrosen@u.arizona.edu
http://snre.arizona.edu

Closing date: Open: 1 June 2011 or until filled.
_____________________________________________________________________
3) Melanin-based coloration predicts aggressiveness and boldness in captive eastern Hermann’s tortoises Animal Behaviour Volume 81, Issue 4, April 2011, Pages 859-863 Alia Maflia, Kazumasa Wakamatsub, 1 and Alexandre Roulina, , a Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland b School of Health Sciences, Fujita Health University, Japan Received 22 June 2010; revised 20 September 2010; accepted 25 January 2011. MS. number: 10-00446R. Available online 23 February 2011.

Although body coloration is often used in social interactions, few studies have tested whether it is linked to a suite of behavioural traits. We examined whether among captive adult male eastern Hermann’s tortoises, Eurotestudo boettgeri, behavioural patterns covary with eumelanic coloration of the shell. Dark eumelanic males were more aggressive in male–male confrontations and bolder towards humans. These relationships were independent of body size and ambient temperature. Activity level and exploration were not significantly associated with coloration. We conclude that, at least in captivity, melanic shell coloration predicts agonistic behaviour towards conspecifics and fearfulness towards humans (i.e. boldness).

Keywords: activity; aggressiveness; behavioural syndrome; boldness; coloration; Eurotestudo boettgeri; exploration; melanin; personality; tortoise Article Outline Methods Study Organism Study Site and Outdoor Maintenance Assessment of Shell Coloration Assessment of Aggressiveness Towards Conspecifics Assessment of Fearfulness Towards Humans Assessment of Exploration Behaviour Assessment of Activity Level Statistical Procedure Ethical Note Results Repeatability and Covariation Between Behavioural Traits Coloration, Body Size and Body Mass Gain Coloration and Behaviour Discussion Acknowledgements References

Correspondence: A. Roulin, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
1 K. Wakamatsu is at the School of Health Sciences, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Aichi 470-1192, Japan.
____________________________________________________________________________
4) Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques.
LC Alworth, SM Hernandez, and SJ Divers
J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci, January 1, 2011; 50(1): 11-26.

Departments of Population Health, University Research Animal Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA. alworth@uga.edu.

Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purpos!
es or to provide medical care to research subjects.
_____________________________________________________________________________
5) Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.
A Swei, RS Ostfeld, RS Lane, and CJ Briggs Proc R Soc B, February 16, 2011; .
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, , 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA.

The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus-the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae fail!
ed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors.
________________________________________________________________________
6) Disentangling the effects of predator body size and prey density on prey consumption in a lizard Manuela González-Suárez1,*,†, Marianne Mugabo1, Beatriz Decencière2, Samuel Perret2, David Claessen1,3, Jean-François Le Galliard1,2 Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 Functional Ecology, pages 158–165,

How to Cite
González-Suárez, M., Mugabo, M., Decencière, B., Perret, S., Claessen, D. and Le Galliard, J.-F. , Disentangling the effects of predator body size and prey density on prey consumption in a lizard. Functional Ecology, 158–165. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2010.01776.x

Author Information
1 CNRS/UPMC/ENS 7625, Écologie & Évolution, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 7 Quai St Bernard, 75005 Paris, France
2 CNRS/UPMC/ENS 3194, CEREEP–Ecotron IleDeFrance, École Normale Supérieure, 78 rue du Château, 77140 St-Pierre-lès-Nemours, France
3 CERES-ERTI, École Normale Supérieure, 24 Rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
*Correspondence: Manuela González-Suárez,
*Correspondence: Correspondence author. E-mail: manuela.gonzalez@ebd.csic.es ††Present address. Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC, Calle Américo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain.&#8232;


Summary
1.&#8194; Understanding proximate determinants of predation rates is a central question in ecology. Studies often use functional response (density dependent) or allometric (mass dependent) models but approaches that consider multiple factors are critical to capture the complexity in predator–prey interactions. We present a novel comprehensive approach to understand predation rates based on field data obtained from a vertebrate predator.
2.&#8194;Estimates of food consumption and prey abundance were obtained from 21 semi-natural populations of the lizard Zootoca vivipara. We identified the most parsimonious feeding rate function exploring allometric, simple functional response and allometric functional response models. Each group included effects of sex and weather conditions.
3.&#8194;Allometric models reveal the importance of predator mass and sex: larger females have the highest natural feeding rates. Functional response models show that the effect of prey density is best represented by a Holling type II response model with a mass, sex and weather dependent attack rate and a constant handling time. However, the best functional response model only received moderate support compared to simpler allometric models based only on predator mass and sex.
4.&#8194; Despite this limited effect of prey densities on feeding rates, we detected a significant negative relationship between an index of preferred prey biomass and lizard density.
5.&#8194; Functional response models that ignore individual variation are likely to misrepresent trophic interactions. However, simpler models based on individual traits may be best supported by some data than complex allometric functional responses. These results illustrate the importance of considering individual, population and environmental effects while also exploring simple models.
_____________________________________________________________________
7) Giant Fire-Bellied Toad's Brain Brims With Powerful Germ-Fighters

ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — Frog and toad skins already are renowned as cornucopias of hundreds of germ-fighting substances. Now a new report in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research reveals that the toad brains also may contain an abundance of antibacterial and antiviral substances that could inspire a new generation of medicines.

Ren Lai and colleagues point out that scientists know little about the germ-fighting proteins in amphibian brains, despite many studies showing that amphibians synthesize and secrete a remarkably diverse array of antimicrobial substances in their skin. So they decided to begin filling that knowledge gap by analyzing brains from the Giant Fire-Bellied Toad and the Small-webbed Bell Toad.
They discovered 79 different antimicrobial peptides, the components of proteins, including 59 that were totally new to science. The diversity of the peptides "is, to our knowledge, the most extreme yet described for any animal brains," they noted. Some of the peptides showed strong antimicrobial activity, crippling or killing strains of staph bacteria, E. coli, and the fungus that causes yeast infections in humans. These promising findings suggest that the toad brains might be a valuable source for developing new antibacterial and antiviral drugs.

The researchers acknowledge funding from the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Journal Reference:
Rui Liu, Huan Liu, Yufang Ma, Jing Wu, Hailong Yang, Huahu Ye, Ren Lai. There are Abundant Antimicrobial Peptides in Brains of Two Kinds ofBombinaToads. Journal of Proteome Research, 2011; 10 (4): 1806 DOI: 10.1021/pr101285n ____________________________________________________________________________
8) Louisiana, Florida Residents Differ on Views of Long-Term Effects of Oil Spill ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) —

One year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on the Gulf Coast, new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire shows that despite the roughly equivalent economic compensation, Louisiana and Florida residents differ in perceptions about the current and long-term effects of the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.

"Louisiana residents were more likely than Floridians to say their family suffered major economic setbacks because of the spill, to expect compensation by BP, and plan to leave the region as a result of the spill. Louisianans also were more likely to think their state and local governments were doing an excellent job responding to the spill and to trust newspapers as a source of information regarding the spill," said Jessica Ulrich, a doctoral student in sociology at UNH and research assistant at the Carsey Institute.

The research is part of the Carsey Institute's Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) initiative. Since 2007, Carsey Institute researchers have conducted nearly 19,000 telephone surveys with randomly selected adult Americans (age 18 and above) from 12 diverse rural locations.
Carsey researchers surveyed 2,023 residents of the Gulf Coast following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April 2010. During the late summer, while oil was still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, researchers conducted telephone interviews with 1,017 residents of Louisiana's Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes and 1,006 residents of Florida's Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties.
Respondents were asked how they perceived the oil spill to be affecting their families, communities, and the environment, their levels of trust in sources of information about the spill, and whether they perceived institutional responses to the spill as effective.

The key findings show:

Nearly one-half of all Gulf Coast residents (48 percent) perceived damage to the environment and wildlife as the most serious result of the oil spill.

Perceptions regarding the impact of the spill reflect the economic differences in the two states -- Floridians are most concerned about effects on tourism and Louisianans on the fishing and oil industries.

The majority of Gulf Coast residents thought that the economy, fishing industry, beaches, and wildlife would recover within a few years after the spill.

Gulf Coast residents had little faith in BP to rectify the situation after the oil spill. Fifty-nine percent did not trust the information BP provided about the spill, and 69 percent thought BP was doing a poor or fair job responding effectively to the spill.

Although more than one-half of the respondents from both states experienced either major or minor economic effects from the Gulf oil spill, only 16 percent of Floridians and 18 percent of Louisianans have been compensated or expect that BP will compensate them for the losses.

Louisianans were more than twice as likely as Floridians to think that their state and local governments were doing an excellent job responding to the spill. Approximately three-fourths (77 percent) of Gulf Coast residents thought that the federal government was doing a poor or fair job responding.

Nine out of 10 Gulf Coast residents plan to remain in the region despite the economic and environmental impacts of the spill. Those planning to move because of the spill are more likely to be Louisianans than Floridians.

"CERA surveys, such as the one conducted in the Gulf in the wake of the BP spill, can gather important subjective information about perceptions of changes occurring in rural America. The findings can be utilized by local leaders, policy makers, and disaster response teams to help foster healthy and sustainable communities that can rebound from -- and perhaps prevent -- even large-scale disasters like the BP oil spill," Ulrich said.
_______________________________________________________________________
9) Future of Asian snakes at stake- Some 60 experts representing close to 20 governments and international and national organizations met to consider conservation priorities and management and enforcement needs related to the trade of snakes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Press Release - TRAFFIC in CITES, Herpetological

A crucial meeting that could decide the future of Asia’s traded snake species takes place this week in Guangzhou, China. &#8232;&#8232;Some 60 experts representing close to 20 governments and international and national organizations are meeting to consider conservation priorities and management and enforcement needs related to the trade of snakes. &#8232;&#8232;

They will focus on the markets and commercial trade in snakes originating in East, South, and South-east Asia. &#8232;&#8232;Asian snakes are consumed locally and in neighbouring countries for food, traditional medicines and for their skins. They are also sold as pets and found in expensive luxury leather goods and accessories in the boutiques of Europe and North America.

Their skins are often processed in various countries of re-export along the way. &#8232;&#8232;According to a wildlife trade policy review conducted in Viet Nam, the income from snake breeding is three to five times higher than the income generated by vegetable and crop cultivation, and dozens of times higher than the income from pig and cattle breeding. &#8232;&#8232;TRAFFIC has previously raised concern over the international exports of Oriental Rat Snakes Ptyas mucosus from Indonesia, after investigations revealed large numbers were harvested and traded outside of existing government regulations. &#8232;&#8232;

TRAFFIC found government-set quotas were being widely-flouted, leading to over-harvesting and illegal trade; and with no marking of skins taking place, it was impossible to track them through the trade chain to point of export. &#8232;&#8232;“TRAFFIC welcomes the current spotlight on the international trade in Asian snakes, which is placing many species on the conservation danger list,” said Dr William Schaedla, Director of TRAFFIC South-east Asia.&#8232;&#8232;“Snakes are clearly vital to natural ecosystems and to the economy of the region—it is in Asia’s interests to ensure snakes have a sustainable future.” &#8232;&#8232;The global trade in snakes involves snake species from many different countries, with specimens taken from the wild or bred in captivity. &#8232;&#8232;However, populations of some snakes have declined significantly through a combination of unsustainable use and habitat loss.

Of the 3,315 snake species globally recognized, one third occur in Asia, many of them endemic to particular countries: Indonesia has 128 endemic snake species, India 112, China 54, Papua New Guinea 42, Sri Lanka 41, and the Philippines 32. &#8232;&#8232;CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) regulates international trade in 130 snake species, 45 of them found in range States in the Asian countries attending the workshop. &#8232;&#8232;John Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES, stated: “the global trade in snakes is an industry of considerable socio-economic importance for rural populations in several Asian countries. &#8232;&#8232;“CITES is the main international tool to regulate effectively international snake trade in many of these species. &#8232;&#8232;“The recommendations coming out of this meeting will be critical in addressing the wildlife conservation, sustainable use and livelihood aspects of such trade, and puttin!
g forward expert recommendations to CITES governing bodies for future directions.” &#8232;&#8232;The technical workshop runs until 14th April under the leadership of CITES and brings together government experts, members of the CITES Animals Committee and organizations including IUCN and several of its Species Survival Commission specialist groups, TRAFFIC, WCS, UNCTAD-BioTrade, the China Wildlife Conservation Association and China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. &#8232; Article originally appeared on TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org/) _____________________________________________________________________

10) Stalking the wild salamanders of Manhattan

http://www.grist.org/cities/2011-04-18- ... -manhattan
for photo

If I asked you where the picture above was probably taken, I don't think your first answer would be Manhattan.

But that's exactly where I found this fine-looking red-backed salamander: In a brushy, overgrown part of a park in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

This is the second time I've gone salamander-hunting in this spot. Here's how you do it: You get off the subway and walk a few blocks, along streets where merengue music is blaring from the storefronts, past the sidewalk food vendors and the cellphone stores and a group handing out flyers for a candidate in the upcoming Dominican presidential election.

Then, just a few minutes later, you are flushing robins from the forest floor as you clamber up a steep hill. Step off the path. Start turning over logs. You'll find salamanders under every other one (be careful, they are fragile creatures).

I think this is a banded snail. Anyone out there know for sure?Photo: Sarah GoodyearOn this particular day, we also found some strange golden ants; what I think is a banded snail (any snail experts out there?); and, along the more traveled parts of the trail, way too much broken glass.

The red-backed salamander is what is known as a lungless salamander, which means just what it says. It breathes through its skin. So it is particularly sensitive to water contamination. This is an animal that must have moist, clean leaf litter and earth to survive. The abundant water seeping through the granite outcroppings of Upper Manhattan makes this place a perfect habitat.

People tend to get excited about seeing big wild animals in the city. Red-tailed hawks, raccoons, coyotes, wild turkeys -- they get all the press. It's understandable. It's hard to imagine giving a name to a salamander.

To me, though, it is the salamanders that amaze. Just a couple of inches long, so slight and slim that they can disappear into the leaves with a flash, these tiny amphibians are living their lives without any reference to humanity, smack in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.

They are like a secret the park keeps for us, a memory of another time in the life of this island. It is a time we think of as being gone forever. The salamander is proof that it is not.
____________________________________________________________________________
11)Mitigating Amphibian Disease: Strategies to maintain wild populations and control chytridiomycosis

7th Space Interactive, 2/14/11

Rescuing amphibian diversity is an achievable conservation challenge. Disease mitigation is one essential component of population management.

Here we assess existing disease mitigation strategies, some in early experimental stages, which focus on the globally emerging chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We discuss the precedent for each strategy in systems ranging from agriculture to human medicine, and the outlook for each strategy in terms of research needs and long-term potential.

Results: We find that the effects of exposure to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis occur on a spectrum from transient commensal to lethal pathogen.

Management priorities are divided between (1) halting pathogen spread and developing survival assurance colonies, and (2) prophylactic or remedial disease treatment. Epidemiological models of chytridiomycosis suggest that mitigation strategies can control disease without eliminating the pathogen.

Ecological ethics guide wildlife disease research, but several ethical questions remain for managing disease in the field.

Conclusions: Because sustainable conservation of amphibians in nature is dependent on long-term population persistence and co-evolution with potentially lethal pathogens, we suggest that disease mitigation not focus exclusively on the elimination or containment of the pathogen, or on the captive breeding of amphibian hosts. Rather, successful disease mitigation must be context specific with epidemiologically informed strategies to manage already infected populations by decreasing pathogenicity and host susceptibility.

We propose population level treatments based on three steps: first, identify mechanisms of disease suppression; second, parameterize epizootiological models of disease and population dynamics for testing under semi-natural conditions; and third, begin a process of adaptive management in field trials with natural populations.

Author: Douglas WoodhamsJaime BoschCheryl BriggsScott CashinsLeyla DavisAntje LauerErin MuthsRobert PuschendorfBenedikt SchmidtBrandon SheaforJamie Voyles
Credits/Source: Frontiers in Zoology 2011, 8:8 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Editorial Reviews of Diamonds in the Marsh - A Natural History of the Diamondback Terrapin by Barbara Bresnell. Only a $20.00 Donation . S&H included.

"A serious treatment of the natural history of one of the most beloved creatures of the Eastern Seaboard... well illustrated with photographs."--Natural New England Magazine

"A comprehensive natural history such as Diamonds in the Marsh is an invaluable tool in the study and conservations of a species, and can provide a solid foundation for future research, conservation, and management decisions. Brennessel effectively pulls together the bulk of literature on the diamondback and communicates it to the reader in a generally clear, uncluttered fashion so as to make it not only a resource for researchers, but also an interesting read for reptile aficionados."--Herpetological Review

"Useful for anyone interested in coastal species or reptiles."--Northeastern Naturalist

________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H. See below for more information and how to order.

Frogs are amazingly diverse—ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown—and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.&#8232;&#8232;Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some p!
eople lick toads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of _________________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

CARL AND EVELYN ERNST HAVE COMPLETELY REVISED THEIR LANDMARK REFERENCE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF NORTH AMERICA TO PRESENT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THESE ANIMALS IN YEARS.
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.

Volume Two will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico.

Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals.

Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal's diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status.

The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation.

Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject.

Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes.

Critical acclaim for Venomous Reptiles of North America"Likely to remain the standard reference for the next 20 years."—SciTech Book News"

Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find in this book a spectacular time-saver... He has done the field of herpetology a great service."—The Quarterly Review of Biology

Carl H. Ernst, professor emeritus at George Mason University and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is coauthor of Turtles of the United States and Canada, also published by Johns Hopkins. Until her recent retirement, Evelyn M. Ernst taught high school chemistry and biology and was an administrator with the National Science Resources Center. Together they wrote Snakes of the United States and Canada.
____________________________________________________________________

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.

FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $40.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is now $167.82) I have only 1 copy left.

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors


SNAKES: ECCOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel Editors, A Comstock Book, $60.00 Cloth, 2009 284 Pages, 6 1/8, 10 tables, 26 charts/graphs, 5 maps, 2 line drawings 2 halftones.

The first book on snakes written with a focus on conservation, editors Stephen J. Mullin and Richard A. Seigel bring together leading herpetologists to review and synthesize the ecology, conservation, and management of snakes worldwide. These experts report on advances in current research and summarize the primary literature, presenting the most important concepts and techniques in snake ecology and conservation.

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:29 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 19 4/24/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Sorry - out of “Diamonds In the Marsh” book. Turtle Posters for only a $25.00 Donations still available. For more information see below.
_________________________________________________________________________
New Book

VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order. New Book LIFE IN A SHELL: A PHYSIOLOGIST‚S VIEW OF A TURTLE by Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
For more and how to order see below.
___________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1 ARKive http://www.arkive.org/
Mission-Promoting the Conservation of the World's Threatened Species, Through the Power of Wildlife Imagery
2) Giant tortoises show rewilding can work (Aldabra tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea)
3) Male snake choose to 'abandon food source than losing their penis'
4) Olive Ridley baby turtles emerge from mass nesting site (India)
5) Satellite tracking of sea turtles reveals potential threat posed by manmade chemicals
6) Conservationists sound alarm over Madagascar's Radiated Tortoise
7) Austrian frogs pinched by Italians
8) Ratting out Sydney's cane toad menace
9) Researchers jump to a conclusion on toads' breeding lair
10) American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802) invasion in Argentina _____________________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK
Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H.

Frogs are amazingly diverse˜ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown˜and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.
See below for more information on the book and how to order (Only two left)

__________________________________________________________________
1) ARKive http://www.arkive.org/

"A vast treasury of wildlife images has been steadily accumulating over the past century, yet no one has known its full extent - or indeed its gaps - and no one has had a comprehensive way of gaining access to it. ARKive will put that right, and it will be an invaluable tool for all concerned with the well-being of the natural world."
Sir David Attenborough
Wildscreen Patron

Mission
Promoting the Conservation of the World's Threatened Species, Through the Power of Wildlife Imagery With species extinction now occurring at a faster rate than at any time in Earth's history, effective awareness raising and education programmes are ever more vital. Powerful wildlife imagery is an emotive and effective means of building environmental awareness and engagement, and quick and easy access to this imagery is essential in the digital mass communications society we live in today.
However, until now, this valuable imagery has been scattered throughout the world, in a wide variety of private, commercial and specialist collections, with no centralised collection, restricted public access, limited educational use, and no co-ordinated strategy for its long term preservation.
ARKive is now putting that right, gathering together the very best films and photographs of the world's species into one centralised digital library, to create a unique audio-visual record of life on Earth, prioritising those species at most risk of extinction. Preserved and maintained for future generations, ARKive is making this key resource accessible to all, from scientists and conservationists to the general public and school children, via its award-winning website - www.arkive.org

Contributors
The ARKive project has unique access to the very best of the world's wildlife films and photographs, with more than 3,500 of the world's leading filmmakers and photographers actively contributing to the project, and giving ARKive unprecedented access to their materials. Contributors include the most famous names in natural history broadcasting, commercial film and picture agencies, leading academic institutions and international conservation organisations, as well as myriad individual filmmakers, photographers, scientists and conservationists.
Please see the Media donors section for more information.

Supporters
ARKive also has the backing of the world's leading conservation organisations, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, IUCN, UNEP-WCMC, and WWF, as well as leading academic and research institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, London; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the Smithsonian Institution. ARKive's web-based materials reciprocally link with and highlight the work of these organisations and others, helping promote their activities to ARKive's wide civil-society user base.
ARKive is also pleased to be working with Google to produce ARKive featured layers on Google Earth, and is a member of the Institutional Council of the Encyclopedia of Life, and a key content provider.

Goals and objectives
ARKive has achieved significant success since its launch in 2003, with numerous awards and accolades, fantastic visitor rates from all round the world and an impressive line-up of international partners and strategic alliances. ARKive's priority is now the completion of audio-visual profiles for the c. 17,000 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Wildscreen
ARKive is a Wildscreen initiative: a not-for-profit charity organisation, with a long standing reputation for being at the heart of the international wildlife media industry. Wildscreen's mission is to promote the public understanding and appreciation of the world's biodiversity and the need for its conservation, through the power of wildlife imagery.

The ARKive project is also supported by Wildscreen USA, Inc., a non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC.

Please see the Wildscreen section for more information.

"ARKive is a noble project - one of the most valuable in all biology and conservation practice."
Professor E. O. Wilson
Harvard University
________________________________________________________________
Giant tortoises show rewilding can work

'Rewilding with taxon substitutes', the intentional introduction of exotic species to fulfil key functions in ecosystems following the loss of recently extinct species, is highly controversial, partly due to a lack of rigorous scientific studies.

In a paper published today in Current Biology, Christine Griffiths of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and colleagues present the first empirical evidence that rewilding can work.
Exotic giant Aldabra tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea, were introduced to Ile aux Aigrettes, a 25-hectare island off Mauritius, in 2000 to disperse the slow-growing ebony Diospyros egrettarum (Ebenaceae), which once covered the island, but today is critically endangered following intensive logging for firewood that lasted until the early 1980s.

To highlight the extent to which the ebony forest had been decimated, the researchers surveyed and mapped all ebony trees in an island-wide survey in 2007 and located a total of 3,518 adult trees. However, large tracts of the island remained denuded of ebony, particularly in the northern and eastern coastal areas nearest to the mainland where logging was most intense.

There had been no regeneration in these areas even though logging ceased thirty years ago because, with the extinction of the island's native giant tortoises, there were no large fruit-eating animals left to disperse the seeds of these critically-endangered trees.

The introduced Aldabra tortoises not only ingested the large fruits and dispersed large numbers of ebony seeds, but the process of passing through a tortoise's gut also improved seed germination, leading to the widespread, successful establishment of new ebony seedlings in the heavily logged parts of the island.

Christine Griffiths said: "Our results demonstrate that the introduction of these effective seed dispersers is aiding the recovery of this critically endangered tree whose seeds were previously seed-dispersal limited. Reversible rewilding experiments such as ours are necessary to investigate whether extinct interactions can be restored."

Professor Stephen Harris, co-author of the study, said: "Ecological restoration projects generally involve the plant community, as more often the animal components are extinct. There is, however, increasing evidence that restoration ecologists should be most concerned with the decline of species interactions, rather than species extinctions per se. Species interactions structure ecological communities, and provide essential ecosystem processes and functions such as pollination, seed dispersal and browsing, that are necessary for the self-regulation and persistence of a community."

Contact: Hannah Johnson
hannah.johnson@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8896
University of Bristol
__________________________________________________________________
3) Male snake choose to 'abandon food source than losing their penis'
By ANI | ANI – Tue, Apr 19, 2011 4:00 PM IST

Melbourne, April 19 (ANI): A new research has suggested that fight or flee Snakes on a small Taiwanese island would rather abandon a food source than risk losing their twin penis.

In their study of the kukrisnake (Oligodon formosanus), the team of Australian and Taiwanese researchers claimed to have documented for the first time a case of snakes being territorial.

They observed that male snakes usually found the nests first; but then females would arrive and turf them out. However, if a second female arrived, after an initial combat they would often share the resource.

Why they behave like this comes down to a combination of dentition (they aren't called the 'kukri' snake for nothing), aggressive-defensive behaviour and the male's sex organs.

"The kukrisnakes, with these very large blade like teeth, make a huge slashing wound. It's a really nasty bite," the ABC Science quoted co-author of the study, Rick Shine of University of Sydney, as saying.
"[They] also have a defence display where they lift the back part of their body and they wave their tail around," added Shine.

Shine said this behaviour is quite common in snakes and is designed to confuse birds or other predatory animals.
"The male [kukrisankes] actually take it further and evert their hemipenis (twin penis) and wave them around," he said.

"This is a bad idea if there's an aggressive snake with very large teeth, that's going to slash away at the first thing you poke towards her. A good bite in that part of their anatomy, and their evolutionary fitness has probably come to an end," he added.

So when confronted, the male snakes abandon the eggs rather than risk cutting short their reproductivity.

"This is a spectacular example of how little we know about the private lives of animals and the way evolutionary processes can throw up exceptions to almost any rule that we come up with," said Shine.

The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI) _____________________________________________________________________________
4) Olive Ridley baby turtles emerge from mass nesting site Press Trust of India,

Kendrapara (Orissa), Apr 20 (PTI) Millions of rare baby Olive Ridley turtles have begun emerging from the egg-shells along the one kilometre long tranquil Gahirmatha beach off the sea in Orissa.&#8232;&#8232;Since Monday evening, the baby turtles have begun emerging out of eggshells marking the culmination of the annual rendezvous of these marine species, wildlife officials said today.&#8232;&#8232;

Newborn hatchlings have begun emerging from their nests at the nesting grounds at south eastern Nasi islands of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.&#8232;&#8232;"Adverse weather condition prevented forest personnel from witnessing the matchless natural phenomenon. The area is now inaccessible because of rough sea and tide-infested rivulet.&#8232;&#8232;

However, the forest patrol squad is stationed at the desolate beach to ensure the safe seaward voyage of turtle hatchlings," said Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division.
_______________________________________________________________________
5) Satellite tracking of sea turtles reveals potential threat posed by manmade chemicals Phys.org.com , April 20, 2011

The first research to actively analyze adult male sea turtles (Caretta caretta) using satellite tracking to link geography with pollutants has revealed the potential risks posed to this threatened species by manmade chemicals. The research, published today in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, examines the different levels of chemicals in the blood of both migratory and residential turtles.
"The risks posed by persistent organic pollutants (POPs) remain largely a mystery for threatened loggerhead sea turtles," said lead author Jared Ragland from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. "A clear understanding of these risks is critical for wildlife managers trying to maintain both the health of reproductively active individuals and a sustainable population overall."

Twenty-nine turtles were captured near Port Canaveral, Florida and fitted with satellite transmitters as part of a National Marine Fisheries Service-funded project. Blood was analyzed for traces of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and toxaphenes, chemicals documented to have carcinogenic and neurodevelopmental effects.
Of the 29 turtles tracked, 19 were analyzed for POPs for which they were separated into two groups and tracked for 60 days. Ten transient turtles travelled north along the U.S. Atlantic coast, eventually arriving in shelf water between New Jersey and South Carolina, while nine turtles remained resident at Cape Canaveral.

The tracking data revealed significantly different movement patterns between transient and resident adult males. Individuals migrating north after breeding season were found to have elevated blood plasma concentrations of POPs, putting them at higher risk to toxic effects compared to the turtles that remained in Florida.

The findings support the idea that foraging location can influence exposure to, and patterns of, POPs in highly mobile species such as sea turtles. Migrating turtles face cumulative poisoning as contaminants infiltrate the food chain through prey species, such as crabs.

"Our research is the first to examine POPs in the rarely studied adult male sea turtle and to couple contaminant measurements with satellite tracking," concluded Ragland. "Although the turtle has been listed as threatened for more than 30 years, it is only now that we can begin to examine the effects of manmade chemicals on these animals in the wild."
________________________________________________________________
6) Conservationists sound alarm over Madagascar's Radiated Tortoise Traffic, Ryan Walker, By RFI 4/16/11

Conservationists say a 'Tortoise Mafia' is driving Madagascar's tortoises to extinction. Armed gangs of up to 100 have been sweeping the countryside for their slow-moving prey. They say insatiable appetites at home for the meat and as pets in booming Asian markets are leaving species such as the Radiated Tortoise close to extinction.

Formerly protected under a cultural taboo among local tribes in southwest Madagascar, tortoise meat used to be served up only on special occasions. Conservation groups now say immigration and poor harvests have led to massive and unsustainable consumption.

They claim the streets are littered with the remnants of hundreds of pieces of tortoise shells as some communities eat the meat as a part of their daily diet.

Ryan Walker, biologist at Nautilus Ecology, says the large and slow-moving Radiated Tortoise is literally defenseless against a poaching 'mafia', as are the communities that try to respect the or tortoise.
Traffic, an organization that monitors trade in endangered wildlife, recently reported that the stunningly beautiful Radiated Tortoise is the most common tortoise in Asia's illegal pet-markets.

Smugglers are known to pack up to 400 tortoises the size of grapefruits into suitcases to fly from Madagascar to Bangkok in Thailand.
______________________________________________
7) Austrian frogs pinched by Italians

BigPond News, April 20, 2011 -Austrian Wildlife authoritiesare hopping mad that efforts to save the local frog population are being hampered by Italian poachers.

Officials in southern Austrian province Carinthia say poachers are collecting frogs from the roadside buckets they have been guided into to save them from busy highways, and are then smuggling them home to Italian dinner tables.

Frogs' legs are a delicacy in some parts of Italy and officials have told Austrian state television that the victims tend to be those with the meatiest thighs.

Frogs attempting to cross some Austrian highways are channelled by a series of fences into roadside buckets. Once a day, volunteers collect the buckets and carry the amphibians to the other side of the road and set them free.

But 'the Italians strike before the frog pickers come', says Carinthian environmental official Bernhard Gutleb.

The delicacy can be costly. Officials warn that those caught with their hand in the bucket face fines up to 3600 euros ($A4889).

Nearly one third of the world's 6485 frog species are on the brink of extinction, according to Save The Frogs - a nonprofit organisation dedicated to amphibian conservation.
______________________________________________________________________
8) Ratting out Sydney's cane toad menace By Sally Block, ABC News, Apr 20, 2011

A state of origin match is being played out in Sydney's drains, but unlike the real thing it is the Queenslanders being massacred.

It has been discovered that a colony of cane toads who hitched a ride from the sunshine state are being eaten by the local rodents.

Cane toads were discovered some time ago in an industrial area of Taren Point, in Sydney's south.
Since then the local council, State Government and scientists have been working to eradicate them.
University of Sydney biologist Rick Shine, a passionate toad buster, says toads have been fitted with radio transmitters to monitor their behaviour.

Professor Shine says one of the "entertaining" things to emerge from the monitoring is how rats are munching away on the toads and living to tell the tale.

"The toads quite frequently use drains as cover and the drains contain rats, which we don't normally think of as our best friends," Professor Shine said.

"But rats evolved in the northern hemisphere, in the same place that toads did, and they're capable of dealing with the toad's poison.

"So one of our telemetered toads got massacred and eaten by a rat.
"Unlike a native predator, which a toad would be a fatal meal for, for a rat a toad's just a pretty nice breakfast.

"So we may have some of the old invaders helping get rid of some of the new invaders.
Professor Shine says they have also discovered a Sydney breeding ground for the pests, a pond of tadpoles.

He says it is the "Achilles heel" of the breeding cycle.
"It's a big step in controlling the breeding of the toad as one female can produce as many as 30,000 eggs," Professor Shine.

The tadpoles are euthanised.

He says there are hundreds of the toads in the Shire and hundreds more arrive every year by hopping on trucks carrying things like building materials and mulch from Queensland.
Professor Shine says because the toads are such effective stowaways they will keep on coming.
A toad was found in Launceston in Tasmania's north last week after apparently hitching a ride in a container at Christmas time.

There are several records of toad sightings in other areas in Sydney, but Taren Point seems to be their favourite home.
____________________________________________________________________________
9) Researchers jump to a conclusion on toads' breeding lair Nicky Phillips Science,The AGe.com, 4/20/11

AT LAST, the secret hideaway of cane toads has been found.

In the largest investigation of its kind, scientists and council workers used radio tracking devices to uncover Sydney's first known breeding site for the pests: a pond in an industrial park in the Sutherland Shire.

And after tracking and capturing about 500 toads, scientists believe they have stopped the pests taking a foot-hold in the city.

The mayor of Sutherland, Phil Blight, said the occasional ''hitch-hiking'' cane toad had been found in the Taren Point industrial area over several years.

''But last year our pest control officer found increasing numbers and we suspected there was breeding occurring,'' he said.

The council asked people to report any sightings, organised volunteer toad musters and trained a young labrador to sniff out the pests.

Then researchers from the University of Sydney were brought in to attach radio tracking devices to the backs of several cane toads - and within a few days, the toads' lair had been found.
So far the onslaught seems to be working, Cr Blight said, adding this year the numbers appeared to be declining considerably.

A cane toad researcher from the University of Sydney, Rick Shine, said the program was a terrific example of a co-ordinated attack on a potentially serious problem.
_______________________________________________
10) American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802) invasion in Argentina Biodiversity and Conseration, Vol 20, Issue 5 Javier Nori, Mauricio S. Akmentins, Romina Ghirardi, Nicolás Frutos and Gerardo C. Leynaud

Abstract
The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has been introduced throughout the world over the past two centuries. This taxa is a potentially devastating invader because of its large size, prolific reproductive output, and broad ecological niche. Consequently, the extent of this ongoing biological invasion is an increasing conservation concern. In Argentina, several introduced populations have been reported. In most cases, these introductions have been intentional or incidental releases from breeding facilities, yet the consequences and effective controls for captive-breeding programs have not been assessed by government environmental agencies. Further studies are needed regarding the trophic ecology, reproductive biology, ecological niche, and chytrid fungus infection prevalence to predict the ultimate impacts of this species on native ecosystems. The aim of this work is to report a new alien population of L. catesbeianus at La Candelaria, Salta province, Argentina. This!
record represents the first population of American bullfrogs detected in northwestern Argentina.

Author’s contacts:

Javier Nori(12)javiernori@gmail.com
Mauricio S. Akmentins(345)
Romina Ghirardi(36)
Nicolás Frutos(37)
Gerardo C. Leynaud(1)
Author Affiliations
Laboratorio de Herpetología y Animales Venenosos, Centro de Zoología Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Rondeau 798, 5000 Cordoba, Argentina Museo Patagónico de Ciencias Naturales, Av. Roca 1250, General Roca, Río Negro 8332, Argentina CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina Centro de Investigaciones Básicas y Aplicadas (CIBA), Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Gorriti 237, 4600 S. S. Jujuy, Argentina Instituto de Bio y Geociencias del NOA (IBIGEO), Universidad Nacional de Salta, Mendoza 2, 4400 Salta, Argentina Instituto Nacional de Limnología (CONICET_UNL), Ciudad Universitaria, Paraje El Pozo, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina Instituto de Altos Estudios Espaciales Mario Gulich, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Ruta C45 km 8, Falda de Cañete, 5187 Cordoba, Argentina



_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

NEW BOOK

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H. See below for more information and how to order.

Frogs are amazingly diverse˜ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown˜and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.&#8232;&#8232;Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some p!
eople lick toads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of the leaves of trees?" and "Do frogs feel pain?"

The authors' easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations provide insight into the amazing biology of this amphibian group. In addressing conservation questions, Dorcas and Gibbons highlight the frightening implications of the current worldwide amphibian crisis, which many scientists predict will bring extinction rates experienced by frog species to levels not seen in any vertebrate animal group in millions of years.&#8232;&#8232;Packed with facts and featuring two color galleries and 70 black-and-white photographs, Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide is sure to address the questions on the minds of curious naturalists.

Mike Dorcas is an associate professor of biology at Davidson College and the author of several books on amphibians and reptiles. Whit Gibbons is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books, most recently Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gibbons and Dorcas coauthored three other books, Snakes of the Southeast, Frogs and Toads of the Southeast, and North American Watersnakes.

_________________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

CARL AND EVELYN ERNST HAVE COMPLETELY REVISED THEIR LANDMARK REFERENCE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF NORTH AMERICA TO PRESENT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THESE ANIMALS IN YEARS.
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.

Volume Two will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico.

Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals.

Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal's diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status.

The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation.

Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject.

Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes.

Critical acclaim for Venomous Reptiles of North America"Likely to remain the standard reference for the next 20 years."˜SciTech Book News"

Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find in this book a spectacular time-saver... He has done the field of herpetology a great service."˜The Quarterly Review of Biology

Carl H. Ernst, professor emeritus at George Mason University and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is coauthor of Turtles of the United States and Canada, also published by Johns Hopkins. Until her recent retirement, Evelyn M. Ernst taught high school chemistry and biology and was an administrator with the National Science Resources Center. Together they wrote Snakes of the United States and Canada.
_______________________________________________________________
New Book
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spur-thighed tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.

FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA‰ is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H.

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $81.00) I have only 5 copies left.

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (I have only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (only have 2 copies left)

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00


STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h

_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:18 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 20/ 4/27/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg

Table of Contents

1) Groups plan to sue for species protections (Florida sandhill crane, hellbender and Black Warrior waterdog salamanders, Alabama map turtle and burrowing bog crayfish)
2) Territorial behavior in Taiwanese kukrisnakes (Oligodon formosanus)(Snakes protecting and eating sea turtle eggs)
3) Iguana, turtle or mega-rodent: Colombian Easter fare
4) It's the time of the year alligators are lookin' for love
5) A new leap-Lankan scientists introduce Taruga, a new endemic genus of foam-nesting tree frogs.
6) The pain of evolution: a big toothache for reptiles - Study reveals infection in the jaw of 275-million-year-old reptile, highlighting the high cost of having permanent teeth
7) Live pangolins and dried snake skins seized in Thailand
8) Penn research using frog embryos leads to new understanding of cardiac development _____________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________
New Book

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H. See below for more information and how to order.

Frogs are amazingly diverse˜ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown˜and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group.
(For more information and how to order see below. Copies limited) ________________________________________________
1) Groups plan to sue for species protections (Florida sandhill crane, hellbender and Black Warrior waterdog salamanders, Alabama map turtle and burrowing bog crayfish)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. AP 4/23/11 -- A coalition of environmental groups has notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that it intends to sue the agency, claiming it failed to act on a petition asking that more than 400 species in Southeastern streams and rivers be listed as threatened or endangered species.

The groups, which include the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Center for Biological Diversity, petitioned the department a year ago. They cited the declining numbers of animals such as the Florida sandhill crane, hellbender and Black Warrior waterdog salamanders, Alabama map turtle and burrowing bog crayfish.

Atlanta-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Office spokesman Jeff Fleming says the agency has been strained by diminished budgets and the Gulf oil spill, but still processes petitions for species protection.

Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/23/2 ... z1KT1ToiMP
__________________________________________________________________
2) Territorial behavior in Taiwanese kukrisnakes (Oligodon formosanus)(Snakes protecting and eating sea turtle eggs) Wen-San Huanga,b, Harry W. Greeneb, Tien-Jye Changc, and Richard Shined,1 aDepartment of Zoology, National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung 404, Taiwan; bDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-2701; cDepartment of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan; and dBiological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia Edited by David B. Wake, University of California, Berkeley, CA, and approved March 22, 2011 (received for review January 31, 2011)

Proceedings of the Nationla Acedemy of Society of the United States (PNAS), April 19, 2011, 108 (16)


The independent evolutionary origin of a complex trait, within a lineage otherwise lacking it, provides a powerful opportunity to test hypotheses on selective forces. Territorial defense of an area containing resources (such as food or shelter) is widespread in lizards but not snakes. Our studies on an insular population of Taiwanese kukrisnakes (Oligodon formosanus) show that females of this species actively defend sea turtle nests by repelling con- specifics for long periods (weeks) until the turtle eggs hatch or are consumed. A clutch of turtle eggs comprises a large, long-lasting food resource, unlike the prey types exploited by other types of snakes. Snakes of this species have formidable weaponry (mas- sively enlarged teeth that are used for slitting eggshells), and when threatened, these snakes wave their tails toward the ag- gressor (an apparent case of head-tail mimicry). Bites to the tail during intraspecific combat bouts thus can have high fitness costs for males !
(because the hemipenes are housed in the tail). In com- bination, unusual features of the species (ability to inflict severe damage to male conspecifics) and the local environment (a persis- tent prey resource, large relative to the snakes consuming it) ren- der resource defense both feasible and advantageous for female kukrisnakes. The (apparently unique) evolution of territorial be- havior in this snake species thus provides strong support for the hypothesis that resource defensibility is critical to the evolution of territoriality.

PDF of full paper
http://intl.pnas.org/content/early/2011 ... c6ae87537f.
______________________________________________________________
3) Iguana, turtle or mega-rodent: Colombian Easter fare Apr 24, 2011

Malayan Insider, Bogoto, Columbia, April 24 — Green iguana, slider turtles and the world’s largest rodent, capybara: it’s not a trip to the zoo.

It’s what’s for traditional Easter dinner in Colombia.

“This is the season we have them all coming in,” said nutritionist Carolina Rangel, at a centre for confiscated animals in the Colombian capital. She showed AFP about 30 confiscated “outlawed” slider turtles, common here and in Venezuela, as well as a rogue green iguana officials picked up on a bus.
Sometimes problems crop up when the animals escape from their “caretakers” especially in the busy Easter season; many Colombians travel for hours on intercity buses to spend the holiday with family and prepare special meals.

“People bring them in (from far-flung provinces) secretly, even stashed in suitcases so they can eat them with relatives, or sell them at open-air markets,” said local environmental official Andres Alvarez, a veterinarian.

Colombia has wildly varied geography, with tropical Pacific and Caribbean coasts; cooler Andean mountain climes and a huge range of plant and animal life that thrive, sometimes in relative isolation.
These recipes based on local animals — instead of imported ones — have close ties to the northern and northwestern parts of the country.

They are often served up in the age-old recipes of indigenous peoples descended from migrants who came from eastern Asia into North and South America thousands of years ago.

Among the mouthwatering seasonal treats: turtles’ eggs omelettes; iguana soup; cayman or turtle stew, which is served up with coconut rice, fried yuca, all washed down with cold beer.

“Colombia’s gastronomic wealth is a reflection of the country’s biodiversity,” the world’s second greatest after Brazil, said anthropolgist Julian Estrada.

How the custom evolved of eating these meals at this time — the Christian celebration of Easter — is not so clear. But people who lived along local rivers in what is modern-day Colombia ate all of these animals before the Spanish colonial era started in the 15th century, anthropologists say.

“For our indigenous people, the sleeper turtle and iguana are historically symbolic, mystical animals and part of age-old customs. Ultimately, what happened was that the (Roman) Catholic calendar’s tradition ended up melding with the fact that those animals are plentiful” during the spring Easter period, said anthropologist Ramiro Delgado.

So while many Colombians are eagerly awaiting the arrival of an exotic little something on their Easter table, hundreds of others are trying to make sure that passengers on intercity buses are people and not animals.

Rodolfo Mendoza, the chief of the environmental police in Barrancabermeja, northwest of the capital, said that his department on April 13 intercepted someone with what amounted to a mini-herd of eight capybara. They are the world’s biggest rodent and occasionally can top 100kg.
Though not endangered, they are not supposed to be hunted at this time of the year so as not to interfere with their reproductive season.

Authorities have to balance trying to protect the species while respecting indigenous Colombian traditions, they say.

That is why the hunting and sale of slider turtles, iguana, and small crocodiles is illegal; but at the same time, they may be consumed by people who eat them to survive in communities where food sources are limited.

The Environment Ministry says that in just four years, more than 100,000 live river turtles have been confiscated.

“Our real problem is just trying to manage the use of these animals, not turning consumption into some big crime,” said government biodiversity expert Claudia Rodriguez. “Above all because in some poor rural areas, they are the only food people have.” — afprelaxnews.com _______________________________________________________________________
4) It's the time of the year alligators are lookin' for love Apr. 23, 2011, news-press.com

Written by KEVIN LOLLAR &#8232;"Alligator creepin' 'round the corner of my cabin door; "He's comin' 'round to bother me some more."
— The Grateful Dead

It's that time of year again, the height of the dry season and alligator breeding season, when the state's favorite reptiles are on the move looking for water and that special scaly someone.

But that doesn't mean alligators will be comin' 'round to bother you some more.

"Right now, you might see them out and about more, moving from one water body to another," said Jeremy Conrad, a biologist at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. "In mating season, they're a little more active, but that doesn't increase their aggressive nature at all. They are not going to chase you."

And that, of course, doesn't mean alligators are not potentially dangerous animals.

Since 1948, 333 unprovoked alligator attacks and 22 fatalities have been recorded in Florida.

For years, the prevailing wisdom was all alligators fear humans, that alligators become dangerous only when people feed them and fed alligators are more likely to attack people.

This much is true: When an alligator is fed, it becomes habituat ed to people - loses its fear of humans - so it will be more likely to approach people for a handout

Recent research, however, shows few of the unprovoked attacks on humans were by alligators that had been habituated through feeding.

On the other hand, a large alligator, even one that hasn't been fed, might see a human as a prey item.
During mating season, alligator behavior doesn't change much, said Mike Knight, a resource manager at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, home of thousands of alligators.

"Most of the time, they're doing the same old thing," he said. "They're lying around, basking in the sun to warm up, swimming around looking for stuff to eat."

Still, alligators exhibit some changes in behavior when they go into mating mode.

"A month ago, we started seeing more confrontations between alligators," Knight said. "They're charging up as far as their hormones go, gearing up for breeding season, establishing territories. Between now and July, they'll be bellowing more."

An integral part of the courtship ritual, bellowing is an unmistakable sound, though other wildlife sounds are often mistaken for alligator bellowing.

"A lot people come out and hear a pig frog, which is a loud, short grunt, and think it's an alligator bellow - it's not," Knight said. "An alligator bellow is like something out of the movie 'Jurassic Park.' It's a long, drawn-out roar. It will vibrate the boardwalk.

"The neat thing about the bellow: The alligator arches its back, lifts its head and tail, makes the bellow and settles back. Then a subsonic sound causes water to dance off its back. It's an awesome sight to see."

For people going into gator country - virtually any freshwater habitat in Florida - Knight suggested a healthy dose of common sense.

"Be mindful that you're on the alligator's home turf," he said. "Don't do stuff that would put you in danger of an alligator attack. Don't go swimming in the early morning or late evening. Don't have pets out there around alligators. Don't feed them. Stay away from them. Don't go poking them with a stick."
_________________________________________________________________________
5) A new leap-Lankan scientists introduce Taruga, a new endemic genus of foam-nesting tree frogs.
The Sunday Times, 4/17/11-Malaka Rodrigo reports

Boosting Sri Lanka’s image as an amphibian hotspot, a group of Sri Lankan scientists have introduced a new genus of frogs that is endemic to the island. The new group is named Taruga meaning ‘tree climber’ in ancient Sinhala and Sanskrit.

This name is appropriate as the adults of these are tree-inhabiting frogs, rarely come to the ground, even laying their eggs on trees on overhanging foam nests.

Taruga fastigo

Taruga is currently the only genus of endemic frogs among the tree-frogs (Rhacophoridae). Definition of a new genus is a rare occurrence, and for a vertebrate group, even rarer. The task of separating these species into a new genus is indeed complex and demanding.

The researchers have to analyse molecular DNA and morphological data such as the outward appearance as well as the form and structure of the internal parts like bones and organs of both adult frogs as well as tadpoles to distinguish this ancestry unique to Sri Lanka.

Dr.Madhava Meegaskumbura, the principal scientist behind this task, said, the research outcome published recently has been already updated in reputed amphibian journals further strengthening Sri Lanka as one of the world’s most important amphibian hotspots.

In science, a Genus is a classification used to group one or more species that has common characteristics which is the taxonomic rank just above that of the species name. For example, the four big cats – lion, tiger, jaguar and leopard are classified under the genus Panthera because of the common characteristics they share. Three of the endemic tree frogs that were previously called Polypedates (Whipping tree frogs) were re-classified under this new genus and have been given new scientific names -- Taruga eques, Taruga fastigo and Taruga longinasus.

The first part of a scientific name represents the genus, whereas the second part denotes the individual species name. However, a set of cone-like projections around the vent, a curved fold above the ear and a more pointed snout helped scientists to pull out three frogs to new genus Taruga. During a certain tadpole stage, the vent of Polypedates forms a tube between the left leg and tail, and in Taruga, there is only an opening between the leg and tail.

There are also several more features of the mouth cavity, such as the number of projections on the tongue and shape of the tongue that distinguishes Taruga from Polypedates.

These frogs also show some interesting characteristics with all frogs in this new genus building foam nests. The female is much larger than the male and carries him during amplexus. The female first selects a site usually a branch that hangs over water to make a bubble nest. Fluids secreted from the egg-carrying channel (termed the oviduct) are beaten up into a foamy mass by the female using her hind limbs.

The size of a foam nests can range from a ping-pong ball in some species, to a cricket ball in others. The eggs are laid within this foamy mass and the males fertilize the eggs. First the male and then the female leaves the nest, without providing any parental care to the nest. After several days, the eggs hatch and the tadpoles slip into the water from the overhanging foam nest to start their new life in the water.

Dr.Meegaskumbura said the tadpoles falling into the water at an advanced stage ensure a higher survivability from aquatic threats than if the eggs were laid in the water. The juvenile frogs that emerge from the water return to an arboreal life on the trees.

Rohan Pethiyagoda, another an expert taxonomist who is also involved in this research paper commented that the genus Taruga joins Nannophrys, Adenomus and Lankanectes as the fourth genus of frogs endemic to Sri Lanka.

These three species also show restricted distribution, where Taruga eques can be found 1000m above sea level (asl) in the central hills and the Knuckles range. Taruga longinasus: can be found below 600m in the wet-zone lowlands of Sri Lanka while Taruga fastigo is present only at 900m asl in the Rakwana mountains, recording the most restricted range.

Dr.Meegaskumbura acknowledges his graduate student, Gayan Bowatte who contributed to this work and other researchers who assisted them. He also acknowledges the support extended by the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Forest Department of Sri Lanka to carryout this work.
Amphibians the highest threatened

Around the world many species and populations are declining, but amphibians are the worst affected group among the vertebrates. Amphibians are sensitive to changes in the environment, so a small variation can be deadly for the frogs living in an affected area.

To add to the problem, many amphibians such as frogs of the genus Taruga are only found in restricted ranges; one species can only be found in a single forest patch, making them vulnerable to localized threats. Sri Lanka currently records 111 amphibians with 92 of them being endemic to Sri Lanka but the IUCN (World Conservation Union) has categorized 11 species of Sri Lankan amphibians as critically endangered and a further 36 as endangered. Some of these species are on the brink of extinction and require urgent conservation attention, or they could disappear even without our knowing about them. Sri Lanka has already lost 21 amphibians, in other words they have been categorized as being extinct. Deforestation, isolation of forests into smaller patches (fragmentation), disease, pollution, and climate change are triggering the extinction of amphibians.

“We have now realized that legal protection alone is insufficient to secure the future of these species. They need active conservation intervention, such as captive breeding and improved habitat security, in addition to regular monitoring of the existing populations so that any decline could be detected and addressed,” points out environmentalist Rohan Pethiyagoda, who discovered many frogs as part of his research few years ago.

Mr. Pethiyagoda added that at present, the only species on which the government spent money on conservation were elephants.

Yet, hundreds of Sri Lanka's endemic species and whole genera are threatened with extinction. If only a fraction of the funds spent on managing elephants were diverted to the conservation also of other threatened species, the outcome for the country's biodiversity would be much bette,” he said.

To make matters worse many of the protected areas in Sri Lanka are in the dry zone, whereas 80% of endemic fauna are found in wet zone rainforests, hill country cloud forests and related habitats.
Many of the threatened amphibians are in the wet zone and mountain areas where the habitats are shrinking faster than in the lowland dry zone (please see map). There are some critically endangered frogs currently surviving in a few areas outside protected areas, so a disturbance of these habitats would be deadly for these tiny amphibians.
__________________________________________________________________________

6) The pain of evolution: a big toothache for reptiles - Study reveals infection in the jaw of 275-million-year-old reptile, highlighting the high cost of having permanent teeth Springer Select - New York / Heidelberg, 4/18/11

Our susceptibility to oral infection has some parallels to those of ancient reptiles that evolved to eat a diet incorporating plants in addition to meat. That’s according to Robert Reisz from the University of Toronto and his colleagues who found evidence of bone damage due to oral infec-tion in Paleozoic reptiles as they adapted to living on land. Their findings, published online in Springer’s journal Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature, predate the previous record for oral and dental disease in a terrestrial vertebrate by nearly 200 million years.


The researchers investigated the jaws of several well-preserved specimens of Labidosaurus hama-tus, a 275-million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America. One specimen stood out because of missing teeth and associated erosion of the jaw bone. With the aid of CT-scanning, Reisz and colleagues found evidence of a massive infection. This resulted in the loss of several teeth, as well as bone destruction in the jaw in the form of an abscess and internal loss of bone tissue.

As the ancestors of advanced reptiles diversified to life on land, many evolved dental and cranial specializations to feed more efficiently on other animals and to incorporate high-fiber plant leaves and stems into their diet. The primitive dental pattern in which teeth were loosely attached to the jaws and continuously replaced, changed in some lineages to be strongly attached to the jaw, with little or no tooth replacement. This was clearly advantageous to some early reptiles, allowing them to chew their food and thus improve nutrient absorption. The abundance and global distribution of Labidosauris and its kin attest to the evolutionary success of this strategy.

However, Reisz and his colleagues suggest that as this reptile lost the ability to replace teeth, the likelihood of infections of the jaw, resulting from damage to the teeth, increased substantially. This is because prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity of heavily worn or damaged teeth to oral bacteria was much greater than in other animals that quickly replaced their teeth.

The authors conclude: “Our findings allow us to speculate that our own human system of having just two sets of teeth, baby and permanent, although of obvious advantage because of its ability to chew and process many different foodstuffs, is more susceptible to infection than that of our distant ancestors that had a continuous cycle of tooth replacement.”

Reference

Reisz R R et al (2011). Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance. Naturwissenschaften – The Nature of Science. DOI 10.1007/s00114-011-0792-1

________________________________________________________________
7) Live pangolins and dried snake skins seized in Thailand

Traffic -Bangkok, Thailand, 20th April 2011–A van packed to the brim with 173 live pangolins and 130 kilogrammes of dried snake skins was confiscated by Thai Customs officers in the wee hours of this morning in Prachuap Khiri Khan.&#8232;&#8232;Officers stopped the white truck and its driver at 3 a.m in the town of Pranburi.

The Thai national who was arrested is believed to have transported the cargo from the Southern Thai town of Had Yai to Songkla and was headed to Bangkok.&#8232;&#8232;Prachuap Khiri Khan, where the items were seized, is a bottleneck for transportation and an ideal location for authorities to focus their enforcement attention.

It is a transit point through which all traffic from Indonesia and Malaysia must pass to access central and northern Thailand, as well as the rest of Indochina.&#8232;&#8232;Thai Press reports say the truck driver was held for violations under Thailand’s Customs regulations and for flouting laws that govern international trade in wildlife under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.

&#8232;&#8232;The endangered Pangolin commonly turns up in seizures around the region and is trafficked in large volumes for the illegal meat and medicine markets.&#8232;&#8232;The suspect and the wildlife seized have been handed over to the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department for further investigation and action.&#8232;&#8232;This recent seizure follows close on the heels of the Customs Department’s recent find of 1,800 monitor lizards which smugglers were attempting to traffic across the border from Malaysia in several pickup trucks.&#8232;&#8232;“Thailand’s Customs authorities should be congratulated for catching this shipment,” said TRAFFIC Regional Director Dr. William Schaedla. &#8232;&#8232;“Pangolin trafficking up the Malay Peninsula and along this roadway are regular tragic occurrences.

TRAFFIC is hopeful that interdictions like this will become a deterrent that breaks the trade chain that is robbing Southeast Asia of its wildlife,” he said.&#65279;&#8232;&#8232;In early April, a team of Malaysian wildlife officers in the northern state of Kelantan seized 40 pangolins, weighing a total of 200 kilograms, from a car believed to be heading for China via Thailand.
___________________________________________________________________
8) Penn research using frog embryos leads to new understanding of cardiac development April 22, 2011 Biology & Nature by Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet, University of Pennsylvania

During embryonic development, cells migrate to their eventual location in the adult body plan and begin to differentiate into specific cell types. Thanks to new research at the University of Pennsylvania, there is new insight into how these processes regulate tissues formation in the heart. A developmental biologist at Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine, Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet, along with a colleague, Young-Hoon Lee of South Korea's Chonbuk National University, has mapped the embryonic region that becomes the part of the heart that separates the outgoing blood in Xenopus, a genus of frog.

Xenopus is a commonly used model organism for developmental studies, and is a particularly interesting for this kind of research because amphibians have a single ventricle and the outflow tract septum is incomplete.

In higher vertebrates, chickens and mice, the cardiac neural crest provides the needed separation for both circulations at the level of the outflow tract, remodeling one vessel into two. In fish, where there is no separation at all between the two circulations, the cardiac neural crest contributes to all regions of the heart.

"In the frog, we were expecting to find something that was in between fish and higher vertebrates, but that's not the case at all," said Saint-Jeannet. "It turns out that cardiac neural crest cells do not contribute to the outflow tract septum, they stop their migration before entering the outflow tract. The blood separation comes from an entirely different part of the embryo, known as the 'second heart field.'"
"As compared to other models the migration of the cardiac neural crest in amphibians has been dramatically changed through evolution," he said.

Saint-Jeannet's research will be published in the May 15 edition of the journal Development.
To determine where the neural crest cells migrated during development, the researchers labeled the embryonic cells with a fluorescent dye, then followed the path those marked cells took under a microscope. "We label the cardiac neural crest cells in one embryo and then graft them onto an embryo that is unlabeled. We let the embryo develop normally and look where those cells end up in the developing heart," said Saint-Jeannet.

Knowing these paths, and the biological signals that govern them, could have implications for human health.

"There are a number of pathologies in humans that have been associated with abnormal deployment of the cardiac neural crest, such as DiGeorge Syndrome," said Saint-Jeannet. "Among other developmental problems, these patients have an incomplete blood separation at the level of the outflow tract, because the cardiac neural crest does not migrate and differentiate at the proper location."
DiGeorge syndrome is present in about 1 in 4,000 live births, and often requires cardiac surgery to correct.

"Xenopus could be a great model to study the signals that cause those cells to migrate into the outflow tract of the heart,' said Saint-Jeannet. "If you can understand the signals that prevent or promote the colonization of this tissue, you can understand the pathology of something like DiGeorge syndrome and perhaps figure out what kind of molecule we can introduce there to force those cells to migrate further down."
_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

NEW BOOK


CARL AND EVELYN ERNST HAVE COMPLETELY REVISED THEIR LANDMARK REFERENCE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF NORTH AMERICA TO PRESENT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THESE ANIMALS IN YEARS.
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps $75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.

Volume Two will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico.

Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals.

Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal's diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status.

The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation.

Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject.

Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes.

Critical acclaim for Venomous Reptiles of North America"Likely to remain the standard reference for the next 20 years."˜SciTech Book News"

Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find in this book a spectacular time-saver... He has done the field of herpetology a great service."˜The Quarterly Review of Biology

Carl H. Ernst, professor emeritus at George Mason University and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is coauthor of Turtles of the United States and Canada, also published by Johns Hopkins. Until her recent retirement, Evelyn M. Ernst taught high school chemistry and biology and was an administrator with the National Science Resources Center. Together they wrote Snakes of the United States and Canada.
______________________________________
NEW BOOK

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide, Q&A for the Curious Naturalist, Limited number of autographed copies available by authors Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons, Paperback,192 pages, 27 color photos and 70 b&w photos, $25.00 plus $6.00 S&H, Overseas email us for S&H. See below for more information and how to order.

Frogs are amazingly diverse˜ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown˜and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals. Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some people lick to!
ads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of the leaves of trees?" and "Do frogs feel pain?"

The authors' easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations provide insight into the amazing biology of this amphibian group. In addressing conservation questions, Dorcas and Gibbons highlight the frightening implications of the current worldwide amphibian crisis, which many scientists predict will bring extinction rates experienced by frog species to levels not seen in any vertebrate animal group in millions of years.&#8232;&#8232;Packed with facts and featuring two color galleries and 70 black-and-white photographs, Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide is sure to address the questions on the minds of curious naturalists.

Mike Dorcas is an associate professor of biology at Davidson College and the author of several books on amphibians and reptiles. Whit Gibbons is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books, most recently Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gibbons and Dorcas coauthored three other books, Snakes of the Southeast, Frogs and Toads of the Southeast, and North American Watersnakes.
_______________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Thu May 12, 2011 12:20 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science
Volume # 11 Issue # 22/ 5/12/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Venomous Snakes of the World, Mark O'Shea
Paperback (2011) $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.
&
Boas and Pythons of the World, by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

For more information on each book and how to order see below.
________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Knoxville Zoo's herpetology director, bog turtle advocate dies
2) Rescue Turtles Produce Hatchlings (Yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii)
3) U.S. Reaches a Settlement on Decisions About Endangered Species
4) Africa’s Sea Turtles Need Passports for Protection
5) Deep in a Dutchess Fen (Bog Turtles)
6)Herpetological Conservation and Biology New Issue Announcement & Bibliography
7) Stansted Airport: Woman arrested in connection with smuggling endangered tortoises into the UK
8) Adrenaline Given Before Snakebite Anti-Venom Treatment Reduces Allergic Reactions, Study Finds
9) 9) Q&A with Author Mark O'Shea

__________________________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

(Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps
$75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.
_____________________________________________________________________________
1) Knoxville Zoo's herpetology director, bog turtle advocate dies
by Amy Mcrary, 5/10/11, knownews.com

Bern Tryon, the Knoxville Zoo director of herpetology and a champion for East Tennessee's endangered bog turtles, died Friday after a battle with cancer.

Tryon, 64, was Tennessee's best authority on bog turtles, which he studied and helped to save for 25 years. His dedication to the animals included developing a zoo program that hatches and later releases the turtles in native East Tennessee habitats. The conservation awards he earned for his work included one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Bog turtle conservation in Tennessee is without a doubt his legacy. I don't know if it would be at all without him," said zoo Curator of Herpetology Phil Colclough.

A biology graduate of Gardner-Webb University, Tryon began his zoo career in 1971. He worked in herpetology departments at zoos in Atlanta, Fort Worth, Texas, and Houston before coming to Knoxville in 1984.

Some of Tryon's ashes will be scattered at a bog turtle site in upper East Tennessee, said Colclough. The rest will be spread this fall in an area of South Carolina he visited to search for snakes annually over the last 42 years.
____________________________________________________________________
2) Rescue Turtles Produce Hatchlings (Yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii)
by Heather Lowe , Turtle Survival Alliance May 06, 2011

In October 2010, the TSA imported a group of 50 yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii) that had been confiscated from a large illegal shipment in Hong Kong (read the full story on the import here). The turtles are being kept in an assurance colony at a private facility owned by TSA member Kenan Harkin. We are very pleased to announce that the first clutch of eggs from this group of turtles has hatched!

A single female laid a clutch of eight eggs on 18 January 2011. Kenan collected the eggs and placed them in an incubator on a substrate of vermiculite at a temperature of 82 F with 60 – 70% humidity. On 11 April, the first two eggs had pipped. All eight eggs completed hatching between 11 April and 30 April.

Considering that this group was destined for the markets in China, where they would have been killed to satisfy the demand for meat and turtle parts, this story is especially exciting. Not only were these individuals rescued, but producing hatchlings in their first year lends hope to this group becoming a very valuable assurance colony for this species.

The TSA would like to thank everyone who donated funds to make this entire effort possible. The TSA membership responded generously to this need, as early as March 2010 when the confiscation took place, and large gifts from the Columbus Zoo and the BC Johnson Family put us over the top and made the costly import possible. We would also like to once again acknowledge Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden for the excellent care that they gave the confiscated turtles while they were held in Hong Kong and for their tireless work to negotiate many of the details of their transport. Thanks also to the Taipei Zoo who helped to negotiate a fantastic sponsorship from EVA Airlines to bring the turtles to the U.S. Acknowledgements also go out to the Jacksonville Zoo, Bill Ninesling, and Zoo Atlanta for their assistance with processing these turtles once they arrived. And a very special thank you goes out to Kenan Harkin who has provided this group of turtles with wonderful care in his facil!
ity.

__________________________________________________________________
3) U.S. Reaches a Settlement on Decisions About Endangered Species
By Felicity Barringer, New York Times 5/11/11

The Interior Department, facing an avalanche of petitions and lawsuits over proposed endangered species designations, said Tuesday that it had negotiated a settlement under which it will make decisions on 251 species over the next six years.

Under the agreement, species that the department has already deemed to be at potential risk but whose status remains in limbo, including the New England cottontail and the greater sage grouse of the West, will take priority in the Fish and Wildlife Service workload.

If approved by a federal judge, the settlement would bring about the most sweeping change in the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act since the 1990s, when the department streamlined a procedure for protecting the habitats that endangered species need to recover.

The backlog of more than 250 cases resulted from lawsuits and petitions filed by environmental groups, a strategy for forcing the Fish and Wildlife Service to be more assertive about fulfilling its wildlife-protection mandate. Over the past four years, the service has fielded requests for listing more than 1,230 species as endangered or threatened.

Agency officials have said that responding to those petitions and to lawsuits, which centered on the agency’s failure to meet deadlines set under the law, kept them from focusing on the animals, plants and other species that were at greatest risk.

The new plan, part of a settlement of a range of cases brought by the group Wild Earth Guardians, will enable officials “to focus efforts on the species most in need of protection, something we haven’t been able to do in years,” said Gary Frazer, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s assistant director for endangered species.

Mr. Frazer suggested that a majority of the 251 listing decisions would result in new protections for the species involved.

Interior Department officials and Wild Earth Guardians predict that if Emmet G. Sullivan, a judge in Federal District Court in Washington, accepts the accord, other courts and litigants will defer to the new “work plan.”

“It’s a good bet in a couple of senses,” said Jay Tutchton, a lawyer for Wild Earth Guardians.
First, Mr. Tutchton noted, it is widely recognized that the Interior Department lacks the resources to deal with a barrage of lawsuits and petitions. “You can’t get blood out of a stone,” he said. “Judges understand that.”

For another thing, he said, judges “don’t like to interfere with each other’s orders.”
The federal government’s negotiations with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that also brought many suits against the Interior Department, reached an impasse about a month ago, participants said.

In an interview Tuesday, Noah Greenwald of the center said that the department’s failure to keep pace with candidates for the endangered species list was more of a reflection of a “lack of political will” than distractions posed by excess litigation.

Today, 1,374 domestic species are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The new agreement sets a precise timetable that could increase the average number of species added to the list to 50 annually, up from an average of 8 under the Bush administration and 29 under the Obama administration.

(Editor: I will try to find out if any herp are on the list, and which ones.)
________________________________________________________________________
4) Africa’s Sea Turtles Need Passports for Protection

Olive ridley sea turtles nest in Gabon but spend most of their time
in waters off Republic of Congo

To protect these transnational sea turtles, scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society and others recommended the region’s first international marine park

Press Release, WCS, NEW YORK (May 11, 2011)— Satellite tracking of olive ridley sea turtles off the coast of Central Africa has revealed that existing protected areas may be inadequate to safeguard turtles from fishing nets, according to scientists with the University of California-Santa Cruz, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter, and others. Scientists involved in the study recommended the extension of an international marine park that spans the waters of Gabon and the Republic of Congo and better international cooperation to manage this threatened species.

The study was published May 11 in the online journal PLoS ONE. The authors of the study include: Sara M. Maxwell, Greg A. Breed, Barry A. Nickel, and Daniel P. Costa of the University of California-Santa Cruz; Junior Makanga-Bahouna, Edgard Pemo-Makaya, Richard Parnell, and Angela Formia of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Solange Ngouessono of the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux, Libreville, Gabon; Brendan J. Godley, Matthew J. Witt of the University of Exeter; and Michael S. Coyne of the University of Exeter and SEATURTLE.org.

First author Sara Maxwell, who led the study as a graduate student at University of California Santa Cruz, said it provides novel insights into the movements of olive ridleys and how to better protect them.

“Thousands of olive ridley sea turtles are caught every year in fishing nets along the coast of Central Africa, yet we previously had no understanding of their movements or what areas are critical to protect their populations,” said Maxwell, now a postdoctoral fellow with Marine Conservation Institute.

In the first comprehensive tracking study of olive ridley sea turtles during the nesting season, the authors used satellite transmitters to follow 18 female turtles during their journeys ashore to lay eggs. The nesting season brings the turtles closest to the coastline and to the danger of being captured in fishing nets.

Turtles were tagged in Mayumba National Park, a 900-square-kilometer marine protected area on the southern coast of Gabon. Mayumba National Park and Conkouati-Douli National Park just across the border in the Republic of Congo were created to protect both olive ridley and leatherback sea turtles from fishing nets, but dozens of dead olive ridley sea turtles have continued to wash up on the shores of the park every year. These deaths have perplexed park managers and resulted in mounting concern about the health of this threatened species.

“What we found, however, made sense. Turtles were regularly moving outside of the park boundaries where we believe they were encountering fishing nets and drowning, and later washing ashore where we would see them,” said Angela Formia of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ocean Giants Program.

The study revealed another critical finding: the tagged turtles spent more than half of their time in the Republic of Congo waters, highlighting the need for international cooperation to protect this species. The Wildlife Conservation Society is now working in conjunction with the national park agencies of both countries to join and expand Mayumba and Conkouati-Douli National Parks, creating what is the first international marine park in this region of the world.

“The proposal to combine and extend the protected areas will be incredibly effective,” said coauthor Brendan Godley, professor at University of Exeter Cornwall and coordinator of the Marine Turtle Research Group. “We estimate that 97 percent of the most critical habitat for this population of olive ridley sea turtles would fall within the expanded park boundaries.”

“Our results clearly provide a solid foundation for the implementation and extension of the transboundary marine protected area,” said coauthor Michael Coyne, director of the non-profit SEATURTLE.ORG, which hosts a website where the sea turtles can be followed online by the public.

Studies such as this one highlight the critical importance of international cooperation in managing and protecting long-lived and migratory species such as sea turtles. This work also demonstrates the power of satellite tracking technology to show where animals are going and how to better protect them.

Coauthor Dan Costa, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said, “This is a great example of how innovative science on the ecological needs of wide-ranging, long-lived marine species can help justify regional collaborations for effective conservation.”

This study was made possible through funding and support of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the UK Darwin Initiative, the Tagging of Pacific Predators Project, UC Santa Cruz Center for Integrated Spatial Research, SEATURTLE.ORG, and the Gabon Sea Turtle Partnership, which is funded by the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior).

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit http://www.wcs.org.

Exeter is a leading UK university and in the top one percent of institutions globally. It combines world class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter is ranked 12th in the Times league table and was the 2007/08 Times Higher Education University of the Year. It was recently named as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies in a list compiled by Dun & Bradstreet. It is also in the top ten in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2010 National Student Survey.

The Gabon Sea Turtle Partnership (Partenariat pour les Tortues Marines du Gabon) is a network of Gabonese and international partners dedicated synergistically toward the common goal of protecting Gabon’s sea turtles for generations to come. The Partnership consists of and coordinates with multiple governmental and non-governmental organisations in Gabon and is funded primarily by the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior). Visit http://www.seaturtle.org/groups/gabon/home.html.

CONTACT: JOHN DELANEY (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)
or STEPHEN SAUTNER (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)


________________________________________________________

5) Deep in a Dutchess Fen, By RALPH GARDNER JR. (Bog Turtles)
Urban Gardner Column , MAY 10, 2011 Wall Street Journal

I realize animals aren't for everyone. After last week's owl column, I got an email from my cousin telling me I could keep them. But for those who love turtles (and who can resist), I would like to think that what follows has something for everyone—adventure, poachers, invasive species and a happy ending. Besides, I got up at the crack of dawn on what's supposed to be my day off to report the story. So give me a break.

The turtle in question is the smallest in North America, the bog turtle, which I'd frankly never heard of before the Wildlife Conservation Society—the people who run the city's zoos—asked me to join them on an expedition upstate to assess the health of a population. The turtles are listed as "threatened" by the federal government and "endangered" by New York state, even though there are no reliable estimates of what the population is.

"In 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Service put out a bulletin in response to biologists reporting having found turtles with skin lesions, and dead turtles at a higher rate than normally observed," explained Dr. Bonnie Raphael, the WCS's department head of wildlife medicine, who has studied turtles from the American West to Madagascar. "We can't say it's a die-off. There may be some disease process going on that is affecting the well-being of the animals."

The purpose of the trip was to assess the turtles' health, determine what, if anything, is stressing them—the primary suspects seemed to be loss of habitat and invasive species—and ultimately to come up with a plan to protect them.

Why it's hard to peg their population, which is found from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut down to Tennessee and Georgia, became apparent when we tried to find them, but more about that in a moment. First we had to report at 6:30 a.m. to the Bronx Zoo, where the WCS's global health team would be assembling. Why so early I'm still not sure I understand. But I considered it a privilege on a beautiful spring morning to walk through the still-sleeping zoo, past the birds-of-prey area—golden and bald eagles, condors and a snowy owl who examined us as if we had a screw loose.
After loading a couple of vans with equipment and making a pit stop at Dunkin' Donuts for a dozen assorted doughnuts and a trough-size receptacle of coffee, we were on way up the Hutchinson River Parkway. Apparently, so attractive are bog turtles to poachers—even though no one has reliable numbers for how many are collected for the pet trade—that I'm not allowed to say where we went, except that it was somewhere in Dutchess County.

Before we go any further—especially if I end up doing anything to infuriate the valiant souls trying to save the reptiles, such as inadvertently giving away the location—I just want to say how much I like turtles. I wrote a piece on a pampered Fifth Avenue turtle, Skipperdee, a few months back, but I don't think you can overpraise them. Simply put, they seem to know the score. There's very little wasted energy. They live forever, or almost. No one knows for sure the life expectancy of bog turtles, but even though they grow to a maximum length of only four-and-a-half inches, estimates are that they may live as long as 30 or 40 years.

I was told of a bog turtle first tagged in 1985, when she was at least 12 years old, that was tracked again in the late '90s and most recently in 2009, making her between 30 and 40 years old. "She's been hanging out with a male much younger than she," reported Alison Whitlock, an endangered-species expert with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

And just in case I haven't already overwhelmed you with enough bog turtle-related trivia, here's more: Bog turtles don't actually live in bogs. They live in fens. What's the difference between a bog and a fen? I haven't the vaguest idea. However, I now know what a fen is, because I spent the better part of Friday morning slogging through one. It's a soggy meadow dominated by mosses and plants such as skunk cabbage and Purple loosestrife. And elusive as bog turtles can be, this is apparently the best time of year to spot them—after they've come out of hibernation but before they start breeding (the last thing anyone wanting to do is interfere with their romantic lives and add another stressor).
Once we'd reached our destination, we were joined by representatives from the USFWS, the Nature Conservancy, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and volunteers such as Kevin Shoemaker, a biologist who had done a survey of the two-and-a-half-acre fen and reported a population of approximately 50 turtles.

More to the point, he knew how to find them. Which wasn't easy, since they're usually partially buried in the mud when they're not "basking," in other words tanning, which none of them were. Mr. Shoemaker probed with a stick the hummocks where they hang out and found the morning's first bog turtle that way. But the rest of them—11 in all, including two juveniles, in a three-hour period—were located by getting on one's knees and groping in the mud.

It's easy to see why they'd be attractive to poachers and why international trade in the species is banned. They're handsome little critters with dark-brown shells and a distinctive orange mark on either side of their head.

Those that were found were brought over to Ms. Rafael's makeshift field hospital, where they were given all manner of tests to gauge their health: their mouths and rectums were swabbed, a nasal flush was administered and blood was taken. And after suffering that indignity, they were handed over to Suzanne Macey, a Fordham University Ph.D. student who weighed and measured them and outfitted several with transmitters.

The irony was that to protect the creatures we seemed to be interrupting their routines as rudely as any poachers. Hopefully, turtles have short memories. And it was for a good cause. (Bog turtles don't travel much—"high site fidelity" is how Mr. Shoemaker put it—and most had identification notches on their shells made by previous researchers.)

The good news is that the population at this particular fen seemed in generally excellent health. "Did you try to bite me?" Ms. Raphael demanded of one of her patients. "That's a good thing. I like it when they're feisty. It means we haven't stressed them too much."
_______________________________________________________________________
6)Herpetological Conservation and Biology New Issue Announcement & Bibliography&#8232;
Volume 6, Issue 1, April 2011

The Editorial Staff at Herpetological Conservation and Biology is pleased to announce the release of the latest issue, Volume 6(1). Our redesigned website has many enhanced features. We encourage you to investigate the new website and join our mailing list or our growing community on Facebook. Signing up will ensure you receive the latest news and updates about Herpetological Conservation and Biology!

The content of Volume 6(1) includes a “HerpSpectives” article, and also a section devoted to Techniques. All of our issues are open-access and freely available to anyone interested. The Governing Board extends its sincerest thanks to authors and readers alike; our success is only made possible by your continued support.

Sincerely,
&#8232;Rob Lovich, PhD.
Communications Editor
Herpetological Conservation and Biology
rlovich@herpconbio.org



HerpSpectives
On the Threat to Snakes of Mesh Deployed For Erosion Control and Wildlife Exclusion.
Joshua M. Kapfer and Rori A. Paloski

Research Articles
Cnemidophorus lemiscatus (Squamata: Teiidae) on Cayo Cochino Pequeno, Honduras: Extent of Island Occupancy, Natural History, and Conservation Status.
Chad E. Montgomery, Scott M. Boback, Stephen E.W. Green, Mark A. Paulissen, and James M. Walker

Effects of Temperature and Temporal Factors on Anuran Detection Probabilities at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts, USA: Implications for Long-term Monitoring.
Robert P. Cook, Todd A. Tupper, Peter W.C. Paton, and Brad C. Timm

Population Densities, Activity, Microhabitats, and Thermal Biology of a Unique Crevice- and Litter-dwelling Assemblage of Reptiles on Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Ehren J. Bentz, Mel José Rivera Rodríguez, Rebecca R. John, Robert W. Henderson, and Robert Powell

Turtle Populations at a Heavily Used Recreational Site: Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Columbia County, Florida.
Kenneth J. Chapin and Peter A. Meylan

Sonoran Desert Snake Communities at Two Sites: Concordance and Effects of Increased Road Traffic.
Thomas R. Jones, Randall D. Babb, Frank R. Hensley, Christine LiWanPo, and Brian K. Sullivan
The Potential Demise of a Population of Adders (Vipera berus) in Smygehuk, Sweden.
Thomas Madsen and Beata Ujvari

Predicting Lizard Gender: Sexual Dimorphism in Calotes rouxii (Reptilia: Agamidae) from Agumbe, Karnataka, India.
Rachakonda Sreekar, Katya Saini, Shyam N. Rao, and Chetana B. Purushotham

A Power Analysis for the Use of Counts in Egg Masses to Monitor Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) Populations.
Rick D. Scherer and Jeff A. Tracey

Biases in the Protection of Peripheral Anuran Populations in the United States.
Ryan P. O’Donnell and Andrew P. Rayburn

Assessment of the Vulnerability of the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) to the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).
Gretchen E. Padgett-Flohr and Marc P. Hayes

Herpetofaunal Endemism and Diversity in Tropical Forests of Mt. Hamiguitan in the Philippines.
Richel E. Relox, Emmanuel P. Lea&#324;o, and Fritzie B. Ates-Camino

Herpetological Surveys of Forest Fragments Between Montagne d'Ambre National Park and Ankarana Special Reserve, Northern Madagascar.
Louise Durkin, Mark D. Steer, and Elise M.S. Belle

Herpetofauna of the Cedar Glades and Associated Habitats of the Inner Central Basin of Middle Tennessee.
Matthew L. Niemiller, R. Graham Reynolds, Brad M. Glorioso, Jeremy Spiess, and Brian T. Miller

Techniques

A Backpack Method for Attaching GPS Transmitters to Bluetongue Lizards (Tiliqua, Scincidae).
Samantha J. Price-Rees and Richard Shine

The Development of a Cost Effective Method for Measuring the Variation of Area in Contrasting Scute Pigmentation in Chelonians.
Ryan C.J. Walker

Evaluating a Novel Technique for Individual Identification of Anuran Tadpoles Using Coded Wire Tags.
Ryan A. Martin
_______________________________________________________________________
7) Stansted Airport: Woman arrested in connection with smuggling endangered tortoises into the UK
Monday, May 9, 2011 , Traffic&#8232;
Fifteen endangered tortoises worth up to £4,500 have been discovered by UK Border Agency officers at Stansted Airport after a passenger tried to smuggle them into the country.

A 54-year-old woman from Plymouth was arrested when she returned from Morocco following a holiday on Sunday (May 8).

The spur-thighed tortoises were found still alive, but underweight and infested with tics, in three cardboard boxes that had been placed in a bag in the hold of the aircraft.
The woman was released on bail while UK Border Agency enquiries continue.
The importation of tortoises is restricted under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and they can only be brought into the UK if the correct permits have been applied for and issued.

Further inquiries by UK Border Agency officers revealed the tortoises did not have the necessary accompanying paperwork and permits.

The tortoises have survived their ordeal and are currently being cared for in quarantine while plans are drawn up for them to be re-housed.

They were seized by UK Border Agency officers under EU Wildlife Trade Regulation Annex A which affords them the highest level of protection for a wildlife species within the EU.
UK Border Agency Assistant Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations, Malcolm Bragg, said: “The illicit trade in endangered animals is a serious contributory factor to the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species.

“This seizure demonstrates the UK Border Agency takes its role in enforcing international agreements and prohibitions designed to protect the natural environment very seriously.
“Anyone tempted to trade in protected creatures and plants should think again and companies need to make sure they have the right paperwork before they import exotic animals into the UK. I also urge holiday makers to ensure the souvenirs they buy do not contribute to this problem because these creatures can carry diseases.”

Tortoise smuggling is one of the five CITES priorities for the UK Border Agency in 2011
___________________________________________________________________________
8) Adrenaline Given Before Snakebite Anti-Venom Treatment Reduces Allergic Reactions, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (May 11, 2011) —

Giving low-dose adrenaline to patients who have been bitten by a poisonous snake before treatment with the appropriate antivenom is safe and reduces the risk of acute severe reactions to the treatment, but giving promethazine has no such effect and giving hydrocortisone may actually be harmful. These findings from a study led by Asita De Silva from the Clinical Trials Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya in Ragama, Sri Lanka, are important because in some countries where snake bites are a major health problem, acute allergic reactions to poor quality antivenoms are common and often fatal.

In a study involving more than 1000 people who were admitted to five hospitals in Sri Lanka after experiencing a snakebite, the authors randomized patients to receive low-dose adrenaline, promethazine, hydrocortisone or placebo -- alone and in all possible combinations -- immediately before treatment with an antivenom infusion. Compared with placebo, pretreatment with adrenaline reduced severe reactions to the antivenom by 43% at one hour and by 38% over 48 hours.

By contrast, neither hydrocortisone nor promethazine given alone reduced the rate of adverse reactions to the antivenom and adding hydrocortisone appeared to negate the beneficial effect of adrenaline. These findings also emphasize the high rate of acute adverse reactions to antivenom and stress the importance of improving the quality of the available antivenoms in Sri Lanka and South Asia.

The authors say: "The need for concerted action by local health and regulatory authorities, the World Health Organization, and other stakeholders, including technology transfer programmes between antivenom manufacturers, to improve the quality of antivenom can not be overemphasized."
They continue: "Until these overdue improvements come about, we have shown that pretreatment with low-dose adrenaline is an effective and safe therapy to prevent acute reactions to antivenom… Meanwhile, we continue to reiterate that the need for careful observation of patients receiving antivenom and prompt treatment of acute reactions when they occur remains undiminished."
Journal Reference:

H. Asita de Silva, Arunasalam Pathmeswaran, Channa D. Ranasinha, Shaluka Jayamanne, Senarath B. Samarakoon, Ariyasena Hittharage, Ranjith Kalupahana, G. Asoka Ratnatilaka, Wimalasiri Uluwatthage, Jeffrey K. Aronson, Jane M. Armitage, David G. Lalloo, H. Janaka de Silva. Low-Dose Adrenaline, Promethazine, and Hydrocortisone in the Prevention of Acute Adverse Reactions to Antivenom following Snakebite: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. PLoS Medicine, 2011; 8 (5): e1000435 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000435

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
APA

MLA
Public Library of Science (2011, May 11). Adrenaline given before snakebite anti-venom treatment reduces allergic reactions, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/05/110510175159.htm

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.
______________________________________________________________________
9) Q&A with Author Mark O'Shea

Q. What most attracted you to herpetology?

A. I've been interested in reptiles and herpetology from the age of 8 or younger! May be it had something to do with the fact most other people preferred 'furries' and turned away from reptiles. I simply became fascinated by these diverse and highly successful creatures which survived and even thrived in a four-legged warm-blooded world.

Q. Which species of snake do you regard as the most dangerous you've encountered?

A. The most dangerous snake is not the most venomous. The most venomous snakes are taipans, Australian brownsnakes and seasnakes but they have small venom yields and few snakebites to humans and few human fatalities in the scheme of things. Australia suffers 2-3 death a year but around the world 40,000-100,000 people die of snakebite (I have explained this in the venoms section of the Venomous Snakes of the World). Any highly venomous snake is dangerous if it bites you, irrelevant of whether it is the most venomous or the one responsible for most deaths, only one bite matters at that time, the one you just received, so with that in mind I have encountered many many dangerous snakes from rattlers to cobras, seasnakes to desert vipers but I regard the most dangerous snake I have encountered to be the Sri Lankan Russell's viper which featured in my film "Venom".

Q. What are the most common mistakes people make when bitten by a venomous snake? What are the essential things to do if bitten?

A. I have always said the DO NOTs are often more important that the DOs in snakebite first aid because it is often the ill-advised attempts and misguided actions following snakebites that make the situation worse. For example:

Tourniquets or tight constricting bands which lead to loss of circulation and limb loss, even properly applied pressure bandages following bites by snakes that cause swelling can became tourniquets if they are not relieved as swelling increases;

Razor-cuts to bleed the bite (ignorant that some venoms cause continued and uncontrollable bleeding, that such cuts obscure the bite site for later examination, that such cuts open deep wounds for infection or may sever veins, arteries, nerves and tendons and that sight of excessive bleeding or the action of cutting may panic the victim further);

Useless venom extractors which give ill-placed feeling of well-being and may prevent or delay the victim from seeking urgent medical attention; Reliance of herbal, magical or traditional treatments rather than life-saving medical treatment; What to do depends on what snakes are in the area but they include immobilization of the bitten limb, immobilization of the patient and transportation directly to medical help or the mobilization of medical help to come to the victim, reassurance of the victim and maintenance of consciousness, application of a pressure bandage (Aussie bandage) in the case of purely neurotoxic snakebites, maintenance of airway and clearance of excessive saliva, monitor vital and neurological signs and preparation to artificially ventilate or begin CPR if necessary.

As for the snake, if it can safely be killed and placed in a solid container (not a bag) and transported to hospital with the patient for later examination by a qualified person, that should be done but further bites should not be risked in the process and the snake should be handled only with a stick as 'dead' or dying snakes have still administered fatal snakebites. If the snake cannot be caught then a description (size, color, pattern, shape, location, behavior, strike) should be noted and written down from witnesses and the victim which is still fresh in their minds.

Q. Which venoms are most useful medicinally?

A. Malayan pitviper venom has been used in a cardiac surgery drug to prevent coagulation occurring post-surgery. Venoms may be pro-coagulant, anti-coagulent, heamorrhagic, pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxins, tissue-destroying, etc. There are many potential and practiced uses.
Do you personally work with the extracted venom?

I have done a great deal of venom extraction but I pass the venom on to others such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I do not work in a venom lab and I am not a biochemist. I am a "whole-animal biologist." I am interested in the snake in its environment with its habitat, predators, prey, parasites, and competitors.

Q. What is the greatest benefit, personally and/or professionally, from studying these snakes?

A. There have been many. I believe we live to learn and when we feel we know everything we may as well quit. To discover something new, some small fact, is very exciting and I am continually thrilled by this experience, which is why I prefer to work on wild, rather than captive, reptiles. I have been honored with the Explorers Club (British Chapter) Millennium Award for Service to Zoology and a Doctor of Sciences degree for my contributions, I have also been honored by a king cobra who waited for me to turn to face her before fixing me with her eyes and swaying as I am sure she asked me "Why did you catch me?" I have had some many incredible experiences through my interest in reptiles that I could not begin to list them all, even the snakebites have taught me something, if only to move quicker next time.
Which species suffers the most from human encroachment?

Island species are safe and isolated from what happens on the mainland but when something untoward, man-made or natural, occurs on the island they are threatened with total destruction with little chance of recolonization. Islands may be surrounded by sea as in the traditional sense, but populations on rocky outcrops in the desert, or elevated cliffs or tepuis in rainforest country may be just as vulnerable. Also at risk are species in areas desired by man for development. I listed many threatened venomous snakes, and the reasons for concern in the Conservation section in the book. Over collection, introduction of livestock or intensive agricultural practices are all threats.

Q. Which species is the rarest venomous snake?

Hutton's pitviper (Tropidolaemus huttoni) is known from only one preserved specimen from the Western Ghats of India but there are others that were more common but are now in decline such as the Mangshan pitviper (Zhaoermia mangshanensis) in China. Many are threatened or endangered.

Q. Can you talk more about your choice to categorize the snakes regionally rather than taxonomically?

The usual and easiest route was taxonomically but I liked the geographical approach in the New Holland book on Rainforests and thought the approach, when applied to venomous snakes, challenging. It was that it caused endless problems for me in the early stages but I did not want to go down the time-honored taxonomic route and wanted to make it work, believing non-reptile specialist people would like to read about the snakes of the same geographical area in the same chapter, rather than have to sift through four chapters to find out about African boomslang, stiletto snake, black mamba and puff adder.

Q. What has emerged as the positive aspects of snake nature in your research?


I hope my work can lead to a greater understanding of the importance of even venomous snakes, hopefully leading to fewer being killed unnecessarily or out of ignorance. It is not a crime to be a snake, even a venomous one, and we were not put here to extinguish snakes from the world. I would also hope my venom collection and fieldwork and my highlighting concerns about a looming antivenom crisis, may lead to development of cheaper and more easily available antivenom for the poorer countries. Snakebites only kill a small number compared to malaria or AIDS but production and availability of antivenom worldwide would bring that number down and save many lives.

_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately
________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Venomous Snakes of the World&#8232;Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us.&#8232;160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.

Feared, revered, and often misunderstood, venomous snakes have been a source of legend and nightmare since time immemorial. In this comprehensive volume, author Mark O'Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world's common and exotic venomous snakes, highlighted by previously unpublished gripping accounts of his adventures with snakes, including personal observations and several serious snakebite episodes.

The book begins with a description of the anatomies of venomous snakes, along with their diversity and distribution. Also included is a unique in-depth look at the various types of snake venom and the ways that each type attacks the body. A section on anti-venom, including thoughts on the looming anti-venom crisis, is also presented. Information on the adaptations of ocean-dwelling snakes and issues of snake conservation as well as an examination of venomous lizards follow.

From bamboo pitvipers to deep-diving seasnakes, and from adders and asps to terciopelos and the massasaugas, this book takes an original approach to examining these enthralling creatures. Rather than the typical taxonomic categorization, the snakes are grouped by geographic location: the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and the Oceans. Each section is illustrated with stunning and rare pictures, many of which were taken by the author himself.

Suitable for professional snake handlers and armchair herpetologists alike, this extremely accessible book is an enthusiastic celebration of the diversity and beauty of venomous snakes worldwide.

Explores the secret world of venomous snakes, revealing their habitats, characteristics, and hunting and feeding behaviors

Contains thrilling details of O'Shea's own encounters with snakes

Provides detailed information on venomous snake diversity, venom types, and conservation
Includes a world map illustrating venomous snake distribution and detailed accounts of more than 170 speciesFeatures over 150 full-color photographs, many of them of extremely rare species

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica.

Reviews:
"This is a large book with more than 150 quality full-color photographs, some of which may frighten the serpent-phobic."--Alvin Hutchinson, Library Journal

"Poisonous snakes have been part of human legends - and nightmares - since the beginning of time. O'Shea, a reptile expert and television host, brings to life the world of serpents from around the world [with] hundreds of stunning, often rare, photographs."--The Globe & Mail

"[D]azzling, a photographic journey among the scaly and the lethal."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express
_____________________________________________________________________
Boas and Pythons of the World&#8232;Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us.&#8232;160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.

There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.

Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.

Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda
Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents

Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors

Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species

Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. His books include the definitive Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea: Reptiles and Amphibians (coauthored with Tim Halliday); and Venomous Snakes of the World (Princeton).

Reviews:

"These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended."--Nancy Bent, Booklist

"Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight."--Juneau Empire
"Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats."--Globe and Mail

Endorsement:

"Boas and Pythons of the World is quite enjoyable. Mark O'Shea is a good writer with an easy, readable style. The book contains much useful information, and the personal experiences O'Shea weaves into his accounts add a nice personal touch."--Robert C. Drewes, coauthor of Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa

____________________________________________________________________

VENOMOUS REPTILES OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA, AND NORTHERN MEXICO
Heloderma, Micruroides, Micrurus, Pelamis, Agkistrodon, Sistrurus
Volume 1
Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst

Reserve your autographed copies now.
May 2011, (Volume 2 is scheduled to come out next spring) Hardcover - 392 pp., 32 color photos, 58 b&w photos, 10 line drawings, 14 maps
$75.00 plus $6.00 for S&H in the U.S. email us for S&H costs overseas. See below for additional info on book, how reserve your autographed copy, and how to order.

CARL AND EVELYN ERNST HAVE COMPLETELY REVISED THEIR LANDMARK REFERENCE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF NORTH AMERICA TO PRESENT THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THESE ANIMALS IN YEARS.

Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico's twenty-fifth parallel.

Volume Two will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico.

Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals.

Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal's diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status.

The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation.

Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject.

Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes.

Critical acclaim for Venomous Reptiles of North America"Likely to remain the standard reference for the next 20 years."˜SciTech Book News"

Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find in this book a spectacular time-saver... He has done the field of herpetology a great service."˜The Quarterly Review of Biology

Carl H. Ernst, professor emeritus at George Mason University and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is coauthor of Turtles of the United States and Canada, also published by Johns Hopkins. Until her recent retirement, Evelyn M. Ernst taught high school chemistry and biology and was an administrator with the National Science Resources Center. Together they wrote Snakes of the United States and Canada.
______________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST
TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER
20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR,
AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST
Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK
OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the
But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES
by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume
Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

Here are two books onthe husbandry of turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Thu May 19, 2011 7:26 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science
Volume # 11 Issue # 23/ 5/19/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Venomous Snakes of the World, Mark O'Shea
Paperback (2011) $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.
&
Boas and Pythons of the World, by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

For more information on each book and how to order see below.
_________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Cold-Induced Mortality of Invasive Burmese Pythons in South Florida

2) Salamander Postdoctoral Research Associate Needed

3) Collections Manager Position - Sternberg Museum of Natural History

4) An Extinct Map Turtle Graptemys (Testudines, emydidae) From The Late Pleistocene of Florida

5) Wildlife Conservation Society Recommends Health Measures for Argentina’s Caiman Ranches

6)Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss

7) There's No Magic Number for Saving Endangered Species

8) Lizard Fossil Provides Missing Link to Show Body Shapes of Snakes and Limbless Lizards Evolved Independently

9) Risk of Wetland Habitat Loss in Southern United States Predicted

10) Preserving Plants and Animals Caught Between Forest 'Fragments'

__________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.

For a $5.00 donation get a Mini-poster/Giant Post Card (6.5 x 6 inches) of the Frogs of North America (Pickerel Frog, Barking Tree Frog, Bullfrog, Pacific Tree Frog, California Red-Legged Frog, Mink Frog, Green Tree Frog and Northern Leopard Frog) All exact drawings in full color. (Artist is same one who did the turtles of the poster above and the magnets.) Includes S&H

For a $4.00 donation S&H included. get a unique set of herp air fresheners for humans and herps, that stick anywhere or everywhere. A set of 5 different herps, Scent lasts for at least 3 months. Each an average 2 inches.-- A turtle habitat, snake dwelling, fridge, car. THEY STICK ON TO ALMOST ALL SURFACES, FRESHENS ANY SPACE. It’s a neutral smell, not pine scent trying to over come....whatever smell..

Detailed, realistic drawings on the fresheners of a Turtle, Alligator, Iguana, Ball Python and Chameleon. (Each additional one is $3.00 each).

See Below on how to order.
__________________________________________________________________
1) Cold-Induced Mortality of Invasive Burmese Pythons in South Florida
2011. Biological Invasions 13: 143-151

Frank J. Mazzotti, Michael S. Cherkiss, Kristen M. Hart, Ray W. Snow, Michael R. Rochford, Michael E. Dorcas and Robert N. Reed

Abstract: A recent record cold spell in southern Florida (2–11 January 2010) provided an opportunity to evaluate responses of an established population of Burmese Pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) to a prolonged period of unusually cold weather. We observed behavior, characterized thermal biology, determined fate of radio-telemetered (n = 10) and non-telemetered (n = 104) Burmese Pythons, and analyzed habitat and environmental conditions experienced by pythons during and after a historic cold spell. Telemetered pythons had been implanted with radio-transmitters and temperature-recording data loggers prior to the cold snap. Only one of 10 telemetered pythons survived the cold snap, whereas 59 of 99 (60%) non-telemetered pythons for which we determined fate survived. Body temperatures of eight dead telemetered pythons fluctuated regularly prior to 9 January 2010, then declined substantially during the cold period (9–11 January) and exhibited no further evidence of active the!
rmoregulation indicating they were likely dead. Unusually cold temperatures in January 2010 were clearly associated with mortality of Burmese Pythons in the Everglades. Some radiotelemetered pythons appeared to exhibit maladaptive behavior during the cold spell, including attempting to bask instead of retreating to sheltered refugia. We discuss implications of our findings for persistence and spread of introduced Burmese pythons in the United States and for maximizing their rate of removal.


A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at
http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp
__________________________________________________________________
2) Salamander Postdoctoral Research Associate Needed
Watershed Studies Institute and Department of Biological Sciences
Murray State University

The postdoctoral associate will conduct research on the evolutionary ecology of polyphenic salamanders, help mentor graduate and undergraduate research students, and teach one introductory biology course per semester. PhD required; previous experience with amphibian ecology, field experiments, and/or matrix modeling is preferred.

This is a two-year position starting August 1; salary is $32,000/year with benefits. Murray is a vibrant, highly rated public university with a strong commitment toward excellence in teaching and research, and significant infrastructure and personnel dedicated to ecological studies.

To apply, email a letter of interest detailing research goals and experience, curriculum vitae, several representative reprints, and two letters of recommendation by MAY 30 to Dr. Howard Whiteman at howard.whiteman@murraystate.edu

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Murray State University is an equal education and employment opportunity, M/F/D, AA employer.

Howard H. Whiteman/Department of Biological Sciences
Murray State University/Murray, Kentucky 42071-0009
Phone: (270) 809-6753/FAX: (270) 809-2788
______________________________________________________________
3) Collections Manager Position - Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Overview:
Sternberg Museum of Natural History seeks a full-time non-tenure track zoological collections manager to oversee the care and management of its extensive and growing zoological collections including: Herpetology (16,000+ specimens), Mammalogy (40,000+ specimens plus 2 holotypes), Ichthyology (700,000 specimens), Ornithology (4500 specimens), and Entomology (100,000+ insects). Collections consist of fluid-preserved specimens, skins, dry skeletons, histological and frozen tissues. The collections focus on Great Plains of U.S. Experience in identifying herps, mammals, fish, birds, or arthropods.

Essential Duties:
1. Supervise collections access, handling, and care
2. Initiate, develop and implement collections grants
3. Acquisition and collection development
4. Museum operational service
5. Maintain external partnerships with collaborative institutions
6. Supervision of Graduate Curatorial Assistants, students and volunteers
7. Collections database management (Specify)
8. Implement Integrated pest Management
9. Teach a course on Collections Management
10. Oversee museum library collections
11. Work collaboratively with museum Education Director and Exhibits Director on museum programs and exhibits
12. Other duties as assigned by the Director


Qualifications:
1. Masters degree in zoology or museum studies with specialty in zoology
2. Expertise with taxonomy and identification of more than one taxa
3. Field experience in collection
4. Experience in preparing and conserving specimens
5. Familiarity with collection based databases and web based applications
6. Demonstrated skills in public speaking, writing, interpersonal and communication skills
7. Knowledge of museum collection practices and standards.


Starting Date: Negotiable
August 1, 2010 to September 1, 2010

To Apply: Contact Dr. Reese Barrick, Director, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, 3000 Sternberg Drive, Hays, KS 67601. Phone: 1-877-332-1165. E-mail: rebarrick@fhsu.edu

Preference will be given to applications postmarked by JUNE 11, 2011. Electronic applications are encouraged. Applications must include at minimum:
1. Letter of application
2. Curriculum vita
3. Photocopies of all post-secondary transcripts
4. Statement of professional interests
5. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of four references
Please do NOT request letters of recommendation.

The Sternberg Museum of Natural History occupies a completely renovated (completed in 1999), unique building adjacent to Interstate-70 Highway in Hays, Kansas. Its 101,000 square feet of floor space accommodates both public areas and collection management space. The collection space houses extensive research collections representing the disciplines of mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, entomology, botany, vertebrate paleontology, and paleobotany. The total number of specimens in these collections is in excess of 3 million, and the Museum thus serves as a major research resource for the academic departments of Biological Sciences and Geosciences. Public exhibits of the museum are internationally known and focus on animals of the Cretaceous time period. These are supplemented with a program of temporary exhibitions, both leased and prepared in-house, relating to a broad spectrum of natural history topics. Educational programming for adults and especially f!
or children is designed to instill a fascination for plants and animals in their environment.

Notice of Non-discrimination - Fort Hays State University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, age, disability, Vietnam era veteran status, or special disabled veteran status in its programs and activities. The University employs only United States citizens and aliens who are lawfully authorized to work in the United States. The director of affirmative action, coordinator of Title IX, Title VI, Section 504, and ADA regulations, may be contacted at 600 Park Street, Hays, KS 67601, 785-628-4033. FHSU is committed to the cultural enrichment of its student body and work force through Affirmative

Elmer J. Finck/Professor and Chair/Department of Biological Sciences
Fort Hays State University/600 Park Street/Hays, KS 67601-4099
e-mail: efinck@fhsu.edu/webpage: http://www.fhsu.edu/biology/efinck/
phone: (785) 628-4214
fax: (785) 628-4153
home: (785) 625-9727
cell: (785) 650-1057

________________________________________________
4) An Extinct Map Turtle Graptemys (Testudines, emydidae) From The Late Pleistocene of Florida
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(3):575–587, May 2011
DANA J. EHRET* and JASON R. BOURQUE Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, U.S.A., dehret@flmnh.ufl.edu; jbourque@flmnh.ufl.edu


ABSTRACT—Graptemys kerneri, n. sp., from the Suwannee River drainage of north-central Florida, represents the most southeastern occurrence of the genus. This species is morphologically and geographically most similar to the extant Barbour’s map turtle, Graptemys barbouri. G. kerneri exhibits sexual dimorphism similar to extant G. barbouri, G. ernsti, G. pulchra, and G. gibbonsi, with females being megacephalic and attaining a much larger size than males. The new species possesses a very wide skull and mandible, making it the most blunt-headed member of its clade. Specimens described here include a nearly complete skull, eight mandibles, two epiplastra, 34 neural bones, and an assortment of other shell fragments. Previously reported fossil material from Florida was collected in the 1960s along the Santa Fe River and referred to both the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Rare earth element (REE) analysis of this material is reinterpreted here as being Rancholabrean in age.

Contact for copy of paper is DanaJ. Ehret dehret@flmnh.ufl.edu;
__________________________________________________________________________
5) Wildlife Conservation Society Recommends Health Measures for Argentina’s Caiman Ranches

NEW YORK (May 12, 2011)—The Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations released a new study recommending a disease screening program for farm-raised caiman in ranching facilities in Argentina to ensure the safety of people and wildlife alike.

The recommendations focus on two crocodilian species, the yacare caiman and broad-snouted caiman, both of which are reared in caiman ranches for sustainable harvest. The research team sought to assess the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in captive-raised caiman at a typical ranching facility in Argentina’s Chaco region, where several facilities are currently in operation. Crocodilian ranching programs are based on wild-harvested eggs and the release of excess hatchlings into the wild.
The study appears in the current edition of The Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

The authors include: Marcela Uhart and Hebe Ferreyra of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Rosana Mattiello of the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires; María Inés Caffer and Raquel Terragno of the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud; Adrianna Schettino of the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires; and Walter Prado of the Refugio de Vida Silvestre El Cachapé and the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina.

Between 2001 and 2005, the research team collected samples from more than 100 captive caiman at a ranching facility in the Argentinian Chaco region for the purpose of testing for Salmonella, a common bacteria in reptiles that can be harmful and occasionally deadly in animals and humans. During the survey, researchers found two species of Salmonella, both of which are known to cause disease in humans.

Further, in one of the survey years (2002) Salmonella were present in 77 percent of samples collected, suggesting this was not an isolated finding. Since some of the hatchlings are returned to the wild, the chances of releasing infected caiman shedding this bacteria can be high.

“An accidental introduction of Salmonella or other pathogens into the environment during the release of captive-raised caimans could pose a health threat to wild caiman populations and other susceptible wildlife species, including some birds and mammals,” said Dr. Marcela Uhart of WCS’s Global Health Program and lead author on the study. “Preventive measures to detect the presence of harmful pathogens in caiman ranching facilities can help reduce potential health risks to humans as well as protect wild animal populations.”

Caiman ranching facilities in Argentina currently raise more than 100,000 individual reptiles every year, all of which derive from eggs collected in the wild. Approximately 10 percent of all caimans raised in the facilities are returned to the wild; the rest are used for the commercial production of caiman hides for leather products and meat for local consumption. At present, there is no standardized health surveillance system for Argentina’s ranching operations.

“Caimans almost became extinct in the late 1960s as a result of over-hunting for their hides,” said Dr. Robert A. Cook, Executive Vice President and General Director of WCS’s Living Institutions. “Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) supports caiman ranches as a tool for crocodilian conservation. A health monitoring system would help ensure the sustainability of both reintroduction and commercial aspects of caiman ranching as well as the safety of products for human usage.”
Dr. Uhart added: “We owe a debt of gratitude to both the owners of El Cachape ranch and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina for initiating the health assessment. The study highlights the potential for conservation-economic partnerships on private lands as well as the way responsible caiman ranching should be done.”
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
6) Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss
Fangliang He & Stephen P. Hubbell
Nature 473, 368–371 (19 May 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09985
Received 21 December 2010 Accepted 08 March 2011 Published online 18 May 2011

Extinction from habitat loss is the signature conservation problem of the twenty-first century1. Despite its importance, estimating extinction rates is still highly uncertain because no proven direct methods or reliable data exist for verifying extinctions. The most widely used indirect method is to estimate extinction rates by reversing the species–area accumulation curve, extrapolating backwards to smaller areas to calculate expected species loss. Estimates of extinction rates based on this method are almost always much higher than those actually observed2, 3, 4, 5. This discrepancy gave rise to the concept of an ‘extinction debt’, referring to species ‘committed to extinction’ owing to habitat loss and reduced population size but not yet extinct during a non-equilibrium period6, 7. Here we show that the extinction debt as currently defined is largely a sampling artefact due to an unrecognized difference between the underlying sampling problems when constructing a species–!
area relationship (SAR) and when extrapolating species extinction from habitat loss. The key mathematical result is that the area required to remove the last individual of a species (extinction) is larger, almost always much larger, than the sample area needed to encounter the first individual of a species, irrespective of species distribution and spatial scale. We illustrate these results with data from a global network of large, mapped forest plots and ranges of passerine bird species in the continental USA; and we show that overestimation can be greater than 160%. Although we conclude that extinctions caused by habitat loss require greater loss of habitat than previously thought, our results must not lead to complacency about extinction due to habitat loss, which is a real and growing threat.

Author Affiliations
State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Fangliang He
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada
Fangliang He
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Stephen P. Hubbell
Center for Tropical Forest Science, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Unit 0948, APO AA 34002-0948, Republic of Panama
Stephen P. Hubbell
Corresponding authors: Fangliang He or Stephen P. Hubbell
_______________________________________________________
7) There's No Magic Number for Saving Endangered Species
ScienceDaily (May 17, 2011) — A new study offers hope for species such as the Siberian Tiger that might be considered 'too rare to save', so long as conservation efforts can target key threats.

The findings have important implications for conserving some of the world's most charismatic endangered species, which often exist in populations far smaller than the many thousands of individuals that earlier studies had argued were necessary for viability.

Charismatic examples include the mountain gorilla, which likely now number 1,000 or less, the approximately 450 remaining Amur or Siberian tigers, the 180-500 remaining mature Philippine eagles, and the 70 wild Puerto Rican parrots.

The findings of a UK-US research team, the largest critical review of the use of minimum viable population (MVP) (*1) numbers in conservation, dispute the use of a universal MVP as a yardstick for conservation policies. According to the researchers there is no single population size that can be used as a catch-all guideline to save endangered species.

Co-author of the report, Dr. Philip Stephens, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, said: "Populations usually show rapid declines as a result of human activities such as hunting and habitat conversion. The results of the study are encouraging and show that if we can remove the negative effects of human activities, even relatively small populations could be viable in the long term."

Dr. Greg Hayward, the U.S. Forest Service's (USFS) regional ecologist for Alaska said: "This is good news for biologists working to save species like the tiger. There's a lot of work to do to arrest the effects of poaching, prey loss and habitat destruction. However, if that work is successful, the tiger might yet be able to recover, despite the relatively small size of most tiger populations."

The study, published in the journal, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, shows that population sizes required for long-term viability vary, both within and among species, and depend on the specific circumstances in which the population is found. Estimates of viable population sizes were typically reduced to hundreds rather than thousands of individuals for populations that were relatively stable.

Previous studies have suggested that the allocation of conservation effort should be related to the number of individuals in threatened populations. For species which would require intense effort to raise numbers to 5,000 individuals, it might be too late to act and better to concentrate limited conservation resources elsewhere, the previous studies have suggested.

Researchers on the US-UK team argue that conservationists should not give up on saving an endangered species if its population is below an MVP figure, and they advise policy-makers to be cautious about setting guidelines for 'safe' population sizes.

The researchers also warn against potential complacency and stress the need to look in detail at the specific threats that a species faces. They argue that no population size is likely to be safe from extinction when conservation activities fail to reduce the impact of the factors causing the population to decline.

Dr. Curt Flather, a research ecologist with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station in Colorado said: "The enormous variability in estimates shows that many populations also need to be highly abundant to be viable. The extinction of the passenger pigeon, which numbered 3 to 5 billion individuals in North America during the 1800s, is a reminder that population size alone is no guarantee against extinction."

Steve Beissinger, a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, emphasized the need to go beyond established guidelines in determining whether a species is endangered. "Viability depends on the idiosyncrasies of the factors causing a species to decline, and there is no single population size that guarantees safety for all species. There's more that matters than just size."

(*1) MVP refers to the size of a population that is thought to have a specified probability of persistence for a given period, for example, a population size that has a 99 per cent probability of avoiding extinction for the next forty generations.
_____________________________________________________________________________
8) Lizard Fossil Provides Missing Link to Show Body Shapes of Snakes and Limbless Lizards Evolved Independently

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — Until a recent discovery, theories about the origins and evolutionary relationships of snakes barely had a leg to stand on.

Genetic studies suggest that snakes are related to monitor lizards and iguanas, while their anatomy points to amphisbaenians ("worm lizards"), a group of burrowing lizards with snake-like bodies. The debate has been unresolved--until now. The recent discovery by researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany of a tiny, 47 million-year-old fossil of a lizard called Cryptolacerta hassiaca provides the first anatomical evidence that the body shapes of snakes and limbless lizards evolved independently.

"This fossil refutes the theory that snakes and other burrowing reptiles share a common ancestry and reveals that their body shapes evolved independently," says lead author Professor Johannes Müller of Humboldt-Universität, Berlin.

The fossil reveals that amphisbaenians are not closely related to snakes, but instead are related to lacertids, a group of limbed lizards from Europe, Africa and Asia. "This is the sort of study that shows the unique contributions of fossils in understanding evolutionary relationships," says Professor Robert Reisz from the University of Toronto Mississauga, the senior author of the study. "It is particularly exciting to see that tiny fossil skeletons can answer some really important questions in vertebrate evolution."

The German research team, led by Müller and American graduate student Christy Hipsley, used X-ray computed tomography to reveal the detailed anatomy of the lizard's skull and combined the anatomy of Cryptolacerta and other lizards with DNA from living lizards and snakes to analyze relationships. Their results showed that Cryptolacerta shared a thickened, reinforced skull with worm lizards and that both were most closely related to lacertids, while snakes were related to monitor lizards like the living Komodo dragons.

Even though snakes and amphisbaeans separately evolved their elongate, limbless bodies, the discovery of Cryptolacerta reveals the early stages in the evolution of burrowing in lizards. By comparing Cryptolactera to living lizards with known lifestyles, co-author and U of T Mississauga paleontologist Jason Head determined that the animal likely inhabited leaf-litter environments and was an opportunistic burrower.

"Cryptolacerta shows us the early ecology of one of the most unique and specialized lizard groups, and also reveals the sequence of anatomical adaptations leading to amphisbaenians and their burrowing lifestyle," says Head. "Based on this discovery, it appears worm-lizards evolved head first."
Journal Reference:

Johannes Müller, Christy A. Hipsley, Jason J. Head, Nikolay Kardjilov, André Hilger, Michael Wuttke, Robert R. Reisz. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins. Nature, 2011; 473 (7347): 364 DOI: 10.1038/nature09919

________________________________________________________________
9) Risk of Wetland Habitat Loss in Southern United States Predicted

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — Baylor University, in collaboration with the U.S Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station, has developed a model that predicts the risk of wetland habitat loss based on local wetland features and characteristics of the landscape surrounding the wetland. The new model was used to predict the fate of wetland habitats over a 13-state area in the southern United States and was published in the journal Ecological Applications.

"Because conservation resources are scarce, it is essential to focus conservation efforts on those geographic areas where the risks for further wetland habitat loss are the greatest," said Dr. Kevin Gutzwiller, professor of biology at Baylor who co-authored the study with the USFS. "Our predictive model can be used to plan protection efforts by helping to prioritize wetland areas for conservation. The model also can be used to assess the effectiveness of current wetland conservation programs."
Wetlands are crucial habitats for many plants and animals, yet many are converted for other human land uses. In fact, according to government figures, between 1992 and 1997, more than 500,000 acres of wetlands were lost in the United States. Seventy-five percent of those losses were attributed to development or agriculture. The greatest loss during this period occurred in the southern United States, with development as the main reason for wetland habitat loss.

The researchers focused their study on the southern United States since in that region urbanization and housing development increased at a greater rate than in any other region in the country from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Moreover, the southern United States also has nearly half the nonfederal wetlands occurring in the contiguous United States, and is the region where the majority of wetland acreage was converted during the 1990s.

The study authors used data obtained from the National Resources Inventory and from the National Land Cover Data from 1992 to 1997. They randomly selected 70 percent of the more than 40,000 observation points to build the model and randomly divided the remaining 30 percent of the data into five separate test data sets.
The study found:
• The variables that best predicted wetland habitat loss were:
o Land-cover and land-use of the surrounding landscape
o Size and proximity of patches of development within 1,900 feet of the wetland
o Road density within 1,900 feet of the wetland
o Land ownership
o The percent of the landscape within 1,900 feet of the wetland that was covered by woody and herbaceous wetland.
• The results imply that the risk of wetland habitat loss was most strongly associated with conditions at or within 1,900 feet of a wetland site.
• For the five test data sets, the statistics indicated the researchers' model had substantial predictive ability across the study region.
• The model predicted that the risk of wetland habitat loss was greater in and near highlands, such as the Appalachian Mountains, and the Boston and the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The risk of wetland habitat loss was typically lower in much of the lowlands, such as the Coastal Plain and the Mississippi Basin.
• Throughout the study area, higher predicted risks of wetland habitat loss occurred in and near large urban areas.
"
Wetland fate is thought to be influenced by both local and landscape-level processes, and for this reason, we defined two sets of predictors: local predictors that were derived directly from the National Resources Inventory; and landscape predictors derived from the 1992 National Land Cover Data that characterized land-use and land-cover in the vicinity of wetland points," said Dr. Curtis Flather, study co-author and research wildlife biologist with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station.
"Because of their topographic and edaphic characteristics, highlands are likely to be better drained than are lowlands. Wetlands situated in highlands may therefore be less extensive and more isolated than wetlands situated in lowlands. Although the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions were characterized as having generally lower risks of wetland conversion relative to the highlands, there are notable areas of high risk interspersed throughout these regions," Flather said.

The study was funded by research joint venture agreements between the USFS, Rocky Mountain Research Station and Baylor University.

Journal Reference:
Kevin Gutzwiller, Curtis Flather. Wetland features and landscape context predict the risk of wetland habitat loss. Ecological Applications, 2011; : 110225091954011 DOI: 10.1890/10-0202.1
________________________________________________________________________

10) Preserving Plants and Animals Caught Between Forest 'Fragments'

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — Maintaining the world's threatened animal and plant species may rest with something as simple as knowing how far a bird can fly before it must answer nature's call.
Birds disperse seeds as they travel, but deforestation can mean those seeds might land where they can't sprout and grow, according to a University of Florida researcher who co-wrote a study in last month's issue of Ecology that looks at how tropical birds disperse plant seeds in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.
If birds spread plant seeds in inhospitable places, the long-term consequences can be reduced diversity in large tracts of the Amazon, said Emilio Bruna, an associate professor in wildlife ecology and conservation. And that could be bad news for scientists trying to study and conserve species in the most biodiversity-rich land mass on Earth.

The work took a comprehensive approach to the question of where seeds are dispersed -- not only tracking plants, recording bird flight patterns and studying their behavior, but incorporating their observations in sophisticated mathematical models and computer simulations.
Bruna, who holds joint appointments in UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Center for Latin American Studies, worked with scientists from Columbia University, Louisiana State University and Brazil's National Institute for Amazonian Research.

The idea behind the National Science Foundation-funded study was to look at seed dispersal in parts of the rainforest where deforestation has left pockets of undisturbed land, called "fragments."
Human activity, such as logging or housing development or farming, leaves those fragments behind, sometimes close together; sometimes not.

Ensuring the survival of plants and animals that live in those fragmented areas, and finding ways to connect those fragments, is a big focus for conservation biologists, Bruna said.

"Understanding the consequences of habitat fragmentation is a huge area of research because that's what a lot of ecosystems have come to -- either that's all we're left with, or we're heading in that direction," he said. "It's a really pressing problem across the world."

The study began with researchers trapping six species of tropical birds in mist nets and equipping them with radio transmitters, so that they could follow individual birds' movements.

Before that, however, researchers fed the birds seeds from native plants and monitored their digestive habits, using the data to build statistical models that, combined with information from the radio transmitters, let them estimate how far the birds flew before dropping seeds.

Researchers were surprised to learn that only one of the six species, Turdus albicollis -- the largest of the birds they studied -- actually ingested the seeds. That species also flew farther than any of the other birds.

"A lot of ecology has focused on the movement of birds," said Maria Uriarte, a professor in ecology, evolution and environmental biology at Columbia University, and the paper's lead author. "We found that it's all about the big birds and where they like to be."

The other birds would eat, fly to a nearby tree branch, chew the seed for a bit and usually spit it out.
The seed in question belonged to a plant called Heliconia acuminata. The scientists chose it because it grows low to the ground, is easy to work with and easily identified. The plant has no common name, but casual observers would probably liken it to a Bird of Paradise, he said.

If the Heliconia acuminata's seed is dropped by a bird between forest fragments, he said, the seed more than likely will bake in the heat, and no plant will grow. Long-distance dispersal is critical for plants to establish new populations.

The take-home message for scientists and conservationists is that if forest fragments are so far apart that the animals and plants can't make the trip, humans may have to lend a helping hand.
It may be that some type of stepping-stone vegetation is needed between fragments, so that birds and animals have places to rest as they move from one to another. Or maybe humans need to leave forested corridors between those fragments to connect them, Bruna said.

"This study really highlights the importance of, the word that's used a lot is 'connectivity' -- figuring out ways we can maintain fragments of habitat and keep them connected to each other."
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately
________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.


_______________________________________________________
NEW BOOKS

Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.

Feared, revered, and often misunderstood, venomous snakes have been a source of legend and nightmare since time immemorial. In this comprehensive volume, author Mark O'Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world's common and exotic venomous snakes, highlighted by previously unpublished gripping accounts of his adventures with snakes, including personal observations and several serious snakebite episodes.

The book begins with a description of the anatomies of venomous snakes, along with their diversity and distribution. Also included is a unique in-depth look at the various types of snake venom and the ways that each type attacks the body. A section on anti-venom, including thoughts on the looming anti-venom crisis, is also presented. Information on the adaptations of ocean-dwelling snakes and issues of snake conservation as well as an examination of venomous lizards follow.

From bamboo pitvipers to deep-diving seasnakes, and from adders and asps to terciopelos and the massasaugas, this book takes an original approach to examining these enthralling creatures. Rather than the typical taxonomic categorization, the snakes are grouped by geographic location: the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and the Oceans. Each section is illustrated with stunning and rare pictures, many of which were taken by the author himself.

Suitable for professional snake handlers and armchair herpetologists alike, this extremely accessible book is an enthusiastic celebration of the diversity and beauty of venomous snakes worldwide.

Explores the secret world of venomous snakes, revealing their habitats, characteristics, and hunting and feeding behaviors

Contains thrilling details of O'Shea's own encounters with snakes

Provides detailed information on venomous snake diversity, venom types, and conservation
Includes a world map illustrating venomous snake distribution and detailed accounts of more than 170 speciesFeatures over 150 full-color photographs, many of them of extremely rare species

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica.

Reviews:
"This is a large book with more than 150 quality full-color photographs, some of which may frighten the serpent-phobic."--Alvin Hutchinson, Library Journal

"Poisonous snakes have been part of human legends - and nightmares - since the beginning of time. O'Shea, a reptile expert and television host, brings to life the world of serpents from around the world [with] hundreds of stunning, often rare, photographs."--The Globe & Mail

"[D]azzling, a photographic journey among the scaly and the lethal."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express
_____________________________________________________________________
Boas and Pythons of the World by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.

There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.

Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.

Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda
Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents

Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors

Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species

Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. His books include the definitive Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea: Reptiles and Amphibians (coauthored with Tim Halliday); and Venomous Snakes of the World (Princeton).

Reviews:

"These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended."--Nancy Bent, Booklist

"Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight."--Juneau Empire
"Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats."--Globe and Mail

Endorsement:

"Boas and Pythons of the World is quite enjoyable. Mark O'Shea is a good writer with an easy, readable style. The book contains much useful information, and the personal experiences O'Shea weaves into his accounts add a nice personal touch."--Robert C. Drewes, coauthor of Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa

__________________________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST
TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER
20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR,
AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST
Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK
OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).

Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the
But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES
by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene
of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume
Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS
Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE
James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump
Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:19 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 24 6/1/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Venomous Snakes of the World, Mark O'Shea Paperback (2011) $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.
&
Boas and Pythons of the World, by Mark O'Shea Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

For more information on each book and how to order see below.
__________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) One of Five “Lost” Amphibian Species Recently Rediscovred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
2) Recovery of Native Treefrogs After Removal of Nonindigenous Cuban Treefrogs, Osteopilus septentrionalis
3) Atrazine Exposure Impacts Behavior and Survivorship of Neonatal Turtles
4) Rate of Egg Naturation in Marine Turtles Exhibits ‘Universal Temperature Dependence’
5) Cannibalism Weeds Out Baby Alligators
6) Angry Villagers Stage Serpent Protest
7) Compensatory Effects of Recruitment and Survival When Amphibian Populations are Perturbed by Disease
8) Pick Your Frog Poison-Human Development May Destroy Natural Habitats, But it Could Also Provide Amphibians With a Safe Haven from Deadly Fungal Infections ____________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
_______________________________________________________________
1) One of Five “Lost” Amphibian Species Recently Rediscovred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo National Geographic Daily News 5/19/11

First described in 1950, Hyperolius leucotaenius was recently found on the banks of the Elila River in southeastern DRC.

The status of the five species, first described between 1950 and 1952, was a mystery until they were rediscovered during the recent field expeditions, which took place between 2009 to 2011.
"Like most of the 'lost' amphibian species, they simply hadn't been seen for many decades, and their status was completely unknown," expedition leader Eli Greenbaum, a biologist at the University of Texas at El Paso, said by email.

The DRC expeditions were inspired by Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 2010 effort to rediscover a hundred "lost" amphibian species around the world

That unprecedented effort focused primarily on finding ten species of high scientific and aesthetic value. Ultimately, scientists on that project spotted only 15 "lost" species, and just one from their most wanted list.

The newly announced discovery of the DRC frogs "is good news," according to Greenbaum, whose work was partially funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

"My team's discoveries confirm that those jungles have been poorly explored," he said in a statement. "There is a lot of biodiversity there, and it's not too late to redouble our efforts at conservation."
____________________________________________________________
2) Recovery of Native Treefrogs After Removal of Nonindigenous Cuban Treefrogs, Osteopilus septentrionalis Kenneth G. Rice1, J. Hardin Waddle2, 6, Mark W. Miller3, Marquette E. Crockett3, 5, Frank J. Mazzotti3, and H. Franklin Percival4 Herpetologica 67(2):105-117. 2011 1US Geological Survey, Southeast Ecological Research Center, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA 2US Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, LA 70506, USA 3University of Florida, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA 4US Geological Survey, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA 5&#8201;Present Address: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Davis, WV 26260, USA
6&#8201;Correspondence: e-mail, waddleh@usgs.gov Associate Editor: Richard Lehtinen

Abstract
Florida is home to several introduced animal species, especially in the southern portion of the state. Most introduced species are restricted to the urban and suburban areas along the coasts, but some species, like the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), are locally abundant in natural protected areas. Although Cuban Treefrogs are known predators of native treefrog species as both adults and larvae, no study has demonstrated a negative effect of Cuban Treefrogs on native treefrog survival, abundance, or occupancy rate. We monitored survival, capture probability, abundance, and proportion of sites occupied by Cuban Treefrogs and two native species, Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) and Squirrel Treefrogs (Hyla squirella), at four sites in Everglades National Park in southern Florida with the use of capture–mark–recapture techniques. After at least 5 mo of monitoring all species at each site we began removing every Cuban Treefrog captured. We continued to estimate surviv!
al, abundance, and occupancy rates of native treefrogs for 1 yr after the commencement of Cuban Treefrog removal. Mark–recapture models that included the effect of Cuban Treefrog removal on native treefrog survival did not have considerable Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) weight, although capture rates of native species were generally very low prior to Cuban Treefrog removal. Estimated abundance of native treefrogs did increase after commencement of Cuban Treefrog removal, but also varied with the season of the year. The best models of native treefrog occupancy included a Cuban Treefrog removal effect at sites with high initial densities of Cuban Treefrogs. This study demonstrates that an introduced predator can have population-level effects on similar native species.
_____________________________________________________________________
3) Atrazine Exposure Impacts Behavior and Survivorship of Neonatal Turtles Lorin A. Neuman-Lee1,2,3 and Fredric J. Janzen1 Herpetologica 67(1):23-31. 2011 1Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA 2Present Address: Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
3Correspondence: email, lorin215@gmail.com

Abstract:
&#8195;
Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethythlamino-6-isopropylamine-1,3,5-tiazine) is a widely used preemergent herbicide for controlling broadleaf plants. Because atrazine (a known endocrine-disrupting chemical) is applied in the late spring and early summer, its incidental effects on species exposed to runoff from terrestrial sources in this time period are of special interest. To examine the possible secondary impact of atrazine, we obtained eggs from 10 nests of two map turtle species, Graptemys ouachitensis and G. pseudogeographica, that nest on riverine sandbars. We incubated two eggs from each nest in sand containing one of four initial concentrations of atrazine (control and 0.1, 10, and 100 µg/L) based on levels measured in the river at the site where eggs were collected. We recorded hatching success, incubation time, external morphological abnormalities, gonadal sex, three measures of body size, righting time, and swimming time for all turtles. We reared a subset of the original ne!
onates individually for 11 mo, during which time nest escape behavior, time to first foraging event, time to capture prey, growth, and survival were evaluated. None of the variables recorded at hatching was significantly affected by atrazine treatment, although abnormalities declined as atrazine levels increased. However, turtles deriving from the lowest atrazine-treated eggs had inhibited nest escape behavior and reduced posthatching survival. These findings reveal persistent fitness-reducing impacts on neonatal turtles resulting from atrazine exposure during embryonic development.
______________________________________________________________
4) Rate of Egg Naturation in Marine Turtles Exhibits ‘Universal Temperature Dependence’
Sam B. Weber, Jonathan D. Blount, Brendan J. Godley,Matthew J. Witt, Annette C. Broderick Article first published online: Journal of Animal Ecology 4/21/11Issue Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ, UK
*Correspondence: Annette C. Broderick,
*Correspondence: Correspondence author. E-mail: a.c.broderick@exeter.ac.uk

How to Cite
Weber, S. B., Blount, J. D., Godley, B. J., Witt, M. J. and Broderick, A. C. (2011), Rate of egg maturation in marine turtles exhibits ‘universal temperature dependence’. Journal of Animal

Summary

1.&#8194; The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) predicts that, after correcting for body mass variation among organisms, the rates of most biological processes will vary as a universal function of temperature. However, empirical support for ‘universal temperature dependence’ (UTD) is currently equivocal and based on studies of a limited number of traits.

2.&#8194; In many ectothermic animals, the rate at which females produce mature eggs is temperature dependent and may be an important factor in determining the costs of reproduction.

3.&#8194; We tested whether the rate of egg maturation in marine turtles varies with environmental temperature as predicted by MTE, using the time separating successive clutches of individual females to estimate the rate at which eggs are formed. We also assessed the phenotypic contribution to this rate, by using radio telemetry to make repeated measurements of interclutch intervals for individual green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

4.&#8194; Rates of egg maturation increased with seasonally increasing water temperatures in radio-tracked green turtles, but were not repeatable for individual females, and did not vary according to maternal body size or reproductive investment (number and size of eggs produced).

5.&#8194; Using a collated data set from several different populations and species of marine turtles, we then show that a single relationship with water temperature explains most of the variation in egg maturation rates, with a slope that is statistically indistinguishable from the UTD predicted by MTE. However, several alternative statistical models also described the relationship between temperature and egg maturation rates equally parsimoniously.

Our results offer novel support for the MTE’s predicted UTD of biological rates, although the underlying mechanisms require further study. The strong temperature dependence of egg maturation combined with the apparently weak phenotypic contribution to this rate has interesting behavioural implications in ectothermic animals. We suggest that maternal thermoregulatory behaviour in marine turtles, and many other reptiles, is consistent with a strategy of adaptively increasing body temperatures to accelerate egg maturation.
_____________________________________________________________________
5) Cannibalism Weeds Out Baby Alligators Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer, 5/29/11

A new study finds that between 6 percent and 7 percent of young alligators fall victim to the cruel fate of cannibalism. On the other hand, a little gator-on-gator cannibalism may help keep their populations stable.

"Even the seemingly low rate of juvenile mortality attributed to cannibalism reported here may be an important factor in population regulation," researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote in June in the journal Herpatologica.

The researchers analyzed data from years of alligator tagging and tracking programs at Orange Lake, a shallow, marshy body of water near Gainesville, Fla. Between 1981 and 1987, 267 stomachs from adult alligators that had been killed hunters were examined for tags in an effort to find out how many tagged alligators were being cannibalized by other gators.

Thirty-three of the stomachs contained tags, for a total of 56 tags in all. One particularly hungry gator had eaten at least 14 other alligators. The other gators carried a tag or two in their stomachs.
The records associated with the tags revealed that 91 percent of the cannibalism victims were under 3 years old, which is juvenile by alligator standards.

The next step was to figure out how this small cannibalism sample would translate to the entire population of Orange Lake gators. To do that, researchers needed to figure out how long tags tend to stick around in a gator's stomach without being excreted. So they fed 10 alligators five tags each (to simulate natural digestion, the tags were attached to alligator feet removed from dead hatchlings).
Over the next 588 days, the 10 gators got periodic X-rays to check for tags in their stomachs. As it turned out, the tags stuck around: At the end of the experiment, 76 percent of the tags, or 38 total, were still in the gators' guts.

Taking into account the size of Orange Lake's gator population and the likelihood of finding evidence of cannibalism, in the form of tags, in a guilty gator's stomach, the researchers estimate that about 6 percent to 7 percent of juvenile gators become dinner.

That rate could vary in other lakes and swamps, the researchers wrote, because the prevalence of cannibalism depends on the abundance of other food options. Understanding how often alligators chomp on each other is important, they added, because wildlife officials have to understand population dynamics in order to set goals for both gator protection and gator hunting.
_______________________________________________________________________
6) Angry Villagers Stage Serpent Protest By Manjit Kauer, The Star.com, 5/20/11

IPOH: Residents from a village here brought a live 10-foot python to the Mentri Besar's office to highlight their fear of having to bear with unwelcome visits from slithery “guests” for the past one year.
“We have been having sleepless nights as we never know when a snake would come by our beds,” said labourer C. Subramani, who acted as spokesman for the group of residents from Kampung DBI in Buntong.

He said he caught the snake on Wednesday night outside his house and decided to bring it to the state secretariat building here yesterday as “proof” of their traumatic experiences.
The villagers, he said, had to bear with incidents of snakes getting into their house compounds at least three times a week.

Raising a ssstink: Subramani (right) showing the python that the villagers had caught to a policeman at Dr Zambry’s office in Ipoh Thursday.

Subramani, 51, led the group of residents to present a memorandum to the Mentri Besar yesterday.
However, their plan was unsuccessful as the main gate of the Mentri Besar's office was cordoned off by police personnel as word got out earlier about the villagers' move.

The snake, which was kept inside a cage, was later sent to the Fire and Rescue Department. The cage was placed inside a car opposite the building.

Subramani, however, managed to present the memorandum to the Mentri Besar's special assistant Zulkefli Abdullah outside the gate of the building.

Speaking to reporters later, he claimed their previous complaints about the snakes had gone unheeded.
He said Kampung DBI, a pre-independence village, consisted mostly of wooden houses occupied by low-salaried workers and retirees and was overrun with lalang.

He claimed that the reptiles started to appear in their bathrooms and bedrooms following development work in nearby areas.

One villager died in November last year after being bitten by a snake, he said.

Zulkefli said he would hand over the memorandum to Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, who was aware of the villagers' plight.
____________________________________________________________________________
7) Compensatory Effects of Recruitment and Survival When Amphibian Populations are Perturbed by Disease Erin Muths1,*, Rick D. Scherer1,2, David S. Pilliod3 Journal of Applied Ecology Article first published online: 5/13/11 Author Information
1 US Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Ave. Bldg C, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
2 Colorado State University, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3 US Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Snake River Field Station, Boise, ID 83706, USA
*Correspondence: Erin Muths,
*Correspondence author. E-mail: erin_muths@usgs.gov

How to Cite
Muths, E., Scherer, R. D. and Pilliod, D. S. (2011), Compensatory effects of recruitment and survival when amphibian populations are perturbed by disease. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48: no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.02005.x

Summary
1.&#8194; The need to increase our understanding of factors that regulate animal population dynamics has been catalysed by recent, observed declines in wildlife populations worldwide. Reliable estimates of demographic parameters are critical for addressing basic and applied ecological questions and understanding the response of parameters to perturbations (e.g. disease, habitat loss, climate change). However, to fully assess the impact of perturbation on population dynamics, all parameters contributing to the response of the target population must be estimated.

2.&#8194;We applied the reverse-time model of Pradel in Program mark to 6 years of capture–recapture data from two populations of Anaxyrus boreas (boreal toad) populations, one with disease and one without. We then assessed a priori hypotheses about differences in survival and recruitment relative to local environmental conditions and the presence of disease.

3.&#8194;We further explored the relative contribution of survival probability and recruitment rate to population growth and investigated how shifts in these parameters can alter population dynamics when a population is perturbed.

4.&#8194; High recruitment rates (0•41) are probably compensating for low survival probability (range 0•51–0•54) in the population challenged by an emerging pathogen, resulting in a relatively slow rate of decline. In contrast, the population with no evidence of disease had high survival probability (range 0•75–0•78) but lower recruitment rates (0•25).

Synthesis and applications.&#8194; We suggest that the relationship between survival and recruitment may be compensatory, providing evidence that populations challenged with disease are not necessarily doomed to extinction. A better understanding of these interactions may help to explain, and be used to predict, population regulation and persistence for wildlife threatened with disease. Further, reliable estimates of population parameters such as recruitment and survival can guide the formulation and implementation of conservation actions such as repatriations or habitat management aimed to improve recruitment.
_______________________________________________________________________
8) Pick Your Frog Poison-Human Development May Destroy Natural Habitats, But it Could Also Provide Amphibians With a Safe Haven from Deadly Fungal Infections The Scientist, by Jessica P. Johnson, 5/31/11

Amphibians that inhabit natural environments are more likely to be infected with the fatal Bd fungus that has devastated frog and salamander populations worldwide than those living in habitats disturbed by human development.

The results, published yesterday (May 30) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, challenge the assumption that habitat loss necessarily exacerbates the spread of disease.

"I don't think anyone will be going up in the mountains cutting down trees in the hopes of getting rid of Bd or anything," said Forrest Brem who researches amphibian epidemiology at the Univeristy of Memphis and was not involved in the research. "But I think this study will remind everyone how complex host-pathogen-environment systems are and encourage us to incorporate this complexity in their thinking, teaching, and research."

Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is a member of the chytrid fungus family, which attacks some 350 amphibian species. In the last 15 years, it has caused massive declines of amphibian populations around the world, even driving some species to extinction. The fungus, spread by skin-to-skin contact or through the water, kills by causing the outer layer of skin to thicken and become less permeable to the water-borne electrolytes amphibians absorb to keep their hearts beating. And for those amphibians that absorb oxygen through their skin, a Bd infection suffocates them.

Since the international trade of amphibians as food, pets, and lab animals took off in the 1970s, Bd has passed to every continent that supports amphibian species. "It's spreading like a wave," said C. Guilherme Becker, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University. "Especially in Central America and Australia."

In addition to the spread of Bd, amphibians across the globe are suffering from loss of habitat caused by human development. The combination of the disease and habitat loss is a "double threat," said Becker, and implementing successful future conservation efforts requires an understanding of interactions between these two forces.

To this end, he and his advisor, Kelly Zamudio, compared habitat loss and Bd infection data from tropical sites in Costa Rica (for the common rain frog) and in eastern Australia (for the Stony Creek frog). In contrast to past studies of other human and animal diseases, they found that the frogs in disturbed habitats were less likely to be infected. Field surveys of disturbed and natural habitats of the Golden Lesser Tree Frog in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest confirmed these findings.

Despite many studies showing that habitat disturbance increases disease in human and animal populations, in the case of Bd "it is not surprising that disease risk is higher in more natural habitats," Ross Alford, professor of tropical ecology at James Cook University in Australia who did not participate in the research, said in an email to The Scientist. Bd is very intolerant of the hot, dry environments that often result from habitat disturbance, he explained. Furthermore, natural environments support a greater number of hosts that could help spread the fungus, added Becker.

The three species studied, however, are habitat generalists that are relatively tolerant to human disturbance. But other species are not so hardy, and will either suffer from the changing habitat itself, or retreat to natural habitats, where Bd is more prevalent. "Disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation," Becker and Zamudio wrote in their paper.

"This study contributes to our understanding of the interactions [of Bd with amphibians] and may well aid in thinking 'outside the box' in developing management tools," said Alford.

From - C.G. Becker and K.R. Zamudio, "Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats," PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1014497108, 2011.

_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.
___________________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOKS

Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O'Shea Paper | 2011 | $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.

Feared, revered, and often misunderstood, venomous snakes have been a source of legend and nightmare since time immemorial. In this comprehensive volume, author Mark O'Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world's common and exotic venomous snakes, highlighted by previously unpublished gripping accounts of his adventures with snakes, including personal observations and several serious snakebite episodes.

The book begins with a description of the anatomies of venomous snakes, along with their diversity and distribution. Also included is a unique in-depth look at the various types of snake venom and the ways that each type attacks the body. A section on anti-venom, including thoughts on the looming anti-venom crisis, is also presented. Information on the adaptations of ocean-dwelling snakes and issues of snake conservation as well as an examination of venomous lizards follow.

From bamboo pitvipers to deep-diving seasnakes, and from adders and asps to terciopelos and the massasaugas, this book takes an original approach to examining these enthralling creatures. Rather than the typical taxonomic categorization, the snakes are grouped by geographic location: the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and the Oceans. Each section is illustrated with stunning and rare pictures, many of which were taken by the author himself.

Suitable for professional snake handlers and armchair herpetologists alike, this extremely accessible book is an enthusiastic celebration of the diversity and beauty of venomous snakes worldwide.

Explores the secret world of venomous snakes, revealing their habitats, characteristics, and hunting and feeding behaviors

Contains thrilling details of O'Shea's own encounters with snakes

Provides detailed information on venomous snake diversity, venom types, and conservation Includes a world map illustrating venomous snake distribution and detailed accounts of more than 170 speciesFeatures over 150 full-color photographs, many of them of extremely rare species

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica.

Reviews:
"This is a large book with more than 150 quality full-color photographs, some of which may frighten the serpent-phobic."--Alvin Hutchinson, Library Journal

"Poisonous snakes have been part of human legends - and nightmares - since the beginning of time. O'Shea, a reptile expert and television host, brings to life the world of serpents from around the world [with] hundreds of stunning, often rare, photographs."--The Globe & Mail

"[D]azzling, a photographic journey among the scaly and the lethal."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express _____________________________________________________________________
Boas and Pythons of the World by Mark O'Shea Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.

There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.

Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.

Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents

Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors

Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species

Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. His books include the definitive Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea: Reptiles and Amphibians (coauthored with Tim Halliday); and Venomous Snakes of the World (Princeton).

Reviews:

"These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended."--Nancy Bent, Booklist

"Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight."--Juneau Empire "Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats."--Globe and Mail

Endorsement:

"Boas and Pythons of the World is quite enjoyable. Mark O'Shea is a good writer with an easy, readable style. The book contains much useful information, and the personal experiences O'Shea weaves into his accounts add a nice personal touch."--Robert C. Drewes, coauthor of Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa ___________________________________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:03 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science
Volume # 11 Issue # 26/ 6/17/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Venomous Snakes of the World, Mark O'Shea
Paperback (2011) $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.
&
Boas and Pythons of the World, by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

For more information on each book and how to order see below.
_______________________________________________________________________
My Apologies for any deadlines for HerpDigest missed during June, or a slow response to correspondence; I’m trying to find as much time as I can afford to be a volunteer for the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Research Project (Diamondback Terrapins). This summer wanted to contribute to Herp Conservation -more hands on-not reporting what others have done. Plan on trying to do next year, and next.. (The Bay is only 1/2 hour car ride from me, so I don’t have to fly anywhere and I sleep in my own bed).
___________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1) Daniel Hamilton, Student dies while pursuing passion for reptiles, volunteering, Cayman Islands
2) EFFECTIVE CULVERT PLACEMENT AND DESIGN TO FACILITATE PASSAGE OF
AMPHIBIANS ACROSS ROADS
3) Apply Now for the Fall 2011 Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Husbandry Internship in beautiful Clearwater, Florida!
4) Nesting Ecology and Hatching Success of the Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina, on Long Island, New York
5) A Survival Estimate of Midwestern Adult Eastern Box Turtles Using Radiotelemetry
6) Terrestrial Flight Response: A New Context for Terrestrial Activity in Sonoran Mud Turtles
7) Creating a Successful Citizen Science Model to Detect and Report Invasive Species by Travis Gallo and Damon Waitt BioScience 61(6):459-465. 2011 &#8232;(Editor - No reason this can’t be adapted to herps.)
8) A Secret Oasis for the World’s Most Endangered Turtles -Turtle conservation: Tucked discreetly in Ventura County foothills is an oasis for the world’s most endangered turtles –
9) Shelling out help for Kingdom’s Turtles, Building US$20,000 Mekong Turtle Conservation Center for Cantor’s Giant Soft-Shelled Turtle
10) Captive Male Darwin’s Frog Coughs up Babies by John Roach, MSNBC, 6/3/11 (Cosmic Log on msnbc.com)
___________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________
Correction - Identifying plausible scenarios for the establishment of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus) in Southern Florida
wilsonj@vt.edu wwrong email address printed by Journal. Send requests for paper to asalzberg@herpdigest.org
____________________________________________________________________
1) Daniel Hamilton, Student dies while pursuing passion for reptiles, volunteering, Cayman Islands

June 8, 2011, BY KIRSTEN GIBSON | Summer Reporter Purdue Exponent

A 21-year-old Purdue student, who had a life-long passion for reptiles, died on Friday while on a volunteer trip to the Cayman Islands with the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.
Hamilton, senior in the College of Agriculture, died from hyperthermia, or heat stroke. He was found in the thick bush in Grand Cayman where he was taken by paramedics to a hospital but later died. He was from Hebron, Ind.

The resonating message from family and friends close to Hamilton was that his passion has always been reptiles and wildlife.

Rod Williams, an associate professor of wildlife science, helped Hamilton share his love for reptiles through one of Williams’ classes called nature of service learning. Hamilton was able to go to a local elementary school and present to children a lesson on wildlife and the environment.

“In my interactions with Daniel, he had two passions. He had a passion for herpetology (study of reptiles and amphibians) and a passion for teaching people about natural resources and the environment, especially if it involved amphibians and reptiles,” Williams said.

Hamilton’s brother and a Purdue alumnus, John Hamilton, said his brother, even from a young age, would indulge in his love for animals, especially reptiles.

“I don’t remember a time when he didn’t like dinosaurs or reptiles,” John said. “He always had a way with them, it was nice to see someone so in tune with those creatures.”

His mother, father, two sisters and brother all got to spend time with Hamilton before his trip to the Cayman Islands. John said those moments have stayed vivid in his mind.
“It was nice to be talking with him in person, to have him with us,” John said. “Those moments are very precious to us.”
John remembers Hamilton as always being a fun and honest person.

“He was a very fair and genuine person,” John said. “He lived life honestly.”

His exuberance for life made an impression on a family friend and roommate, Christina Morse, a recent graduate from the College of Liberal Arts. She said Hamilton was always positive and he made sure a situation never got boring by cracking jokes.

“He was very much about making jokes and making people laugh,” Morse said. “He always wanted the best for people.”

Hamilton died around the creatures he loved the most. Morse said he was doing what he truly loved and believed in.

“He was one of the few students that went to Purdue to do something he absolutely loved instead of doing something to get a job one day,” Morse said.

John regarded Hamilton the same way.

“His passion was his life,” John said.

The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 505 Bullseye Lake Road, in Valparaiso, Ind. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.
____________________________________________________________________________
2) EFFECTIVE CULVERT PLACEMENT AND DESIGN TO FACILITATE PASSAGE OF
AMPHIBIANS ACROSS ROADS

Journal of Herpetology 44(4): 618-626

David A. Patrick, Christopher M. Schalk, James P. Gibbs & Hara W. Woltz

Abstract: Efficient deployment of culverts to mitigate mortality of amphibians on roadways requires identification of locations within road networks where animals cross (hotspots), points within identified hotspots for culvert placement, and attributes of culverts that make them behaviorally palatable to migrating individuals. In this study, we assessed road crossing frequency of Spotted Salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum, and American Toads, Anaxyrus americanus, along a 700-m transect within a known crossing hotspot, and related these distributions to habitat variables within the hotspot including the presence of existing culverts. We also placed experimental arrays of culverts of varying attributes in the path of migrating Spotted Salamanders to examine culvert preference by salamanders under typical movement environments and appropriate animal behavioral states. Our studies of patterns of road occurrence demonstrated that both species avoided crossing where there was a wetl!
and within 15 m of the downslope of the road and that neither species showed a strong preference for crossing near existing culverts. When considering the choice for experimental culverts by Spotted Salamanders, we found no preference for culverts of varying aperture size, length, or substrate. Our results indicate that patterns of occurrences of the two species of amphibian within a crossing hotspot may be linked to the physical attributes at the site. For Spotted Salamanders in particular, predicting where they will cross within a hotspot may not be easy. Spotted Salamanders showed little preference for culverts of different design, indicating that a variety of culvert designs can suffice for mitigation if placed in appropriate locations.

*****

A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at

http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp
_____________________________________________________________________
3) Apply Now for the Fall 2011 Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Husbandry Internship in beautiful Clearwater, Florida!

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to three species of sea turtles in our permanent resident collection. We also have a prolific stranding response, rehabilitation and release program, including housing one of 4 ICU facilities in the state of Florida that responds to and treats turtles with fibropapilloma disease. On average, CMA admits and treats up to 60 sea turtles per year, with record years in the 200 count.

The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Husbandry internship offered at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) gives candidates a hands-on learning experience caring for sea turtles currently undergoing rehabilitation, as well as sea turtles that remain as permanent residents at CMA. Interns will be able to assist in diet preparation, feeding, record keeping, exhibit maintenance, water quality, behavioral observations, medical examinations and procedures as well as enrichment. There is also a chance to participate in stranding response, SCUBA, stingray feeding and tank maintenance and research data collection and processing. Interns will also assist in giving public presentations to guests of CMA; educating them about these protected and endangered species. Candidates should be able to perform physically demanding duties, work odd hours and long shifts, be comfortable in all depths of water and able to work in inclement weather, especially hot and humid conditions.

Candidates should be able to perform physically demanding duties, work odd hours and long shifts, be comfortable in all depths of water and able to work in inclement weather. Candidates can be currently enrolled in a two to four-year college program in veterinary science, biology, marine biology, environmental science, or another related field, or be a recent college graduate from a program of the same experience. There is a 500 hour minimum commitment in order to complete the internship requirements. For internship application, please go to http://www.SeeWinter.com under Get Involved.

Deadline for application have been extended to 5pm on June 17, 2011.
Please send all completed applications to Dawn Desantis, HR Administrator, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767.
Any questions, please email Dawn Desantis at ddesantis@cmaquarium.org, or Danielle O’Neil, Director of Marine Turtle Programs at doneil@cmaquarium.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Danielle O'Neil, M.Sc., CVT
Director of Marine Turtle Programs
Veterinary Technician
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater, FL 33760
P: 727-441-1790
F: 727-445-1139
doneil@cmaquarium.org
____________________________________________________________________
4) Nesting Ecology and Hatching Success of the Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina, on Long Island, New York by Russell L. Burke1 and William Capitano2
Department of Biology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11549
The American Midland Naturalist 165(1):137-142. 2011 &#8232;1Corresponding author: e-mail: biorlb@hofstra.edu
2Present address: 243-03 83rd Avenue, Bellrose, New York 11426; e-mail: wcapitano@hotmail.com

Abstract

While many aspects of the reproductive ecology of Eastern Box Turtles are well known, numerous gaps remain regarding inter-populational variation in clutch size, egg viability and clutch frequency, all vital components of population models. We collected data on nesting ecology of a dense Long Island population of Eastern Box Turtles for three years. Average clutch size was only 4.1 eggs/clutch, which is surprisingly low compared to a nearby population. Conversely, egg viability at this site was site was surprisingly high (95%). It also appears that Eastern Box Turtles lay only one clutch/year, in the later half of June, in southeastern New York.

Literature Cited
Capitano, W. 2005. Home range, spatial patterning and reproductive ecology of female eastern box turtles in a Long Island population. Unpubl. M.S. Thesis, Hofstra University. Hempstead, New York.
Congdon, J. D. and J. W. Gibbons. 1985. Egg components and reproductive characteristics of turtles: relationships to body size. Herpetologica 41:194–205. CSA
Congello, K. 1978. Nesting and egg laying behavior in Terrapene carolina. Proc. Pennsylvania Acad. Sci 52:51–56.
Ditmars, R. L. 1934. A review of the box turtles. Zoologica 17:1–45.
Dodd, C. K. 1997. Clutch size and frequency in Florida Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri): Implications for conservation. Chelonian Conser. Biol 2:370–377.
Dodd, C. K. 2001. North American Box Turtles: A Natural History. Oklahoma University Press. Norman, Oklahoma.
Dodge, C. H., M. T. Dimond, and C. C. Wunder. 1978. Effect of temperature on the incubation time of eggs (Terrapene carolina carolina Linne). Florida Mar. Res. Pub 33:8–11.
Ernst, C. H. and J. E. Lovich. 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada, 2nd ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland.
Evans, L. T. 1953. The courtship pattern of the box turtle Terrapene c. carolina. Herpetologica 9:189–192.
Ewing, H. E. 1933. Reproduction in the eastern box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina. Copeia 1933:95. CrossRef
Farrell, T. M., C. K. Dodd Jr, and P. G. May. 2006. Terrapene carolina–Eastern box turtle. p. 235–248. In: Meylan, P. A. (ed.). Biology and conservation of Florida turtles Chelonian Res. Monog. No. 3.
Hinton, T. G., P. D. Fledderman, J. E. Lovich, J. D. Congdon, and J. W. Gibbons. 1997. Radiographic determination of fecundity: is the technique safe for developing embryos? Chelonian Conser. Biol 2:409–414.
Iverson, J. B. 1992. Correlates of reproductive output in turtles (Order Testudines). Herpetological Monog 6:25–42. CrossRef
Kipp, R. L. 2003. Nesting ecology of the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) in a fragmented landscape. Unpubl. M.S. thesis. University of Delaware. 78 p.
Klemens, M. L. 1993. Amphibians and reptiles of Connecticut and adjacent regions. Bulletin No. 112 of the State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut. Hartford, Connecticut. 318 p.
Latham, R. 1916. Notes on Cistudo carolina from Orient, Long Island. Copeia 34:65–67. CrossRef
Lee, S. 2004. Repatriation success and health assessment of eastern box turtles (Terrapene c. carolina) at Caumsett State Park. Unpubl. M.S. Thesis, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.
Madden, R. 1975. Home-range, movements, and orientation in the eastern box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina. Unpubl. Ph.D. dissertation, City University of New York.
Nichols, J. T. 1917. Stray notes on Terrapene carolina. Copeia 46:66–68. CrossRef
Nichols, J. T. 1939a. Data on size, growth and age in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina. Copeia 1939:14–20. CrossRef
Nichols, J. T. 1939b. Range and homing of individual box turtles. Copeia 1939:125–127. CrossRef
Pike, D. A., L. Pizzatto, B. A. Pike, and R. Shine. 2008. Estimating survival rates of uncatchable animals: the myth of high juvenile mortality in reptiles. Ecology 89:607–611. CrossRef, PubMed
Stuart, M. D. and G. C. Miller. 1987. The eastern box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina (Testudines: Emydidae), in North Carolina. Brimleyana 13:123–131.
Tucker, J. K., R. S. Funk, and G. L. Paukstis. 1978. The adaptive significance of egg morphology in two turtles (Chrysemys picta and Terrapene carolina). Bull. Maryland Herpet. Soc 14:10–22.
Tucker, J. K. 1999. Reproductive output of Terrapene carolina, Chrysemys picta, and Sternotherus odoratus from west-central Illinois. Bull. Maryland Herpet. Soc 35:61–75.
Warner, J. L. 1981. Terrapene carolina reproduction. Herpet. Rev 13:4.
Wilson, G. L. and C. H. Ernst. 2005. Reproductive ecology of the Terrapene carolina carolina (Eastern box turtle) in Central Virginia. Southwest. Nat 4:689–702.
______________________________________________________________________
5) A Survival Estimate of Midwestern Adult Eastern Box Turtles Using Radiotelemetry
The American Midland Naturalist 165(1):143-149. 2011
Andrea F. Currylowa,1, Patrick A. Zollnerb, Brian J. MacGowanb, and Rod N. Williamsb
a715 West State Street, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
b195 Marstellar Street, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

1Corresponding author: e-mail: a.currylow@gmail.com

Abstract

Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) are widespread in U.S. eastern deciduous forests, yet many populations are experiencing dramatic declines. Herein, we present an assessment of annual survival for adult eastern box turtles that were radio-tracked over a period of 2 y. Using a known fates Kaplan-Meier estimator, the baseline annual survival estimate for adult eastern box turtles in Indiana's south-central region is 96.2%. Annual survival rates varied slightly between the hibernal period (95.6%) and the active period (96.7%). These initial data provide wildlife managers with a baseline from which a recovery period can be calculated. In areas where road mortality and human interface are high, this estimate should be adjusted to ensure the time for recovery is adequate. Further research is recommended over generations and age-classes to better inform management of this protected species.

Literature Cited
Allen, J. A. 1868. Catalogue of the reptiles and batrachians found in the vicinity of Springfield, Massachusetts, with notices of all other species known to inhabit the state. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. Conf. Proc 12:1–38.
Belzer, B. 2002. A nine year study of eastern box turtle courtship with implications for reproductive success and conservation in a translocated population. Turtle Tortoise Newsl 6:17–26.
Belzer, B. 2008. Field observations of North America's eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). Cheloniens 12:12–25.
Blair, F. W. 1976. Some aspects of the biology of the ornate box turtle, Terrapene ornata. Southwest. Nat 21:89–103. CrossRef
Budischak, S. A., J. M. Hester, S. J. Price, and M. E. Dorcas. 2006. Natural history of Terrapene carolina (box turtles)in an urbanized landscape. Southeast. Nat 5:191–204. BioOne
Congdon, J. D., A. E. Dunham, and R. C. V. Sels. 1994. Demographics of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina): Implications for conservation and management of long-lived organisms. Am. Zool 34:397–408.
Congdon, J. D., R. D. Nagle, O. M. Kinney, and R. C. V. Sels. 2001. Hypotheses of aging in a long-lived vertebrate, Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii). Exp. Gerontol 36:813–827. CrossRef, PubMed
Dodd Jr, C. K. 1997. Population structure and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism and sex ratios in an insular population of Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri). Can. J. Zool./Rev. Can. Zool 75:1495–1507. CrossRef, CSA
Dodd Jr, C. K. 2001. North American box turtles: A natural history. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 231 p.
Dodd Jr, C. K., A. Ozgul, and M. K. Oli. 2006. The influence of disturbance events on survival and dispersal rates of Florida box turtles. Ecol. Appl 16:1936–1944. CrossRef, PubMed
Flower, S. S. 1937. Further notes on the duration of life in animals.–III. Reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1:1–39.
Frank, S. and I. Swingland. 1988. Sex ratio under conditional sex expression. J. Theor. Biol 135:415–418. CrossRef, PubMed
Garber, S. D. and J. Burger. 1995. A 20-yr study documenting the relationship between turtle decline and human recreation. Ecol. Appl 5:1151–1162. CrossRef, CSA
Gibbons, J. W. 1987. Why do turtles live so long? Bioscience 37:262–269. CrossRef, CSA
Gibbons, J. W., D. E. Scott, T. J. Ryan, K. A. Buhlmann, T. D. Tuberville, B. S. Metts, J. L. Greene, T. Mills, Y. Leiden, S. Poppy, and C. T. Winne. 2000. The global decline of reptiles, deja vu amphibians. Bioscience 50:653–666. BioOne, CSA
Henry, P. F. P. 2003. The eastern box turtle at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center 1940s to the present: Another view. Exp. Gerontol 38:773–776. CrossRef, PubMed
Heppell, S. S. 1998. Application of life-history theory and population model analysis to turtle conservation. Copeia 1998:367–375. CrossRef
Heppell, S. S., H. Caswell, and L. B. Crowder. 2000. Life histories and elasticity patterns: Perturbation analysis for species with minimal demographic data. Ecology 81:654–665. CrossRef
IDNR 2007. Reptiles of Indiana, http://www.ai.org/dnr/fishwild/3307.htm. Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Diversity Section.
Iglay, R. B., J. L. Bowman, and N. H. Nazdrowicz. 2007. Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) movements in a fragmented landscape. J. Herpetol 41:102–106. BioOne
IUCN 2009. 2009 IUCN Red List of threatened species International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Kaplan, E. L. and P. Meier. 1958. Nonparametric estimation from incomplete observations. J. Amer. Statistical Assoc 53:457–481. CrossRef
Nazdrowicz, N. H., J. L. Bowman, and R. R. Roth. 2008. Population ecology of the eastern box turtle in a fragmented landscape. J. Wildl. Manage 72:745–753. BioOne
Pollock, K. H., S. R. Winterstein, C. M. Bunck, and P. D. Curtis. 1989a. Survival analysis in telemetry studies - the staggered entry design. J. Wildl. Manage 53:7–15. CrossRef, CSA
Pollock, K. H., S. R. Winterstein, and M. J. Conroy. 1989b. Estimation and analysis of survival distributions for radio-tagged animals. Biometrics 45:99–109. CrossRef
Ricklefs, R. 1998. Evolutionary theories of aging: confirmation of a fundamental prediction, with implications for the genetic basis and evolution of life span. Am. Nat 152:24–44. CrossRef, PubMed, CSA
Shine, R. and J. B. Iverson. 1995. Patterns of survival, growth and maturation in turtles. Oikos 72:343–348. CrossRef, CSA
St Clair, R. C. 1998. Patterns of growth and sexual size dimorphism in two species of box turtles with environmental sex determination. Oecologia 115:501–507. CrossRef, CSA
Steen, D. A., M. J. Aresco, S. G. Beilke, B. W. Compton, E. P. Condon, C. K. Dodd Jr, H. Forrester, J. W. Gibbons, J. L. Greene, and G. Johnson. 2006. Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. Anim. Conserv 9:269–273. CrossRef
Stickel, L. F. 1978. Changes in a box turtle population during three decades. Copeia 1978:221–225. CrossRef
White, G. C. and R. A. Garrot. 1990. Analysis of wildlife radio-tracking data. Academic Press, Inc. San Diego, California, USA. 383 p.
Wilbur, H. M. and P. J. Morin. 1988. Life history evolution in turtles. p. 387–439. In: Gans, C. and R. Huey. (eds.). Biology of Reptilia. Alan R. Liss Inc. New York, New York, USA. 672 p.
Williams, E. C. and W. S. Parker. 1987. A long-term study of a box turtle (Terrapene carolina) population at Allee Memorial Woods, Indiana, with emphasis on survivorship. Herpetologica 43:328–335. CSA
Yahner, R. H. 1974. Weight change, survival rate and home range change in the box turtle, Terrapene carolina. Copeia 1974:546–548. CrossRef
__________________________________________________________________
6) Terrestrial Flight Response: A New Context for Terrestrial Activity in Sonoran Mud Turtles
The American Midland Naturalist 165(1):128-136. 2011 &#8232;Paul A. Stone1, Marie E. B. Stone, Brian D. Stanila, and Kenneth J. Locey2
Department of Biology, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond 73034
1Corresponding author: e-mail: pstone@uco.edu
2Current address: Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan 84321

Abstract

The risk allocation hypothesis predicts that animals should be most averse to risk during brief and infrequent high risk situations. For animals in shallow aquatic habitats, encounters with terrestrial predators may represent such a situation. Terrestrial flight responses, acute movements from water onto land following a disturbance, may be a viable escape strategy during encounters with terrestrial predators foraging in shallow aquatic habitats. Sonoran mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) occur in intermittent aquatic habitats in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico. When Sonoran mud turtles were captured by hand in shallow pools or shallow stock tanks they frequently underwent terrestrial flight responses. In five of six trials in shallow stock tanks, and three of seven trials in shallow pools, turtles left the water within 20 min of being released, often climbing out of sight up relatively steep slopes. This behavior was not observed in four trials in which turtles were !
captured with hoop nets in deep stock tanks. Turtles that underwent terrestrial flight responses were significantly larger than non-responders. Terrestrial flight responses appear to be a risk aversion strategy in Sonoran mud turtles occupying shallow aquatic habitats. This unusual behavior may be widespread among animals that inhabit shallow aquatic habitats.


Literature Cited
Birt, R. A., R. Powell, and B. D. Greene. 2001. Natural history of Anolis barkeri, a semi-aquatic lizard from southern Mexico. J. Herpetol 35:161–166. CrossRef, CSA
Buskirk, J. R. 2007. Kinosternon scorpioides (scorpion mud turtle). Behavior. Herpetol. Rev 38:332.
Cagle, F. R. 1939. A system of marking turtles for future identification. Copeia 1939:170–173. CrossRef
Campos, Z., M. Coutinho, and W. E. Magnusson. 2003. Terrestrial activity of caiman in the Pantanal, Brazil. Copeia 2003:628–634. BioOne, CSA
Cooper Jr, W. E., O. Attum, and B. Kingsbury. 2008. Escape behaviors and flight initiation distance in the common water snake Nerodia sipedon. J. Herpetol 42:493–500. BioOne
Creel, S., J. Winnie Jr, B. Maxwell, K. Hamlin, and M. Creel. 2005. Elk alter habitat selection as an antipredator response to wolves. Ecology 86:3387–3397. CrossRef
De Robertis, A. 2002. Size-dependent visual predation risk and the timing of vertical migration: an optimization model. Limnol. Oceanogr 47:925–933. CrossRef, CSA
Dill, L. M. 1987. Animal decision making and its ecological consequences: the future of aquatic ecology and behaviour. Can. J. Zool 65:803–811. CrossRef
Flinders, C. A. and D. D. Magoulick. 2007. Effects of depth and crayfish size on predation risk and foraging profitability of a lotic crayfish. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc 26:767–778. BioOne
Frid, A. and L. Dill. 2002. Human-caused disturbance stimuli as a form of predation risk. Conserv. Ecol 6 (1):11 [online].
Hall, D. H. and R. J. Steidl. 2007. Movements, activity and spacing of Sonoran mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) in interrupted mountain streams. Copeia 2007:403–412. BioOne
Heithaus, M. R., A. Frid, A. J. Wirsing, L. M. Dill, J. W. Fourqurean, D. Burkholder, J. Thomson, and L. Bejder. 2007. State-dependent risk-taking by green sea turtles mediates top-down effects of tiger shark intimidation in a marine ecosystem. J. Anim. Ecol 76:837–844. CrossRef, PubMed
Iverson, J. B. 1992. A revised checklist with distribution maps of the turtles of the world. Privately Printed. Richmond, Indiana. 363 p.
Iverson, J. B., E. L. Barthelmess, G. R. Smith, and C. E. deRivera. 1991. Growth and reproduction in the mud turtle Kinosternon hirtipes in Chihuahua, México. J. Herpetol 25:64–72. CrossRef, CSA
Kiesecker, J. M. and A. R. Blaustein. 1997. Population differences in responses of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) to introduced bullfrogs. Ecology 78:1752–1760. CSA
Kotler, B. P., J. S. Brown, R. J. Smith, and W. O. Wirtz II. 1988. The effects of morphology and body size on rates of owl predation on desert rodents. Oikos 53:145–152. CrossRef, CSA
Lehmann, F. O., M. H. Dickinson, and J. Staunton. 2000. The scaling of carbon dioxide release and respiratory water loss in flying fruit flies (Drosophila spp.). J. Exp. Biol 203:1613–1624. PubMed
Ligon, D. B. and C. C. Peterson. 2002. Physiological and behavioral variation in estivation among mud turtles (Kinosternon spp.). Physiol. Biochem. Zool 75:283–293. CrossRef, PubMed
Ligon, D. B. and P. A. Stone. 2003. Radiotelemetry reveals terrestrial estivation in Sonoran mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense). J. Herpetol 37:750–754. BioOne
Lima, S. L. and P. A. Bednekoff. 1999. Temporal variation in danger drives antipredator behavior: the predation risk allocation hypothesis. Am. Nat 153:649–659. CrossRef
Lima, S. L. and L. M. Dill. 1990. Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation: a review and prospectus. Can. J. Zool 68:619–640. CrossRef
Loose, C. J. and P. Dawidowicz. 1994. Trade-offs in diel vertical migration by zooplankton: the costs of predator avoidance. Ecology 75:2255–2263. CrossRef, CSA
Mesquita, D. O., G. R. Colli, G. C. Costa, F. G. R. Franca, A. A. Garda, and A. K. Peres Jr. 2006. At the water's edge: ecology of semiaquatic teiids in Brazilian Amazon. J. Herpetol 40:221–229. BioOne
Métrailler, S. 2006. Ecologie de la platémyde a grosse tête (Acanthochelys macrocephala) au Paraguay. Manouria 9 (33):26–32.
Minckley, W. L. 1966. Coyote predation on aquatic turtles. J. Mammal 47:137. CrossRef
Peterson, C. C. and P. A. Stone. 2000. Physiological capacity for estivation of the Sonoran mud turtle, Kinosternon sonoriense. Copeia 2000:684–700. BioOne, CSA
Preisser, E. L., D. I. Bolnick, and M. F. Benard. 2005. Scared to death? The effects of intimidation and consumption in predator-prey interactions. Ecology 86:501–509. CrossRef
Schmidt-Nielsen, K. 1984. Scaling: why is animal size so important. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 256 p.
Semmler, R. C. 1979. Spatial and temporal activities of the yellow mud turtle, Kinosternon flavescens, in eastern New Mexico. University of New Mexico. Albuquerque. M.Sc. Thesis,. 71 p.
Sih, A. 1986. Antipredator responses and the perception of danger by mosquito larvae. Ecology 67:434–441. CrossRef, CSA
Stone, P. A. 2001. Movements and demography of the Sonoran mud turtle, Kinosternon sonoriense. Southwest. Nat 46:41–53. CrossRef, CSA
Stone, P. A. and J. B. Iverson. 1999. Cutaneous surface area in freshwater turtles. Chelonian Conserv. Bi 3:512–515.
van Loben Sels, R. C., J. D. Congdon, and J. T. Austin. 1997. Life history and ecology of the Sonoran mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) in southeastern Arizona: a preliminary report. Chelonian Conserv. Bi 2:338–344.


_____________________________________________________________________
7) Creating a Successful Citizen Science Model to Detect and Report Invasive Species by Travis Gallo and Damon Waitt BioScience 61(6):459-465. 2011 &#8232;(Editor - No reason this can’t be adapted to herps.)

Travis Gallo (tgallo@wildflower.org) is an ecologist, and Damon Waitt (dwaitt@wildflower.org) is the senior botanist, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Damon Waitt is also the founder, creator, and current program director of the Invaders of Texas program. Travis Gallo is the program coordinator and runs the day-to-day operations of the program.
The Invaders of Texas program is a successful citizen science program in which volunteers survey and monitor invasive plants throughout Texas. Invasive plants are being introduced at alarming rates, and our limited knowledge about their distribution is a major cause for concern. The Invaders of Texas program trains citizen scientists to detect the arrival and dispersal of invasive plants in their local areas and to report them into an online, statewide mapping database. In order to test the value of citizen scientists' data, we compared Invaders of Texas citizen scientists' observations of Arando donax (giant reed) with previously recorded A. donax observations in Texas and found an increase in the reed's overall distribution. A comparison with observations from the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, a similar citizen science program, confirmed that, given proper training, citizen scientists are able to detect and report invasive plants in their local areas, and the data t!
hey collect can be used by professional scientists.
_____________________________________________________________________
8) A Secret Oasis for the World’s Most Endangered Turtles -Turtle conservation: Tucked discreetly in Ventura County foothills is an oasis for the world’s most endangered turtles –

Reporting from Ventura, Calif. 6/5/11 LATimes by Louis Shagan

When it comes to caring for the world’s rarest cold-blooded animals, few places match the pampering and security provided to hundreds of critically endangered turtles and tortoises at a secret compound in the foothills of Los Padres National Forest.

In paddocks and aquariums protected by surveillance cameras and electric wire, Okinawa leaf turtles feast on silkworms and mulberries in a temperature-controlled greenhouse. Nest-building Burmese black mountain tortoises relax in piles of freshly cut oak, sycamore and bamboo. Forest-dwelling impressed tortoises dine exclusively on organically grown oyster mushrooms. Philippine pond turtles spend the night in snug tunnels made of cork bark.

But Saturday’s VIPs were eight ploughshare tortoises flown in from Hong Kong in padded crates. Among them is a female of breeding age, which Eric Goode and his associates at the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy’s Behler Chelonian Center hope to mate with the only male ploughshare tortoise of breeding age in North America.

“That male, which is en route from a zoo in Texas, hasn’t seen a female ploughshare tortoise of breeding age in more than 25 years,” Goode said as he marveled at the new arrivals in a quarantined pen. “We’re hoping for the best. These creatures have seen nothing but bad luck, corruption and greed in captivity.”

Some would call that an understatement. With fewer than 300 left in the wilds of Madagascar, the ploughshare tortoise holds the dubious distinction of being the rarest tortoise on Earth. They are heavily targeted by global animal traffickers, and the high-domed creatures fetch tens of thousands of dollars on the Asian black market, conservationists say.

Until recently, attempts to breed the ploughshare tortoise outside of Madagascar failed miserably. In the early 1980s, a male died shortly after zoo workers in Honolulu used an electric device to procure semen from the animal. A female that it was supposed to have mated with had her ovaries removed during a botched operation.

“Given their plight and scarcity, it took more than a decade of hard work by us, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and Hong Kong authorities and conservationists to get these eight tortoises into our compound,” said Paul Gibbons, managing director of the Behler Chelonian Center. “But, then, a lot of the animals in our pens have similar stories to tell.”

Many of the species found on the compound are nearing extinction because of habitat loss, wildfires, hunting and black markets.

“International animal trafficking is a dark and dangerous subculture,” Goode said. “Certain dealers will go to great extents to get their hands on these animals. That is why, although we are certified by the American Zoo and Aquarium Assn., we are not open to the public.”

There is no sign outside the facility, nor is it listed in the phone book. “Theft is a reality,” Goode said. “The only visitors are turtle biologists from around the world.”
The conservancy was established in 2005 with 250 rare turtles transferred from a Bronx Zoo collection that had been housed at Saint Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia. Today, the conservancy mostly manages animals seized from illegal trafficking operations or bred in its rock-and-mortar outdoor pens.
The conservancy’s primary mission is to maintain “assurance colonies” of threatened and endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles, such as the four Galapagos tortoises that lumbered across a manicured lawn in a pen shaded by tropical plants and oaks Saturday.

It also lends some of its reptiles to zoos around the world and collaborates with conservationists to protect the rarest species from extinction. For example, the conservancy has been working with biologists in the United States and Mexico to revive bolson tortoise populations in the hot and thorny Chihuahuan Desert south of the Rio Grande Valley.

Once as plentiful as jackrabbits, only an estimated 5,000 bolson tortoises survive today. Cactus fruit is the bolson’s dish of choice, and it’s always on the menu at the conservancy.

“We specialize in creating environments that are peaceful and natural as possible for our turtles,” Goode said.
_____________________________________________________________________
9) Shelling out help for Kingdom’s Turtles, Building US$20,000 Mekong Turtle Conservation Center for Cantor’s Giant Soft-Shelled Turtle
6/10/11, by Kenneth Ingram and Phak Seangly, The Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia's Newspaper of Record:

Snapping at monks and government officials with jaws capable of shredding through bone, a rare adult Cantor’s Giant Soft-Shelled turtle was one of 100 reptiles given a new home at a conservation centre that aims to boost dwindling turtle populations in Cambodia.

The US$20,000 Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre, constructed by NGO Conservation International within the confines of 100 Pillar pagoda in Kartie province’s Sambro district, opened on Wednesday. It is intended as a sanctuary for four different types of turtles, including two endangered species, and contains facilities for raising baby turtles away from predators and researching the reptiles further.

Among the endangered reptiles are Cantor’s Giant Soft-shelled turtles, with individuals known to weigh over 110 pounds and two meters in length. Featuring a distinct snout that earns it the name of ‘frog head turtle’ in Khmer, the breed inhabits the depths of freshwater streams and inland slow-moving river systems, feeding primarily on aquatic plants, fish, crab and shrimp.

The turtles – thought to be extinct in Vietnam and on the brink of extinction in Thailand and Laos – were virtually undetected in Cambodia until a biological survey, conducted in 2007, gained international attention for spotting them in a pristine natural habitat along the Mekong River. The discovery was an impetus for the new conservation centre.

“This centre will provide turtles with a safe environment to mature before they are introduced to the wild,” project associate of Conservation International Sun Yoeung said, adding that baby turtles would be released once they reached between 10 months and two years old.

However, 15 four-day-old Cantor’s turtles were released into the river yesterday, a Conservation International spokeswoman said, in part to facilitate the filming of a nature programme by French filmmakers.

“We don’t want to take all of the hatchlings back to the centre because we don’t know if they will all survive [there],” explained Som Sitha, monitoring and evaluation coordinator at Conservation International, pointing out that Cantor’s turtles had never been raised in captivity before. “Also, we want to involve local fishermen and show them that we will release some turtles back into their habitat.”

Sun Yoeung, 33, project associate of Conservation International, said human activity remained the greatest threat to turtle habitats.

“Turtle nests are easily found by people because of the large tracks that adults leave in the sand,” he said. “People were eating the eggs, but this is less common now because of education about turtles.”
Turtles are also sold to markets as ingredients for traditional Chinese medicines, ornaments and pets.

Environmentalists also attribute human activity to the destruction and pollution of turtle habitats through fishing, farming, small-scale mining near the Mekong River.

Community partnerships have been central to the success of the conservation effort thus far, said Sun Yoeung, as fishermen and villagers continue to be educated about rare breeds.

He said the an incentive program, rewarding people with $10 for finding turtle nests and $6 per hatchling, had populated the conservation centre with about 100 turtles so far.

Main features of the new facility include 33 aquatic tanks as well as a large concrete pond, where one adult Cantor’s Giant Soft-shelled turtle is being displayed.

Partners of the turtle conservation effort include Conservation International, Cambodia’s Fisheries Administration and 100 Pillar Pagoda, in addition to the World Wildlife Fund and the Association of Buddhist Monks.

______________________________________________________________________
10) Captive Male Darwin’s Frog Coughs up Babies by John Roach, MSNBC, 6/3/11 (Cosmic Log on msnbc.com)

A captive male Darwin's frog coughed up ten babies Thursday at a zoo in Santiago, Chile, a milestone in a project to save the amphibians from extinction.

The vulnerable species is one of two members of the only genus on Earth that rears its young inside of its vocal sac, a job taken on by the males.

"They have a small opening below their tongue. … After [the eggs] hatch, he takes the tadpoles into his mouth and manipulates them through that opening and into his vocal sac," Danté Fenolio, a conservation scientist with the Atlanta Botanical Garden, explained to me today.
"For about 60 days, they go all the way through to development inside his vocal sac. At that point when they are ready, fully developed, he coughs up fully formed miniatures of the adult."

Fenolio is working on a captive breeding project with the National Zoo and Universidad Catolica in Santiago to build a so-called assurance population of the frogs that can be released into the wild once, or if, environmental threats to their natural habitat are thwarted.

The babies coughed up Thursday are the second batch produced by the frogs, a sign that the project is meeting success.

The frogs are native to the southern temperate forests of Chile and Argentina, which have been isolated from the rest of the world since the dinosaur age due to a surrounding geography of mountains, desert and ocean.

This region receives enough rainfall to classify as a rainforest, which makes it ideal for amphibians. But it's also ideal for vineyards and plantations of radiata pine, a fast-growing tree highly valued for the country's lumber and pulp and paper industries.

"Those two things have driven a lot of these southern Chilean amphibians close to extinction," Fenolio said.

In addition, the chyrtrid fungus, which has devastated amphibian populations around the world, recently arrived to southern Chile and could easily wipe out populations there as it has elsewhere.

Yet another threat to some species of frogs in the region are invasive trout introduced to rivers and streams to support Chile's rising status as a world-class fly fishing destination. The trout eat tadpoles, though not those of the Darwin's frogs since they are safely inside dad's vocal sac.
"It is a very complicated conservation landscape," said Fenolio, who hopes to secure funding to establish captive breeding populations for Chile's other endangered amphibians and build up assurance colonies.

"An assurance colony doesn't fix the problem in the wild. What you are trying to do is buy yourself some time," he explained.

While addressing some of the threats could be a decades-long process with tough battles against well-established industries, others are relatively simple and straightforward, albeit costly.
For example, populations of some amphibians such as the false mountain toad could be protected by eliminating invasive trout from a stream and putting in fish exclusion devices downstream from them.

"That's been done in before in various areas around the world and it would be a relatively simple effort," Fenolio said.

One more threat, though, looms on the horizon. The Chilean government recently approved the construction of a series of hydroelectric dams in the amphibian zone. The dams will bring inexpensive electricity, but they come at a cost.

"Whenever you put a dam in, the habitat behind it is flooded and destroyed," Fenolio noted.

"These construction projects will impact the amphibian populations of southern Chile negatively, there's no question."


______________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately
________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

_______________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95, S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 150 color illus.

Feared, revered, and often misunderstood, venomous snakes have been a source of legend and nightmare since time immemorial. In this comprehensive volume, author Mark O'Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world's common and exotic venomous snakes, highlighted by previously unpublished gripping accounts of his adventures with snakes, including personal observations and several serious snakebite episodes.

The book begins with a description of the anatomies of venomous snakes, along with their diversity and distribution. Also included is a unique in-depth look at the various types of snake venom and the ways that each type attacks the body. A section on anti-venom, including thoughts on the looming anti-venom crisis, is also presented. Information on the adaptations of ocean-dwelling snakes and issues of snake conservation as well as an examination of venomous lizards follow.

From bamboo pitvipers to deep-diving seasnakes, and from adders and asps to terciopelos and the massasaugas, this book takes an original approach to examining these enthralling creatures. Rather than the typical taxonomic categorization, the snakes are grouped by geographic location: the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and the Oceans. Each section is illustrated with stunning and rare pictures, many of which were taken by the author himself.

Suitable for professional snake handlers and armchair herpetologists alike, this extremely accessible book is an enthusiastic celebration of the diversity and beauty of venomous snakes worldwide.

Explores the secret world of venomous snakes, revealing their habitats, characteristics, and hunting and feeding behaviors

Contains thrilling details of O'Shea's own encounters with snakes

Provides detailed information on venomous snake diversity, venom types, and conservation
Includes a world map illustrating venomous snake distribution and detailed accounts of more than 170 speciesFeatures over 150 full-color photographs, many of them of extremely rare species

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica.

Reviews:
"This is a large book with more than 150 quality full-color photographs, some of which may frighten the serpent-phobic."--Alvin Hutchinson, Library Journal

"Poisonous snakes have been part of human legends - and nightmares - since the beginning of time. O'Shea, a reptile expert and television host, brings to life the world of serpents from around the world [with] hundreds of stunning, often rare, photographs."--The Globe & Mail

"[D]azzling, a photographic journey among the scaly and the lethal."--Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express
_____________________________________________________________________
Boas and Pythons of the World by Mark O'Shea
Paper | 2011 | $19.95 S&H-US $6 -$13 Canada, $15.00 Europe. Any other overseas country contact us. 160 pp. | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | 155 color illus. 2 maps.

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.

There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.

Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.

Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda
Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents

Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors

Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species

Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. His books include the definitive Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea: Reptiles and Amphibians (coauthored with Tim Halliday); and Venomous Snakes of the World (Princeton).

Reviews:

"These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended."--Nancy Bent, Booklist

"Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight."--Juneau Empire
"Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats."--Globe and Mail

Endorsement:

"Boas and Pythons of the World is quite enjoyable. Mark O'Shea is a good writer with an easy, readable style. The book contains much useful information, and the personal experiences O'Shea weaves into his accounts add a nice personal touch."--Robert C. Drewes, coauthor of Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa
__________________________________________________________________________

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST
TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER
20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR,
AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST
Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK
OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the
But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 1 copy left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES
by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene
of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy left)

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume
Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS
Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE
James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump
Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:12 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 27/ 6/23/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, Regular Price $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Discounted $10.00 only until June 30th. $19.95 plus $6.S&H ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1)Malagasy wildlife on sale in Thailand
2) Breeding Panamanian Golden Frogs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3) Grand Canyon River Trip with emphasis on Natural History/Herps (cheap!)
4) Hundreds of Tortoises Smuggled in Suitcases at Bangkok Airport.
5) Bill Haast, a Man Charmed by Snakes, Dies at 100
6) Chinese village bites into snake business
7) Illegal Wildlife Traders Target Endemic Geckos
8) Snake Genome Suggests Treatments for Human Heart Disease ___________________________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________

1) Malagasy wildlife on sale in Thailand New TRAFFIC Southeast Asia report http://www.traffic.org/home/2011/6/16/m ... iland.html
_______________________________________________________________________
2) Breeding Panamanian Golden Frogs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

http://amphibianrescue.org/2011/06/23/b ... ional-zoo/

Video of Smithsonian’s National Zoo biologist Matt Evans talks about what it’s like to care for Panama’s national animal.
June 23. Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project _________________________________________________________________________
3) Grand Canyon River Trip with emphasis on Natural History/Herps (cheap!)

Attendees of the upcoming Biology of the Rattlesnakes symposium in Tucson may want to consider tagging on a once in a lifetime river trip through Grand Canyon. Andrew Holycross has a commercial trip booked 13-19 JULY through Grand Canyon Whitewater outfitters. This 7 day/7 night trip will take you from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek... over 225 miles through most of the length of Grand Canyon. Although the temperatures are toasty, the season is perfect for maximizing opportunities to see Grand Canyon Rattlesnakes, Speckled Rattlesnakes, and other herpetological denizens of Grand Canyon. The river company provides sleeping bags, tents, cots, meals, etc. The cost is $1599... and trips of this length usually cost about $2400. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Holycross AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at andrewholycross@gmail.com. ______________________________________________________________________________
4) Hundreds of Tortoises Smuggled in Suitcases at Bangkok Airport.
Posted Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:24pm AEST

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011 ... ion=justin

Customs officials in Thailand have intercepted an illegal shipment of 370 tortoises, hidden in two suitcases that were abandoned at Bangkok's Airport.

It is the second seizure of the protected Indian Star tortoise species at the airport within a week.
Ekalarp Rattanaruja from the Thai Customs Department says smugglers are trying new methods to outwit officials.

"Nowadays the smugglers keep changing their tactics," he said.

"Sometimes they leave them in Lost and Found, sometimes they just try to carry them through. More and more they change their methods and their routes."
_________________________________________________________________
5) Bill Haast, a Man Charmed by Snakes, Dies at 100 By Douglas Martin, NYTimes, on-line 6/17/11 in print 6/18/11

An eastern diamondback rattlesnake left one hand looking like a claw. A Malayan pit viper mangled an index finger. A cottonmouth bit a finger, which instantly turned black, prompting his wife to snip off the fingertip with garden clippers.

Mr. Haast was bitten at least 173 times by poisonous snakes, about 20 times almost fatally. It was all in a day’s work for probably the best-known snake handler in the country, a scientist-cum-showman who made enough money from milking toxic goo from slithery serpents to buy a cherry-red Rolls-Royce convertible.

A secret of his success was the immunity he had built up by injecting himself every day for more than 60 years with a mix of venoms from 32 snake species. He suspected the inoculations might have explained his extraordinarily good health, but he was reluctant to make that claim, he said, until he reached 100.

Mr. Haast, who was director of the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories, a snake-venom producer near Punta Gorda, Fla., died of natural causes on Wednesday at his home in southwest Florida, his wife, Nancy, said. He was 100.

Mr. Haast’s story was good enough in its day to land him in Walter Winchell’s syndicated column, on “The Tonight Show” and, hardly surprising, in Ripley’s Believe It or Not attractions. His original Miami Serpentarium, south of Miami on South Dixie Highway, attracted 50,000 tourists a year for four decades.

Outside was a 35-foot-high concrete statue of a giant cobra, forked tongue flicking menacingly. Inside, Mr. Haast, the self-proclaimed “Snakeman,” entertained paying customers by using his hands to grab snakes below their heads and force their teeth into soft plastic. Venom would then drain into test tubes fastened to the plastic. He did this 100 or so times a day.

The serpentarium was more than just another roadside attraction. The price of a gram of freeze-dried venom from exotic snakes, requiring 100 or more extractions to accumulate, could exceed $5,000. The substance is an essential ingredient in making a serum to treat snakebite victims. It has also shown promise as a medicinal ingredient.

Mr. Haast and a Miami doctor treated more than 6,000 people with a snake-venom serum that they and their patients contended was effective against multiple sclerosis and arthritis. After the CBS News program “60 Minutes” did a report on the subject in December 1979, interest in the serum surged. But in 1980 the Food and Drug Administration banned the product as useless after saying that numerous deficiencies had been found in Mr. Haast’s manufacturing process. Nevertheless, researchers have continued to work on drugs made from venom in the hope of using it to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Mr. Haast himself indisputably saved lives. He flew around the world to donate his antibody-rich blood to 21 different snakebite victims. Venezuela made him an honorary citizen after he went deep into the jungle to give a boy a pint of blood.

The favor was returned in 1989 when, according to The Associated Press, the White House used secret connections to spirit a rare serum out of Iran to treat Mr. Haast as he fought to recover from a bite by a Pakistani pit viper. (Different venoms require different antidotes.)

William E. Haast was born on Dec. 30, 1910, in Paterson, N.J. He caught his first garter snake at 7 at a nearby canal. His first serious snake bite came at age 12, when he was bitten by a timber rattlesnake at Boy Scout camp. The same year, a copperhead’s bite put him in the hospital for a week. When young Bill brought his first poisonous snake home to the family apartment, his mother left home for three days, he said. She finally agreed to let him keep a snake or two in cages.

“The snake would bite the mouse,” he said in an interview with The Miami Herald in 1984. “The mouse would die. I found it intriguing.”

He bought his first exotic snake, a diamondback rattler, from a catalog. Noticing that it had come from Florida, he knew then, he said, that Florida was his destiny. After dropping out of school at 16, he joined a roadside snake show that made its way to Florida in the late 1920s.

The snake attraction soon failed during the Depression, so Mr. Haast went to work for a bootlegger in the Everglades, where he was pleased to find plenty of snakes. The bootlegger was arrested, and Mr. Haast found his way to an airline mechanics school.

Finding a job as a flight engineer with Pan American World Airways, he began traveling around the world. That gave him a chance to use his toolbox to smuggle snakes, including his first cobra.
Mr. Haast’s dream of a first-class snake farm came true when he opened his Miami serpentarium in 1947. His near-fatal snakebites became legend in the news media, particularly after the total passed 100 in the mid-1960s.

His first wife, Ann, divorced him over his snake obsession. His second, Clarita, and third, Nancy, pitched in enthusiastically.

Besides his wife, the former Nancy Harrell, he is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mr. Haast closed the serpentarium in 1984 after a 6-year-old boy fell into his crocodile pit and was fatally mauled. He moved his venom-gathering operation to Utah. Six years later, he returned to Florida and opened the facility in Punta Gorda, where he raised and milked snakes but did not resume his snake show.

For all the time he spent with snakes, Mr. Haast harbored no illusions that they liked him.
“You could have a snake for 30 years and the second you leave his cage door cracked, he’s gone,” he told Outside magazine in 1997. “And they’ll never come to you unless you’re holding a mouse in your teeth.”
_____________________________________________________________________
6) Chinese village bites into snake business

By Royston Chan and Aly Song Royston Chan And Aly Song – Sun Jun 19, 9:12 pm ET

ZISIQIAO VILLAGE, China (Reuters Life!) – This sleepy village nestled in the heart of vast farmland in China's eastern Zhejiang province hides a deadly secret.

A step into the homes of any of the farming families here brings visitors eye-to-eye with thousands of some of the world's most feared creatures -- snakes, many of them poisonous.

Cobras, vipers and pythons are everywhere in Zisiqiao, aptly known as the snake village, where the reptiles are deliberately raised for use as food and in traditional medicine, bringing in millions of dollars to a village that otherwise would rely solely on farming.

"As the number one snake village in China, it's impossible for us to raise only one kind of snake," said Yang Hongchang, the 60-year-old farmer who introduced snake breeding to the village decades ago.
"We are researching many kinds of snakes and the methods of breeding them."

In 1985, Yang started selling snakes he caught around the area to animal vendors. He soon began to worry that the wild snakes would run out and thus began researching on how to breed snakes at home.
Within three years, he had made a fortune -- and many other villagers decided to emulate his success.
Today, more than three million snakes are bred in the village every year by the 160 farming families.
Snakes are renowned for their medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine and are commonly drunk as soup or wine to boost the person's immunity.

Yang has now started his own company to make his business more formal and build a brand, and also to conduct research and development for his products, which range from dried snake to snake wine and snake powder.

"Our original breeding method has been approved and recognised by the province and the county. They see us as the corporation working with the farming families," Yang said.
"So the company researches on the snakes and they hand them over to the farms for breeding. They said this model was working very well."

The original breeding method was simply putting males and females together, but now meticulous research is done on how the snakes breed, how to select good females, investigation into their diet, and how to incubate eggs so survival rates rise.

With rising demand for snake products from restaurants and medicine halls due both to rising wealth and a government push for breeding the animals to be used in traditional medicine, Zisiqiao villagers are now boasting a annual income of hundreds of thousands of yuan per year.

Yang Xiubang, 46, has been raising snakes in his home for more than twenty years and said his annual income has been steadily rising.

"The demand for traditional Chinese medicine is quite high in China," he said.
"After we finish producing the dried snake, most of them are sent to medicine factories. This also includes snake livers and snake gallbladders."

Yang added snake products from the village are currently being exported globally to countries such as the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Closer to home, snake products from the village are sold in the bustling Zhejiang city of Hangzhou, where the Hangzhou Woai Company offers a plethora of goods including snake powders.
"Each part of the snake is treasured," said store manager Gao Chenchang.

"China has a strong snake culture, there are a lot of people -- like in Guangzhou -- who like to eat snakes."

With such a special product, Zisiqiao's million dollar business is the envy of other rural communities. But Yang Hongchang said competition is stiff from other breeders who are rearing snakes on a larger scale than his village.

In addition, rearing the snakes comes with obvious risks.

The snake farmers said they had been bitten, some by deadly snakes, and were saved only by injection of anti-venom medicine.

Yang Wenfu, 55, gave up rearing species of venomous vipers after being bitten by one of them earlier in his career.

"After that, I no longer dared to raise vipers. I am still scared today," he said, adding that his arm grew hugely swollen after the bite.

"Life is valuable and making money is secondary."

(Additional reporting by Reuters Television Shanghai; editing by Elaine Lies) ___________________________________________________________________________
7) Illegal Wildlife Traders Target Endemic Geckos By Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas, 6/1/11

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines-The tuko has been making a lot of noise in the wildlife trade-and conservationists don't like what they're hearing.

Environment officials here are looking into reports that foreigners have been offering hefty sums to buy native geckos, locally known as tuko, a nocturnal lizard one would either love or hate for the loud sound it makes.

Some buyers are reportedly willing to pay P100,000 or more each for geckos that weigh at least 500 grams, according to Valentin Talavero, head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.

Among the purported buyers are Korean and Chinese nationals, the latter said to be interested in geckos for their AIDS research, Talavero told the Inquirer on Monday.
Errol Abada Gatumbato, vice president and managing director of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc., said gecko "collection" seemed to have gone unchecked not only in Negros, but in other provinces where the species still thrive.

Reports reaching his group indicated that the sought-after lizards were being used either for gaming or medicinal purposes, Gatumbato added.

"This is quite alarming because there are endemic geckos with conservation values," he added, citing sketchy accounts of "clandestine buying" all over the country.

In interviews with the Inquirer, several Negrenses who asked not to be identified admitted to poaching the native gecko population for sale to foreign buyers.

A more enterprising resident said he even "fattened" the lizards first in captivity.
But whether in rural or urban areas, one need not look far to have a sense of the growing tuko trafficking.

For example, information on which types of geckos are in demand-and how to sell them-is easily available on http://www.tuko.com.ph.

The website even lists down the characteristics of a "perfect tuko." To supposedly fetch a higher price, a gecko should sport red, orange or white spots on its skin, their feet splayed flat and shaped like a flower.

A marketable gecko should also weigh 400 grams or more, with a body length of at least 21 inches, the website said. It should look healthy-no severed body parts-and fed with food (mainly insects) found in their natural environment.

The gecko must also be active and fierce when one tries to hold it, the website added.

Geckos are also sold at sulit.com.ph, a popular buy-and-sell site.

And yet on paper, the prized lizards supposedly enjoy the full protection of the law.
Under the Wildlife Act of the Philippines, the collection of wildlife species such as the tuko requires a permit from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), Gatumbato said.
'
Reached for comment in Manila, PAWB Director Theresa Mundita Lim maintained that poaching and selling geckos are "illegal activities."

But lacking ample data on the country's gecko population, the government could not ascertain at the moment whether the species should be considered endangered or not, Lim said.
"We need to ensure first that its natural population will not be affected. Without that, it's illegal to catch it," the PAWB chief stressed.

According to Lim, geckos largely figure in the wildlife trade because of a demand in China, where their body parts are used in Chinese medicine.

Joan Gerangaya, head of the City Environment and Natural Resource Office, said several locals had asked his office to issue permits to "transport" tuko, but that they were all turned down since it would be in violation of the wildlife act.

Those interested in "breeding" tuko, however, may secure special permits from regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Gerangaya added. With a report from Kristine L. Alave in Manila __________________________________________________________________________
8) Snake Genome Suggests Treatments for Human Heart Disease By Katherine Harmon | Jun 21, 2011 01:10 PM

NORMAN, Okla.—Snakes have been around for some 150 million years, but their ancient physiology might hold some important clues to developing new drugs. &#8232;&#8232;Aside from their sleek exteriors, snakes' internal physiology is perhaps even more intriguing. "It's a really fun model for studying the extremes of adaptation," Todd Castoe, a researcher at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine's biochemistry and molecular genetics department, said June 20 at the Evolution 2011 annual conference in Norman, Okla.

In addition to the wow-factor of deciphering the snakes' interesting innards, the strange systems could help us better understand our own biology. &#8232;&#8232;As infrequent feeders, snakes have a highly variable metabolism, which can dip down to one of the lowest-known rates of any vertebrate. In particular, "the Burmese python is the quintessential model of the extreme version of this," Castoe said.

They can increase and decrease their metabolism by some 44-fold and their heart size by more than 50 percent depending on their energy demands. &#8232;&#8232;Behind all of these unusual evolutionary assets are the genes that make these feats possible. However, even as new genetic sequencing technology has allowed researchers to amass an impressive collection of plant and animal genomes, "reptiles have been really over looked by the bulk of sequencing," Castoe noted.

&#8232;&#8232;Earlier this year he and his colleagues published the first draft of a snake genome—the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus)—and it has divulged some interesting details about this species' agile metabolism. The snake's mitochondria, which are in charge of energy use in cells, "have undergone the single most extensive change that we're aware of," Castoe said.

&#8232;&#8232;To learn more about how the Burmese python heart undergoes such vast changes, Castoe and his team looked specifically at cardiac gene expression. Over the 72-hour metabolic cycle, they found many rapid changes in gene expression in the heart. In just a 24-hour sample, there were 1,852 unique transcriptomes (expressed RNAs in the tissue)—261 of which were up-regulated more than five fold.&#8232;&#8232;

These changes might help shed light on human heart development and disease. "We're pretty excited to not look at this in a vacuum," Castoe said. Some heart growth in humans is a good thing, such as that which occurs in childhood and due to exercise—what Castoe calls "Lance Armstrong-style heart growth." But other heart enlargement, such as that caused by heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy, is a definite negative and the target of much drug development. &#8232;&#8232;"If we are able to understand the genetic cues involved in rapid python heart muscle increases and decreases, that to be says there is the potential to develop therapeutics for humans,"

Leslie Leinwand, director of CU Boulder's Cardiovascular Institute, said in a prepared statement in 2008, before the genome had been completed. &#8232;&#8232;More work remains to be done before these new findings can be translated into potential drugs for heart disease in humans.

And as researchers digest more of these big snakes' genome, more medical applications might also emerge. &#8232;&#8232;A second and more thoroughly annotated draft of the python genome is expected out this fall. And other snakes are set to join the ranks of the sequenced, including the garter snake, the rattlesnake and the king cobra. Castoe notes that the field only keeps getting more interesting, adding: "If you're not studying snakes already, you should start."

_______________________________________________________________________
--


________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

_______________________________________________________
NEW BOOK

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, Regular Price $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Discounted $10.00 only until June 30th. $19.95 plus $6.S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:19 am

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 28/ 6/30/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
TURTLE TV is back , and available only through HerpDigest- 30 minutes of turtle paraodies of such greats as King Kong, It’s a Wonderful Life, and of ocurse TV staples like a cooking show (except the tortoise keeps drinking the sherry instead of using it to prepare the cricket, ) turtle Holiday greetings, for Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza, Turtle races-they are in race cars-the TBA-Turtle basketball League, THL- Turtle Hockey League and so much more.

No turtle lover should be without one. A great gift for any turtle lover.
DVD $15.00 each plus $5.00 S&H. $3.00 for each additional order.
_______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents


1) Pregnant Turtles Delay Air Traffic in New York

2) Bangladesh intercepts dried turtle smugglers- The size of the seizure has taken experts by surprise.

3) Tortoises to the Rescue: Re-wilding to Repair Ecological Damage - Re-wilding islands and even continents could prove an effective method for reversing ecological catastrophe

4) Correction Volume 7, # 27 article 7, -illegal Wildlife Traders Target Endemic Geckos The basis of the article, the dealers paying out big money for geckos as a hoax

5) In a War of Words, Makers of Plastic Bags Go to Court

6) Researchers Track Marine Turtle Movements

7) Turtle Lady ends career of caring for turtles and tortoises

____________________________________________________________________________

For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________
Letter from reader Ross Popeone on Discovery Channel Show. Proposing letter writing campaign to Discovery Channel

Subject: Comments on 'Hippo Island', Dual Survival

Mr. Lundin and Mr. Canterbury, (abodude@codylundin.com)

&#8232;I am writing regarding the episode of your show ‘Dual Survival’ entitled ‘Hippo Island’. Specifically, I am writing to address the capture, killing and consumption of a Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys (geochelone) pardalis babcocki), incorrectly identified by Mr. Canterbury as an ‘African Spurred Tortoise’. This species, while not currently listed on the IUCN’s ‘Red List’ of endangered species is, none the less, threatened throughout its range by habitat destruction, collection for the Asian and European pet trade (import into the US has been banned), and yes, being eaten by both indigenous and non-indigenous people. Another African tortoise species, the Madagascar Radiated Tortoise, has gone in less than two decades from being ‘as numerous as the stars’ to critically endangered as a result of being eaten by the Malagasy people. Just because the locals do it does not make it environmentally responsible, and it does not make it a responsible or appropriate thing for!
you to do. The animal that you killed and ate was likely fifteen years old and had survived literally one in a thousand odds to reach that age, only to be eaten by the two of you to make television. I hope that you are both properly ashamed of yourselves.

I am particularly disgusted with you, Mr. Lundin. Mr. Canterbury, with his Ted Nugent-esque ‘bag it, burn it and eat it’ television persona, can almost be forgiven for his incredible lack of sensitivity to issues of environmental concern, but you Mr. Lundin, with your espoused close to the earth lifestyle and love of your ‘mother desert’, should certainly know better. Do you allow, or even encourage, your survival students to eat the Desert Tortoises and other endangered species that inhabit your usual stomping grounds in Arizona? You present yourself as an almost shaman-like teacher of harmony with the natural world, but on ‘Hippo Island’ both you and Mr. Canterbury utterly failed to even mention that killing and eating a slow-to-mature, threatened species should be an act of last resort. Instead, you made this act seem completely devoid of environmental or moral significance.

Please understand that I am not an ‘eco-fanatic’ of some sort. I eat meat, own firearms and have killed and eaten animals, and understand that true survival situations sometimes require extreme measures. I am also not naïve as to the requirement to ‘push the envelope’ when producing television (hence Mr. Canterbury’s recent self-mutilation and wound cauterization with black powder), but killing and eating a CITIES Appendix II species, with a twenty-plus year maturation to reproductive age/size, for the sake of a television show, is irresponsible and reprehensible.

I am reminded of the actions of one of your predecessors in survival-related television, Les Stroud of ‘Survivorman’. In the course of filming his show, Les would sometimes come across an animal, sometimes an environmentally sensitive species, sometimes not, and say, “if this were a real survival situation, I’d have to eat this animal, but it isn’t, so I’m letting it go’. The two of you might learn something from Mr. Stroud. However dramatic the scenarios presented on your show may be, they are not true ‘survival situations’. Could you not have asked one of the camera crew for a bite of his/her sandwich, and let a rare animal carry on with its long life and reproductive potential? Again, I hope that both of you are embarrassed and ashamed of what you’ve become in the interest of entertainment. Needless to say, I will no longer be counted amongst the viewers of your ridiculous show.

Sincerely,
Ross Popenoe

Mr. Popenoe suggests sending emails of protest to the above and writing letter of protests to the head of Discovery Channels

David Zaslav,
President and CEO, Discovery Communications
8516 Georgia Avenue
Silver Springs MD 20910

Why? Being the Discovery Channel, this episode will rerun at least once a day in perpetuity. Discovery needs to acknowledge its corporate responsibility for ethical behavior toward the natural environment that they rely on for so much of their programming.
___________________________________________________________
1) Pregnant Turtles Delay Air Traffic in New York June 25th, 2011 • By Matt Molnar, Aviation News

Pregnant turtles native to Jamaica Bay have once again emerged to nest on land, marching onto one of the runways at John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday morning and causing what one Twitter user called, “[the] cutest delay ever!”

Diamond terrapins have been known to climb ashore around this time of year to lay their eggs on dry land. In their case, the nearest land happens to be the busy runways at JFK.

This morning the slow-moving reptiles with diamond-patterned shells caused 15 minute departure delays after they waddled onto runway 13R/31L, the airport’s busiest. The delays have since been cleared up, according to the FAA, but it is possible more turtles will return.

By now most of you must have heard of this mini-arribaba. Google lists almost 400, probably more by now print and electronic outlets that have reported on the story. And that is just in the U.S. and Canada.

But the 2 best I believe are Brian Williams Chief Anchor of NBC news spin on the story, And Rachel Maddows including it her regular segment “Best Thing of the Day.” Here are the URLs and wait until Williams last line. Maddow is at http://today.msnbc.msn.com

/id/3032619/#43586929
Williams is at
http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/ ... MHuE.email

Russell Burke who is head of the D. Terrapin Research project at Jamaica Bay prefers the latter because it much more detailed and goes into a lot more detail of the problem itself than other publications.

Why J.F.K.'s Runway Has Turtles All the Way Down* by Sara Reardon,6/30/11, Science Insider (Blog for Science Magazine)

So what was special yesterday about the runways of New York City's John F. Kennedy airport that drew over 150 diamondback terrapin turtles to cross its dangerous runways to lay their eggs, delaying flights for hours while wildlife workers took them home? It wasn't the moonlit night or "slow, sweet love" as a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told the press. In fact, there was nothing very special going on at all, except that a few J.F.K. pilots happened to be paying attention yesterday, according to conservation biologist Russell Burke of Hofstra University in New York, who studies terrapins in the Jamaica Bay between Brooklyn and Queens. Every mating season, he says, the turtles leave their home and breeding ground in the salt marshes near J.F.K. and take to the nearby sandy, open areas to lay their eggs and bury them in the ground. To a turtle, a runway is just another hurdle on the way to its nursery.

And the invasion isn't over. "They're going to have a trickle of turtles all throughout these next months," says Burke. About 1000 turtles live in the region that he studies; the population near J.F.K. is 10 times that.

Diamondback terrapins, which were overharvested for turtle soup in the early 19th century, have been protected in New York on and off over the past decades. They had been making a comeback for a while, Burke says, but their numbers are now declining again, partly due to the disappearance of salt marsh in the area. The cause is unclear, but rising ocean levels and nitrogen dumped from the New York City sewer system are likely culprits. Another problem is that the terrapin population is very old—and not being replaced. The turtles on the runway yesterday could still be the same individuals that were reported lazing on runways when J.F.K. first opened in the 1940s. "I think of them like the walking dead. There are practically no youngsters," says Burke. The main reason for this: urban raccoons, which also snap up 90% to 100% of the eggs laid by Jamaica Bay terrapins during breeding season.

It's hard to know where turtles fit into the ecosystem of a place like New York City, rife with pollution and a mélange of invasive species. Burke says the importance of turtles is that they serve as a barometer of a wetland's health so many conservation biologists watch their numbers closely.
So what's an airport to do about these slow-moving speed bumps? Burke says that the Port Authority, seeking to avoid more flight delays, has been exploring ideas with his group and others to prevent turtles from crossing the runways. They've discussed building plastic barriers that won't impede planes and can be removed after breeding season. Providing artificial breeding areas closer to the ocean to tempt the turtles away is another option, but the problem, Burke says, is that turtles are creatures of habit and it's really hard to change their minds. "How many neurons does a turtle even have?" he wonders.
________________________________________
2) Bangladesh intercepts dried turtle smugglers- The size of the seizure has taken experts by surprise.
By Anbarasan Ethirajan BBC News, 6/27/11, Dhaka

Officials in Bangladesh say they have seized more than 120kg (18st 5lb) of dried turtles from smugglers near the north-western border with India.

But the smugglers managed to escape after Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops gave chase in Dinajpur district.

"The dried turtles were being smuggled from India. This is the largest haul in the border region so far," BGB Lt Col Amirul Islam told the BBC.

Dried turtles can be used in soups and also in oriental medicine.

One kilogram of dried turtle costs around $140 (£88) on the international market.

Officials say there has been an increase in the smuggling of live animals and dried turtle through Bangladesh in recent months.

"I am quite surprised by the size of the seizure," said Richard Thomas, spokesman for the Traffic wildlife trade monitoring network.

"It raises the question, how many bags are getting through undetected?"

Mr Thomas said that if existing patterns served as a guideline, the dried turtles may have originated from north-eastern India to be sold in East Asia for medicinal uses.

Dried turtles are used in soups and in oriental medicine

According to Traffic, Asia's tortoises and freshwater turtles are being harvested in huge quantities to meet the demand for meat and traditional medicines, mostly in East Asia. The species are also in demand as pets.

Earlier this month, customs officials at Bangkok found hundreds of turtles, tortoises and gharial crocodiles packed in suitcases that came on a flight from Bangladesh.

In recent months, Bangladeshi officials also seized a number of protected wild animals within the country from individuals who were keeping them illegally.

"Bangladesh is becoming a transit point for illegal trafficking of wild animals from the region," Tapan Kumar Dey, conservator of forests with the Bangladesh Forestry Department, told the BBC.
"Traffickers are using our country's porous land borders with India to smuggle wild animals into Bangladesh and then transport them to South-East Asian countries," Mr Dey said.

Environmentalists say if the trafficking is not stopped then it could pose a threat to conservation efforts both in India and Bangladesh.
"The latest seizures illustrate that illegal trade is systematically wiping out Asia's freshwater turtles and tortoises," Mr Thomas said.
______________________________________________________
3) Tortoises to the Rescue: Re-wilding to Repair Ecological Damage - Re-wilding islands and even continents could prove an effective method for reversing ecological catastrophe By David Biello | June 23, 2011, based on paper in April current Biiology

Europeans ate their way through the island nation of Mauritius, most famously eliminating the dodo bird by 1700. Less well known was their effect on the Mauritian island now known as Ile aux Aigrettes, where they exterminated giant skinks and tortoises and logged the native ebony trees for firewood.
In 1965 the largely denuded 25 hectares of the island were declared a nature reserve. But even in the absence of logging, the slow-growing ebony forests failed to thrive. Why? Because they had lost the animals that ate their fruit and dispersed their seeds. So in 2000 scientists relocated four giant tortoises from the nearby Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles, and by 2009 a total of 19 such introduced tortoises roamed the island, eating the large fruits and leaving behind more than 500 dense patches of seedlings. The team reported its results in April in the journal Current Biology.

For this tiny island, at least, rewilding appears to have worked. And that holds out hope for other restoration ecology projects in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in the earth’s history. In Europe conservationists have received €3.1 million to begin bringing bison, bovines and horses back to “abandoned” agricultural lands in places such as western Spain or the Carpathian Mountains. Ecologists have proposed repopulating parts of the U.S. with elephants, which would replace extinct mastodons. The Dutch, for their part, have already built what amounts to a Pleistocene park at Oostvaardersplassen, adding Konik horses and Heck cattle to replace extinct wild horses and cattle.

Of course, humans have a mixed track record when it comes to interfering in natural ecological systems—the introduction of the cane toad to Australia to manage other pests has resulted in a frog march of havoc across the continent. “There are no guarantees when trying to manipulate nature,” notes ecologist Mark A. Davis of Macalester College in Minnesota. Others argue that humans should fix what they have broken. “There is no place on this planet that humans have not interfered with, and it is time for us to become actively involved in engineering solutions,” says marine biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland in Australia. “There are no other options except extinction at this point.”
____________________________________________________________________
4) Correction Volume 7, # 27 article 7, -illegal Wildlife Traders Target Endemic Geckos The basis of the article, the dealers paying out big money for geckos as a hoax

From the April Issue of “Pets Unlimited” published in Manilla, the Philippines.
The recent surge of interest on tokay geckoes throughout the country has been linked to an internet hoax. Unknown foreign buyers are apparent willing to pay Malaysian Ringgit (MyR 25,000 to 1,000,000 (MyR1-PHP14.25 for tokay geckos weighing at least 300 grams and up to one killogram each purportedly due to its curative properties against cancer and HIV.

Enticed poachers in Luzon, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Davao Zamboanga and other provinces serched for the mythical giant-sized reptile in vain and ended up trapping geckos regardless of sizein the false belief that they can fatten the lizards in captivity to an ideal weight to sell them for lucrative prices. Fueling the hoax are individuals fraudulently claiming that they tokay geckos for sale weighing up to 1.2 killograms each. In April 2011, Manbojoc, Bohol Mayor Leonicio Evasco Jr. alarmed by the unabated pacohing of the lizard prohibited residents from collecting and trading today geckos.

Tokay Gecko is commonly found in disturbed area and forest edges throughout Asia, South China, Bangladesh, India and Nepla. It can attain 7” in snout to vent length (SVL) and almost 14” in total length. Adult Tokay geckoes typically weigh less than 150 grams.

Editor- Basically there were no dealers and Tokay Geckos don’t grow as large as advertised.


Last issue I published an article on massive gecko collection for Chinese markets in China. According to Pets Unlimited, a Philapine publication it all was a hoax.
________________________________________________________________
5) In a War of Words, Makers of Plastic Bags Go to Court By Felicity Barringer, NY Times

Published: June 11, 2011 SAN FRANCISCO — The plastic bag industry, increasingly on the defensive as municipal bag bans proliferate, has gone on the attack against ChicoBag, a competitor that bills itself as an eco-friendly alternative. A federal lawsuit in South Carolina accuses ChicoBag of illegal trash-talking about plastic bag waste.

The lawsuit, filed by three leading plastic bag manufacturers, contends that ChicoBag (whose reusable bag, when compressed into its carrying pouch, looks like a slightly squished Hacky Sack) knowingly overstated figures like the size of the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean and the number of marine creatures killed by eating plastic garbage.

Andy Keller, 38, the inventor of the ChicoBag and the company’s president, said Wednesday he believed the industry was going after a small competitor because “their product” had “become the poster child of unnecessary waste.” He added that the facts on his Web site “have been part of the public debate for years.”

Not so, said Philip Rozenski, the director of marketing and sustainability at Hilex Poly, a maker of plastic trash bags. He said that ChicoBag’s Web site cites Environmental Protection Agency information that is outdated. The E.P.A. no longer endorses estimates like the one ChicoBag cited: that only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled. Mr. Keller said an industry site used the same figure until recently.

Citing E.P.A. figures from 2009, Mr. Rozenski said that 11.8 percent of bags, sacks and wraps made from the most common polyethylene compounds are recycled. That category, however, also includes shrink wrap, plastic coverings over fresh grocery items or the plastic enclosing cartons of water bottles.
Perhaps the most creative form of trash-talking done by ChicoBag, however, is not part of the lawsuit. Noting that Americans use an average of 500 plastic bags a year, Mr. Keller sometimes dresses up as “Bagmonster,” donning 500 bags and going to rallies in his trashy regalia.

Mr. Keller also notes that Hilex Poly’s Web site also appeals to the environmentally conscious, promoting new reusable or biodegradable products and encouraging reduction in paper bag waste. He said, “We agree on all those things. Their business is single-use bags, mine is reusable bags — we disagree on the proper course of action.”

Mr. Rozenski styles his company’s lawsuit as a business case. “This is about a direct competitor making false and misleading claims within the marketplace. When ChicoBag is making these claims, it directly benefits Chico.”

Rick Kurnit, a lawyer specializing in claims made under the federal Lanham Act prohibiting false and misleading advertising, indicated the plastic bag manufacturers may not have an easy time of it, even if Mr. Keller’s claims prove to be exaggerated.

“If a consumer cares about the environment, lowering their footprint, if he cares about disposal — would it really matter if the swirling mass in the Pacific is the size of Texas or just Rhode Island?” Mr. Kurnit said.

He added, “It kind of comes down to whether the degree of exaggeration, as alleged, if proven, would be sufficiently material as to influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions.”
_________________________________________________________________________
6) Researchers Track Marine Turtle Movements Friday, 24 June 2011, 10:48 CDT RedOrbit

A University of Exeter team has monitored the movements of an entire sub-population of marine turtle for the first time. The study confirms that through satellite tracking we can closely observe the day-to-day lives of marine turtles, accurately predicting their migrations and helping direct conservation efforts.
Writing in the journal Diversity and Distributions, lead author and University of Exeter PhD student Dr Lucy Hawkes (now at Bangor University) describes the migrations of a population of loggerhead turtles in the US Atlantic Ocean over a decade (1998). The findings reveal that, despite travelling thousands of miles every year, they rarely leave the waters of the USA or the continental shelf. This discovery could help the US direct conservation efforts where it is needed most.

Monitoring focused on adult females that nest along the coast from North Carolina to Georgia each summer and showed that they forage in shallow warm waters off most of the United States eastern seaboard. The study also revealed that the turtles which travel as far north to forage as New Jersey have to head south to avoid the cold winter there.

Dr Lucy Hawkes said: "This is the first time, to our knowledge, that anyone has been able to say precisely where and when you would find an entire sub-population of marine turtles. This is incredibly useful for conservation as it tells us exactly where to put our efforts. We knew that satellite tracking was a valuable tool, but this study highlights how powerful it is – without it we would still be guessing where these beautiful but vulnerable creatures live."

Dr Brendan Godley who led the University of Exeter team has been using satellite tracking to monitor sea turtles since 1997. He said: "By attaching small satellite tracking devices to turtles' shells, we can accurately monitor their whereabouts. Working with biologists and conservation groups around the world we are starting to build a much clearer picture of the lives of marine turtles, including their migrations, breeding and feeding habits. These findings form a valuable resource for conservation groups, who are concerned with protecting turtles from threats posed by fishing, pollution and climate change."
_______________________________________________________________________
7) Turtle Lady ends career of caring for turtles and tortoises by Paige Cornwell/Lincoln Journal Star, 6/24/11

&#8232;(Editor- I post this article because she was only 58 (I’m 57) so it makes me think how many of you out there any age have plans for what happens to your herps if something dreadful happens to you?)

For more than two decades, Angie Byorth has been the "Turtle Lady."
She's rehabilitated thousands of turtles, lobbied for turtle conservation, even changed her middle name to Turtle Lady.

But friends and colleagues say her days of saving turtles have come to an end. Byorth had a stroke May 7 and has been at Madonna Rehabilitation Center since.

Before that, she was caring for more than 100 turtles in her home.

Byorth, 58, declined to be interviewed, but friends said she should be released from the hospital Friday.
In a 2008 Journal Star letter to the editor, Byorth said she had lived closely with turtles and tortoises, as well as the occasional frog, salamander and snake, since she was 8 and growing up in her native Germany. She came to Lincoln in 1970 as an exchange student, then returned in 1972. She has two grown children.

She began rehabilitating turtles in 1973, and people began to drop off turtles they found or called her when they were concerned about one.

"Animal welfare has been and still is her first concern," said Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer and friend of Byorth, who also ran unsuccessfully for Legislature.
When Janice Spicha's two then-young sons found a turtle that had been smashed and was barely alive, people told her they had to go to the turtle lady, Spicha said.

"I thought she would suggest taking the turtle to a vet, but she personally reconstructed the shell," Spicha said. "She's one of a kind -- one of the good kind. You don't find many people who would dedicate their life to something so uncuddly as a turtle."

Mark Brohman, executive director of the Nebraska Environmental Trust, met Byorth in 1991 when he was a legislative aide and she came to Sen. Rod Johnson's office to learn how to change the laws regarding the commercial buying and selling of turtles.

"She was one of those big-hearted people," Brohman said. "And she loved turtles."

In 1993, the Legislature passed a law allowing the Game and Parks Commission to regulate the commercial exploitation of the state's 62 species of reptiles and amphibians. The commission also began collecting data on the effects that buying and selling had on wildlife.

Eleven years later, then-Gov. Mike Johanns signed regulations that prohibited the capture and sale of native Nebraska reptiles and amphibians.

"If anyone doubts that a small group can make a difference," they should take a lesson from Byorth, Johanns said in 2002.

Byorth's African desert tortoise Big Boy, then 6 years old and 30 pounds, took a stroll around the floor of the Legislature with turtle chocolates and a Turtle Conservation Project pen taped to his back.
Now weighing more than 100 pounds, Big Boy is living on a farm near Gretna with two other African desert tortoises. Brohman and Byorth's son placed him there after Byorth's stroke.

Her son and her friends have found homes for most of the turtles, save three she wants to keep. Among those placed were two bog turtles and three Russian turtles. Brohman's daughter took in two of Byorth's salamanders.

Brohman said he thought Byorth would end much of the conservation work for the animals she spent as many as six hours a day caring for.

"What I hope for her is that she gets well," Sartore said. "Then, we'll see. She's a young person."

_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H $10.00 off until July 7, 2011

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.
Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.
Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:20 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 29/ 7/8/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $10.00 off original $29.95 price, plus $6.00 S&H (see below on how to order) ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Reports on “Mystery Herps” Needed
2) The Year of the Turtle July 2001
3) Longville turtle races break previous participant records
4) Turtles-at-risk study to be conducted by South Nation
5) Pollution: Sea Turtle Dies After Swallowing 317 Pieces Of Plastic
6) Threatened green snakes released in county preserve
7) Massachusetts wildlife officials seeks top turtle roadkill sites
8) Tree Frogs' Self-Cleaning Feet Could Solve a Sticky Problem
9) New Species of Desert Tortoise, Genetic Study Says
10) Unique pig-nosed turtle is over-harvested in New Guinea __________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
_____________________________________________________________________________
1) Reports on “Mystery Herps” Needed

By “mystery” He mean anything rumoured to exist,or sighted once or twice that has yet to be formally categorized by science. The dictionary definition is “ a person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown.”

Send to:

Richard Muirhead
Telephone +44 (0) 1625 869048

eMail: richmuirhead@ntlworld.com
flyingsnakepress@hotmail.co.uk

websites: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/richmuirhe ... tozoology/
http://www.flyingsnakepress.co.uk
______________________________________________________
2) The Year of the Turtle July 2001
The July 2011 Year of the Turtle Calendar and Newsletter are now available!
In this issue, we highlight some of the recent, and newsworthy stories involving turtles and tortoises, and some people who have played a strong role in turtle conservation.

View or download our July Year of the Turtle Newsletter! In July, our Year of the Turtle News issue provides some information, and even entertainment, regarding recent turtle stories in the news. We also highlight key people in turtle conservation: John Behler, whom we lost in 2006, but he is not forgotten, and John Iverson, a professor who has been active in turtle conservation for many years. We feature more Citizen Science (volunteer) opportunities, and spotlight a species: the Yellow-blotched Map Turtle. We show off more of your artwork, and we share the turtle research and conservation activities of some of our Midwest PARC partners. Enjoy!

Desert solitaire: Check out our winning July Calendar photo subject! We congratulate Fiana Shapiro for her winning calendar photo of a Desert Tortoise (whose exact identity may now be in question; see our Turtles in the News articles). She photographed this lovely tortoise wandering among the red rocks this past April in Utah. Fiana’s photo was chosen as the July featured photo out of several hundred photos received since our contest began. All submitted photos will continue to be considered for future calendar months, as well as for use (with photo credit) in other YoT products and documents. More information about our ongoing photo contest is available at http://www.yearoftheturtle.org. Give us your best shot!

Visit http://www.yearoftheturtle.org to find the Newsletter, calendar and photo contest information for upcoming months, our Year of the Turtle Flip Cards (featuring the Top 25 most threatened turtles of the world), our improved USA Turtle Mapping Project reporting forms, the Year of the Turtle screensaver and video, and our ever-growing list of partners.
_______________________________________________________
3) Longville turtle races break previous participant records (823 racers)
July 8, 2011 - 10:36am, Submitted by Tenlee Lund

(The Documentary on Turtle Derbys still needs money- 1/2 of what it neede before. Almost there. Go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/128 ... entary-Any amount is apreciated. Also any amount you donate is matched by an anonymous donor.) Hannay Pellet, Jack Bedor and Nathaniel Walton took home top honors at the 4th of July Turtle Races. They are pictured with Hannah's mother, Renae Pellett, and race officials.


A record-breaking 823 racers took part in this week’s Longville Turtle Races. With 218 racers on July 4th and an all-time high 605 racers on July 6th, the turtle race crew was scampering as fast as the turtles themselves, just to keep up.

On July 4th, the Chamber Resort Race was won by James Weber, age 8, of St. Paul, Minnesota. There was a tie for Grand Champion honors between Hannah Pellett, age 8, of Watertown, Minnesota, and Nathaniel Walton, age 10, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Grand Slowpoke title went to Jack Bedor, age 10, of Chicago, Illinois.

On July 6th, the Chamber Resort Race was won by Courtney Reistad, age 15, of Elk River, Minnesota. Grand Champion honors went to Samantha Cockayne, age 2½, of Des Moines, Iowa, while the Grand Slowpoke title went to Jake Leonard, age 5, of Madrid, Iowa.
Pre-race activities both days included hula-hoop contests, the Chicken Dance, the YMCA dance, the Macarena and the Hokey-Pokey, along with the many turtle race games, designed to provide fun for all ages.

The Longville Turtle Races are held every Wednesday, rain or shine, from now through Aug. 24. Registration, games and contests begin at 1 p.m. The Chamber Resort Turtle Race is held at 1:45 p.m., with regular racing heats beginning at 2 p.m. Bring your own turtle (the shell must measure at least 4 inches) or you can rent one at the races.

All proceeds benefit community activities sponsored by the Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
_________________________________________________________________________
4) Turtles-at-risk study to be conducted by South Nation Media Release South Nation Conservation Authority

Finch - Jul. 8, 2011 - For the sixth season in a row, South Nation Conservation is inviting watershed residents to become involved in its ongoing rare turtle protection and enhancement program both by helping turtles cross the road safely and by reporting turtle sightings.

&#8232;&#8232;But be wary! One of the species involved in the program is the Snapping turtle which can deliver a sharp bite with its powerful beak to hands and fingers which come too close. If necessary in escorting one to safer surroundings, always pick up a Snapping turtle by the rear of its shell. Never pick up any turtle by its tail as it will more than likely result in injury to the turtle. &#8232;&#8232;

Other species-at-risk are the Spotted Turtle, Stinkpot or Musk Turtle, Blanding’s Turtle, and the Northern Map Turtle. The Painted turtle isn’t endangered and isn’t part of the program. &#8232;&#8232;Aimed at monitoring turtle locations, providing and protecting nesting sites, enhancing habitat, and redirecting turtles away from road surfaces and through culverts, the project relies on yearly funding of $25,000 from the province and about $60,000 from the federal government.

Provincial funding has been secured for the 2011-12 Rare Turtle study to date. If complete funding is not available, SNC hopes to continue with the program; however it may need to be scaled back accordingly. &#8232;&#8232;SNC Species-At-Risk Technician Karen Paquette notes that a high rate of road kills of mature turtles trying to reach preferred nesting sites, along with an assortment of predators going after eggs and hatchlings, means the chance of eggs surviving and then living to reach sexual maturity (anywhere from 10 to 25 human years) is less than one percent. &#8232;&#8232;

Abundant turtles, she added, are seen as a good indicator of a healthy and ecologically stable watershed. Residents with nests on their properties can try to protect them with chicken wire covers. It’s very important to remember to remove the covering after 3 to 4 weeks to allow hatchlings the ability to exit the nest. &#8232;&#8232;One of the program features are turtle crossing signs, with 40 already installed in the watershed and 30 more soon to be added.

New to the program this year are two illustrated outdoor tables being designed for conservation areas at High Falls in Casselman and Cass Bridge south of Winchester which describe the characteristics of the turtles in question. &#8232;&#8232;Paquette encouraged members of the public to report to SNC whenever a turtle is encountered, be it alive or dead, providing location, behavior (nesting, road-kill, on road, swimming etc.) and other species. Photos are extremely helpful in confirming identification.
_________________________________________________________________________
5) Pollution: Sea Turtle Dies After Swallowing 317 Pieces Of Plastic Leanne Hall, Global Animal

(SEA TURTLES) AUSTRALIA – Plastic bags, small lids and even lollipop sticks were among the 317 pieces of plastic found in the digestive system of a green sea turtle who washed ashore on a New South Whales beach earlier this month. The young turtle was the worst case Rochelle Ferris and her team of volunteers at Australian Seabird Rescue had seen during their 15 years of work in the area.

The team responds to “about 40 sea turtle strandings a year that are directly related to plastic ingestion,” according to Ferris. Unfortunately, the turtles mistake the plastic pieces for food.

A shocking 36 percent of sea turtles are affected by marine debris, such as plastic, according to recent research at the University of Queensland. Although the Australian Federal Government has addressed the issue, it is obvious that more needs to be done to reduce the amount of waste entering the ocean and inevitably destroying its inhabitants.

This tragic death demonstrates the negative impact we have on our oceanic friends. Lessen your impact by remembering the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

For more information and to watch a video in which Ferris discusses the incident as well as the larger issues, goto http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2011 ... northcoast
________________________________________________
6) Threatened green snakes released in county preserve By Stefano Esposito sesposito@suntimes.com July 1, 2011 8:20PM

This green snake was one of six released Thursday into the wild at the Lake County Forest Preserve.
It’s emerald green, about as wide around as a pencil and it’s in trouble.

On Thursday, in an effort to boost the population of the endangered smooth green snake, six of the little serpents raised at Lincoln Park Zoo were released at Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville.
According to officials with the Lake County Forest Preserve District, the release was part of a conservation effort with the zoo that aims to boost the snakes’ population through scientific study, breeding, monitoring and reintroduction efforts.

The effort began last summer with Lake County officials reportedly finding a small number of adult snakes and more than 80 eggs in an area slated for development. The eggs were taken to the zoo for incubation, and 83 of them hatched.

The snake, which lives on insects and likes to slither through long green grass, has been declining in numbers in recent years, said Joanne Earnhardt, a population biologist at the zoo.

Half of the snakes brought to Old School this week were given a “hard release” directly into the wild, while the other half had a “soft release” into enclosures within the preserve. Officials report the enclosed snakes will “spend some time getting accustomed to being wild while still being contained in a controlled, managed environment designed to limit predators of the snake.”

Throughout the summer, about a dozen more snakes will be released — some with tiny radio transmitters so scientists can track their movements.

Widespread use of pesticide and habitat loss have contributed to the decline in numbers, scientists say. Wildlife biologist Gary Glowacki said the district has spent more than a decade purchasing and restoring land containing suitable as new habitat for the smooth green snake.

“Despite this, the snake is still found only in a handful of isolated areas in Lake County that contain remnant grassland habitat,” he said. “The remaining populations may not be viable in the long term due to small numbers and because habitat fragmentation, primarily due to roads and other physical barriers, makes re-colonization of restored sites improbable.”

Earnhardt said the species has not been studied much, and it’s uncertain what might be a healthy snake population.

“All we know is that people are seeing them less and there’s less of their habitat available,” she said.
_________________________________________________________________
7) Massachusetts wildlife officials seeks top turtle roadkill sites
7/5/11 Turle Zone News, News from around the Commonwealth concerning turtles.
By Stan Freeman for MassLive.com

Massachusetts wildlife officials seek public's help locating top turtle roadkill sites
Question: Why did the turtle cross the road?

Answer: A genetic imperative.

In recent weeks, turtles have been climbing out of the comfortable confines of ponds, lakes and streams, driven by strong reproductive instincts that have launched them on a search to find a suitable spot on dry land to lay eggs.

However, a huge number of them are killed on roadways as they make the effort, and that worries state wildlife officials who are asking the public’s help in identifying turtle death hot spots.

“Many turtle species in Massachusetts are in decline and a lot of that has to do with road mortality,” said Marion E. Larson, a wildlife biologist for the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.

“So we’re asking people to tell us about where they are seeing road-killed turtles to try and identify where there are highway crossings with a lot of mortality,” Larson said. “Then, as roads are repaired by departments of transportation, they may be able to change the design to make it more turtle friendly.”

The Turtle Roadway Mortality Study is a joint multi-year effort by the state Department of Transportation, the state Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and the Vernal Pool Association. The online citizen reporting page can be found at: http://linkinglandscapes.info.

Massachusetts has 10 native turtles, all of which lay their eggs on land, even though some (including the state’s largest native turtle, the snapping turtle) almost never venture from water at any other time.

The peak time for egg laying is late May to early July. Typically, the eggs, which are laid in holes dug in loose or sandy soil, hatch in two to three months.

Begun in 2010, the turtle study will need several years of data before the researchers “can feel confident that we’ve identified the majority of the significant roadkill sites” in the state, said Michael T. Jones, a biologist at University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Jones is one of the project’s coordinators.

“The worst sites that we currently know of are in eastern Massachusetts, where road density and traffic volume are greatest. At one particularly bad site in Middlesex County, more than 100 turtles of multiple species are killed each spring,” he said.

At that site, along Route 119 in Littleton, the state is putting in a “turtle-friendly” culvert, as part of a scheduled road upgrade, that will act as a tunnel to allow them to cross beneath the road, Larson said.

As road sections throughout the state come up for repair or upgrade, the list of turtle-mortality hot spots will be consulted to see if a change could be made to the project design to lower the mortality, Larson said.

Turtles can live long lives, with some box turtles reaching 100 years. Since some species do not reach reproductive age until they are age 10 or more, early deaths can have a great impact on their population, Jones said.

“Turtle populations appear to be more negatively affected by high levels of roadkill than amphibians and most mammals,” he said.

However, that occurs because of the breaking up of landscapes by roads and development. According to the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, the number one reason why turtle populations – as well as those of many animals – are in decline is the fragmentation, degradation and loss of habitat.

_______________________________________________________________________
8) Tree Frogs' Self-Cleaning Feet Could Solve a Sticky Problem ScienceDaily (July 4, 2011) — Tree frogs have specially adapted self-cleaning feet which could have practical applications for the medical industry.

"Tree frog feet may provide a design for self-cleaning sticky surfaces, which could be useful for a wide range of products especially in contaminating environments -- medical bandages, tyre performance, and even long lasting adhesives," says researcher, Niall Crawford at the University of Glasgow who will be presenting this work at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow on 3rd of July, 2011.

Tree frogs have sticky pads on their toes that they use to cling on in difficult situations, but until now it was unclear how they prevent these pads from picking up dirt.

"Interestingly the same factors that allow tree frogs to cling on also provide a self cleaning service. To make their feet sticky tree frogs secrete mucus, they can then increase their adhesion by moving their feet against the surface to create friction. We have now shown that the mucus combined with this movement allows the frogs to clean their feet as they walk," says Mr. Crawford.

The researchers placed the White's tree frogs on a rotatable platform and measured the angles at which the frog lost its grip. When the experiment was repeated with frogs whose feet were contaminated with dust they initially lost grip but if they took a few steps their adhesive forces were recovered. "When the frogs did not move the adhesive forces recovered much more slowly," says Mr. Crawford. "This shows that just taking a step enables frogs to clean their feet and restore their adhesion ability."

White's tree frogs have tiny hexagonal patterns on their feet, which allow some parts of the pad to remain in contact with the surface and create friction, whilst the channels between allow the mucus to spread throughout the pad. This mucus at once allows the frog to stick and then, when they move, also carries away any dirt. If this can be translated into a human-made design it could provide a re-useable, effective adhesive.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use the following format.
MLA
Society for Experimental Biology (2011, July 4). Tree frogs' self-cleaning feet could solve a sticky problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 6, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/07/110703132531.htm
_______________________________________________________________________
9) New Species of Desert Tortoise, Genetic Study Says USGS Desert Tortoise News, Tuesday, June 28, 2011, -- Ben Young Landis

The desert tortoise -- that slow-footed shelled sentinel of America's desert southwest -- is actually comprised of two distinct species, according to a new study coauthored by USGS. &#8232;&#8232;The newly recognized species has been named Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai).

Most tortoises found in Arizona and Mexico will now be assigned to this species.&#8232;&#8232;It took some sophisticated genetic analysis to sort the two species out -- not too surprising for a drab, secretive animal adapted to blend perfectly into the desert environment and keep out of sight.&#8232;&#8232;

Desert tortoises were first known to science 150 years ago, says Kristin Berry, a USGS Western Ecological Research Center biologist who was a coauthor on this study, which was published online today.

Described in 1861 by Army doctor and scientist James Graham Cooper, the desert tortoise eventually received the scientific name Gopherus agassizii. &#8232;&#8232;All tortoise populations within its known range -- California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona down to Mexico -- were thought to belong to that single species, Gopherus agassizii.

But in recent decades, scientists and wildlife managers began to suspect some differences between populations of this basketball-sized burrower.&#8232;&#8232;“Populations on opposite sides of the Colorado River had different habitat preferences,” says Berry, who has studied desert tortoise biology for more than 40 years. “Tortoises south and east of the Colorado prefer to hide and burrow under rock crevices on steep, rocky hillsides, while tortoises north and west of the Colorado prefers to dig burrows in valleys.

”&#8232;&#8232;There were other minute differences as well, such as egg-laying seasons and litte details in the tortoises' shell -- differences you couldn't tell from a casual glance at these leathery clawed crawlers. So Berry and colleagues Bob Murphy, Taylor Edwards, Alan Leviton, Amy Lathrop and Daren Riedle organized a little detective hunt.&#8232;&#8232;

The hunt involved sorting through and digging up hundred-year-old pickled specimens of desert tortoises from the vaults of the Smithsonian and California Academy of Sciences -- then using sophisticated DNA analysis to compare tortoise genes from these ancient, preserved tissue with samples from living tortoises from throughout the desert southwest. &#8232;&#8232;It's an intriguing story and history lesson of its own, involving the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, misplaced labels, and lost specimens.
________________________________________________________________________
10) Unique pig-nosed turtle is over-harvested in New Guinea By Matt Walker Editor, BBC Nature Pig-nosed turtles are a unique species

Numbers of pig-nosed turtles have declined steeply over the past 30 years, researchers have discovered.

The unique reptile has become an international conservation icon, due to it having no close relatives and being considered the turtle most adapted to life underwater in freshwater ponds and rivers.
Yet demand for its eggs and meat in Papua New Guinea, one of the turtle's main homes, has led to the species being dramatically over-harvested by indigenous people.

Details of the decline are published in the journal Biological Conservation.

We estimated the decline in this pig-nosed turtle population to be more than 50% since 1981”
End Quote Biologist Carla Eisemberg University of Canberra

"Pig-nosed turtles are considered unique and unusual among freshwater species of turtles in many facets of their morphology, ecology and behaviour," Carla Eisemberg of the University of Canberra, Australia, told BBC Nature.

For example, embryonic pig-nosed turtles become male or female depending on the temperature of the ground their eggs are laid in, while fully developed embryos can delay their hatching.
The pig-nosed turtle is also of great interest to scientists because of its unique position in the turtle family tree.

It is the sole survivor of a once widespread family of turtles called the Carettochelyidae, and has a restricted global distribution, being only found in north Australia and New Guinea Island.
Despite living in freshwater, it is also resembles marine turtles.

"Similar to marine turtles, its limbs are paddle-shaped, but still possess movable digits," said Prof Eisemberg.

That means it might represent a stage of gradual evolution of turtles from freshwater to the sea, and the study of its ecology can help to understand the evolution of marine turtles.

"On the other hand, the similarities they share also make it vulnerable to the same threats that marine turtles face, such as harvesting of nests and adults," said Professor Eisemberg.

To find out what impact such harvesting may be having on the turtle, Professor Eisemberg surveyed the numbers of eggs and adult turtles nesting in the Kikori region of Papua New Guinea. Her team also studied how many turtles and eggs passed through local markets and were consumed in villages along rivers and the coast.

Scientist Mark Rose, now at Fauna and Flora International in Cambridge, UK, and a member of Professor Eisemberg's team, conducted a similar survey of pig-nosed turtle numbers between 1980 and 1982.
That allowed the scientists to directly compare how the turtle has fared over the past 30 years.

Pig-nosed turtle eggs and meat being sold by a lady from Lalau (Rumu Tribe) in the Sirebi Market in Kikori, PNG

Anecdotal evidence suggested that turtle numbers had fallen, but "we provided, for the first time, concrete evidence of a substantive decline in these pig-nosed turtle populations," said Prof Eisemberg.
The researchers found that villagers harvested more than 95% of monitored nests. Female turtles have also become smaller on average; bigger individuals have been removed from the wild population and the overall life expectancy of the species has fallen.

The team also discovered more than 160 adult female turtles that had been harvested in the study area.
Overall "we estimated the decline in this pig-nosed turtle population to be more than 50% since 1981," said Professor Eisemberg.

"Such a decline is likely to be widespread as the species is under similar pressures elsewhere in Papua New Guinea," she added.

"Highly prized as food, it is the most exploited turtle in New Guinea. Both turtle and eggs are collected for trade or consumption by local villagers.

"The pressure on pig-nosed turtle populations has increased in recent years, especially in Western Papua and Papua New Guinea."

Twenty three females caught in one night while nesting in a coastal island of Kikori That is mainly due to the growth in human populations, a greater propensity for villages to establish on riverbanks following the cessation of tribal warfare and the introduction of new technologies, such as modern fishing gear, she said.

According to the scientists, conservation plans to save the turtle are urgently needed, and, even if implemented, it will take decades for the pig-nosed turtle to recover.

But these plans must be made sensitively, as the indigenous communities living in pig-nosed turtle habitat often rely on protein from the reptile to survive.

"We need to provide win win outcomes to both local and conservation communities," said Professor Eisemberg.
____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to http://www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

THE BIOLOGY OF RATTLESNAKES – an extraordinary volume Loma Linda University Press, Listed as $105.00. Now on Sale for $90.00 plus Plus $ 7.50 for S&H, 606 pages, weighs nearly 7 lbs. 50 original contributions from 98 authorities.
W. K. Hayes, K. R. Beaman, M. D. Cardwell, S. P. Bush, editors (Only have one copy left)

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:45 am

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue #30/ 7/11/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Book on Sale. Take $10.00 off list price Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, C 2011, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H (See below for more info on book and how to order.
________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Vampire frog flies in to Australian museum
2) PCR Prevalence of Ranavirus in Free-Ranging Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) at Rehabilitation Centers in Three Southeastern US States ( Infection is highly fatal in turtles, and the potential impact on endangered populations could be devastating)
3) Detection and Characterization of Mycoplasma spp. and Salmonella spp. in Free-living European Tortoises (Testudo hermanni, Testudo graeca, and Testudo marginata)
4) Cold Weather and the Potential Range of Invasive Burmese Pythons
5) TX Snakes iPhone app created by Tech graduate student Lizards Flying off the Shelves - Sales of bearded dragons and snakes have helped Pets At Home Express. co.
7 Mapping the World's Sea Turtles
8) Lizard Smuggler Gets 15 Months Behind Bars After Being Caught At LAX
9) Sea turtles nesting at record rate in Georgia

For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
__________________________________________________________________
1) Vampire frog flies in to Australian museum By Matthew Perkins, 7/6/11, 702, ABC Sydney

Vampires and frogs may not go together at first thought but one of the world's newest discoveries shows how they do.

go to site for rest of story, download MPS file http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/ ... 262364.htm
___________________________________________________________________________
2) PCR Prevalence of Ranavirus in Free-Ranging Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) at Rehabilitation Centers in Three Southeastern US States ( Infection is highly fatal in turtles, and the potential impact on endangered populations could be devastating) Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(3), 2011, pp. 759-764 Matthew C. Allender1,6,7, Mohamed Abd-Eldaim2,3, Juergen Schumacher1, David McRuer4, Larry S. Christian5 and Melissa Kennedy2
1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA&#8232;2 Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA&#8232;3 Virology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt&#8232;4 Wildlife Center of Virginia, PO Box 1557, Waynesboro, Virginia, USA&#8232;5 College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA &#8232;7 Corresponding author (email: mcallend@illinois.edu)

ABSTRACT: Ranaviruses (genus Ranavirus) have been observed in disease epidemics and mass mortality events in free-ranging amphibian, turtle, and tortoise populations worldwide. Infection is highly fatal in turtles, and the potential impact on endangered populations could be devastating. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of ranavirus DNA in blood and oral swabs, report associated clinical signs of infection, and determine spatial distribution of infected turtles. Blood and oral swabs were taken from 140 eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) that were presented to the wildlife centers at the University of Tennessee (UT; n=39), Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV; n=34), and North Carolina State University (NCSU; n=36), as well as a free-ranging nonrehabilitation population near Oak Ridge, Tennessee (OR; n=39) March–November 2007. Samples were evaluated for ranavirus infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting a conserved portion of the ma!
jor capsid protein. Two turtles, one from UT and one from NCSU, had evidence of ranavirus infection; sequences of PCR products were 100% homologous to Frog Virus 3. Prevalence of ranavirus DNA in blood was 3, 0, 3, and 0% for UT, WCV, NCSU, and OR, respectively. Prevalence in oral swab samples was 3, 0, and 0% for UT, WCV, and NCSU, respectively. Wildlife centers may be useful in detection of Ranavirus infection and may serve as a useful early monitoring point for regional disease outbreaks. &#8232; Key words: Eastern box turtle, PCR, Ranavirus, Terrapene carolina.

6 Present Address: Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois, USA; _______________________________________________________________________
3) Detection and Characterization of Mycoplasma spp. and Salmonella spp. in Free-living European Tortoises (Testudo hermanni, Testudo graeca, and Testudo marginata) Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(3), 2011, pp. 717-724

Roberta Lecis1,7, B. Paglietti2, S. Rubino2, B. M. Are3, M. Muzzeddu4, F. Berlinguer5, B. Chessa1, M. Pittau1 and A. Alberti1,6
1 Dipartimento di Patologia e Clinica Veterinaria, Universitá di Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100, Sassari, Italy&#8232;2 Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universitá di Sassari, V.le S.Pietro 43, 07100, Sassari, Italy&#8232;3 Istituo di Igiene e Medicina Preventiva, Universitá di Sassari, Via Manzella 4, 07100, Sassari, Italy&#8232;4 Centro Fauna Bonassai, Olmedo, Sassari, Italy&#8232;5 Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Universitá di Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100, Sassari, Italy&#8232;6 Centro interdisciplinare per sviluppo della ricerca biotecnologica e per studio della biodiversitá della Sardegna, Universitá di Sassari, Italy &#8232;7 Corresponding author (email: roby112@yahoo.com)

ABSTRACT: Free-living and captive chelonians might suffer from upper respiratory tract disease (URTD), a pathology primarily caused by Mycoplasma agassizii. Wild tortoises can also be an important reservoir of Salmonella spp., which are commensal in the host reptile but are potential zoonotic agents. Between July 2009 and June 2010, we screened free-living European tortoises (spur-thighed tortoises Testudo graeca, Hermann’s tortoises Testudo hermanni, marginated tortoises Testudo marginata) temporarily housed in a wildlife center in Italy. We molecularly characterized 13 Mycoplasma isolates detected in all Testudo spp. studied, and three PCR-positive animals showed typical URTD clinical signs at the time of sampling. Three Salmonella enterica serotypes (Abony, Potsdam, Granlo), already related to reptile-associated human infections, were also identified. These results highlight the potential role played by wildlife recovery centers in the spread and transmission of pathoge!
ns among wild chelonians and to humans. &#8232; __________________ ______________________________________________________________________

4) Cold Weather and the Potential Range of Invasive Burmese Pythons Michael L. Avery, Richard M. Engeman, Kandy L. Keacher, John S. Humphrey, William E. Bruce, Tom C. Mathies & Richard E. Mauldin

2010. Biological Invasions 12: 3649–3652

Abstract: The Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) is established in Everglades National Park and neighboring areas in south Florida. Beyond its substantial ecological impacts to native fauna in south Florida, concerns have been raised as to its potential to occupy other parts of the USA, even as far north as Washington, D.C. During a recent period of cold weather, seven of nine captive Burmese Pythons held in outdoor pens at our facility in northcentral Florida died, or would have died absent our intervention. This cold-induced mortality occurred despite the presence of refugia with heat sources. Our findings cast doubt on the ability of free-ranging Burmese Pythons to establish and persist beyond the subtropical environment of south Florida.

*****

A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at

http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp
__________________________________________________________
5) TX Snakes iPhone app created by Tech graduate student KCBD.com 7/8/11, By Alex Butler

Texas Tech herpetology graduate student Jeremy Weaver created a new way to identify snakes, in the palm of your hand. The new app is called TX Snakes 1.1 for iOS, and its an app that makes identifying any snake species in the state of Texas easy as 1,2,3.

You can search by county for what snakes might be found in those areas. Or you can even search by using a description of the snake. Does it rattle? Does it have a certain type of pattern? Weaver hopes his app will help people have a better understanding of what snakes they should actually be afraid of.
"If you've seen snakes around your house and your wondering if their venomous or not you can use it and look at what snakes are found their," app creator Jeremy Weaver explained.

You can also search over 250 counties in Texas for what snakes are more likely to be from those areas. Weaver says the hotter it gets the more likely you are to see snakes by your home.

"You could see more snakes because people watering their lawns or living close to water or maybe snakes come closer to get a drink. Sometimes the prey of the snake is going to be close to water," Weaver said.

Weaver says he hopes the app will help people who are afraid of snakes get over their phobias. "It'll help squash some of the misconceptions that are found and hopefully give people a greater appreciation for snakes," Weaver said.

You can see pictures and more information about his app on http://www.herpapps.com, or visit the app store. TX Snakes 1.1 is $0.99 USD.
_____________________________________________________________________
6) Lizards Flying off the Shelves - Sales of bearded dragons and snakes have helped Pets At Home Express. co. UK

Saturday July 9,2011, By Daily Express reporter

Surging sales of bearded dragons and snakes helped pets superstore group Pets At Home grow last year.
The company, which has 287 shops, said same-store sales of reptiles and related products such as live crickets and tanks had risen by 250 per cent as customers sought a low maintenance, cheap alternative to cats and dogs. There are 9 million pet reptiles in the UK compared to 7 million dogs.
Pets At Home, owned by private equity group KKR, saw profits rise 8.7 per cent to £79million on revenues up 10.7 per cent to £517.8million.
_________________________________________________________________________
7) Mapping the World's Sea Turtles
by Google Earth Blog , 7/8/11

Powered by a network of well over 500 people, the SWOT (State of the World's Sea Turtles) database is one of the most comprehensive global databases of sea turtle nesting sites around. You're able to view all of the data on a customizable Google Map, and as you'd expect, you can download a KML file to view all of the data inside of Google Earth.

The map is highly detailed and customizable, allowing you to filter by location, and it highlights both the species and colony size with various colored shaped icons. The depth of data on the map is quite impressive as well, containing data for over 120 countries around the world.

If you're familiar with the WIDECAST Atlas, the SWOT database includes their dataset in there and displays them together. All of the SWOT reports and non-interactive map data can be found over at www .seaturtlestatus.org. If you're looking for more ocean conservation tools in Google Earth, you can check out these ocean biographic maps from a few years ago, or simply dive in and explore the ocean itself, a feature available since Google Earth 5 was released a few years ago.

______________________________________________________________________
8) Lizard Smuggler Gets 15 Months Behind Bars After Being Caught At LAX
(CNS) July 6, 2011

A Lomita man was sentenced today to 15 months behind bars for attempting to smuggle 15 live lizards from Australia through customs at Los Angeles International Airport by strapping the reptiles to his chest.

Michael J. Plank, 42, the owner and operator of a Lomita company dealing in reptiles, pleaded guilty a year ago in Los Angeles federal court to a charge of smuggling wildlife into the United States.

Plank said he was driven by love of the reptiles rather than the $23,500 he could have earned by selling the prohibited lizards to other collectors.

"Since the first lizard I caught as a child ... I've had an affection for these reptiles," Plank said, adding that his passion for the creatures "has led me to where I am."

Along with the prison term, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II ordered Plank to pay a $2,000 fine and serve three years under supervised release after he is released from federal custody.

"By doing what he's doing, he may very well be endangering the environment and these animals," Wright said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Plank was returning from Australia in November 2009 when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks stuffed into a money belt he was wearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Mitchell said the skinks were pregnant and seven offspring have subsequently been born.

The confiscated reptiles are at the San Diego Zoo.

All Australian reptiles are strictly regulated, and Plank did not have a permit for the lizards.

In arguing for probation, defense attorney Larry M. Bakman said Plank suffered from an obsessive-compulsive disorder that led to the smuggling attempt and fueled his deeply rooted interest in the reptile trade.

"You have to understand how obsessive these people are ... they're in another category," Bakman said. "They are obsessive-compulsive addicts ... (some) have mortgaged their homes to get in on a project involving albino boas."

Wright rejected the argument for a sentence of home detention, saying he would not allow the defendant to "stay home for a while and watch Oprah."

Wright said Plank made a dozen trips to Australia over three years, ostensibly to "capture these things in the wild' and smuggle the reptiles into the United States.

During an interview with investigators, Plank admitted smuggling lizards twice before using the money belt, according to court papers.
____________________________________________________________________
9) Sea turtles nesting at record rate in Georgia Savannah Morning News, July 9, 2011, Mary Landers

Sea turtles are nesting in record numbers on Georgia beaches this summer. As of Friday, 1,590 nests, almost all from loggerhead sea turtles, had been recorded from Cumberland to Tybee islands.
That’s ahead of the pace of 2010, which was also a stellar year for turtles. There are about three weeks remaining in the nesting season, which typically begins here in May. Georgia Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Mark Dodd predicted the total number of nests could reach close to 2,100.
“We expect to go way beyond last year,” said Dodd, a senior wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. “And last year was a great year.”

Georgia recorded 1,771 nests last year.

Most of the state’s nests are from loggerhead seaa turtles, but 11 have been identified as leatherback nests, three are green turtle nests, and another nine are undetermined. Leatherbacks are a tropical species finding its way farther north as ocean and global temperatures increase, Dodd said.
Chatham County’s Ossabaw Island has recorded 372 nests, putting it far ahead of the much larger and usual leader, Cumberland Island. Dodd can’t say why.

“I would have never expected that many nests on Ossabaw,” he said.

Most nesting beaches in Georgia are patrolled daily, some by paid staffers hired for the summers to live on remote barrier islands as “turtle interns.” But there are also legions of volunteers that look for nests, protect them from predators and guard hatchlings when they emerge. Their efforts and other conservation measures, such as turtle excluder devices that keep turtles from drowning in shrimp nets, appear to be making a difference, Dodd said.

“We're hoping that the long-term decline has bottomed out,” he said. “The last couple years they’ve started to increase their nesting. And it’s going to be another good year. We’re hopeful this is the beginning of the recovery.”

Tybee found solid evidence this month that its efforts to attract nesting turtles are paying off. Over the winter Chatham County retrofitted the lights on the Tybee pavilion to make them more turtle-friendly. Bright lights can disorient turtles.

Recently a turtle volunteer discovered loggerhead sea turtle tracks that led directly up the beach under the pier. That turtle didn’t actually lay eggs, instead looping up and back in what turtle researchers call a false crawl.

“Although there were no eggs, it was nice to see a crawl near the pier,” wrote Tybee sea turtle project coordinator Tammy Smith in an email announcing the crawl. “It is evident that the new lights have helped darken the beach.”

As of Friday, Tybee had seven nests recorded.

As nesting winds down, hatching gears up. The first three nests hatched Tuesday on Sea Island and Ossabaw. Hatching typically continues through October.
__________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Book on Sale. Take $10.00 off list price Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description
Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE FROGS AND TOADS OF NORTH AMERICA- is an amazing book.
It contains:
A CD of all 101 species found in US & Canada./Almost 400 great color photos
101 color location maps /In just 344 pages.
Books this comprehensive usually go for at least $50.00.to &75.00. Or just $19.95 for the But the publisher is offering it JUST FOR $19.95 Plus 7.50 S&H. (Only 3 copies left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:23 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 32/ 7/18/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $10.00 off original $29.95 price, plus $6.00 S&H (see below on how to order) ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) CAN INVASIVE BURMESE PYTHONS INHABIT TEMPERATE REGIONS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES?

2) Feeding Ecology of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Cerrado of Central Brazil

3) Demography of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Brazilian Cerrado

4) DNA study confirms that wild populations of critically endangered Cuban crocodiles are breeding with ubiquitous American crocodiles

5) Sergeant Saves Iraqi Frog as Part of "Project Global Amphibian Blitz"

6) Landmark Agreement Moves 757 Species Toward Federal Protection

7) Tybee Island's pregnant turtles no match for motorists

8) Nile Monitor Lizards: Invasive Species in Florida Threatens Native Species

9) Philippine Government Warns Against Geckos Treatments

10) Couple guilty in case of strangled girl by Burmese python __________________________________________________________
For Only a $25.00 donation to HerpDigest get a beautiful gift turtle poster. For more information see below.
___________________________________________________________________________
1) CAN INVASIVE BURMESE PYTHONS INHABIT TEMPERATE REGIONS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES?

Michael E. Dorcas, John D. Willson & J. Whitfield Gibbons

2011. Biological Invasions 13: 793–802

Abstract: Understanding potential for range expansion is critical when evaluating the risk posed by invasive species. Burmese Pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are established in southern Florida and pose a significant threat to native ecosystems. Recent studies indicate that climate suitable for the species P. molurus exists throughout much of the southern United States. We examined survivorship, thermal biology, and behavior of Burmese Pythons from South Florida in a semi-natural enclosure in South Carolina, where winters are appreciably cooler than in Florida, but within the predicted region of suitable climate. All pythons acclimated to the enclosure, but most died after failing to seek appropriate refugia during sub-freezing weather. The remaining snakes used refugia but died during an unusually cold period in January 2010. Although all snakes died during the study, most survived extended periods at temperatures below those typical of southern Florida and none exhibit!
ed obvious signs of disease. Our study represents a first step in evaluating the results of climate matching models and we address factors that may affect range expansion in this invasive species.

*****

A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at

http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp
_______________________________________________________________
2) Feeding Ecology of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Cerrado of Central Brazil
Author(s): Marcela Ayub Brasil, Gabriel de Freitas Horta, Habib Jorge Fraxe Neto, Thiago Oliveira Barros, and Guarino Rinaldi Colli Source: Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 10(1):91-101. 2011. Published By: Chelonian Research Foundation
DOI: 10.2744/CCB-0846.1 URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2744/CCB-0846.1
email asalzberg@herpdigest.org for a copy of article ________________________________________________________________________
3) Demography of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Brazilian Cerrado
Author(s): Habib J. Fraxe Neto, Marcela Ayub Brasil, Gabriel de Freitas Horta, Thiago Oliveira Barros, Guth Berger Falcon, and Guarino R. Colli Source: Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 10(1):82-90. 2011. Published By: Chelonian Research Foundation
DOI: 10.2744/CCB-0876.1 URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2744/CCB-0876.1
For a copy email us at HerpDigest.org
_____________________________________________________________________________
4) DNA study confirms that wild populations of critically endangered Cuban crocodiles are breeding with ubiquitous American crocodiles

Hybridization may threaten Cuban crocodiles--Study shows that Cuban and American crocs more closely related than previously thought


NEW YORK (June 22, 2011) WCS Press Release - A new genetic study by a team of Cuban and American researchers confirms that American crocodiles are hybridizing with wild populations of critically endangered Cuban crocodiles, which may cause a population decline of this species found only in the Cuban Archipelago.

Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles have been confirmed to interbreed in captivity and were suspected to hybridize in the wild. This is the first genetic study that confirms wild hybridization.

The study, which appears in the spring issue of the Journal of Experimental Zoology, is by Yoamel Milián-García of the University of Havana; Miryam Venegas-Anaya of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Roberto Frias-Soler of the University of Havana; Andrew Crawford of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Roberto Ramos-Targarona, Roberto Rodríguez-Soberón, and Manuel Alonso-Tabet of Empresa Nacional para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna; the late John Thorbjarnarson of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Oris I. Sanjur of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Georgina Espinosa-López of the University of Havana; and Eldredge Bermingham of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Known for their leaping ability and aggressive disposition, Cuban crocs are a charismatic and culturally significant species to Cuba. Exact population estimates for the species remain unknown, though scientists believe that a minimum of 3,000 individuals remain in the Zapata swamp. A smaller population exists in the Lanier Swamp on the Island of Youth. The species was extensively hunted from the middle of the 19th century through the 1960s resulting in drastic population declines.

The team collected and analyzed DNA from 89 wild-caught Cuban and American crocodiles in the wild and two samples from crocodiles in zoos.

The genetic data produced an unsuspected result: American crocodiles in Cuba are more closely related to Cuban crocodiles than other American crocodile populations found along mainland Central America. The study found just a 1 percent genetic sequence divergence between Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles in Cuba yet an 8 percent divergence between American crocodiles in Cuba and other American crocodile populations living in mainland Central America.

This finding indicates that Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles in Cuba may represent two evolutionary significant units (ESU’s) – populations considered distinct for conservation purposes and represent an important component of the evolutionary legacy of the species.

The team collected and analyzed DNA from 89 wild-caught Cuban and American crocodiles in the wild and two samples from crocodiles in zoos.

The authors say that hybridization may be one of the most important threats to Cuban crocodiles, along with illegal hunting and habitat modification. Hybridization can result in both replacement and genetic mixing, and one lineage may cause the extinction of another.

Based on evidence of hybridization between the two species, the authors strongly urge that efforts to avoid anthropogenic causes of hybridization be taken into account for future management plans of Cuban crocodiles.

The authors acknowledge the following: Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba; Marine Research Centre, Havana, Cuba; National Enterprise for the Conservation of Flora and Fauna, Cuba; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, Republic of Panama.


CONTACT: Stephen Sauter: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)
John Delaney: (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org) ______________________________________________________________________
5) Sergeant Saves Iraqi Frog as Part of "Project Global Amphibian Blitz"

Jonathan Trouern-Trend, an intelligence sergeant with the Connecticut National Guard, was at the latrine of the U.S. military base near Al Bakr, Iraq, when he made a discovery: a Lemon-Yellow Tree Frog, one of Iraq’s eight species of amphibians, was sharing the bathroom with him. According to Trouern-Trend, the frog had likely been sucked up from a nearby pond by a cleaning truck, which then deposited the frog inside the bathroom when workers hosed down the facilities.

Trouern-Trend, concerned that the midday heat would render the oven-like latrine uninhabitable for amphibians (not to mention human beings), sprang into action. He captured the frog, carried it to a nearby pond, and released it after snapping a picture.

Back at his computer, he uploaded the photo to iNaturalist, a new social network for identifying flora and fauna. He then tagged the image with the latrine’s location and added it to the Global Amphibian Blitz project (here's his observation).

I first learned about iNaturalist a month ago, when a friend of mine (who also helps run the website) introduced me to it. The network can be used for simple species identification (much as I've previously described), or it can facilitate dedicated projects like the Global Amphibian Blitz, which is an effort to take a census of all the world’s amphibians. A joint project of Amphibiaweb, The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, The Amphibian Specialist Group and The Amphibian Ark, the project uses Web 2.0 technology to enable people from all over the world to track amphibians using cameras or smart phones.

And the project needs your help — and you don’t have to be an expert or a National Guardsman to pitch in.

Join the Global Amphibian Blitz at http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/glo ... bian-blitz today to help census the world's amphibians for science and conservation Video all about blitz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOt-G3xG ... r_embedded

____________________________________________________________________

6) Landmark Agreement Moves 757 Species Toward Federal Protection http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/prog ... index.html

On July 12, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity struck a historic legal settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, requiring the agency to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plants and animals to the endangered species by 2018. The Endangered Species Act is America’s strongest environmental law and surest way to save species threatened with extinction.
The agreement caps a decade-long effort by the Center’s scientists, attorneys and activists to safeguard 1,000 of America’s most imperiled, least protected species including the walrus, wolverine, Mexican grey wolf, fisher, New England cottontail rabbit, three species of sage grouse, scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper, California golden trout, Miami blue butterfly, Rio Grande cutthroat trout, 403 southeastern river-dependent species, 42 Great basin springsnails and 32 Pacific Northwest mollusks.
The Center’s wrote scientific petitions and/or filed lawsuits to win federal protection for each of the 757 species.


Amphibians&#8232;&#8232;
Arizona treefrog,
Huachuca Canelo population&#8232;
Austin blind salamander&#8232;
Bay Springs salamander&#8232;
Berry cave salamander&#8232;
Black warrior waterdog&#8232;
Chamberlain's dwarf salamander&#8232;
Columbia spotted frog,
Great Basin population&#8232;
Coquí llanero&#8232;
Cumberland dusky salamander&#8232;
Eastern hellbender&#8232;
Florida bog frog&#8232;
Georgetown salamander&#8232;
Georgia blind salamander&#8232;
Gulf hammock dwarf siren
&#8232;Jemez Mountain salamander
&#8232;Jollyville Plateau salamander&#8232; Neuse River waterdog &#8232;Northern leopard frog&#8232; Oklahoma salamander&#8232; One-toed amphiuma&#8232; Oregon spotted frog &#8232;Ozark hellbender&#8232; Patch-nosed Salamander &#8232;Relict leopard frog &#8232;Salado salamander&#8232; Seepage salamander&#8232; Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog&#8232; Streamside salamander &#8232;Striped newt&#8232; Tehachapi slender salamander Tennessee cave salamander &#8232;West Virginia Spring salamander&#8232; Yosemite toad

Reptiles
Alabama map turtle
Barbour's map turtle
Black-knobbed map turtle
Black pine snake
Eastern massasauga
Eastern ribbonsnake - lower Florida Keys Escambia map turtle Florida Keys mole skink Florida red-bellied turtle - Florida Panhandle Kirtland's snake Louisiana pine snake Mexican garter snake Mojave fringe-toed lizard Northern red-bellied cooter Pascagoula map turtle Sand dune (sagebrush) lizard Sonoran desert tortoise Sonoyta mud turtle South Florida rainbow snake Striped mud turtle - lower Florida Keys Tucson shovel-nosed snake Western chicken turtle ___________________________________________________________________
7) Tybee Island's pregnant turtles no match for motorists July 16, 2011 , by Mary Lnders Savannah Morning News

Around this time each year, diamondback terrapins get an undeniable urge to lay their eggs.
Sadly for many of the lady terrapins in the marshes around Tybee, they have to cross busy U.S. 80 to find a good nesting spot on higher ground.

The race of turtle against traffic rarely ends well for the terrapin, a species that lives in salt marshes from Cape Cod to the Florida Keys and west along the Gulf Coast to Texas.

So far this year, more than 70 terrapins have lost that contest on U.S. 80.

Once numerous, terrapins were hunted to near extinction for the dining pleasure of turtle soup lovers around the turn of the last century. Their recovery from that fad has been slowed by habitat loss, drowning in crab traps and road kills. They're even occasionally threatened by airplanes. Recently, air traffic controllers at John F. Kennedy airport in New York shut down a runway as gravid terrapins crossed it to reach their nesting grounds. Terrapins are listed as a species of concern under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Like the air traffic controllers at JFK, marine educators at Tybee Island Marine Science Center do what they can to help the turtles. On their way to and from work each day, the educators are on mobile crossing guard duty.

One of the marine educators, Lauren Broome, stopped her car one day on her way home from Tybee when she saw one terrapin doing its version of the 100-yard dash.

“She was booking it,” Broome said. “They’re pretty quick on the street. Four or five vehicles missed her including one with a trailer, then an SUV hit her. The whole time I was cringing.”

Broome knew the turtle was a goner but collected the terrapin anyway.

“She was obviously not going to make it, but I wanted to save her eggs,” she said. “But they were all crushed.”

That's not always the case. Broome and her colleagues have been able to extract eggs from three females and hand them over to Kathryn Craven, associate professor of biology at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Craven and her students incubate the eggs, carefully burying each in vermiculite in its own compartment of a tackle box. So far they have four clutches in the incubator, 24 eggs in all. Two sets are incubating at 25 degrees Celsius to produce males, and two are at 30 degrees Celsius to produce females. The first of the quarter-sized babies should be hatching any day now.
Informal counts of the terrapin road kills have Craven suspecting 2011 has been tough on terrapins compared to last year.

“My conclusion is that there are more animals out on the road,” she said. And awareness from motorists may be down.

“As far as I know, (Georgia) DOT didn’t replace the turtle signs on the causeway,” she said. “They were gone by the end of last season, and there were none this year. It would be nice if DOT would replace them.”

That’s a concern for Ross Dersch, too. A fan of turtles who keeps yellow-bellied sliders and map turtles along with some red-footed tortoises, Dersch is frustrated the signs are gone.

“It just gets me that nobody puts signs up,” he said.

Craven and the marine center educators urge drivers to be on the lookout for terrapins, especially in the evening or after a rain. And they urge would-be rescuers to ensure their own safety first.

“Take it slow,” Craven said. “I know there’s a lot of pressure in the traffic out there. Take it slow and watch for animals."

Only pull over if it’s safe to do so. If you do assist a terrapin, give it a lift to whatever side it’s headed, they advise.
__________________________________________________________________
8) Nile Monitor Lizards: Invasive Species in Florida Threatens Native Species
Author: David R. Wetzel, Ph.D. : Posted to Decoded Science on July 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) is one of the many non-native invasive species plaguing Florida. These reptiles are a serious threat to native animal species in all state habitats. The first of these aggressive and powerful lizards was found in the wild in 1981, followed by the discovery of an established (breeding) population in 1990. Since then, their numbers in the wild have been increasing steadily throughout the state.

Introduction of Nile Monitors to Florida Habitats

Nile Monitors were originally brought to this country from their native habitats in southern and central Africa as part of the exotic pet trade. Their introduction into the wild is most likely due to escapes or intentional releases by owners who could no longer handle them. These big semi-aquatic lizards may grow to over seven feet (2.42 meters) in length and weigh as much as 20 pounds (10 kg).

The increase in wild population of this invasive species is primarily a result of females laying as many as 60 eggs at a time. Eggs are laid in sand or dirt nests located near water. A female abandons the nest after depositing her eggs, relying on sunlight to incubate the eggs. Gestation typically takes four to six months.

When babies hatch, normally during the months of February through April, they immediately head for the protection of water near the nest. The apparent successful reproduction rate of this invasive species has increased the number of sightings and captures of Nile Monitors in Florida over the past 10 years.

Why These Intelligent Reptiles are a Problem

These intelligent lizards create a problem for native species because their diet includes invertebrates, endangered burrowing owls, insects, carrion, fish, young alligators, young American crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and any terrestrial or aquatic vertebrate they can overpower. They are especially a threat to native egg-laying animals such as birds, turtles, and alligators. Nile Monitors dietary preference is a nest filled with eggs or new born young.

Known for their sharp teeth and bad tempers, Nile Monitors are excellent swimmers and are not limited to any specific habitat. Their known range extends from the Florida Keys to the northern portions of the state. They are found in the Everglades, Cape Coral, Sanibel Island, Tampa Bay, and Key Largo

The range of this invasive species is likely to expand beyond Florida’s borders, because these reptiles hibernate during cold months. The limit of their range is unknown; however, their ability to adapt to most habitats may extend their range into bordering southeastern states.

Controlling Non-Native Nile Monitor Lizards in Florida

The first step for controlling the wild population of Nile Monitor lizards is for owners, especially those who can no longer care for their exotic pet, to be responsible. If they are unable to find someone willing to accept their lizard, then contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. This state organization has non-native pet amnesty days and accepts any exotic pet without questions. Owners need to remember that releasing any exotic pet into the wild is illegal.

Residents need to report any sightings of these reptiles to their local Fish and Wildlife Commission office. These lizards are aggressive and may pose a threat to small children, pets, and feral cats after their escape or release into the wild. Their burrows are typically located along the shore line of canals, streams in urban areas, and golf course ponds. This invasive species is often seen basking in the sun near swimming pools, roofs, ponds, canals, sea walls, and grassy areas.

In an effort to eradicate Nile Monitors, the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is investigating methods to control the spread of this invasive species capable of eating anything animal it can overpower and fit in its mouth. The NWRC is experimenting with Acetaminophen laced dead neonatal mouse and quail chicks as oral toxicant bait. Initial testing points to possible successful eradication efforts using these baits.

Residents should never attempt to capture a Nile Monitor lizard. When cornered they typically rear-up on their hind legs lashing out with sharp teeth, claws, and a strong tail. Their saliva is known to carry potentially lethal germs and pathogens, which may be fatal to humans. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.

Sources

Campbell, T. [S.] 2003. Species profile: Nile monitors (Varanus niloticus) in Florida. Iguana 10(4):119-120

Enge, K. M., et al. 2004. Status of the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) in Southwestern Florida. Southeastern Naturalist 3:571-582

National Park Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Florida Invaders. Accessed July, 2011.

Somma. L. 2011. Varanus niloticus Fact Sheet. USGS Non-indigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Accessed July, 2011.

McGrath, S. 2005. Attack of the alien invaders. National Geographic 207(3):92-117.
_______________________________________________________________________
9) Philippine Government Warns Against Geckos Treatments

Friday, 15 July 2011, Based on Red Orbit article and Wire Rreports

The Philippines government warned on Friday that using geckos to treat AIDS and impotence could put patients at risk.

Environmental officials expressed alarm about the growing trade in the wall-climbing lizards in the Philippines. An 11-ounce gecko reportedly sells for at least $1,160.

Geckos are reportedly exported to Malaysia, China and South Korea to be used as aphrodisiacs and as traditional medicine for asthma, AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and impotence.

A health department statement said their use as medical treatments has no scientific basis and could be dangerous because patients might not seek proper treatment for their diseases.

"This is likely to aggravate their overall health and put them at greater risk," it added.
The statement said treatments for asthma are easily available and affordable, while there are antiviral drugs to control the progress of HIV.

Wildlife official Mundita Lim said her office asked law enforcers to look into the possibility that scammers may be trying to get involved in the trade because of the exorbitant prices being quoted online by buyers demanding geckos weighing at least 14 ounces.

She said geckos in the wild grow up to 7 ounces, and those in captivity grow only up to 10 ounces.
According to Lim, geckos are dried and pulverize to use as medicine, and there are anecdotal accounts of the saliva or internal organs being collected.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje warned that collecting and trading geckos without permit can be punishable by up to four years in jail and a fine of $6,900.
He said a health population of geckos is needed to regulate pests and maintain the fragile ecosystem.
______________________________________________________________________
10) Couple guilty in case of strangled girl by Burmese python By Millard K. Ives, Staff Writer, Dailycommerical.com 7/16/11 millardives@dailycommercial.com

In what is believed to be the first verdict of its kind in Florida, a Sumter County jury found a couple guilty Thursday in the death of her child, Shaianna Hare, who was strangled by the couple's pet Burmese python.

Jaren Hare, 21, and her former live-in boyfriend, Charles "Jason" Darnell, 34, were tried on third-degree murder, manslaughter and child abuse and face up to 45 years in prison.

They had rejected a plea deal on Monday for 10 years in prison.

Lawyers for the defendants had tagged the snake docile and a family pet, in which children in the couple's Oxford home regularly played with.

Hare's attorney Ismael Solis compared it to a pit bull house pet that "just went crazy" in a terrible accident.

"There was no way in her mind she could have thought she could eat that baby," Darnell said of the snake during a videotaped interview with detectives.

But the six-person jury didn't buy it and took less than two hours to bring back guilty verdicts on all charges -- at which time Hare sobbed as Darnell tried to console her.

"The snake is not at fault in this case. It's a wild animal. The responsibility for the death of that child is those defendants right there," said prosecutor Pete Magrino, pointing at the couple.

In a video-taped interview with detectives, Hare had admitted the snake, named Gypsy, had escaped at least 10 times prior to July 1, 2009, when it was found in Shaianna's crib, wrapped around her lifeless body on a bloody sheet.

It apparently had slithered out of it aquarium.

And the aquarium's lid was a quilt fastened by safety pins. And, sometimes for added measure, Darnell said he kept it in a clothes bag in the aquarium, but admitted it had a small hole in it.

A snake farmer said on his farm, such snakes average 15 to 16 feet long and weigh roughly 140 pounds. The python that killed Shaianna Hare, although it was 8 1/2 feet long, weighed less than 15 pounds.
The prosecution said the snake was malnourished. A medical examiner testified the snake had basically tried to ingest the child.

Darnell apparently had feed the snake in a month, a pet that usually fed on road kill squirrels Darnell found.

According to media sources, the foreperson from this jury did not want to be identified, offered insight how they reached the verdict. "Even under the most remote circumstances, it was possible that the child could be injured. And it was their duty to make sure there was no possibility that a 2-year-old would be bitten or anyway harmed."

It believed this is the first time in Florida that a couple has stood trial in a snake strangulation death of a child. And the case is considered the only known attack in Florida of a nonvenomous constrictor killing a child.

Magrino said in an interview before the trial started he was unaware of any similar trials. But he added it didn't deter him from wanting to try the couple.

"It was a case that needed to be tried," Magrino said.

Judge William Hallman set the sentencing date for Aug. 24.
__________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
HOW TO GET A FREE FULL COLOR TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER.
FOR A DONATION OF JUST $25.00 RECEIVE A THANK YOU GIFT FROM HD -- A NEW NEVER BEFORE OFFERED BY HERPDIGEST TURTLE & TORTOISE POSTER 20 TURTLES AND TORTOISES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GLOSSY 18” X 24” in FULL COLOR, AND ONLY AT HERPDIGEST----- SIGNED BY THE ARTIST Roger Hall who did all the drawings for the magnets

PERFECT FOR YOUR TURTLE ROOM, A KIDS ROOM, OVER THE TURTLE TANK OR A CLASSROOM.

Each drawing has text below it describing the turtle.

The Turtle and Tortoises are:
Aldabra tortoise, Red-eared slider, Radiated tortoise Blanding’s turtle, Three-toed box turtle, Spotted turtle, Red-foot tortoise, Western pond turtle, Eastern box turtle, Southern painted turtle, Ornate diamondback terrapin, Desert Tortoise, Galapagos tortoise, Florida cooter, Gopher tortoise, African spurred tortoise or as we call them Sulcatas, Texas tortoise, Matamata turtle, Chinese box turtle, and Indian star tortoise.(All turtle and tortoises pictured as adults).
Comes rolled up in a a special tube for mailing posters and sent first class.

To send your donation and get your poster. See Below on how to send your donation.
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:46 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 32/ 7/24/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
TURTLE TV is back!!!!!! Now On DVD

Thirty, Tremendous, Thrilling Hilarious, Yeah Funny, minutes of turtle versions of “King Kong”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Julia Childs, Turtle TV Weather Reports, Highlights from the THL -Turtle Hockey League, TBL- Turtle Basketball League and Turtle Stock Car Racing, and so much more. Great Birthday Gift. Great Gift for yourself. Available only through HerpDigest.

No herp lover should be without one.
DVD $15.00 each plus $5.00 S&H. $3.00 for each additional copy

(No turtle was harmed during the filming of (“Turtle TV”) ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1) To Find Tasty Larvae, Lizards Use Their Brains
2) Grand Cayman Blue Iguana: Back from the Brink of Extinction
3) Deal will hurry hundreds of species onto endangered list - But US budget could shut down new listings for 2012.
4) Fish and Wildlife Service Announces a Proposal to Delist the Morelet’s Crocodile Due to Recovery of the Species
5) Rapid Venom Evolution in Pit Vipers May Be Defensive; Marsupials That Prey On Venomous Snakes Also Evolve Rapidly
6) Extinct in Wild Tiny Tanzanian Toad thrives in Lab
7) Penny-Wise Preservation Could cost-conscious spending save more endangered species?
8) Bibliography of July 2011 issue of Chelonian Conservation and Biology __________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $10.00 off original $29.95 price, plus $6.00 S&H (see below on how to order)

_____________________________________________________________________________
1) To Find Tasty Larvae, Lizards Use Their Brains By Sindyan Bhanoo, NYTimes, 7/20/11

Lizards aren’t the simpletons that some might take them for.
Biologists from Duke University report that lizards have some of the same creative problem-solving abilities that birds and mammals do. Their findings appear in the current issue of Biology Letters.
The researchers, Manuel Leal and Brian Powell, exposed tropical lizards in Puerto Rico known as Anolis evermanni to a blue disc. Beneath the disc was some tasty prey — a freshly killed worm larva.
Four of the six lizards tested were able to get to the worm in one of two ways, either by biting the disc or by sticking their snouts underneath it and prying it off.

“Most people believed their behavior may be more robotic or not as flexible,” said Dr. Leal, the study’s lead author. But the lizards were creative, he said, using skills “which have no real ecological relevance.”
Lizards in the wild capture moving prey by running up and down trees, Dr. Leal said.
He and Mr. Powell further complicated the experiment by placing a worm under a blue disc with a yellow border, but none under the plain blue disc.

The lizards initially looked under only the blue disc, where they expected the worm to be.
But eventually, two clever lizards began looking under the blue and yellow disc, and successfully uncovered worms.

Dr. Leal said he hoped the study would lead to more investigations into the cognitive abilities of reptiles.

“If we only study birds and mammals, we’re only going to learn from those groups,” he said. “This is one more distinct group we need to learn about.”
_________________________________________________________________________
2) Grand Cayman Blue Iguana: Back from the Brink of Extinction

ScienceDaily (July 18, 2011) — While thousands of species are threatened with extinction around the globe, efforts to save the Grand Cayman blue iguana represent a rarity in conservation: a chance for complete recovery, according to health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo and other members of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.

Coordinated by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, the Blue Iguana Recovery Program -- a consortium of local and international partners -- has successfully released more than 500 captive-bred reptiles since the initiative's inception in 2002, when the wild population of iguanas numbered less than two dozen.

"For the past several years, we've succeeded in adding hundreds of animals to the wild population, all of which receive a health screening before release," said Dr. Paul Calle, Director of Zoological Health for WCS's Bronx Zoo.

Fred Burton, Director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, said: "We expect to reach our goal of 1,000 iguanas in managed protected areas in the wild in a few years. After that, we will monitor the iguanas to make sure they are reproducing in the numbers needed to maintain the wild population. If we get positive results, we will have succeeded."

The Grand Cayman blue iguana is the largest native species of its namesake island, growing to more than 5 feet in length and sometimes weighing more than 25 pounds. The iguana formerly ranged over most of the island's coastal areas and the dry shrub lands of the interior before becoming endangered by a combination of habitat destruction, car-related mortality, and predation by introduced dogs and cats. The entire island's wild population in 2002 was estimated at only 10-25 individuals.

Recovery efforts to save the Grand Cayman blue iguana have mostly centered on the Salina Reserve, a 625-acre nature reserve located on the eastern side of the island. After being hatched and raised for a year or two in a captive breeding facility, each iguana receives a complete health assessment before release. This involves veterinarians taking blood and fecal samples for analysis, as well as weighing and tagging each reptile. The samples are analyzed in a nearby lab at the St. Matthews Veterinary School while sampling continues. The iguanas are released after the lab results are reviewed and health is verified. This year, the recovery program is releasing iguanas into a new protected area, the Colliers Wilderness Reserve, established last year and managed by the National Trust.
_____________________________________________________________________
3) Deal will hurry hundreds of species onto endangered list - But US budget could shut down new listings for 2012.

Editor- Follow-up to article in previous issue with extensive list of herps waiting to be protected. Issue 31, article 6.

by Emma Harris, Nature News, Published online 7/14/11

On 12 July, the US government agency that administers the Endangered Species Act came to an agreement with a wildlife group that has sued them numerous times over the past decade. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Tuscon, Arizona, will cut back on its lawsuits against the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for six years if the agency takes action on hundreds of species — from the Mojave fringe-toed lizard to the Pacific walrus — by specific dates.

When added to promises the FWS has made to another conservation group (see 'Wildlife truce divides conservationists'), these actions should clear a backlog of species waiting to have their petitions for listing assessed. And once approved by a judge, the agreement could significantly speed up the sluggish pace of listings during the administration of US President Barack Obama.
But the deal faces a hurdle: the 2012 appropriations bill that funds the federal government says that the FWS can have its budget allocation only if none of the funds are used for listing species or for designating critical habitats.

"It is one of the most dangerous times that has ever existed for the Endangered Species Act," says Tim Male, vice-president of conservation policy at the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife in Washington DC.

The agreement ties up a series of loose ends left over from a previous round of negotiation that the CBD walked away from. As a result, the final agreement takes the form of two agreements, one between FWS and CBD and the other between FWS and a Santa Fe, New Mexico group called WildEarth Guardians. The two agreements resolve at a stroke many ongoing lawsuits.

“The listing programme is a citizen-based programme. Anybody can still petition us.”

Gary Frazer, assistant director for endangered species at the FWS, says that the agreement will give the agency a much needed "cooling off period". "What we have had in recent years is a very large volume of petitions that overwhelmed our capabilities. We missed deadlines. And we got sued." As a result, he says, the endangered-species programme was too busy to declare anything endangered.

FWS spokeswoman Vanessa Kauffman says that although the settlement will help the agency to clear its backlog, new species can still enter the pipeline. "The listing programme is a citizen-based programme," she says. "Anybody can still petition us."

The conservation community seems to be generally positive about the deal. However, Male says that "it is hard to be that enthusiastic about it because congress is proposing a moratorium on listings." What's more, the Department of the Interior, the FWS's parent department, summarily delisted the Rocky mountain wolf and other such actions have targeted other species and populations (see 'Taken for a ride'). "There are so many radicals in congress, and the United States faces so many other pressures, that people's ability to focus on issues like this is reduced," says Male.

Elly Pepper, a legislative advocate at the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council , is working to get the condition freezing the endangered-species programme stripped from the bill. Even if the rider stays in the bill and makes it to the president's desk, she's hopeful it won't become law. "I don't think president Obama would sign something like this," she says. "This rider would essentially nullify the Endangered Species Act for a year."

If congress can be kept from shutting down the endangered-species program, Suckling thinks that the agreement should be enforceable even if Obama loses the presidential election next year. "Every single time there is a Republican president they try to shut down the listing process," says Suckling. "Except Nixon. Thank God for Richard Nixon." President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law in 1973.

But John Horning, executive director of WildEarth Guardians, is not so sure. "Worst-case scenario, both of these agreements are probably null and void and we go back to the trench fight that we have had for a decade plus," he says. "I am almost certain that that would happen under a Republican administration."

Both Horning and Suckling promise that their groups will continue to work to protect species during the six years they have promised to back off their lawsuits aimed at getting species listed. But first, Suckling says, "we're going to go on vacation". "Ten years of this trench warfare, it is exhausting." _________________________________________________________________________
4) Fish and Wildlife Service Announces a Proposal to Delist the Morelet’s Crocodile Due to Recovery of the Species

Editor- Sorry, my error, put it aside to run and forgot about it. time period for comments is over, but thought people should know.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced a proposal to remove the Morelet’s crocodile from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to recovery of the species. The species is found in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

The Morelet’s crocodile was listed as endangered throughout its entire range on June 2, 1970, under the predecessor of the ESA. It was listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on July 1, 1975. CITES in an international treaty that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. The overharvest for commercial purposes was the primary reason for the Morelet’s crocodile being listed under the ESA and its inclusion in CITES.

As a result of the species’ improved status, on March 18, 2010, at the Conference of the Parties, (CoP) transferred the Morelet’s crocodile populations in Mexico and Belize were to CITES Appendix II with a zero quota for wild specimens for commercial purposes. Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. At the request of Guatemala, those populations of Morelet’s crocodiles in Guatemala will remain in CITES Appendix I. The new CITES designation became effective on June 23, 2010. Because of the zero quota annotation for wild specimens, international commercial trade in Morelet’s crocodiles under CITES from Mexico and Belize is limited to individuals from sources other than wild populations.

The Service’s determination found that the species is no longer threatened with extinction. This proposed rule, if made final, would remove the Morelet’s crocodile throughout its range from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife under the ESA.

In addition, if this proposed rule is finalized and the prohibitions of the ESA are removed, Morelet’s crocodile parts and products originating from sources other than wild populations from Mexico (and Belize, if any) could be imported into the United States for commercial purposes, as long as the exporting country finds that the export will not be detrimental to the species, the specimen was lawfully acquired, and the required CITES export permit or re-export certificate has been issued.

The Morelet’s crocodile was named after a French naturalist, P.M.A.
Morelet, who discovered the species in Mexico in 1850. The species is relatively smaller than other species such as the American crocodile, with most wild adults usually ranging in length from just 6.6-8.2 feet. It is generally found in freshwater environments such as lakes, swamps, and slow-moving rivers. The majority of the Morelet’s crocodile population occurs in Mexico and Belize (87 percent) and those two countries hold the majority of the potentially suitable habitat (81 percent) throughout the species’ range. Guatemala contains the remaining 13 percent of the wild Morelet’s crocodiles and the remaining 19 percent of the potentially suitable habitat throughout the species’ range.

The 12-month finding and proposed rule to remove Morelet’s crocodile from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife will publish in the Federal Register on April 27, 2011. A copy of the rule is available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-d ... ities.html.

To ensure the status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from all interested parties regarding the Morelet’s crocodile.
Written comments and information concerning this proposal can be submitted by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn:
[FWS-R9-ES-2010-0030]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203

Comments must be received within 60 days, on or before June 27, 2011. The Service will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.
______________________________________________________________________
5) Rapid Venom Evolution in Pit Vipers May Be Defensive; Marsupials That Prey On Venomous Snakes Also Evolve Rapidly

ScienceDaily (July 20, 2011) — Research published recently in PLoS ONE delivers new insight about rapid toxin evolution in venomous snakes: pitvipers such as rattlesnakes may be engaged in an arms race with opossums, a group of snake-eating American marsupials.

Although some mammals have long been known to eat venomous snakes, this fact has not been factored into previous explanations for the rapid evolution of snake venom. Instead, snake venom is usually seen as a feeding, or trophic, adaptation. But new molecular research on snake-eating opossums by researchers affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History suggests that predators factor into the rapid evolution of snake venom.

"Snake venom toxins evolve incredibly rapidly," says Robert Voss, curator in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. "Most herpetologists interpret this as evidence that venom in snakes evolves because of interactions with their prey, but if that were true you would see equally rapid evolution in toxin-targeted molecules of prey species, which has not yet been seen. What we've found is that a venom-targeted protein is evolving rapidly in mammals that eat snakes. That suggests that venom has a defensive as well as a trophic role."

Several groups of mammals are known for their ability to eat venomous snakes, including hedgehogs, mongooses, and some opossums. Opossums, which belong to the marsupial family Didelphidae, consist of about one hundred known and several dozen undescribed species. Most of these opossums live in Central and South America, although there is one representative in the north that is familiar to those who spend time outside at night: the Virginia opossum.

Some didelphids, including the Virginia opossum, are known to eat rattlesnakes, copperheads, and some species of tropical pitvipers known as lanceheads. All of these pitvipers have venom containing dozens of highly toxic compounds, including many that attack blood proteins, causing massive internal hemorrhaging in nonresistant warm-blooded prey species, mainly rodents and birds.

The new research came out of a previous phylogenetic study of marsupials, published as a Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, that suggested unusually rapid evolution in one gene among a group of snake-eating opossums. The rapidly evolving gene codes for von Willebrand's factor, an important blood-clotting protein that is known to be the target of several snake-venom toxins. The association of rapid evolution in a venom-targeted gene among just those opossums known to eat pitvipers was the essential clue that prompted further study.

"This finding took us by surprise," says Sharon Jansa, associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota and a Museum research associate. "We sequenced several genes -- including the one that codes for von Willebrand Factor (vWF) -- to use in a study of opossum phylogeny. Once we started to analyze the data, vWF was a real outlier. It was evolving much more rapidly than expected in a group of opossums that also, as it turns out, are resistant to pitviper venom."

The recently published research demonstrates that the rate of replacement substitutions (nucleotide changes that result in amino-acid changes) is much higher than the rate of silent substitutions (nucleotide changes that have no effect on the protein) in the von Willebrand Factor gene among pitviper-eating opossums. Typically, high rates of replacement substitutions means that the gene is under strong, sustained natural selection. That only happens in a few evolutionary circumstances.
"Most nucleotide substitutions have little or no effect on protein function, but that doesn't seem to be the case with vWF in these venom-resistant opossums," says Jansa. "The specific amino acids in vWF that interact with toxin proteins show unexpectedly high rates of replacement substitutions. These substitutions undoubtedly affect protein function, suggesting that the vWF protein can no longer be attacked by these snake toxins."

"It is so uncommon to find genes under strong positive selection, that the exceptions are really interesting and often conform to one evolutionary circumstance when two organisms are coevolving with each other," says Voss. "We've known for years that venom genes evolve rapidly in snakes, but the partner in this arms race was unknown until now. Opossums eat snakes because they can."
The National Science Foundation funded this research.
________________________________________________________________________
6) Extinct in Wild, Tiny Tanzanian Toad Thrives in Lab Press Release 7/19/2011 Source: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

A species of tiny toad, which quickly became extinct in the wild after it was discovered in Tanzania, is thriving in a laboratory at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, N.Y.
ESF scientists are studying the Kihansi spray toads in an effort to find ways to safely reintroduce the animals to the Kihansi River Gorge in southeastern Tanzania.

“This is a species that’s extinct in the wild but it’s right here in Syracuse,” said Dr. James Gibbs, an ESF conservation biologist. “This species, without the help of captive breeding, will go extinct. It’s part of the natural heritage of Tanzania.”

The Kihansi spray toad was discovered in 1996 in conjunction with the construction of a dam on the Kihansi River. A population of the toads was found living near the bottom of a waterfall where the river plunged more than 3,000 feet.

The toads lived in a nearly vertical wetland created by the forceful spray that came off the pounding water. Gibbs compared the environment to living next to an open fire hydrant.

“There was a unusual species of amphibian found there,” he said. “And after much searching, it turned out to be a truly endemic and unique species. They have never been seen anywhere else. It might be the four-legged vertebrate species with the smallest range in the world.”

Construction of the dam resulted in reduced spray in the toads’ habitat and their numbers quickly declined. Some 500 of them were removed to the Bronx Zoo, where they continued to decline until some were transferred to the Toledo Zoo, where researchers stabilized them and got them to reproduce. After dwindling to about 50 individuals, the captive population has rebounded.

The Tanzanian government would like to reintroduce the animals but they want to be sure the environment has been stabilized enough to provide a suitable habitat.&#8232;“That’s where we come in,” Gibbs said.

Scientists are concerned about how a returned toad population might be affected by pesticides in the river, particularly endosulfan from upriver agriculture, and the chytrid fungus that is harming amphibians worldwide.&#8232;“Nobody wants to put lots of toads back if they’re going to suffer and not succeed in the restored habitat,” Gibbs said.

In an agreement with the National Environment Management Council of Tanzania, Gibbs and his team are researching the effect of the fungus and the pesticide, both together and separately, on the toads.
The lab work is done by ESF undergraduate Chelsae Radell of Camden, N.Y, and graduate student Brooke Reeve of Waverly, N.Y.

“I like doing this because I’m doing something important for conservation,” Radell said. “We’re making an impact. The results of our study will help determine if this species can go back into the wild.”
“I was always interested in amphibians,“ Reeve said. “Amphibians are kind of unsung in that they’re a big part of the food web.”

The students are caring for about 580 toads in the ESF lab, where visitors quickly learn contamination from the chytrid fungus is a huge concern. Anything that touches the floor, including shoes, gets a bleach bath upon entering and leaving.

“The reason the Kihansi spray toad has gone extinct in the wild is because of human impact,” Radell noted. “I think if humans are causing their extinction, then everyone should care a little bit.”
All amphibians play an important role in the environment, according to Reeve. “They’re a major prey item. They also take care of a lot of insects. They are really linked into that food chain.”

The animals are unusual among amphibians in that they give birth to live young and carry their babies on their backs. Kihansi toads range from 1 to 1.5 inches in length and weigh no more than a few grams. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

The toads illustrate the need to preserve individual species, Gibbs said. He pointed out that in the same gorge, scientists found a wild species of coffee that had not been seen before.

“That makes people say, ‘Aha! Maybe saving species is worthwhile after all,’” said. “Also we need to find ways to get the species back into the wild because we can’t pay forever to keep this toad in captivity. We need people to look after it and feed it everyday. If we can bring it back in the wild, it will take care of itself.”
___________________________________________________________________________
7) Penny-Wise Preservation-Could cost-conscious spending save more endangered species? Conservation Magazine, July 19, 2011, Matthew Dieter

Should conservationists give up on saving some species nearing extinction today for the chance to save even more species down the road? That is the question tackled by a new study that examines how best to allocate severely limited resources to address the threat of extinction.

“The threats to biodiversity are increasing and conservation efforts for threatened species are not sufficient,” four researchers write in Ecology Letters. “Conservation practitioners and the public alike are often polarized as to what constitutes the wise use of a limited budget.”

Some suggest that focusing resources on today’s most endangered species will save the greatest number of species in the long term. Others advocate a strategy known as “triaging,” or prioritizing resources with cost efficiency in mind. That means sometimes even allowing some species to go extinct. (Triaging originated as a medical concept in which emergency care givers abandon hopeless cases, treat more serious cases first, and put less serious cases on hold.)

To determine the best bang for the conservation buck, the research team created a cost-benefit model that accounted for the probability of extinction and the costs of saving 32 species, and then they crunched the numbers to maximize the number of species saved.

They found that focusing resources only on the most-endangered species “will not typically maximise the number of species saved, as this does not take into account the risk of less-endangered species going extinct in the future.” In contrast, over the long term, conservationists can “recover as many species as possible by allocating resources based on the lowest expected cost of recovery.” This will result in a short-term tradeoff for long-term gains, the team notes. “In the short-term, there would be relatively fewer species extant when compared with spending on more endangered species, whereas at longer time periods, there would be relatively more species extant.”

The model highlights the need to shift resources away from saving a relatively small number of highly threatened species today, they argue. “As in medicine,” they conclude, “more emphasis should be placed on long-term preventive conservation rather than short-term fire-fighting.”

Source: Howard B. Wilson, et al. When should we save the most endangered species? Ecology Letters (2011). DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01652.x

_______________________________________________________________________
Bibliography of July 2011 issue of Chelonian Conservation and Biology Published by: Chelonian Research Foundation Table of Contents (for abstracts go to http://www.bioone.org/toc/ccab/10/1
which has links to all.)

Jul 2011 : Volume 10 Issue 1

PROLOGUE
The 10th Volume of Chelonian Conservation and Biology: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future&#65532; Jeffrey A. Seminoff and Anders G. J. Rhodin&#8232;pg(s) 1–2

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Trace Metals in Eggs and Hatchlings of Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) Nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica&#65532; John H. Roe, Nathan S. Sill, Michael R. Columbia, and Frank V. Paladino&#8232;pg(s) 3–9

Courtship Displays Are Condition-Dependent Signals That Reliably Reflect Male Quality in Greek Tortoises, Testudo gracea&#65532; Daniele Pellitteri-Rosa, Roberto Sacchi, Paolo Galeotti, Manuela Marchesi, and Mauro Fasola&#8232;pg(s) 10–17

International Movements of Adult Female Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata): First Results from the Caribbean's Marine Turtle Tagging Centre&#65532; Julia A. Horrocks, Barry H. Krueger, Marina Fastigi, Emile L. Pemberton, and Karen L. Eckert&#8232;pg(s) 18–25

Seasonality and Status of Nesting Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) at D'Arros Island, Amirantes Group, Seychelles&#65532; Jeanne A. Mortimer, Jean-Claude Camille, and Nigel Boniface&#8232;pg(s) 26–33

Effects of Rainfall and the Potential Influence of Climate Change on Two Congeneric Tortoise Species&#65532; Earl D. McCoy, Robin D. Moore, Henry R. Mushinsky, and Susan C. Popa&#8232;pg(s) 34–41

Conservation Implications of Initial Orientation of Naïve Hatchling Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta belli) Dispersing From Experimental Nests&#65532; Justin D. Congdon, Michael Pappas, Bruce Brecke, and Joshua Capps&#8232;pg(s) 42–53

Incubation Temperatures and Metabolic Heating of Relocated and In Situ Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Nests at a Northern Rookery&#65532; Brett A. DeGregorio and Amanda Southwood Williard&#8232;pg(s) 54–61

Sperm Utilization Patterns and Reproductive Success in Captive Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta)&#65532; Ken Sakaoka, Makoto Yoshii, Hitoshi Okamoto, Fusae Sakai, and Kazuya Nagasawa&#8232;pg(s) 62–72

Sun Compass Orientation by Juvenile Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas)&#65532; Cody R. Mott and Michael Salmon&#8232;pg(s) 73–81

Demography of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Brazilian Cerrado&#65532; Habib J. Fraxe Neto, Marcela Ayub Brasil, Gabriel de Freitas Horta, Thiago Oliveira Barros, Guth Berger Falcon, and Guarino R. Colli&#8232;pg(s) 82–90

Feeding Ecology of Acanthochelys spixii (Testudines, Chelidae) in the Cerrado of Central Brazil&#65532; Marcela Ayub Brasil, Gabriel de Freitas Horta, Habib Jorge Fraxe Neto, Thiago Oliveira Barros, and Guarino Rinaldi Colli&#8232;pg(s) 91–101

Development of Distinct Morphotypes in Captive Seychelles–Aldabra Giant Tortoises&#65532; Justin Gerlach&#8232;pg(s) 102–112

NOTES AND FIELD REPORTS
Two Additions to the Turtle Fauna of Laos&#65532; Bryan L. Stuart, Chris D. Hallam, Sengphachanh Sayavong, Chanthalaphone Nanthavong, Sengmany Sayaleng, Outhai Vongsa, and William G. Robichaud&#8232;pg(s) 113–116

Evaluating Noninvasive Methods of Sex Identification in Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Hatchlings&#65532; Zhong-Rong Xia, Pi-Peng Li, He-Xiang Gu, Jonathan J. Fong, and Er-Mi Zhao&#8232;pg(s) 117–123

Turtles and Culverts, and Alternative Energy Development: An Unreported but Potentially Significant Mortality Threat to the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)&#65532; Jeffrey E. Lovich, Joshua R. Ennen, Sheila Madrak, and Bret Grover&#8232;pg(s) 124–129

Nesting Activity and Clutch Size of Batagur affinis edwardmolli from the Setiu River, Terengganu, Malaysia&#65532; Eng-Heng Chan and Pelf-Nyok Chen&#8232;pg(s) 129–132

Structure of a Population of Hydromedusa maximiliani (Testudines, Chelidae) from Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, an Atlantic Rainforest Preserve in Southeastern Brazil&#65532; Shirley Famelli, Jaime Bertoluci, Flavio B. Molina, and Waverli M. Matarazzo-Neuberger&#8232;pg(s) 132–137

Food Habits of a Pelomedusid Turtle, Pelomedusa subrufa, in Tropical Africa (Nigeria): The Effects of Sex, Body Size, Season, and Site&#65532; Luca Luiselli, Godfrey C. Akani, Nwabueze Ebere, Lorenzo Rugiero, Leonardo Vignoli, Francesco M. Angelici, Edem A. Eniang, and Mathias Behangana&#8232;pg(s) 138–144

Aggregated Drinking Behavior of Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) in Arid Southwestern Madagascar&#65532; J. Sean Doody, Christina M. Castellano, Riana Rakotondrainy, William M. Ronto, Tantelinirina M. Rakotondriamanga, Julio J. Duchene, and Zigzag Randria&#8232;pg(s) 145–146

Podocnemis erythrocephala Nests in the Lower Tapajós River, Central Amazonia, Brazil&#65532; Elildo A. R. Carvalho Jr, Juarez C. B. Pezzuti, and Mário Branco Maranhão&#8232;pg(s) 146–148

COMMENTARIES AND REVIEWS
History of Turtle Exploitation and Management Techniques to Conserve Turtles in the Rio Negro Basin of the Brazilian Amazon&#65532; Larissa Schneider, Camila R. Ferrara, Richard C. Vogt, and Joanna Burger&#8232;pg(s) 149–157

TURTLE POETRY
A White Turtle Under A Waterfall&#65532; Wang Wei&#8232;pg(s) 158–158 _____________________________________________________________



___________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:55 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 33/ 7/25/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
TURTLE TV is back!!!!!! Now On DVD

Thirty, Tremendous, Thrilling Hilarious, Yeah Funny, minutes of turtle versions of “King Kong”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Julia Childs, Turtle TV Weather Reports, Highlights from the THL -Turtle Hockey League, TBL- Turtle Basketball League and Turtle Stock Car Racing, and so much more. Great Birthday Gift. Great Gift for yourself. Available only through HerpDigest.

No herp lover should be without one.
DVD $15.00 each plus $5.00 S&H. $3.00 for each additional copy

(No turtle was harmed during the filming of (“Turtle TV”) ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1)Turtles up for Adoption. --NYTTS
2) Free. A pdf copy of Center for Biodiversity’s magazine.
3) THIRTY-THIRD ANNUAL GOPHER TORTOISE COUNCIL MEETING
4) Monster You Made Turtle Care Help Video
5) Plastics Killing Terengganu's Turtles
6) Detailed fossil found in China is the oldest example of reptile bearing young
7) Salmonella Fears Rise After Frog Sales Resume
8) I Killed the Bufo, by Mark Derr,
9) Dead bodies grab our interest
10) Federation launches fishing line recovery, recycling project

__________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $10.00 off original $29.95 price, plus $6.00 S&H (see below on how to order) _____________________________________________________________________________
1) Turtles up for Adoption. --NYTTS has a number of aquatic turtles available for adoption following a recent rescue. They are mostly African helmeted turtles (Pelomedusa sp., both adults and juveniles) and adult Reeve's turtles. All are long-term captives and/or captive-bred young.

We need to place these turtles as soon as possible. If you are interested in providing a permanent home for any of these turtles, please let us know! Email info@nytts.org with your contact information and species preference.

Thank you!
The NYTTS Board
_____________________________________________________________
2) Free. A pdf copy of Center for Biodiversity’s magazine.
Endangered Earth SUMMER 2011 Just came out. Articles on Page 4 and Page 6 of special interest to herpers.

The Summer 2011 issue contains the following articles:
A landmark agreement — the largest-ever struck for imperiled wildlife — will move 757 long- neglected plants and animals toward protection under the Endangered Species Act P.6
Battling The Bat Crisis P.2
Saving the Southeast’s Freshwater Treasures P.4
Defending the Endangered Species Act.P. 7
Grand Canyon Uranium Victor P. Putting the freeze on offshore drilling P. Tiny seahorse defended From Imense Oil Spill P. 10

email me at asalzberg@herpdigest.org
________________________________________________
3) THIRTY-THIRD ANNUAL GOPHER TORTOISE COUNCIL MEETING

Where: Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida
When: 14-16 October 2011

This year's theme is "Gopher Tortoise Conservation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." Conference sessions will focus specifically on Gopher Tortoises, commensal species, conservation and upland habitat conservation efforts from the past, as well as present endeavors and future needs.

Abstracts are due 20 August 2011.

Information can be accessed at

http://www.gophertortoisecouncil.org/events.php

Jess Gonynor McGuire
MS, PhD Candidate
Wildlife Ecology and Management
University of Georgia
D. B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center
3988 Jones Center Drive, Newton, Georgia 39870 jgonynor@gmail.com ______________________________________
4) Monster You Made Turtle Care Help Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_935eZl84k

This was created to show the problems caused when pet keepers use or receive bad information to care for thier turtles. Please help prevent this from happening - don't take turtles from the wild to be kept as pets, and do your research from MULTIPLE sources if you are getting a pet.

The music is "Monster You Made" from Pop Evil's 2011 War of Angels album, available in stores and on-line.

This is a video that kids should see when they want a turtle. Watch it with them. Explain what happened and the commitment involved. A lot of turtles rehabbers get in these and worse conditions were pets for kids who outgrew them and parents gave them minimal care no knowing what to do, or getting the wrong advice.

_______________________________________________________________________
5) Plastics Killing Terengganu's Turtles KEMAMAN, July 24 (Bernama) -- Pieces of plastic floating in the ocean often mistaken for food or jellyfish by turtles may be one of the reasons for their deaths.&#8232;&#8232;World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-

Malaysia Terengganu Turtle and Terrapin Conservation Programme chief Rahayu Zulkifli said shards of plastic were found in the stomach of dead turtles in the state.&#8232;&#8232;Thus, she urged the people, especially fishermen, to cooperate by not throwing plastics into the sea as they could kill turtles.&#8232;&#8232;

Speaking to Bernama at the launch of the WWF-Malaysia's "Protect Our Turtles" campaign here today, she said WWF-Malaysia had taken various measures to increase the turtle population, including by buying turtle eggs for hatching with the assistance of the Fisheries Department.&#8232;&#8232;Rahayu said leatherback turtle was considered a critically endangered species as only 10 nesting areas were found in the state since 2000 compared to 10,000 areas a year in the 50s.&#8232;&#8232;

The green turtle is also listed as threatened even though many nesting areas were discovered in Terengganu, she said.&#8232;&#8232;About 400 people, including tourists, who attended the campaign signed a pledge to help protect turtles and will not eat their eggs.&#8232;&#8232;The Terengganu Fisheries Department and the Kerteh District Heritage Society also took part in the campaign.&#8232;&#8232;-- BERNAMA.com _______________________________________________________________________
6) Detailed fossil found in China is the oldest example of reptile bearing young

An ancient lizard fossil was found with 15 embryos preserved inside its belly.
By Jennifer Welsh
7/22/2011

Just days before giving birth to at least 15 young, a lizard somehow kicked the bucket. That was 120 million years ago, and researchers have now found the fossilized pregnant lizard with fully formed embryos in her belly.

The fossil, discovered in China, is the oldest known example of a lizard bearing live young. Lizards and other reptiles typically lay eggs.

"This is the oldest record of live-bearing in a lizard and the first record of live-bearing (viviparity) in a tetrapod that is not a specialist swimmer," study researcher Susan Evans told LiveScience in an email. "This new find shows that the pre-adaptations for viviparity must have evolved quite early in the group."

This fossil shows that pregnancy is as old as the dinosaurs, and seems to be widespread, even in ancient lizards. Mammals seem to have evolved pregnancy around this time as well.
&#8232;The mama-to-be is a species in the genus Yabeinosaurus, which lived during the early Cretaceous period when dinosaurs trod the Earth; other examples of this species date back 125 million years at least.

"We have several specimens of this lizard (Yabeinosaurus) already, but each one tells us a little more about its biology," Evans said.

This specimen is about a foot long and contains at least 15 complete embryos. They are so well preserved the researchers could even see their fully formed teeth. The lizard would have been just days away from giving birth, they said.

Bearing babies &#8232;Mammals, like humans, aren't the only animals to give birth to live young. About 20 percent of modern lizards and snakes bring their babies to term, while birds and other reptiles, including crocodiles and turtles, are exclusively egg-laying. Pregnancy seems to have evolved in lizards and snakes more than 100 different times.

The newly discovered lizard lived by the water but also spent time on the land, which would've made it tough to get around with cargo onboard. Other pregnant lizards, which lived during the late Cretaceous, were strictly water-living animals; lizards impregnated with babies could have maneuvered more easily in the water than on land.

Bearing live young has its upsides, among them the fact that a mama doesn't have to leave her babies in a nest where they could be preyed upon.
_______________________________________________
7) Salmonella Fears Rise After Frog Sales Resume Source:s Associated Press, Medline Plus, 7/23/11

Frogs linked to a recent salmonella outbreak affecting 240 people are being sold once again, according to the Associated Press.

Blue Lobster Farms, a breeding facility in Madera County, California, resumed selling African dwarf frogs to pet stores after voluntarily halting sales in April. A Centers for Disease Control investigation had found that the nearly two year salmonella outbreak was linked to the frogs sold at Blue Lobster Farms. The CDC announced this week that the facility resumed frog sales back in June, despite the risks of salmonella infections.

Most of the affected people were children under five years old. The Associated Press says no one died from the recent salmonella outbreak.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria infection that is usually treated with antibiotics. The illness can last up to one week and may include symptoms such as headache, fever, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Complications include infection, typhoid fever and even death.

Reptiles and amphibians are common carriers of salmonella. Lizards, turtles and snakes can all potentially carry the bacteria. Kids are the most vulnerable to infections, and these types of pets are not recommended for children under five years old.

Salmonella is also prevalent in undercooked meats as well as unwashed produce.
_______________________________________________________________

8) I Killed the Bufo, by Mark Derr, 7/23/11 Mark Derr is the author of the forthcoming “How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends.”

Miami Beach
I CONFESS. On a recent night, a very dark night, around midnight, I killed a Bufo marinus, commonly known as a cane toad or giant toad. The Bufo had established its domain in our pond several months earlier and swaggered about the backyard at night as if it owned the place.

Like our house, the pond dates to 1925. Made of concrete, it is four feet in diameter and two feet deep, with two inches of muck. Presiding over it is a two-foot-tall plaster cherub jury-rigged fountain that was already old when we moved in 20 years ago. The pond then was a stagnant breeding ground for mosquitoes and algae. Today, it is home to two thriving plants — a lobelia native to the Everglades and a colocasia, an exotic from Southeast Asia. The pond is algae-free and stocked with gambusia, the local minnows that are mosquito predators — hence their common name, mosquito fish.

I have kept the pond more or less functioning since we moved in, and I have no desire to see it colonized by toads the size of soccer balls that secrete toxin from glands in the back of their heads strong enough to kill cats and small or infirm dogs. I feared that our aged kelpie, Kate, would stumble upon the Bufo invader and meet her demise.

I am hardly an ecological purist who would remove every exotic animal as soon as it appeared in an ecosystem not its own, primarily because I figure that at one point or another all of us on this planet have been “invasive species” — or shall I say, pilgrims in search of a better home. Most creatures who visit South Florida, especially when coming from a cold, gray climate or an oppressive political atmosphere, never want to leave. They congregate here and sometimes reproduce so profligately that they are impossible to contain, much less to remove.

In the years I have kept it, the pond has had a mixed record on exotics. For several years, it harbored a visiting African lungfish that trained me to feed it whenever it surfaced with its mouth open. The lungfish prospered until its owner took it away, but as a rule nonnative fish and plants have faltered.
Since the 1930s, people have brought Bufos into Florida, usually to serve as biological pest controls in sugar country around Lake Okeechobee. but the current Bufo population in South Florida appears descended from a group that escaped from a wildlife dealer at the Miami airport in 1955. Similar releases in Australia to control pests in sugar cane fields have created an ecological nightmare that could be titled “Invasion of the Cane Toads.”

Still, the notion that the Bufo had to be removed remained abstract, something I should do but could delay as long as I was vigilant with Kate. Since I take no pleasure in killing, that studied ambiguity suited me. I even passed up several opportunities to dispatch it. I hoped it would voluntarily decamp, but I knew it was growing large enough and brazen enough to threaten our dog, who often visited the pond.

I knew I had to act, though, when I learned that several neighborhood dogs had died from Bufotoxin.
Reportedly, the humane way to kill a Bufo is to apply a painkiller and then freeze it in a plastic bag, but I did not want to attempt to catch it, because Parkinson’s disease has skewed my balance and dulled my reflexes. I had other plans. After failing to find a gig — a multi-tined spear for hunting fish and frogs — I manufactured my own using oversize deep-sea fishing hooks. I bided my time until I found the Bufo squatting on an exposed piece of limestone in the middle of the pond. I speared it with my gig at the base of its head and unceremoniously dumped it into a garbage bag I then sealed.

I acted to protect our dog without a thought toward other consequences. But within a week of the Bufo’s death, I began to notice changes in and around the pond. Young and old gambusia appeared in significant numbers, swimming freely and openly. I am no expert on Bufo behavior, but this one had an ability to knock down plants growing around its chosen resting spots. Once this Bufo was removed, the pond plants grew lush. Anole lizards, whose absence I had silently noted for some time, became everywhere apparent, and I have begun to hear tree frogs again, as well. Even better, the mosquito population collapsed, leading me to conclude that although the Bufo did not appear to eat the mosquito-loving gambusia, its physical presence had somehow intimidated them and forced them into hiding.

I cannot claim to have restored “balance” to our backyard ecosystem. I am even uncertain how to define balance for a fenced area that is dominated by a swimming pool and a mango tree that feeds us and numerous other animals.

There might be other plausible explanations for what I see, but I can say the available evidence indicates that removing an imperialist bully has improved the health of our pond and yard, not to mention our comfort.
______________________________________________________________________
9) Dead bodies grab our interest
7/24/11, Delmavera.com

Along the road, I recently saw a red-eared turtle of a size that made me think of a 9-inch pie pan. I had never seen one so large. It was moving in a safe direction, so I drove on.

I remembered the half- dollar sized red-eared slider turtles my brothers and I had as kids. Lots of kids owned the tiny turtles -- until they were declared illegal due to salmonella.

When I was a kid, when nobody was observing it, which was most of the time, our last tiny turtle climbed out of its clear plastic habitat with the island, the plastic palm tree and water that needed changing, and vanished.

Once we discovered this disappearance, we developed heightened awareness and concern. We fretted about its safety for several days. When we couldn't find it, we were happy to believe it had escaped the confines of our house and was living blissfully in the woods, eating bugs and growing as big as a pie pan.

Then we forgot the turtle completely.

Years later, the turtle's dusty, mummified body was found behind the gas stove. Now we knew.
Our little pet had not escaped to a long, contented life outdoors, but was likely dead before we noticed its absence. The mummification was interesting, as was the fine detail seen in the turtle's dried features.
A young Ripley would have charged a nickel to see this oddity.

The turtle's death was no more or no less significant than the deaths of untold seahorses and starfish. They are turned into stiff corpses for use as souvenirs and décor for the thoughtless visual delight of humans, especially children. Their stories, more morbid than the merry stories of dying little Christmas trees, are never told.

For some people, a dead member of any species, even human, can amuse -- the dead Bonnie and Clyde, and Hitler, have done so.

Most recently, the dead bin Laden was a rich source for cartoons and jokes.

Today, good examples of our being engrossed with dead humans -- without denying a need for anatomical instruction in the medical field -- are human body exhibits for the public.
Most notable is Body World, consisting of human corpses preserved using plastination, displaying real, peeled-away, naked bodies doing everyday activities -- under the guise of education and entertainment for a profit.

It seems a dead human can offer more amusement, humor and entertainment to other humans than a dead, mummified, tiny turtle or a live, 9-inch, pie-pan sized red-eared slider ever could provide.
» George T. Mason is a former turtle owner and freelance writer who lives in Salisbury.
_________________________________________________________________________
10) Federation launches fishing line recovery, recycling project July 24, 2011 7:38 PM

JANNETTE PIPPIN, JDNEWS.COM

The strength and durability that makes monofilament line perfect for fishing can also make it a hazard to wildlife if it’s not discarded properly.

Most monofilament — a single-strand flexible plastic — can last for hundreds of years. So when discarded fishing line ends up in the water it’s there to stay. For the sea turtles, fish, dolphin and birds that ingest the line or become entangled in it, it can cause injury or death.

“Fishermen need something strong and long lasting with a little stretch; that’s the definition of fishing line,” said Randy Gregory of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “But when that line is not disposed of properly it can create a lot of hazards for fish and wildlife using the resource.”

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital on Topsail Island sees its share of sea turtle injuries from entanglements in fishing line and other gear.

“What happens is that line wraps around their neck or flipper and gets tighter and tighter,” sea turtle hospital volunteer Karen Sota said.

Knowing the harm that can be done by improperly discarded monofilament, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation has launched a Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Project to help educate the public about the issue and encourage recycling through a network of recycling bin drop-off locations.
“Monofilament fishing line can and should be recycled, and we want to provide an opportunity for outdoorsmen to do that,” NCWF Conservation Director Christopher North said.

The NCWF’s new Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program is modeled after a program in Florida and involves installing receptacles at public fishing and boating areas so that used fishing line can be easily discarded, collected and then recycled.

Federation volunteers have installed its first receptacles — built from 6-inch diameter PVC pipe — along the Catawba River, and the organization would like to see the program go statewide.

The coast is already off to a good start with a similar program that has grown to about 60 recycling locations in seven counties, primarily Carteret, Onslow and Brunswick counties.

The Cape Lookout Studies Program, an environmental education and conservation program of the N.C. Maritime Museum, partnered with Duke Marine Lab in 2006 to build a network of recycling stations along the coast through its North Carolina Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program.

As of September, a cumulative 500 miles of fishing line had been collected at the program’s coastal recycling sites.

Through affiliations with agencies such as N.C. Aquariums, N.C. Sea Grant, state and national parks, local and county recreation groups and other conservation groups, Cape Lookout Studies has compiled list of recycling stations that is posted on its website. Recycling locations in the area now include all Carteret County piers, Fort Macon State Park, the Newport River Water Access and Continental Shelf head boat in Morehead City, several beach accesses along Bogue Banks and locations at Camp Lejeune.

Other drop-off points for used fishing line include certified N.C. Clean Marinas such as Casper’s Marina in Swansboro and various marine-related businesses that have recycling efforts such as East Coast Sports in Surf City, Reel Outdoors in Emerald Isle and West Marine in Morehead City.
Eighteen fishing line recycling bins are located at various sites aboard Camp Lejeune and bins have been in use there since the fall of 2009, according to Les Pearson with the Threatened and Endangered Species Program, who administers the program on base. Four wildlife technicians with the program empty and maintain the bins.

Pearson said educating the public about the program is an ongoing process one but response to fishing line recycling has been good. He said they currently have a 2-foot by 2-foot by 2-foot box that is overflowing with used fishing line that has been collected and after the fall fishing season they plan to send it off for recycling.

Marinas, tackle shops, fishing piers, water accesses and anywhere where large numbers of fishermen may congregate make ideal locations for a recycling receptacle. North said anyone who is interested in installing a receptacle and monitoring it can participate in recycling, whether it’s individually or through a program.

Gregory said any effort that reduces the amount of discarded fishing line going into the water and increases recycling is a positive one.

“We want all fishermen who use the resources to be conservation minded, and one thing they need to know is how to properly discard their used fishing equipment,” he said.
While fishing line that is braided or contains wire cannot be recycled, most fishing line purchased is monofilament, which can be recycled.

If recycling isn’t possible, it is recommended that discarded line be cut into short lengths of 6 to 12-inches and then disposed of properly in the trash so that it doesn’t end up in the waterway.
Fishing line collected for recycling gets mailed to Berkley Fishing Company in Iowa, which then melts the material into plastic pellets for use in making tackle boxes, fishing line spools and other items.
For more information about fishing line recycling, go to the Cape Lookout Studies Program website at capelookoutstudies.org or the North Carolina Wildlife Federation website at ncwf.org/recycle/. The websites include information about their respective programs and resources, including information on how to build a recycling bin.


Construction and instillation of PVC fishing line recycling centers Materials needed:
PVC glue
Sandpaper
6-inch PVC pipe, 2-feet long
6-inch PVC 90-degree elbow
6-inch PVC cleanout plug
6-inch PVC DWV female adapter

Assembly:
Cut PVC pipe into approximately 2-feet long pieces using a hacksaw, reciprocating saw (metal blade; 12” long blades work well), bandsaw or table saw. Use a deburring tool or sandpaper to remove PVC “burrs” around edges.

Apply PVC glue to inside (non-threaded part) of adapter. With adapter sitting squarely on the ground, press the pipe down into the adapter until snug. Note that PVC glue works by dissolving the PVC, then sets rapidly, so you don’t have a lot of “play” time with it.

Apply PVC glue to the inside of one end of the elbow (it does not matter which end). Press the elbow onto the pipe. Try and make sure that any blemishes on the pipe end up on the back side of the bin.
Apply stickers

Drill 2 holes (about ¼ or 3/8”) in the center of the screw plug. Thread plug into adapter.
Installation:

Decide where you are going to install the bin and sign. Using a long drill bit (8”), drill 2 holes in the supporting wood (post or railings). The holes should be placed such that the upper hole will line up with the lower part of the elbow and the lower hole lines up with the collar of the adapter. Drill a hole through the base of the elbow at the back of the bin.

Use bolts or all-thread to attach the bin to the post at the top hole. Lok-tite may be used on the threads to try and keep the nuts from coming loose.

From the back side of the post, drill through the existing hole and through the collar of the adapter. Use a second bolt or piece of all-thread to attach the bin through these holes.

If using all-thread, use a reciprocating saw or bolt cutters to cut off the excess material.
Source: ncwf.org/recycle



___________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
Here are some more books on turtles and tortoises worth having

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $300 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:49 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 35/ 8/6/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $10.00 off original $29.95 price, plus $6.00 S&H (see below on how to order) ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

1) Video: Snake on a car while going 65 mph
2) The August 2011 Year of the Turtle Newsletter and Calendar is now available!
3) The ultimate snappy snap: Photographer's incredible close-ups of rare crocodiles that came back from brink of extinction
4) How to dispose of Bufo toads (Cane Toads) humanely
5) 'Toad blocks' shut down B.C. roads for migration
6) Engineered turtles take the hit for science in Bloomingdale
7) How female frogs control male call evolution
8) Researchers Map Long-Range Migrations and Habitats of Leatherback Sea Turtles in the Pacific Ocean
9) Ongoing drought brings urban wildlife out in search of water, food (Including Snakes) (Houston, TX)

__________________________________________________________
1) Video: Snake on a car while going 65 mph Aug 04, 2011, egmCarTalk.

to see video go to http://www.egmcartech.com/2011/08/04/snake-on-a-car/

To read entire story from a Herpetologist’s point of view, go to David Steen’s blog “Living Alongside Wildlife: at http://davidasteen.blogspot.com/2011/08 ... ition.html

The egm article.
Ladies and gentlemen, get your Samuel L. Jackson references ready. Because you’re about to see some mother f**in’ snakes on a mother f**in’ car.

Cars are notorious for being temporary homes to all sorts of creatures and critters because of their many crevices, nooks and crannies. So it should be no surprise if you were to stumble upon an unexpected guest moping around your car. And that’s what happened to a Memphis, Tennessee family.

While on their way, the family encountered a three-foot long gray rat snake snooping around the outside of their car while driving on the Sam Cooper Boulevard at highway speeds. The confused snake first made its appearance crawling out of the engine bay probably after being irritated from the heat and noise. The snake then made its way across the windshield until he got caught in the wind drafts on the driver side, where the snake eventually fell off the side.

Check out the video after the jump. If Samuel L. Jackson was around, he’d be sure to scream: “Get this mother f**kin’ snake off of my mother f**in’ car.”
_____________________________________________________________________
2) The August 2011 Year of the Turtle Newsletter and Calendar is now available!

In this issue, we turn our attention to the efforts of state fish and wildlife agencies in turtle conservation, as well as a one-year-later report on the Michigan oil spill.

View or download our August Year of the Turtle Newsletter! Our August Year of the Turtle News issue provides some an overview of turtle conservation projects occurring in a few of the State Fish and Wildlife Agencies in the U.S., including a spotlight on Desert Tortoise conservation in Utah. We provide an update one year after the Michigan oil spill which greatly impacted the areas turtles, and we highlight more Citizen Science (volunteer) opportunities. We’ve got some great artwork from kids, and we share the turtle research and conservation activities of some of our Northeast PARC partners – they’re also selling Year of the Turtle T-shirts. Enjoy!

Sometimes, being bogged down is good: Check out our winning August Calendar photo subject!
Congratulations to Nathan Shepard for his winning Bog Turtle calendar photo! He photographed this beautiful turtle in North Carolina in 2008 as part of the North Carolina Herpetological Society’s Project Bog Turtle. Nathan’s photo was chosen as the August featured photo out of several hundred photos received since our contest began. All submitted photos will continue to be considered for future calendar months, as well as for use (with photo credit) in other YoT products and documents. More information about our ongoing photo contest is available at www.yearoftheturtle.org. Give us your best shot!

Visit www.yearoftheturtle.org to find the Newsletter, calendar and photo contest information for upcoming months, our Year of the Turtle Flip Cards (featuring the Top 25 most threatened turtles of the world), our improved USA Turtle Mapping Project reporting forms, the Year of the Turtle screensaver and video, and our ever-growing list of partners.

Contact us at yearoftheturtle2011@gmail.com with any questions, or to partner with us for the 2011 Year of the Turtle!
_____________________________________________
3) The ultimate snappy snap: Photographer's incredible close-ups of rare crocodiles that came back from brink of extinction By Chris Parsons, 8/5/11 for photos go to:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ds-newsxml

It takes an extremely brave photographer to try for a close-up this dangerous - especially when you could end up being 'snapped' at yourself.

But intrepid wildlife photographer Daniel Botelho put his life on the line in Botswana to capture these spectacular shots of a 15ft crocodile in its natural habitat.

Courageous snapper Mr Botelho came within inches of the lethal predators after photographing them in the Okavango River Delta in Botswana.

The revealing images he got are well worth the danger he put himself in, however, given the plight the crocodiles previously found themselves in.

The species have been hunted excessively by humans for their skin thanks to the demand for leather goods.

Mr Botelho spent eight days trying for the close-up in June after following the creatures on land and underwater.

The 30-year-old eventually got the shots he wanted and put his expertise down the closely watching the crocodiles' body language.

He said: 'It was very hard to find a croc that allowed me to approach, I had enormous luck to have some that stopped for a while.

'When you are dealing with wildlife, you need to feel the body language of the animal. I need to be very calm and relaxed to make my approach.

'It was hardcore work to get in the water 10 to 15 times a day to get a one minute interaction.'
'The first time I saw a croc was a big one, and it was inside a cave.

'I couldn't believe his size, I almost cleaned my mask to check if I was seeing correctly.
'At that time all I felt was enchantment. They are beautiful underwater.'

While taking the pictures, Mr Botelho witnessed full grown crocodiles weighing over 600 kgs, putting him in serious danger.

'The crocodiles mostly feed on fish, but they are top predators, ready to take advantage of any prey that crosses their path,' he said.

'We tried to minimise our risks as much as possible, we never went straight to the croc with the current, never swam on top of them, and if one comes toward me, I was told to pretend I was a tree trunk.
'They can't see properly underwater but they can see contrast, and they also have pressure sensors to feel small movements in the water.'

The crocs travel well on land, but mostly live in freshwater rivers and lakes, as well as mangroves.
_______________________________________________________________________
4) How to dispose of Bufo toads (Cane Toads) humanely By Dr. Patty Khuly, Miami Herald, Pets, 8/6/11

Q. Every year, my husband and I argue over what to do with the Bufo toads that invade our yard. A couple of years ago you wrote a column on the dangers of these toads to our dogs. You said they were an invasive species to South Florida and that they should be killed with a shovel. My husband has taken your words to heart. Please tell me you didn’t mean to say these innocent animals should be butchered inhumanely.

Oops. What I said is that sometimes the best thing for these animals is a shovel, which occasioned a slew of emails from folks like you who had interpreted that to mean that the toads should be killed by bashing them with a shovel. The truth is, I was thinking along the lines of removing them with a shovel, not killing them in a manner that I, too, consider inhumane.

You are right. “butchering” these animals is not the way we should deal with a Bufo invasion — not when other means are available to us.

Bufo toads (aka, Bufus marinus) are a species of Australian amphibians who have proliferated in South Florida thanks to our hospitable climate. They are unwelcome not only because they do damage to our delicate ecosystem but because dogs who engage them as prey suffer oral irritation, life-threatening seizures and sometimes heart failure.

That earns them a special place on our list of despicable creatures, but it doesn’t mean we should bash them to death. Gross as it sounds, the most humane method of euthanasia for amphibians involves a simple household appliance: the freezer.

If you can get past the toad-catching, plastic-bagging, freezer-installing and disposal of these animals (in the garbage, usually), you’re doing the best thing for the environment and your dogs.
Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice in South Miami and blogs at www.dolittler.com.
____________________________________________________________________________
5) 'Toad blocks' shut down B.C. roads for migration CBC News, Aug 6, 2011

Two rural roads in Chilliwack, B.C., will be closed for a few hours each day for the next two weeks to accommodate an annual wildlife migration — of baby Western Toads.

Ryder Lake and Elk View roads will be shut closed to traffic — in what locals call "toad blocks" — to make way for the newly hatched amphibians that are about the size of a fingernail.

The pavement on the roads looks like it's covered by hundreds of bumblebees.

The toadlets are making their way from area lakes where they were born to wooded areas where they will live.

About one million of the toads will make the trek in the weeks ahead.

The Fraser Valley Conservancy arranged the road closures with the City of Chilliwack to avoid the virtual slaughter of the toads every year due to vehicle traffic.

"[Residents] were using snow shovels to move the carcasses off the road," said Conservancy Executive Director Lisa Fox.

Fox said new technology is being tested that could end the annual road closures.

Netting would funnel the toads to a grate-covered ditch dug under the road, which would allow the creatures to cross without threat.

The Western Toad is not listed as an endangered species.
___________________________________________________________________________
6) Engineered turtles take the hit for science in Bloomingdale

August 6, 2011 - Savannahnow.com,
By Mary Landers

It’s no secret that lots of sea turtles are injured and killed every year from getting run over by boats.
In Georgia, almost a quarter of sea turtle fatalities are attributed to crushing blows from hulls and slicing wounds from propellers.

But scientists are only just beginning to document exactly how boats and motors, and which types, do their damage and to figure out how best to prevent it. Researchers from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Tech are in the second phase of experiments on full-scale models of loggerhead sea turtles, the most common sea turtle in state waters.

On the Ogeechee River near Bloomingdale on Monday, they continued their field work.

Piloting the DNR’s law enforcement boat at planing speed of about 26 mph, Mark Dodd aimed straight for a fake turtle tethered just below the water’s surface. A muffled thump signaled a hit, then the engineered loggerhead broke into pieces. A lethal strike.

“This is turtle 2.0,” said Tech’s David Scott as he fingered the resin-covered foam shell.
Scott, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and his colleague Paul Work, also an associate professor, improved on their previous turtle model. They added, among other changes, silica microspheres to the shell’s outer layer so it became harder on the outside.

“It acts like a sandwich; that’s what you see in a real shell,” Scott said. “Nature is pretty smart that way.”
The first round of testing in 2008 produced a scientific paper published in June in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that higher speeds produced greater injuries. Propeller guards didn’t seem to protect against harm except at idle, but jet propulsion systems, like those seen on Jet Skis, did seem safer for animals.

“We’re looking at the boat strike as an engineering problem, not a biological problem,” Scott said.
In Monday’s testing, the jet boat, a kind of overgrown Jet Ski bought for the grant-funded research, first produced significant injuries in the turtle models. But late afternoon testing with a green turtle carcass — the animal died after being cold-stunned last winter and has been in the deep freeze waiting for this opportunity ever since — failed to produce any fractures.

That’s science, said Dodd, who coordinates the Georgia Sea Turtle Program.

“We have inconclusive results,” he said. “Further testing will be necessary.”

It may require more tweaking of the engineered shell.

“The idea is to get a shell that behaves like a real turtle,” Dodd said. “It’s not a simple thing. It’s not as simple as you would think.”
____________________________________________________________________
7) How female frogs control male call evolution TruthDive, August 5, 2011 By News Desk

Washington, August 05 (ANI): Biologists from the University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have observed that female cognitive ability can limit how melodious or handsome males become over evolutionary time.

Studying neotropical tungara frogs, they found that females lose their ability to detect differences in male mating calls as the calls become more elaborate.

“We have shown that the female tungara frog brains have evolved to process some kinds of information and not others,” said Mike Ryan, professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, “and that this limits the evolution of those signals.”

In tungara frogs, males gather en masse to attract female frogs with a call that is made up of a longer “whine” followed by one or more short “chucks.”

Through a series of experiments conducted in Panama, Ryan and his collaborators found that females prefer male calls with the most chucks, but their preference was based on the ratio of the number of chucks. As males elaborate their call by adding more chucks, their relative increase in attractiveness decreases due to a perceptual constraint on the part of females.

The researchers also studied how the bats respond to additional ‘chucks’ in the male call.
They discovered that bats choose their prey based on chuck number ratio, just as the female frogs do. So, as males elaborate their call by adding chucks, the relative increase in predation risk decreases with each additional chuck.

“What this tells us is that predation risk is unlikely to limit male call evolution. Instead, it is the females’ cognition that limits the evolution of increasing chuck number,” said Karin Akre, lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin.

The study will be published in Science. (ANI) _______________________________
8) Researchers Map Long-Range Migrations and Habitats of Leatherback Sea Turtles in the Pacific Ocean

ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2011) — Endangered leatherback sea turtles migrate and forage across vast areas of the Pacific Ocean and Indo Pacific seas and require greater international collaboration for their protection, according to a recent study conducted by NOAA Fisheries Service and western Pacific research and conservation scientists. The study, published July 29 in the journal Ecosphere, is based on data from 126 leatherbacks tracked by satellite and supports continuing research to improve conservation efforts for this endangered species by better understanding how oceanographic features influence their migration and foraging behavior.

Leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest of all marine turtles, weighing up to 2000 pounds (900 kg) and measuring almost six feet (2 m) in length. The demise of several leatherback populations around the Pacific has been caused by extensive harvesting of eggs and breeding females on the nesting beaches by indigenous populations, as well as accidental capture in fishing operations. Some of the last remaining Pacific nesting populations are found in the western Pacific in Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Female leatherbacks lay their eggs on tropical nesting beaches before migrating to foraging areas around the world to feed on jellyfish. Leatherbacks are seasonal visitors to the west coast, including the central California coast, traveling across the Pacific and arriving in late summer and fall to forage on large aggregations of brown sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens).

Lead author Scott Benson and senior author Peter Dutton, both with NOAA Fisheries Service, began tracking leatherbacks from their California foraging grounds in 2000 and, after documenting that the California turtles came from nesting beaches in the western Pacific, expanded the study there.
The combined results have fundamentally changed the scope of conservation efforts for Pacific leatherbacks by demonstrating the need for many nations and communities around the Pacific Ocean to conserve the species. "Tracking the turtles on their extraordinary migrations over the years has allowed us to finally piece together the complex linkages between their breeding areas and feeding areas," said Dutton. "The leatherbacks have acted as international ambassadors, leading us to join with partners on both sides of the Pacific in a concerted effort to conserve leatherbacks."

Protecting and rebuilding leatherback sea turtles has been a priority for NOAA since it listed them as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. NOAA Fisheries Service restricts commercial fishing in large areas north of Hawaii and off the United States west coast because of concern over accidental bycatch of leatherbacks, and has been working to revise which areas are designated as critical habitat for the turtles.

"Our telemetry data will help us develop better analytical models to help fisheries managers predict when and where leatherbacks might be found in areas targeted for fishing," said Tomoharu Eguchi with NOAA Fisheries, a co-author of the paper.

The western Pacific nesters foraged not only in distant temperate ecosystems of the North Pacific, but also in temperate and tropical Large Marine Ecosystems (LME's) of the southern hemisphere and Indo-Pacific seas.

"We discovered a much greater diversity of foraging behavior than previously thought for Pacific leatherbacks," Benson said. "The foraging areas we identified exhibited a wide range of oceanographic features, including mesoscale eddies, coastal retention areas, current boundaries, or stationary fronts, all of which are known mechanisms for aggregating leatherback prey."

The paper also identifies foraging areas in the East Australia Current Extension and the Tasman Front, drawing attention to the potential threat from the intense fishing by international fleets in these waters.
"The turtles nesting at Papua Barat (Indonesia), Papua New Guinea, and other islands in our region depend on food resources in waters managed by many other nations for their survival," said Ricardo Tapilatu from the State University of Papua (UNIPA). "It is important to protect leatherbacks in these foraging areas so that our nesting beach conservation efforts can be effective."
__________________________________________________________________________
9) Ongoing drought brings urban wildlife out in search of water, food (Including Snakes) (Houston, TX) Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cypress Sun, 8/5/11 (Covering Houston, TX, area)

The lack of water is definitely affecting the behavior of resident urban wildlife from deer and coyotes to raccoons and opossums. Even snakes and insects are affected. All are in search of scarce water and food.

Texans are seeing more wildlife in the city because of the ongoing drought, but it’s something of an urban myth that wild animals are coming to the city from the country in search of food and water.
“Actually, the animals people are seeing already live in the city,” says Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist John Davis. “No question, the drought is stressing wildlife, but a field mouse or rabbit that lives out in the country has no concept of cities or that they will find food or water if they go there. That’s a common thought process, but it’s more anthropomorphic than people realize.”

Still, the lack of water is definitely affecting the behavior of resident urban wildlife from deer and coyotes to raccoons and opossums. Even snakes and insects are affected. All are in search of scarce water and food.

“Animals that are normally nocturnal are being seen more during the day because they’re out looking for water or something to eat,” Davis says.

In considering the impact of an extended drought on wildlife, Davis says, the key is the overall population of a particular species.

“It’s easy to get caught up on individual animals and have a heart-felt desire to help them, but since it’s the weak who don’t survive, in the long run a drought strengthens a species’ population,” he says.
While most wildlife species will come out of the drought OK, Davis said he is worried about short-lived species that require rain to breed.

“The endangered Houston toad lives 2-3 years and only breeds after sufficient rain,” Davis says. “If a population of these toads doesn’t get rain at the right time, an entire year’s worth of breeding opportunity could be lost. This could drastically reduce the population.”

The drought also is affecting Texas’ birdlife, since summer is when birds are raising their young. The drought tends to drop insect numbers, which is not good for birds.

“In the summer,” Davis explains, “even seed-eaters feed their young insects for protein. When insects are harder to find, it’s hard on the birds. If you put out water and feed for birds, be aware that could attract other animals.”

Of course, many homeowners are finding insects from ants to scorpions, in their homes this summer. They’re looking for water, but again, they’re not coming from the country. “A scorpion, for instance, stays in the same local area all its life,” Davis says.

Snakes, including venomous varieties like the western diamond rattlesnake and copperheads, may be moving more in search of water or food, but they are not migrating to the city from rural areas.
“But people don’t need to panic,” Davis says. “If people watch where they put their hands and feet when they’re gardening or hiking, they can safely live alongside snakes of all kinds.”

One other impact the drought is having in some urban areas is suppressing a fungus that helps keep grasshoppers in check.

“Right now, Texas has a lot of grasshoppers,” Davis said. “And since food is hard to find, that’s a real treat for lizards, birds and mammals.”

If you do encounter a wild animal in the city, Davis went on, it’s best to just leave it alone, even if it appears distressed.

“It’s tough out there right now, especially if you’re a critter having to deal with a lack of water and food, but in the long run most populations will be stronger and tougher than before,” Davis says.


___________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy ) ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $3.00 s/h (one left)
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: Herp- Digest Newsletter

Postby Philsuma » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:35 pm

HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on the Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Husbandry and Science Volume # 11 Issue # 36/ 8/16/11 (A Not-for-Profit Publication)
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg
_________________________________________________________________
HERPDIGEST NEEDS YOUR HELP. SIMPLY WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF MONEY AND FACE THE END OF PUBLICATION IN DECEMBER.
ANY DONATION WOULD BE HELPFUL- $10- $15-$25-$50 MORE?
CHECKS ONLY
MAKE IT OUT TO HERPDIGEST, AND SEND IT TO HERPDIGEST/ALLEN SALZBERG/67-87 BOOTH STREET -5B/FOREST HILLS, 11375.
________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1) Addendum to Article in Issue 35 on Cane toads
2) An internet Newsletter Just on Asian Turtles
3) Needed - SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANT, DIVISION OF VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
4) Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium- Seeks Runners and Walkers For The First WCS Run For The Wild™ 5k In Brooklyn 5)International Trade Restrictions Sought to End Unsustainable Exploitation of Wild Turtles across the Midwest, South -More Than 12 Million Turtles Caught, Exported Over Past Five Years
6) Lake Erie Watersnake to be removed from endangered species list
7) Biomass export of salamanders and anurans from ponds is affected differentially by changes in canopy cover
8) A Letter Posted on the Ecology Society’s Listserv. I could not resist reprinting it since It applies to all of us. Though I know some of us do the following on a small local level. Public Involvement. Real Public Involvement. On a larger scale is needed. Time is running out. I get contacted by people who wish to volunteer their time or services on a regular basis. What should one say?
9) Females Can Place Limits On Evolution of Attractive Features in Males, Research Shows
10) Bibliography of Misc. Articles I May or May Not Covered- So here they are with links to at least get the abstract.

_____________________________________________________________________________
1) Addendum to Article in Issue 35 on Cane toads- Seems there were two main errors I should have caught. My Apologies. 1) Freezing is not a humane way to kill an animal, go to http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfa ... anasia.pdf for AVMA’s full position and advice on the issue. 2) The article states that the toad is an Australian toad that has spread to Florida. totally false. Interestingly Rick Shine who studies them and went to the costa Rica where they are native states “ I was in Costa Rica a few months ago (where cane toads are native) and one of the local wildlife enthusiasts confidently told me that the toads were introduced there from Africa! So it seems as though nobody wants to admit to being the original home of these rather unloved creatures!
______________________________________________________________
2) An internet Newsletter Just on Asian Turtles has started publication go to info@asianturtleprogram.org to sign up, their website is website: www.asianturtleprogram.org where you can see the latest issue.
__________________________________________________________________________

3) Needed - SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANT, DIVISION OF VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY

The Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History seeks a full time Scientific Assistant who will contribute to collection care and maintenance across the Division. Duties will include a major responsibility for maintaining the osteological preparation laboratory and skeleton preparation, general curatorial duties in all vertebrate collections (ornithology, mammalogy, HERPETOLOGY, ichthyology). Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

BA/BSc in biology or related field is required. Museum experience, computer skills, and a background in vertebrate skeletal morphology and specimen preparation are highly desirable. Familiarity with integrated pest management techniques is a plus. The successful applicant will be expected to have good manual dexterity and time-management skills.

Hours: 35 hours/week

Application submission: Interested applicants should forward electronic copies of their CV, cover letter describing their interest in this position, and the names of three references to:

Dr. Joel Cracraft, Chairperson
Division of Vertebrate Zoology
jlc@amnh.org

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate due to age, sex, religion, race, color, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels. Please be advised that due to the high volume of applicants, we are only able to contact those candidates whose skills and background best fit the needs of the open position.

Paul Sweet
Division of Vertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, New York 10024
____________________________________________________________
4)Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium- Seeks Runners and Walkers For The First WCS Run For The Wild™ 5k In Brooklyn

WCS Run For The Wild dedicated to saving turtles and other species– including the world's 25 most endangered turtle/tortoise species is listed in a recently released report co-authored by WCS

Register online at: www.wcsrunforthewild.org.

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Aug. 9, 2011- An alarming report issued earlier this year, co-authored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, listed the 25 most-endangered turtles and tortoises around the world. Many of these have been decimated by factors including illegal hunting for food and the pet trade.

WCS’s first-ever Run for the Wild in Brooklyn will help fund research to help save these turtles and other species around the globe.

The animals highlighted in the report include Lonesome George, the only remaining Abdington Island giant tortoise and the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle with just four known individuals remaining. The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working with Chinese officials and other partners to breed the last known male/female pair of these giant turtles, which currently reside at China’s Suzhou Zoo.

The WCS Run for the Wild in Brooklyn will help provide much needed support to help save these animals and other fragile species that are in decline.

Registrations for the WCS Run for the Wild are now being accepted online at wcsrunforthewild.org. The event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9 at WCS’s New York Aquarium.

Starting times are 8 a.m. for the run; and 8:45 a.m. for the family run/walk. Children, seniors and WCS Members receive a reduced registration rate. Registration includes entry into the run, general admission to the aquarium, and a WCS Run for the Wild T-shirt.

The 5K run and family fun run/walk will begin and end at the aquarium and will take participants along the famed Coney Island Boardwalk. This event will sell out, so register early. For more information, to register or sponsor a runner/team, visit wcsrunforthewild.org.

WCS Run for the Wild in Brooklyn is made possible by the following generous sponsors:

CONTACT:
Barbara Russo – 718-265-3428; brusso@wcs.org Max Pulsinelli – 718- 220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org Supporting Sponsors: CUNY, School of Professional Studies, Fairway Market, Hard Rock Cafe, Media Partners:The Daily News, ABC7 _________________________________________________
5) International Trade Restrictions Sought to End Unsustainable Exploitation of Wild Turtles across the Midwest, South -More Than 12 Million Turtles Caught, Exported Over Past Five Years

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. Press Release, August 15, 2011— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take steps to end unsustainable international trade in U.S. freshwater turtles. Specifically, the Center seeks protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for 20 species of native midwestern and southern freshwater turtles, including the alligator snapping turtle, map turtles, softshell turtles, the spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle and the diamondback terrapin.

“Turtle traders in the United States are catching and exporting millions of wild-caught freshwater turtles each year,” said Collette Adkins Giese, the Center’s herpetofauna staff attorney. “That kind of unsustainable harvest is rapidly depleting native turtle populations that are already suffering from other threats like habitat loss, water pollution and road mortality.”

More than 12 million wild-caught live turtles have been exported from the United States in the past five years. Most are used to supply food and medicinal markets in Asia, where turtle consumption rates have soared and where native populations of turtles have already been decimated. Adult turtles are also taken from the wild to breed hatchlings for the international pet trade.

Overharvest has caused population declines in almost all turtle species that are now endangered or rare. For example, the beautiful ringed map turtle — now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act — suffered sharp declines because of overcollection for the pet trade. And the alligator snapping turtle, which can reach 250 pounds and is the largest freshwater turtle in the United States, has been intensively exploited for its meat.

“The United States needs to act now to save our freshwater turtles,” said Adkins Giese. “International protection from exploitation is vital for the survival of wild freshwater turtle populations in the country.”
The Center’s petition asks that the alligator snapping turtle, 13 species of map turtles, three species of softshell turtles, the spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle, and the diamondback terrapin be listed in CITES Appendix II. Trade for species on this list is regulated using a permit system, with permits issued only when trade has been determined to be nondetrimental to the survival of a species. CITES-listed species are also subject to mandatory reporting requirements.

Background&#8232;The United States is a turtle biodiversity hotspot, home to more types of turtles than any other country in the world. As part of the Center’s campaign to protect this rich natural heritage, the group petitioned states with unrestricted commercial turtle harvest to improve harvest regulations. Florida responded by banning almost all commercial harvest of freshwater turtles from public and private waters. The Center has also petitioned to list several species of imperiled freshwater turtles under the Endangered Species Act.

Mounting scientific evidence shows that amphibians and reptiles (together called “herpetofauna”) are among the most imperiled species on Earth. Ubiquitous toxins, global warming, nonnative predators, overcollection, habitat destruction and disease are key factors leading to demise of amphibians and reptiles in the United States and worldwide. For more information about the Center’s campaign to stop the herpetofauna extinction crisis, visit

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/camp ... index.html.
Contact: Collette Adkins Giese, (651) 955-3821 For copy of the petition go to:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/camp ... _Aug_8.pdf

____________________________________________________________________________
6) Lake Erie Watersnake to be removed from endangered species list Monday, August 15, 2011, By Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A non-poisonous gray snake that lives exclusively on Lake Erie's limestone islands has grown sufficiently in population to be removed from the nation's endangered species list.
Conservationists attribute the Lake Erie watersnake's dramatic recovery to a decade long public relations campaign and swelling numbers of an invasive fish from Eurasia - the round goby - which the snakes love to eat.

On Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the snake has joined the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and the American alligator in no longer being endangered. It is the 23rd endangered species to be delisted due to recovery.

"Our lake faces many challenges, but the recovery of the Lake Erie watersnake is living proof of what we can accomplish by working together," said Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Ohio State University snake specialist Kristin Stanford, who leads a yearly drive to count Lake Erie watersnakes, says there are now between 12,000 and 15,000 of them, a tenfold increase since they made the list in 1999.

Although the 1 1/2- to 3 1/2-foot-long snakes are being removed from the federal list, they will continue to be protected in Ohio. Purposely killing one could still result in a fine of up to $1,000, says Stanford. Population levels will be monitored for at least five more years to ensure the species remains stable.

“As with most conservation success stories, the comeback of the Lake Erie watersnake is the result of different groups of people working toward a common goal," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

Stanford, who calls herself the "Island Snake Lady" and whose snake counting work has been featured on the Discovery Channel show "Dirty Jobs," says the snakes were so ubiquitous when European explorers first arrived in Ohio that the Lake Erie Islands were initially named "Islands of Serpents."
Their numbers declined between the 1950s and 1980s, as the islands became a popular vacation destination and settlers destroyed their habitat and killed them in the mistaken belief they were venomous.

"If you pick them up and try to mess with them, they bite and poop and squirm and do what's necessary to make sure you leave them alone," says Stanford. "They prefer to be left alone."

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake Erie watersnakes are closely related to northern watersnakes, but lack the other species' prominent bands. The all-gray snakes were better able to survive by camouflaging themselves on the islands' limestone, helping them to avoid consumption by birds, foxes and raccoons.

Stanford and others began an informational campaign to publicize the snakes' history in the region, and the fact that no snakes around Lake Erie are poisonous. She said Ohio's only poisonous snakes - copperheads, massasauga rattlesnakes and timber rattlesnakes - live farther south.
The arrival of round gobies in Lake Erie - a bottom dwelling fish that came from the Black and Caspian seas via ballast water from ships - crowded out native fish like madtom, stonecat, and longperch, but helped Lake Erie watersnakes rebound.

More than 90 percent of their diet is round gobies, and the snakes' size, and reproductive rates have exploded since the invasive species arrived, says Stanford.

"You hear a lot of negative things about invasive species, but a lot of times you don't hear about the positive impact," says Stanford. "With the watersnake, it was a positive impact."
____________________________________________________________________________
7) Biomass export of salamanders and anurans from ponds is affected differentially by changes in canopy cover

JULIA E. EARL,
THOMAS M. LUHRING,
BETHANY K. WILLIAMS,
RAYMOND D. SEMLITSCH
Article first published online: 11 AUG 2011 Freshwater Biology How to Cite EARL, J. E., LUHRING, T. M., WILLIAMS, B. K. and SEMLITSCH, R. D. (2011), Biomass export of salamanders and anurans from ponds is affected differentially by changes in canopy cover. Freshwater Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02672.x Author Information Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, U.S.A.
*Correspondence: Julia E. Earl, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, 212 Tucker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A. E-mail: jee9rb@mail.mizzou.edu Present address: Bethany K. Williams, Columbia Environmental Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, MO 65201, U.S.A.&#8232; Publication History Article first published online: 11 AUG 2011 (Manuscript accepted 16 July 2011)

Summary
1. &#8194;Previous research shows that canopy-associated shifts from an algal to a detritus-based food web can affect anuran tadpoles negatively. This may not be true of salamander larvae, however, because they are predators.

2. &#8194;To investigate the influence of canopy cover on the survival and growth of salamanders, and on the subsequent export of biomass from ponds, we conducted a mesocosm experiment examining effects of shading (high or low) and litter (leaves or grass) on Ambystoma maculatum (a forest specialist) and A. texanum (a habitat generalist). Additionally, we reanalysed data from Williams, Rittenhouse & Semlitsch (2008) to examine the effects of shading and litter on biomass export of three anurans: Rana sphenocephala, Pseudacris crucifer and Hyla versicolor.

3. &#8194;In contrast to previous studies, we found that salamanders performed better in mesocosms with the characteristics of closed canopy ponds (high shade and leaf litter), which resulted in a greater export of biomass. Salamanders grew larger under closed canopy conditions, probably because of differences in prey abundance among treatments. Anurans responded differently to canopy cover than caudates. The biomass export of R. sphenocephala and P. crucifer was reduced under closed canopy conditions (although differently affected by litter and shading), while the biomass of H. versicolor was not affected.
&#8194;This and other studies suggest that changes in canopy cover may induce a shift in the amphibians emerging from ponds, from primarily anurans in open canopy ponds to primarily salamanders in closed canopy ponds. Additional multispecies studies will determine whether these trends hold true for more diverse amphibian assemblages. Further investigation into the effects of canopy cover on salamanders will be important for understanding aquatic–terrestrial linkages.
___________________________________________________________________________
8) A Letter Posted on the Ecology Society’s Listserv. I could not resist reprinting it since It applies to all of us. Though I know some of us do the following on a small local level. Public Involvement. Real Public Involvement. On a larger scale is needed. Time is running out. I get contacted by people who wish to volunteer their time or services on a regular basis. What should one say?
The Letter ----
I have never posted to Ecolog before, but I felt I couldn't keep my mouth shut about this one.

First, I don't think we can necessarily know why the news doesn't pick up on ESA more. Likely, it's because the general public doesn't care, but perhaps it may be that they are tired feeling like ecologists tell them that their lifestyles and values are wrong. Personally, I think it's because people don't care. In my experience speaking with the public, I always proffer an explanation of what I do immediately after saying that I am a 'microbial ecologist,' because most people I speak with don't even know what ecology is.

Second, if these thousands of ecologists really want to engage the public, how about letting the locals come to ESA? I know that non-members are invited to attend, but honestly, you have to be wealthy or have a wealthy grant pay for you to come to be able to pay 500$ and take off days to a week from work to be involved in the meeting. My mother reads my Frontiers magazine religiously. She loves it. She is also part of a 'sustainability' group at her international corporation. She lives very close to Austin, has the ability to take time off of work, but as a middle-class citizen, simply cannot afford it. If these thousands of ecologists are really interested in engaging with the public, how about creating events at ESA for the locals that are affordable? My mother has no scientific background, but is smart, learns fast, and loves to learn. There are a lot of people like this everywhere we have meetings. Yet we preach engagement with the public from our over-air-conditioned conference rooms, doors closed and barred to those we wish to engage with. Phenomenal.

I know our over-air conditioned convention centers cost a lot of money to rent and ESA is an expensive venture to host, but surely we can create some sort of scholarship fund for locals, special free events for public engagement (THIS is how you get in the news), or even a lottery for one-day passes to attend talks. Let's help people understand what in the world it is we do. If I could have afforded to send my mom to ESA, I would have done it in a heartbeat. She would have loved it and told all her friends, co-workers, and her church group all the things she learned. Do we want to engage more with people across religious boundaries? In the heart of a red state, what a boon actually engaging with the religious public would be.

Kali Bird/Graduate Student/Kellogg Biological Station/Michigan State University _________________________________________________________________
9) Females Can Place Limits On Evolution of Attractive Features in Males, Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2011) — Female cognitive ability can limit how melodious or handsome males become over evolutionary time, biologists from The University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have observed.
Males across the animal world have evolved elaborate traits to attract females, from huge peacock tails to complex bird songs and frog calls. But what keeps them from getting more colorful feathers, longer tails, or more melodious songs? Predators, for one. Increased elaboration can draw predators in, placing an enormous cost to males with these sexy traits.

In a new paper appearing this week in Science, a group of biologists have shown that females themselves can also limit the evolution of increased elaboration.

Studying neotropical túngara frogs, they found that females lose their ability to detect differences in male mating calls as the calls become more elaborate.

"We have shown that the female túngara frog brains have evolved to process some kinds of information and not others," says Mike Ryan, professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, "and that this limits the evolution of those signals."

Imagine looking at a group of five oranges next to a group of six. At a glance, you would quickly notice that one group has one more orange than the other. Now, imagine looking at a pile of 100 oranges next to a pile of 101. It would be nearly impossible for you to notice the difference in size (one orange) between those two piles at a glance. This is known as Weber's Law, which states that stimuli are compared based on proportional differences rather than absolute differences (one orange in the case above).

In túngara frogs, males gather en masse to attract female frogs with a call that is made up of a longer "whine" followed by one or more short "chucks."

Through a series of experiments conducted in Panama, Ryan and his collaborators found that females prefer male calls with the most chucks, but their preference was based on the ratio of the number of chucks. As males elaborate their call by adding more chucks, their relative increase in attractiveness decreases due to a perceptual constraint on the part of females.

Male túngara frog calls also attract a predator: the frog eating fringe-lipped bat. To confirm that male song elaboration wasn't limited by these predators, the researchers also studied how the bats respond to additional "chucks" in the male call.

They discovered that hunting bats choose their prey based on chuck number ratio, just as the female frogs do. So, as males elaborate their call by adding chucks, the relative increase in predation risk decreases with each additional chuck.

"What this tells us is that predation risk is unlikely to limit male call evolution," says Karin Akre, lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin. "Instead, it is the females' cognition that limits the evolution of increasing chuck number."

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Texas at Austin,

Journal Reference:
K. L. Akre, H. E. Farris, A. M. Lea, R. A. Page, M. J. Ryan. Signal Perception in Frogs and Bats and the Evolution of Mating Signals. Science, 2011; 333 (6043): 751 DOI: 10.1126/science.1205623 _____________________________________________________________________
10) Bibliography of Misc. Articles I May or May Not Covered- So here they are with links to at least get the abstract.

HEMATOLOGIC AND PLASMA BIOCHEMICAL REFERENCE INTERVALS FOR MORELET'S CROCODILES (CROCODYLUS MORELETII) IN THE NORTHERN WETLANDS OF CAMPECHE, MEXICO
Sergio E. Padilla, Manuel Weber, and Elliott R. Jacobson
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 511-522
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /511?ct=ct

CHIGGERS RECENTLY INFESTING SPEA SPP. IN TEXAS, USA, WERE EUTROMBICULA ALFREDDUGESI, NOT HANNEMANIA SP.
James W. Mertins, Shannon M. Torrence, and M. C. Sterner
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 612-617
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /612?ct=ct

PCR Prevalence of Ranavirus in Free-Ranging Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) at Rehabilitation Centers in Three Southeastern US States
Matthew C. Allender, Mohamed Abd-Eldaim, Juergen Schumacher, David
McRuer, Larry S. Christian, and Melissa Kennedy
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 759-764
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /759?ct=ct

BLOOD BIOCHEMISTRY REFERENCE VALUES FOR WILD JUVENILE LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES (CARETTA CARETTA) FROM MADEIRA ARCHIPELAGO
Claudia Delgado, Ana Valente, Isabel Quaresma, Margarida Costa, and
Thomas Dellinger
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 523-529
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /523?ct=ct

HEMATOLOGIC, PLASMA BIOCHEMICAL, AND OTHER INDICATORS OF THE HEALTH OF TASMANIAN PLATYPUSES (ORNITHORHYNCHUS ANATINUS): PREDICTORS OF MUCORMYCOSIS
Dominic P. Geraghty, Joshua Griffiths, Niall Stewart, Iain K.
Robertson, and Nick Gust
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 483-493
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /483?ct=ct

A group IIA-secreted phospholipase A2 from snake venom induces lipid body formation in macrophages: the roles of intracellular phospholipases A2 and distinct signaling pathways
Elbio Leiguez, Juliana Pavan Zuliani, Aurora Marques Cianciarullo,
Cristina Maria Fernandes, Jose Maria Gutierrez, and Catarina Teixeira
J. Leukoc. Biol. 2011; 90(1): p. 155-166
http://www.jleukbio.org/cgi/content/abs ... /155?ct=ct

Mycobacterium liflandii Outbreak in a Research Colony of Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis Frogs
J. J. Fremont-Rahl, C. Ek, H. R. Williamson, P. L. C. Small, J. G. Fox,
and S. Muthupalani
Veterinary Pathology. 2011; 48(4): p. 856-867
http://vet.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abst ... /856?ct=ct

Buying Time for Snake Bite Victims

Science. 2011; 333(6038): p. 20-a
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/f ... 20-a?ct=ct

Trichomonad Infection in Endemic and Introduced Columbids in the Seychelles
N. Bunbury
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 730-733
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /730?ct=ct

Detection and Characterization of Mycoplasma spp. and Salmonella spp. in Free-living European Tortoises (Testudo hermanni, Testudo graeca, and Testudo marginata)
Roberta Lecis, B. Paglietti, S. Rubino, B. M. Are, M. Muzzeddu, F.
Berlinguer, B. Chessa, M. Pittau, and A. Alberti
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 717-724
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /717?ct=ct

Growth of the Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in Response to Chemical Properties of the Aquatic Environment
Scott P. Boisvert and Elizabeth W. Davidson
J. Wildl. Dis. 2011; 47(3): p. 694-698
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content ... /694?ct=ct

L Dalla Valle, F Benato, C Rossi, L Alibardi, E Tschachler, and L Eckhart
Deleterious Mutations of a Claw Keratin in Multiple Taxa of Reptiles.
J Mol Evol 23 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21181402

SJ Price, KK Cecala, RA Browne, and ME Dorcas
Effects of Urbanization on Occupancy of Stream Salamanders.
Conserv Biol 22 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21175842

FC Roth and F Laberge
High convergence of olfactory and vomeronasal influence in the
telencephalon of the terrestrial salamander Plethodon shermani.
Neuroscience 20 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21182902

H de Carvalho Pimentel, JR Dos Santos, M Macedo-Lima, FT de Almeida, ML Santos, A Molowny, X Ponsoda, C Lopez-Garcia, and M Marchioro
Structural organization of the cerebral cortex of the neotropical
lizard Tropidurus hispidus.
Cell Tissue Res 24 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21181478

DA Warner and MN Chapman
Does solitary incubation enhance egg water uptake and offspring
quality in a lizard that produces single-egg clutches?
J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol 23 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21184465

TY Chen, YT Lee, and CH Chi
Observation of reproductive cycle of female yellow-margined box turtle
(Cuora flavomarginata) using radiography and ultrasonography.
Zoo Biol 23 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21184471

ME Brown, JR Martin 3rd, J Rosenbluth, and M Ariel
A novel path for rapid transverse communication of vestibular signals
in turtle cerebellum.
J Neurophysiol 22 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21178000

R Richards, L St Pierre, M Trabi, LA Johnson, J de Jersey, PP Masci, and MF Lavin
Cloning and characterisation of novel cystatins from elapid snake
venom glands.
Biochimie 17 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21172403

S Liu, F Yang, Q Zhang, MZ Sun, Y Gao, and S Shao
"Anatomical" View of the Protein Composition and Protein
Characteristics for Gloydius shedaoensis Snake Venom via Proteomics
Approach.
Anat Rec (Hoboken) 22 Dec 2010.
http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;21182001


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
HerpDigest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation, based in New York State. It is a publication, independent of any government pubolic or private (NGO‚s agenda,) and reflects only the editor‚s opinion of what is news in the herp world. It is now in its 10th straight year of publication.
You are receiving HerpDigest because through your own request, which was confirmed by HerpDigest by email. If you wish to stop receiving HerpDigest just contact asalzberg@herpdigest.org and your subscription will be terminated immediately ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions or complaints please send them directly to us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org And you'll receive a response or acted on immediately.
_________________________________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology. HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted. To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
___________________________________________________________________

Remember All Proceeds Go to HerpDigest.org: The Only Free Weekly E-zine Which Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Science and Conservation News. A non-profit corporation.

Sale $10.00 off
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle Hardcover, Donald C. Jackson, Hardcover, 192 pages, Harvard University Press, $29.95 plus $6.00 S&H

Product Description

Trundling along in essentially the same form for some 220 million years, turtles have seen dinosaurs come and go, mammals emerge, and humankind expand its dominion. Is it any wonder the persistent reptile bested the hare? In this engaging book physiologist Donald Jackson shares a lifetime of observation of this curious creature, allowing us a look under the shell of an animal at once so familiar and so strange.

Here we discover how the turtle’s proverbial slowness helps it survive a long, cold winter under ice. How the shell not only serves as a protective home but also influences such essential functions as buoyancy control, breathing, and surviving remarkably long periods without oxygen, and how many other physiological features help define this unique animal. Jackson offers insight into what exactly it’s like to live inside a shell—to carry the heavy carapace on land and in water, to breathe without an expandable ribcage, to have sex with all that body armor intervening.

Along the way we also learn something about the process of scientific discovery—how the answer to one question leads to new questions, how a chance observation can change the direction of study, and above all how new research always builds on the previous work of others. A clear and informative exposition of physiological concepts using the turtle as a model organism, the book is as interesting for what it tells us about scientific investigation as it is for its deep and detailed understanding of how the enduring turtle “works.”

About the Author
Donald C. Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Medical Science, Brown University.
_____________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
FORBIDDEN CREATURES: inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets. by Peter Laufer, 2010. Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut. Hardcover $19.95 250 pages, plus $6.00 for S&H (Only one copy left)

THE ECOLOGY, EXPLOITATION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER TURTLES by Don Moll and Edward O. Moll. Considered by turtle scientists, and conservationists as one of the best books on turtle conservation. 420 pages; 90 halftones & 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; List price $80, now $35.00 plus $7.50 S&H. )Since book is now out of print, available only through used book sites like Alibris where cheapest price for a copy is $121.00) (Only 2 copies left.)

AMPHIBIAN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES (TECHNIQUES IN ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION) (Paperback) by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor) 556 pages, USA, Oxford Univ. Press. Available. $59.95 plus $7.50 S&H By editor Kenneth Dodd. (Only one copy left.)

“TURTLES: THE ANIMAL ANSWER GUIDE.” By Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene of the Savannah River Ecology Lab. © 2009 176 pages, 35 color photos, 64 halftones, Paperback., 7” x 11”-$24.95 PLUS $6.00 S&H - A book any nature center or science class should have. (Only have 1 copy )

ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS Stan Hillman, Philip Withers, Robert Drewes and Stan Hillyard
464 pages; 105 line, 55 halftone illustrations; 6-1/2 x 9-1/4; softcover.
Price: $65.00 Plus $7.50 for S&H

EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES-GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy III
304 pages; 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 Hardback, 304 pages, 25 halftone and 3 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Price: $29.95, Plus $7.50 for S&H.


Here are two books on turtles and tortoises worth having.

New Book - Diamondback Terrapins: Gems of the Turtle World ($24.95 plus $6 S&H)Complete Owner's Guide to Keeping and Breeding Diamondback Terrapins. Chapters include Natural History, The Genus Malaclemys, Terrapins in Captivity, Health Care, Breeding, and Conservation. * The first book written on all 7 diamondback terrapin subspecies. * The only book with over 150 color photos of diamondback terrapins. * Book includes picture of the one and only albino diamondback terrapin. * Information and pictures on a possible 8th subspecies. 85 pages. by James Lee and Samuel Chew.
Overseas orders email first for S&H, but Europe is $15.00

STAR TORTOISES
By Jerry Fife
$14.95 + $3.00 s/h
_______________________________________________________________

TO ORDER:

ATTENTION ----- IF USING A CCARD WE NOW NEED THOSE THREE LITTLE NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD TO PROCESS YOUR ORDER. They are Called CVV numbers.

1) Send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don‚t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.
________________________________________________________________
Need a daily fix of herp news go to HerpDigest’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/HerpDiges ... 0624001610
and hit like. There I post news that for one reason or another doesn’t get into the email version.
Photos and graphs that are part of the story like #9, the link to the original article with all the visual material is there. Ditto for interesting videos on Youtube.


Return to “Science, Conservation and News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests