REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Python bounty hunters are latest tool in Florida eradication effort

POSTED BY: AURAPTOR
UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 09:14
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Saturday, December 8, 2012 2:44 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Hopefully, it's not too little , too late.

Quote:

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida wildlife officials are looking for a few good snake slayers as they enlist the public to combat a proliferation of pythons that have invaded the Florida Everglades.
Combating a surge of pets turned predators, state officials have placed a bounty on the Burmese python in an attempt to eradicate the species from the environmentally sensitive marshy region known as the River of Grass.

The latest attempt will enlist the help of professional python hunters and weekend enthusiasts, who will compete beginning January 12 for the cash in what has been dubbed the "2013 Python Challenge."

The goal of the month-long event is to reduce the number of non-native reptiles that are gobbling up indigenous wildlife at an increasing rate. Winners will receive up to $1,500 for the longest snake, while $1,000 will be awarded to the serpent killer who brings in the largest haul.

"Part of the goal of the Python Challenge is to educate the public to understand why non-native species like Burmese pythons should never be released into the wild and encourage people to report sightings of exotic species," said Kristen Sommers, head of exotic species programs for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Burmese pythons became established in 2000 in the state, which has one of the world's worst invasive reptile and amphibian problems. The problem is believed to have been caused by pet owners who released their snakes into the wild after they grew too large and became too difficult to manage at home.

Federal wildlife officials in January banned the importation of certain species of python, but snakes already released into the wild are wrecking havoc as they have no natural predators




" Month long challenge " ?? What the hell, why only a month??


" The hunt is unlikely to stem the reptile invasion, but may help scientists learn more about python migration, said Kristina Serbesoff-King, a director of the Nature Conservancy in Florida."

Oh, so THIS is how govt works, huh? A decade AFTER the species has become established, THEN we start treating it like a problem. But not too much like a problem, so that we actually DO anything to solve it, noooo. First, they have to STUDY the problem, to see how the snakes are migrating, and such.

Folks, that's not how it's done. Open up the hunting season for Burmese Pythons YEAR ROUND and triple the bounties being paid. Give hunters INCENTIVES to go out and do what needs to be done, and put more than a dent in their population.


" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Saturday, December 8, 2012 5:40 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"A decade AFTER the species has become established, THEN we start treating it like a problem."



"Mr Congressman, scientists say pythons in Florida will become a problem in the next few years and we need to address it now before it gets too much to handle."

"How much are they asking?"

"A quarter of a million dollars for a comprehensive study and pilot eradication project over the next five years."

"WHAT??!!!! Why should we spend a quarter of a million dollars on some egghead's crazy scheme on something that isn't even a problem??!!! Go away!"

.
.
.

"Mr Congressman, scientists say the pythons are now endangering animals in the Everglades and we need 10 million dollars to eradicate them to protect the environment."

"10 MILLION DOLLARS on ANIMALS in THIS economy? When pythons start eating babies it'll be a problem! Come back to me then!"

.
.
.

"My Congressman, the python problem has become critical. And we have almost no knowledge of where they are, what they eat, how they breed, where they might travel to or even how many there might be. We need money now to get started on this."

"WHO'S to blame for this??!!! Why wasn't something done sooner??!!! Those stupid scientists just want to waste money when we need to act NOW!"







ENJOY YOUR NEXT FOUR YEARS!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - HERE'S LAUGHING AT YOU KID!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012 6:09 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Pythons are not the most important invader, although they are the most noticeable. We are currently suffering serious effects from 53 invasive species of pine bark beetle which (thanks to warmer winters) are expanding their range at a rapid rate and killing off huge swaths of forest



Another invader is the Asian Long-Horned Beetle (ALB) from China. "Wood from China, that was used to make pallets and shipping crates, was infested with ALB and introduced to the US." It is of special concern because of its catholic eating habits... all hardwood trees - maple, beech, birch, ash, aspen, cottonwood, poplar, cherry, tulip, hickory, elm, oak etc- are vulnerable.



Dutch Elm Disease (Europe), rats (Europe), cane toads (Africa), the jumping carp (China), zebra mussels (southern Russia), purple loosestrife (Eurasia), snakehead fish (China) and many, many more species have all had significant impact on our ecosystem. As long as there is international trade, new species and pathogens will be introduced across the world.

Slowing the tide of invasive species and eradicating the ones that have been introduced isn't rocket science, but it DOES require lots of detailed and intensive work. But you can bet your britches that any attempt to more strictly inspect, quarantine, or ban international shipments and species would be met with howls of indignation. When the government is prohibited from preventing - or at least slowing down- the introduction of new species, and is funded with the smallest possible shovels to use in the wake of this parade of elephants, the response will inevitably be overwhelmed. They are doing the best they can, in cooperation with state agricultural and forestry services and universities. You want them to do more? Give them more money and more authority, because international trade sucks at self-regulating.

One of the reasons why I like the Nature Conservancy is that they rehabilitate the land that they purchase. They spend a large portion of their budget eliminating invaders and re-introducing natives. In fact, they just completed restoring a 24,000 acre northern prairie wildlife preserve in Minn, the largest restoration on record in the USA.

---------------

ALSO, what KIKI said!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012 2:09 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


or as I read it -

Monty Python punters are latest fools in Florida eradication effort

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Saturday, December 8, 2012 2:13 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Signy, that is why if you ever come to Australia, a lot of effort is put into to controls on those sort of products. You have to declare a lot of stuff made of natural goods, like wood, and they will inspect ion quite a lot of detail. I've brought stuff in from SE Asia and had it examined for quite a long time. A lot of stuff is on the prohibited list, which does upset a lot of people, but it is exactly for the reasons you outlined.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 6:57 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



First, Kill All The Burmese Pythons
By Jonah Goldberg



As you may have heard, invasive Burmese pythons have nearly wiped out populations of white tail deer, raccoons and other mammals in the Florida everglades. Now I am not an absolutist when it comes invasive species. I like wild horses and tumbleweeds, for instance. But I am biased against giant frick’n snakes that can eat small children and large dogs illegally sneaking into our country. That’s just me. (Oh and my one word response to the objection that there are no reports of feral Burmese pythons eating children: “Yet.”).
I’ll go one further: I think it is the right and proper role of government to protect us from giant alien snakes that are destroying our environment, threatening our children and pets. If you want to call me a RINO for that, go for it. I can do without the cowboy poetry festivals, but invasive giant snake genocide: mark me down for a yes.


I understand that the serpents are very well suited to survive in the Everglades, they have no natural predators, they possess the ability to swim and go without food for up to a year, and the native animals have no natural fear of giant snakes etc etc. Ecologists talk as if this is a lost cause. This amounts to blanket amnesty for illegal immigrant giant snakes.
The Hell, I say: We nearly wiped out the buffalo in this country because a bunch of guys made money off of buffalo hides. Thousands of years before that, mankind eradicated the woolly mammoth with spears. Spears! Give me five thousand Ted Nugent fans and all the weapons they can carry and the waters of the everglades will run red with Burmese snake blood.


You see, I don’t think we need a vast new government bureaucracy to kill snakes. Heck I think if we created a vast new bureaucracy to kill snakes we would very quickly end up subsidizing people to raise snakes to kill them. But, are you telling me that during a time when unemployment is outrageously high, the government can’t put a bounty on snakes and get results? I don’t know what the right number is but for the sake of argument if we had a hunting season in which you could bring in unlimited number of Burmese pythons for $50 per pound, my hunch is Burmese pythons would be erecting memorials to the great snake genocide of 2012.


Seriously, I need two hands to count the number of cabinet agencies I would shutter. I cringe every time I remember George W. Bush saying that whenever somebody hurts, the government has to move. But when it comes to an invading army of giant snakes, it’s time for the government to get moving.


Faster, please.


http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/289718/first-kill-all-burmese-pyt
hons-jonah-goldberg



" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:21 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

The Obama administration recently banned the import and interstate commerce of Burmese python, two species of African pythons, and the yellow anaconda. But under pressure from the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers, trade of the world’s longest snake, the reticulated python, and the boa constrictor were allowed to continue.
See what I mean? If we want to STOP the problem, we have to STOP the problem. Regard invasive species as the worst kind of illegal alien.

Bounty. Good idea. $500 per snake? $100 per foot? The only problem I see is that a bunch of no-nothings jacked up on Jack Daniels will go rampaging through the Everglades, killing every native and non-native snake they see. So I would put penalty on killing natives: $100 taken away for every native snake brought it.

Also, you would need significant education on how to recognize the various kinds of snakes, which would entail classes and permits.

I'm thinking that applying the bounty idea would work well for other non-natives as well, but with the same problem that native look-alikes (or not so much look-alikes) would get nailed in the process. So just to keep things simple, tackle only one or two important species in an area.

----------------

Magons, as far as I know you and NZ both have never tested positive for mad cow disease. As I recall, you have a 6-month quarantine on imported ruminants, and an outright ban on animal feed from the EU and UK... or something like that. I recall thinking, when I read about it, that at your your government had to guts to do what was necessary. Good for you!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:36 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Why would there need to be " significant education ", ? Are there such classes for boar hunters, fishermen or the like ? No. At least, not overly much. Permits? Yes. But hunters... they KNOW their prey. Especially if there's $$ involved.




" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 8:20 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Sig was pretty clear about "a bunch of no-nothings (sic) jacked up on Jack Daniels will go rampaging through the Everglades", not actual hunters. I think she has a valid point, where that's concerned. Tho' I don't think it would be a problem, myself, because Burms are BIG and pretty damned recognizable, and I don't think there's anything in the Everglades that resembles them.

My thought was "why hunt just Burms"? I can't believe people only released Burmese--what about Retics? African Pythons? Anacondas? Indian Pythons? Numerous constrictors get big--tho aside from the Retic and Anaconda, none get as big as Burms, and you can't tell me hobbyists have only turned Burms loose when they get too big. Admittedly, Burmese and Anacondas are best suited for a water environment, but still...

It's not just about illegal imports, by the way. Captive-bred Burms are quite popular, as are numerous other species of snakes since the ban on importation went into force in 2010 in Florida. Not sure why they need more legislation, but every curb will be helpful. The previous legislation also banned breeders selling within the U.S.--they could only export. Elsewhere, however, captive-bred Burms and others are perfectly legal around the country and sold by mail.

Numerous states and localities have already banned not just importation, but breeding and even ownership of dangerous exotics, snakes among them. I dunno why Florida is so late in coming to the party, but they're certainly paying the price.

We have boars on Mt. Tam and the rangers have annual hunts, but can never get ahead of the problem. Same with Burms and others...no matter how many they kill, they'll never get them all, and the Florida everglads are perfect environment for Burms to breed. I'm all for any effort to minimize their impact, but just like our invasive boars, they'll never eradicate them.

I wonder why just YELLOW Anadondas? Greens are also non-native... And yeah, it's sick that lobbies can control so much... although I see no reason to ban boas, none of them get over 6 feet and they're perfectly docile. But many of the Python species get big and are a danger to native populations.

Tit for tat got us where we are today. If we want to be grownups, we need to resist the ugliness. If we each did, this would be a better reflection on Firefly and a more welcome place. I will try.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 8:38 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



Goes back to the title of the article I posted...

" FIRST, kill all the Burmese Pythons "

Doesn't mean ONLY, doesn't mean stop there, and do nothing else. You knock one problem out ( or do damn near as well as you can ) and then move on.


" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:14 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"... (Burmese pythons) illegally sneaking into our country ..."

Yeah, they spend a lot of time plotting how to get in. Ya' gotta watch those pythons.

I have a hard time taking the article seriously. The author is obviously thoughtless if he can make the claim that the Burmese pythons are sneaking into the country all by their lonesome rather than being brought in by people.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:17 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Niki

The adults are obviously huge but the juveniles - not so much. I'm not a snake expert, but it's possible the juveniles resemble native snakes.


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Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:22 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


here we go -

juvenile patterning may resemble a

copperhead



eastern diamondback



blotched watersnake





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Sunday, December 9, 2012 10:38 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Niki

The adults are obviously huge but the juveniles - not so much. I'm not a snake expert, but it's possible the juveniles resemble native snakes.







I'm no snakespert, ( I wasn't in Slytherin ) but it's not too hard for me to notice the shape of the Python's head and distinguish it from other snakes.


" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 11:38 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Remember that snakes won't be unmoving, clean and fully visible. Most people will see them as a partial moving pattern in among the vegetation and vegetation litter. A lot of snakes look alike under those circumstances.

I don't think a bounty performed by untrained citizens is going to be as easy or successful as you think it will be, especially with regards to juveniles.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 12:17 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


drat - see below

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 12:20 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


AAAnnnnd - according to National Geographic, the African python has also colonized Florida.


Python "Nightmare": New Giant Species Invading Florida




Captured and killed in Florida, juvenile Burmese pythons (left), a young African rock python (center), and a larger African rock python lay coiled on a tray in a Unversity of Florida laboratory in late August 2009.

The African snakes typically grow to 20 feet (6 meters) long and have now colonized the U.S. state, as did the Burmese pythons before them, scientists said in September 2009.

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Monday, December 10, 2012 6:11 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Remember that snakes won't be unmoving, clean and fully visible. Most people will see them as a partial moving pattern in among the vegetation and vegetation litter. A lot of snakes look alike under those circumstances.

I don't think a bounty performed by untrained citizens is going to be as easy or successful as you think it will be, especially with regards to juveniles.



Hello,

I think that a bounty paid for healthy captures and not kills may be the ticket. No danger of eradicating native species that way, since the wilderness folks can choose to kill themselves only after verification. Non-qualifying snakes to be released back into the wild.

Barring that, a professional hit squad can be assembled by the state, consisting of well-trained individuals.

--Anthony


Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term applies.)
Context: http://tinyurl.com/d6ozfej
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
http://tinyurl.com/bdjgbpe
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.
Context: http://tinyurl.com/afve3r9

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -T. S. Szasz

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Monday, December 10, 2012 6:23 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Just FYI, anacondas are also a problem in FLA.

Also, most of the lizards in FLA are introduced (ie non-native invaders.


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Monday, December 10, 2012 6:48 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



I love this. Folks are bringing up all sorts of excuses and " yes, but also "'s, as to why we can't simply go after one species of snake, and do it now.

Maybe we can kill more than 2 snakes with one stone, so to say. But because there's more than 1 invasive species, shouldn't keep the state from acting, decisively.


" I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. "

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Monday, December 10, 2012 7:33 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Thank you Kiki, and Sig (I was sure anacondas had to be a problem too)--Kiki, the three photos in that first post didn't come out, and I'd like to see them...

I was wondering why they were just highlighting the Burms and not other species I was SURE must have been released too, but looking around I found this: "Florida Invader: Reticulated Python" http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw339] and this: "Everglades Snake Problem: Exotic Pythons, Anacondas Banned in Florida" http://www.ibtimes.com/everglades-snake-problem-exotic-pythons-anacond
as-banned-florida-photos-397354
] and others mentioning the YELLOW Anaconda. I still wonder why not the Green Anaconda...

Anacondas are the biggest snakes in the world (the largest ever confirmed was 28 feet long with a girth of 44 inches, weight approx. 500 lbs); Retics are the longest snakes in the world (longest ever recorded was 33 feet, but without the bulk of Anacondas). Burms only reach 12-19 feet in the wild, so they must be such a problem because of the sheer number of them. Both they and African Python (or Rock Pythons--third largest in the world, 18-20 ft, but possibly the meanest!) get really big and can take really big game. Yes, they should all be eradicated, and if they want to focus on the Burms first, that's fine with me. They should certainly do SOMETHING--these snakes can lay as many as 100 eggs or young at a time, and the Everglades is a very hospitable environment for them to thrive.

Ah, apparently Green Anacondas are not yet a SERIOUS threat in Florida: "Possible Florida Invader: Green Anaconda" https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw334] The italics in the title are in the original. Anacondas are specifically a water-inhabiting snake, so I should think they'd be more of a problem in the Everglades, but apparently they haven't taken hold yet.

"Burmese Pythons before them"...interesting. I wonder why the Burms got there first--they're not as popular to hobbyists as Retics. Maybe they reproduced faster or something.

Oh, there is also the supposition by some that "they may have escaped pet shops during 1992's Hurricane Andrew"--but I think it more likely they were turned loose when they got too big. People are SO stupid and short-sighted! I was careful to never, NEVER get any snake that would get that big (the anaconda I co-owned was a rescue, and Michael, who co-owned her with me, was prepared to take her over when she got over 8 feet).

Apparently boas have been found in one county where they are breeding and self-sustaining, too...they only get to 8 feet but obviously are big enough to take many native species.

Florida has a special problem in that its warmth and environment are much like that in Asia, India and South America, their original habitat. It's a damned shame, and I hope they do all they can to eradicate as many of them as possible. But trust me, they won't eradicate the problem. The habitat is too perfect for them and they breed too fast. Sucks.

Anthony, taking adult live constrictors is far harder, and far more dangerous. They can kill a man--it's not that hard for them and they do in their native habitat. I don't think I'd want to send any hunter out with instructions to only take live snakes--sure, little ones wouldn't be a problem and COULD be mistaken for native species, I see--but the big guys can't be mistaken for ANYTHING else, and are quite dangerous. So yes, I'd be in favor of well-trained hunters doing the job...rather than the chance of untrained laymen who might mistake a native species, AND who may not know the dangers inherent in even getting close enough to kill a big guy.

Even their owners can be killed by pythons..."Python kills careless student zookeeper in Caracas" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2622427/Python
-kills-careless-student-zookeeper-in-Caracas.html
HE was only 10 feet! "Thirteen Foot Burmese Python Kills Owner" http://www.anapsid.org/nyburm.html. In that case, the Burm merely mistook his owner for food, as a chicken in a box was found nearby. Constrictors hunt by smell and HEAT--I've been bitten many times by holding a defrosted mouse in the cage and Sydney (my blind Ball Python) mistaking the heat of my hand for the prey). The article says "The detection of a food odor such as a chicken and the proximity of Williams to the snake evidently led the snake to mistake Williams as its prey or food." More likely, the scent of chicken and the larger human (more detectable than the chicken in a box) was what made him strike.

There are tons of articles about such things--it's RARE for a constrictor to kill a human, they're just doing what comes naturally. That doesn't make them any less dangerous.

Tit for tat got us where we are today. If we want to be grownups, we need to resist the ugliness. If we each did, this would be a better reflection on Firefly and a more welcome place. I will try.

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Monday, December 10, 2012 7:49 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello Niki,

I can't claim to know anything about constrictor snakes, but in years past there were agencies in the Everglades that would pay trappers for live poisonous snakes, like the famed 'water moccasin.' They paid by the foot. I often wonder if this business was related to the Serpentarium we used to have, which was the source of much antivenin. (sp?)

I would have believed venomous snakes to be more dangerous to adult human trappers than constrictors, but will have to take your word that this is not so. Having seen the rate at which a constrictor consumes large prey, I have trouble imagining a pair of trappers falling victim to such a creature. The opportunity for intervention seems endless.

In any event, if these large constrictors are so easily identifiable, then perhaps the hunters can follow the simple guideline of killing any snake that is as big or bigger than they are. The water moccasin is not endangered, to my knowledge, so if it gets caught in the crossfire of long-snake hunting, there is little concern.

--Anthony

Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term applies.)
Context: http://tinyurl.com/d6ozfej
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
http://tinyurl.com/bdjgbpe
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.
Context: http://tinyurl.com/afve3r9

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -T. S. Szasz

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Monday, December 10, 2012 8:39 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


I think targeting large snakes is a great idea for bounty hunting. That way there's not much chance of getting the wrong snakes.

from National Geographic

In a 1994 report the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sounded the alarm about the explosion of invasive species in the state, whose warmth and major international ports put it at particular risk.

The report specifically named the African rock python as a threat to pets, native wildlife, and small children. The advisory, however, predicted that in Florida the African snake would be unable to breed in the wild.

"Here we are, 15 years later, and that whole ounce-of-prevention story is so glaring," Serbesoff-King said.

"There's a real opportunity to [mount] an aggressive response" to get rid of the African rock python while the giant snake is still limited to a relatively small area, Serbesoff-King added.

One model, she said, may be the "python patrol" that the Nature Conservancy set up in the Florida Keys. After the Burmese python swam from the Everglades to the island chain and began munching rare Keys wildlife, the team started searching for and capturing the snakes to slow the species' spread.

The Florida museum's Krysko and USGS's Reed both agree that the African snake must be knocked out—and now.

The arrival of the Burmese python "was the biggest, [most] devastating problem that Florida ever could have imagined," Krysko said.

"Now we have a worse one."

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Monday, December 10, 2012 8:42 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Hi Niki

If you "reply with quote' you should be able to pull up the web address for the images which you can then copy/ paste into your browser. I know its tedious, but at the moment I can't think of anything else.

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Monday, December 10, 2012 9:14 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I don't think water mocassins get big enough to confuse--tho' looking it up, apparently they can get to four feet.

The danger in constrictors is all they have to do is strike and hold on (which they're GREAT at!), then it's amazing how fast they coil around the subject. And they're very, very strong...to get them off someone takes a lot of strength. Where a venimous snake has to strike and hit you to invenemate you (and in rear-fanged ones they have to hang on long enough to get those back fangs into you), big constrictors have a MUCH longer reach and only have to grab you anywhere once, then wrap fast and hard.

The Green Anaconda, for example, has a constriction strength of 6 kg/cm2, which effectively means a total strength of 4000 kg. Here are a couple of comments from people who keep snakes as "pets"

A Burm:
Quote:

At first it was ok holding that 5ft snake which was slowly moving over my shoulders from the left to the right.
But then suddenly he wrapped around my right arm and started constricting it very tightly.
First i felt a hard pressure on my arm and i thought WOW he's really strong.
Fascinated as i was of his incredible strength i first only stared and felt my blood pumping in my arm thinking to myself "thats all you got?"
But i had no idea.
Suddenly it really started to hurt as he increased the pressure even more.
That was painful.
I thought that was way enough but thats not what he thought.
He continously tightened the grip as i tried to free my arm with my free hand but i had no chance.
If he would have got my neck i guess he would have been able to choke me to death.
His body was hard like steel. No chance to get free once he starts constricting his muscular body.
My friend finally bullied the snake off of me and put her back to her 'house' where she finally got fed.
Now i know how incredibly strong theese snakes are and i never will test them again.


That was just a pet snake who wasn't really serious.

Another:
Quote:

My 6ft snake constricted around my arm too but there was 4 other people around me so they were able to untangle the snake around me they are reallly strong just start from the tail its impossible to untangle it from anywhere else.

And:
Quote:

Yes, i had a 4 foot red tail that was a bit nervous when i handled him. He wasn't aggressive but he was a little uneasy and nervous. He would sometimes put a nice grip on my arm because he was afraid of falling or that i would drop him. The pressure was enough to stop the blood from reaching my hand and only in about 2 minutes, my hand turned blue...And i know for a fact that he could squeeze much tighter than that if he wanted to...
But if it got around my neck and he tried to actually kill me, all i can say is i would have a hell of a hard time trying to pry that grip open...


That's just a little 4-foot red tail boa! They're FAST, stronger than you can imagine, and if a big guy got ahold of someone and there was only one other person with them, they'd have to be sharp enough to kill the snake rather than try to unwind it. Snake handlers know how to deal with this stuff, but not regular folk who've had no experience with constrictors.
Quote:

A 16.5 ft Burmese Python is certainly capable of overpowering and killing a full grown man. Therefore special equipment is necessary to removing control these extra-large animals. http://www.animalcontrolsolutions.com/animals/burmese-python-control.h
tml
]
They don't normally attack humans and might be more inclined to run away. But the big pythons, Retics, Rock and Burms, are especially aggressive and have been known to attack humans. You can find several examples in Wikipedia; here's a good one about a rubber tapper:
Quote:

The victim had apparently been caught unaware and was squeezed to death. The snake had coiled around the lifeless body with the victim's head gripped in its jaws when it was stumbled upon by the victim's brother. The python, measuring 23 ft (7.0 m) long and weighing more than 300 lb, was killed soon after by the arriving police, who required four shots to bring it down. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_reticulatus]
Four shots to take it down, that tells you something. Even researchers have their hands full trying to capture a big fella:
Quote:

Florida researchers captured a monstrous Burmese python measuring 17 feet, 7 inches and carrying a record-breaking 87 eggs.

Five handlers are seen wrestling with the giant female, which is the largest snake of its kind found in the state and can easily strangle a human to death.

While one man clutches the python’s head and another tackles its tail, three more pin down its enormous body.



The snake, which weighs in at a colossal 164.5 pounds, serves as further evidence of how the foreign predator is threatening local wildlife, say researchers.

'This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide,' said Kenneth Krysko, from the Florida Museum of Natural History. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188479/Gotcha-Photos-moment-r
ecord-breaking-17ft-Burmese-python-bursting-87-eggs-captured-Florida--takes-people-pin-down.html
]
That guy could have easily killed a single human, or one human with only one other person with them.

That kind of gives you an idea. The little guys don't pose that much of a problem, but you don't want to mess with the big guys!

Tit for tat got us where we are today. If we want to be grownups, we need to resist the ugliness. If we each did, this would be a better reflection on Firefly and a more welcome place. I will try.

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