Western Cape people (CPT region)

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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Rodwraylva » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:01 pm

Atropsis, killing a snake is legal, saving it is illegal, that is what I am adressing by saying you cannot get it to a vet, as by law you are not allowed to transport reptiles without paperwork, so that being brought into concideration, makes the legal thing to kill the snake, where it could have survived with a bit of help. I am not saying I know everything which is going on, or that cape nature is not doing a bit to hlp, I am saying that they would rather shoot us, reptile keepers and just people who would do the little they can to save what we haver not destroyed, in the foot than allowing simple deeds which should be what concervation is about.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:04 am

Killing a snake is not legal if you read the ordinance properly. Michael I agree somewhat. However an official disagreeing with someone keeping for keeping reptiles is a matter of human opinion, just like some may not agree with birds in cages. There are a number of well known herpotologists that disagree with keeping snakes, but that's besides the point.

Unfortunately with any big organisation there is bureaucracy and procedures, especially if it's provincial government. I agree that Cape Nature needs to work with keepers more (which they have been moving towards) but at the same time keepers need to cut them some slack and understand that, especially in the western cape, they have a responsibility to conserve local species first and that hasty action now could lead to problems in the future.

Permit section aside, there is a wealth of experience, qualifications and passion in the herp side of the organisation and they're not out to spoil fun for the sake of it but to conserve and protect our local biodiversity. This means that often a worst case scenario approach needs to be taken to avoid situations like the everglades for example
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:25 am

Rodwraylva, what is wrong with getting the correct paperwork? It takes time but that's government unfortunately. Get yourself a catch and release permit and then you're legal. If you don't have one call someone who does. The permit system, although it's admittedly far from perfect, is there in an attempt to monitor the movement of reptiles in the province and to prevent poaching. I think that getting on the books, assisting and coming up with possible solutions would be far more constructive than the slandering us vs them approach.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby shadowfoot » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:26 pm

We would not need to slander them if they did their job correctly and effeciently.
The excuse about them being the government is absurd, if they dont hold up their side of the deal there will be no respect for them from the Western Cape reptile community.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Pieter89 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:33 pm

atropos wrote:Rodwraylva, what is wrong with getting the correct paperwork? It takes time but that's government unfortunately. Get yourself a catch and release permit and then you're legal. If you don't have one call someone who does. The permit system, although it's admittedly far from perfect, is there in an attempt to monitor the movement of reptiles in the province and to prevent poaching. I think that getting on the books, assisting and coming up with possible solutions would be far more constructive than the slandering us vs them approach.


Atropos, I agree the "slandering us vs them approach" is not the right way to go. And coming up with solutions will definitely be the best option.

However, I think you are being overly optimistic about paperwork. You make it seem effortless to call someone with a Catch and Release permit to rescue a snake (where they often have to take hours of their time without payment - because if they ask money the snake will rather be killed). Over-regulation is not the answer to conservation.

I do understand the motive for the permit system - on paper it is noble. But I hope it can be evaluated whether the permit system is the best way to meet their objectives. All the resources put into issuing permits can rather go into training for Snake Rescuers and into Public Education about snakes and their role in the environment (in my opinion).
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:50 pm

Now that is more constructive to me Pieter. You're right it isn't effortless and thus it must come down to us to stop complaining and take action. By forming networks (as some of us do already) then often it is just a phonecall to alert a handler in a certain area.

In an ideal world every conservation organisation would have the resources, the manpower and the know-how to have all bases covered. But we must remember that although snakes are central to our world, for the officials it is just a fraction of the juggling act they face.

Therefore one of the only ways forward I think is to assist not resist.
Unfortunately there are also those keepers that have gone the other way, are greedy, self-serving and whose actions are damaging the fight. They convince themselves that what they are doing is acceptable and shift the focus on to the big bad organisation which won't let them do whatever they want. They call themselves a conservationist because they've rescued some snakes in their lifetime, many of which have probably stayed in their private collection or have been sold.

It may be a small minority, but it makes the matter a whole lot more complicated.

A look at some stats on the number of (known) exotic reptiles crossing our borders is scary. Even if only a small percentage are potentially invasive it's enough to give any conservationist sleepless nights
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Rodwraylva » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:17 pm

IMO birds are more invasive than reptiles, reason: Birds can fly and find a mate more easily, for a reptile to find a mate it needs to be within the immediate area and also need to find eachother, for instance, if person A, from durbanville nature reserve area, and person B from durbanville highschool area, which is relatively close together, both own a corn snake, male and female respectively, and they both escape, what are the chances of the snakes finding eachother including busy roads, and all that into the scenario, making me think it is very slim, even if the two people live in the same street I would not think the odds are high enough. Yes, meassures should be taken to save our ecosystem, but some of the meassures are just rediculous. I agree with your statement "Therefore one of the only ways forward I think is to assist not resist." But I still think the first step would be to start getting people to get their words out with eachother to help the justification of Cape Nature, to point out what we have a problem with and why, and I think most people would be satisfied if they have a straight answer from Cape Nature, as we do not get that often.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:35 pm

We agree then. On the topic of invasives, you're right-there are already a number of invasive bird species in our country. The problem with reptiles though is they're naturally much harder to find so it could be happening without us knowing. Although the chances may be slim, we cannot afford to take any chances as any invasion could have disastrous effects.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Rodwraylva » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:01 pm

It comes down to the fact that decent studies must be done to prove they truely are invasive, because most of the studies are what if studies, and if we can see that this is the impact we will understand it better than being told what if... Until then, lets hope we can have the support of the WC reptile keepers and start helping cape nature and assisting them with problems we find unnecessary, and give a better experience for the youth who want to get into reptiles and making the legal way the beter way (as I would think buying a corn over gumtree is easier as you save R100, and if we can get the laws set in line with the keeper needs, and with the right conservation needs, we will have happy reptile lovers)
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Bushviper » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:34 pm

atropos I sorry to disappoint you but the ordinance is pretty clear and killing the snake is allowed. Go read it first then you will see.

Cape Nature have never been "keeper friendly" and they could do well with an entire attitude change. If they really thought the legislation as it is achieves the conservation goals they have set then they have no idea of what is happening. That is the sad part.

In other provinces we have good working relationships with the authorities and we dont have have less indigenous snakes or more invasive species because we dont have these draconian ordinances which are not even being adhered to. KZN has virtually no restrictions on reptiles and has a far better climate for invasive reptiles to become established and we have seen ZERO problems with biodiversity as far as reptiles are concerned. The number of people keeping reptiles in Durban alone is possible 10 times what the entire 3 Cape Provinces have so the risk should be that much higher and still there is not a problem.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:46 pm

I have read the ordinance many times. Non-venomous snakes are specified while 'other' snakes are classified as 'wild' animals which may not be trapped or hunted etc without a permit, therefore making it illegal to kill a snake.

BV I see what you are saying regarding invasion but remember that trade in and out of this country is relatively new and on the increase. There is always a lag phase in an invasive species' establishment which can last decades before it becomes naturalised. Just because there have been zero problems so far doesn't mean there won't be. If it does happen would it be worth it? Some examples spring to mind, the cane toad, the common plattana and more recently http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/giant-snakes/
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:00 pm

Prevention is better than cure
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:07 pm

California has a very similar climate to the western cape. Have a look at some of the possibilities http://www.californiaherps.com/info/introducedspecies.html
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby Pieter89 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:25 pm

However true this may be Atropos, regulation is not prevention. Rather create a system where people are educated about the possible dangers of releasing the animals. And make it easy to resell the animals (because if it is too difficult, people just release them).

Also, reptiles are not the only danger - and currently I don't see domestic cats regulated, that destroy populations of Cape Dwarf Chameleons in certain parts of Cape Town. Nor hamsters or any type of bird.

Anyway, I don't like fighting about Cape Nature constantly. It is bringing us nowhere. Hopefully the organisation can make reptile keepers and Cape Nature understand each other and help each other. I've yet to meet a reptile-lover that doesn't love other animals as well - therefore I am sure there must be some common ground. If we can focus on the common ground and everywhere where we do agree, we can hopefully find consensus in those areas we don't.
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Re: Western Cape people (CPT region)

Postby atropos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:35 pm

Well said Pieter, I totally agree. Let's leave it at that then shall we?
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