Comments sought on reptile, raptor, amphibian and mollusk regulations
Rocky Mountain Toad
(This information is from a June 6, 2014 Email from AZGFD.)
The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking public comments on draft 2015-2016 regulations for reptiles, raptors, crustaceans and mollusks, and amphibians. You may comment from June 6 through July 11, 2014.
The Rocky Mountain Toad in the photo is not imperiled, but how does someone justify killing or capturing 10 (the proposed limit)?..
(GR: The regulations apply to species that the AZGFD itself considers imperiled and critically imperiled. Permitting killing and capturing will only increase the likelihood of extinction. For example, the regulations allow all licensed hunters to capture or kill four (4) Rosy Boas (Lichanura trivirgata), a species considered critically imperiled by AZGFD and “a species of concern” under the U. S. Endangered Species Act. Moreover, killing and capturing wild animals for fun is unethical, cruel, and a violation of animal rights.)
Special: The proposed changes being considered for the 2015-2016 commission orders include:
In Commission Order 25, a reduced bag limit for the nonresident peregrine falcon hunt, adjustment of the hunt units for ferruginous hawks, and clarification of peregrine falcon harvest capture age.
In Commission Order 43, a reduced bag limit for Sonora mud turtle from four to two (possession limit remains the same), and changing “Limited Weapon” season to “Limited Weapon Hand or Hand-held Implement” season, which opens more of the state to traditional means of hunting reptiles.
To see the draft commission orders for most species, click the following links:
The second edition of my “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” will be off to the printer (CreateSpace) as soon as I finish the cover. This edition has introductions and checklists for 12 groups of Arizona animal species: Amphibians, ants, bats, birds, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and damselflies, fish, grasshoppers, lizards, mammals, snakes, and turtles. Groups in bold type are new to the Notebook. The introduction to each group covers the group’s conservation issues and provides references for printed and online field guides. The checklist for each group includes scientific and common names and conservation status. I alphabetized each checklist by scientific name, and I included an index for all the common names. Continue reading →
I have completed the second edition of the Arizona Wildlife Notebook! The new Notebook has four more species groups than the first edition, and it has an expanded index. The most important change is in the conservation status for each species. This time, I standardized the information so that future changes will be easier to track. Continue reading →
Turtles have exceptional regenerative powers. Dr. Justin Congdon, a classmate from long ago, managed a study of turtles in the E. S. George Reserve in Michigan for more than 40 years. In the 1980’s Justin made a startling discovery: As they aged, Blanding’s turtles produced more eggs and offspring. In some ways, the turtles became younger as they aged. This reversal of reproductive success with age drew global attention from scientists and others interested in longevity and life extension.
Another interesting trait is resistance to toxic materials. Arizona fish, frogs, and mollusks develop various forms of cancer in response to toxic chemicals in agricultural and urban runoff, and treated waste-water. Turtles do not. Like other species groups, however, Arizona turtles suffer from habitat loss and human harvest.
The pond slider (Trachemys scripta) in the photograph is not an Arizona native. It probably arrived as a pet sold by the roadside vendor who comes every summer and sells turtles at a highway intersection upstream from my ponds. There are at least two pond sliders living here. If humans wouldn’t empty the ponds, the pond slider might live at Coldwater Farm long after I’m gone.
(Just after I wrote the above, a visitor harvesting weeds for his sheep, accidentally backed his truck over the pond slider shown in the photograph, killing it instantly.) Continue reading →