Hey all! I hope everyone made it through that crazy weather OK. High winds and some freaky thunder is about all we got here. I wanted to pass along a couple of things that have happened across the country.
First Illinois SB 902, which was billed as a “herp friendly” legislation, has past the state senate and passed to the House. Initially, the turtle and tortoise folks were upset that there were some highly restrictive regulations in the bill. Through the work of USARK and several others, the bill has been amended to not effect tortoise keepers nearly as much. It does specifically ban “farms” but pretty much allows the hobbyist to continue as before. This bill also removes the 15″ limit on constrictors that has been in place for years. The entire bill was conceived to create a separate classification for herps in order to make herp specific legislation possible. All in all, it sounds like a positive move for a hobby that is being attacked from all sides.
I’ve also recently become aware that Florida FWS has announced that they will not be doing another Python Challenge. Due to the low number of animals captured, they are claiming that Burms are experts at hiding. They feel that licensed and trained experts are the only ones they need hunting these animals. I find it interesting that they are changing their story to avoid admitting that 100,000 was a bit of an over-exaggeration. They realize that eradication is not a possibility at this point. They do admit that, during the necropsies of the 68 captured snakes, no evidence was found of them eating the raccoons, marsh rabbits, foxes and wood storks that they are being accused of decimating. Their diet appears to consist mainly of cotton rats. Despite the obvious attempt to spin the findings, the article I read appears to support some false information being used to vilify these animals.
I will continue to use this space to pass along anything I discover, good or bad. Until next time, be safe and happy herping.