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ANNOUNCEMENTS THE SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE KANSAS HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY 3-4 November 1990 CORAM. DOWNS AUDITORIUM MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS IP IR ({J) G IRA M SATURDAY, 3 NOVEMBER hrs - COFFEE AND REGISTRATION ($2.00) at the Auditorium of the Museum of Natural History. No dues will be accepted at the meeting; please pay by mail when your notice arrives hrs - WELCOME, INTRODUCTION OF KHS OFFICERS, and ANNOUNCEMENTS by KHS President Nancy Schwarting hrs - DaYid Kizirian (University of Kansas) - Phylogenetic Relationships of Softshell Turtles hrs - GROUP PHOTOGRAPH. Meet in front of Museum steps hrs BREAK 1035 hrs - David Edds (Emporia State University) - Rediscovery of the Common Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) in Kansas hrs - John Simmons (University of Kansas) - Collections: Pickles, Mail Order and Lending Libraries hrs - David Grow (Oklahoma City Zoo) - Breeding Programs at the Oklahoma City Zoo hrs LUNCH. Free to forage. Hot food is available next door in the Kansas Union or there are many fine restaurants in Lawrence hrs- KHS BUSINESS MEETING and Election of Officers for 1990, KHS President Nancy Schwarting presiding hrs - Henry S. Fitch - Introductory Comments for Hobart Smith hrs - Hobart M. Smith (University of Colorado)- Tales of Kansas Herpetology hrs - Larry Zuckerman (Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks) - What's New in Wildlife and Parks Regulations hrs - Randall Morrison - Color and Patterns in Amphibians and Reptiles hrs BREAK 1515 hrs - Hugh Quinn (Director, World Famous Topeka Zoo) - Captive Propagation and Release Program of the Endangered Houston Toad hrs - Ken Brunson (Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks)- Kansas Herp Counts hrs - FREE-FOR-ALL SLIDE SHOW! Bring your ten (1 0) best slides and be prepared to tell us about them hrs - S 0 CIA L AND AU C T I 0 N in the Kansas Room of Student Union Building next to the the Museum. Please bring items to auction. We need photos of herps and herpers, artwork, cages, snake sacks, snake sticks, books on herps, hide boxes, herp reprints, T -shirts, color slides, herp badges, bumper stickers, etc. Items should be.!1m2 oriented. NO LIVE ANIMALS ALLOW ED! SUNDAY, 4 NOVEMBER hrs - Coffee in 308 Dyche hrs - Donald Smith - Reptile Diseases hrs -John Wiens (University of Kansas) - Evolution and Development of Spadefoots hrs - George R. Pisani (University of Kansas) - Population Studies at Oklahoma Rattlesnake Roundups hrs BREAK 1045 hrs - Dwight Platt (Bethel College) - Sand Prairie Herpetofauna hrs - Olin Karch (Emporia) KHS Field Trip Video. Noon ADJOURNMENT (Have a good trip home and drive safely.) KHS MEMBER RECEIVES CONSERVA TION AWARD Longtime KHS member Dwight Platt was one of 25 environmentalists selected to receive the 1990 Chevron Conservation Award from Chevron USA. He received the award for his activities over the past 30 years in helping to create a state system of natural areas and for organizing Citizens for Environmental Action in Kansas. In addition, Platt was instrumental in helping to recognize and establish non-game wildlife programs through the former Kansas Fish and Game Commission (now the Kansas Deparunent of Wildlife and Parks). Congratulations to Dwight for receiving this award. He is certainly deserving. NEW PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE The following publications, in various media, are now available: The Dinosauria, edited by D. B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmolska, is available from the University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California, The book is divided into two sections, the first dealing with dinosaur relationships, biology, and distribution, the second covers dinosaur taxonomy. This clot~bound, technical volume is 716 pages long, with 24 maps and 200 line drawings. Prepublication price (until 28 September 1990) is $65, $85 thereafter. Snakes of Eastern North America, by C. H. Ernst and R. W. Barbour is available from George Mason University Press, 4720-A Boston Way, Lanham, Maryland, The book is clothbound, 282 pages long, and contains 64 color photographs. The tome is designed to replace Volume I of Wright and Wright's classic HANDBOOK OF SNAKES OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA. Price is $62.50 plus $2 postage. Cassette tapes of the First World Congress of Herpetology held at the University of Kent in Britain in September, 1989 are now available from Q.E.D. Recording Services Ltd., 45 Birley Road, Whetstone, London, N20 )HB, England. The eleven tapes cost 5.50 per tape or the entire set can be purchased for Postage and package charges are 0.80 for the flrst tape and 0.40 for each additional tape up to a maximum of Add 15% to total tape price and make checks payable to Q.E.D. Recording Services Ltd. herpetocultural authorities as Ernie Wagner, Richard Ross, and Scott Wheeler are included. Euthanasia or Amphibians and Reptiles can be purchased from the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare, 8 Hamilton Close, South Mims, Potters Bar, Hens., EN6 3QD, England for If you gotta kill 'em, this is the work to have. Evolution and Ecology or Unisexual Vertebrates, Bulletin No. 466, edited by R. M. Dawley and J.P. Bogart can be purchased from Publications Salrs., New York State Museum, 3140 Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York, for $4. This large format, paperbound, 307 pp. volume with 96 tables and 122 figures contains 24 papers on parthenogenetic, gynogenetic, and cloned fishes and herps. Michigan Snakes is available from the Michigan State University Bulletin Office, lob Agriculture Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, for $6.95. This handy field guide is a steal at this price. MIDWEST HERPETOLOGICAL CONFER ENCE The Minnesota Herpetological Society announces that it is hosting the Sixth Annual Midwest Herpe-tological Conference from October in Minneapolis. Featured speakers include Ernie Wagner, Barney Oldfield, and KHS 's own Joe Collins (who will be conducting the auction by the way. He becomes a professional auctioneer next year and can quit his day job. Just kidding). Fees are $30 for the conference and $20 for the banquet. For further information write: Minnesota Herpetological Society, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street, SE, Minneapolis, Minn., INFORMATION REQUEST Jim Hatfield, Box I.R., Los Gatos, California, 95031, is requesting any information to improve the source material on green iguanas (/ guana igvana). Respondents will receive a short questionnaire and his final report. Videotape of the 1989 International Herpetological Symposium on Captive Propagation and Husbandry can be purchased for $29.95 from Greg James, P.O. Box 3520, Redmond, Virginia, Half of all proceeds from the sale of this tape go directly to IHS. Papers by such recognized 2 KHS BUSINESS NEWSLETTER CHANGES As you perceptive readers surely noticed when you opened this issue, there has been a slight change in the format of the KHS Newsletter. I have switched to a double-column format and different typestyle (damn, but this new computer is fun!). The reasons for this are primarily two: first, I can cram a great deal more information into the set pagination of the Newsletter with this format (approximately 1 1/2 times the previous format). This may save the Society money on future mailings without reducing the in(ormation content of the Newsletter. Second, this new style gives the Newsletter a more professional appearance. As I anticipate accepting formal, refereed papers in the future, this change may help attract papers from professionals. However, it is not my intent to discourage anyone from submitting any type of article of herpetological slant, particularly those relating to Kansas. Any and all articles are welcome, as has always been the policy of previous editors. Believe me, we can use all we can get! Please remember, though, that the deadline for submission of articles is the first of the month prior to the actual publication date of the Newsletter. As it stands now, the Newsletter is published in February, May, August, and November. My personal deadline for production of the Newsletter is the 15th of the month previous. That is an absolute date. I welcome any comments, pro or con, from any member of the Society. Let me know what you think. -Eric M Rundquist KANSAS EXPERIENCES RATTLESNAKE HUNT Thanks to the eagle eye of KHS Associate Editor Marty Capron ~ the KHS Executive Council was warned that the Kansas Bowhunters Association intended to hold a prairie dog and rattlesnake hunt near Fowler on the weekend of May Although we were somewhat incredulous that someone actually would try to shoot rattlesnakes with bow and arrow, inquiries were sent to Alan Wentz, Assistant Secretary. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, concerning the position of KDWP as to the legality of such practices. The following is a partial quotation of a letter I received from Mr. Wentz in response to my query, ... Prior to June 30, 1989, it was legal to hunt prairie dogs and rattlesnakes. When House Bill 2005 was enacted into law all wildlife was given protection on July 1, It is the policy of this agency to allow legal practices prior to July 1, 1989, to continue until specifically addressed by law or regulation change. This policy follows the legislative intent as outlined in K.S.A which basically states (that) old rules and regulations in effect on June 30, 1989, shall remain in full force and effect until amended or revoked. The regulations pertaining to the harvest of prairie dogs and rattlesnakes have been drafted and will be presented to the Commission in July for their approval. Until the new regulations are in effect we are allowing the hunting of rattlesnakes and prairie dogs in Kansas... To the best of our knowledge, this hunt went off as planned. No KHS members were able to attend, so the actual take is unknown. Frankly, the possibility of more than a few animals of either species being killed is small. However, KHS has taken a strong stand, along with numerous other wildlife groups, in opposition to rattlesnake hunts of any sort and it is alarming that we now have an officially tolerated one in this state. In addition, prairie dog populations in this state have undergone drastic reductions in the past 25 years. Both of these species (the prairie dog, in particular) are integral parts of the mid-grass and short-grass prairie ecosystems. We will keep you posted on events as they occur. We understand that KDWP is going through a transitional period with its recent reorganization and have confidence that this problem will be resolved satisfactorily. -Eric M Rundquist YOUR SECRETARY/TREASURER SPEAKS I wish to thank the members who received undue unpaid dues notices for their patience. One update of the membership list in December was lost via a computer error. It was an unfortunate case of a number of people being eaten by an Apple. Only 24% of those notified remembered that they had already paid; the other 76% generously paid twice. Those who paid twice have been credited for Any member(s) who are missing newsletters for this year should let me know. In addition, any member who has a change of address should also notify me. -Olin Karch 3 KHS BRINGS YOU GREAT NEWS OF THE WORLD SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR QUES TIONS ANIMAL PROTECTION Under mounting pressure to protect the embattled Mount Graham Red Squirrel in Arizona, the Squawfish in Colorado, and the (Northern) Spotted Owl of the Pacific Northwest, Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, jr. has suggested that Congress take a look at the Endangered Species Act to see whether it is unnecessarily restrictive. Lujan's comments in an interview in Friday's Denver Post incited an uproar from environmentalists, who interpreted them as a call for weakening th~ federal protection of a host of endangered plants and anim~s. Following an interview at Mesa Verde Nauonal Park in Colorado, the newspaper quoted the secretary as saying the law is just too tough , questioning whether endangered species must be protected in every locale where they exist. The reaction was swift, with environmentalists accusing the secretary of insensitivity and creeping Wattism , a reference to Ronald Reagan ' s Interior Secretary James Watt, who resigned after developing a reputation for being anti-environment... We are incensed that the very Cabmet official whose job it is to be the country's front-line protector of endangered wildlife would make such outrageo~ s statements , said Wildlife Federation President Jay Hair. The cause of Lujan's criticism of the act apparently was the fight between scientists supporting the construction of a S200 million telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona and environmentalists trying to protect the habitat of 100 or so Mount Graham Red Squirrels facing extinction. The squirrels, Lujan said, presented the best example of the dilemma presented by the Act's requirements and the interests of development. Opposing forces in the Arizona struggle have gone to court, and two biologists for the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service have said in depositions that their superiors ordered them to prepare reports stating the squirrels and th e telescope could coexist on Mount Graham. Lujan's complaint that the Endangered Species Act makes no provisions for economic considerations came during the same week that the Department of the Interior was forced to suspend work on a Western water project because of scientists' concerns over a protected fish. The Department's Bureau of Reclamation put an indefinite hold on a $589 million Colorado reservoir project after scientists for the Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that it would threaten the survival of the Colorado Squawfish. Some $9 million already had been invested in the project, which is designed to provide water for irrigation, to municipal supplies in southwestern Colorado, and to Ute Indian tribes. Environmentalists hailed the action, but critics ridiculed the protection of a species regarded locally as a trash fish. Steven Goldstein, Lujan's press secretary, denied Friday that the secretary was calling for a weakening of the Endangered Species Act. Goldstein said the Secretary thinks Congress should determine whether the law is being used for its intended purpose, protecting wildlife, or as a tool against development. There are people who make it their life's work protecting endangered species, and their motives are laudable and sincere , said Goldstein. But there are others who occasionally use the Endangered Species Act to stop economic progress or development because they oppose a particular project, and that's what :Mr. Lujan's upset about. -Wichita Eagle, 12 May 1990 (submitted by Rufus T. Firefly, Wichita) HERPS GET REVENGE An Iranian hunter was shot dead yesterday near Tehran by a snake that coiled around his shotgun as he pinned the reptile to the ground, the official Islamic Republic New Agency reported. The agency, monitored in Nicosia, quoted another hunter as saying that the victim, Ali-Asghar Ahani, tried to catch the snake alive by pressing the bun of his shotgun behind its head. But the snake coiled around the butt and pulled the trigger with its thrashing tail, firing one of the barrels and shooting Ahani in the head,!rna said. -Associated Press (submitted by George Pisani, Lawrence) A crocodile bit off a woman worshipper's hand at a Moslem shrine in the Bagerhat District of southern Bangladesh, local officials said. - Lo ; Angeles Times, 8 April 1990 (submitted by Scon Hillard, Pratt) COMMISSION WILL RECONSIDER NON GAME RULES About 25 advocates of all things that slither, swim and lurk in darlc places showed up Thursday night at the monthly meeting of the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission. They came to protest the inclusion of snakes, fish, frogs, and lizards in the regulation that defines the commercial harvest of fish, mussels, reptiles, and amphibians in Kansas. Joe Collins, zoologist for the Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas, apologized for his 4 - froggy voice and then made a calm but impassioned plea against the regulation. There is no data about the impact of allowing the harvest of amphibians and reptiles - no data whatsoever , Collins said. He went on to point out the problems with amphibian and reptile mortality once they were captured and sold to a commercial outlet. There are no pet stores in Kansas that know how to care for and maintain amphibians and reptiles , said Collins. Jan Garton, president of the Kansas Audubon Council, expressed many of the same concerns. Both Collins and Garton received applause after their presentations. After considerable discussion by the commissioners and the public, the five regulations covering harvest and sale of mussels, fish, amphibians, and reptiles were tabled until Friday morning when they were brought back up for discussion. Because of the complex issues involved in amending the regulations, the proposals were sent back to Wildlife and Parks to be rewritten. That will start the process over, which will allow commissioners to workshop the retooled regulation and allow public discussion, sai d commissioner Kathy George. We thought it was a very good meeting , said Collins. It was important that we were able to get a non-game discussion going. I think the commission is a very enlightened body and really seemed to appreciate the information. Garton was also pleased with the outcome of the meeting. The issue had really never been addressed by the commission before , she said. I was especially pleased to see that they really approached all of the questions with a professional attitude and that they were very careful with how they consider the issues. I am following up with a letter thanking them and encouraging them to establish criteria for evaluation of any uses of non-game wildlife. -Wichita Eagle, 25 February 1990 (submitted by Irving Street, Jr., Lawrence) EDITOR'S NOTE: At this time, the regulation allowing commercial harvest of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas has been eliminated. Only those with valid scientific collector's permits are allowed to take herps here. Sale, barter, and trade in native herps is forbidden and you should make an effort to let your local pet shops know this. RESEARCHERS STUDY SNAKES' PLACE IN ENVIRONMENT Two men in white lab coats are wrestling with a patient on the operating table. You hold the tail and I'll take the business end , said (KHS member) George Pisani, KU director of undergraduate biology labs. His partner, Henry S. Fitch, obliges. He'll leave the hissing, lunging head of the rattlesnake patient to Pisani and administer the syringe of anesthetic near the tail. Fitch, professor emeritus of systematics and ecology (and KHS Distinguished Life Member), has been snake hunting and handling for more than 50 years. In 1938, while snake-gathering in California's San Joaquin Valley, Fitch tried to put a rattler into a burlap bag. The snake bit him. Fitch had to walk a mile to his truck and drive several more miles to get help. And he survived. These days, he collects an occasional timber rattler from KU's ecological reserves - including Fitch Natural History Reservation, several hundred acres of rural property near Lawrence that he has observed and researched for 40 years. He and Pisani surgically implant a small transmitter inside a snake, turn it loose and track it. In the fall, the snake leads the duo to den sites. We're using them as Trojan snakes , Pisani said. ''Take us to your leader! Snakes introduced into unfamiliar territory may be able to find each other, following scented snake trails to a den site. As snakes crawl over obstacles, a scent gland in the tail leaves a trail easily followed by others. These snakes use reasonably narrow corridors through their habitat , Pisani explained. Last year, we tracked a male that moved to the den site in the fall, along the same path a female had tried to go du
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