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BEHIND BAARS August 2013

Scott Alexander and Austin Tengan at the Santa Clara County Fair ŠTania Tengan

General Meeting Friday, August 23 @ 8:00 p.m. (doors open 7:30 p.m.) Cubberley Community Center, Room M-2 Music Room, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto 1Page 1

President’s Report Contents President’s Report - 2 Events & Activities - 3 Santa Clara County Fair - 4 BAARS as Educational Organization - 7 Board Notes - 8 Treasurer’s Report - 9 Sulphur Creek Rally - 11 Editor’s Shelf - 13 Board Members & Contacts -14 Membership Form - 15

Hello BAARS Members and Supporters, In August, we will have our annual Turtle and Tortoise Night at the General Meeting. James Liu, who is the former collections manager at the Behler Chelonian Conservation Center, will be our guest speaker. James will be talking about the incubation of Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise (Manouria emys phayrei) eggs and temperature-dependent sex determination. Burmese Mountain Tortoises are a critically endangered species from Southeastern Asia and one of the oldest tortoise species alive today. Afterwards, James is available to answer questions about turtle and tortoise husbandry, especially in regards to the more difficult and rarer species. For August’s meeting, we’ll also have folks bring some of their favorite tortoises, and give mini-presentations on these species. I’ll bring my favorite new breeding project, Chinese “red-necked pond turtles”, Mauremys nigricans (formerly Chinemys nigricans). These fun little water turtles are full of personality and are pretty much guaranteed to become more scarce due to large demand from China (demand for the pet trade!). BAARS had a great showing at the Santa Clara County Fair, which ran from August 1st (Thursday) through August 4th (Sunday). I would especially like to thank Gil and Dorothy Castro, who were representing both BAARS and the Silicon Valley Branch of CTTC, and Tony and Rhonda Velez, who were there all four days. I’d also like to thank Pete Marshall, Jim Goehring, and Scott and Joanne Petersen for helping out at the fair, as well as all other participants and helpers! I’d like to thank Julie Bergman, from the Gecko Ranch for being BAARS’ July Speaker. Julie had a great slide show of many of her geckos and showed off her setups. We’ll miss her, and we wish her good luck in her new adventures in North Carolina. On a personal note, I’d like to mention that yesterday was my nephew’s wedding, which was fantastic. However, his wife’s grandfather apparently had a heart attack at the reception and passed away last night. Certainly, a bittersweet day. Please, Bring a Friend to a BAARS meeting! Hope to see you in August! Sincerely,

Scott Alexander, BAARS Interim President, 2013

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UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES Contact Joanne Petersen,, if you'd like to help BAARS participate in these shows. More details are on our website under Events & Shows & Meetings.

August 2013 August 23 8 p.m.

BAARS General Club Meeting - >>> Room M-2 Music Room <<<

Turtle and Tortoise Night with support from Silicon Valley Turtle and Tortoise Club.

September 2013 September 6

BAARS Board Meeting

September 14

BAARS Birthday Party and Picnic at Overfelt Gardens Park in San Jose

September 27

BAARS General Club Meeting

7 p.m.

11 a.m - 2 p.m

At the Petersenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Contact Scott or Joanne Petersen for directions. Note the earlier time.

McKee Road and Educational Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95002. Map and pictures of this beautiful location, including a pond with turtles. Some of us will be there early and make sure we have picnic tables in the shade. Bring food to share! No alcohol or pets are allowed in the park, so leave the herps at home but bring your family! Contact if you have questions. - >>> Room M-2 Music Room <<<

Speaker: TBD.

October 2013 October 4

BAARS Board Meeting

October 25

BAARS General Club Meeting

October 26

Audubon Wildlife Education Day

8 p.m.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.


- >>> Room M-2 Music Room <<< Halloween Party! Dress yourself up as a herptile, dress your herptile as a ???.

Wildlife Education Day has become one of the premier festivals in the Bay Area where hundreds of families come together to celebrate and learn about birds, nature, ecology, and wildlife. Over a dozen nature-related organizations will provide live animal demonstrations, educational presentations, free hands-on activities, early morning bird walk, and more. BAARS will show our herps!

November/December 2013 December

BAARS Holiday Party, Potluck, and Elections!

Consider running for office; we need help with administrative tasks, note taking, website refresh, social media moderating, and events and club outings. If you can type, text, and use a phone, you are qualified! 1Page 3

Santa Clara County Fair was a Blast! by Rhonda Velez Let's hear it for the "Reptile Roadies"! Hip Hip Hurray! We will never be able to thank Gil and Dorothy Castro adequately. They both spent hours inviting and arranging for reptile groups to join them and their sweet little shelled pets at the Santa Clara County Fair. Over twenty of us responded to their call and put in volunteer time at "The World of Reptiles" paddock. The fair opened every day at noon and we showed animals until close to or after nine every night. Great big THANK YOUs to the following: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Gil, Dorothy, and Baby, Lesa, Keith, and others from SVCTTC Juan Landazuri, Andy Rea, Justin and Gabriella Turpin of CCHS Tony and Rhonda, Scott A., Ken Wong, Pete, Jim, Cosme, Scott and Joanne of BAARS Diane Shaw and Friends Austin and Aria and friends of Critter Kids and BAARS Tania and Michael for MickaCoo, Mickaboo, Art For The Birds and BAARS Rick and Lila Porters and friends of Reptile Realms Dave and Desiree of Rainbows R Us

This year's fair theme was "Your Heart's Delight". Tony and I both looked forward with joyful anticipation to this event. We could not imagine what four straight days of presenting would be like. Well, it was terrifically rewarding and totally tiring. My heart was delighted to share my love for children, education, and especially all our animals. I think my heart muscles were the only muscles NOT sore after the fair! Cosme went home Saturday with a new pet. He's wanted a Hoggie for some time. Juan had brought the Madagascar Hog Nose from Salinas' Jurassic Pet Store. What a pretty animal, long and lean, with the colors of a tall glass of iced coffee. Cosme brought his Bearded Dragon and Iguana on Saturday. Wow, that great big beautiful lizard got tons of attention Saturday and Sunday. Many were shocked that those tiny little green babies sold in retail pet stores grow up to be so massive, colorful, and demanding.

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We thoroughly enjoyed just kicking back and people watching, it was a great pastime between visitors. Gil, Tony, and Rick Porter of Reptile Realms set up on Wednesday the 31st. Fair visitors trickled through on Thursday and Friday, but terrific crowds bombarded us all weekend. Sharing this venue with others "in the field" was educational. I learned that, besides protein, silkworms provide calcium and moisture. Scott and Joanne's leopard gecko munched on a few to the delight of onlookers Sunday afternoon. Who would have thought a tomato worm could be a pet? Reptile Realms sold single horn worms. Kids took them home in a clear cottage cheese container with a couple of tomato leaves and a piece of black netting for a climber. Um? And I thought people that had snakes were peculiar. Juan allowed folks to touch his pet scorpion on Sunday. Juan securely held its stinger tail, and sure enough, the brave would reach over and give it a little pet. Most would drop a dollar in the donation jar as they left the table, maybe because they were glad they had not gotten stung! Juan wondered if there's an unwritten rule â&#x20AC;Ś pay a dollar - pet a scorpion? Austin put a donation jar on the concrete floor when he took Daisy out for petting and photos.

I ran a Spin-A-Prize Wheel with a suggested one dollar donation to play. I allowed some children to just drop in some coins to spin, I'm a sucker for a little smile. I kept a loose tally; the total was around $200. Dorothy, Joanne, Tony and I filled eleven empty ice cream tubs with prizes. Kids could win Mardi Gras beads, plastic reptiles, spider rings, pencils, squishy frogs, and assorted other fun stuff. There are plenty of prizes left to dole out at our BAARS Trick-Or-Treat Costume Party meeting on October 25th and the holiday potluck party as well. Members have suggested we take the wheel to shows or meetings. The fair seemed to refresh us and got us to thinking how much fun we all have when we get together. 1Page 5

We potlucked in and around the expensive fair food. A single corn dog was $4.50! The Mexican food vendor was from Salinas, the owners just live a few blocks away from Tony and Rhonda. Tony and I shared one of their plates of nachos, a mouth- watering combination piled high with at least seven ingredients. The nachos with a soda were $11.00. The Castros brought bottled water, colas, and candy. The Velezs brought an ice chest with sandwiches, fresh fruit, and yogurt. Lesa and Tony walked around and served assorted pastries. Someone brought tortilla chips and delicious salsa on Sunday. Jim had ice cold pop for us on Sunday. Yes, we repeatedly answered the same questions, told the same jokes, but occasionally we got someone who grabbed our attention. Sometimes we answered a question for a worried pet owner, or steered them towards the correct resource. We had club business cards and flyers at every table. Visitors from all over California visited our animals. We hope to see Donavon from Ripon at a Central Valley Herp meeting in the future. This young man visited our tables every day during his fifteen minute breaks. His parents were also working the fair. This is exactly why we participate in events. Reaching out to a young enthusiast is so rewarding. Forcing ourselves beyond our comfort zone is crucial for the future of our clubs. You can shout the wonderfulness of social networking until you are blue in the face and you will never convince me that any electronic device will ever replace a kind smile, engaging conversation, and a parting hug or sincere handshake. additional words by Joanne Hiratsuka-Petersen Rhonda, thanks for writing your review of the event -- and a special THANK YOU for your excellent fund-raising efforts! Another special THANK YOU to Austin and Daisy for their contributions from their photos. Everyone loved having their photo taken with Daisy, and we benefited. We are very lucky to have such dedicated, creative, and smart members. The displays were awesome -- Pete, Scott A., Tony and Gil brought huge cages and big snakes, tortoises, and reptiles too! It's no wonder we had so many people in our area, even though we were in a separate building from the main fair vendors. On the other hand, being in that separate building gave us a lot of room for displays, and BAARS members stepped up to the plate! I have to say that I was very impressed with the time and effort everyone put into the County Fair, and I was also very impressed with the attendance and opportunities to further interact with new potential reptile keepers! I definitely plan to attend next year again, and hopefully for more hours than I was able to do this time around.

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BAARS as an Educational Organization by Scott Alexander I'm a little surprised that some of us might just view BAARS as a social club. This is a very simplistic and dismissive assessment, which isn't correct and ignores some of the primary reasons for BAARS' existence. Have we forgotten that BAARS is primarily an educational organization? Is it so easy to dismiss the numerous educational programs that BAARS had done over the years? So many people who take a new appreciation of habitat conservation, by actually touching a snake or a lizard. I guess some of us have moved away from sharing our animals with the public, but please, don't forget about those of us that do. We have done much to educate the public about the need for habitat conservation and habitat preservation. We not only to educate the public, but also hobbyists. The care and proper husbandry of reptiles has been the focus of numerous meetings and newsletter articles over the years. Our most advanced and successful members often share their knowledge about critical success factors of breeding. We have had breeders of bearded dragons, king snakes, pythons, boas, and others speak at our general meetings. We have had Bob Applegate speak on breeding colubrids, Adam Britton speak on Crocodilians, and other distinguished speakers over the years. There are many healthier and happier reptiles around because of BAARS. BAARS has nurtured and supported the formative years of some herpetologists. Richard A. Ross, MD, was an early member of BAARS. Dr. Ross wrote the "The Reproductive Husbandry of Pythons and Boas", and later went on to help found the International Herpetological Symposium. James W Hatfield, who wrote "Green Iguana: The Ultimate Iguanas Owner's Manual", also was a BAARS member years ago. James Liu, who is studying to be a veterinarian and is the past collections manager for the Behler Chelonian Center, grew up with BAARS. Dr. Beth Dawson, a professor at San Jose State and University of Texas at Austin, was a staunch BAARS member and supporter. I'm sure that there are many other noted BAARS alumni thatI'm neglecting to mention. Let's also not forget about the numerous herps that BAARS (and BAARS members) have helped rescue over the years. BAARS has successfully been helping facilitate the adoption of reptiles and amphibians for decades. As we know, most animal shelters don't take in reptiles or amphibians, so let's also recognize that this is a useful service which has been supported by BAARS and BAARS members for many years now. BAARS has the newsletter, educational events, and the general meetings (with informative guest speakers). These three activities have effectively served as a useful purpose in educating the public about reptiles and amphibians for over 35 years now, longer than many of us have been alive. With the boards help and focus, I'm hopeful that BAARS will be able to be around for another 35 years. For these reasons, I believe it's rather simplistic and dismissive to just characterize BAARS as a "Social Club". Sincerely, Scott Alexander

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BAARS Board Report Highlights from August 6, 2013 Board Meeting Meeting highlights: ● Considering the success of this year’s County Fair, let’s plan for next year’s being a major fundraising and publicity event for BAARS and engage as many BAARS members as possible. ● Silkworms, a great nutritional resource, are available from Coastal Silkworms and Mulberry Farms. ● Dorothy donated 20 dollars to have Gabi recreate our first piece of t-shirt art for use on Cafepress. (Editor’s Note: The work has been completed, the compensation enthusiastically received, the images look great, and The Editor will update the Cafepress store in the coming weeks.) ● Survey results were discussed and changes approved. (See report below for details.)

Our social media policy has been updated as follows and posted: ● Allowed: Social posts, FREE adoptions/rescue offers, free services. ● There is not selling of merchandise, animals, or services; and absolutely no soliciting donations or asking for money. ● All posts need to be kept on topic of ectothermic animals and pets. ● Violating posts will be removed. ● Violators will be reminded of our policy. ● Repeat or serious violators will be banned. Next Board Meeting: Friday, September 6, at 7 pm at Joanne and Scott Petersen’s house in Sunnyvale. Contact Joanne Petersen,, if you need directions.

Survey Results and Meeting Time Changes for 2014 The Board received 12 responses to the survey. Thank you! Percentage-wise, this is a reasonable return rate, though we were hoping for more input. The board is assuming that non-respondents do not have a strong opinion in the matter of our General Meeting time, location, and day of week. The one thing most respondents agreed on was a desire for an earlier meeting time. As a result, the board decided to keep the meeting day and location the same, but move to an earlier time starting in January of 2014 (if we can get our room rental times adjusted): Doors open 7 p.m. / President starts meeting at 7:15 p.m. / 7:45 Speaker starts / Social time ~ 9 - 10 pm. We believe this will make it easier for families to attend and enjoy our speakers, and the social time at the end allows for flexible planning. We will also continue to schedule additional and social events on other days and times for greater variety. For example, our Annual Picnic will be on Saturday over lunch, and our Holiday Party will again be on a Saturday in the late afternoon. Sadly, it is impossible to make our meeting times, days, and locations perfect for everyone, but we are hoping that with these changes, more members will be able to attend our General Meeting and club events.

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Treasurerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Report by Scott Petersen This report covers the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fiscal activities for July 2013. The month of July showed a $42.47 negative cash flow. The negative cash flow for this month can be easily explained. Rather than waiting until August to cut the stipend check for the August general meeting speaker, we cut both the July and August speaker stipends in July to save time. If we had deferred the second stipend check until August, we actually would have had a positive cash flow for July. One good piece of news, effective immediately, the Cubberley Community Center has lowered our monthly general meeting room rent by 17% for the next fiscal year (August 2013 through July 2014). Given that our meeting room rent is our largest expense, this will definitely help. Expenses for the month included our general meeting room rental, July & August speaker stipend, and June & July hardcopy newsletter printing and postage costs. Income for July came membership renewals, a stipend from PAMP (Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Association for participating in their College Terrace Library event, the general meeting food donation jar, and the Sulphur Creek and College Terrace events donation jar. A big thanks goes out to Gary and Ginger for hosting the food at our July general meeting (mmmmm cookies...) Total assets for the club also were $3,357.67 as of the end of July. Posting Date: Expenses Income: Cash flow:

___YTD $1678.64 $1300.28 -$378.36

5/31/2013 6/31/2013 7/30/2013 $128.00 $155.00 $229.00 $304.98 $85.00 $186.00 $176.78 -$70.00 -$42.47

See your herp in the newsletter! Submit a paragraph (or two) and good-quality photograph, drawing, or comic of your animal to the newsletter editor at

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Herp of the Month August General Meeting: Turtles and Tortoises When you bring an animal, make sure: ● It is in a suitable and secure container. ● Your animal is healthy and energetic. ● It is not aggressive or very shy. ● Supply heat, moist towels, or water if needed. ● If you want to present (2 minutes), be prepared; practice ahead of time what you would like to share ● Think of something unusual about your animal; be ready to answer questions from the audience.

September: Pythons & Boids October: Creepy Crawlies (Arachnids, Insects)

In the News

submitted by Peter Moravcsik

This new species was described on the Russian Journal of Herpetology, vol. 20, No. 2 2013, based on the comparative evidence of morphology and bone structure with other species of snakes recorded in Vietnam and China. The specimens of the new species were collected in Cao Bang, Lang Son and Vinh Phuc, at an altitude of 800m to 1.800m. The new species is named Azemiops kharini, after Russian zoologist Vladimir Kharin.This species is the second silver viper species of the Azemiops family and it is the 60th poisonous snake species out of more than 210 species of snakes recorded in Vietnam. More:

Komodo Dragon at SF Zoo

submitted by Pete Marshall There will be a Komodo Dragon at the SF Zoo!

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Sulphur Creek Reptile Rally by Pete Marshall The Sulphur Creek Reptile Rally was held on July 27. The day started out kind of overcast, but the sun quickly came out and warmed up the day--just right for having a reptile show in the park. The show was attended by myself, Tony (without Rhonda, because she had to work). Ginger and Gary came with a really big tortoise in to--or was it the other way around? May I say, for the first time this year, they arrived on time--good for them. Gil and Dorothy came to round out our display of tortoises. They had a nice setup, and all those that stopped by really enjoyed talking with them about the animals they had with them. Peter came with his amazing collection of native herps. His collection of alligator lizards is truly something to see. Joanne and Scott brought Tegus and more. It is always good to have them at the show with us. Eric came out with his awesome Blue Beauty snakes; and some beautiful California King snake. His King is so black, and the white is so white, which makes for one awesome King snake. It almost looks like a 50/50 Cal king, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not. Sulphur Creek set up a table to show off some of what it has to offer. Also, they provided free face painting, which was a nice touch. I saw a lot of kids with reptiles on their faces. Very cute!

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In all, the show went very well. Over 1000 people came out to see us this year. And I think all had a good time doing what we do best, and that’s offer snakes and lizards to play with. Also, to add to the fun, Sulphur Creek gave us sheets of stickers that read, “I touched a snake today.” I got to give out a few. One couple came up to me, and the husband had to take his wife’s hand and put it on a snake. She just could not do it. After he did that, she admitted that it was not that bad after all, and I had to give her an “ I touched a snake today” sticker. This is a good time to add that if you have not come and worked a reptile show in the name of BAARS, it is something you really need to try. It’s a great way to help the club and meet new people. And best of all, help someone get over their fear and get them to earn a “I touched a snake today” sticker. In closing, I want to thank all the members that came out to help me put on another great reptile rally at Sulphur Creek.

Advertising in Behind BAARS: Advertising Policies BAARS assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY regarding the health or legality of any animal, or the quality or legality of any product or service advertised in the BAARS Newsletter. Any ad may be rejected at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor; complimentary advertisements are run as space permits. Classified Ads All BAARS members in good standing are allowed one classified ad, run free of charge as space permits. Ads may be run three (3) consecutive months, after which time they may be resubmitted. All advertisements should be submitted electronically to Payments by check (payable to: Bay Area Amphibian and Reptile Society) must be submitted to: BAARS, Palo Alto Junior Museum, 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301 Once payment has been processed, the ad will be posted. Advertising Costs Business Card Sized $5/month or $40/year 1/4 Page $10/month or $80/year 1/2 Page $20/month or $160/year To advertise on our website, please, contact

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Editor’s Shelf

Submit Photos, Notes, and Articles! Do you have an update on BAARS or herp-related activities? Did you: ● attend a show and enjoy it? ● read a cool book, article, or website? ● write a herp-related paper, report, short-story, or essay? ● take pictures that you would like to share? ● adopt or purchase a new pet, have a great experience with a veterinarian or a store? ● go on a field trip or hike? read a book on herps? ● draw a comic or a picture? ● have success breeding your animals? figure out how to get an animal to eat? ● build a cage? create a setup? rearrange your pond? solve a setup problem? Submit your newsletter contributions to Your submission does not have to be perfect! Please do not submit materials for which you do not have the copyright or permissions.

BAARS Membership Discounts (show membership card) ● East Bay Vivarium, Berkeley - 10% ● Dr. R. Singh, Veterinarian, Sunnyvale - 10%

BAARS Merchandise Store @

We are looking for original designs to publish on Cafepress items. Also, let us know if there is a particular item or gift you would like added to the store for sale. Contact

Newsletter Exchange - More News for YOU! BAARS exchanges Newsletters with a number of other clubs. Check out the folder of recent newsletters at the General Meeting, or contact the Newsletter Editor.

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BAARS 2013 Board Members



President - Vacant

Newsletter Editor & Publisher Aleks Haecky

Immediate Past and Interim President -Scott Alexander 408-823-3675 Vice President-Eric Koessel 510-847-4392

Librarian- Tony Velez 831-442-3100 Show Coordinator-Joanne Petersen

Membership Secretary-Kyna Hendra 408-204-5131

Publicity Director- Vacant

Recording Secretary-Vacant

Adoptions Coordinator-Austin Pleban

Treasurer-Scott Petersen

MEMBERS-AT-LARGE Gilbert Castro 408-582-4247 Jim Goehring 408-252-0338 Gisele Tania Tengan 408-499-5867 Aria Pleban Diana H.

Webmaster-Wolfgang Keil

NEWSLETTER DUE DATES March newsletter submission deadline: March 8, 2013 (second Friday) April newsletter submission deadline: April 12, 2013 (second Friday) Thank you Joanne Petersen for proofreading. Send all submissions to: or the board mailing list Accepted Content: We love herp-related original articles, trip and show reports, stories about your animals, and original photographs and drawings. You retain all rights but grant us permission to use, edit, and publish in the newsletter and on our website with attribution. Accepted Formats: The newsletter editor can open almost anything. Plain text in an email is great. Attach images to email or provide URL.

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Membership Application __New Membership __Renewal Membership __Change of Address Individual/Family: __1 Year ($25) __2 Years ($50) __3 Years ($75) __4 Years ($100) Special: __Sustaining ($35)

__Contributing ($50)

__Patron ($100) __Institutional ($20)

__Check to have your special gift mentioned in the newsletter


EMAIL: ______________________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip:___________________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________________________ What reptiles/amphibians do you own?__________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ What other herps do you have experience with?____________________________________ How did you learn about BAARS:_______________________________________________

Are you interested in: __Learning about something in particular __Field herping __Photography __Participating in shows __Participating in educational events BAARS Membership Secretary c/o Palo Alto Junior Museum 1451 Middlefield Road Palo Alto CA 94301-3351

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BAARS August 2013  

BAARS as an Educational Organization Santa Clara County Fair Sulphur Creek Reptile Rally