Page 1


Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

VOL. 16 NO. 12

Lepidochelys olivacea

Illustration from "The Turtles of Venezuela" by Pritchard and Trebbau

(for more on Ridleys see article on page 5)

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Newsletter Volume 16 Number 12 December 1996

Contents News, Notes & Announcements................................................................................. General Meeting Review by Michelle Stephan........................ ........................ ........... Ecoviews: Albino Animals Come in Many Colors by Whit Gibbons......................... Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle by USFWS & NMFS......................................................... MRS Business...... .................. ................. ........... ........... ........... .................. ...... ........... Calendar of Events....... ....... ......... ...... .......................... ..... ...... ........... ....... ...... ..... ....... Classified Advertisements. ........ ....... ........... ........... ........ ....... .... ..... ...... ....... ........... ....

The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a nonprofit organization associated with the:

James Ford Bell Museum of Natural Histon} University of Minnesota

3 4

5 7 7


MHS VOICE MAIL: (612) 624-7065 E-mail:

President: Gloria Anton

(612) 420-6158

Vice President: Michael Gaunt

MRS Statement of Purpose: to further the education of the membership and the general public in care and captive propagation of


(612) 754-8241


George Richard

(612) 623-7620

reptiles and amphibians; to educate the membership and the general

public in the ecological role of reptiles and amphibians; and to



promote the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

MHS Board of Directors President

Gloria Anton

Vice President


Michael Gaun t George Richard Michelle Stephan Marilyn Blasus John Levell

Immediate Past President

Bill Moss

Member at Large Member at Large

Donna Gaunt Nancy Haig

Member at Large Member at Large

Mark Schmidtke Barbara Radanke

Membership Secretary Recording Secretary


Education Chair: Sean Hewitt (612) 935-5845 Adoption Chair: Glen Jacobsen (612) 757-8268

Editor: John P. Levell (612) 374-5422 Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter is published monthly by the Minnesota Herpetological Society. Manuscripts and advertisements

may be submitted in any format, 3 112 inch IBM or Macintosh compatible disks preferred. The publication deadline for ads is always the weekend of the MRS general meeting. Submissions should be sent to: l\1HS Editor,

SNAKEBITE EMERGENCY Hennepin Co. Regional Poison Center

(612) 347-3141 Minnesota Poison Control System Local: (612) 221-2113 Out of State: (800) 222-1222

do The Bell Museum of Natura1History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104. Š Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society 1996. Contents may be reproduced provided that all material is reproduced without change and proper credit is given authors and the MRS Newsletter citing; volume, number, and date.

MRS Newsletter Volume 16Number 12

News, Notes & Announcements Upco!Jling l\1eeting Highlights

Hungarian Man Takes Home Ton of Turtles -1,010 to Be Exact

Tlie Vtce-Pi'esident's Report

By Michael D. Gaunt

KAPOSV AR, HUNGARY - Talk about taking borne a stray: Last week a Kaposvar resident took in a thousand homeless turtles. "One thousand and 10, to be exact, weighing one and a half tons tolai," said Tibor Pesci, a former veterinary student. The turtles landed in Pesci's lap after Hungarian officials inspected a Macedonian truck at the Tompa border crossing Nov. 15. Inside were tbe Tesfudo hermanni turtles, which are native to the Balkans. The endangered species of turtles were confiscated and handed over to the Environment Ministry, which tried vainly to find a home for them in several zoos. In desperation, the ministry turned to Pesci. More tban five years ago, he opened Hungary's first Private reptile house. The new batch of turtles are now wall-to-wall in Pesci's attic and basement. "So far, so good," Pesci said. "They sleep from mid-October to late March. They require neither food nor drink, and thus no cleaning, just a steady 50 degrees (Fahrenheit). "But I don't look forward to their waking. They wiII require 1,100 pounds of greens and fruit a day."

December Program: Deformed Frogs Guest Speaker: Dr. David Hoppe A special thanks goes out this month to John Murpby for bis December presentations. I'm looking forward to a very interesting book to be out in ... April? Our January speaker is Dr. David Hoppe from the University of Minnesota at Morris, where he is a Professor of Biology. He is currently teaching genetics, vertebrate zoology, wildlife biology and herpetology. Dr. Hoppe has been studying ampbibians for many years, and did his PbD. work on Western Chorus Frogs, Pseudacris friseriafa, in themounlains of Colorado. Other than his deformed frog research, he has also done work with color and pattern polymorpbism in frogs. In his presentation, Dr. Hoppe will review some of the older reports of defonned frogs and the history of the current situation. He will also discuss some ofthe results from this past summer's field work, geographic distributions of the deformities, the type of deformities that have been found, and which species of frogs seem to be most affected by the deformities. I hope everyone wiII brave the cold to come to the January meeting, it sbould be very interesting. Don't forge~ we need to get those awesome photos in to be judged, so bring tbem to the January meeting. MDG

Editor's Note: The preceding article, attributed to the Asso路 ciated Press, has been reprinted from the Dec. 5, 1996 edition of the Mpls Starlfribune. JPL

MOA- A Cold Blooded Dive! Once again, it is time to thank all of the people that have helped with Hands-On or public education events in the past few months. Although it has been a little slow for us tbese past few months (most stores do not want reptiles around during the holiday season), we participated in a great event at Underwater World at the Mall of America recently. This was great publicity for the Society as wellasagood chance to reach many people to educate tbem about our cold blooded friends. This event was during MEA weekend, so many people were at the Mall wandering through the various stores. Those who took this chance to see Underwater World also saw us at the end of their aquatic experience. Since most of the people who were going through the exhibit liked wildlife, our presence was a HUGE hit! (I do mean HUGE!) Thank you to all that attended. I hope all had fun (man and beast)-We have been invited tbere again next year! F.Y.I.--Herp Society members have put in over 1000 hours!!!!! of Hands路 On/public education time this year in

Location: Room 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M. Date and Time: January 3, 1997 (see map inside back cover)

December's Raffle Donors Twin Cities Reptiles UnderWater World Tropical Concepts

Monitor Sausage Earrings. Hats, Complimentary Tickets, Sweat Shirt Reptiles Magazine

A portion of the proceeds from the monthly MHS raffle sales are allocated to the MRS Conservation Fund. Due in large part to the exceptional merchandisedonated and to the avid participation of MHS members, 1996 has been the best raffle year ever. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who donated items and/or purcbased raffle tickets.


MRS Newsletter Volwne 16 Number 12

M.H.S. Photo Contest

24 different events. Last year, we participated in 16 events with over 500 hours of membership participation. Few societies have as much consistent participation from their membership. For all that contributed, THANK YOU! You have donea great job this year. Herpfully, we can maintain this high level of participation in the years to come. Thank you to all for the help and the fun. Sean Hewitt

Now is the time to start taking pictures. If you have already taken a few, then it's time to sort through them looking for that perfect photo. This contest is scheduled to take place in the month of February during the annual "White Snake Sale." Prizes for first, second and third place in each category and a ''People's Choice" will be awarded.

Proposed Changes to the Bylaws and Membership Categories of the Minnesota Herpetological Society Ratified By Majority Vote at the December General Meeting.

Here are the Rules: 1. Prints may be entered by any current MHS memo ber. 2. A contestant may enter up to five prints. 3. All entries must be turued in at or before the January meeting or postmarked by December 31, 1996. 4. Entries will be returned if accompanied by a selfaddressed stamped envelope. Entries may also be picked up at the February meeting. 5. Prints may be 411 x 6", 5" x T' or 8 x 1011. They should be mounted on cardboard or mat board that is atleastS" x 10", butno larger then 11" x 14". Framed prints are discouraged. 6. The entrants name, address, and category needs to be on the back of every print mat. DoNotplacenames on the front of prints.

The proposed changes to the membership definitions of Article II, Section 2.02 of the Minnesota Herpetological Society's Constitution and the new COlfunercialMembership categories and annual dues were accepted by majority vote at the December 6, 1996 general meeting of the MHS. The revised edition of Article II, Section 2.02 and the new Corresponding Membership categories appear below:


ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP Section 2.02 Active and Corresponding Members

The Three Categories Are:

Active members shall be individuals who subscribe to the objectives and adhere to the policies of this organization. Corresponding members shall be corporations or organizations that subscribe to the objectives and adhere to the policies of this organization. (Amended Dec. 6, 1996)

1. Herps in a Natural Setting 2. Herps with People. 3. Herp Miscellaneous (Le. Captive setting or other creative format).

New Corresponding Membership Categories (Established Dec. 6, 1996)

ALLENTRIES are eligible for the People' s Choice Award! This is voted on by the membership in attendance at the February meeting. Prizes to be awarded to winners will include various gift certificates and MHS Bucks. Marilyn Blasus.

Membership Type Annual Dues $0.00 Non·Commercial (Exchange, Museums, etc.) Basic Commercial $25.00 (Standard Business Card Ad) Bronze Commercial $50.00 (Business Card + two 1/4 page ads or equivalent) Silver Commercial $75.00 (Business Card + two 112 page ads or equivalent) $100.00 Gold Commercial (Business Card + two Full page ads or equivalent)


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December "Critter of the Month" ANIMALS OF WALTON'S HOLLOW Exotic & Farm Animals

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Virginia Larson


Burmese Python (albino) Python molurus Com Snake (juveniles) E/ap/ze gut/ata Rare Variety of Barking Treefrog Ryla jinglebe/lensis

MHS Newsletter Volume 16 Number 12

General Meeting Review By Michelle Stephan, Recording Secretary

John C. Murphy

cold blooded animal does not have a very efficient circulatory system or fast metabolism and if snakes were as large as some have suggested, the heart would have a difficult time supplying oxygen rich blood throughout the body. So with all ofthis data suggesting that there could not be "Super Snakes" roaming the rain forests of Brazil, why were there so mauy witnesses that claim to have seen these huge animals? "Because they did see a very large Anaconda or Python" states Murphy, "but they estimated the size by looking at it. " At one time or another we have alllookedat a snake and estimated its length only to fmd out by measuring that the anirual is really much smaller thau originally thought. That is what happens with these large, thick-bodied snakes. It is an optical illusion. (I have experienced this when comparing a Com Snake to a Carpet Python. Both were close to the same length, but the python looked a lot larger. In truth, he was just heavier, not longer). An extremely large amount of folkIore surrounds large snakes as well. There are stories of people making bets on how large of au auirual one of these giaut snakes could consume. Unfortunately, the record was au exceedingly large pig that had to be force fed to au Aauaconda with the belp of 12 ormorepeople. This absurdattemp~ which actually killed the snake, occurred because of some greedy bet that involved a tremendous amount of money to witness such a feat. Murphy entertained us with mauymore bizarre, funny, and amusing auecdotes telling of maus encounters with these gian~ yet not "Super" snakes. Thank you for the great talk Friday as well as the wonderful program on Saturday. It will be interesting looking through John Murphy's forthcoming book to fmd out more interesting stories aud myths about the "Super Snakes."

This month's speaker was a little different from what I had originally expected, I had not received my newsletter before the meeting and I had not talked to Michael Gaunt until right before the speaker started his presentation. So, after hearing John Murphy's introduction, I fully expected a talk on the natural habitat and behaviors of the four largest snakes in the world: the Anaconda, Eunectesmurinus, Reticulated Python, Python reticularus, African Rock Python, Python sebae, aud the Indiau aud Burmese Pythons, Python molurlls. Although Mr. Murphy did tell the audience some of that information, he mostly spoke ofthe many myths aud legends that surround such large snakes. One ofthe first topics he spoke about was the record lengths reported for these gigautic (over 6m) animals and how accurate these measurements probably are. The average accepted length for a Reticulated Python, for instauce, is 18 feet. One person reported finding one that was 37 feet long, however, quite a bit larger thau tbe average size for that species. While it is nonnal for some individuals to be much larger thau the average representative of the species, as cau even be seen in the humau race, could it be possible for a "Retic" to reach 37 feet in length? According to Murphy the answer is probably yes, but only under exceptional circumstauces. The 37 foot auirual in question, for example, was a zoo raised snakewhich was fed regularly, maybe even excessively, while in captivity and it does not reflect the average size attained by Retics in the wild. Some of the other record lengths were recorded by measuring tanned hides or shed skins which is not the most accurate way to measure snakes because dried skins can stretch by possibly as much as 25%. But what about estimates of snake sizes being near 80 feet, Murphy questions? Is it possible for a snake to be that large, or any land auimal for that matter? Allover the world, in almost every geographical location where the "big four" occu,r there have been stories of "Super Snakes" that were reportedly 50 feet ormore in length. There have even been drawings of auiruals such as these, some even drawn in the Middle Ages, and photographs have been taken of reputedly gigantic animals even in our time. All of these people were sure they had seen, 'The longest snake in the world." But did they? Murphy doubts it. There would be very few hiding places for auy laud animal over 80 feet long, even a secretive, shy snake. There would also be very little food of the appropriate size for au animal so large. In addition, there would be a large problem with the auimal's circulation. A


ERIC THISS (612) 470-5008 FAX (612) 470-5013 464

Second Street. excelsior, MN 55331 ~


MHS Newsletter Volume 16 Number 12

ECOVIEWS By Whit Gibbons "ALBINO ANIMALS COME IN MANY COLORS" A kingsnake with red, yellow, and orange bands encircling the body; a solid white eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Which one is the albino? The kingsnake is; the diamondback is not. The book "Reptile and Amphibian Variants: Colors, Patterns, and Scales" (Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Fla.) by H. Bernard Bechtel explains why. More than two hundred magnificent photographs, including snakes, frogs, and salamanders, might be expected in a book about the causes of color variation. Many snakes have startling color patterns naturally. Add to these the genetic anomalies tbat result because black, yellow, or red pigments have been altered, and some weird looking animals appear. Some noteworthy biological messages also emerge. The photographs of copperheads make several special points. Most people are at least familiar with the name of this venomous snake, which characteristically has a tan to copper-colored head and a series of saddle-shaped crossbands down the body. Dark brown bands contrast against a lighter brown, coppery body. Coiled in the dead leaves of autumn, a copperhead blends in perfectly, virtually invisible to the untrained observer. Among the photographs of this master of camouflage are ones with rare, genetically caused pigment properties that make them distinctive. One has stripes instead of bands. One is solid black, and another is tan with no markings. The albino copperhead is not white but has an orange body with reddish crossbands. Wby isn't it white? As explained in the book, true albinism in any animal is caused by a genetic condition that disrupts the metabolism of melanin, the black or brown pigments of animals. Melanophores are cells in the skin that manufacture melanin. If no melanin is produced by an animal's body, dark coloration will not be expressed. For most mammals, including humans, albinism results in a solid white skin and bair. An exception is the eyes. Lacking pigment in the iris, an albino's eyes look pink because tiny blood vessels in the eye are visible. Many species of snakes and other animals normally have red and yellow pigments, as well as black and brown. So, in an albino scarlet king snake or copperhead, only the dark cells disappear. The reds and yellows remain, sometimes being expressed more dramatically when dark pigments are not present. Nonetheless, solid white rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and alligators are known to exist. But these are not albinos. Instead they lack all pigment cells---except, for some reason unknown tome, theeyesmay be blue or black. This spectacular


and extremely rare condition, known by the unfamiliar term "Ieucism," can occur in any reptile or amphibian. Only one leucistic eastern diamondback, discovered in Florida by a road crew, has ever been found. The white alligators of the Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans are leucistic, being taken from a single clutch in Louisiana. Melanism is a condition that gives an animal an appearance the opposite of albinism or leucism. That is, the color pattern is totally black. Melanistic salamanders, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other snakes have been reported. The book is full of intriguing photographs of other color aberrations among reptiles and amphibians. A bullfrog that looks blue. A calico-patterned eastern garter snake, which normally has a black body and yellow stripes. A green Burmese python, a species that is characteristically brown and black. Albinos are known in many animal species, including gorillas, goldfish, and sharks. I once discovered an albino robin flying with a normal flock in a Michigan orchard. Even albino plants exis~ but they are even rarer than albino animals. Such plants lack chlorophyll, the pigment that makes them green and is essential for a plant to grow and stay healthy. Once plants have used up the food stored in the seed, most cannot live without chlorophyll. A neighbor once gave me an albino buckeye tree that lived for three weeks as a little white plant. Perhap~ the most important message of the many to be learned from color abnormalities is that genetic potential for extreme variability exists in nature. Hidden in the genes of any plant or animal on earth may be a phenomenon that could alter the course of medicine or agriculture, or produce yet another creature the likes of which we have never seen. Editor's Note: Dr. J. Whitfield Gibbons is professor of ecology at the University of Georgia and is the division head at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. In addition to his numerous articles in scientific journals, Whit is probably best known for his many books including; Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians and The Life History and Ecology of the Slider Turtle among others. Dr. Gibbons also writes a weekly ecology column for various newspapers (including the . New York Times) and he has kindly provided the preceding article for publication in the MHS Newsletter. Other short stories on ecology by Whit Gibbons may be found in another of his books, Keepingall tbePieces, a title which is amustread for everyone interested in natural history. JPL

MHS Newsletter Volume 16 Number 12

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles A Report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service The Kemp's Ridley was listed as endangered throughout its range on December 2, 1970, and its status has remained unchanged. The Kemp's Ridleys population has declined since 1947 when an estimated 42,000 females nested in one day to a current nesting population of approximately 500. Since 1978 the number of nests have declined at a rate of approximately 14 nests per year. Numbers continue to decline despite protection of the Kemp's Ridley primary nesting beach. The decline ofthis species was primarily due to human activities including collection of eggs, fishing for juveniles and adults, killing adults for meat and other products, and direct take for indigenous use. In addition to these sources of mortality, Kemp's Ridleys have been subject to high levels of incidental take by shrimp trawlers which is believed to have adversely affected recovery. Biology: The Kemp's Ridley and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are the smallest of all extant sea turtles, with the weight of an adult generally being less than 45 kg and the straight carapace length around 65 cm. AdultKemp's Ridleys' shells are almost as wide as long. Coloration changes significantly during development from the grey-black carapace and plastron of hatchlings to the lighter grey-olive carapace and cream-white or yellowish plastron of adults. There are two pairs of prefrontal scales on the head, five vertebral scutes, five pairs of coastal scutes and generally twelve pairs of marginals. on the carapace. In each bridge adjoining the plastron to the carapace, there are four scutes, each of which is perforated by a pore. This is the external opening of Rathke's gland which secretes a substance of unknown (possibly a pheromone) function. Males resemble the females in size and coloration. Secondary sexual characteristics of male sea turtles include a longer tail, more distal vent, recurved claws and, during breeding, a softened mid-plastron. Eggs are 34-45 mm in diameter and 2440 g in weight. Hatchlings range from 42-48 mm in straight line carapace length, 32-44 mm in width and 15-20 g in weight. Neonatal Kemp's Ridleys feed on the available sargassum and associated infauna or other epipelagic species found in the Gulf of Mexico. In post-pelagic stages, the Ridley is largely a crab-eater, with a preference for portunid crabs. Age at sexual maturity is not known, but is believed to be approximately 11-12 years, although other estimates of age at maturity range as high as 35 years. Distribution: The major nesting beach for Kemp's Ridleys is on the northeastern coast of Mexico. This location is near Rancho Nuevo in southern Tamaulipas. The species occurs mainly in coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Adults of this species are usually confined to the Gulf of Mexico, although adult-sized individuals are sometimes found on the eastern seaboard of the United States.


Human Impacts on Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles

n Impacts in the Nesting Environment Threats to the nesting beach in Mexico are presently few, but potential serious. Human population growth and increasing developmental pressure will result in increased threats to the nesting beach. Only the central part of the prime nesting area is protected by Mexican presidential decree. A primary concern is human encroachment and access along the entire nesting area. However, the wording of the Mexican decree is vague and construction of commercial fishing facilities proceeded in 1987lmmediately adjacent to the main turtle camp at Rancho Nuevo. Occasionally plans for massive expansion of La Pesca (just to the north of the nesting area) as a fishing center or dredging of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway from Brownsville, Texas to Barra del Toro (in the south part of the nesting beach) are reported. These plans are alarming because of the assuredly detrimental and possibly disastrous effects that they could have on the nesting population if they were to be completed. A threat resulting from the management practices at Rancho Nuevo is relocating all the nests in one corral to prevent poaching and predation. This concentration makes the eggs more susceptible to reduced viability from themanipulation, disease vectors and inundation. IT) Impacts in the Marine Environment

1. It is estimated that before the Implementation of TEDs, the commercial shrimp fleet killed 500-5000 Kemp's Rid leys each year. Besides shrimp trawls, Kemp's Ridleys have been taken in pound nets, trawls, gill nets, hook and line, crab traps, and longlines. Commercial fishing camps are established along the nesting beach at Rancho Nuevo. While the fishing is of a nature not likely to have severe Impacts on turtles, (small boats, small-mesh gill nets) acci dental take of reproductively active adults cannot be ruled out and the proximity of the fishing facilities increases the likelihood of take. More importantly, there has been no atsea enforcement of the fishing ban during the nesting season. Some trawling by Mexican and illegal U.S. vessels regularly occurs each season within and adjacent to the protected zone. 2. The Gulf of Mexico is an area of high density offshore oil extraction with chronic lOW-level spills and occasional massive spills. The two primary feeding grounds for adult Kemp's Ridley turtles in the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico are both near major areas of near shore and offshore oil exploration and production. The nesting beach at Rancho Nuevo is also vulnerable and has been affected by oil spills.

MHS Newsletter Volume 16 Number 12 3. The vast amount of floating debris in the Gulf of Mexico constitutes an increasingly serious threat to Kemp's Ridley Turtles of all ages. Plastics, monofilament, discarded net ting and many other waste items are either eaten by Kemp's Ridleys or become death traps when the turtles become entangled. Ingestion of plastic, rubber, fishing line and hooks, tar, cellophane, rope and string, wax, styrofoam, charcoal, aluminum cans and cigarette filters has occurred in sea turtles. NMFS is currently analyzing stranding data and available necropsy information to determine the magni tude of debris ingestion and entanglement.

focuses on known sea turtle developmental habitats. Kemp's Ridleys are tracked with radio and sonic transmitters to determine their temporal and spacial utilization of these areas. • Analyses of sea turtle strandings have been conducted to monitor the level of strandings and possible causes of mortality.


4. Dredging operations affect Kemp's Ridley Turtles through incidental take and by degrading the habitat. Incidental take of Ridleys has been documented with hopper dredges. In addition to direct take, channelization of the inshore and nearshore areas can degrade foraging and migratory habitat through spoil dumping, degraded water qUality/clarity and altered current flow.

Recovery Actions The Major Points Outlined in the Recovery Plan Are:

* • •

* •

* * *

* * * *


Encourage Mexico to expand and codify the Kemp's Ridley Natural Reserve at Rancho Nuevo. Redefme and codify regulations for better reserve protec tion. Encourage Mexico to restrict development that may de grade the nesting habitat. Identify important marine habitat. Protect nesting females at Rancho Nuevo. Protect nests and increase hatchling protection at Rancho * Nuevo. Monitor population trends at Rancho Nuevo. Determine juvenile and sub-adult nearshore habitat use. Detennine migration routes and foraging areas of adults. Enforce and expand TED regulations. Enforce the trawling prohibitions near Rancho Nuevo. Promote TED use in Mexico. NMFS has made a major effort to reduce Kemp's Ridley mortality in shrimp trawl fisheries by implementing regula tions requiring the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDS). In addition, NMFS has provided technical assistance to the Government of Mexico on Ted utilization. Projects are being conducted to determine species composition, relative abundance, and seasonal distribu tion in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters. A continuing project to determine distribution and species composition is being carried out in the Cedar Key area of Rorida's west coast. Historically, this area supported large numbers of Kemp's Ridleys.

• NMFS laboratories are collecting research on sea turtle habitat utilization in the Gulf of Mexico. The project


Physiological research has been conducted on the effects of forced submergence on Kemp's Ridleys.

Recovery Goals Because of Kemp's Ridleys' aggregated nesting behavior, restricted breeding range, and increasing threats from the expanding global human population and general environmental degradation, complete recovery (delisting) may not be achievable. Since the principal nesting beach is in Mexico, continued, long-term cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico is necessary to recover the species. The goal of this recovery plan is to upgrade the species from endangered to threatened status. Criteria for delisting will be addressed in future revisions of the recovery plan.

Criteria for Upgrading the Status are as Follows: 1. Continue complete and active protection of the known nesting habitat, and the waters adjacent to the nesting beach (concentrating on the Rancho Nuevo area) and continue the bi-national protection project. 2. Eliminate mortality from incidental catch in commercial shrimping in theUnited States and Mexico through use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) and achieve full compliance with the regulations requiring TED use. 3. Attain a population of at least 10,000 nesting females per year. 4. Successfully implement all priority 1 recovery tasks.

The Major Actions Necessary for Recovery are to: 1. Assist Mexico to ensure long-term protection of the

major nesting beach and its environs, including the protection of adult breeding stock and enhanced produc tion/survival of hatching turtles. 2. Continue TED regulation enforcement in U.S. waters, expanding the areas and seasonality of required TED use to reflect the distribution of the species. Encourage and assist Mexico to incorporate TEDs in their Gulf of Mexico shrimp fleet. 3. Fill in gaps in knowledge of Kemp's Ridley life history that will result in better management decisions. In order to minimize threats and maximize recruitment we should: determine distribution and habitat use for all life stages, detennine critical mating/reproductive behaviors and physiology, determine survivorship and recruitment.

MRS NewsletterVolume 16 Number 12

M.H.S.Business December Board Meeting Highlights

November 1996 Treasurer's Report

By Michelle Hewitt, Recording Secretan}

Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus

The MHS Board of Directors beld an abbreviated meeting following the December 6, 1996 general meeting at BorJaug Hall at the U of M in St. Paul. A quorum was present. The board took the following action: The budget for 1997 was presented, voted on and approved. 8 YES, 0 NO. Presented and accepted were the Treasurer's report and the Membership report.

Beginning Checkbook Balance:



Membership Raffle Sales Donation

Fines Other Total fucome:

270.00 56.00 366.50 1,003.80 2.00 55.00 1,753.80


• Reptiles' Amphibians' Invertebrates t Small Mammals' Fish' Birds' Complete LIne of Cages, Food. Books & Supplies for ALL Animals

Newsletter Misc. PrintingIPostage Program Library Books Supplies Refreshments Other Total Expense:


462.40 11.69 100.00 0.00 0.00 15.00 84.00

Net fucomelLoss: Ending Checkbook Balance: Funds Allocated to Unpaid Expenses: Funds Available:

2363 University Ave. W., SI. Paul, MN 55114 (612) 647·4479

Conservation Fund Balance:

673.09 1,080.71 3,959.39 50.00 3,909.39 200.00

Calendar of Events Jan. 3, 1997 MHS General Meeting. Speaker: DAVID HOPPE. Topic: DEFORMED FROGS. BorJaug Hall, U ofM St. Paul Campus. 7 pm. Feb, 7, 1997 MHS ANNUAL "WHITE SNAKE SALE" SILENT AUCTION and photo contest. BorJaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus. 7 pm. For more info or to donate items Contact Marilyn Blasus (612) 925-4237. Mar. 7, 1997 MHS General Meeting. Speaker: TIM TYTLE. Topic: BREEDING GECKOS. Borlaug Hall, U ofM SI. Paul Campus. 7 pm. Mar. 21·23, 1997 2nd Annual Midwest Exotic Pet Seminars. Hyatt Regency Woodfield. Schaumberg, IL. For more info Contact: MEPS c/oJ.B. BroederJe, DVM. Burnham Park Animal Hospital, Chicago, IL. 60605, (312) 663·9200. Apr. 4, 1997 MHS General Meeting. Speaker: TO BE ANNOUNCED. Borlaug Hall, U ofM SI. Paul Campus. 7 pm. June 25.July 2, 1997 77th Annual Meeting of the American Society ofIcthhyologists and Herpetologists. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. For more info Contact: RobertE. Espinosa, Dept. ofBiolJ314, University ofNeveda, Reno, NY 89557·0015, (702) 784·4565, Fax (702) 784·1369, E·mail espin Aug. 2·10, 1997 3rd World Congress on Herpetology. Prague, Zbynek Roeek, Dept. of Paleontology, Acad. ofScienees, Rozvojova 135, 16500 Prague 6 ·Sucbdol, Czech Republic. Phone 422·24311421, Fax 422·24311578, E·mail roeek@gli.cascz.


MHS Newsletter Volwne 16 Number 12

Classified Advertistnents 1.0.0 = male, 0.1.0 = female, 0.0.1 = unsexed, c.b. = captive bred, o.b.o. = or best offer Herp related news clippings, original articles, artwork, cartoons, etc. for publication in theMHS Newsletter. Authors and artists will receive compensation in the form of volunteer hrs, good towards one "priceless"MHS coffee mug. Send submissions to: MN Herp. Soc.! Editor, clo Bell Museum of Naturai History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104.

For Sale: Captive bred adult maleNamib Desert Geckos, Clwndrodactylusangulifer, $80.00. Call Matt (612) 781-5871 0.1.0Blue Tongued Skink, Tiliquia gigas, $150.00, preferably to a breeder. l.l c.b. Peacock Day Geckos $80.00, also preferably to a breeder who has time. Please call Jayde, with any questions (612) 731-9350.


Everyone keeping live reptiles and amphibians is asked to contribute to this annual report. Please submit the following info currentJ an. 1st of each year: (I) Inventory of collection, list numbers and sex, (2) list of all species bred during the previous year, (3) any longevity records, (4) please print clearly; your name, address and telephone number as you want them listed, (5) please do respond. Send info to: Frank Slavens, P.O. Box 30744, Seattle, WA 98103. Fax: (206) 546-2912.

0.1 yearling Northern Blue-tongued Skink, l.l adult Argentine Snakeneck Turtles or trade for snakes. Also 36" and 24" used NeodeSha cages. Call Mark (3200 202-9871. 2.1 Adult Leopard Tortoises $650. Also l.l Adult Redfoot Tortoises $250. All healthy, long term captives. Call Mark (612) 822-7996. 0.1 Varanus albigularis (White-throated Monitor, Approx. 3 ft. $1500.b.o. Willconsidertrade for python or boa. Alsocage

18" x 18" x 5 ft. $100. Contact Emily or Tyler (612) 466-2439 0.1.0, c.b. Adult Green Iguana, approx. 31/2 ft. Including many extras: large kennel, heat rock and heat lights, $150 o.b.o. Contact Lisa (612) 545-8669 or (512) 342-5553.

SEA TUR1LE SURVIVAL LEAGUE, announces its' line of eco-promoting sea turtle merchandise, for a free catalog write: Sea Turtle Survivai League, P.O. Box 2866, Gainesville, FL 32602-2866 or call (800) 678-7853.

MHS Rodent Sales

l.l Malaysian Blood Pythons. Male 4+ ft and Female 5+ ft. Both good red, femal, spectacular. $600.00 for the pair. Contact Sally at (612) 647-0661.



Pinkies $6.00 dozen Small Pups $10.00 dozen Fuzzies $6.00 dozen Large Pups $15.00 dozen Hoppers $7.50 dozen Adults $12.00 six Adults $9.00 dozen $24.00 dozen

Baby Boas, Boa constrictorc.b. 4/30/96, fed & shed $50-$75. Will deliver to MHS meetings. Call Sarah at (612) 223-0407. 1.0 Dumeril's Boa, Acrantophis dumerili, c.b. babies 10/95. Feeding well on small mice. $250 Call Connie or John (612) 374-5422

For pickup at monthly meetings only. Orders must be placed at least one week in advance of date of meeting at which frozen rodents are to be delivered. Place orders with Tina Cisewski at (612) 856-2865.

Rabbits -Fryer size, current listed market price. Discounts for orders of 6 or more. Rat size $1.50 ea. or 6 for $7.50. Adults $2 ea when available. All sizes currently available. Call Jim Daluge (612) 295-2818.

MHS Merchandise: In addition to rodents, the MHS


offers an assortment of herp related sales items including; books, magazines, posters, t-shirts, notecards, buttons, stickers, decals, and patches. Look for the merchandise sales area at the far right side of the meeting room. Transactions can be handled before the meeting, during the break, or after the meeting as time permits.

C.b. Eastern or Western Hognose (Heteradon platirhinosor H. nasicus), Milk Snake(Lampropeltis triangulum), and native turtles. Prefer 94-95 hatchlings. Call Michelle or Chris at (612) 578-9003

All proceeds from MHS rodent and merchandise sales go toward the operating costs of the society such as: speaker fees, library purchases, cbaritable donations, etc. The MHS is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization.

ALL THE SHED SNAKE SKINS IN THE WORLD, Always, to use at hands-on programs to give to kids. Bob Duerr (612) 541-0362.


Advertising Rates and Instructions

Amphibian & Reptile Information

Classified Ads: Are run free of charge to paid members. NOll-member rates are ten cents per word, permonth. Ads may run three (3) conseclltive months, after which time they may be re-submitted. Business Cards: Institutional members may nm one standard sized business card free of charge. NOll-memberrate for standard sized business cards is $5.00 per month.

Specific questions concerning amphibians and reptiles are best answered by contacting the following individuals at the numbers provided. Please remember to be reasonable about the time of day and how frequently you call.

Display and Expanded Size Ad Rates: Ad Size Month 3+ Months

6+ Months 1/4 Page $10.00 $7.50 $5.00 1/2 Page $20.00 $15.00 $10.00 Page $40.00 $25.00 $15.00 (All prices are per month) Submissions: All advertisements should be submitted to the; M.H:S Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Minnesota Herpetological

Society. MHS Ad Policy: The MHS aSSlUlles NO RESPONSIBILITY regarding the legality or health of any animal, or the quality or legality of any product or service advertised in the MRS Newsletter. Any ad may be rejected at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor. Due to space limitations Unpaid and Complimentary advertisements are subject to occasional omission.

Amphibians & Reptiles in Minnesota Greg Kvanbeck (612) 533-7723 John Moriarty (612) 647-1334 Large Boas & Pythons Karl Hermann (612) 730-6265 Glen Jacobsen (612) 757-8268 Terrestrial Turtles John Levell (507) 467-3076 Glen Jacobsen (612) 757-8268 Amphibians Greg Kvanbeck (612)533-7723 John Meltzer (612) 263-7880 Crocodilians Jeff Lang (701) 772-0227

Other Snakes John Meltzer (612) 263-7880 Jeff LeClere (612) 488-6388 Aquatic Turtles Gary Ash (612) 753-0218 Jobn Levell (612) 374-5422 Lizards Nancy Haig (612) 434-868 Bill Moss (612) 488-1383


36 La,melnrell'" Av.


Location of MRS Monthly Meetings


Non-Profit Rate U. S. Postage



PAID Permit No. 2275







., t..,

Vol. 16 (1996), No. 12  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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