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the newsletter of the

August 2011

Minnesota Herpetological Society

Volume 31

Number 8

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Bruce Haig

Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455-0104

Vice President Sonja Koolmo 763.755.1630 Recording Secretary Ellen Heck


Membership Secretary Heather Clayton 612.886.7175 Treasurer Nancy Haig




August 2011

Newsletter Editor Christopher Rueber 952.594.0101 Members at Large Jeff LeClere 651.488.6388

Number 8



Volume 31

Further the education of the membership and the general public in care and captive propagation of reptiles and amphibians; Educate the members and the general public in the ecological role of reptiles and amphibians; Promote the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Membership is open to all individuals with an interest in amphibians and reptiles. The Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter is published monthly to provide its members with information concerning the society’s activities and a media for exchanging information, opinions and resources. General Meetings are held at Borlaug Hall, Room 335 on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, on the first Friday of each month (unless there is a holiday conflict). The meeting starts at 7:00pm and lasts about three hours. Please check the MHS Voice mail for changes in schedules or cancellations.

Chris Smith 651.315.7760


Matt Carter 651.329.2290

Ads or Notices must be submitted no later than the night of the General Meeting to be included in the next issue. Longer articles will be printed as time and space allows and should be in elec- tronic file format if possible. See inside back cover for ad rates. Submissions may be sent to:

Jacob Mee

The Minnesota Herpetological Society -or- Attn: Newsletter Editor Bell Museum of Natural History 10 Church St SE Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104

C om m itte e s Adoption Sarah Richard


Education Jan Larson



Library Nancy Haig 763.434.8684


Cover Photo pictures provided Bill Moss Photography

© Copyright 2011, Minnesota Herpetological Society. Except where noted, contents may be reproduced for non-profit, non-commercial use only. All material must be reproduced without change. Proper credit will be given including the author/photographer and the Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter citing: volume, number and date.

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Volume 31

Number 8

August Meeting - Friday, August 5th - Starting at 7 P.M. University of MN - St. Paul Campus, Borlaug Hall, Room 335 Dan Krull presents..

When Animal Shows Attack! Our August speaker will be Dan Krull. His talk is entitled: “When Animal Shows Attack”. Dan is the president and founder of Small Scale Films Inc; a non-profit group dedicated to reptile and amphibian conservation and herpers rights. Dan has fifteen years experience keeping and breeding many species of herp, but is particularly fond of colubrid snakes and chameleons. Dan is also an avid field herper and photographer who loves taking his two young sons in the field to observe herps and other wildlife. In his presentation, topics of discussion will include the killing of animals on TV as a form

of entertainment, the sensationalism of herps in general, and how the various forms of media are veering away from education and moving more and more towards “Reality TV”. Dan will show us video clips and talk about the real world effect these shows are having, how this current trend in television is hurting our hobby, and discuss what each of us can do to fight these negative messages. MHS White Pages Correction The white pages were recently mailed out. Heather Clayton’s number is incorrect, though it is correct in the monthly newsletter postings.

Proposed Change to the MHS Bylaws Voting to take place during the Annual MHS Meeting, Nov 4, 2011. The Minnesota Herpetological Society’s Board of Directors has approved the following proposed change to the MHS Bylaws after reviewing the responses to this item in the April 2011 membership survey.. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any board member. All board positions have a four year limit with the exception of the treasurer. The proposed change will eliminate this distinction and impose the limit on all positions. Reason for change: Eliminating the sentence “Treasurer will have no limit to term length.” will allow all board positions to have the same term limits. Maintaining the four year limit on consecutive terms will prevent burnout and allow for a natural process of obtaining new board members.

Existing wording: Section 4.02 Term of Office. The officers and members-at-large elected at the Annual Meeting of MHS as hereafter provided, shall serve for a period of one (1) year commencing January 1. Board of Directors may serve only four (4) terms consecutively. Treasurer will have no limit to term length. Change to: Section 4.02 Term of Office. The officers and members-at-large elected at the Annual Meeting of MHS as hereafter provided, shall serve for a period of one (1) year commencing January 1. Board of Directors may serve only four (4) terms consecutively. Treasurer will have no limit to term length. 3

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Volume 31

Number 8

In case you missed the July speaker:

Dr Richard Vogt presented on the conservation and ecology of...

Amazonian River Turtles By Chris Rueber Dr Richard Vogt earned his PhD in 1978, though he had been studying turtles since he was around 12 years of age. He got his start in field work in the deep south of the United States. He did not end up staying there for very long, and headed towards the Amazon Basin to study Fresh Water Turtles. His studies include being one of the first to study non-nesting ground activities. There were many pictures (and stories) presented to show how he and his work crews spent time along the basin dealing with more than 17 different species of fresh water turtles that inhabit the area. The turtles were persecuted for hundreds of years by the Portuguese, and though the natives ate them well before that, they found more of a symbiosis with the land than the Portuguese did. These days, it is actually against the law to eat non-farmed turtles in Brazil. Some believe that humans can do a better job of raising turtles than nature is able to. Dr Vogt believes that is simply wrong. The problem isn’t nature not being right for the turtles, it’s that people continually are molesting their habitat. Among several other discoveries that Dr Vogt has made, one of his most notable is his work with “Talking Turtles.” While it is widely accepted that turtles do not talk, he has found that through the use of underwater microphones, that they do in fact make audible sounds that carry on very low frequencies at extremely low volume. The naked ear would not be capable of hearing it, but sensitive enough equipment is able to pick it up.

He found that the turtles he works with have a very large home area- Over 400km2 worth of space that they migrate throughout, during their lifetimes. He was once asked how he manages to find out so many new things about turtles, and in his words he would respond: “Why me? Because I live with turtles!”

A few other interesting facts that were presented include: • Turtles lay eggs at night. • Some of the fresh water varieties are 60kg and 70cm long. • They migrate up and down the beach more than 100, possibly more than 150 times. • Eggs incubate for 45-60 days. • Some of the turtles he was working with rapidly change color to adapt to their environment. • One of the turtles that he was tracking moved over 45km in just two days!


Upcoming Speakers and Events August: Dan Krull - When Animal Shows Attack! September: Dav Kaufman - Bullsnakes

October 21-23, 2011...

The 27th Midwest Herpetological Symposium

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Volume 31

Number 8

Board Elections are Coming! It’s that time of the year again! You will be hearing more about the coming elections in the upcoming general meeting, but until then do try to think of any nominations you might like to make! The Minnesota Herpetological Society is comprised entirely of unpaid, volunteer positions. Virtually everything accomplished by the Society is done through individual or group incentive, effort and vision. Much of what is done may not be visible, but is necessary for the success of the Society. MHS is very proud of the high percentage of active, dedicated volunteers. There are many opportunities available to those willing to devote their time and energy by becoming a contributor. Contributions need not be monetary to be effective. Participation of our active membership de-

termines the direction of MHS. Think of how you can help MHS grow, move forward, and find new directions to explore. This is, after all, your society. Get involved! We’ve included the duties and description of MHS board and chair positions so you can see what each job entails. For more information contact someone on the board. In order to join the board, you must be a current, active member of MHS, and have reached the age of majority. Come and join the board- Be part of the adventure!

Board Positions President: The president is the good will ambassador and spokesmen for the society. They chair monthly membership meetings and board meetings. Appoint all special and standing comittee chairs; subject to the approval of the Board. Ensure all decisions by the board are followed. Notify people of the board’s decisions. Maintain a list of all volunteers, and keep a tally of total hours. Prepare an annual schedule of society events and tasks. Confirm that mandatory deliverables are completed. Confirm insurance coverage is adequate. Confirm that club duties are completed by officers and committees. Vice President: The Vice President is responsible for coordinating and introducing the speakers at the monthly meetings. He/She also assesses and facilitates the needs of the speakers, as well as adjusting the lighting in the room as needed. The Vice Presidential duties also include assisting the President, performing his/her duties in case of absence, notifying the newsletter of upcoming speakers and generating an article to promote those upcoming speakers. He/She is also to attend the board meetings which are held the Saturdays following the monthly meeting. Treasurer: Responsible for all funds and assets of the MHS. Maintain checkbook and banking accounts. Sets-up and maintains ledgers. Present monthly financial report at board meeting and for newsletter. Maintains expense accounts. Reconciles statements. Prepares financial documentation on all club activities. Prepares year-end report and submits the records for audit. Serves on the annual audit committee. Membership Secretary: Collect payment for membership and provide funds to treasurer, maintain and update membership database. Activates new members on the website. Responsible for supplying a monthly summary of membership activities, and maintaining a file of prior newsletters and responding to all information and membership inquiries. Insures the printing of the annual white pages. Making backups of all reports. Newsletter label creation and distribution. 5

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Volume 31

Number 8

Recording Secretary: Records the minutes of the monthly board and general meetings and provides summaries to the Newsletter Editor. The Recording Secretary maintains: the minutes of the board meetings, a complete archive of past newsletters, and a listing of the inventory of MHS supplies, fixtures and goods. Other duties include chairing the Election Committee and providing an annual summary of any unresolved action items. Newsletter Editor: Edits submissions, enters monthly business, and prepares the MHS newsletter for printing. The Editor also solicits articles, items of interest and advertising. The Editor is responsible for the appearance of the newsletter. Member-at-Large: Participate in the decision making process and volunteer for projects or committees. The Members-At-Large perform other duties as assigned by the President (e.g. pass out information at meetings, field questions, etc). In addition to all duties listed, all board members are expected to be present during the monthly board meeting that takes place the day following the general meeting, usually located in student services. Beyond that, all Officers are expected to abide the membership bylaws and policies of MHS. Newsletter Notice It has been tabled that the newsletter become onlineonly, unless a mailing fee is paid. If you have any interest in this conversation, please consider attending the August Board Meeting.

Holiday Banquet is in need of volunteers! The 2011 Holiday banquet put on by MHS is looking for volunteers. This is a great way to get out and meet a whole bunch of MHS members in an non-meeting setting! If you have any questions, get in contact with any board member. We would be happy to put you in contact with the correct people! 6

The Rodent Sales Committee is looking for volunteers willing to help distribute rodents and accept payments at the monthly meetings. We are hoping to have a few people trained in on the procedures to allow for a rotating schedule. Please see Matt Carter at the August meeting if you are interested.

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Volume 31

Number 8

2011 Como Cottage by Nancy Hakomaki Time once again for the Renaissance Festival and all that entails! Once again it’s time to dig out your bodices, jerkins, kilts and assorted weaponry and join us at Renfest. The Minnesota Herpetological Society has had a presence at the festival since the 80’s through Como Zoo. In the 90’s, MHS replaced Como Zoo at the Renfest and has entertained and educated thousands of Renfest patrons. Our commitment to Festival depends on MHS members to make it successful. We staff the cottage with MHS volunteers during festival hours (9AM – 7PM) which run August 21st - October 3rd (open weekends & Labor Day, plus Friday, October 1st.) It is one of the largest venues MHS has in terms of length and time commitment of its members. The benefit of this commitment is the exposure to the vast numbers of people and the largest donation source for MHS. Although we have a core group of Renfest enthusiasts, we always need more volunteers to fill in during those long days. Volunteers are expected to work 4 hours (2 – 2 hour shifts) and participate in the daily parade. In the hours you aren’t on fence, you can enjoy your time around festival seeing stage shows, eating festival food or spending your money on the many and varied mer-

chants of the realm. If you are out there on Saturdays, we encourage you to stay for the end of the day potluck which happens as soon as all the patrons are booted out. Volunteers are expected be costumed throughout the day in period appropriate attire. MHS does have costumes/and headwear available to volunteers. The only thing we don’t provide is footwear. Generally a plain leather (or leather-look sandal) can be used or plain leather/suede boot (no fringe) would be appropriate. Women can use sandals, plain flats, or short boots. In order to volunteer a specific day, I have to add you on to a pass list. So I would need to know by noon on the Wednesday prior to the weekend you want to work. You may email me or reach me on my cell phone at 651/341-5707. Cottage clean up and new orientation will be held on Sunday August 14 at 9 AM. Sound intriguing? What to find out more? There are several ways! You can email me, Nancy Hakomaki, at for specific information or you can join the conversation in the MHS Forums (http:// where general information will be posted.

Renaissance Festival Schedule Italian Carnival! August 20 -21 Bird Show, Bocce Ball tournament, Arabian Horse show Royal Ale Fest August 27 & 28 5th Annual Pet Fest, Homebrew competition Silk Road September 3, 4 & 5 Belly Dancing Competition, Belly Dance Performances and Lessons, Juggling Competition and Long bow competition Highland Fling September 10 - 11 Highland Games and dancers & Free Beer Tastings!

Wine, Chocolate and Romance September 17 - 18 Wine & Chocolate Festival, Free Wine Tastings and Charity Auction! High Seas Adventure September 24 - 25 BBQ Competition & Pirate games Festival Friday September 30 Shamrocks and Shenanigans October 1 - 2 Irish Vendors & “Go Green” Vendors!


The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

August 2011

Captive Bred Redfoot Tortoises

Volume 31

Number 8

Treasurer’s Report for July 2011 Prepared by Nancy Haig

Beginning Balance



My captive bred Redfoot’s are F2’s (their parents are also captive bred) and come from Guyana origins. I currently have 5 hold backs from my 2010 clutches and 2011’s hatching now. Each is 3 – 3 1/2 inches long and 175-200 grams in weight. Perfectly healthy with none of the typical pyramiding. $90 each with care sheet and lifetime support from a person with 40 years of tortoise experience. or 952-221-9748

July Adoption Report Herps Placed in July: Red Eared Slider (2), Razor back Russian Tortoise, Ball Python (4) Boa, Corn Snake Bearded Dragon (3)


Membership Raffle Adoption Rodent sales Donations HandsOn Midwest Registration

$140.00 $61.50 $95.00 $503.00 $135.00 $0.00

Total Income $934.50 Expense: Newsletter Program Adoption/Vet Grants Rodent Costs

$158.94 $207.92 $270.00 $1500.00 $387.50

Total Expense $2,524.36 Cash Increase/Decrease


Ending Balance


Placement of cash holdings

Checking Account TCF/Paypal Paypal Cash on hand

$10,515.97 $529.42 $220.60 $175.00

Total $11,440.49


Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Twin Cities, MN Permit no. 92275


Next Meeting: Friday - August 5th - 7:00 pm Room 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus

MHS Voice Mail: 612.326.6516 MHS Web Page:

This newsletter is printed on recycled paper

Vol. 31 (2011), No. 08  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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