I struggle to understand what you are refuting xD

I mean, they surely know their count is just a count and not reality, but still can be used as a very good reference and to analyse trends…?

Summary: They dont know what they are talking about :slight_smile: They have a very basic idea.

edit: in regards to actual snake populations.

They probably know how relative their data is.

on those few km of roads they checked, maybe. a snake can easily travel kms a day. inaccurate to the max :slight_smile: far from very good. snakes move a lot tracking, like in line with sea turtles, would blow their data sets away instantly. there is simply no money in it for snakes, so people tend to pretend they “know”. snakes are different than say many turtles, lizards etc.

They move a lot in a day but it is interesting to say the least that for one spot some years you find lots of X and then years Y or Z.

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Yes, very true. Sorry, I think I missed your point a few posts back. Agreed.

it is still a lack of data however on populations.

loads of reasons. as an example. let’s use cobras, beauty snakes, rat snakes, krautsand so on. In farmlands it is common to spread rat poison. it is quite common for entire generations of snakes (and birds, mammals etc) to be wiped out because the rodents are poisoned and the predators eat them. there is a dent in population, but usually that is directly correlated to size. for example, this years hatchling cobras arent eating rodents, they are eating bugs, lizards, frogs etc. so they are unaffected by the rat poison. just one in a trillion of variables.

mountainous populations are just counted less. those extreme mountains are just not really counted well. and Taiwan does have full time regional employees to count species. but it’s just not possible as is to count.

Largely people just dial into a specific spot and figure out the environmental.factors that up their chances to find them.

Cobras, as an example, are very common here, island wide. Some.people find hundreds a year, others none. that’s snake hunting :crazy_face:

I’m sure they take notes on sizes/age of the specimens… isn’t it?


I mean… I mostly agree with what you say, but I’m sure these guys know what their numbers mean… and don’t pretend they are absolute, accurate total counts!

Yes. As I mentioned before, they do hard work and do their jobs well. I wasnt at all disregarding the work done. Just pointing out it isnt even remotely enough. Depending on the project, all the basics are measured and recorded. my point wasnt about their professionalism on counting. but rather on how the data is applied, which is quite … iffy… to be polite! but that is the academic side of things, where egos are inflated larger than a cobras hood. The difference is a cobra can actually deliver a dose of reality, academia cannot (in this situation) :innocent: I am thankful for their work though. it’s just not nearly enough to draw conclusions from. by miles! but I do respect their egos in medicine. we do have antivenom and very few deaths considering how many bites there are. The medical side is quite good.

That all said there are loads of unpaid diligent herpetologists making great observations. We just need an unbias way of recording accurately that can discount opinion and stick to facts. it’s a hard problem in biology, not just Taiwan.

I guess that depends on the goal. I’m sure they still do certain things wrong or people tend to make wrong assumptions based on, as you said, flawed data, but dunno, I would like to think that people don’t forget what’s the intention and the meaning of the data.

This I can buy xD

Oh come on… I think you are exaggerating a bit.

I want to know more about that bias. I’m genuinely interested.

Yes ,people know their numbers and hopefully represent them accurately. issues come up when they start assuming things. for example population counts. it takes years and massive investment to come close, for snakes this isnt the reality. More popular animals like whales get more project money and investment.

I guess my main issue with certain people in the snake field is that they are culling native species if snakes from the wild because they feel there are too many and are preying upon rarer species. my issue with data inadequacies is when this type of behaviour is the result. This has happened with frogs in Taiwan as well.

I couldn’t imagine this was being done. You’re telling me they’re hunting them down with the intention of reducing certain species’ population because they are too many and they are killing more exotic, vulnerable ones?

OTOH, they might more or less know what’s abundant and what’s not. Isn’t it? even if the numbers are and can’t be absolute.

In other news I had a totally unexpected finding today: a false viper having a bath in a pond, under the rain. I had to chase it down and get half leg in the muddy waters for keeping a little longer with me. Not great pictures.

Yes, some people that deem themselves in the position of knowing enough are in fact culling native species from specific locations. Not exotic species, native species. I have major issues with this. Not because they have zero legitimate concern, but because they dont have enough of a legitimate data set. But they think they do, so there we have it…There are certain individuals that are indeed very knowledgable and quite skilled, but their arrogance clouds their judgment in a big way. It is problematic to say the least!

One of those things where people with a degree and a paycheck play god. the irony is they complain about the Buddhists releasing animals and playing god. same shit, different smell :wink: Again, problematic…

That should go straight into the snake of the day thread, which I don’t know if exists. But this thread is for Taiwan findings only!

Don’t think it exists.

So, I encountered this one on my back tool shed porch this evening.

It’s a snake, but which?

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She’s weird!

Let me check that site you know…

Edit: originally she made me think of a beauty snake even if the pattern was different. Now looking at the pictures I see the the patterns even if different they’re somehow similar in essence. I wonder if they are related or if Taiwan beauties undergo different stages or if they show sexual dimorphism.

Nah… No, it can’t be.

is it not a big headed snake?
Not an expert but looks the same colour as one we had at the farm, and one of the cousins said it was called a big headed snake, or a rough translation.

The author of Snakes of Taiwan, Hans Breuer believes it to be a baby King Ratsnake