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Tom Montgomery
05-21-2016, 01:24 PM
Bad news. This is from CNN:


There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida's swamps.

A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa.

Through DNA testing, scientists from the University of Florida were able to confirm that the reptiles captured in the wild from 2009, 2011 and 2014 were Nile crocodiles, the second-largest extant reptile species in the world. The findings were published in the journal of Herpetological Conservation and Biology (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_11/Issue_1/Rochford_etal_2016.pdf) in April.

The study could mean that more of these man-eating creatures are lingering in the Sunshine State.

"The odds that the few of us who study Florida reptiles have found all of the Nile crocs out there is probably unlikely," Kenneth Krysko, herpetology collections manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, said in a statement. (http://news.ufl.edu/articles/2016/05/man-eating-monster-crocodile-may-be-floridas-newest-invasive-species.php)

"We know that they can survive in the Florida wilderness for numerous years, we know that they grow quickly here and we know their behavior in their native range, and there is no reason to suggest that would change here in Florida."

Nile crocodiles have a dangerous reputation in their native homeland. Between 2010 and 2014, they were responsible for about 480 attacks on people and 123 fatalities in Africa. In comparison, in 2015, there were 98 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide and six deaths, according to a report by the International Shark Attack File (http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/world/shark-attacks/).

These crocodiles can grow up to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car.

Genetic testing revealed the three Nile crocodiles were related, which means they may have come from the same source. And their DNA most closely matched Nile crocodiles from South Africa.

Matthew Shirley, a former University of Florida doctoral student and study co-author, took DNA samples of Nile crocodiles across U.S. zoos and compared those samples with the Nile crocodiles from the Miami area. The DNA did not match, and the source of these reptiles remains unknown.

Scientists noted in the study that in the last decade large quantities of Nile crocodiles have been imported from countries such as South Africa and Madagascar. These crocodiles have been put on display at places such as Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.

But it's likely that Florida's exotic pet trade has introduced these creatures into the wild, according to researchers.

In recent years, several invasive species such as the Cuban tree frog and a variety of snakes from around the world have flourished in Florida, according to the National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/nonnativespecies.htm). Some have wreaked havoc on the state's ecosystem, causing officials to take action.

For example, the invasion of the Burmese python (https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/burmesepythonsintro.htm), the largest snake species in the world, has prompted an annual hunting competition (http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/15/us/florida-python-hunt/) to mitigate the snake's population.

Florida has the world's largest number of invasive species, primarily because of its subtropical climate, according to scientists.

"My hope as a biologist is that the introduction of Nile crocodiles in Florida opens everyone's eyes to the problem of invasive species that we have here in our state," Krysko said. "Now here's another one, but this time it isn't just a tiny house gecko from Africa."

Since Nile crocodiles are generalist predators, everything from birds, mammals to even the state's native crocodiles and alligators are at risk of becoming this creature's next meal.

Krysko said he hopes the new findings will be a wake-up call for Floridians.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/21/us/nile-crocodiles-florida-irpt/

CWSmith
05-21-2016, 01:26 PM
Some people keep very strange pets. They are either escaped pets or escapees from when the storm hit the zoo.

Either way, it's one more good reason to live in the north.

bobbys
05-21-2016, 01:42 PM
Once one ventures south of Hackensack its dicy all round.

PeterSibley
05-21-2016, 05:37 PM
Very bad news ....time for $10,000 bounty per dead croc.

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 05:38 PM
Bounties are really ineffective!

Chip-skiff
05-21-2016, 05:52 PM
Jasus! What next?

Australians?

CWSmith
05-21-2016, 06:23 PM
Jasus! What next?

Australians?

No. Egyptians!

PeterSibley
05-21-2016, 06:24 PM
Bounties are really ineffective!

but it does encourage crocodile breeding wonderfully !:D

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 06:54 PM
but it does encourage crocodile breeding wonderfully !:DPast exempts putting bounties on anything have been unsuccessful.

CWSmith
05-21-2016, 07:21 PM
Past exempts putting bounties on anything have been unsuccessful.

It killed the wolves just about everywhere.

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 07:54 PM
Then why do we still have them?

CWSmith
05-21-2016, 07:55 PM
...because we reintroduced them from areas where there was no bounty.

You know that.

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 07:57 PM
And they came from somewhere? A yes or o no is sufficient.

Phillip Allen
05-21-2016, 08:01 PM
don't be dense

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 08:02 PM
I'm sorry, I bow to one who knows everything!

Phillip Allen
05-21-2016, 08:03 PM
yer welcome

S.V. Airlie
05-21-2016, 08:04 PM
Stick to bricks PA!

Phillip Allen
05-21-2016, 08:07 PM
Stick to bricks PA!

:):)

hokiefan
05-21-2016, 10:00 PM
...because we reintroduced them from areas where there was no bounty.

You know that.


And they came from somewhere? A yes or o no is sufficient.

You need to read more carefully Jamie. CW told you where they came from, places where there was no bounty.

seanz
05-21-2016, 10:01 PM
Bad news. This is from CNN:



You know that you should never smile at them, right?
:)

Ian McColgin
05-21-2016, 10:04 PM
The most dangerous invasive species in Florida gets Medicare.

Ted Hoppe
05-21-2016, 10:18 PM
This is an obvious old anti Sanders story written by Clinton operatives who feared him getting the youth vote. Note the three reptiles and their supporters.

http://www.writeups.org/wp-content/uploads/Barney-dinosaur-kids-swings.jpg

PeterSibley
05-21-2016, 11:12 PM
The most dangerous invasive species in Florida gets Medicare.

I'd rather swim with the one that gets Medicare.

bobbys
05-21-2016, 11:19 PM
The most dangerous invasive species in Florida gets Medicare.
.

My family made a blood oath pac.

We would be the first family from jersey to never go to Florida..

We watched countless old people move there to never return and just got word they died soon after getting there.

Even now if a old relitive acts up and wants more baby food or wants to turn the tv to Larwence Welk we tell them hey if you don't stop acting up, well, we are sending you to Florida..

Hate to scare them .

PeterSibley
05-21-2016, 11:28 PM
I'd rather swim with the one that gets Medicare.


http://www.gambassa.com/gambassafiles/images/images/rortega/nile_crocodile_masai_mara_kenya_v1.jpg

skuthorp
05-22-2016, 12:16 AM
Maybe a couple of Salties will eat the Nile variety?:d

PeterSibley
05-22-2016, 12:17 AM
I think they're a good match.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-22-2016, 02:27 AM
Sounds like an export opportunity.

S.V. Airlie
05-22-2016, 07:22 AM
You need to read more carefully Jamie. CW told you where they came from, places where there was no bounty.A bounty doesn't help, loss of habit is the cause. Wildlife management is like a chain, one weak link breaks and the chain breaks or, like a structure made of cards, pulling one card out effects them all. So, loss of habitat with killing them exacerbates the situation.

Breakaway
05-22-2016, 08:47 AM
A bounty--or just a gernerous bag limit and extended season for hunters--I think can have an effect. But managing that in FLorida would be an issue. Remember that there are already crocodiles indigenous to the area living there:

American Crocodile

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/American_Crocodile_in_Jamaica.jpg/800px-American_Crocodile_in_Jamaica.jpg

And of course ,alligators aplenty:

Alligator

http://www.18karatreggae.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/alligator.jpg

And now, the Nile Crocs

Nile Crocodile

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/u/ss/fQYSUbVfts-T7pS2VP2wnKyN8wxywmXtY0-FwsgxpiZv_E9ZfPsNV5B0ER8-bOdruvNfMD5EbP4SznWz4PYn/

Kevin

S.V. Airlie
05-22-2016, 09:03 AM
The shear principle of wildlife managementhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) makes it a work in progress, much like any other modernhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) process of continued evaluation and testing and trying. What was considered acceptable yesterday may fall into the realm of objectionable in short order.
Such is the case with bounties. Bounties, whether for gophers, skunks, rabbits or coyotes, are not a new phenomenon. They have been around in one form or another since the settling of North Dakota’s prairies.
The state Game and Fish Departmenthttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) itself was a willing, and then a reluctant participant in the bounty system until 1961, when the North Dakota legislature decided to stop using state moneyhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) to pay bounties. Prior to that point, the state paid out more than $2 million in bounties for fox, coyote and other species, with little to show for it. In fact, the fox population likely expanded considerably in the years prior to 1961.
Over the past year I’ve had many questions about bounties and it’s time to take a closer look at why bounties are no longer considered a scientifically efficienthttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) or accepted method of controlling a wildlife population.
The biology of a bounty
A bounty in its simplest form is the payment of money as an incentive to get people to harvest what could be termed as harmful wildlife species – something that hurts either game species or farm operations. Since North Dakota became a state, wolves, coyotes, fox, skunks, rattlesnakes, jackrabbits, crows, gophers and several other species were on the list of animals for which the state at one time or another paid a bounty.

http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/image/article/nov05/leier/l2.jpgA bounty was probably part of the reason wolves were eliminated from the state, and most people thought that was a good thing. Until the coyotes started moving in.
In the 1940s and ‘50s, driven by the prospect of bounties, people used airplanes and poisons to subdue the coyote population. At the time some people thought that was a good thing. Until the fox population expanded across the state.
From the mid-1940s until 1961, the state paid out more than $500,000 in fox bounties. The number of fox turned in for bounties went from around 20,000 to 50,000 during that same time.

S.V. Airlie
05-22-2016, 09:05 AM
page 2

Clearly, using a bounty to control the fox population didn’t workhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#). But why?
One reason is that some species, like coyotes or fox, have high reproductive and recruitment potential and their response to a temporarily reduced population in an area is to have larger litters of young.
Instead of 4-5 pups per litterhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#), you may see 6-8 pups carrying through into the next year because of decreased competition.
Another way to visualize: next spring when you are spraying dandelions in the back yard, spray 5 percent of them, or just one square yard. Will that cure the problem? Not for long.
Even if you killed all the dandelions growing in your yard, seeds can still blow in. It would take a coordinated effort over a large area to significantly reduce dandelion potential for individual yard owners. The same goes for bounties. For fox and coyotes, biologists estimate a population reduction of half to two-thirds would be required to produce any noticeable long-term benefits.
Some people even feel that wildlife managers are against hunting predators because they don’t support bounties. That’s simply just not true. Hunting is an effective part of wildlife management, whether it’s deer, geese or coyotes. The difference with a bounty is that money, not wildlife management and recreation, becomes the priority of those participating. When this subtle shift is made, the greed of green can overshadow the goal of managed hunting and taking of animals. The goal shifts from hunters taking coyotes, to bounty hunters earning money.
The devils advocate
A follow up question is usually thrown right back on the table by bounty proponents. “Well didn’t they work years ago?” The short answer is, that depends on your definition of “work.”
For one the rules of engagement and acceptable methodology have changed. Money, whether through protecting sheep and cattle or earned via bounties was the driving force behind clearing the prairie of large predators such as wolves. The methodology was crude and many of those historical practices are now illegal.
Poisons were widely used and we now know and better understand that poisoning of animals can have detrimental effects on non-target species as well.

S.V. Airlie
05-22-2016, 09:07 AM
Some people even feel that wildlife managers are against hunting predators because they don’t support bounties. That’s simply just not true. Hunting is an effective part of wildlife management, whether it’s deer, geese or coyotes. The difference with a bounty is that money, not wildlife management and recreation, becomes the priority of those participating. When this subtle shift is made, the greed of green can overshadow the goal of managed hunting and taking of animals. The goal shifts from hunters taking coyotes, to bounty hunters earning money.
The devils advocate
A follow up question is usually thrown right back on the table by bounty proponents. “Well didn’t they work years ago?” The short answer is, that depends on your definition of “work.”
For one the rules of engagement and acceptable methodology have changed. Money, whether through protecting sheep and cattle or earned via bounties was the driving force behind clearing the prairie of large predators such as wolves. The methodology was crude and many of those historical practices are now illegal.
Poisons were widely used and we now know and better understand that poisoning of animals can have detrimental effects on non-target species as well.
http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/image/article/nov05/leier/l3.jpgPutting dollar signs on wildlife in the form of a bounty erodes the valuehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) and worth of that particular fish or wildlife species, no matter if its gophers, skunks, coyotes or wolves. What sometimes happens is that otherwise legalhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) and ethical hunters skirt their responsibility to promote a positive image of hunting, in the name of earning a reward in the form of a monetary bounty. Violating laws, both ethical and regulatory in nature, doesn’t promote the heritage of hunting positively.
Another factor against bounties is how much they actually increase the normal harvest. For instance, if the annual coyote harvest from hunting and trapping in an area is 100, how many of those animals that would have been taken anyway will be turned in for a bounty?
And how many road kills would get turned in? How many animals from out of the area? How many from out of state?
When you add up all those factors, the actual cost per additionalhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors96-2.php#) animal taken out of a population is much higher than a single bounty payment. Over the long run, bounties just aren’t cost effective, or practically effective. That’s why the state stopped supporting them nearly 45 years ago.
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David W Pratt
05-22-2016, 09:30 AM
Do they eat Burmese pythons?

S.V. Airlie
05-22-2016, 09:32 AM
Wolves are a bit different where it comes to bounties. Firstly, packs are relatively small, 15 average in number. Their ranges are quite large as indicated. A bounty could be successful in eliminating one pack because they are basically one unit but, as noted, wolves looking to build a pack of its own can travel 1,000 miles to find a new location.

Life History and Reproduction

Wolves live in packs. Most packs have four to nine members, but the size can range from as few as two wolves to as many as 15. Occasionally, a pack can increase to 30 members until some individuals break off to find new territory and form their own pack.
https://www.nwf.org/~/media/Content/Animals/Mammals/Foxes%20Wolves%20Coyotes/479x238/WolfPack_DigitalVision_479x238.ashx
Within the pack hierarchy, there are male and female hierarchies. The alpha male is dominant over the entire pack, both males and females. The alpha female and male are the only ones that breed.
Wolf packs usually hunt within a territory. Territories can range from 50 square miles to over a 1,000. Wolves travel as far as they need to in order to find prey. They often travel at five miles per hour but can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour.
When the young adults reach the age of three, they can either join the pack or leave to find their own territory. The new territory can be close by if there is a lot of prey. In some areas, young adults travel hundreds of miles to find a new territory.

Robbie 2
05-22-2016, 05:47 PM
Another reason I am so happy to live here in NZ

CWSmith
05-22-2016, 06:20 PM
A friend goes down to Florida to collect nonnative species with nets (the 2-man variety where at least one needs to be in the water). He's been bumped once or twice by native gators and accidentally caught one in his net once.

The thought makes my skin crawl. I doubt he'll go in if he thinks there may be Nile crocs anywhere near.