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Fw: HerpDigest Volume # 2 Issue # 44

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  • Father Alejandro J. Sánchez Muñoz
    In order to respect copyrights, I m sending to all of you this lengthy summary of news on reptiles, in its entirety. The second one is about aquatic anoles in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
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      In order to respect copyrights, I'm sending to all of you this lengthy
      summary of news on reptiles, in its entirety.

      The second one is about aquatic anoles in the Caribbean (its seems to be
      an abstract of a much longer article, actually.)

      Father Sánchez

      > HerpDigest Sunday, June 30, 2002
      > Publisher/Editor Allen Salzberg Volume # 2 Issue # 44
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > ---
      > Table Of Contents
      > 1) Amblyomma geochelone, a new species of tick (Acari: Ixodidae) from the
      > Madagascan ploughshare tortoise.
      > 2)Lack Of Convergence In Aquatic Anolis Lizards.
      > 3)Nocturnal activity in the green sea turtle alters daily profiles of
      > melatonin and corticosterone.
      > 4) World Chelonian Trust Is Pleased To Announce The Publishing Of An
      > "Overview Of The Animal Markets Of China" http://www.chelonia.org
      > 5) In The Last Two Weeks, Thousands Of Mudpuppies, An Aquatic Salamander,
      > Have washed Up Along The Lake Erie Shoreline From The Pennsylvania Border
      > North Into Erie County.
      > 6) Firefighters Sent to Help Toads (Natternacks)
      > 7) Snake promotion turns slippery for minor league team
      > 8) The Rage in China: Lunching on Wildlife, and Mao.
      > 9) The 4th Annual Northeast PARC Meeting!!
      > 10) Increasing Number Of US Animal Group Opposes USDA Agency Transfer
      > ______________________________________________________________________
      > 1) Amblyomma geochelone, a new species of tick (Acari: Ixodidae) from the
      > Madagascan ploughshare tortoise.
      > Med Entomol 2002 Mar;39(2):398-403
      > Durden LA, Keirans JE, Smith LL.
      > Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Georgia Southern University,
      > Statesboro 30460, USA. ldureden@...
      > The male and female of Amblyomma geochelone n. sp. are described and
      > illustrated by both scanning electron micrographs and line drawings.
      > Specimens of this new tick species were recovered from the endangered
      > ploughshare tortoise, Geochelone yniphora (Vaillant), in northwestern
      > Madagascar. This relatively large tick is morphologically most similar to
      > Amblyomma nuttalli Donitz, which occurs in mainland sub-Saharan Africa
      > where it mainly parasitizes other species of tortoises. However, several
      > characters distinguish the new species from A. nuttalli including the
      > scutal ornamentation in both sexes and the characteristic patterns of
      > shallow grooves on the alloscutum of the female of A. geochelone. Because
      > the adult stages of A. geochelone are almost certainly host specific
      > ectoparasites of the ploughsh are tortoise, this new tick species is also
      > probably endangered.
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > 2) Lack Of Convergence In Aquatic Anolis Lizards.
      > Evolution Int J Org Evolution 2002 Apr;56(4):785-91
      > Leal M, Knox AK, Losos JB.
      > Department of Biology, Union College, Schenectady, New York 12308, USA.
      > lealm@...
      > Why convergent evolution occurs among some species occupying similar
      > habitats but not among others is a question that has received surprisingly
      > little attention. Caribbean Anolis lizards, known for their extensive
      > convergent evolution among islands in the Greater Antilles, are an
      > appropriate group with which to address this question. Despite the
      > well-documented pattern of between-island convergence, some Greater
      > Antillean anoles are not obviously part of the convergence syndrome. One
      > example involves aquatic anoles--species that are found near to and
      > enter streams-which have evolved independently twice in the Caribbean and
      > also twice on mainland Central America. Despite being found in similar
      > habitats, no previous study has investigated whether aquatic anoles
      > represent yet another case of morphological convergence. We tested this
      > hypothesis by collecting morphological data for seven aquatic anole
      > and 29 species from the six convergent types of Greater Antillean habitat
      > specialists. We failed to find evidence for morphological convergence: the
      > two Caribbean aquatic species are greatly dissimilar to each other and to
      > the Central American species, which, however, may be convergent upon each
      > other. We suggest two possible reasons for this lack of convergence in an
      > otherwise highly convergent system: either there is more than one habitat
      > type occupied by anoles in the proximity of water, or there is more than
      > one way to adapt to a single aquatic habitat. We estimate that almost all
      > of the 113 species of Greater Antillean anoles occupy habitats that are
      > also used by distantly related species, but only 15% of these species are
      > not morphologically similar to their distantly related ecological
      > counterparts. Comparative data from other taxa would help enlighten the
      > question of why the extent of convergence is so great in some lineages and
      > not in others.
      > 3)Nocturnal activity in the green sea turtle alters daily profiles of
      > melatonin and corticosterone.
      > Horm Behav 2002 Jun;41(4):357-65 Jessop TS, Limpus CJ, Whittier JM.
      > Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Brisbane,
      > Q4072, Australia
      > In nature, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) can exhibit nocturnal activity
      > addition to their typically diurnal activity cycle. We examined whether
      > nocturnal activity in captive and free-living green turtles altered daily
      > plasma profiles of melatonin (MEL) and corticosterone (CORT). In
      > diurnally active green turtles expressed distinct diel cycles in MEL and
      > CORT; a nocturnal rise was observed in MEL and a diurnal rise was observed
      > in CORT. However, when induced to perform both low- and high-intensity
      > nocturnal activity, captive green turtles exhibited a significant decrease
      > in MEL, compared to inactive controls. In contrast, plasma CORT increased
      > significantly with nocturnal activity, and further, the relative increase
      > in CORT was correlated with the intensity of the nocturnal behavior. In
      > free-living green turtles that performed nocturnal activity including:
      > nesting, mate searching, and feeding/swimming behaviors, plasma profiles
      > MEL and CORT exhibited relatively little, or no, daily fluctuation. Our
      > findings demonstrate that nocturnal activity in green turtles is often
      > associated with MEL and CORT profiles that resemble those measured during
      > the day. We speculate that these conspicuous changes in MEL and CORT
      > nocturnal activity could either support or promote behaviors that enable
      > acquisition of transient resources important to the survival and
      > reproductive success of green turtles.
      > ____
      > 4) World Chelonian Trust Is Pleased To Announce The Publishing Of An
      > "Overview Of The Animal Markets Of China" http://www.chelonia.org there is
      > a direct link to the Overview of the China Animal Markets on this page
      > It is our hope that this web document will further the tremendous strides
      > that others, through their onsite accounts, have made in bringing the
      > existence and conditions of the markets to the eyes of the world. In this
      > overview we present photos, comments and pricing information from a survey
      > initiated in the Spring of 2002. This ongoing survey focuses on the major
      > markets of China: the Beijing- Bird Market, Chengdu- Food and petmarkets,
      > Guangzhou- Qing Ping turtle markets, Guangzhou- Chao Tou wildlife markets,
      > Hong Kong- Tong Choi street pet markets and the Shen zhen market.While the
      > focus of this web presentation is turtles and tortoises, we have included
      > other types of reptiles and other classes as well; amphibians, birds and
      > mammals. We are doing this to dispel the misconception that these markets
      > are primarily "about turtles". We also hope to dispel a few other
      > misconceptions about the animal markets along the way. This is not an
      > extremely text heavy document, while there is some commentary throughout,
      > we prefer to let the pictures speak for themselves with minimal
      > interpretation. No special effort has been made to shock or appall in this
      > piece but by their very nature these photos can be very disturbing. We
      > strongly suggest that small children not view this prior to the preview by
      > a parent or guardian. The web address of the WCT is
      > there is a direct link to the Overview of the China Animal Markets on this
      > page. It is our hope that this will be a useful tool in shaping opinion,
      > correcting the aforementioned misconceptions and presenting the markets as
      > they currently exist. Please set aside some time for viewing this as it is
      > composed of over 80 html pages and 150 photographs. Thank you, Darrell
      > Senneke-- Darrell Senneke, Director - World Chelonian Trust -
      > http://www.chelonia.org TSA - Communications Advisor / Webmaster -
      > http://www.turtlesurvival.orgIUCN / TSA Indotestudo Taxon Management Group
      > Point Person
      > ___________________________________________________________________
      > 5) In The Last Two Weeks, Thousands Of Mudpuppies, An Aquatic Salamander,
      > Have Washed Up Along The Lake Erie Shoreline From The Pennsylvania Border
      > North Into Erie County. Press Release from the NYS State DEC For more
      > information contact Meaghan Boice-GreenWednesday, June 26, 2002,(716)
      > Dec Monitoring Possible Botulism E Outbreak Along Lake Erie
      > Public Advised About Proper Handling Techniques for Fish and Game
      > The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is
      > monitoring a possible outbreak of Type E botulism in wildlife along the
      > Lake Erie shoreline in Erie and Chautauqua counties. ADEC fish and
      > staff are aggressively monitoring the shores of Lake Erie and are
      > determining if botulism is the cause of this die-off, DEC Regional
      > Gerald Mikol said. In the meantime, we encourage the public to take
      > precautionary steps to prevent potential exposure.
      > In the last two weeks, thousands of mudpuppies, an aquatic salamander,
      > washed up along the Lake Erie shoreline from the Pennsylvania border north
      > into Erie County. Smaller numbers of fish, mainly sheepshead and
      > small-mouth bass, and a few gulls have also washed up on shore. DEC has
      > collected samples and sent them to a laboratory to confirm whether Type E
      > botulism is the cause of death.
      > Type E botulism (Clostridium botulinum) first appeared in eastern Lake
      > Erie in fall 2000, when several thousand water birds washed up on the
      > shoreline. In 2001, DEC confirmed Type E botulism in several species of
      > fish and waterfowl. There have been no reports of any human illness
      > associated with past outbreaks. Type E botulism is a specific botulism
      > strain most commonly affecting fish-eating birds. It is a paralytic,
      > fatal, disease in animals that results from the ingestion of the toxin
      > produced by the botulism bacterium. This type of botulism can be harmful
      > or even fatal to humans and other mammals if they consume birds or fish
      > that have been poisoned by the toxin or the flesh of an infected animal.
      > People are not at risk for botulism from swimming in Lake Erie waters.
      > Anyone with questions about water quality at specific beaches is
      > to contact the local health department. Hunters and anglers should not
      > harvest any waterfowl or fish that are sick, dying or acting abnormally.
      > Cooking may not destroy the botulism toxin.
      > ___
      > 6) Firefighters Sent to Help Toads
      > HAADEMEESTE, Estonia (AP) June 1, 2002 -- Estonian firemen, often heralded
      > for their bravery, are now winning accolades for a less conventional sort
      > of rescue operation: saving toads. Fire trucks in the southwest part of
      > this Baltic Sea coast nation, suffering a two-month drought, have been
      > delivering eight tons of water daily to several breeding ponds of the
      > endangered natterjack toad, officials said Friday. The operation is
      > focusing on some 15,000 tadpoles of the rare toad species, hatched earlier
      > this spring, that will die if the small sand pit reservoirs dry up, said
      > Mati Kose, an adviser with the environmental ministry. Kose said there
      > just 500 to 2,000 adult natter jacks left in theex-Soviet Baltic
      > republic.``If they die, it'd be a disaster,'' he said. ``This toad is near
      > extinction, and this tiny part of Estonia is one of its last strong holds.
      > ''Natterjacks, Bufo calamita by their Latin name, live in several other
      > northern European nations, where they also are a threatened species. The
      > greenish brown reptile, the size of a fist, is celebrated here for its
      > metallic croak that can be heard kilometers (miles) away. Kosesaid many
      > Estonians in rural areas were nostalgic about the sound, associating it
      > with their childhood. The adult toads already have been gathered up with
      > spoons and glass jarsand moved to wetter areas. But the tadpoles can't be
      > transported until they mature and can survive out of the water, Kose said.
      > Fire engines from Haademeeste village, 170 kilometers (100 miles) south of
      > Tallinn, Estonia's capital, have been spraying water into the pits for two
      > weeks and are expected to continue for two more -- when the tadpoles
      > be developed toads with legs. Kose said numbers of natterjacks, which
      > thrive in sandy marshes near these a, plummeted over the decades because
      > human developments overran their habitats.
      > _____________________________________________________________________
      > 7) Snake promotion turns slippery for minor league team
      > Adapted from Article Published Thursday, June 20, 2002
      > RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) -- Promoters of minor-league baseball have a message
      > for fans: There will be no free tickets given in exchange for live snakes.
      > The Richmond Roosters had offered free tickets to fans who show up at
      > McBride Stadium with a live snake. The idea resulted from problems
      > experienced by residents in a snake-plagued neighborhood.
      > "This one had many aspects that people were unaware of, and it just kept
      > unfolding," Rooster co-owner Allen Brady said.
      > The original plan was to work with an environmental center to create a
      > snake-relocation program.
      > But state laws intervened because it's illegal to kill or capture wild
      > snakes without a permit.
      > "Our fans do not have these permits, so they can not legally capture these
      > animals," Rooster co-owner Rob Quigg told the Palladium-Item for a story
      > published Thursday.
      > Team managers decided to turn the promotion into a public-awareness
      > campaign to educate fans about wildlife laws.
      > The team will sponsor a Snake Awareness Night at its July 1 game against
      > Johnstown. An informational board will be on display to describe types of
      > snakes that live in east-central Indiana
      > ___
      > 8) The Rage In China: Lunching On Wildlife, And Mao By ELISABETH
      > ROSENTHALIANBIAN, China - NY Times 6/25/02
      > "Long Live the Proletarian Revolution" screams one of the huge red
      > relics from Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution, on this vast restaurant's
      > walls.But the hundreds of wild animals in the cages stacked high
      > will not live long at all. The herons, flying foxes, snakes, baby deer and
      > lynx are among the dozens of species on the menu here, all destined to end
      > up fried, stewed or dunked into a hot pot as part of today's businessman's
      > lunch. Plunked improbably in this village on the outskirts of Guangzhou,
      > the fantastically popular Sent Down Youth No. 1 Village Wild Flavors
      > Restaurant is outwardly the oddest of hybrids: a kitsch theme spot where
      > patrons can remember a miserably poor and brutally political decade in
      > China's history while indulging the current southern Chinese rage for
      > feasting on weird and expensive creatures.But then this is Guangdong,
      > China's boom province, a giddy, anything-goes place where consumers rule
      > and economic success has long since supplanted Communist orthodoxy as the
      > guiding principle of existence."I decided on a Cultural Revolution theme
      > because in those days we suffered a great deal and never had anything to
      > eat," said the owner, Liu Zhenhua, 51, who sports a cellphone, a shag
      > haircut and two rings in his left ear. His restaurant is named in part for
      > his Cultural Revolution experiences as a "sent-down youth," a city boy
      > remanded to the countryside to learn from the peasants."Now we are
      > prosperous and can eat anything we want," he said. "So we can remember
      > suffering while enjoying our current good fortune."Wild animal restaurants
      > are just one of many consumer crazes, from skateboarding to fine wine,
      > have gripped Guangdong in the last five years as rising incomes have left
      > Cantonese with time and money to pursue their pleasures. Baiyun Avenue,
      > which leads north out of Guangzhou, the provincial capital, toward
      > Lianbian, is cluttered with opulent eateries whose billboards seem better
      > suited to zoos.So two years ago, to distinguish his place from other
      > restaurants offering scorpion, bobcat and squirrel, Mr. Liu had an
      > inspiration: he erected a huge statue of Mao by the roadside, plastered
      > restaurant walls with slogans, old photos and 1960's propaganda posters,
      > and dressed his waiters in vintage 1960's military garb. Presto! Mao, the
      > outdated Great Helmsman of the Socialist Revolution, was transformed into
      > marketing device.In this part of China, Mr. Liu was rewarded rather than
      > criticized for his innovation. Local farmers, impressed by his ability to
      > make money, elected him village chief by a huge majority - his baggy jeans
      > and earrings not considered a liability.To judge by the perpetually packed
      > dining room, Mr. Liu has hit upon a formula irresistible in Guangdong,
      > which has been notorious since ancient times for both adventurous eating
      > and irreverent politics. People here will eat "anything with legs other
      > than the table," an old saying goes."Wildlife restaurants are a sign of
      > prosperity," said Kuang Zuoqiao, 51, a slightly scruffy farmer who joined
      > two relatives for cheap cigarettes and expensive chunks of wild boar here
      > on a recent Tuesday afternoon. "It's fun and exciting to see what new
      > animals taste like." He said they splurged on wild animal meals two or
      > three times a month, adding, "When you see an animal, it's only natural to
      > wonder what kind of flavor it has."His distant cousin, Kuang Yanyao, 53,
      > said there was a tinge of vengeful pleasure in feasting under the watchful
      > eyes of plaster Red Guards. During the Cultural Revolution, they plowed
      > through China's countryside in posses, ransacking temples and beating
      > deemed to have anti- revolutionary tendencies."The Cultural Revolution was
      > not a happy time here," Mr. Kuang said, sitting under a poster that
      > proclaimed, "The Revolution Depends on Chairman Mao Thought.""We ate just
      > rice and tea - we were always hungry. So it is very satisfying to be able
      > to eat here, like this."At the restaurant's entryway, well-dressed
      > customers in sport shirts and silk dresses surveyed the cages, picking out
      > lunch.The house specialty is "Dragon, Tiger, Phoenix," a stew of snake,
      > wildcat and crane popular for its supposed health benefits as well as its
      > flavor.Rats are popular, but only in winter, since they "carry too many
      > diseases in summer," a waitress explained. But some customers averred
      > like a fine sherry, a well-prepared rat knows no season. "To me, it
      > matter what time of the year," Kuang Zuoqiao said.Mr. Liu's is certainly
      > not for the animal lover or the faint of heart; there are Chinese who feel
      > that the people of Guangdong have now taken the sport of extreme eating
      > far.The central government, noting that wealthy locals here are now paying
      > top dollar to eat protected and even endangered species, is cracking down
      > on the trade. Just this week, the owner of a nearby restaurant was
      > sentenced to five years in jail for serving pangolin, a kind of anteater.
      > Mr. Liu says he carefully adheres to government laws on wild animals,
      > sometimes purchasing from Southeast Asia animals not available here. "Rare
      > owls and crocodiles used to be popular but you can't get them anymore
      > because the government has banned that," a waiter said.But for many
      > customers, a trip to Mr. Liu's is as much about political catharsis as
      > culinary experimentation, an attempt to come to terms with a bygone
      > receive a lot of support from old people and other sent down youth who,
      > like me, don't want these things forgotten," he said. "They come down here
      > for reunion dinners and by the end of the evening they are filled with
      > Editorial comment: To slightly paraphrase, "You can get anything you want
      > at Mao's Restaurant, including extinction, at Alice's restaurant." My
      > apologies and thanks to Mr. Guthrie)
      > __________________________________________________________________________
      > 9) The 4th Annual Northeast PARC Meeting!!
      > Dear Northeast PARC Member or Interested Party:
      > You are invited to the Northeast Regional Working Group meeting of
      > in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC). NEPARC is excited to
      > announce its fourth meeting on August 13-14, 2002 at the Pocono
      > Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingman's Ferry, Pennsylvania.
      > New Jersey Audubon Society and NJ Endangered & Nongame Species Program
      > be hosting the event. Come and join us further reptile and amphibian
      > conservation in the northeast!
      > For those of you that are new to PARC (www.parcplace.org) the partnership
      > was formed in 1998 as a cooperative effort amongst governmental and
      > non-governmental natural resource agencies, private industry, and
      > professional organizations regarding research, monitoring, management,
      > policy, and education on reptiles and amphibians. PARC members
      > on projects and programs for the long-term conservation and public
      > appreciation of reptiles and amphibians.
      > The fourth meeting involves status reports, special presentations, and
      > breaking into working groups to collectively brainstorm on current NE PARC
      > projects (see agenda online at
      > www.mp2-pwrc.usgs.gov/neparc/Meeting/index.html). The first day involves
      > status reports on national working group activities, updates on current NE
      > PARC projects (e.g., NEPARC Habitat Management Guidebook, Model State
      > Regulations), and an evening presentation. The second day involves
      > breaking out into facilitated working groups to brainstorm and solidify
      > concepts for two of NEPARC current projects: (i) risk assessment by taxa,
      > and (ii) education and outreach. As always, your involvement is essential
      > to the success of our meeting.
      > PEEC offers terrific facilities adjacent to the beautiful Delaware Water
      > Gap NRA. The registration fee for this year's meeting is $85 which covers
      > room, board, dinner, conference room facilities and refreshment breaks.
      > The registration fee may be paid by check or money order, and should be
      > made out to New Jersey Audubon Society. Please complete and return the
      > registration form on the NEPARC website along with payment by August 2,
      > 2002. Upon receiving your registration form and payment, you will be sent
      > an e-mail confirming your registration.
      > Directions to PEEC can be found at www.peec.org. Any directions
      > regarding registration should be directed to Eric Stiles at
      > estiles@... or 908.766.5787 x 13 or Dave Golden at 609.628.2103
      > dgolden@....
      > We look forward to meeting with you in August!
      > Sincerely,
      > Alison Haskell and Al Breisch
      > NE PARC co-chairs
      > ______________________________________________________________________
      > 10) Increasing Number Of US Animal Group Opposes USDA Agency Transfer
      > WASHINGTON - 6/21/02 The transfer of federal animal welfare programs to
      > the proposed Homeland Security Department could weaken current animal
      > protection laws, the Humane Society of the United States said yesterday.
      > The nation's largest animal rights group joined a growing chorus of
      > opposition to the relocation of the Agriculture Department's Animal and
      > Plant Health Inspection Agency. The agency, known as APHIS, is among the
      > existing federal entities that will be folded into the new
      > Cabinet department. Although mainly in charge of protecting U.S.
      > agriculture from foreign diseases and pests, APHIS also has authority over
      > such things as the treatment of animals in circuses, zoos and puppy mills.
      > Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society, said moving
      > animal welfare programs to the new department "is an obvious misfit." "It
      > is already difficult enough to get the USDA to adequately enforce existing
      > animal protection laws," he said. "Moving these programs to the Department
      > of Homeland Security would marginalize them even further." Critics fear
      > APHIS resources would be focused too narrowly on bio-terrorism threats
      > rather than on the wide range of agriculture diseases which can impact
      > crop health and trade. A coalition of more than 40 U.S. agriculture and
      > veterinarian groups recently sent a seven-page document to the White House
      > and Congress listing APHIS responsibilities that might be weakened under a
      > new department. These include regulating new genetically modified crops,
      > issuing farm export certificates, and eradicating agriculture diseases
      > already in the country. The coalition said it has not yet received any
      > assurances from the Bush administration nor Congress that APHIS programs
      > would not be weakened by the move. The biotechnology industry and some
      > lawmakers, including Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin,
      > Democrat, have also expressed reservations of the agency's relocation.
      > Lawmakers are hurrying to pass legislation to create the new department by
      > the first anniversary of the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
      > Under the White House's proposal, APHIS would be lumped together under the
      > same authority as the Coast Guard, the Customs Service and the Immigration
      > and Naturalization Service. APHIS, perhaps best known for screening
      > visitors and cargo at U.S. points of entry, safeguards agriculture from
      > pests such as citrus canker and soybean rust fungus and animal diseases
      > like foot-and-mouth disease and mad cow.
      > _______________________________________________________________________
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