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Old December 20, 2012, 05:42 PM   #24
JohnKSa
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Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,303
Quote:
When people say many species are making a come back, what do you mean? to numbers before large scale hunting or 5 more then last year?
It means different things based on the species. When talking about alligators, the numbers are increasing, indicating that there is no problem with overhunting.

When talking about whitetails, some estimates indicate that the population is higher now than it was in the 1600s. For one thing, there are fewer predators, especially large predators to keep the population in check, and human population is such that hunting is very restricted in some areas. The whitetail deer population is so high in some areas that teams have had to be hired to reduce the populations.
Quote:
There was a 2 volume book about rattlesnakes by Laurence Monroe Klauber written in the early 60s and even then he showed the number of snakes caught for snake fairs etc had dropped from one year to another. Then their were in high 100s in some years. How many are caught and killed now.
I think you need some newer data to work from.

The average annual take of rattlers at the largest roundup (Sweetwater, TX) is around 4,000 lbs of animals. The animals are milked for antivenin and then sold for food & skin and other products. Typically the roundup raises around $50,000 a year for local charities.

The take varies from year to year based on conditions, but I can find no data suggesting that there is any downward trend in the take.

The only graph I can find ends in the middle 1990s but shows an upward trend over a 30 year period.

http://www.kingsnake.com/roundup/stats1a.jpg
Quote:
And why do people think its still necessary to continue this barbaric custom?
Since it's actually benefiting the local area charities, there's no evidence to indicate it's causing a downward trend in the snake population and it also provides benefits in terms of antivenin, whether or not it's a "barbaric custom" is sort of moot. There's nothing to show that it poses any sort of long term danger to the species in question and it actually provides benefits in other respects.
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