the online meeting place for all who love our amphibians and reptiles
Home Page Live Forums Archived Forums Site Search Identify Record Donate Projects Links
Forum Home Forum Home > Conservation > Projects and Grants
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - The Record Pool
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

The Record Pool

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 9>
Author
Message
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2012 at 8:39am
Originally posted by Iowarth Iowarth wrote:

Hi Gemma

I agree that this is a risk. In practice, however, I really cannot see any way of significantly reducing that risk. It is very easy, using the distribution maps in Beebee & Griffiths Amphibians and Reptiles to pin locations down to within a kilometre as it is with other resources - particularly on line. In short, a person who aims to take animals from the wild can establish locations with that degree of accuracy quite readily without placing themselves at risk by applying for records and thus identifying themselves.

Although I have no doubt that there is still a limited illegal trade in native reptiles I doubt if it is of any significance in terms of threat to the animals. Simply there is too high a risk related to too limited a return.  I retain a significant presence within the pet-keeping and captive breeding community (most of which has no awareness of my involvement in conservation) and have come across no instances of people offering UK animals for sale. While several UK species have been offered for sale in the last ten years these have been animals from eastern Europe and Asia. 

I would say that at least 90% of wild UK herps taken into captivity nowadays are by children not knowing better - and that is how many of us became involved. But, back then, we only accounted for 10% - if that. The bulk was commercial collecting for the trade.

The biggest risks in this day and age are direct persecution (particularly of snakes as most people don't know an adder from any other snake) and habitat destruction - by illegal development, inadequate (or downright criminal) mitigation and fire. 

It should be noted that ARCs policy regarding data sharing does include an element of judgment regarding who of the public should be allowed access to data.

So, all in all, I do not find myself unduly concerned by this aspect - it is actually easier for someone who wants to collect them and has a little knowledge about them, to do so using readily available information. That's how I found my first Sand Lizards - fifty something years ago using Malcolm Smith's book as the clue! (my gawd that makes me feel old!!)

All the best

Chris


You just made me feel old Chris, I first put a foot on the Surrey Heaths using Malcolm Smith's book as my guide. Though some 20 years later than you!

I can see the argument from both sides. But like Rob I've had some real world bad experiences from sharing information. 

Submitting records is like firing a bullet in the dark. It may help herp conservation, it may harm it in my experience.

The recording I undertake is not recording for recording sake. I work closely with land managers. I get them involved, I discuss things they want to do for reptiles and things they can do for reptiles. With luck we get some or all of it done.

The alternative is to just record and either use the records to 'bash' people (a method that simply doesn't always work very well) or rely on people giving a damn about herptiles. (most people don't even like them).

So what I am exploring is how to use records effectively and safeguard animals at the same time.

Submitting records as effective conservation relies on entire host of people to have an understanding of herptiles and a passion for them. Working on the ground directly with land managers side steps that in my experience and gets things done. It also keeps the information within a very small group of people. Yet at the same time generates local interest in the survey or if the land manager chats to locals in the pub about what is in their village.

One of the big problems with recording centers etc is people move on, contacts are lost, things get forgotten or people go to the wrong place for advice.

Take the reptiles moved out of Essex. EWT advised there were not suitable sites for them in Essex. Really? Essex is one of the largest counties in the UK, is made up mostly of farmland, is littered with disused airfields and industrial sites, has hundreds of miles of sea wall... it takes more than submitting records to conserve herps in my opinion. So if they are not all that effective is the risk worth it? Or put in a positive way, if there is a risk involved, how do we make sure it is a risk worth taking and the records actually achieve the conservation aims listed by Mark?

It seems to me that one way to do it would be to 'join up' the records with the right people to give advice, that is what appears to be missing in the current system.

It's now 2012 - we have the technology LOL


Edited by GemmaJF - 27 Sep 2012 at 9:08am
Back to Top
herpetologic2 View Drop Down
Forum Coordinator
Forum Coordinator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1511
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 12:30am
Right I am going to have to put the situation regarding EARG and datasearches. When I was more involved with EARG I did send out data to consultants via the groups email. The policy was a standard charge of £80 per datasearch if there were records to send. If we had no records or very few I did not ask for money. 

The old county recorder David Scott also charged a similar amount and we both split the money between EARG and EFC. 

I even asked consultants for records in return for discounted datasearches. If they agreed to send in data each year they got free datasearches! 
You know what happened the consultants would rather pay the £80 than to share data 

The money raised by went into the groups bank account so we can buy equipment, pay expenses, and even send members to the herpetofauna workers meeting. 

I personally think that paying per record is not the way forward as biological records are or should not be sold on. The copyright of all records should remain with the recorder. All records should be available for conservation purposes. Consultants are asked for a donation or were 

In Essex the policy is to send people to the online datasearch system run by the field club. We will be agreeing a policy that a percentage of the money raised will be noted put towards surveys, equipment etc to generate more records 

I have not been following the discussion on here and will read back the thread to bring me up to speed. I use the record pool for reporting my records from around the UK. You will note that for great crested nests in England you are legally obligated to report your records to the LRC. Perhaps the record pool could help consultants make their survey reports legal? 

It is coming up to October for the class licenses and my data will be going into the record pool. Gemma I will resend the last export from the RP to you as I think you may not have got it. 

Time to head to bed I will respond on the other points made through these discussion in due course. 
Back to Top
herpetologic2 View Drop Down
Forum Coordinator
Forum Coordinator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1511
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 12:47am
Ps after reading the comment about the movement of reptiles out of Essex. EARG tried very hard to try and prevent the mass translocation of reptiles. We submitted suggestions for local release sites, we even met the environment manager from DP world on the site. sadly to no avail but we did manage to convince them that some of the reptiles in the later phases were kept in Essex in the adjoining grazing marshes and on Canvey. 

I tried my best even thought about tendering for part of the job to see whether we could influence the decisions on the ground. 

The companies who were involved ploughed on with the mitigation plan agreed several years previously. As EARG were kept in the dark apart from an ecological consultant who reported his data to our group we managed to find out about the mass translocation plan. EARG failed to stop it yes But we hope this is never repeated 

There is another translocation going on behalf of a certain feathered animal charity with the same company from the London port development. Again New have signed off on a mitigation plan which was planned with no surveys prior to the work being done. 

I have sticker my oar in and am waiting from contact from the major London project involved with this. 
I hope I could get a site meeting to influence what is happening however as NE has signed off on the plan the consultants were reluctant to change their approach. 

Various issues need addressing whether I can resolve it I don't know. Will let you know. 





Back to Top
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 8:17am
So records should not be sold on Jon, but they are as you stated above. You can dress it up as a donation for the data search but it is the same thing! 

It is all very well saying that donations are collected but if these do not pass down the food chain then people cannot afford to keep supplying records...

My point regarding the movement of reptiles out of Essex was not a criticism of EARG or effectively you in the past. It was an illustration that records alone do not protect animals.

I think it is worth discussing these issues. Many of the ARGs for example form partnerships with record centers yet effectively cut off their own funding stream in the process. If as it often appears to me the only real use records are being to put to, is to sell them on to consultants, then the money should move down the food chain. Perhaps that is the real issue, if records were put to better uses then it would all make sense wouldn't it and I wouldn't be worried so much about the money aspect?

I really think this is a case of money is a dirty word in conservation syndrome gone mad. Most people realise in the real world one doesn't get something for nothing. 

In the current economic situation doing a 50 mile round trip to a site numerous times to record is costing an appreciable amount of money. There comes a point where that is no longer viable. With nothing to offset or cover the costs. That is really what I am talking about.

For example say I visit a site 25 miles away, my land rover does about 400 miles on a tank of fuel costing £80.

A total of 50 miles there and back. I go 8 times. 

Which is, well conveniently 400 miles total. So it cost me £80 in fuel. Now if I have no financial return on that and give away the records for free, what happens at the end of the line if records are only really used to provide consultants with information for commercial projects? Effectively I have given up my money to subsidise records searches carried out by consultants. 

Nice system, not! 

Lets take the concept further.

I really don't know what will happen to those records, they may be passed on, someone may charge someone else for the information later down the line. What are the chances of any of that money going back to the recorder directly at the moment? No chance really.

So instead have a system where people are paid for records to enable them to cover their recording costs. I can't really see why that is such a 'stupid' idea.




Edited by GemmaJF - 28 Sep 2012 at 8:54am
Back to Top
Mark_b View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 155
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark_b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 10:11am

I am happy for the money to not go directly down the food chain, the record centres need it to survive, they do not get enough funding otherwise. Without record centres we would have a mixed bag of county records not working together(taxa groups not covered), it's like devolution, a silly idea. The record centres in Wales support their recorders - provide them with software, I.T. support, run lots of training, meetings etc

It sounds like the recording situation with record centres, groups and individuals is a bit more complicated down your way, but I don't think your idea of getting money for records for individuals will work. It sounds like you need to survey within your own means, this is the current system, don't use your fuel if you can’t afford it. That's why there should be a network of individuals working together, I think it's called ..... an ARG? SWWARG don’t charge for data but we have thousands of pounds in our account by connecting in with organisations and local councils who have paid us for training, projects etc. I don’t ask for fuel money for surveying but if we had an individual who really needed it we would help them.

Back to Top
herpetologic2 View Drop Down
Forum Coordinator
Forum Coordinator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1511
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 10:30am
Quite simply keep your surveys more local and affordable if you are not being paid to carry out such work and you cannot afford the fuel costs. 

There are other incentives which make people go out and record wildlife other than monetary gain. I personally get paid to carry out survey work, I also get paid to collate the information and I also get paid  for my time to send the information to local recorders. Why should I then get money for each record that I supply?  If I got a £1 for each record I would be able to retire after two to three years as I can submit many thousands of records each winter. Okay maybe not 

Is this idea to get people to survey or to report on their surveys? With my great crested newt work I am legally obligated to report my survey findings - my clients know this and so pay for my time to send in the data to Local Recorders (via the Record Pool). I also carry out many surveys in my own time and I do not wish to have payment for it. I have carried out surveys on Wildlife Trust reserves which would have cost well over £10,000 in consultant fees if I was paid. I do it for the love of the animals as I have always done so.

The main thing is to recognise that it is not the records which are being sold but the time taken for a person to collate a report - that would be for 1 record to thousands of records it is the time which is charged for not the records.

The Record Pool is not designed to make money from species data. It is designed to provide an online reporting system for amphibian and reptile surveyors. The data will go to Local Recorders either ARG's or county recorders. The system is being developed with the help of active herp recorders and I would welcome people to get involved helping with the front end testing and of course the admin system in the back end.

Agreements with Local Record Centres should include payment to recording groups each year to help cover survey expenses - the fact that this has not been agreed in some counties is down to the parties involved. In Essex at least the Field Club are willing to agree to this sort of arrangement - i.e. some monies from data searches will go to the EARG - the group and not individuals.

Whether we could get the same agreement with BRIE is a different matter - time will tell. 

For a long while EARG have looked at rewarding volunteer survey efforts by paying for attendance to the Herp Workers Meeting and there could be a system for people to claim mileage expenses for survey work in the county. 

In the case of EARG we have purchased nets, torches and other equipment for people to use in their survey work from monies collected from data searches and in some cases donations to the group for survey work undertaken - for example the RSPB and Wallasea Island reptile surveys.

We have been approached by the EA to carry out surveys on seawalls. I have a reserve in Wickford which I am currently managing and I would like to have EARG volunteers on site helping with practical conservation, surveys etc and I would be willing to cover mileage to and from the site. In fact this may be the first reserve EARG would be able to work on in agreement with my company as the managers. (I suspect that I may get more flaming for this.....)












Back to Top
herpetologic2 View Drop Down
Forum Coordinator
Forum Coordinator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1511
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 10:32am
Shall we get back to the topic which is the online reporting tool please!
Back to Top
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 11:12am
You guys don't live in the real world.

If you are going to record, do it somewhere where it will do some good. If that means say having land managers 25 - 30 miles away who are actually prepared to do something for reptiles, then you travel to that location and work with them. If other 'organisations' want the records from that work, then they should pay for them. Simple isn't it. Else they don't get them, which on the whole is actually the real situation. So you use an ARG member to do the recording. I don't know how many times I have stated I have hundreds of ACO available in Essex for use, so how many people have said 'oh yes please can I have some to do a local survey'. Lets think, eeer none at all. I guess from the ARG point of view as long as they can get mugs to do it they are quids in LOL

Sure I'll keep it local, there are lizards along the hedgerows in the surrounding arable fields for miles around. Great. A massive stride for conservation. Based on that also, so I work locally, hmmm the several thousand records I have would all be around Maldon lol. That would help the general picture of herp distribution in Essex wouldn't it!

Going back to the topic, I doubt if many people will use it Jon but good luck. I'm beginning to remember why I left the conservation side and moved into consultancy. At least it is a world of 'can' do not 'can't' do.



Edited by GemmaJF - 28 Sep 2012 at 11:18am
Back to Top
herpetologic2 View Drop Down
Forum Coordinator
Forum Coordinator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1511
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 11:24am
Lets hope you don't carry out any great crested newt surveys then Gemma. As in the real world all newts surveyors HAVE to report their survey results to LRCs!!!!!!

it is now a legal requirement to do this otherwise you cannot use the survey information in any consultancy report as it would not be a report based on legally obtained survey information (though it would be interesting to see how this holds up in the courts).

I will pass on your details to the EARG members who need some ACO's and they will be in touch - and will also be around to collect the ACO's should we charge for that fuel Gemma?

We will just have to live with your position and get in with recording and reporting our survey results. 

The Record Pool is doing very nicely with a nice steady increase in the numbers of records coming in and the numbers of people using it is increasing all the time.......

Regards


Back to Top
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2012 at 11:29am
Well actually I don't generally specifically survey for GCN, Jon and I would report GCN sightings in any case as I know the legal obligation, it has always been a licence requirement to submit the sightings. It doesn't though say anywhere I have to send them to you though does it lol.

And no Jon I wouldn't want anyone to collect the ACO. I am more than willing to help a genuine ARG member to set-up a survey and deliver the ACO to the site and collect them when the survey is complete. I wouldn't like to think they could end up on a consultancy job by mistake or anything. Shocked





Edited by GemmaJF - 28 Sep 2012 at 11:34am
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 9>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.