Is Herping Illegal?

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by KingsReptiles, Jul 27, 2016.

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  1. KingsReptiles

    KingsReptiles Active Member

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    Lots of us are passionate herpers, including myself, i regularly go out and catch and release reptiles. but i know native reptiles in australia, including NSW where i live, are protected and it is illegal to capture them without a licence even if it is only for a few minutes, that being said what about Steve Irwin, Andrew Ucles and that guy from deadly 60 and other naturalist/conservations like that? They catch or caught aussie reptiles and didnt get a fine or put in jail. On one site about the death adder, it said you need the appropriate licensing to catch them, but when i looked on the NSW gov website for wildlife licences the only similar one was the catch and release licence for reptiles (mainly snakes) or possums but it was only to remove snakes or possums from a residential or commercial area and release them in the bush. Is there licences to catch reptiles in the bush and release them. Or is herping illegal?
     
  2. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Essentially yes, herping without a permit is illegal. Permits are granted for specific reasons including research, surveys and relocations however these all require various hoops (and rightly so) before permits maybe issued.
     
  3. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    yes ... and no.

    Try stopping little boys and even some little girls going out into the garden or park or bush and flipping bits of roofing sheets, rubbish , bits of bark , rocks and catching the herps they see to bring them home.

    Also plenty of hobbyists who go looking for herps to photograph who will interfere with their habitat and catch them and pose them good photos, very few have the patience to wait quietly in a good spot and take pot luck on seeing/ being able to photograph any random herps that happen by while they are there.

    Then there is the issue of rescuing a herp who is in trouble , been injured, is sick needs some help, I for one wont leave one to meet it's fate (likely a gory one or painful lingering death if I think I can help it).
     
  4. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    Generally if you aren't catching the reptiles it's generally not seen as too bad but as KON said this law doesn't stop people. If I'm catching things I'll put it back in the same place.
     
  5. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    The simple answer to your question is yes, it is illegal to go herping without permission and approval from NSW NPWS. Scientific licences are issued for research and survey work but they are not issued lightly or to the inexperienced.

    Essentially those little boys and girls that Nobby is referring to would actually be breaking the law...ditto with photographers that search for reptiles to photograph in situ. As silly as it seems, as the law stands, it is also illegal to remove reptiles from a road surface even if they are in danger of being run over.

    Reptiles in their natural habitat can be very difficult to find unless one is experienced with the micro habitat that each individual species occupies.

    Herping also needs to be undertaken in an ethical, moral and conscious manner so as to not damage habitat or have a negative impact on the biodiversity of an area. This includes making sure that any items (including rocks, bark, sheets of tin and even, where possible, rubbish) are returned to the exact state and position they were prior to being disturbed. Bark should never be stripped from trees or logs and rocks should never ever be "flipped" and left upturned.

    I know the way the law is makes it difficult to get first hand experience without being mentored but it is in place to protect not just reptiles but all our native animals and the natural environment.

    The best way to get experience and have the greatest chance of finding herps in the wild is to join a local herp society or group and actively participate in field trips.

    I'll add that most of the reptiles that you see featured in docos and alike are the result of staging...ie the reptiles are actually from private collections and taken to an area to be filmed.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
  6. KingsReptiles

    KingsReptiles Active Member

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    so ur saying andrew ucles and steve irwin took their animals and filmed them then why r they aggressive
     
  7. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    Because that's just some of the animals individual personality. Using aggressive specimens would discourage people from interfering with wildlife. Pretty simple stuff really.

    In a sense, I guess they were phoney but were doing the right thing (even though it kinda backfired)
     
  8. KingsReptiles

    KingsReptiles Active Member

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    maybe some but its hard to belive he always did that
     
  9. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    I don't know if the animals these two show and interact with "in the wild" are actually wild or not , but in both cases I think their prime motivation is $ (they hope to get by selling broadcast rights to their videos and photos AND not to promote conservation per say or to discourage Joe Citisen from going and try to do the same things with fairdinkum wild animals), very little entertainment value from a calm laid back relaxed snake, frog, or lizard where one who cracky or trying get away is more active and interesting.

    I suspect Irwin and Ucles were frequently breaking the law in doing a lot of what they did unless they had special permits allowing their activities (while in the wild).
     
  10. KingsReptiles

    KingsReptiles Active Member

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    ok how about qld laws r they more rexlaxed or is it easier to get permits there

    - - - Updated - - -

    and how do you get these so called qualifications or permits how do you get qualified to do reasearch or surveys, relocations, how do you get thru the hoops?
     
  11. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    Don't know, I don't live in Qld.
     
  12. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Of course they're always staged - they would waste a huge amount of time on the off-chance they could find what they are looking for at any time, and when they've got 4 or 5 people on the payroll at any given shoot, it becomes very expensive when you go home empty-handed after weeks in the field. The animals are usually from collections and are not "aggressive" - they are "defensive" - most reptiles don't enjoy being handled by humans, they simply tolerate it, so it's not hard to get captive reptiles to behave in the ways you describe as aggressive, if you push the right buttons. To be honest, I don't blame any reptile for behaving badly when in the clutches of Steve Irwin...

    With regard to permits to interfere with wildlife, unless you are involved in genuine research, or are an academic doing same, or have a professional or commercial reason to be involved with wild fauna, you can forget even asking for permission in most, if not all states. You won't get it for your own private pursuits. Even with careful replacement, rock flipping, log rolling and other activities which damage habitat can render those shelters useless for years because they never go back exactly the way they were.

    Relocations - you'll need a history of reptile knowledge probably with a herp club, and references from others doing the same thing.

    Just out of interest, can I ask how old you are?

    Jamie
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  13. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh dear. Guilty. :facepalm:
     
  14. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    I would hazard a guess and say all of us were (guilty as charged ya ona) when we were kids.

    Those who like to collect photos of herps in the wild ---- what's wrong with going armed with a tub of mealworms to "entice" the wild wee scaley 4 legged beasties out for a photo opportunity and setting up the camera on a tripod with a remote camera shutter release so you can stay outside their personal space ?

    - - - Updated - - -

    If you've ever watched the "behind the scenes" / "making of" videos by David Attenborough, very interesting the trouble the crew takes to produce even bits of film as short as 10 seconds and the gear they use (and even have to invent) is IMPRESSIVE to say the least.
     
  15. Sheldoncooper

    Sheldoncooper Well-Known Member

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    And yet they destroy there habitat to build factories or houses. Doesn't seem to bother them then.if u can get kids off the ipad to go herping id support it
     
  16. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm sure we're all guilty as charged... but it's only when you get to my age that you realise just how damaging what we used to do has been to prime habitat. However, with the relatively recent "cleaning up" of rubbish in the last 30 years - sheets of tin, car doors, asbestos sheeting etc, that much of our prime collecting patches have disappeared, which has put more pressure on natural habitat, and reduced shelter for many herps that utilised this artificial cover.

    Jamie
     
  17. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Qld laws are not relaxed at all. As for getting through the hoops it's not easy and nor should it be.
     
  18. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    Although there are laws preventing you from doing this, if you live in suburbia or in a rural area you can always lay down corrugated iron, logs and other habitat to encourage local herps to come to you.
     
  19. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    .... or simply take steps in how you "landscape" the garden and yard to make these herp friendly and provide a relatively safe refuge for them in your garden and yard and under the house / around the house .... huge paypack in doing this as skinks and geckos and frogs in particular will do a great job controlling pest insects and spiders (and they'll do it free and in a environmentally safe way) and you can enjoy seeing them frequently with little or no effort.
     
  20. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no. You don't have to catch or even touch the reptiles when herping. There is nothing wrong with simply observing native wildlife and tbh that can be just as rewarding as catch and release. As for photography that is differnet, basically all the "good" herp photogarohers capture and reposition. None are in situ. Its very difficult to get in situ photos. But does anyone really care? Not really (although down here in vic depi did knock down the doors two popular photographers, don't think they got in troubke though).
     
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