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ATTENTION! Central Florida Herpetological Society

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Posted Oct 19, 2004

 Seems as if Mother Nature really wants to take everyone out for a spin this year.  The CFHS again hopes it’s members, families, friends and loved ones are safe and getting back to normal after Ivan strolled through.  As I write this, yet another hurricane (Jeanne) sets its sights for Florida (please see hurricane tracking and survival).  The format of this newsletter has changed slightly to help get other societies back on the bandwagon.  First you will notice that there is now a table of contents to help readers navigate through the newsletter.  Finally, I have included pages of the other societies, which have not sent in their monthly reports in the last year.  I will give the other societies opportunities to send in their info, which will be added in their appropriate fields.  As the editor for this newsletter, you get some pretty strange calls from people in Florida looking for help or seeking answers.  For instance, the other day I got a call from a young lady in Ocala seeking help on a rather far-fetched situation.  Somehow she was faced with removing a Monitor lizard (type unknown), Iguana and a king snake from her brother’s house.  The only catch was these animals were in the attic of the 3,000+sq ft home.  At a loss for words, I mentioned the possibility of letting the animals adopt the brother’s family.  In other news we are now close to the end of the year with only three more meetings.  The CFHS is planning for a great end-of-the-year line up of speakers and discussions.  We are also taking advantage of my outstanding organizational skills (insert laughter here) and preparing for the 2005 elections.  We would like all CFHS members to attend the December meeting for board nominations and then a 100% member turnout in January for voting and the swearing in of the new officers.  If anyone is interested in becoming more involved in the CFHS or LFHS newsletter please send me an email at:
 viperfx@covad.net
 September’s meeting was a below average turnout due to the weather.  Is it me or has the Weather Channel gotten some serious ratings over the last few weeks?  Our speaker was Falvio Morrisey, who spoke on training alligators and crocodilians.  Some video footage of training specimens was shown and a Flavio narrative was added due to audio difficulties.  The most impressive footage was of the Cuban crocodiles and let me tell you, their natural grace and swiftness was a sight.  The only thing missing was a fetch-the-stick routine but I am sure he’s tried that and lost all the sticks to their powerful jaws. 
 Our October speaker will be Dr. Ken Krysko on Langaha.  Our November speaker will be Dr. Christopher Parkinson on Pit Viper Systematic wider names change.  Now look at this! We even have a speaker lined up for December which will be Bill Love talking about Madagasgar. Looks like Jim and Dennis earned their keep this month ;)  Jim also wrote a nice article on this year’s I.H.S and it’s just a few pages back.
 Our board meeting was also a success with a few comments from our new member at large, Kenny Maddox.  Ken mentioned the idea of creating some T-shirts for the LFHS to raise some money and get out awareness.  We also talked about finally forming the LFHS into either its own non-profit (not for profit), or into a division of the CFHS.  If anyone would like to be part of the decision-making process, they should give us a call or send me an email.  This newsletter is also looking for companies that would like to advertise, as there are very few at the moment.  The board also agreed on a projector setup for our club, which will be purchased in the next month.  The price for the projector, screen, and travel case is justified to increase our societies capabilities.  The CFHS is also pricing a digital slide scanner for facilitating the traditional slide presentations into the new digital format.

Thanks and be safe!

Victor E. Beitelman
CFHS Secretary

 

Posted July 22, 2004

Dear Members,

 As promised our July meeting was a groundbreaking event. Club president Jim Peters brought the meeting to order at 7:35 and went right into current events. The current event was the FIRE Show put on by Toni Cueto and it was a success from what Jim told me. We managed to hand out over 75 membership applications and many thanks go out to Miss Van Horn and the other volunteers who helped at the CFHS table. The CFHS brought in around $300 from raffle donations and a $200 donation from the FIRE Show. All in all, it sounds like we made a really good impression and stood out at the show. Jim then introduced Hans Kairies, our meeting’s special guest, from the Nature Conservancy. Speaking of our special guest, it is the CFHS’s pleasure to say we made a $2,000 donation at this meeting to the Nature Conservancy of Florida. Even better, our long time member Bob Mancuso donated $100 as well. This new effort to save our wildlife and habitat is the brainchild of our President Jim Peters, who hopes to pass down what we have today to our future children. Also, 30% of our FIRE Show and Nation Reptile Breeders Expo money is being donated to the Northwest Florida Nature Conservancy project, in hopes to hit a high mark of $1,000 by year’s end.
 Ed Cassano was this month’s speaker and presented the Huachuca Mountains, which is in the South Eastern region in Arizona maintained by the Nature Conservancy. As always, Ed’s slides took the audience on a trip to places we would never see. Over a hundred slides were shown of the area and it’s wildlife. A great shot of a Western rattlesnake pretending to be a cobra sent laughter into the audience. Just about every type of rattlesnake from that region was also shown. Fantastic landscape photos and a witty narrative from Ed made this evening an enjoyable one. The meeting was brought to an end at 8:30 and the raffle was held with two winning members taking home prizes.
 This month’s board meeting was unable to take place as I was on vacation to Las Vegas (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas) and Myron, our beloved treasurer, is now in Michigan till who knows when. Progress is being made to have the newsletter developed into a more media-rich source of information and more advertisements to pay for its printing and distribution. The new website development is on the back burner but our current one is still up to date and maintained. The year is more than half way over and we are still striving to do more with less time.Now, on to my rant which is payback for Jim passing me up during the meeting. As the LFHS editor, I took the time a while back to finally organize the entire mailing list into a consolidated spreadsheet. After doing this, we are able to track information much easier in less time. However, after reorganizing the member listing we found an issue. The CFHS has almost a 50% delinquency in membership renewals. I will not go into detail about the other societies but we need to think about a few things. First the LFHS newsletter is produced based on a non-profit status. The minimum number of newsletters required for this status is 200 and we didn’t meet that. I ask that we make sure our dues are up to date and possibly have a membership drive. (Note: if you’re reading this, chances are you have paid your dues!) As a result the CFHS has appointed Steve Allen (our new member at large) head of the membership directory for the societies in Florida. He will be contacting out of date members to bring them back into the groups they belong to and to renew their subscriptions to the LFHS newsletter. With all that said the CFHS is on the ball this year taking the club in new directions. Make sure you visit us at the National Reptile Breeders Expo in August! If you interested in working the table this year please contact Jim Peters, jimpetersboas@earthlink.net or 321-303-8495.
 Next month’s speaker is John Constantinou on turtles, frogs and salamanders and in September we will have Flavio Morrissiey discussing his recent trip to Guyana.

 

Posted June 24, 2004

Dear Members,

 Time flys when your having fun and this month was no exception.  Our monthly meeting was brought to order by Jim Peters.  He spoke about the Fire Sale being put on in Orlando by Tony Cueto in July.  The CFHS does not endorse alternative pets along with herpetological pets but in light of show adjustments we are endorsing it.  Tony has informed us that a completely separate room will be the only location where alternatives will be allowed in the Fire Sale.  The CFHS will have a table at this show so make sure you stop by and say hello. Anyone interesting in helping at this event email Jim Peters, jimpetersboas@earthlink.net
 The floor was turned over to our very own Dr. Bruce for a quick overview of his last reptile and amphibian conference.  Some interesting points like the exotic pet trade is second only to drug smuggling made the room get rather quiet.  Doc also mentioned we should be very familiar with the Lacie Act so it will be available on our website for your reading pleasure.  However something he mentioned got my attention, something about a huge increase in micro-biotic infections found in reptiles (BAD!) and a new lacquer appliqué for topical reptile injury application (COOL!)  Bad news was that the West Nile virus is on the rise and its more easily transferable through defecation absorption and ingestion. (Doc I swear you have me typing at 50 words per minute when youre up there talking about vet info !)
 Now before I go any farther let me say we have had a missing board member from our meeting the last few months.  We were all graced by the presence of Dennis Sargent that night which was a sight to be seen (kind of like a bigfoot sighting).  Not only was he there, Dennis was our speaker! (Hes been planning this all along) The topic of his presentation was high capacity reptile breeding setups and enclosures.  As usual some nice photos of professional setups and even some of Mr. Sargent's personal collection setups were shown.  It always amazes me when you look at a captive breeding facility and realize its a highly efficient machine.  How else can you keep track of over 100 snakes all in one room?  Racks and lots of Tupperware containers were the best option but some people still use glass tanks with fiberglass lids.  The usual stories of man eating alligators (well sort of), a python that only eats possums (dont ask) and a few other demented tales of the good old days were told.
 The meeting ended by everyone agreeing on a new board position for membership director, which will be headed by our very own Steve Allen.  This new position will help the current board keep better track of members and getting new ones at all the shows we have tables at.  The monthly raffle was won by Janet Webb and our June meeting was concluded before 9pm.  The CFHS would like to thank every member who has been attending the meetings over the last six months and we hope to have an increased turn out by the end of the year.  Ed Cassano will be Julys speaker with a fantastic show on the Huachuca Mountains and we will have a special guest or two in which history will be made!  Dont miss out!

Victor Beitelman
CFHS Secretary

 

April 2004

Dear Members,

April has come and gone but a fantastic turn out was shown by our members this month!  Our speaker was none other then George Van Horn.  He gave us a PowerPoint presentation on his trip to Costa Rica and a sore neck from all the slides, which happened to be turned sideways.  Well after about an hour of work the presentation has been reformatted to fit a humans normal cranium orientation.  Its available for download or viewing from our website. ( http://www.cfhs.com )  The CFHS would like to thank George Van Horn for being our speaker and for donating his time to the local community.  Showing up this month was a good idea as I gave a computer away in the raffle (complements of VIPERFX).  The winner was Paul Owens who won the AMD 1800XP computer system (sorry Dr. Bruce better luck next time). 
Now on to a more serious note about the newsletter and its various vectors of delivery.  Step one was to get the monthly league newsletter in digital form. With that accomplished step two was making it available for download on our website.  Now that both of those tasks are done we have created a faster delivery time (the new 15th deadline worked), lower cost, lower margin of errors and less time spent getting it to print.  The next few steps involve taking the newsletter and our website to the next level.  Currently cfhs.com is being hosted for free at tripod.com, which is why you might notice some banners or ads on our site.  As of this moment doing all the duties of Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster takes a significant amount of time. I would like to propose a hosting plan for The Central Florida Herpetological Society to use my company VIPERFX LLC for the web host and newsletter service provider.  At the next meeting I will have a proposal ready for the boards review and to cover it with the attending members.  My hopes are to create a website and newsletter which will put the CFHS back on the map within the Herpetological Community.
Thanks again to all that have been sending materials in on time and for bearing with the changeover.  Also to everyone that was missed in last months mailing please accept my humble apology for my mistake.

Victor E. Beitelman
CFHS Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Web Master, ..

 

Conservation Through Captive Propagation

March 2004

 

To all league of Florida Herpetological Society members:


The Central Florida Herpetological Society is in the process of renovating the leagues newsletter . We are doing this to bring renewed interest in the newsletter and its contents. Our new editor is Victor Beitelman ,owner and operator of VIPERFX LLC,a computer design and webhosting company. Victor is also in the process of renovating the CFHS website. The league newsletter will have some new sources of input and information that, together with the potential of online applications , will hopefully broaden our herpetological knowledge and remain a unified voice for the animals and those who keep and breed them. In order to cut cost and improve service we would like to explore the option of sending the newsletter via E-mail to those members willing to receive  it in this manner.  We realize not everyone has access to a computer (nor does everyone want access) so a paper copy will still be made available to those who request it. To any member willing to receive their newsletter via E-mail please submit your E-mail address to Victor at viperfx@covad.net with a reference to the newsletter attached. Remember this will make the newsletter immediately  available versus waiting for the printer and the U.S. postal  service.   We would also like to thank Ray and Jacquiline  Sheehan  for all of their hard work they have done for the league for many years and for their assistance with this transistion.February was a very busy month for the CFHS. We did a presentation for Kelly Parks Dr. Howard E. Kelly Day which had about 600 in attendance. We also did a presentation for the Maitland Lions Club and also a show that was put together by our own Tina Russell and Billy Healy in St. Cloud. They also held a raffle on our behalf and matched the funds! Our many thanks to all participants who contributed. This months speaker was Ed Cassano who once again put on a fantastic presentation concerning the reclassification and relationships of the western rattlesnake group (Crotalus Viridis). His pictures were augmented by Louis Porras's picture and information. The most unique snake in this group in my opinion is the midget faded rattlesnake which has been appointed its own specific status. This snake is probably the most cold tolerant snake known and has one of the most toxic venoms among rattlesnakes. Imagine riding down a road at 11 PM with the temperature at 41 degrees and a 20mph wind and finding a snake crawling across the road!!.


Aprils speaker is George Van Horn of St. Clouds Serpentarium and his subject will be Costa Rica. So this will be one meeting not to miss!! There will also be a complete computer given away for the raffle by Victor Beitelman of Viper FX. So dont miss this meeting!!!!!

 

February 2004

 

Dear society members,

 

Kenny Maddox, who is a long time friend of Jim Peters, gave this months lecture.  His talk was on the natural history of Kingsnakes and Ratsnakes.  Before I go any further let me say that Jim Peters and Kenny Maddox did a great job taking some nice photos for this talk.  Kenny covered just about every Kingsnake and Ratsnake that falls in the temperate zone on this planet.  Species like the South Florida Kingsnake, which is also the largest, was showcased. Others like the Hypo-Brooks, Floridian Peninsula Phase, Suwanee, Goings, Blotched Eastern, various intergrades and Classic Desert California Kingsnake (my favorite) were shown. Next Kenny moved the discussion to the Ratsnakes.  He started with a brilliant Russian, which is an example of convergent evolution.  Other Ratsnakes that followed were the Bulgarian, Black, Grey, Gulf Hammock, Striped Grey, Santa Fe, Yellow, Everglades, Albino Everglades, White Sided Everglades, Texas and the Aztec.  Kenny then closed the lecture by showing the temperate zone on a map.  The normal raffle was held and our speaker pulled the numbers.  The only difference this time was that every number was pulled which meant no one went home empty handed!  That is unless you didnt get a ticket.I should have got a ticket! 

 

March's speaker will be none other then our great friend Ed Cassano.  His lecture will be on the Western Rattlesnake group.  Dont miss out on this talk because it will include images and information that very few people see or even know about.  Finally to close on a great note, we have some volunteers to run the table at Kelly Park on Feb 21, 2004.  This day is great exposure for our association because there should be around 500 people visiting the park that day.  Lets thank our volunteers at the next meeting and I hope to see everyone in March.  Oh yeah and I almost forgot, there will be a complete personal computer up for raffle in April, donated by yours truly.

 

January 2004

 

Dear Society Members and Other Interested Herpers:

 

We are starting out on a new course with the Central Florida Herpetological Society. At the last meeting a new slate of officers was elected to serve you, including:  Jim Peters, President; Dennis Sargent, Vice President; Myron St. Cyr, Treasure; and Victor Beitelman  (pronounced:By-tel-man), Secretary.

 

Jim Peters has established some new goals to move the CFHS toward a more educational and scientific organization, but one where we can still network and meet with our friends and fellow herpers.  One of his goals is to get the membership interested in starting personal life-lists of reptile and amphibian observations. The Society will gather this data and make it available to the membership and to the scientific community to help us to gain a better understanding of our environment and its herpetofauna.  We will also start searching for a more convenient and larger meeting place. It is our goal to bring in the best speakers and programs that we can and to bring the Society back to the levels that we have seen in the past and beyond.

 

Paul Moler was our speaker at the January meeting. His program was on the Salamanders of Florida.  It was by far the best and most complete program on this subject that most of us have ever seen. For those of you who are new to the Society, Paul is a Biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. He has written many papers and was the editor of the book Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, Volume III. Amphibians and Reptiles published by the University Press of Florida.

 

To set the record straight, the Central Florida Herpetological Society has always had the following policy concerning the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and their officers. These people are our friends and protectors. They have repeatedly testified to protect our rights as animal owners, breeders, permit holders, etc. The laws themselves are not perfect, however; the State of Florida has some of the best wildlife laws, rules and regulations in existence. They are there to protect us, the animals and the environment. If you dont believe this talk to some of the reptile people from Illinois, Utah, California, Michigan, etc. Again, we extend our thanks to Lt. Rick Brown of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission who was our program speaker in December.

 

When we think of the wildlife laws and the associated rules and regulations, we are quick to blame the Fish and Wildlife Officers. It is important to remember that they dont write the laws, that is the job of our State Legislature and the rules are written by committees of experts who are picked by the Legislature or the Fish and Wildlife Commission. We as herpers must unite with the other animal interests in the State to have a unified voice in the rule making process. We need to express our thanks to Wayne Hill, Bill Brandt, Mark Cantos and some of the other professional members of the reptile industry for their continued vigilance in watching the legislation and making sure that we have input.

 

The next meeting of the CFHS will be on Tuesday, February 3, 2004 at 7:30 PM, at the Marks Street Senior Center in Orlando. Our speaker will be Kenny Maddox, who will be presenting a program on natural history and mophology of the lampropeltis getulus and elaphe obsoleta.

 

Best wishes,

 

Your Board of Directors

Jim Peters,   Dennis Sargent,   Victor Beitelman,   Myron St. Cyr 

September 2003


Hello Herpers,

I was unable to attend the September meeting due to illness.  Our Vice President Jim Peters was kind enough to take some notes and fill me in on what happened.  Sorry for my absence, but here goes.

We had a junior speaker named Lisa give an interesting talk about some Nile monitors, which have been introduced to Pine Island.  Lisa explained that  onservationists are worried that these large carnivorous lizards may harm the native populations of burrowing owls.  Nile monitors can reach lengths of over six feet and are truly a fearsome predator.  Niles, which have large claws,  could easily excavate the burrows used by these owls and do harm to the population.

This story is another grim reminder of why organizations like the CFHS are needed.  Hopefully, people will look to us to help them find homes for their unwanted pets, rather than releasing them into the wild.  Nothing good can come from exotic species being released into Florida's ecosystems.  And stories like this one do reptile owners little good as we continue to fight for our rights to keep these wonderful animals.


Our featured speaker of the evening was none other than good ol' Dr. Bruce! Dr. Bogoslavsky, (Man, hope I got that right!  Can you imagine trying to teach your kid how to spell that if it was your last name..... B...O...G...O...  Oh, sorry, that's just the teacher in me sneaking out), gave a great talk about some common reptile ailments and injuries.  Dr. Bruce explained that proper diagnosis is needed before proper treatment can begin.  An example he used was questions he often gets about growths. Growths could be many different things:  bacterial in nature, cancerous, or even just some little benign thing.  But there's no way he, or any other vet, can tell us how to treat it properly without actually examining the animal.

Dr. Bruce also explained to the club the need for the proper dilution of Betadine solution before it is used on reptiles.  He explained that full strength Betadine is TOXIC TO REPTILES!!!   All Betadine should be diluted with sterile water in a 10 parts water/1 part Betadine solution before being used on your reptilian pets.  Be careful people!


The CFHS board of directors would like to thank Dr. Bogoslavsky and his partners for their continued support of CFHS.  Each receipt printed at their office advertises the CFHS!  Dr. Bruce's number is 1-407-855-PETS.  Please call/refer to him any reptile or other animal related veterinary needs you may have.

Lt. Rick Brown of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Conservation Commission is scheduled to be next month's speaker.  And we may need to move our November meeting time as the Senior Center is undergoing renovations. You'll know more when I know more.

Thanks and Happy Herping,
Brian Conley


 
AUGUST 2003
 
Hello Herpers,

 

Our June meeting featured one of our founding members George Van Horn. George waxed poetic about the good old days when the CFHS was called "The Orlando Reptile Club." Next, he got down to business and told us all about Reptile World Serpentarium and it's 30 plus year history. George informed us that he and a friend started out way back in 1972. And get this, they started in a tin-roofed building that looked smaller than a one car garage! George told us, that on hot days he and his friend would have to hose down the roof because the temperature could reach as high as 130F. The facility was opened to produce snake venom and was not originally open to the public. In 1976 the doors opened to the public, and the facility has been going strong ever since. Currently, George is working on projects that range from antivenin production to researching cancer treatments which use venom to cut off blood flow to tumors. Visitors to the Serpentarium can see the Australian Taipan, considered by some to be the world deadliest snake, as well as a splendid 18-foot king cobra. All told, there are six species of cobra and II kinds of rattlesnakes. There are also snakes you may never see elsewhere, like the brilliant pea green East African green mamba and its less startling but nonetheless beautiful West African cousin. The snakes are housed in modest glass-fronted pens along a darkened corridor. Snakes are the main course, but there are also a 14- foot gator sulking in a shallow, murky pool, a passel of iguanas, and a pond full of turtles. (taken from the Reptile World website). Hey, that was easy! ! ! Let's try that again:

 

Reptile World Serpentarium

5705 East Irlo Bronson Highway, St. Cloud 34771 (407)892-6905

Admission: Adults $5.50, students (6 to 17) $4.50, children (3 to 5) $3.50; prices include tax

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Location: East of St. Cloud, about 9 miles east of Florida Turnpike Exit 244.

(Wow, that rocks!!!)

But seriously folks, it was a great presentation even w/o the real snakes present. So, if you're looking for a reptile-related day trip for your family, please go and visit George. I think you'll like it.

 

Thanks and Happy Herping,

Brian Conley

 

Would like to mention also that we had a lot of new members last month, to many to mention but would like to give them all a big WELCOME.


 
July 2003

 

Hello Herpers,

Our July meeting featured our Vice President Jim Peters doing a native slide show. The talk which Jim geared towards our younger members, was very

informative (even for a seasoned veteran like me LOL). Jim, once again,

came through in a pinch when our other speaker didn't show up. Its a good thing he never leaves home without his slides (weird, ...but good). I learned that our younger members know their stuff and that I need to brush up on my frogs and toads, they killed me on those. They were calling out the names for just about everything. Great job kids.

Jim has confirmed with Tom Crutchfield that he will be doing the talk next month. Tom is a long time herper, and is responsible for a great deal of the breeding stock which produced many of the animals in our collections today. Tom is a wonderful speaker and I am greatly looking forward to this talk. The topic will be: "Conservation through commercialization." The talk starts around 7:30 on the first Tuesday in August.

If anyone has a talk they would like to do for the club please see/call/email/message in a bottle/bat signal/whatever man, (yeah it's hard finding speakers), any of the board members. Or if you know of someone who might wish to come in and do a talk for us we would be happy to talk to them. We do offer a $100 stipend for a well put together show.

Paul has scheduled the 2nd annual Central Florida Herpetological Society Reptile Show for the month of November. Please stay tuned for more details.

Thanks and Happy Herping,

Brian Conley

Secretary CFHS


Hello Herpers,
 
Our May meeting featured Jim Duby. Jim is the Principal Coordinator of the Seminole County Natural Lands Program. The voters of Seminole county approved a referendum which gave the county the power, (and money), to purchase lands within the county for preservation purposes. WOW! Way to go voters of Seminole County.

Jim explained that there are several large parcels of land already being preserved, including areas around Lake Jessup, Chuliota, and Geneva. Jim also brought along some great slides showing off the land and its many inhabitants. He did a wonderful job incorporating herps into his lecture. He even gave us a pop-quiz on native species. It was a great talk.

Jim explained that he and his crew also offer day and night guided hikes each month. Most of the properties are open to passive recreation like hiking, biking and horseback riding. They also offer volunteer opportunities for those interested in getting out and getting their hands dirty (or for parents who need something to do with their kids this summer, hint-hint!)  If you need information about the parks or the hikes you can contact Jim at: jduby@co.seminole.fl.us or call him at 407-665- 7345 If you would like more info on volunteer opportunities please contact Amy Raub at: araub@co.seminole.fl.us or call her at 407-665-7411.

Next month's speaker will be the phenom, George Van Horne, so it will not be a meeting to miss.

We will be raffling off a juvenile albino Burmese python at the meeting! Additionally, we need volunteers to work at the Florida International Reptile Expo, May 29th , 30th, and June 1st. Please contact me at conleyb@lake.k12.fl.us or call me at 352-669-2209 if you'd like to help out. Tony Cueto, the show promoter, is offering us a free table at the show, to help promote our society, and may even make a donation to the club if we can get enough volunteers. Plus, if you're a volunteer you get in early (another hint-hint!)

 

Happy Herping!
Brian Conley

Secretary CFHS


April 10, 2003

 

Hello Herpers,
 
I was unable to stay for the entire April meeting, so Mrs. Patty (whom we all know and love), was kind enough to fill in for me.  Thanks a lot Patty, Brian.
 
The meeting started out with the usual chaos that surrounds reptile people. Lots of greetings, snakes, lizards, jokes and fun.
Then, we got serious. Well, at least as serious as we could.
First, when everyone settled down Paul started with questions then to the speakers that are supposed to come for our May and June meetings.
Those speakers are - May -- Jim Duby from the Seminole County Wildlife Supervisor, a charter member of our society.
June--Dr. George Van Horn from the serpentarium in Kissimmee.
Dennis Sargent came to our rescue for the April meeting with a lot of his gear for taking great pictures. This was a real treat to a couple of budding photographers in our midst.
He had some wonderful slides of the animals he's managed to shoot. (No, not with the gun.)
Dennis explained well enough that we as amateurs can take some pictures that might rival the pros. He also gave us the low down on do's and don'ts.
For instance, in order to take shots of an animal behind glass you should use a rubber lens shield directly against the glass to prevent glare.
He showed the difference in pictures with a simple change of the lens.
He explained the correct way to handle your animals for taking just the right shot, the best times for the light. I could go on for a couple of pages because photography is one of my favorite hobbies.
We have another young photographer in our club that is learning from the ground up. She has now started learning to develop her film. So she will probably be bending the ear of Dennis to learn more. Her name is Brandy Tillis. That's right, the very daughter of our own Treasurer Jeff Tillis.

After the great session with Mr. Sargent, Jim Peters passed around a petition to help preserve a habitat for gopher tortoises that the University of Central Florida has plans to build on. They have already moved the tortoises twice and it is feared that they might not survive another move. U.C.F. plans to build more dorms and possibly a golf course on the land. The original plans were to keep the land as a habitat for the tortoises forever. So if you would like to help, contact Jim.

Another item for the club. If you would be interested in being on the call list for picking up reptiles and amphibians in your area please call Howard Riley since he is now in charge of the old Snakegetters. You can reach Howard at 407-467-9976. If we don't help, the police departments sometimes kill harmless animals.
 
March 2002
 
Our February meeting was held on the first Tuesday of the month at the Marks St. Senior Center, in down town Orlando. The doors opened at 6:00 p.m. and there were lots of great reptiles for sale and trade. Including, an absolutely stunning boa that I'm still upset about not buying. Several members bought and sold animals both before and after our regular meeting. One young member was so excited about his new corn snake, that he got up in front of the whole group and showed it off That's what this hobby is all about, (if you ask this highly biased corn snake salesman anyway). In a bit of bad news, Ray Sheehan our Treasurer extraordinaire missed his first meeting in 6 years as he was under the weather. Hope you're feeling better Ray!  Our speaker this month was long time member Dennis Sargent. Looking at Dennis I never knew how old erm, how long he's been doing this (yeah that sounds better). Dennis took us down memory lane and it was a truly fascinating journey. He has pictures of people from allover the herp community, including some from long ago. I mean way, way back, like when they met in Dennis' back yard and people were still wearing suits! Dennis has dealt with all aspects of this business, from cleaning cages and making signs for an importer, to actually becoming the importer and working with zoos.  He told us about his first sojourn into importing, a story of getting a call at school, (high school that is), from the airport, saying his Indian Pythons were in, and the shipping bill was a little over $900! Obviously, the exporter had a different definition of the term "BABY" than did Dennis. Dennis was expecting one small bag or box with some little baby pythons. He got, three HUGE crates with extremely large pythons.  But, Dennis said that worked out just fine, as those big snakes were worth a lot more than the babies would have been. Dennis showed us slides of many different people and their facilities from around the country, including shots of Tom Crutchfield, Louie Porras, Tracy Barker, Peter Kahl, and Mark Bell to name a few.  It was like our own private, behind the scenes tour of some of the top breeding facilities out there. There were also amazing pictures of herps from around the world including everything from snakes to crocodilians.  Dennis also updated us on his current projects including a book on boas that is nearing completion.  I can't wait; because then Dennis will be even more famous and I'll be able to say I've been to his house and had a private tour of his facility and even bought a few things from him. Heck, I even got my own personal Karaoke concert right there in his living room. Not only does this guy know reptiles, he knows Elvis too! Tanith Tyrr from the Snake Getters organization is looking for volunteers able to make house calls to remove unwanted reptiles.  Mainly, from scared Yankee's front yards (HAHA).  If you think you can help, please post your info on the forum (www.kingsnake.com" >httP://www.kingsnake.coml">www.kingsnake.com then CFHS forum) or call 321 NAM-Herp afternoons/evenings only please. Hope to see everyone on the 5th.

-----------------------------
Feb 2002
 
Hello Herpers, Our January meeting was held on the second Tuesday of the month to avoid conflict with the New Years holiday. Paul and Patty brought membership cards for everyone, as well as name tags in hopes that we can get to know everyone a little better. With as many people as we have attending the meetings now, we need those name tags just to keep up! We had four new members sign-up and several renewals. What a way to start the New Year .Ed Cassano gave a wonderful presentation on his collecting trip to the Whacuga Mountains in the southwestern United States, (I have ho idea if that's how you spell that, but I gave it my best shot). Ed warned us, when he started, that the photography was "a little rough." Yeah right! If those were rough shots my name's Elmer Fudd. I think Ed is just like my grandma. Every time she bakes a cake, she says she's just not sure if it came out right this time, just trying to get us to tell her she's crazy and the cake is great. Ok Ed, if it'll make you feel better, the cake... err the pictures were awesome! Once again Ed's presentation was entertaining as well as beautiful. He told us how he missed a shot of a Willard's rattlesnake while fiddling with his camera and his snake hook, and he assured us he wouldn't let that happen again, because next time he'd just grab the snake and take the bite rather than miss the shot. Man, this guy is serious about his photos! Unfortunately, Ed will not be allowed to speak at any meetings for awhile because I need a break. Every time he talks, I think more and more about getting my venomous license. And, as that endeavor would require me to divorce my wife and sell my children, Ed is not allowed to show me any more pictures for at least two months. His shots of black-tailed, tiger, western diamondback, and Mojave green rattle snakes are just too much for me to handle. Paul understood my concerns completely, as evidenced by the puddle of drool under his chair, and promised he and Dennis would work on someone new for next month. Thanks again, for a great show Ed. Seriously; we are working on getting some new speakers lined up and also in getting someone to talk about lizards of some type and maybe turtles and tortoises. If anyone in the

club has any suggestions for a speaker or a topic please let us know. The meeting next month will be on the first Tues. at 6:00p.m. as usual, please plan to attend. Thanks and happy herping, Brian Conley Sec. CFHS


Hello herpers,
Our December speaker was once again our long time member Jim Peters. Jim was nice enough to bail us out at the last minute when another speaker didn't show up. Jim gave a short but none the less informative talk about herping in north FL. As usual Jim's slides were awesome. I especially liked the one of the patternless pine he stole from Ed Cassano (bad, bad Jim)(Nice, nice snake)! We had several internal matters to take care of at the meeting. First and foremost were the nominations for the board. The current members of the board were unopposed to repeat for another term. So your 2002 Central FL Herpetological Society Board is as follows:

President -Paul Concannon email:theherper@aol.com
Vice President -Jeff Tillis email:jat@qualityfab.net
Treasurer- Ray Shehan email:rshe32944@aol.com
Secretary -Brian Conley email:bnr.com@prodigy.net phone:352-669-2209

Paul also appointed Dennis Sargent as the new head of the speaker committee, and made that position a voting member of the board. Thank you everyone, we look forward to serving you in the coming year. We also discussed licensure requirements in the state of FL and where members could get the necessary paperwork. I told the membership about a free table offered to us at the upcoming show in Orlando. I also inquired to see if anyone would have a problem with a speaker about arachnids, no one seemed to object. So hopefully we can arrange for that in the near future. I would like to take this opportunity to once again ask you, the members, what type of speakers would you like to see? If we know what you want, maybe we can arrange it for you. Please let us know either at the meetings, on the forum (kingsnake.com then go to CFHS forum), or via email.

Thanks and happy herping,
October 2001

Hello Herpers, Our September meeting featured Nick Clark of the Central Florida Zoo. Nick hosted an open forum on the challenges facing our native reptiles and amphibians. Most members agreed that habitat destruction is the biggest problem, as well as one the most difficult to solve. Many also felt that the negative portrayal of reptiles by the news media caused many problems. We all agreed that one of our main focuses, as a group should be to try and educate the public about all the good reptiles do in our ecosystem. We had eight teachers present at the meeting, many of whom are already using reptiles and/or amphibians in their classrooms. Some of them discussed the ideas they use in their classrooms and suggested ideas other members could use if they ever have to. opportunity to speak in public about these wonderful animals. One of the main ideas that came from the discussion was don't use the words "bad snake," instead use the term venomous. And to teach people just to leave the animal alone, because even venomous species serve vital roles in their environment. Many members shared ideas and stories with the group. One member even told us how he was almost killed by a garter snake when he was a boy. LOL Guess you had to be there. We had many new members sign up at this meeting and several signed up at the NRBE. Paul Concannon (pres. ) announced that he believes he has negotiated the use of the Senior Center for free for the next year. The problem is, (if you can call it a problem), we are bursting at the seams and may need a larger hall! Hurray! Next mooth's speaker will be Jim Peters, talking about his beautiful boas and their lineage. If you like boas or even just like really pretty snakes don't miss this. Doors open at 6:00 P .M. and there are usually many nice animals for sale or trade. I will also be discussing a possible trip to Gatorland and asking the group what day would be the best for that trip.

September 2001

Hello Herpers, Well, I guess we will have to title our August meeting as "THE NIGHT OF THE NET." Just in case you haven't been to the CFHS forum on Kingsnake.com I'll fill you in on all the juicy details. A former member of the CFHS (Micheal Thorn) started an "unofficial" website. Micheal stated that he started the site because of problems with our existing site, and yes there were some problems. Our board of directors was worried that there was a website out there with our name on it, over which we had NO control. Paul Concannon (Pres.) contacted Micheal and asked him to rejoin the society so that the society could have more input on the site. In fact, several members of the CFHS volunteered to pay Micheal's dues ifhe would return to the club. Micheal as of this writing has refused to rejoin. Micheal we'd love to have you return to the club. Paul and Ray Sheehan (Treas. ) called the meeting to order and we started to talk about some of the comments that were made on the forum. Paul expressed his frustration about some of the issues and asked the club for help. Paul also expressed concern over the lack of support from his fellow board members. Dermont Bowen (Secretary) made it to the meeting and explained the members present that his job description had recently changed to include much more travel and as such he would no longer be able to continue as secretary. Paul then asked yours truly, (Brian Conley), ifl was willing to take over the position. I agreed, (obviously). Thanks for all your .help over the years Dermont. Paul also said he would try to get a hold of Phil Averbuck (V.P.) to see ifhe wished to continue in his position. Phil has since resigned and long time member Jeff Tillis will be filling that position for the rest of the term. Phil, again thank you for all you've done for the CFHS. Paul then, having managed to find an old dusty copy of the by-laws, informed the club that he has the power to appoint committees. And guess what, he did just that. We now have a speaker committee headed by Chris Woodcock. Chris can be reached at 407-595-1288 if you have an idea for a topic or if you happen to be a personal friend of the Crocodile Hunter (hint hint). We also now have an activities committee with three members: Ronnie and Lisa Moody (LisaMoody@Yahoo.com), and Brooke Cunnick (MsSierrak@collegeclub.com). Hopefully now we can do something together as a club. Thanks for volunteering folks! Paul also brought along a gentleman named Victor Bitelman. Victor is apparently one of those computer gurus. I say this because he uses all kinds of funny words like: HTML, MPEG, CPU, etc. He will be video taping our meetings from now on and will make them available on the web. Once I get the address I'll post it on the forum. He said something
about charging us $2 to burn cd's on our hard drives or something like that. Personally, I don't know why you'd pay someone to burn your hard drive (whatever that is).but, that service will be available for those of you that are into sort of thing.
Thanks and happy herping, Brian Conley, Secretary CFHS

August 2001

League of Florida Herpetological Socities. The meeting this month had our past president, Mr. Wayne Hill, Bring us up to date on meetings that many of us didn't know that were taking place. Most meeting were held here in Florida with the State Agriculture and PIJAC, headquartered in Washington D.C. Mostly concerning problems with reptiles that are imported into the United States with ticks that can deliver deadly disease called "heartwater". Heartwater can wipe out herds of animals; mostly hoof animals, that would cause big damage to the cattle industry. You can see their concern. But Wayne Hill, Marc Cantos, Rob Roy, Eugene Bessett, Bill Brant, Al Weinberger and a few other herpers in the state have gone to bat for us, so that we can have reptiles as pets plus the reptile industry will be able to grow. This group of herpers is shlowing them (State Agriculture) that we are as concerned about this problem as they are and that we are willing to help with the regulation to cover this problem so that somebody with no reptile background comes up with some stupid regulation that would put a damper on us herpers. We need to thanks these individuals when we see them because they have hustled their butts around the State of Florida ot make sure that the reptilecommunity is represented. State Agricultire; now have reconized the herp community as an industry and not a bunch of flukes running loose in the state.


July 2001

A long time member David Cooke was our speaker for the June meeting. David discussed some tips and tricks for successful snake breeding and egg hatching. Hibernation for colubrids is important and David suggested a cooling down starting around November 21st and lasting until February 14th. Once out of hibernation heavy feeding, specifically for females should start. Females should be feed every four days. This feeding push should last until around Aprill st. At this point, the shed is the key. A heavy shed by the female signals ovulation. When introducing the male, it is important to observe them carefully, because cannibalism may occur. David uses vermiculite for his eggs and simply creates small vents in a plastic container, dates and
identifies the parents on the container and checks the condition of the eggs every few days. Eggs will incubate between 68 and 100 days. Temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees. The egg will change shape and consistency right before hatching. Cutting the egg slightly is an option if they are overdue. David shared with us many of the techniques he has used over the years as a successful breeder and all of us learned something new this night.
Thanks David for a great discussion. Paul Concannon discussed the need for more involvement from our members in order to grow and diversify our club. We can have activities like field trips, ect., but we need more help.
This is your club, please get involved.


June 2001

This month was Dennis Sargent, giving us some history and up date on the Antivenomous Bank. Plus he threw in some back ground on himself. Pictures and talk was very infomable to us that are not aware of or work with venomous snakes. We have to think of a venomous snake as a loaded "38" and much care needs to be given to safety. When working with exotic venomous snakes, we need to know were we can get antivenom in a emergency, if you enjoy living. I know there are people out there who are not a member of the antivenom bank and should be. The antivenom bank was set up so that herpers can enjoy their hobby or business, what ever it can be, without fear of not being able to get antivenom when needed. People that are
working with venomous animals should have all their credentials in line with the state of Florida. A venomous license can be obtained from Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission after providing documentation of a minimum of one year experience (to consist of no less than 1000 hours) within the family of venomous reptiles. Again, if you keep venomous animals, you need to be up on your paper work plus know where you can get anti venom when it is greatly needed. Thank you Dennis for the eye opener that a lot of us needed to know.


Past Meeting Archives

 

Our February meeting was held on the first Tuesday of the month at the Marks St. Senior Center, in down town Orlando. The doors opened at 6:00 p.m. and there were lots of great reptiles for sale and trade. Including, an absolutely stunning boa that I'm still upset about not buying. Several members bought and sold animals both before and after our regular meeting. One young member was so excited about his new corn snake, that he got up in front of the whole group and showed it off That's what this hobby is all about, (if you ask this highly biased corn snake salesman anyway). In a bit of bad news, Ray Sheehan our Treasurer extraordinaire missed his first meeting in 6 years as he was under the weather. Hope you're feeling better Ray!  Our speaker this month was long time member Dennis Sargent. Looking at Dennis I never knew how old erm, how long he's been doing this (yeah that sounds better). Dennis took us down memory lane and it was a

truly fascinating journey. He has pictures of people from allover the herp community, including some from long ago. I mean way, way back, like when they met in Dennis' back yard and people were still wearing suits! Dennis has dealt with all aspects of this business, from cleaning cages and making signs for an importer, to actually becoming the importer and working with zoos.  He told us about his first sojourn into importing, a story of getting a call at school, (high school that is), from the airport, saying his Indian Pythons were in, and the shipping bill was a little over $900! Obviously, the exporter had a different definition of the term "BABY" than did Dennis. Dennis was expecting one small bag or box with some little baby pythons. He got, three HUGE crates with extremely large pythons.  But, Dennis said that worked out just fine, as those big snakes were worth a lot more than the babies would have been. Dennis showed us slides of many different people and their facilities from around the country, including shots of Tom Crutchfield, Louie Porras, Tracy Barker, Peter Kahl, and Mark Bell to name a few.  It was like our own private, behind the scenes tour of some of the top breeding facilities out there. There were also amazing pictures of herps from around the world including everything from snakes to crocodilians.  Dennis also updated us on his current projects including a book on boas that is nearing completion.  I can't wait; because then Dennis will be even more famous and I'll be able to say I've been to his house and had a private tour of his facility and even bought a few things from him. Heck, I even got my own personal Karaoke concert right there in his living room. Not only does this guy know reptiles, he knows Elvis too! Tanith Tyrr from the Snake Getters organization is looking for volunteers able to make house calls to remove unwanted reptiles.  Mainly, from scared Yankee's front yards (HAHA).  If you think you can help, please post your info on the forum (www.kingsnake.com" >httP://www.kingsnake.coml">www.kingsnake.com then CFHS forum) or call 321 NAM-Herp afternoons/evenings only please. Hope to see everyone on the 5th.
 

In this area, we might mention the date of the next meeting.