trip for Vipera walser

Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Yannick Francioli » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:13 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
Yannick Francioli wrote:Awesome ! I plan to go see them as well later this summer, I hope I'll have your luck.

Thanks. We found 9 walsers with 14 people, including some of probably the best snake finders in Europe (not me, as you will know...), so it takes a bit of effort, but it's worth it - the place is lovely and the fairly high abundance of aspis and Coronella adds to the fun.

Perhaps I should warn you that the Corpo Forestale is keeping an eye open, as we experienced ourselves very quickly. Our encounter with them was very friendly, though, and we applauded their effort.


Takes some efforts indeed... It will mainly depends on the weather for me, as I may not have a lot of flexibility in the dates.
Thanks for the warning!
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:08 am

Ilian Velikov wrote:If only people used their brains for the right purpose all would benefit. I'm sure if the snakes
weren't there the clientele of the aforementioned cafe would be much less. If the owner and
the employees in this cafe abhor the snakes too they must be idiots.

Well, well,... You're obviously young, sincerely well-wishing and naive... How many herpers
do visit THAT caffe within a year? If you were the owner, would you really rely on THEM?
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:05 am

Good luck, Yannick! The weather we had was a bit of everything - heavy rain on day one, all sunny and a bit too hot on day two, and cloudy and not too good on day three. Thanks to the team we had, we were able to find some (but: see what I wrote at the end of my report and you'll learn that personal snake hunting skill and stamina matter).

Maybe there's never really a long spell (e.g. top conditions throughout the day) of perfect basking conditions up there. After all, it may be that it's exactly 'crappy' conditions that made walser persist. But tell that to a bunch of anxious photographers cursing the rain. ;)
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Daniel Bohle » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:50 am

In Kiruna gravid females remained outside, during heaviest rainfall for several hours!
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Ilian Velikov » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:59 am

Berislav Horvatic wrote:Well, well,... You're obviously young, sincerely well-wishing and naive... How many herpers
do visit THAT caffe within a year? If you were the owner, would you really rely on THEM?


I guess you are right and my choice of words wasn't great. I know the owner can't rely on the herpers for profit. However, just the fact that foreigners visit that place is exciting and an interesting conversation topic for the locals. Also the publicity of his cafe would be a good incentive for the owner. I guess he doesn't know it yet but if anybody goes there just tell the owner that there's an internet forum with 600 members and even more guests from different countries in the world and they all know about his cafe because of the snakes. I'm sure he'll be happy and it might change his attitude at least a bit.
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:34 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote:I know the owner can't rely on the herpers for profit. However, just the fact that foreigners visit that place is exciting and an interesting conversation topic for the locals. Also the publicity of his cafe would be a good incentive for the owner. I guess he doesn't know it yet but if anybody goes there just tell the owner that there's an internet forum with 600 members and even more guests from different countries in the world and they all know about his cafe because of the snakes. I'm sure he'll be happy and it might change his attitude at least a bit.

We actually don't want it to become a too interesting conversation topic among the locals...
It's certainly a good idea (for the owner) to advertise that place as an "Ursinii bar" - like the
"Lebetina bar" on the Greek island of Milos. Personally, I'd like it. Should we try?
Regarding "his attitude", we actually don't know it. Clive reported just the comments of the
waiter serving him, but obviously it's a local story each and every local is familiar with.
So, ask the Belgrade herpetological team to bless the "Ursinii bar" project? I think they should
have a say.
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Ilian Velikov » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:02 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:So, ask the Belgrade herpetological team to bless the "Ursinii bar" project? I think they should
have a say.


They definitely should but by the sound of it they'd rather keep it a secret and I guess we should respect their approach. From my observations things like that are beneficial to shifting locals attitude. In a certain Bulgarian village there's a house that gives rooms as accommodation and some herpers (including some of the members here) have been there. I'm sure the owners are not into conservation and are not fans of snakes but when me and my wife went there and said we were looking for reptiles they gave us brochures and posters advertising that the collection of tortoises and other species is illegal. I'm pretty sure they don't rely on herpers for their annual income but they realise that they have to protect their environment because that's what tourists go there for which is good for their business (foreigners being particularly appreciated). However, every case is individual so the approach should be individual too.
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:53 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote:
Berislav Horvatic wrote:So, ask the Belgrade herpetological team to bless the "Ursinii bar" project? I think they should
have a say.

They definitely should but by the sound of it they'd rather keep it a secret and I guess we should respect their approach. ... I'm pretty sure they don't rely on herpers for their annual income but they realise that they have to protect their environment because that's what tourists go there for which is good for their business (foreigners
being particularly appreciated). However, every case is individual so the approach should be individual too.

Well, I had some correspondence with Jelka Crnobrnja Isailović, and she was clear that now she actually regrets
her role in that “strategy”. One should not lie, even in good intentions. The road to hell is so often paved with
good intentions. Her present suggestion is, tell local people the whole truth, and do your best to educate them.
Then hope for the best, press on, and don't give up.
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:49 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:Well, I had some correspondence with Jelka Crnobrnja Isailović, and she was clear that now she actually regrets
her role in that “strategy”. One should not lie, even in good intentions. The road to hell is so often paved with
good intentions. Her present suggestion is, tell local people the whole truth, and do your best to educate them.
Then hope for the best, press on, and don't give up.


Well, I'd say she is right about that. People generally don't like to be lied to (just look at politicians - everybody loves them) and this could have negative consequences in the long term. Once the biologists loose the locals' trust it would be hard to convince/educate them about how important snakes are and why they should protect them. Some day they'd have to tell the truth and if I was a local that doesn't know anything about snakes and fears them I wouldn't think " OK, yes, I believe snakes are good, because the guy that lied to me about removing them said so". So in my opinion they shouldn't have lied to start with. However, I don't want to give advice on something that I'm not involved in and a particular situation that I'm not familiar with.
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Re: trip for Vipera walser

Postby Bobby Bok » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:41 am

I put a little story online about this minitrip as well:
http://www.herpsafari.nl/tripreports-eu ... -nw-italy/
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