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2023 AugustSeptember BAHS Newsletter-min.pdf

Plain Text Newsletter (machine generated)


August/September 2023

General Meeting: September 22 , 7:30pm


Photos by Aleks Haecky

President’s Letter


Hi everyone! 

San Mateo show update. One, it was fun seeing everyone there. Two, watching the kids and adults spin the wheel is funny when they are trying to guess what number they will land on. Thank you Rhonda for that.

We are still looking for more volunteers for the next event.

Fall and Halloween events are right around the corner.

New meeting site is in the works. Still working out the final details, but it will be in San Jose. So exciting. Won't be till the beginning of the new year. 

We will still have the holiday party in Palo Alto on December 2nd from 5 - 8pm. We will have a potluck and white elephant gift exchange. NO LIVE Animals, but reptile themed. 

Planning a fall or early winter herp trip. I know that sounds weird. Looking for salamanders and banana slugs. Just waiting for the rains to return.

I want to personally thank Aleks and Jeff for everything they did and are still doing for the club. I know how crazy life and dealing with and managing a club can be. I just want to say thanks and how excited for you both to begin new adventures in both your lives. Thanks again. 

On a personal note, all of the Russian tortoises have hatched and been shipped out to Florida. Rex, my female Rhino iguana, laid all infertile eggs. Kind of a bummer, but I rather have slugs than an egg-bound female. There is always next year.

On the 23rd and 24th of September is the Sacramento Reptile Expo. BAHS will not be there showing. But it will still be a great expo. Personally one of my favorites and one of the largest in the area.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the General meeting on September 22nd. 

Steven Sifuentes, BAHS President 2023

San Mateo Reptile Show

by Pete Marshall

BAHS made a grand showing at the Annual San Mateo Reptile Show. And what a cool show it was. We were set up in the back corner, which was not a bad location. We had lots of people come by. Check out in the picture below what we had set up.


This year, we didn’t have a lot of animals to show on Saturday. And that’s fine—we made it work for us anyway. Steven came out to show his support.

Sunday, we were a bit better off. We had Steven and his son and Joanne to help close out the weekend. We had a lot more people stop and talk and ask questions. So it was good to have them there with us. 

Rhonda was busy with the spin-the-wheel game. The kids really enjoy playing with that game, which is nice. It’s a good way to bring in some funds for the club along with donations.

I don’t think we did as well as we did at the fair, but that’s OK. We took in some funds, which is a good thing. I saw a lot of people that wanted to donate at first, didn’t have any small bills, and came back later on to make a donation. That was really nice of them! 

The show was full of vendors—some I knew of, and one I had not seen in years, so I got to go talk with them to catch up a bit. It was good to see The Reptile Room of Hayward and everyone else there.

One thing I noticed about this show was that there were a lot of other things there other than just reptiles. Now you have vendors with plants, jewelry, and insects. The hobby is changing and more new and interesting things are being added. Along with every accessory you could ever want or need. 

There were a lot of new vendors there as well. And that’s good. There was a guy that was showing off a very impressive table of monitors. Never seen anyone just bring monitors . Not sure what he was doing. Or what organization he was with. But he had some very impressive monitors. 

I would say both days were busy. We had a good flow of people coming by on both days. A lot of people came by to talk with me about who we were and what we do. 


It was good to have people ask questions like that. So we can tell them who we are. One fun thing I got from this show was that I got to talk with a lot of people that were looking to get their first snake.

That’s great, and I told them to figure out which one they wanted first. And to not buy a snake if they didn’t know anything about it. — ”Do your homework first. Learn all you can about the snake you want before you buy it, and be sure your cage is all set up and ready to go.”

It’s never a good idea to learn snake keeping 101 on the fly. So it was good to talk with people that were thinking of getting into snake keeping. And I got to talk with a few people that like snakes, didn’t have any, and were at the show to talk with people that did, and learn as much as they could form the people that had snakes.It was great to talk with people like that. Taking their time to learn all they could and taking their time about becoming a snake owner. Those are good people to talk with.  

On both days, I had one of my Davis Mountain Bull snakes to display. A few people wanted to know if they were good snakes to start with. I had to tell them, “No,” as Bull snakes are not a good snake to start out with, especially if you get a baby. 

Also I got to talk with one guy that last saw us at Sulphur Creek in Hayward. He told me he really enjoyed that show and seeing us at this one was a surprise for him. It’s always good to connect with people that have seen us at other shows. I like that. 

I also got to talk with a couple old BAARS members that remembered us from years ago. Maybe we’ll get to see them at a meeting one day. I just like hearing people say, “ Hey, I know you guys. I used to be a member.”

In all, it was a fun-filled show. I had a good time being there with all things reptile. And to close the show, one of the vendors let his Black throat monitor walk around the show. It seemed to follow him as he was walking. Can’t think of a better way to end the show. 


Santa Clara County Fair

Photos below by Rhonda Velez





Photos below by Pete Marshall






What is CITES

Submitted by Jun Ahn

What is CITES?

CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is an agreement between governments in trade regulations of (potentially) endangered species. The agreement not only protects international trade of these animal and plant species themselves, but also wildlife products such as timber, medicine, food products, and exotic leather items. The convention was formed in 1963 by the members of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, following the post-war trend of establishment of international political bodies like UNESCO. It currently stands with over 180 Parties, the latest member to join being Andorra in January of 2022. And while the agreements of the convention have legal bindings, individual states can adopt their own laws to stand by the conditions. As concerns for conservation of extinct species continue to grow, CITES remains as one of the key factors in controlling and maintaining the wild population of plants and animals around the world.

How does CITES work?

For an organism to be under the protection of CITES, it must be listed in one of three appendices; Appendix I for threatened with extinction, Appendix II for requiring necessary trade restriction, Appendix III for species protected by at least 1 country and requested by said country for protection by other Parties. Specific regional populations may be split-listed into multiple appendices depending on how threatened these sub-populations are. There are currently over 38,000 species, sub species and populations under protection.

CITES works alongside each parties’ customs. As protected organisms/derived products move across international borders, different sides of the trade–import, export, re-import or introduction from the sea–must have necessary permits and certificates issued by CITES-enforcing authorities of each party. Permits and certificates are issued based on the environmental impact of said trade, and depending on the Appendix level of the trading species, may only require export to have authorization. The authorization will need to be presented to border control.


What is CITES?. CITES. (n.d.). 

Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, June 16). CITES. Wikipedia. 

USFWS protects 

Foothill Yellow-legged Frog

Email from Meghan K. Snow, USFWS  

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will provide Endangered Species Act protections to four of the six geographically and genetically distinct population segments (DPS) of the foothill yellow-legged frog. After reviewing the best scientific and commercial information available, the Service determined endangered status for the South Sierra DPS and South Coast DPS and threatened status for the North Feather DPS and Central Coast DPS of the foothill yellow-legged frog. 

The foothill yellow-legged frog, named for its yellow belly and underside of its rear legs, is found from Oregon to southern California. While wide-ranging, the amphibian faces multiple threats, including altered water flows related to water infrastructure, including dams and diversions; competition with and predation by non-native species such as bullfrogs and crayfish; disease; precipitation and temperature changes related to climate change; high-severity wildfires; water-related recreation; and habitat conversion and degradation.

The Service is including a 4(d) rule for the North Feather DPS and Central Coast DPS that excepts take incidental to habitat restoration projects and forest fuels management activities that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The Service will propose critical habitat later this year.

A copy of the final decision will publish in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, and is available in the Reading Room today. The public can review the final listing and read supporting information at by searching Docket Number FWS–R8–ES–2021–0108. The effective date for the final rule will be Thursday, September 28, 2023.



Upcoming Events

See for the full year and most up-to-date listings. 

September 2023

September 22


7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

General Meeting - Cubberley Community Center, Room H-6

See for details. 

Speaker: TBD

October 2023

October 6


7:30 pm

Board Meeting by Zoom

Join for business, or just for social chatting. 

Email or any board member for details.

Board meetings are open to all members. Please, always verify the date with a board member.

October 27


7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

General Meeting - Cubberley Community Center, Room H-6

See for details. 

Speaker: TBD

November 2023 - NO GENERAL MEETING (Thanksgiving)

Board Meeting on November 3rd. Please, always verify the date with a board member.

December 2023 - Holiday Party and Elections on December 2nd.

December - NO GENERAL MEETING (Holiday party instead)

BAHS is an educational and conservational group of amateur and professional herpetologists who want to share their knowledge, enthusiasm, and friendship with others interested in these fascinating creatures. We promote knowledge and enjoyment of reptiles, amphibians, and other herptiles. 

Adoptions: See for details on how to get your animal listed in the newsletter.

Newsletter Editor Aleks Haecky. Contact:

Bay Area Herpetological Society Website / Facebook Group 



 Creative Commons License 

This newsletter and all its content, unless stated otherwise, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



East Bay Vivarium Berkeley - 10%

Sunnyvale Veterinary Clinic 

and Oakridge Veterinary Clinic - 10%


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