Comments: 161 • Responses: 10  • Date: 

eveningmoon156 karma


I_am_Davis_Gunnin_0 karma

 Honestly your going to have to take my word. I'f you need some sort of proof go to [Dendroboard](http://www.dendroboard.com/) and search Dendroguy. I have been an active member since December 2010. Yes, I did set this whole thing up just a few days ago, but that's after nearly a year of research and contacting other centers like the one I am try to get rolling now (CRARC, Mark Pepper, WIKIRI) to get find a good starting point and they gave me some really helpful advice on how to do things. Of course they didn't say "Oh, go on Reddit and post an AMA", but they did however give me advice on who out there to work with and donate to. I honestly think this is one of the most helpful posts here, have an up-vote and gold. 

exilelexxii17 karma

How do you plan to "work my way around the globe from there" being 13 years old. On top of that, does that mean the money you fund will be used to by airline tickets? Do you already have any contacts you can support with your funds to protect habitats?

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-35 karma

Much like CRARC and Wikiri, there are other research centers around the globe that do more or less the same thing. Money from Operation: Hellbender, which will bring in some of the first LEGAL captive bred Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) to the amphibian hobby will be donated to those centers. I have contacted Mark and Elaine Pepper of Understory Enterprises and Brian Kubicki of CRARC (BTW, really awesome dude). I will however set aside money to visit Costa Rica and Panama :)

Kai9615 karma

This is very interesting. As a 13 year old, how do you find time between saving amphibians and other things (ie School, Social Life... Etc)?

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-11 karma

I'm currently home schooled, so while I still have 'regular' hours (9:00 to 1:00 or 2:00 depending on what's to be done) my day is much more flexible. So say between lessons or at lunch I will do what ever needs to be done, contacting Brian at CRARC, feeding the numerous animals I own, or my current research on ostracodes (soon to be replaced by Hellbenders). I am guilty however of skipping a day every now and then to work on my research projects. I usually don't hang out with people my age group because we can't talk about the same things and have in depth discussions about dart frogs and what not (understandably because there are not many people in their early teens that are into dart frogs and other amphibians). I do hang out with my best friend since 1st grade often. Other than that I usually chat with my parents friends or online aquatints from various amphibian forums.

mixter_pants7 karma

It's past your bedtime.

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-3 karma

I've been up all night working. It is quite late though.

CallMeFierce3 karma

How did this become your passion?

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-6 karma

I've always been interested in amphibians of all sorts, in late 2010 I had started keeping poison dart frogs, from engaging on forums I learned there is a massive decrease in amphibian species. I had talked with a few people who donated and worked with Wikiri and CRARC, mainly Mark Pepper of Understory Enterprises. After a little more research I discovered that there were very few organizations devoted to North American amphibian conservation, so it just took off from there.

torontomix-2 karma

I appreciate what your doing. Your a cool kid.

This sounds like it's a serious commitment. What projects are you currently working on? Can you go deeper into why this means so much to you?

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-17 karma

  My planned project is Operation: Hellbender, which if I get the funding, will start the first captive breeding project of the eastern Hellbender. I hope to also produce the first legal captive bred offspring to reduce pressures of smuggling for the pet trade and offer the chance to own such an amazing animal without supporting the smuggling of endangered animals.
    It's my personal belief that no species should be left out in the cold, or given the 'could shoulder'. The extinction of amphibians is bested by only the K-T event (the one that killed the dinosaurs), I find life so precious, so extraordinarily complex and beautiful that it shouldn't be left to wither away with the populace thinking "Eh, someone else will take care of it" or "Nah, someones working on that". The truth is that NO one will take care of it but you, onlly you can make the world that YOU want to see. People keep saying "We can't leave the planet in ruins for the next generation" but the truth is that we ARE that next generation, WE are the ones who have that decrepit, polluted, planet that we think is not our problem. But it is. We let 90% of a species go extinct or become critically endangered. We can NOT let that happen again. That is why I've decided to take action, THAT is what needs to be done.

DanGodreddits2 karma

It amazes me to see such devoted herpers at your age. Please consider contacting different reptile show companies (Repticon for example ). They might allow you a booth or two to setup in. This would be a great way for you to spread the word about what you're doing. Also please say you have a decent Herpetological society near you to help out. Also the International Herpetological Symposium would be interesting to check out. There's a lot of people out there with the connections to help you out, just gotta get out there. You seem like you're doing great.

One little question though concerning what you said In a comment. Who's breeding Hellbenders and what do they go for at the moment? I've been wondering why no one had taken their captive breeding more seriously.

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-14 karma

In fact no one is. They are scarce in the US hobby, however are smuggled out of the states to europe and asia as an exotic animal.. What I plan to do with Operation: Hellbender is set up the first captive breeding project for the eastern hellbender and get the required paperwork to offer the first legal captive bred Hellbenders to institutions and hobbyists. I believe there is a herp society in Knoxville that I will have to check out. I will and have seriously considered contacting herp shows. I have connections with some 'famous' people in the herp world, but I'm sure more will be made through herp meetings. Have an up-vote and gold.

plorif-4 karma


I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-22 karma

I've seen that shit already bud. I've browse the wretched halls of gore and morbid realty. I can't be shocked anymore.

garaging-5 karma

Op, what are you doing up?

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-9 karma

See above comment.

garaging15 karma

Above comment was seen. It says "Op, what are you doing up?"

mixter_pants0 karma

Well dicked sir!

I_am_Davis_Gunnin_-11 karma

Have an upvote