Event Details

Location: Tucson, AZ


Cordially Invites You To


Friday, November 2nd


Dr. Cecil Schwalbe

Herps & Perps!  The Black Market Trade in Arizona Reptiles

Five thousand dollars for a pair of rattlesnakes. Five thousand more for a pair of Gila monsters. A confiscated cobra. A confiscated garter snake. A confiscated pitviper. These descriptions represent the little-known world of black market reptile trading in Arizona. You may not know it, but black market reptile trading is a continuous problem for Arizona, and the illegal practice has a long history in our state. This month’s speaker, Dr. Cecil Schwalbe, will dive into the history and future of this serious issue.

Dr. Schwalbe’s talk will focus mostly on a series of sting operations conducted in the 1980s, and he will also describe some interesting insights that have developed since then. These sting operations demonstrate the intricate and international nature of black market reptile trading. You’ll also be surprised to learn about the many different species traded on Arizona’s black market.

Dr. Cecil Schwalbe was the first state herpetologist for Arizona Game and Fish, serving from 1984-1990. He then returned to the University of Arizona, where he had originally earned his doctorate in zoology. At the UA, he leads a research program that guides the conservation of native amphibians and reptiles. He and his 25 graduate students have investigated many of Arizona’s native species, including desert tortoises, ranid frogs, the invasive American bullfrog, and even sea turtles in Mexico. He has also served on many conservation and advisory teams, including federal recovery teams for the Mojave desert tortoise and the Houston toad. He worked for National Geographic Expeditions for ten years on trips to Central America, South America, and the southwestern United States. He is an ecologist emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey and co-teaches science and environmental journalism with his wife, Carol, in the University of Arizona School of journalism.

Dr. Schwalbe is a warm and enthusiastic speaker. Prepare to leave enlightened and entertained! You will also meet Pancho Gila, his educational Gila monster, and several other animals rescued from the 1980s sting operations.

THE ARIZONA INN, 2200 E Elm Street (between Campbell and Tucson Blvd)

Registration begins at 11:30 AM in The Arizona Inn (Tucson Room)

Lunch will be served at Noon

When you RSVP, please tell us if you would prefer the “Vegetarian/Vegan” selection. Since this is a plated-luncheon, the main course for the attendees (including rolls, salad, dessert and coffee or tea) will be the “Chef’s Choice.”

They promise it will be delicious!

Free parking is easy and convenient. It is across the street from the Main Entrance!

$30.00 at the door (cash or check)
Registration starts 11:30 AM at The Arizona Inn (Tucson Room)
Lunch will be served at Noon

RSVP:  To Cathy Anderson at yaleclub.arizona@gmail.com by October 29th. $30.00 at the door (cash or check)

Dear Friend,   Please treat your Reservation as a commitment and notify us if you are unable to attend.  Lately, some of us have been failing to do this.  This is important for our continued good relations with The Arizona Inn and our budget since we make commitments to the Inn based on RSVPs.