Kevin J.Caley plzkjc at
Tue Jun 10 07:29:52 EDT 1997

Dave Chesmore wrote:
> While I can understand the wishes of some people to release
> butterflies in an attempt to gain public awareness of the declien of
> butterflies, I consider this viewpoint to be very narrowminded and
> similar to some views in the UK.
> Butterflies form a small proportion of Lepidoptera (about 2% in the UK)
> yet I hear no-one advocating the mass release of moths, or what
> about declining fly, beetle species, etc.  In the UK, butterflies are  of
> Lepidoptera.
> I don't believe releases of this nature, without any sound ecological
> reasoning, will achieve anything, especially public awareness.  The
> "public" has a notoriously short memory and all the releases will
> achieve is to destroy the years of hard work of scientists carrying out
> surveys.  I suppose there might be one good outcome - lots of
> nutritious food for birds.
> Dr David Chesmore, FRES
> Environmental Electronics Research Group
> Dept. of Electronic Engineering
> University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX
> Tel: +482 465062;  Fax: +482 466664
> Email:  E.D.Chesmore at E-Eng.Hull.AC.UK
> Web page:

I agree with this - the release of butterflies (or moths, or any other
insect) should be discouraged unless there is a good Conservation-based
case for this; and this includes such background work as making sure
that the site is right for RE-INTRODUCTION.  Introductions of organisms
into an area where they have never been found in historical times should
always be discouraged, again unless there is good conservation-based
backing to do otherwise.  I am also someone who is against the
collection of organisms for personal study and am an advocate of the
production of solid keys (pictorial or otherwise) which allow the
identification of an organism without killing it in the process (not a
good conservation practice at the best of times!)

Kevin J.

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