CONSERVATION; FOLLOW-UP From South Africa
Pierre le Roux
arbor at cis.co.za
Mon Nov 3 07:39:03 EST 1997
Dear leps-L readers,
After my postings several weeks ago, I feel that I should report
back: In total 9 people responded, and we had positive input from
Of our 9 provinces ("states"), seven were represented at the workshop
by officials in charge of policy making, from Nature Conservation,
Parks Board & Dept. Environmental Affairs. The Spider Club of South
Africa and Lepidopterist Society of Africa were represented. I was
the only person from the commercial/breeders side present. It was
decided that the discussions of this workshop would serve as a basis
to establish a National Policy on the Sustainable utilisation of
Invertebrate Species. This will be held at a future date.
To summarise, the following points emerged at the workshop:
i) The agencies present as well as the spokespersons for the
Societies, agreed that expertise was seriously lacking from the
Government sector to addequately regulate and limit risk in most
areas. It was suggested, and accepted, that a accreditation system
would be investigated, whereby clud & societies could assist in doing
Environmental Impact Studies, using amateur but highly expert persons
to advise on matters pertaining to invertebrates.
ii) For local collectors, mostly only permission from the landowner
is required, excepting the protected species: Although no species are
on the red list, several are considered vulnereable, and measures to
a) protect habitat & b) monitor habitat disturbance by Societies is
to be considered. The protected species requires a permit for
collection from known sites within reserves, but it would be allowed
to capture from new found locallities material for study. In all
nature Reserves, permits are required, and a list of specimens &
quantities taken has to be submitted on completion of the trip.
Foreign collectors would need permits to collect in Reserves, and
have to submit their catch to local experts (from Societies) for
inspection before leaving the country. In instances where ID is
doubtful, the material might be retained for further examination, but
will be forwarded at the collectors cost, once satisfactory ID is
obtained (This only applies to rare species - common species would
normally accompany you home!) In case a new species is discovered,
Holotypes need to be deposited in a local, suiteable institution
iii) Interesting discussion on the issue of utilisation of Saturniid
larvae as human food resource took place: I was astounded to hear
that the harvest from nature, of Imbrasia belina larvae, reached up
to 100,000 TONNES(!) of larvae per annum, in Botswana, South Africa
& Zimbabwe. These sell for about $2/lb, so it is quite a sizeable industry.
It definitely is an area needing urgent attention.
All in all, I think that it was a meaningful discussion, and the main
aim, of involving the population affected by the laws, was achieved.
This would hopefully mean that our version of Democracy would develop
systems of both pleasing the population, while sustainably harvesting
for hobby, commercial & food use. The principal of "if it pays, it
stays", has been well established in our "big & hairy" game industry,
so it should transfer well to our smaller game(?) animals.
Pierre le Roux Tel&Fax:+(27)-15-583-0084
P.O. Box 8
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