More on Mr. T (bflying in parks)

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Tue Sep 2 16:58:31 EDT 1997

	I had not thought about trying to hide one's net from anti-col-
lectors. That's one problem we don't have in Alaska! The only time I hide
from tourists is when the National Park authorities tell me to. But
I agree that Mr. T. may have been simply an (unwise) amateur collector,
based on what we have heard. Not everyone who collects illegally (and even
knowingly so) in National Parks is a _commercial_ poacher. As Mark Walker
points out, the Parks may not even be the places a commercial collector
would want to go to. I collect in National Parks to obtain data on
butterfly distribution--but if I were after obtaining long series of
commercially valuable arctic butterflies National Parks (even if such
collecting were legal) would be far down on my site list.

	There does seem to be an interesting tendency on the part of the
F&WS to harp on the 'large' numbers of specimens taken by illegal collect-
ors--as if legal collectors of insects did not also take long series
on occasion. The numbers of specimens claimed to have been taken by Mr.
T. sound to me typical for a not particularly energetic amateur collector.
As for claiming that specimen data are required for poaching--F&WS seem
unaware of standard museum practice. I remember a while ago that one of
the F&WS people in the recent butterfly poaching case was quoted (or
misquoted?) in a newspaper article commenting on the fact that one of
the collections had multiple labels on specimen pins. When I was photo-
graphing butterfly specimens at the CNC some years ago, and had to remove
all labels to photograph the underside, I became all too aware of what
'standard museum practice' was regarding the number of labels on a single
pin! Two or three were common, and some had more. The Alaska Lepidoptera
Survey collection runs from one to three labels per pin--just to keep
habitat data with the specimens.

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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