More on Mr. T (bflying in parks)

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Wed Sep 3 04:29:34 EDT 1997

	I think Neil Jones is, to some extent, attacking a straw man. I
have not seen evidence from recent postings that many people feel:

>that collecting can never do any harm.

No one here is advocating unlimited collecting of endangered species
(although there _are_ people who do so, but they don't appear to hang
out on Leps-L). The whole point being made here is that most butterfly
species in most U.S. National Parks are _not_ endangered. In Alaska
I would say they are not even threatened, but are very healthy indeed.

Neil goes on to say:

>It is therefore necessary to examine whether a predator can affect the          
>population of a species.                                                        

No one here is denying that either. In fact, I alluded to this directly
when talking about the effect of (non-human) predators on Fairbanks-area
butterflies (the great yellowjacket outbreak of 1994).

	The point I was trying to make is that a certain amount of col-
lecting can be safely carried out in many U.S. National Parks--many of
which were _not_ set up to protect endangered butterfly species, and do
not in fact contain any. It happens to be illegal to do so without a
special permit, which seems a bit odd when you consider fishing, hunting
in Preserves, and the many other ways insects get killed in the Parks--
but when people violate the law the main thing they are doing is breaking
a law. I know of no case of illegal collecting in Alaska which has
harmed a species of insect. So articles emphasizing the environmental
havoc wreaked by grabbing unpermitted butterflies in National Parks
amount to propaganda unless they are concerned with specific endangered
populations. Putting another road through a park does more damage,
as does heavy traffic on existing roads. In Denali N.P. one cloudy
day last summer I counted one tour bus every 5 minutes for two
hours--on a 70 to 90-mile stretch of road I wonder how many butterflies
they take out each summer?

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

More information about the Leps-l mailing list