Neil's dissertation

Chris Raper triocomp at
Sat Sep 6 14:45:41 EDT 1997

On Thu, 04 Sep 1997 07:50:22 GMT, Neil at NWJONES.DEMON.CO.UK (Neil
Jones) wrote:

>After several centuries of collecting we still know comparatively little about
>the ecology of many British butterflies.

Hi Neil - you didn't expect me to be keep out of this one for long did
you? ;-)

FWIW, I think your statement is more or less correct - and I think we
both know each other's position on the subject. But what I have a
problem with is that while attention is being directed towards a
releatively benign, but sesationalist 'problem' (collectors), less
emphasis is put on boring old habitat distruction - the main cause of
extinctions or _all_ groups of flora & fauna.

At the same time as 'Joe Public' is lapping up stories about weird
'bug-hunters' being a terrible problem other weird 'bug-hunters' who
actually do good, legitimate collecting as part of essential
monitoring work are being stigmatised and discouraged from doing their
work. I don't know about 50+ years ago but NOW in the UK nearly
everyone I know who collects also sends their records into local

I am just worried that if collecting per-se is frowned upon we will
have fewer and fewer people to continue surveying into the next
millenium. It all boils down to the fact that I am quite willing to
put up with the minority of collectors you only take as long as the
majority of good collectors still continue to give me records!

Well that was my 2p worth - back into the bomb-shelter! ;-)

Chris R.

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