Dr. James Adams JADAMS at
Mon Sep 29 09:56:28 EDT 1997

Dear listers,

    And the discussion continues!
    I believe it really boils down to native vs. non-native releases, 
as several people have already mentioned, including myself.  As John 
Calhoun mentions, however, this is virtually impossible to regulate.  
I can certainly imagine, and undoubtedly this actually *has* happened 
numerous times, individuals transporting gravid females into areas 
with appropriate foodplants but no standing populations of the 
species.  I will admit to trying this once, in my much younger and 
naive days, with Mitoura gryneus.  Never saw it in my hometown in 
the Kansas City area, but there exists a very large population on the 
University of Kansas campus.  One spring I transported several 
individuals several miles eastward and released them in a stand of 
Juniperus virgineanus.  Lousy weather followed, however, and they 
never became established.  Just as well, since the Red Cedar stand 
has now been replaced by a sports complex!!  Ah, progress . . .
> We must ALL adhere to logic.  If a species does not occur somewhere, we 
> can't simply pack some up and drop them off.  Even if such introductions 
> do not offset local ecosystems, these movements make it impossible to 
> understand natural distribution patterns for researchers like myself.  

Absolutely, though I can think of reasons for such introductions, 
such as a species having historically occurred in an area where it 
has since been extirpated by humans.  We would then be 
*reestablishing* populations that *should* exist.  Do others agree?

    One last point, however, that should be made is that such 
introductions are *going to occur*, even if totally regulated and no 
one purposely moves species around.  Gypsy moth eggs hitch a ride on 
cars, ctenuchine arctiid pupae get shipped around with bananas, 
gravid females of species of all types of insects get moved around by 
car, etc.  I collected a specimen of Eudocima materna, practically 
mint fresh, in Liberty, MO when I was a youngster.  A natural 
migrant?  Almost definitely not (but we'll never know).  The adult 
was found at Guys Food Plant (owned by Borden now, maker of snack 
foods), and peanut oil and numerous other products were constantly 
being shipped in from foreign countries.  My bet is that a pupa of E. 
materna hitched a ride in with these products.

    The modern age of human transportation has, by its very nature, 
muddied the picture of natural ranges/movements of an incredible 
number of species (including humans).  I would hate to be an 
archaeologist of another species hundreds of thousands of years from 
now trying to put together clear pictures of natural ranges of 
species.  Lets hope our informational resources last a long time!!

    James Adams

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