Collecting Permit Ideas

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Thu Jul 16 19:46:07 EDT 1998

Mark Walker wrote:

>Yuck!  I guess I know now for sure that it's not just looking at the
>butterflies that compels me.  It's the trek, the adventure.  Maybe I'm just
>a spoiled little brat wanting to play Indiana Jones, but this doesn't work
>for me.

Believe me, I understand exactly. I am a field biologist at heart, though I
can certainly be happy sitting over a scope for days on end - I've inhaled
noxious museum fumes for over 15 years now - but sooner or later the urge
for a field trip just boils in the blood. But I'm also not all that certain
that the majority of amateur leppers would *really* enjoy an unguided trek
in the Amazonian wilds. What I am saying is that this extreme level of
freedom may be something that the few of us who DO crave "the adventure"
will just have to live without, at least to the extent of stalking and
killing. Maybe the safari idea of Anne's is the best we could hope for to
have access without exploitation in the meanwhile. In another 50 years when
all the rainforest is gone except for tiny preserves, we won't even have
this much to look forward to, most likely.

>What bothers me more is that since this would discourage me, it is perceived
>by many to be a great solution (because I am perceived to be part of the
>problem).  This is the notion I wish to neutralize, for it is simply not

I don't think it's an ideal solution (and unless you're going after
*dozens* of duplicates of the rare and flashy species, you're not part of
the problem), but it offers a fair shot at doing the most good for the most
people, and ultimately it's how this will affect people that will determine
what, if anything, is done. We're fooling ourselves if we think that anyone
is going to make decisions in the best interests of the animals, at least
not over the long haul (consider the status of the Endangered Species act
if you don't get my drift). If the dollars and cents don't tally up right
in the end, it'll never fly.


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-441-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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