Collecting Permit Ideas

Heath, Fred fred.heath at
Fri Jul 17 21:45:00 EDT 1998

        I keep wondering: Aren't there folks associated with the local 
universities and museums who would love to be involved in any visits to their 
country where any bio-diversity data (whether it be specimens, photographs, or 
simply lists of species seen) is generated.  I would assume that they might be 
more than willing to work with their Ministry of Interior (or whatever it is 
called) to get some kind of permit procedure established which is monitored 
through the university and can provide a document which can be accepted both by

the host country's customs people as well as the destination country's custom 
people (especially if we are talking about bringing dead bugs back to the

        Agreement can include return some of the specimens to the host
university and/or museum collections. With leps of questionable ID, it would be

important to bring the specimens back to the U.S. or other country where 
comparsions can be made with existing collections. Some of the specimens 
(especially if the ID is known) could certainly be left in the host country for

their collections. As time went on, host countries might amass large enough 
collections to allow the ID process to be done on the spot. 
        Andy Warren, who does a lot of work mostly on skippers in SW Mexico, 
does exactly this. He has found a number of new species and increased the state

lists of several Mexican states. He does pay his $600 per year for a collecting

permit, but by working with the local folks, building their collections and 
helping to train them in identifying the local leps, is providing a valuable 
service which will help the local conversation efforts, while allowing him
his favorite pastime. It wouldn't surprise me if in the not too distant future 
he was leading butterfly tours in Mexico. This in turn, like the ever
bird tours would provide via eco-tourism an economic justification to preserve 
some of tropical forests, savannahs and woodlands.  

        I'm probably being somewhat naive, but it seems the only way we are 
going save some of the natural habitat in places other than our backyard, is to

get the indigenous people to become part of the process. Since they live there,

their stake in this is much greater than our own.

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