Collecting Permit Ideas

Pierre le Roux arbor at
Sat Jul 18 01:03:40 EDT 1998

As a South African butterfly & moth breeder, I'd like to chip in my 
(almost valueless) Rand's worth:

On a symposium held about a year ago, it was found that the Nature 
Conservation Departments of the 9 provinces ("States" to you 
Americans) had virtually no expertise in dealing with any 
invertebrate taxa. It was recommended that all collectors, who would 
need to obtain an (almost) free permit first, would need to submit 
their catch to a dualy appointed representative of the African 
Lepidopterist Society, who would then inspect and certify that no 
endangered species were caught. No fee would be charged per specimen, 
but a flat rate would be charged as an inspection fee. Any new 
species or suspected new species would be retained for more extensive 
investigation by relevant experts, before forwarding ( at the 
collectors expense) to his home address. Holotypes would be retained, 
and the collector given credit. All this unfortunately is a LONG way 
from being implemented, and at this stage you can pretty much get a 
permit and go collecting and fly off home without anyone bothering to 
check what you've caught, or how many.

Commercial collecting is discouraged, both by local and foreign 
collectors, but breeding in theory should alleviate this: In general 
only a few dozen species are in demand, and bred specimens are 
invariably vastly superior in quality to caught specimens.

I almost had my head bitten off on this group for suggesting it 
previously, but here I go again ( as some such ventures are starting 
up here): A ranching approach is taken, whereby foodplants and 
nectaring plants are planted in natural surroundings, to attract 
butterflies & moths. Collectors can swing their nets to their heart's 
content, but a catch-and-release policy is advised though not 
enforced: If you REALLY need to hang on to that critter, keep it if 
it's not rare. Bred specimens of the more showy stuff will be 
available for sale at the curio kiosk, who will also hold relevant 
forms for export. The cost of your hunt is included with the daily 
fee of your accomodation, but you pay extra for "trophies" - that is 
the bred ones! Guides are provided and an extensive library is 
supplied for the collector who would like to do his own ID-ing.

>From all that was written in this debate, surely SOMEONE can come up 
with logical guidelines that could standardise how we approuch having 
fun with butterflies, no matter if you are collecting, observing  breeding or 
studying leps. Here we only have about 863 species of butterfly, and 
roughly 12,000 - 14,000 species of moths in Southern Africa, but 
people who would like to, can still pretty much do what they like 
without interference. Contact me so we can fleece you of your 
hard-earned dollars :-)

Pierre le Roux Tel&Fax:+(27)-15-583-0084
P.O. Box 8     ( Cellphone+27-82-9234-975)
0929 Levubu
South Africa
23 05'S 30 15'E, 680m above mean sealevel.

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