rearing for commercial gain

Pierre le Roux arbor at
Wed Sep 16 00:44:47 EDT 1998

>From my view here in Africa, the Western world has exploited our 
continent so vastly, that very little -  appart from aid-packages (which 
we don't repay) and lepidoptera (which we sell at exorbitant prices 
that convert to small fortunes in our own currencies) - remain with 
which we can get  back our own.

As a Euro-african ( That is the equivalent here  - I think- to an 
Afro-american?), I find it fascinating to first of all breed the 
critters, as quite a lot of them, have their life-histories either 
not know, or incomplete. I've trained several locals to handle the 
rearing of the larvae to pupae, which we buy at a fixed fee, and we 
also supply the Remay sleeves, equipment, land for growing 
foodplants, etc.

To answer  -:
> > It would be interesting to know what percentage of members:-
> > 
> > (a) Have a "no kill" policy.
We catch voucher specimens in the Zoutpansberg area, my "habitat" - x 
50km x 250km small mountainrange with rainfal ranging from 250 - 
3000mm per year, giving a nice diversity of niches. It is estimated 
that we have 250+ species of butterflies, and about 10x that many 
> > (b) Kill specimens for a "collection" (hunting instinct)
> > (c) Kill / Breed for scientific study
> > (d) Breed for conservation purposes
Hardly possible
> > (e) Breed for commercial gain
If I can sell enough! The hobbyists seem to be a stingy bunch, so the 
main purchacers are butterfly houses, for a limited period each year 
when they don't breed their own stock. On top of that, African 
courier services sometime take amazing times to not deliver parcels 

> There is another category, hobby breeders.  These breed in order to
> trade their livestock for different new species for their
> collection, and who sell the rest of what they rear to make money to
> support their habit. They're selling livestock, but not really
> making a profit, because they spend it all on buying more livestock!
> or on collection materials, Cornell drawers, gas for collecting
> trips, etc etc - in other words their hobby is an addiction.  I
> would bet this category is huge. 
That sounds like us: Plus add to that that we cannot afford drawers, 
so I have to build the drawers myself, make most of the 
settingboards, nets, lighttraps, etc as well, and have little 
understanding from  the local Dept. WIldlife Concervation ( who are 
more concerned about rhino's, elephants and the other "big & 
> I do have a friend who raised cecropia purely to make money, and
> it's not easy.  It's an inordinate amount of work, and one year he
> lost the entire stock to disease. 
Yeah, that's true - We are able to raise the survival from about 
4%-6% in nature, to over 60%, but rrarely to over 90%. Our policy is 
also to release about 10% of what we rear - in the original area in 
which the females were caught, by the way - to salve our concience, I 
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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