Texas Grill Count

Roger C. KENDRICK kendrick at hkusua.hku.hk
Wed Sep 16 01:38:00 EDT 1998

Mark Walker wrote: (snippets thereof)

> And now for something completely different...
> What a great butterflying weekend .........
> Individuals plastered on my grill:  18,720 (not counting the ones I swerved
> out of the way for).
> .......... Total number of daily butterfly fatalities:  1,474,200,000
> Total two day count:  2,948,400,000 + my 46 collected.  This is one of the
> reasons I have a problem with anti-collecting sentiment.

This is the exact arrgument I use to make people aware of how little impact
responsible collecting has upon populations of widespread or common species.
Moth numbers killed by night must be even higher.

For those who are really concerned at this hugh mortality, the simple answer is
if you must drive, go a little slower. I have found that below 30mph (50kmh)
almost all dayflying leps can get out of the way. Between 30 and 40 mph (50-70
kmh) most will be stunned, especially the bigger nymphalids. Above 40mph, start
counting hits on the grill and windscreen (windshield)! I haven't found out
figures for night driving - the moths' light response appears to result in
windscreen splats at most speeds! The other alternative, where practicable, is
to cycle or walk (much healthier for the leps, the environment as a whole and
keeps one fit.)


Roger C. KENDRICK   B.Sc.(Hons.)
PhD student & Demonstrator, Dept of Ecology & Biodiversity
The University of Hong Kong
mailto:kendrick at hkusua.hku.hk
http://web.hku.hk/~kendrick/hkmoth.htm   « Hong Kong Moths »
http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/1085/   « H.K. Lepidoptera Group »

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