Killing butterflies and habitat destruction

A.P.K.Torry apktorry at
Thu Sep 24 05:37:18 EDT 1998

I was pleased to see that argument this time was revolving more around 
HABITAT preservation/management rather than the anit-collecting theme. 
Until, that is, Neil piped in as usual.

Neil Jones wrote:-

>What has this to do with killing butterflies for collections?
>If we are to achieve the conservation of _any_ species it is necessary to
>convince the people of the area where it occurs to look after it.

>You cannot do this if you also argue that it is permissable to kill it for
>fun. This is not the argument of a animal rights activist but of a
>conservationist experienced in the sharp end of conserving lepidoptera.
>This does not of course mean banning collecting. 

        I agree with the sentiment, but it is much better to be able to 
prove your knowledge of a species from its study/collection from the wild 
when talking to incredible naive and uninformed politicians than them 
thinking you are wittering on some demented animal-rights campaigner.

        If I was to go to a politician and say I had seen a Large Blue on 
the sand-dunes they would not believe me unless I could prove it, and the 
chances of finding it again would be kinda remote. No I think rather they 
would simply grant planning permission to the local BRICK company to 
bulldoze the place for the sake of a few local jobs.

>I am afraid some collectors dislike me saying this and I have even been
>flamed for announcing that a species has been put on the protected list
>because this stopped the individual concerned from collecting it.

Nope I just made the point that legally protecting a species from collecting 
is not a cause for celebration (as you tone was when you told us all) but a 
waste of time as the legislation does not protect its habitat from 

>I am concerned also that many collectors posting here have a very
>anti-government stance.
Yes but most of us just pity their stupidity and ignorance, but hell they 
have votes to maintain so what else can they be expected to do.

> I do not have a high opinion of government either.
>This should be apparent from my comments on politicians above. However
>if we are to achieve proper conservation of lepidoptera properly
>constructed legislation is necessary.

I repeat anti-collecting legislation is a waste of time unless you afford 
the habitat the same degree of protection.

Building HALF a BRIDGE is a waste of time. You might as well not have a 
bridge at all.

>There is one other point that I would make and that is about accidental
>road kills being more significant. Firstly these are random events that
>are by their nature likely to have a far greater impact on common species
>that those that are endangered, whereas unscrupulous collectors might 
>deliberately target a rare species.

I guess you are in favour of banning the use of fly sprays in the home yes. 
Oh shit my mother fly-sprayed a moth the other day and it was a legally 
protected one I guess I should report her to the police, she should be 
alright though as she didn't mean to kill it.

>Secondly it is an accidental consequence of another activity.
>If you were to argue from a moralistic point of view, that it would be wrong
>to kill lepidoptera, it is obvious that no one could be construed as being
>guilty of an act which was conducted without intent. 
>This principle is widely implemented in legal systems. The idea of "mens
>rea" the guilty mind is a cornerstone of the legal system here and I am sure
>this applies in many countries.


I was driving along when a accidentally mowed down sixteen school children 
in my car, sorry but I didn't have a licence or insurance and the brakes 
were faulty but I didn't mean to do it HONEST.

You can still get LIFE for MANSLAUGHTER.

Sorry but anti collection legislation is not the way to go. Only habitat 
protection/management is the only way to achieve the LONG-TERM survival of 
any species including ourselves.

                                THE END



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