Killing butterflies and habitat destruction

Dave Chesmore e.d.chesmore at
Thu Sep 24 05:08:03 EDT 1998

I agree entirely with Andrew Torry.

Legislation is not going to deter people determined to obtain rare species,
it will only make it more difficult for amateurs and professionals alike to
collect specimens.

Many Leps-L subscribers know my views on collecting and can find previous
messages in the archive.  Just to re-iterate - I collect for 2 reasons:

1.  I need to have voucher specimens for identification purposes and for
verification by the county recordersotherwise they won't accept records.  To
give an example, I found a specimen of Orthoptera in a locality north of the
river Ouse in Yorkshire this year which hasn't been found anywhere north of
the river Humber/Ouse for well over 100 years.  Who would believe me if I
had not taken the specimen and sent it to be verified?

2.  There is no substitute for showing people actual specimens when
describing insects (or any other animals or plants).  To see something up
close and be able to look at it through a magnifying glass or microscope is
a real turn-on for would-be naturalists, especially children.

Legislation banning collecting without a permit would immediately stop most
amateur Lepidopterists from pursuing their hobby and then where would all
the important records come from?  I would guess that many habitats have been
saved through the knowledge of amateur naturalists.  In my opinion
anti-collecting legislation would be deterimental to habitat preservation.

Dr David Chesmore, FRES
Control & Intelligent Systems Engineering Group
School of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering & Mathematics
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
tel/fax: +1482 465062
message pager:  07654 266522

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