Killing butterflies and habitat destruction

Neil Jones Neil at
Thu Sep 24 09:30:03 EDT 1998

In message <23520.9809240937 at> apktorry at (A.P.K.Torry) writes:
> 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.

This is incorrect. The thread was started 6 days ago by Terry Rodbard who
crticised people for killing butterflies.
This is why the thread was called "killing Butterflies".

> 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.

Of course your credibility matters. If you swear and shout at them as you
have just done to me then you are not going to be taken seriously are you? 

>         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 
> destructionl. 

The legislation is not perfect but as I pointed out those of us who are
rational enough to be taken seriously will be able to use it to get protection
for habitats. 
> >
> >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.

Any degree of habitat protection is better than none at all.
You are wrong in stating that the British legistlation confers no protection
on habitats. Now that the Marsh Fritillary is listed under the 1981 Wildlife
and Countryside Act, its existance on a given site is now legally a 
"material consideration" in planning matters. Hence it is now more difficult
to get permission to build on a site.

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

Your analogy is clearly false. Reality is not so black and white. 

> >
> >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.

You do yourself no credit by using unneccessary "four letter words".
I would remind you that we wish to encourage parents to let their children read
this newsgroup so that a new generation of lepidopterists can be encouraged.
> >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.

There is no need to shout. You are giving the impression that your argument
is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

> 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.

Your analogy is, as usual, very extreme and does not appear to derive
from calm rational thinking.
It is such a pity that you chose to respond in such an angry way. We have
much in common. Unfortunately you have got it into your head that I wish
to prevent you from persuing your hobby. This is untrue but it appears that
what ever I say will not persuade you otherwise.

> 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

> Thankyou
> Andrew 

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

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