Animal rights and protection of inverts

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Sun Aug 29 06:44:44 EDT 1999

Chris Durden closed his commentary asking about the role of animal 
rights group. 

I have long made it a point to ask Animal Rights activists I encounter 
(for example at their booths at various meetings) about their interests 
in protecting animals. 

Universally (based on about 15 or so discussions) they say that that is 
outside their area.  In other words, if you kill or remove a fox that is 
destroying a Least Tern colony, they will demonstrate against fox 
harassment.  But they are not interest in conserving tern colonies, nor 
in conserving fox habitat, for that matter. The will not demonstrate if 
a developer builds condos on the tern colony (even though the Least Tern 
is an endangered species). 

Thus I find it unlikely that it is animal rights groups behind the move 
to regulate take of invertebrates. 

And yes, in the bird world, where there is a half century of experience, 
it is true that any developer can destroy habitat for hundreds of birds 
without a collectors permit, but an individual could be prosecuted for 
picking up a baby bird without a permit or a scientist could be 
prosecuted for not renewing their collecting permit.

Yet, I don't think one could be persuasive about lifting all regs on 
collecting native birds, even though so many of them are abundant and 
would make great household pets. 

Mike Gochfeld

More information about the Leps-l mailing list