FW: New Callippe Siver Spot colony

Chris Raper triocomp at dial.pipex.com
Wed Jan 13 05:54:22 EST 1999

On 13 Jan 1999 00:09:51 -0800, MWalker at gensym.com (Mark Walker) wrote:

>> Neil makes a point that attempts to relocate butterfly habitats are
>> usually unsuccessful and perhaps often insincere.  I won't argue with the
>> latter, for I am obviously not suggesting that we build golf courses
>> wherever we please and simply find other places for the Fritillary to
>> live.
>> What I am suggesting, however, is that this butterflies habitat might be
>> easy enough to reproduce on secured lands so that population
>> management/preservation can be attempted.  I said the same thing for the
>> Karner Blue while living in northern New England (regarding the Concord,
>> N.H. sites), but everyone seemed to think that that was too difficult
>> also.
>> Again - it's not like we're talking about coastal sand dunes here.  How
>> hard is it to grow Violets and Lupine?

Hi Mark,

I'm afraid I don't have a copy of Neil's original message here but I
guess you were discussing the merits of butterfly introductions as a
means of conserving species under threat.

The problem is that, at least over here in the UK, this has been tried
many times over the last 50 years and has failed on nearly every
occasion. It still remains a mystery _why_ some colonies died out and
often they would perist for a number of years before going. For years
many assumed that a famous Large Copper re-introduction had been a
success as the colony was still there 20 years later. What many didn't
know was that someone was replenishing the numbers every now and then
- when they saw the population dip a bit!

The problem is that we still don't know enough about what a species
needs to really thrive. What we _do_ know is that where they exist
naturally they have a good chance of long-term survival if they are
undisturbed and their habitats are maintained.

Many people in the UK are very against this kind of conservation
because it gives developers an easy way out. Rather than developing
elsewhere they now have what appears to be a green solution to the
problem - they just move the rarities somewhere else and then trash
the original site. In reality of course it isn't that easy and the
relocated colonies soon die out.  :-(

Best wishes,
Chris R.

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