NOT the collecting debate :-)

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Tue Jun 22 02:18:03 EDT 1999

Chris Durden wrote:
>   You are so right. The laws have changed since we were children and things
> we did cannot be done any more. Maybe some of the laws should be rewritten
> by naturalists to promote the study of what they are trying to protect.
It's an interesting problem. Herp lovers are in much deeper than we are
... do we want kids to keep exotic snakes (which they will then release
in the Everglades) or do we want people catching and selling native
snakes, or do we like them to rear native snakes in captivity, with the
possibility of spreading disease to wild populations when the snake

> No-one has answered my qustion yet. Are amoebae wildlife. A recent NPR
> report on research in Yellowstone geyser pools suggests they are.

I missed that one. Wildlife, certainly. Do we have to protect them? I
suppose so. There's a nice one in Florida that causes encephalitis when
it gets up your nose. It's a much worse threat than those alligators. 
We used to swim in the lake by our house. Now we don't. 

>   By the way, is capture and release still permitted in South Florida, or
> will you get a ticket for carrying a net?
> ..............Chris Durden

Depends where you are. For butterfly counts, we have the enthusiastic
assistance of park rangers etc. ... this is a very popular sport. We
wave nets about ad lib. But since most parks etc. are being
butterfly-gardened by local school children, garden clubbers and so
forth, collecting there is rather like hunting in a chicken-yard. 
I speak of South Florida, specifically Palm Beach and Martin counties
... can't guarantee other areas. 
If you want to do catch and release in a park, talk to the
administration. They might well like a species list for their park ...
looks good in the records. 
And if they tell you to run along and not bother them, that would be
because we're dealing with the human race, here. Redeemed we may be, but
enlightened we are not. 
Anne Kilmer
(and South Florida)

> At 07:33 PM 1999:06:21 +0100, you wrote:
> >Don't forget us inept zoo-keepers. I kept my little victims in jamjars
> >and fed them inappropriately until they passed to the great beyond.
> >My children also were inveterate critter-keepers,with better success (I
> >did some research) although I did take up taxidermy so that some of
> >their roadside finds might be kept.
> >Some of these (a kestrel, a barred owl and such) were handed on to a
> >museum. Possession of any of this stuff except the bugs is against the
> >law in Florida now, I think ... that troubles me, for how will a child
> >come to love snakes unless he can keep snakes?
> >And where will your museum keepers come from, if we can't pick up so
> >much as a feather without breaking federal laws?
> >Meanwhile it's perfectly fine to bulldoze the forest where the bird
> >might have nested ... I'm going out back and stick straws in my hair;
> >perhaps that will help.
> >Of course children need to keep bugs in jars, collect insects (who cares
> >if they're butterflies or moths or cockroaches) etc. in order to develop
> >their lively sense of curiosity.
> >Do they get to collect butterflies because they're pretty? Is it OK to
> >make coffee tables with butterflies under glass? Is there a significant
> >difference between collecting farmed butterflies, butterflies caught in
> >"hunting preserves," or butterflies dancing about in untamed meadows?
> >Is a serious entomologist more valuable than (say) an artist inspired by
> >a butterfly he bought in a shop?
> >What about the second graders I visited, who had a couple of cages in
> >which they kept zebra longwings (Heliconius charitonius) until they
> >died; then they displayed them dead on the classroom wall. Is that going
> >to produce serious entomologists?
> >
> >And I agree ... we don't hear anybody complaining about folks running
> >after moths with nets ... except the big showy moths that are honorary
> >butterflies anyway.
> >Meanwhile, apparently, if I want Palm Beach County to have any
> >butterflies in it on Paul Opler's nice web page, we need a voucher
> >collection of dead bugs somewhere. Otherwise we're a blank. sigh.
> >Cheers
> >Anne Kilmer
> >

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