NOT the collecting debate :-)

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue Jun 22 20:33:17 EDT 1999

Actually, Matt, you are quite right.  And your recommended approach is
exactly what I do most of the time (although I tend to prefer solitary
hiking anyway).  Nothing against soccer moms - I'm married to one.  But part
of what I'm getting from my excursions is introspective.  It's very much
like fishing, only I'm not limited to bodies of water.

Mark Walker.

Matt Smith wrote:

> Message text written by INTERNET:MWalker at
> >If you think that I think that the NABA folks were tough, 
> you should see
> how
> I'm treated on the trail by day-hiking eco-wanna-be-conscious 
> soccer moms!
> <
> Butterflies are cute and popularised.  It is well known by non
> entomologists that killing a single butterfly will 
> a)immeadiately cause
> that particular species to become extinct and b) cause the 
> collapse of the
> world ecosystem as we know it.   Two strategies to deal with these whe
> faced with the dreaded "Are you collecting butterflies" question:
> 1) Answer "NO".  This usually puts a spoke in the works as 
> most people have
> the preconceived idea that nets are ONLY for butterflies, and that all
> butterflies caught are killed straight away.  The following 
> baffled silence
> gives you plenty of opportunity to explain why you have the 
> net out, eg you
> have to catch the butterfly to confirm the id and that just 
> occasionally
> you need to take voucher specimens for scientific purposes or 
> to collect
> species information for habitat management.  etc. etc
> 2) Tell them you collect wasps, or flies, or beetles or 
> something else less
> cuddly than butterflies
> than butterflies.  Works every time, the response varies from complete
> disbelief (see "What nets are for" in 1), to: "take as many 
> of the nasty
> things as you want" .
> Either way, you get the chance to talk to your day-hiking
> eco-wanna-be-conscious soccer moms and, with luck, disabuse 
> them of some of
> their often ill informed ideas about nets, butterfly 
> collections and evil
> entomologists. 
> regards
> Matt
> (Who does actually collect wasps, flies and beetles. 30 years 
> ago I started
> off my entomological career collecting butterflies and when 
> I'm doing a
> survey some butterflies get netted to confirm their id, then 
> released. 
> It's not that I think collecting butterflies is wrong etc, 
> it's just that
> these days I am more interested in wasps, flies and beetles.)

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