Collecting anything and future nature interest

Chris Raper triocomp at
Thu Jun 24 10:18:22 EDT 1999

On 24 Jun 1999 05:40:07 -0700, gochfeld at EOHSI.RUTGERS.EDU (Michael
Gochfeld) wrote:

>We worry a lot (Joanna and I) about the issue that Chris Raper raised 
>regarding whether kids take a real interest in nature and become avid 
>naturalists [snip]
>If kids' only reality is virtual reality, it doesn't hold out much hope 
>for developing an excitement about natural history of any kind. 

Hi Mike,

That's really my point. We need the keen, eager 'Joe Public' who can
butterfly / bird watch and help in whatever way they can. But if we
stigmatise collecting and fail to get across the message about how
vital it is, when done in an appropriate manner, we will slowly lose
the amateur entomologists, capable of giving conservationists the
necessary information they need to do their jobs. There will always be
professionals but they are usually busy earning money for their
employers and in their spare time they have other commitments.

Of course, I'm not saying that we should force nets into kid's hands
and make them kill as many butterflies as possible. But if we do the
exact opposite it is likely to have an adverse effect on the very
wildlife we all want to look after.

Best wishes,
Chris R.

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