Butterfly releases

Jacob Groth jgroth at ns.net
Thu Sep 23 13:52:10 EDT 1999

Mark wrote:

"Assuming these are potentially interbreeding individuals and there's is a
recurring - even small - introduction (i.e. school releases), then this
might effect the gene pool and alter the "wild-type." And there seems to be
a serious likelihood of this if, all of a sudden, there are an extra 200
reared individuals from a festive "mass release."  I surely don't mean to
sound alarmist about the whole thing... it hardly rises to that level. But
do think that's the real issue here, and not unexpected data in July

It seems that many of you, as shown the above statement, have completely
disregarded the laws of natural selection.  Here are some statements by Dr.
J.B. Keiper, Dept. of Biology Sciences at Kent State University from
BioScience Vol. 46, no. 8 (pg. 562) to help illustrate:

"In all of humankind's efforts to eliminate insect species with poisons and
pathogens, not one has been totally eradicated.  This is a salute to the
unfailing effectiveness of natural selection... If an interpopulation
transferee is placed in a region where its adaptations are poorly suited to
the biotic and abiotic conditions present, natural selection would act
against those offspring produced by the alien individual.  Thus,
directional selection will eventually eliminate those genes present in
submarginal individuals."

In other words, natural selection will automatically eliminate the "bad
genes" and promote the "good genes."  If there is a genetic weakness with
the butterflies being released, why would you worry about them "taking over
the genetic population?"  If they were "weak genes," they would be
eliminated only after a few short generations causing know impact to the
population whatsoever.

IT IS GOOD TO MIX THE GENE POOL!  Mixing can only strengthen a species. 
This is why breeders have to occassionally mix their gene pool:  to bring
in more "good genes."  It is strange to hear many of you who understand
natural selection, but somehow "forget about it" when it comes to

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/private/leps-l/attachments/19990923/c07a2aec/attachment.html 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list