The need for collectors

Stanley Cabigas juwaki at
Fri Apr 7 06:55:20 EDT 2000

>From the mails:

>Many lepidopterists also feel that people who hold collections
>and are not affiliated with a university or museum or such are also wasting
>the environment, even if they house a collection that rivals the most


> The first record of the endangered American Burying Beetle from South
> Dakota (I think I have the state right) was found in the collection of a
> young girl at a county fair. If it were not for that discovery, that
> beetle would not be known from that state, nor would any conservation of
> it be possible.

While I will not deal on the issue that has been quite familiar now, I would
rather stress the importance of insect collectors, especially in third world
countries like the Philippines, where a great deal of the forest cover has
shrunk to about 10% of land area.

The second paragraph by James Kruse points out the significance of (amateur)
collectors and hobbyists other than those affiliated with museums or
universities. Here in my country, the more it is important that collections
(but not commercially) should be encouraged among locals as we are
definitely racing against time before all those forests are gone. While it
is understandable that local museums and academic institutions can't afford
long term biodiversity surveys, collections and studies, it is with us
hobbyists that we can help, though not comprehensively, these gaps be

The number of local private collectors here, however, is very pathetic. I
know of only a few. While there might still be others, most are catchers for
foreign entomologists and for the insect trade. One problem maybe the
availability of supplies but primarily, lack of enthusiasm among the
populace. Thus the need to collect all the more. With no references
specifically devoted to Philippine species, we rely on foreign publications
and studies.

In my case, I collect all kinds of butterflies and beetles, in a way that
may help map out a better species distribution and knowledge of its
diversity. There is still so much to explore and discover before all will be
gone forever.


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