scarce vs local

Eric or Pat Metzler spruance at
Thu Aug 24 10:14:06 EDT 2000

It is my take that the words"scarce" and "local" are terms not directly
related to degrees of endangerment.  Scarce and local animals may face no
endangerment at all - a variety of factors may influence the relative
abundance of the animals.  Also, the terms when applied to butterflies are
frequently applied to all lepidopterans, and we don't even know how to
assess the populations of moths.  For example, the primitive use of lights
is highly biased for sex, and lights only record those species that are
attracted to light.

When reading the definitions of endangerment, words like "rare" often
appear.  This connection is very scary to me because a species determined to
be rare may not be endangered in any way.

I feel it is a conundrum that many persons want to observe "rare" animals
for some sense of satisfaction that might lead to an unwarranted
classification of the animal as somehow endangered.

I'd like the readers to consider that animals are not endangered unless we
can identify the threats that create the endangerment.  I suggest that we
must be able to quantify the threats.

As for me, I no longer use the words that suggest rarity or scarceness when
talking about lepidopterans.  I feel we are too often misunderstood, and we
are hurting ourselves because there is no definition for these terms beyond
each individual's personal desires.

Best wishes to all from Columbus Ohio
Eric Metzler

"Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" <Norbert.Kondla at> wrote in message
news:60F1FEB31CA3D211A1B60008C7A45F43088F2991 at blaze.bcsc.GOV.BC.CA...
> My take on this issue of scarce vs local butterflies is that it is a real
> and fundamentally important distinction when discussing degrees of
> endangerment or non-endangerment of butterflies.  Scale is especially
> important when reflecting on local vs widespread.  for example a species
> occupy a substantial absolute area of several hundred square
> miles/kilometres with very healthy populations that are not under any kind
> of threat.  But if you 'assess' this species within the context of a large
> country that occupies millions of square miles/kilometres then it would be
> deemed to be 'local' and hence some people may be deceived into
> automatically thinking that it is a subject of conservation concern.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
> Forest Ecosystem Specialist, Ministry of Environment
> 845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
> Phone 250-365-8610
> Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at

More information about the Leps-l mailing list