USDA / USFW Insect Permits

Anthony W. Cynor acynor at
Tue Jun 13 14:53:24 EDT 2000

Before we launch a debate we need to find out exactly what the
legislation is and look it over since otherwise we are spinning our
wheels.  Where is a copy of it posted as we need this information first. 

Since it was obviously passed without consulting the concerned populace 
(TYPICAL) we need at this point to raise all holy h#%% with
representatives and Clinton himself and stop this legislation dead.

It Ain't Gonna Happen, but nobody cares!


Bruce Walsh wrote:
>  Wayne & Leps-L folks:
> I'd like to make a suggestion in terms of shipping live material.
> Interesting, thanks to Wayne's advice, I can send live material to Canada or
> overseas without any problem, but its a no-no to send it (say) 150 miles west
> into California.
> My suggestion is that live material logically falls into two regulatory
> categories:
> (1)  Small numbers (typically much less than a dozen) of material that
> will be killed immediately for a collection.  These DO NOT include protected
> species or those known to be pests.
> (2)  Larger number for the start of breeding colonies (often commercial).
>  Releases would also fall into this category. Likewise, pest and
> protected species.
> For (2) it makes sense to require general permits and to have ones for
> specific species (such as painted ladies).  For (1) the risk of release
> seems far, far more trivial than that caused by the bugs simply hitchhiking in
> cars or trucks.  Indeed, the collector has a VERY strong vested interest
> NOT to let any material get away.   Perhaps there can be an expedited and
> (somewhat) blanket permit to handle this latter case.   For example,
> suppose I come across some larvae of a common SE Arizona moth (say Manduca
> muscosa).  If I want to send 5-6 to a collector in the east, it strikes me
> that by the time the permit process is cleared, the material will have
> already hatched!  Likewise, in such cases, it is very hard to predict just what
> species one will come across.  Should I get a separate permit for all 200
> butterflies and 300+ moths whose larvae I am likely to come across simply
> to send one or two to someone outside of the state?
> A further troubling issue is that all collectors I know when they find
> larvae on a collecting trip are likely to take a few home.  If I find cool
> stuff three feet across the bounder in New Mexico, do I need a permit to
> cross the statelines to bring them back into AZ (in particular, I'm thinking
> of nice collecting spots that crest right on the border of AZ and NM)?
> Perhaps if my feet are in AZ when I grab the larvae this is OK.  I'm trying
> to be a little humorous, but the implications are much more far reaching
> than most of us have likely thought.
> As a group, we all agree with the notion of avoiding unintentional
> releases of any sort (I'm ignoring the  commercial release debate here).
> However, if lepidopterists cannot bring back material for rearing, then most of
> the unknown early stages of US lepidoptera are likely to remain unknown.
> Perhaps Wayne can setup a general permit to handle the very small sorts
> of transfers that lepidopterists have historically done.  If such is the
> case, I'm sure that individuals will have no difficulty with this action,
> esp. if the permits are easily to apply for the on web.  Indeed, given the
> vast number of permits that come in, there should be a blanket-level
> protocol for certain transactions that do not require detailed individual review
> (provided the applicant agrees to specific procedures).  This frees up
> the regulatory authorities to handle with the more difficult cases.  (Our
> university biosatey committee, of which I've been a member for the past 8
> years, does just this).  Otherwise, if we all have to submit 50-100 permit
> applications each year for the species we MIGHT come across, poor folks
> like Wayne will be swamped, effectively stopping legitimate research while
> these are all sorted out.
> I welcome open debate on this issue (and, no I'm won't bring up GM
> organisms).
> Cheers
> Bruce
> Bruce Walsh
> Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
> (Member, Center for Insect Science)
> University of Arizona

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