NABA Field Trips in South Florida

anne kilmer viceroy at
Thu May 25 00:45:35 EDT 2000

Dear Eric,
I think you misunderstood my posting. Sorry.
Of course I absolutely condemn the destruction of Leroy's traps. 
The parallel I drew, between that act of vandalism and the "animal
rights" release of mink in Britain, was meant to dramatize the triumph
of sentimentality over common sense. 
NABA, like any other club, has members who act thoughtlessly. 
I hate and resent being associated with these actions, but continue to
belong to the club in the hopes that  its service as an educational
entity outweighs the harm some members may do in fostering butterflies
at the expense of other organisms, and in valuing sentimentality over
I hope, as you do, that the scientists and poets will continue to work
together on behalf of the environment, and that this incident will
increase friendly cooperation, rather than fostering divisiveness. It
was surely a shocker. 

With hundreds of school butterfly gardens in the Palm Beaches, I'd like
to see the children taught to build bait traps, identify their catch,
and enquire into the doings of moths as well as butterflies. 
In such a program, the likelihood of vandalism is overwhelming, and
perhaps some little explanatory blurb could be devised, that might be
displayed next to the trap to explain what is happening. 
Such a label, I thought, might have saved Leroy's traps. But perhaps I
was naive and the perpetrator knew quite well what he/she was doing. 
We might now put our fertile minds to designing a suitable community
service project for the vandal. (Remember Tom, who decided to post his
ravings on the leps list as community service?)
Anne Kilmer
South florida

Eric or Pat Metzler wrote:
> "anne kilmer" <viceroy at> wrote in message
> news:3928CA63.CCB26D11 at
> > Dear Leroy,
> > As a founding member of the Atala chapter, I would like to apologize to
> > you personally for the ignorant and sentimental action of the butterfly
> > lovers.
> > It was not as grand an act of vandalism as the one that set loose
> > hundreds of mink from a mink farm in Britain, but it expressed a similar
> > ignorance.
> > And, if there is a next time, may I suggest that either you keep an eye
> > on your traps, or remove them before you invite the public in ... unless
> > the field trip leader undertakes specifically to protect them.
> I've always enjoyed the comments from Anne for their objectivity in the face
> of ignorance, yet, to me, the apology above is full of caveats.   The
> reference to mink is irrelevant without making a comparison to animal rights
> organizations, and the apology includes classic cases of "blame the victim."
> Leroy is not responsible for the actions of others, disliking Leroy's traps
> does not justify hurting him, and hurting Leroy less than possible does not
> lessen his losses.
> Several of my good friends from Ohio went to the NABA event in Florida.  I'm
> sure they had a good time.  I hope the planners of future NABA events take
> close note of the Florida experience lest Anne's unintended comparison
> between NABA and Animals Rights groups turns these events into stages for
> protests instead of an appreciation for butterflies.
> The Ohio Lepidopterists society, a very active organization, has fully
> embraced the formation of a NABA chapter in Ohio, and we help advertise the
> NABA activities in our newsletter.  I hope we stay in this mutual
> relationship for our common enjoyment of the study of all Lepidoptera.
> Please check out the Butterfly Monitoring Website:
> The Ohio Lepidopterists now have 30 active monitoring sites in all parts of
> the state.  It's a great program and well designed to actively engage all
> persons in learning more about butterflies.
> Cheers to all from sunny Ohio where Jim Hanlon had a great time in spite of
> no Luna Moths.  Tar Hollow is a great place!
> Eric Metzler
> Columbus Ohio
> spruance at
> PS:  If you want to know more about The Ohio Lepidopterists, please let me
> know.

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