[LEPS-L:8006] Re: Monarch extinction

Chris J. Durden drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Nov 28 12:07:48 EST 2000

I agree that there are an awful lot of species on the brink of extinction
but as long as there is a place for them to live naturally they should
survive. What I want is a count of those we definitely know have gone
extinct. That is what the skeptics I converse with ask for! Generalities
and approximations just will not do. How can we have credibility as
conservationists if we cannot produce the number of species lost? How can
our predictions of rate of species loss be taken seriously if we have no
numbers of species historically lost?
  I am surprised that such a count has not been prepared. Send me your
butterfly candidates so we can put together a list here. Remember that,
like dimpled chads, cryptic species do count!
.............Chris Durden

At 09:13  28/11/00 -0500, you wrote:
>"Chris J. Durden" wrote:
>>   Does anyone have or have a reference to a list of species that have
>> become extinct in the last 400 years? A geographic plot of the last known
>> colony of each of these species would be instructive. I mean totally gone
>> like Passenger Pigeon or Dodo, not almost gone like Ivory Billed
>>   Do we even have a firm list of butterfly species that have become extinct
>> in North America, or in Europe? Is this list as small as I expect, or can
>> someone substantiate a robust list?
>> ............Chris Durden
>wellll ... they keep showing up again, don't they. The bugs, anyway. Or
>they're subspecies that you can't tell from their nearest relative
>without dissection or DNA analysis. 
>I think the real problem is habitat destruction, and if only we could
>focus on that, we'd do better. The butterflies are indicators, of
>course, but the people are not fooled by our invention of snail darters
>in trouble, or flower flies or whatever. 
>We're willing to worry about *us* in trouble, but we've accustomed the
>"great unwashed" to the notion that a plant lost means a cancer cure
>lost. It is improbable that any lep will provide a cure for lymphoma. In
>fact, I bet you guys aren't even checking for that. ;-) 
>As for the mammals, we keep finding them just before they vanish ...
>tiny lemurs and such. There are a lot on the brink; actually gone is
>another story. And, again, the splitters have muddied the waters. 
>Anne Kilmer
>Palm Beach County
>The butterfly ballot is also an endangered species, and does anybody
>care? Not only a subspecies, but a pest.


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