$10 per butterfly??

Linda Rogers llrogers at airmail.net
Tue Oct 10 14:41:05 EDT 2000

At 11:06 PM 10/9/00 +0000, Paul Cherubini wrote:
>Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> > At $5. each that is a total of $50,000 !!!!!! OF COURSE there
> > are not 10,000 tagged specimens there (or are there?). BUT the greedy,
> > unreasonable, and unscrupulous don't know that. Sorry, I think it is a huge
> > mistake to offer money for monarch tags. It is not worth the potential risk
> > to the over-wintering populations.
>Ron, $5 for a tag is small potatoes and alot of time and effort
>compared to the easy money that could be made just collecting the
>overwintering monarchs to supply wedding releases.
>$10.00 per butterfly times the 100,000,000 monarchs in Mexico =
>ONE BILLION DOLLARS!  And $10 per monarch times the
>3,000,000 monarchs in California = 30 MILLION DOLLARS!
>According to
>the butterfly society leaders listed below, this
>is already a big problem. They wrote:
>(see http://www.naba.org/weddings.html):
>"In addition, these releases create a commercial market for
>live butterflies (currently about $10/apiece), with the result that,
>for example, the Monarch overwintering sites in Mexico and on
>the California coast are now targets for poachers."
>Jeffrey Glassberg (president of NABA)
>Paul Opler
>Robert M. Pyle
>Robert Robbins
>James Tuttle (president, (Lepidopterists' Society)


I never did know quite how they (authors above) thought that would work.  A 
poacher, or butterfly bandito, would collect butterflies in Mexico from the 
overwintering site, then if they sent them 2-day  delivery to the U.S. to a 
butterfly vendor, then they were unpackaged and repackaged for shipment to 
customers, well, none of them would survive all of that shipping and 
packing.  It simply would not work!  Besides, you cannot ship live insects 
from Mexico into the U.S. without a permit and USDA would not allow this, 
would they?  Or, do they think that butterfly poacher farms will spring up 
down in Mexico and ship to customers in the U.S.?  I just never did get how 
this terrifically lucrative poacher business was supposed to work.

And since that statement was made, how many such butterfly poaching 
operations are known to exist?  Has this been found to happen, as 
predicted?  How long can you keep saying something COULD happen, when it 
doesn't occur and evidently never will?

Linda Rogers

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