Neil Jones Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Thu Dec 13 19:12:15 EST 2001

On 13 Dec, in article <3C18CEE4.10108 at GATE.NET>
     viceroy at GATE.NET "Anne Kilmer" wrote:

> Chris J. Durden wrote:
> > Anne,
> >    I think you have a rather healthy perspective. The whole monarch 
> > release flap is worthy only of a Gilbert & Sullivan production. Too many 
> > comfortable bureaucrats with too little to do. How do they feel in 
> > Britain and Ireland about release of Monarchs at events?
> > ...............Chris Durden
> > 
> Thanks.
> I find myself firmly on everybody's side, in this argument, as you will 
> have noticed. I hope we work it out, without too much damage to the 
> environment.
> Of course in Britain and Ireland they wouldn't be releasing Monarchs ... 
> as far as I know. The sight of a Monarch there is a Big Deal and they 
> wouldn't muddy the waters.
> Neil can undoubtedly clue is in on this ...
> Cheers
> Anne

It is illegal to release Monarchs in the UK. I don't know about the 
Republic of Ireland. (As an aside it is nice to see people saying Britain
and Ireland not "England")

The reason for this is that the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act prohibits
the release of any kind of animal not normally resident here.
It is also illegal to release a list of animals which aren't native but which
have become established. This peculiar list contains such oddities as
Mongolian Gerbils and Red Necked Wallabies.

Yes, a Monarch here is a really big deal. We get them coming in in the 
Autumn (or Fall as you say) after storms. They are associated with influxes
of rare american birds.

As for butterfly releases generally. There is a provision of the 1981 Act which
prevents landowners, or occupiers carrying out certain damaging activities
on important wildlife sites. (In every case I have encountered this includes
introducing wildlife not normally found on the site.)

This year a new act the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW Act) 
extended this provision to include third parties. I believe that the
CROW Act doesn't apply to Scotland.
There is also a prohibited list of insects which it is forbidden to 
breed without a special licence. This includes the Gypsy Moth.

As for Chris' comments on the Black Veined white  (Aporia crataegi)
This disapeared in the 1920s after an unexplained contraction in range.
Several attempts have been made to reintroduce it. One of the most
notable was the attempt by Sir Winston Churchill. All have failed.
I believe the Black Veined White was on the prohibited list for a while
as it can feed off fruit trees.

It may be a contentious issue but research has shown that butterfly 
introductions rarely work. In one case discouraging this practice
has been written into the Action plan to conserve one of our protected
species because of the problems which this practice can cause to the
conservation of the species.

Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.nwjones.demon.co.uk/
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve


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