Vs: Questions

kimmo keinänen kim.kei at kolumbus.fi
Sun Jan 28 03:54:49 EST 2001

How many collectors are there?
Why do they collect?
What portion of collectors are involved with scientific activity?
What effect does collecting have on populations?
How vigorous is anti-collecting activity?
Are there any cogent arguments against collecting?>
I live and do some observations in Finland , Europe.
I'll give a few figures from here. We have a population
of   5 million , and some 1000 collectors . Maybe some
600+ are members in The Finnish Lepidopterist Society.
Area here some 150,000  square miles .
I was introduced to collecting as a way to be in nature.
The "gateway" may be birds , butterflies , photo , plants,
and this is certainly a thing "passed on", someone has to
get your attention to butterflies at the "right" time in life.
I believe that at least 400 collectors list their observations
and turn them over to the Lepidopterist Society for mapping
and study. We're on our way to have a Data bank online to
make this easier. These observations are all "scientific" .
No-one has been able to say that collecting has effect on
populations. Some species here are protected by law , and
not collected. Parnassius apollo, P.mnemosyne, some Blues
and a few others. A scarce little population of a borderline
species (just able to exist this far north) is not collected by
a joint agreement. Ex.  Apatura iris in south-finland breeding
Anti-collecting activity is passive. There's a "collective moral"
in the society for " not to kill" and that, naturally, effects even
butterfly collecting, animal breeding, fishing, and so on.
The arguments against some collecting methods and
collecting are mostly inside the 1000 group of lepidopterists.
There goes the ethics discussion, and always boils down to
the meaning of life :))
Some prefer photo , line-counts of butterflies, and so on.
I did only observations for a period of 15 years, and am
back to collecting some.
In Finland there are some 950+ species of macro-lepidoptera.
kim k
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