Miami Blue Crew

Anne Kilmer viceroy at GATE.NET
Sat Apr 27 08:13:17 EDT 2002

Alana Edwards informs me that NABA does not, in fact, endorse the Miami 
Blue Butterfly Restoration Project and is running their own show.
I had hoped that everyone interested could cooperate to save this little 
butterfly, and that we wouldn't be involved in a battle in which the 
interests of the butterfly would be forgotten, in a pulling match of 
"who loves the baby best".
I hope that Alana is mistaken, that we do not wind up choosing up sides, 
and that a harmonious resolution can be achieved.
I have added some comments at the end of this. For those of you who have 
already seen Dr. Coffy's letter, just whip down through it.
Here is Alana's letter:
Hi Anne,

In response to your email, I thought that you might like to know that 
NABA is moving forward with its long-standing efforts to help Miami 
Blues.  These efforts are directed solely by NABA and have no connection 
to other efforts that you mention.  The following was sent to me by Jeff 
Glassberg and will appear in the next issues of NABA's magazine and 

Miami Blue Fund

In response to a petition from NABA, the United States Fish & Wildlife 
Service has found that NABA's petition provided substantial information 
warranting the listing of Miami Blue as an endangered species.  However, 
the U.S.F.W.S. declined to emergency list Miami Blue as endangered and 
instead has decided to further study the situation. We strongly believe 
that this decision is in error.  The single known colony of Miami Blues 
is extremely vulnerable to natural or man-made disasters, such as 
hurricanes, butterfly disease epidemics, anti-mosquito control spraying, 
or illegal poaching by butterfly collectors. It is difficult to think of 
a situation that would be more of an emergency. Rather than wait for the 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to act, we have decided to move forward 
with an Action Plan designed to save this butterfly.

             Spearheaded by the NABA-Miami Blue chapter, in close 
cooperation with the Tropical Audubon and Florida Keys chapters of the 
National Audubon Society and the Florida Native Plant Society, and 
coordinated by Alana Edwards, of NABA's Atala chapter in West Palm 
Beach, Florida, our plan calls for 1. Study of the population at Bahia 
Honda State Park to learn details of its biology and ability to colonize 
new areas that contain the butterflies' foodplant. 2. Survey extreme 
south Florida and the Keys for additional colonies of Miami Blues and 
for locations where its foodplants occur. 3. Training of docents to help 
with research and to monitor the colony at Bahia Honda to alert 
officials if it is threatened.
             We have committed NABA funds to initiate this Action Plan. 
  In order to continue working toward saving the Miami Blue and the 
other threatened and endangered species of butterflies in extreme 
southern Florida, including Florida Leafwing, Bartram's 
Scrub-Hairstreak, Florida Purplewing and Zestos Skipper, we have 
established the Miami Blue Fund.


Just thought I should keep you up to date with what's going on.  Hope 
all is well.

Alana (Edwards)

Dr. Coffy has asked that I forward to you all his take on the situation.

  Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 14:41:49 -0000
    From: joe coffy3 at
Subject: Re: Miami Blue Restoration project

--- In naturepotpourri at y..., "rjparcelles" <rjparcelles at y...> wrote:

 > --- In naturepotpourri at y..., Anne Kilmer <viceroy at g...> wrote:
 > My very dear fellow butterfliers, I have received this letter
 > from Jeff Glassberg. As far as I know, the only Miami Blue
 > project being carried on by the NABA Miami Blue

(This is Bob Parcelle's take)
 > Hi Anne,
 > Welcome back to dry land and access to cyberspace. The Project is
 > awaiting funds from grants and donations to print a large quantity


 > the beautiful Miami Blue Butterfly ID Brochure and enable
 > distribution of it throughout south Florida. Jose and the 5 Regional
 > Directors will be the assembly points for this brochure.
 > As always, as you well know, money talks. But so does grass-roots
 > involvement and the contributions of time and money by many


 > types of individuals led by people of science with many years of
 > experience. We are going to apply for even more grants after the
 > education phase. It is quite heartwarming to have so many NABA
 > members call and write asking to participate after the magazine
 > article which I considered demeaning to our cause and our motives as
 > well as our backgrounds. I have taken steps at high Interior Dept
 > levels to recognize our worldwide effort and we are the Miami Blue
 > Butterfly Restoration Project.
 > We will be most open to liaison with any small groups who insist on
 > having their own efforts. Any activities contrary to our purpose or
 > the well being of the butterfly will be met with legal remedies


 > this is listed and government bodies are able to enforce the law and
 > proper procedures. We are concerned about "token" programs.
 > Neither TILS or C2M are involved in a self-promoting campaign nor


 > its leaders.
 > Bob Parcelles, JR.
 > Endangered species Biologist
 > Chairman and Project Manager
 > Miami Blue Butterfly Restoration Project


Bob, Anne and all on this list:

I have been seething for a month since that self-serving takeover of Bob's
interview for the magazine article in south Florida.  His "harsh" words for
Jeffrey Glassberg are mild compared with what is sweeping "Macadamia".

NABA, strongly endorsed by all of us, is actually a very small
organization. It is not even supported by all of the estimated 10,000 new
"butterfly watchers" every year. Many of its members are lepidopterists
(including the dreaded collector). Most chapter members are gardeners and
newcomers to leps and the science
surrounding them. In other words easily persuaded. Most tell me they buy in
for the excellent magazine, not the editorial policies, which are
contradictory to say the least.

NABA has not a tenth of the potential that C2M and Nature Potpourri have
and the contacts, knowledge, organizational skills and perseverance RJP 
(Bob Parcelles Jr.)
has. I would not challenge him myself and would strongly urge Jeffrey
Glassberg and his not to do this. I certainly would not entertain a PhD
program under his auspices alone. That is for certain. Peer recognition is
important. I would not permit a student of mine to take a chance in being
tainted with controversial ideas.

MBBR Project has adequate science personnel if they have the guts to stand
up to Glassberg and his localized supporters who I feel might be on their
own ego trips also. Needed  are studies on host specificity. I understand
from a personal communication from a well known breeder of butterflies that
many are doing host plant propagation.

I practice non-consumptive lepidoptery and urge the promotion of it. However
the "collector" issue is really a very exaggerated problem.  The only abuse
is by those outlaws who would collect listed or low density populations or
the few, but very noticeable, unscrupulous commercial collectors.
Entomologists and ecologists had a handle long before Dr. Glassberg hung up
his nets. I do however, plan to join Bob as time permits in a little
dragonfly he, a tyro oder, is undertaking.  We will be swinging nets and 
it is
fun. I hunt pheasant and quail with no qualms. I have collected quite a
few birds for science. I will probably continue to do so.

Until you read John Calhoun et al on the "Rise and fall..." (see our FILES
Section) you really do not know what it is all about. It is not about doing
articles about collectors, amateur or otherwise.

Folks, make your donations to TILS and let's go!  Anne, I wish you would
forward this to your Task Force the darling "Miami Blue Crew" as well as
Leps list. I am no longer on it.  I do not read e mail and my people do not
know how to edit something like Leps-List for me. Bob forwards me the funny
stuff. I wish the bird lists were a lttle more theoretical as the leps
people are, dark humor not withstanding.  I found it amusing but Ron's list
is much more substantive.

Bob, you have the support of myself and many, many distinquished friends. I
notice you have been awfully quiet about the Project lately. I know from our
frequent conversations you are involved in many C2M projects and the growth
of it is important to myself as well. But believe me, at this stage, the
Miami Blue Butterfly is lost without you.  If the NABA Miami Blue and Atala
Chapters think they can do this thing alone they are in for a sad surprise.

Joe Coffy, III PhD.
A Butterfly Watcher

Now this is me, Anne:
The plan to restore the Miami Blue Butterfly, as I proposed it to Dr. 
Martin of US Fish and Wildlife, endorsed by C2M, involves and requires 
the enthusiastic cooperation of the International Butterfly Breeders 
Association, the school system, the Master Gardeners, the university 
system,  many scientists and collectors, gardeners, butterfly watchers 
and other well-wishers, the nature centers, the garden clubs ...
I don't know how many of these groups and individuals NABA is rejecting, 
if indeed Alana accurately voices their intention to go it alone. I do 
notice that Mr. Glassberg's article mentions only Alana herself, from 
the Atala Chapter.
  It is my hope that NABA members and the others here listed will 
continue our urgent efforts to save the Miami Blue butterfly and the 
other butterflies of Florida, to plant and conserve suitable habitat, to 
educate the public, and to work harmoniously with government agencies in 
this endeavor.
I had hoped that Alana would be able to lead this project, and am sorry 
to learn that she will be unable to use the army that has assembled to 
The rest of us will carry on.
Plant your host plants, distribute the Miami Blue Recognition Sheet and 
my book, promote interest in your community, preserve and establish 
suitable habitat, and when we get the go-ahead from Fish and Wildlife, 
we'll be ready to begin Phase II.
It will now, of course, be necessary to have the butterfly listed as 
endangered, and to arrange for permits to handle it. Negotiations to 
that end are under way.
Anne Kilmer
Task Force Director
Miami Blue Butterfly Restoration Project


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit: 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list