Miami Blue a conflict of "interest"?

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Mon Apr 29 19:43:09 EDT 2002

It is too bad that Jeff Glassberg has, from all indications, chosen to not
work _with_  (cooperate with)  the Miami Blue Butterfly Restoration Project
(MBBRP) and has chose rather to re invent the wheel.  He/they are surely
able to go their own way and for their own reasons.  We are supportive of
their, or anyone else's, efforts on behalf of the dwindling Miami Blue
butterfly.  Go for it!

What is disturbing is that I have  been told that letters are going to the
local NABA leadership directing them to discourage their rank and file from
working with or supporting MBBRP.  If this is indeed the case, this is not
pro-activism, it is turfism and childish.  It is certainly not what
conservation is about.  While that group has apparently gone off on its own
and is just starting up re the Miami Blue, I thought I'd pass along this
(copyrighted) poster/flyer the MBBRP already has ready for printing and

Your donations are appreciated and needed.

While it is true that Glassberg initiated the filing with USF&W for
emergency listing (which was not granted), that in no way means that
nothing prior to that was being researched and worked on.  I say this as
one recent email gives the impression that  - this all - began with their
filing.   MBBRP team member John Calhoun  et al conducted their pubished
research long before this filing.  The situation was well noted and
interest in what to do about it long before some of these others and other
events.  My own personal experience with the Miami Blue in the Miami area
goes back to the 1960s.  I have reared it -worked with it for nearly 40
years.  But I and other traditional lepidopterists are but the most recent
wave in the long history of lepidopterist interaction and awareness with
this taxon.   The ONLY scientific material available on this taxon AND this
situation is by a lepidopterist and MBBRP member.  Why should any of "us"
now bow out in some turf war (not initiated by us) so some totally new
group can start from scratch?

The "suggestion" that we leave Miami and look (work) elsewhere is absurd.
Why not have the others go elsewhere as we were there first.  The fact is
that none of this should be occurring at all - if all were truly interested
totally and only in what is best for the butterfly.   At MBBRP that is our
only focus.  It is obviously tainted with political agendaism in some

The MBBRP is a broad based coalition of many groups and organizations. Some
of which have come together for the first time and in unique ways.  It is a
cooperative effort in every sense of the word.  It is not about people or
"credit" or one upmanship.  It is about helping a beautiful little blue
butterfly hang on and recover from the brink of elimination from the
American fauna.

Ron Gatrelle
TILS president
Charleston, SC - USA

PS  Let's also not forget that it was Glassberg himself that placed the one
known colony at risk from poachers by very publicly disclosing the exact
location to the entire world.  NABA is a fine organization and composed of
a lot of great and good people.  The man at the top however looks more and
more like a publicity hound to many of us.


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