Glassberg tells reporters collectors "could wipe out" the Miami Blue

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Thu Jan 10 05:43:44 EST 2002

Ron wrote:

> One of the things Glassberg mentioned as a "threat" to the Blues and other
> leps was Hurricanes.  Well, hurricanes at the southern tip of Florida and
> the Keys are only a "threat" to people.  They have been a vital part of the
> ecology of that area for thousands of years. 

Good points Ron about the hurricane "threat.  Below are some points
Tom Kral made about the collector "threat" six years ago:
Extermination By Collecting? Prove it 
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 1995 21:48:07 -0700
From: Thomas Kral 
Subject: Extermination By Collecting? Prove it

Too many times, people find it easy to blame the only visible thing they
think is a threat - the collector with a net.  In reality there has NEVER
been a documented case of any insect being collected to extinction.  Just
because someone printed an old yarn scapegoating collectors as the blame
does not necessarily make it the truth.  If you want the truth, please
refer to "chapter and verse" in: Annual Review Of Entomology, the paper
titled Insect Conservation, vol. 26, 1981, p.241 - part of the paragraph
on Overcollecting where it is stated:
     Although often mentioned as one of the chief threats to insect
     populations, there are no documented cases of extinctions or even
     local extirpations of insect populations due to indiscriminate
This paper is authored by 3 leading conservationists, Pyle, Opler &
Bentzien.  Infact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has not been able to
produce any credible evidence to support the claim of "overcollecting" 
of any insect. 

Like all other collectors, I also agree in collecting
within reason.  However by always blaming collectors, you are doing
nothing constructive.  Rather you are "scapegoating" collectors and thus
drawing attention away from habitat conservation and realistic
environmental issues. 

I welcome you to debate this issue with me and show me some REAL 
evidence that insect collecting is harmful (no, the story about Lycaena 
dispar would not be good enough - blame the drainage of the fens for it's
extinction in Britain, not the collectors.

My impression of the great "insect collecting debate" amounts to 
nothing more than emotional views such as those expressed in the great
"vegetarian versus meat-eater" arguement on this list in February -
PLEASE folks, lets not repeat THAT arguement again.  However 
constructive arguements and specific evidence directly linked to collecting 
is welcome.  No "anecdotal evidence" such as - "Erora laeta is extinct in
Sleepy Hollow because I saw Leroy catching them all last week" type stuff
either.  It would be nice to see some science rather than philosophy and
new-age religion discussed here.  I truly welcome any reasonable comments
direct, or posted to all recipients.


Tom W. Kral
thomask at


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