Miami Blue

John Calhoun John.Calhoun at
Tue Jan 15 16:09:18 EST 2002

I think I need to mention something as soon as possible.  This relates to a
rapid and potentially disastrous response to save the Miami Blue involving
the general public. This seems to be evolving into a prime topic of
discussion in some circles.  I am largely copying a prior communication I
posted to another group, so forgive me if this is repetitive.

Such a program, although probably capable of being effective over time,
cannot be conducted on a whim.  Some suggest that we can effectively "save"
the species within the next three months before the end of the public
comment period.  This is simply not realistic, nor will the USFWS suddenly
change their mind and withdraw from their review process as a result of the
establishment of a couple more colonies (and perhaps rightly so).

A program of this type would require the removal of early stages and/or
adults from the population.  We simply don't know enough about the surviving
population to allow this type of initiative at the current time.  The size
of the population must be considered prior to any physical manipulation.
Also, don't forget that permits must be obtained in order to remove anything
from Bahia Honda State Park.  This may also take some time.

A number of variables must be addressed including the removal of a
predetermined number of individuals, scouting of potential introduction
sites to ensure survivability, exotic hostplant control issues, and
understanding of the logistics required for a successful captive breeding
program.  In addition, after any introductions, the results must be

This public comment period must be used to its full advantage to communicate
alternatives to listing, or any reasons why listing may be warranted. We
can't simply jump in and start stirring the pot without knowing what we are
dealing with.  In other words, we all need to take a deep breath and apply
our energy into communications with the USFWS to ensure the correct decision
and not overlook any necessary future assistance by federal and state
authorities, regardless of the outcome of this petition.

Best regards,
John Calhoun


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