Butterflies: A very British Obsession ?

David James david_james at wsu.edu
Thu Dec 16 16:41:08 EST 2010

The BBC in its Natural World series presents  'Butterflies: A very British Obsession' on BBC 2 tomorrow night.

Its terrific that butterflies get their own prime time major network show..but unfortunate that we US residents wont be able to watch it...

However , if you go the show's website http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wwbm4 you can view 11 short clips from the show.

There's some great footage including frogs preying on painted ladies, an orange tip eclosing and a Brimstone caterpillar pupating. 

I'm not so sure that butterflies are a 'very British obsession'... I think they are a humankind obsession that hopefully is growing throughout the world.
We in the US are just a little way behind the UK particularly in the public obsession part, but I think we are catching up. We need to.

The more awareness the media can instill into the public about butterflies and moths, the better we will be for making sure we protect and conserve the fauna we have. 

Browse the formidable 'Butterfly Conservation' website http://www.butterfly-conservation.org  and you begin to understand just how advanced the understanding of British butterflies and their conservation is. More importantly, you sense a passion for butterflies and moths within the British public that is sadly lacking in the US.

When ABC, CBS or NBC show a prime time documentary on American butterflies, we will know we are  catching up........

Dr David G James
Associate Professor of Entomology
Department of Entomology,
Washington State University,
Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center,
Bunn Road, Prosser, WA 99350, USA
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