Meet the Press

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Jul 7 16:19:30 CDT 1995

At the annual meeting of the Association of Systematics Collections
this past weekend in Berkeley, there was much emphasis on the need for
natural history collections to re-double their efforts to let the
public know _why_ they are relevant to today's society. Information --not
about your collection, but about biodiversity, about the organisms that
live nearby and need their homes protected, about what you do and who
benefits, letters to the editors expressing concern about local, State
and National natural history issues about which you know more than
anyone else, etc.

An eye-grabbing example of this type of press coverage --because of its
suggestion that snakes, lizards and amphibians are worthy backyard
residents and because of the interviews given by local museum scientists--
can be viewed, minus the color/bw photos, on the San Francisco Chronicle's
web server, at:


The introductory paragraphs follow:

                             RESISTANCE TO THESE

 JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS, Special to The Chronicle

If you've ever spotted a toad hopping through your vegetable patch or a
snake slithering into your flower bed, count yourself lucky.


 A single toad can eat thousands of such nasty pests as sow bugs, earwigs
and slugs in one season. And the gopher snake got its name for a reason: It
dines almost entirely on gophers and other rodents such as rats.

 You've probably already heard about combatting garden pests with
beneficial insects and companion planting. Chances are, though, you haven't
heard about guarding your garden with amphibians such as toads, salamanders
and frogs, or reptiles such as snakes and lizards.
   etc., etc., etc.

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