extinction distinction

Stuart Fullerton stuartf at PEGASUS.CC.UCF.EDU
Fri Apr 10 08:33:00 CDT 1998


Dr. John Hitt
President
University of Central Florida

Dear Dr. Hitt:


You and the University of Central Florida are to be congratulated.

Yesterday I went over to the South West corner of the campus to check a
research site just North of Lake Lee. Much to my surprise I find a new
road under construction, and vast areas under de/con-struction for
parking.

Unfortunately this area includes a trap site that I have used for a number
of years. Even more unfortunately this site is the "type trap site and
locality" for a new species of parasitic wasp recently described and
published by Dr. Howard E. Evans:  _Bakeriella mira Evans_.

This particular creature of God is known only from 6 specimens collected
from this specific trap site in 5 years. Nothing is known about its life
habits, prey, or general ecology. After 7 years of continuous campus
survey, as well as in other areas surrounding the campus, this species of
living creature has not been found elsewhere. Now its only known living
area is gone, For all intents and purposes it has become extinct until it
can be "rediscovered" elsewhere.

A second species, also a creation of God, has also gone this way. This is
also a parasitic wasp, recently described and published by Dr. Massimo Olmi
-Dryinus fullertoni Olmi_.  This particular species also has its "type
trap site and locality" listed as the UCF campus. Unfortunately it also
has suffered the same fate. This particular area of campus has recently
been converted into a parking lot and a parking garage is abuilding. It
too, for all intents and purposes has become extinct until it can be
"rediscovered" elsewhere. Likewise absolutely nothing is known about its
life habits, prey, and general ecology.

So much for consideration of the "biodiversity" of the University of
Central Florida campus. We have what is no doubt the unique distinction of
being the only university that has had two new species of living creatures
discovered, named, described, and published with the campus being the
"type" locality, within three years, --- AND had its habitat destroyed.

The distinction of extinction is that of the University of Central Florida
- of which you are our titular head.

I will continue to do what I do best - bug stuff. I understand that the
university is growing, that we will continue to grow, and that this is
considered by many to be progress. However, some days it is very very had
for me and I find it difficult to try and inspire young folks to become
interested in, concerned about, and mindful of being good stewards of
this world.  There is so very very much that we do not know, even about
our own back yard.

Sincerely yours,




Stuart M Fullerton ROF, Research Associate in charge of Arthropod
Collections (UCFC), Biology Dept. University of Central Florida, Orlando,
Florida, 32816, USA. stuartf at pegasus.cc.ucf.edu




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