kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 26 14:04:53 CDT 2002
Moderation in all things. Private collection of most groups of
organisms should be encouraged for the various reasons that have been
expressed. Primary type specimens should be deposited in public, curated
Where we run into trouble, and probably the source of the negative
commentary, is the collection of organisms that are rare or threatened.
Among most living taxa with surplus populations, especially plants and
invertebrates, there is no good reason to discourage private collecting done
in a responsible manner.
Species with vulnerable populations, and fossils that are uncommon (and
of particular scientific value) are where we should focus our concern, and I
think we have come a long way in protecting vulnerable species (living and
fossil). There will always be gray zones between the two extremes (rare and
common), but that is where professional and private collectors need to
compromise and use common sense.
Those who are professionals that have private collections probably
understand this very well, while those professionals who too rigidly
discourage private (responsible) collecting are probably going to "shoot
themselves in the foot" in the long run. A few horror stories about private
collections being lost is not a good reason to choke off the very valuable
contributions private collectors have made to biology. Common sense and
moderation are always a good way to go, depending on the situation for one's
particular taxonomic group of interest.
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