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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A vile, disgusting, shameful & murderous act

Regular readers of this blog, will have noted my recent reference to the very rare Southern Migrant Hawkers that have been discovered down at Hadleigh Country Park in Essex. 
This is a local Mediterranean species that is rarely seen on these shores. Sadly, the weather wasn't very good last weekend for viewing them and I had been waiting and hoping to travel down this Saturday to see one. However an outrageous message on Bird Guides this afternoon stated:
"Southern Migrant Hawker Hadleigh Country park until 12.15 when obtained by a collector"

This is totally and utterly obscene and disgraceful in this day and age, how could anyone even consider murdering, and that's what it is, murder, a poor beautiful and defenceless insect?
You would expect this sort of behaviour in the Victorian era but in the 21st century?

Not only was this action barberous and brutal to the dragonfly concerned, but it was also extremely selfish on the part of the "collector" or murdering b*****d I'd call him.
Selfish and inconsiderate because other people are prepared to travel far and wide to see and photograph such a beautiful joyous creature and presumably many people "dipped" out this afternoon because of this.
This action is also highly illegal and should be reported to the police and hopefully the authorities can impound and confiscate the specimen and probably his illegally obtained collection of other dead insects and hopefully he would be prosecuted with a very hefty fine and jailed for such a barberous act.
It also risks future suppression by any future finders of rare wildlife at this site and maybe other sites thus denying other people the chance to witness such a rare and beautiful spectacle, but most importantly protecting the species in question from the attentions of such unscrupulous collectors in the future?
Enough said.
UPDATE: A picture of the offender can be seen on Bird Forum website page 4. 
He claims he was collecting it for the "British Museum!!!"
The British Dragonfly Society have condemned this action, too.


Colin Jacobs said...

Vouchers for scientific purposes are necessary (I have a large Diptera collection)for identifying insects but I do agree taking very rare ones is not on especially when photographs will do. I often get emails from collectors who are not Naturalists asking for rare species but I do not answer them. I remember the late Ken Clarke getting almost hung for taking a voucher of one Yellow and red veine ddarter in Yarmouth cemetary in 1995.

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks for your considered comments Colin.
With photography these days one can record a lot of information about a specific species
I would argue vouchers should only be taken in exceptional circumstances (ie. furthering knowledge of the species and helping in the specific conservation of the said species (although obviously not that particular individual) by learned/ academic institutions only granted by special licence.
Of course a lot of ornithological knowledge has been learnt and continues to be learnt by the British Museum for Natural History's bird skin collection for example.
Vouchers taken by individuals such as collectors (as is the case in this example) is absolutely, ethically and morally wrong and I condemn such selfish actions.