Robert I don't have a specific example but I'd bet that, at least in regards to insects, the only time you'd see actual documentation of such would be baited pitfalls to collect cave insects being left on the site for too long. 

I've heard chatter of extirpation of Cicindelinae from specific sites by over-zealous collectors, which, if true, and done in a systematic way, would of course eventually lead to extinction. Cicindela itself is one of the most studied genera of economically unimportant animals, and is a great favorite of non-research collectors (I love catching them, myself, but generally only take a specimen if I see numerous individuals or know that the particular place I'm at is not a known site). 

I know when I'm asked why I collect insects, why would I need to kill them and take them with me, my explanation that the tiny, black things I'm interested in are difficult or impossible to distinguish from one another without dissection under a microscope. I think that if I happened to be interested in Lycaenidae instead of Carabidae, I'd get more arguments and guff from the random people I meet in the field, but I lucked out, as my little black bugs arn't as generally charming as butterflies. 

All of this is hearsay, anecdotes, and speculation, of course. A certain part of the public at large will never see the sense of killing innocent animals, no matter what the reason is, and the only people who are going to argue for meaningful killing of these animals are biologists. If it falls on deaf ears or not, it should still be made clear that there is a legitimate reason for it.

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM, Robert Anderson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Are there ANY well-documented examples of scientific collecting (not collecting for food or similar reason) contributing significantly to the extinction (or near extinction) of a species?


Robert Anderson

Research and Collections Division

Canadian Museum of Nature

PO Box 3443, Station D

Ottawa, ON. K1P 6P4 CANADA


613-364-4060 (tel)

613-364-4027 (fax)

[log in to unmask]



From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lynn Kimsey
Sent: June-18-14 11:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: NPR news on collecting




I know that some of you signed the letter to Science to counter the anti-collecting article published by Minteer et al. but now NPR has picked up the article giving it airplay ( Something needs to be done to further counter this article as making this news will serve to make collecting and species level taxonomy even more difficult than it already is.


Any thoughts?


Lynn Kimsey

Samuel G Perry
206 427 9885