Post by exoticimports on Jul 20, 2020 5:17:06 GMT -8
As a kid, we spent our summers collecting over hundreds of acres of a nearby farm. We'd get papilio along the forest edge, E. phaeton and numerous species of pieridae in the fallow fields, and drunken nymphalidae on the fallen peaches. That's now all suburban housing.
Later, armed with a driver's license and auto, I discovered some 20 minutes south rolling fields surrounded by tall forest. Speyeria, rarely seen in my boyhood fields, were wonderfully abundant. That's now a large strip mall, anchored by a now defunct Kmart and the associated empty parking lot, which is massive.
After college I rented a place on a hill. My deck overlooked secondary growth forest, dropping down into field, and finally a creek. The other side of the creek rose up in a mirror of my side. From my deck with black light I collected incredible species- cecropia, luna, polyphemus, io, promethea, and more than 15 species of sphingidae. That area is now an office park. The creek is almost dry, and is nothing more than a strip of cattails.
Behind my home is (or, was) hundreds of acres of forest and field. The field is now gone, filled with cookie cutter homes. Thankfully, the dividing forest remains, but every few years it's surveyed and marked...marked for destruction.
I wonder- what ecological ruin is worse than urban creep? It's insidious, slow, unrestricted. USFWS doesn't care, state Conservation doesn't care. You can't take a bird egg from a nest, can't catch and stuff a cardinal, can't catch and keep the mole salamanders. But you can clear cut the trees, plow under the ground, and pave it.
The story in my area is exactly the same. Population growth and urban sprawl have been progressively destroying ecosystems for hundreds of years, and the rate of destruction rises every year. Legislators don't care. They favor real estate developers and big corporate farms, together with their associated pesticides. When I was young I used to find plenty of insects near my house, but I now have to travel long distances to find suitable collecting spots.
I ran my UV light about a week at home this year until I realized I hadn't caught anything worthwhile for more than a year. We used to have a nice forested gully and hillside. Now it's multi-story crackerjack box vacation rentals. They even changed our zoning so more houses could be stuffed in. First the animals left, when the bugs go, you know there's been a dramatic change.
I think you'll find Chuck that this is a common story throughout the "developed" world. Most of the prime collecting spots around where I live are covered in concrete now, many local species lost, I'm so glad I had the presence of mind to collect a series of each before they were eradicated.
Recently, the May issue of National Geographic had a wonderful cover shot of a moth sheet with numerous moths on it. A bold caption stated: You'll miss them when they're gone
A sad lament to what has been happening for years. A good article about declining insect populations related to a myriad of man made ecological issues. Check it out if you don't already have a copy yourself !
To all the lovers of great green energy; where I live habitat has not been ruined by urban development as much as it has by acres and acres of solar fields that were habitat for not only insects but small and large vertebrates; many of which I used to hunt. My best Speyeria spot along an old wood road along a mountain ridge is now lined with hideous huge wind mills . Progress my ass.