Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 19 Sep 2003 21:57:08 -0400

Well, you know, the real question is, can we defy nature's end? (to borrow
from Stuart Pimm...) The natural world is being chopped up and dispensed
with. The argument that species are only commodities that we should be happy
to trade like stamps rings hollow. A huge number of species can't be
maintained in captivity. How many people on this list are good at keeping
Pink Muckets, Rough Pigtoes, Cumberland Monkeyfaces or any of the other
endangered Unionid mussels? I literally see them disappearing from the wild
on a weekly basis. Will you also raise Anthony's River Snail, Armored Snail,
the Slender Campeloma, blue whales, the various Hawaiian Honeycreepers? It's
a big list to assume individual responsibility for. I wish you well.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: Jeffrey Fullerton <>
>To: "" <nanfa at>
>Subject: Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news
>Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 16:11:20 -0400
> > Bruce, your arguments don4t stress mine rather than support my point of
> > view. How many F. julisiae do you want? 100, 200, 500? No problem. We
> > here have some very stable "populations" in ponds and the maintainers
> > to feed the offspring as they get too much and the target groups all
> > them.
> >
>Sounds alot like what I've heard about the captive population of the
>federally endangered San Francisco Garter Snake in Europe. It's one of
>the most beautiful snakes in the world and being essentially an extreme
>localized population of the common garter snake that ranges over most of
>North America I'm sure it's as easy to maintain in captivity as the
>other less colorful subspecies.
>But the Fish & Wildlife Service has gone out on a limb to keep this
>snake out of private hands. I was told by the reptile keeper from the
>Philadelphia zoo that the Feds allow them to keep males of that
>subspecies - obviously out of fear that offspring from this prolific
>live bearing snake (no references handy at this time but from personal
>observation I know garters often have huge litters!) would trickle into
>the private sector and become prevelant in the trade.
>I'm sure it's the same for endangered topminnows, pupfishes, Watercress
>& Rush Darters- creatures even more prolific than reptiles- again I'm
>too lazy to look it up but fish typically produce oodles of eggs.
>I've argued too in favor of rebuilding habitats for endangered fishes
>and other small critters that lack the ability to get around as well a
>birds and mammals do. And I've often gotten this lecture about how wrong
>it is to tamper with nature or even a hostile tongue lashing from the
>"Let Them Go Extinct With Dignity" crowd. I agree with Steffen that the
>resident critters and plants don't care if a wetland was naturally
>formed or deliberately impounded and they got there on their own or were
>artificially introduced. Only humans care and that's a matter of
>individual asthetic preference of group consensus.
>Between these and countless other incidents that fly similarly in the
>face of common sense- I've come to the conclusion that conserving the
>protected status of a species is more important than the species itself.
>Now you know why us terrible old carmudgeons are so cynical.
>"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other
>animal, and that she has no eye-lids. She may therefore be esteemed an
>emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged,
>ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true
>courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with
>her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in
>the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her,
>she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons
>are shown and extended for her defense, they appear weak and
>contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal.
>Conscious of this, she never wounds 'till she has generously given
>notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of
>treading on her".
>Benjamin Franklin : The Rattle Snake as the Symbol of America
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