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  Re: Philodendron santa leopoldina
From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2001.11.06 at 16:27:01(7747)
I suggest there is a
fundamental principle exemplified here. Thank you for precipitating
it, Betsy.

Wild plants
& animals more & more are regarded as exigent "investment",
ornamental "Works of Art" according to their rarity, beauty,
ugliness or other "differences" In our finite
"owning" of endangered species do we not accept the full
responsibility for their survival? I submit that any
right to exclusivity we claim in "owning" living breathing life must
be from that life's viewpoint & is earned by our ability to protect it
at all costs. Living Natural Works of Art differ from other
urbane speculative Life "investments". They need to be
propagated. If species are endangered then numbers need to be built
up most rapidly into populations of sufficient size to survive in the
worst scenario. I suggest this entails careful dissemination to
an adequate range of secure venues. If the species was on the
official Higher Vertebrate endangered list I would not be writing
this. If there are only five P. spiritu-sancti left & this can
be professionally confirmed then does the species not qualify for
inclusion in the most critical category of
CITES? Could it be the very first of already
many rare & endangered aroids to be Internationally protected &
therefore most expertly propagated by professional specialists such as yourself
for posterity? Finally when there as few of species like Pandas
left in the World "accession data" become non-priority. i.e. if
there are only FIVE(!) "Pandas" in this desperate situation what the hell does
it matter from what forest glade it came. And
incidentally, most careful re-introduction of propagated endangered species is
surely into areas where their chances of re-establishment are best, not
unfortunately from the exact habitat from which they were threatened. The
issue is a fundamental one. Those who "own" very rare species carry
the custodial responsibility for their greatest chances of breeding &
survival for posterity & have the skills & resources to ensure
this. As with fauna this concerivably could lead
to "endangered species" specialist nurseries who are stringently
responsible & accountable. It seems that the days when any
individual could export & import any wild species are virtually
over. Unregulated adhoc amateur non-vocational "butterfly poaching"
will be as dead as the Dodo maybe deservedly so if in these terrible
days systems for legitimate overt collection with permits then becomes
the rule. It would be wonderful if it could also
lead to rapid global evolution of endangered wild species propagation
specialists with plants as with key many animals. It is further
idealistic & optimistic but one achieves nothing without ideas.
Furthermore if it enforces rights of all other species
& peoples on the Planet away from our own catastrophic
exploitative discordant materialism it cannot be other than global good news for
a change. I hope P. spiritu-sancti (CITES 1) & all the
other as yet unprotected species can be saved from the brink. Well
done, Betsy.


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