Morpho didius       6x7

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Lophacris cristata 8x8

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The greatest threat to butterfly and insect biodiversity is the loss of their habitat. Home to approximately 50% of the world’s living species, more than half of the world’s rainforests have been destroyed in the last 60 years for economic purposes (about 64 acres of rainforest are destroyed every minute). Most of the rainforest’s inhabitants are extremely poor and have little means of making a living. They can make money to feed their families by timber logging, farming and mining. Timber logging, of course, depends on the cutting down of trees. In order to farm the land, many trees and other vegetation are burned down and often, pesticides are used. The loss of vegetation also causes land-slides, which uproot more vegetation. Mining strips the earth bare to get to the valuable ore. Now, many peoples first thoughts are about what is directly in front of them - a dead butterfly or bug - who would kill such creatures or support this by buying them? If you have a minute, and are truly interested, please take a moment to read on and consider the bigger picture.

Butterflies and insects multiply at an astounding rate and are a sustainable and quickly renewable resource (unlike trees). Imagine one person with a butterfly net catching five butterflies (or insects) in an acre of rain forest in one successful day. If he caught five, I assure you, thousands got away. He will walk many miles into town to sell these creatures to have money to buy necessities for his family. (At the same time, we are probably driving our cars to the air-conditioned grocery store while dozens of insects get smashed on our windshields). Now imagine, instead, this person must burn down an acre of the rainforest to plant crops to feed his family. He has destroyed millions of insects, insect eggs and larvae in this process and uses chemical pesticides so his crops will grow. The pesticide is being consumed by this acres’ inhabitants (killing butterflies and insects) and as it mixes with the perpetual rain, it is being washed into the streams and rivers. Imagine all the streams and rivers converging and the huge amounts of collected chemicals finally dumping into the ocean, another precious ecosystem. Look at all the destruction farming this acre has snow-balled into.

As stated in The Economist, March 8th, 2008 - “Wildlife is threatened by the loss of land, fragmentation of habitats, deteriorating ecosystems and invasive foreign species. A trade ban means that endangered animals have no value. A better policy is to make wildlife more valuable to man, not less.”

Many butterfly farms and ranching programs are being started by conservation groups to supply work for Rain Forest inhabitants and to boost the supply of wild butterflies by releasing them and re-growing habitat or by selling to them to collectors. We do our best to procure farmed or ranched butterflies for our products. Whether from the wild or from butterfly farms or ranches, these creatures live and die more humanely than many of our own food sources.

For more information on butterfly,insect and rainforest conservation, we suggest the following web addresses: (spanish only)
Milagro Imports LLC
dba World Bugs
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