Amazon collecting COLLECTING Amazon collecting

window spacer

In the early days of Amazon exploration, collecting specimens helped catalog the variety and number of plants and animals. This gentlemanly past-time's purpose was to advance knowledge. However, the practice also sowed the seeds of destruction. As the rainforest's wonders were unveiled, more and more people wanted to include specimens in private collections, simply for the status of owning exotic plants and animals. So the rush was on. Millions upon millions of plants, insects and other specimens were collected for sale to avid enthusiasts in North America, Europe and Asia. There is no way we can know the total numbers, but some orchids and butterflies became particularly rare, perhaps extinct. So they became more desirable, their price went up, and the incentive to collect them became ever greater. Spiralling demand pushed some species to the brink of extinction. Only enforcement of strict export laws curtailed this haemorrhage of life. Today, commercial collecting still continues, although mostly illegal.

Click below for photos and information on collecting:

insect collection photo insect collection

Back to Amazon conservation

© Jungle Photos 2000-2014

window spacer