One of the main questions that we receive from educators who are participating in the School Malaise Trap Program is « how do I discuss the ethics of insect collection and study with my students? » This is an excellent question which we are hoping to address during this blog post.
Upon researching this topic, we came across an excellent resource titled « Why We Kill Bugs – The Case For Collecting Insects » by Greg R. Pohl. In his work, Pohl outlines several reasons as to why insect populations are resilient to collecting. Furthermore, he discusses the necessity of collecting insects for a range of purposes including taxonomy and diagnostics. He also takes the time to discuss insect conservation, the difference between insects and other animals, and the extensive need for both « amateur » and « professional » insect collectors.
His work speaks to the many ethical questions surrounding the collection and study of insects during the School Malaise Trap Program. We hope that this paper will assist you while facilitating this important discussion with your students!