Suspended prison sentence for a (frenzied) hunter of rare butterflies

He confused flitting with poaching, ending up falling into the nets of the environmental police. A butterfly hunter has just been given a three-month suspended prison sentence by the Toulouse court. The man, a fine connoisseur of Lepidoptera, hunted mainly in the Pyrenees and the Alps. Above all, he traded in the catches he pinned.

It was by going through sales announcements circulating on the Internet that the inspectors of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) came back to him after “several weeks of investigation”.

The Museum inherits the illegal collection

Papillon Apollo, in regression in our mountains, Damier de la Succise or the very rare Serrated Magician… During the search carried out at her home, 74 specimens of 11 species of protected butterflies were seized. And as the collector also kept his travel diaries (and accounts) up to date, the investigation revealed that he had sold 917 insect specimens, 115 of which were protected over the past three years. King of exports, he had buyers in eleven different countries.

Now that the case is on trial, the hunting board will land on the shelves of the Toulouse Natural History Museum.

The OFB takes the opportunity to recall that butterflies “play a role in the pollination of many flowers” and that they are “in sharp decline”. Capturing and trading in those who are protected is a crime. Catching others is also prohibited, “because it is not a huntable species”.

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