While many collectors only own insects that they have hunted themselves, others do not hesitate to pay to obtain specimens that they wish to add to their collection. The purchase of specimens is worth considering, as it can contribute to poor populations of some species.
Insects valued by collectors, like other animals and wild plants, can be considered a natural resource. This resource, although renewable, is sometimes subjected to hunting or harvesting pressures such that species become threatened or rare. As a result, they arouse the envy of certain collectors, which further increases their rarity.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species to which they belong. . It regularly updates and publishes its data to prevent illegal trade in endangered species, many of which are insects.
Fortunately, there are various companies today that breed insects that are sought after for their beauty or rarity. Several of its farms or ranches are supported by nature conservation organizations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Often located in tropical countries, these companies promote the maintenance of biodiversity and they can contribute to the economic development of local populations, as well as to the transmission of knowledge related to the ecology of insects.
If you want to buy insects, whether in salons or shops in Quebec, or while traveling abroad, always find out about the origin of the specimens. Ideally, they should come from recognized breeding farms or from private breeders with a rigorous code of ethics, so as not to harm the sustainable development of the resource.
It is also possible to obtain live butterflies to release them at weddings or other events. If you wish to take a break, make sure these insects have been bred in captivity, and not collected from the wild. Verification can be done with the seller, but there is also an International Butterfly Breeders Association (in English) which provides a list of reliable distributors.