31 May 2006

We interrupt this broadcast...

...for the following sounds:

*thud* *thud* *thud* *thud*

Thank you.

The preceeding sounds have been brought to you courtesy of a graduate student who has just discovered that the possibility that his study might result in the capture of insects newly-listed as endangered species almost certainly means that federal scientific permits will be required before fieldwork can begin.

We now return you to your regular blog, already in progress.


Zeno said...

You poor bastard. I had to jump through the hoops of my university's human subjects protocols for my dissertation research, even though it consisted of nothing more than interviewing my students in the regular course of instruction. What a pain! And you're going to need a federal permit?

I wish you much, much luck and an abundance of patience.

RPM said...

That sucks! Are you looking to start iso-female lines? Can they be bred in the lab (can't grimshawii)? How many do you need? I doubt ~100 individuals will be missed. You should switch over to sophophorans -- no endangered species there.

John Wilkins said...

So, let me get this straight. Because the species are endangered, you can't study them, add to the knowledge that may prevent their extinction, because they got listed and need interminable paperwork? Instead, you have to just watch them go extinct before you can study them?

I guess that makes sense in Washington.

TQA said...

Oh, no, I'm not trying to study the endangered species. I'm trying to study some other species which happen to (a) live in the same areas and (b) come to the same baits.

I need to do the paperwork becuase there's a chance that I might accidentally catch an endangered Drosophila while trying to catch the ones I'm working with.

It's a pain, but a necessary pain. The Endangered Species Act is there to protect the species - period. It's not just there to protect them from construction or industry, but from any form of human-caused harm. Researchers can inflict such harm, so the oversight is necessary.

But the paperwork's still a royal pain in the ass.

Francis said...

Scientific take permits are MUCH easier to get than incidental take permits. (Although, from what you described, it sounds like an ITP is more applicable than an STP.)

many years ago i met the then-head of the Hawaii office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He was an eminently reasonable human being. I strongly recommend getting to know your regulators. Find out if they've promulgated presence / absence protocols for similar species. Read relevant policies. (The USFWS website has a wealth of information, but it can be hard to find.) If the regulators think you're just trying to do the right thing, the permit process can actually go pretty smoothly.

p.s. you're aware that there's a Hawaii Endangered Species Act also, aren't you?