Conservation I believe is in the mind of every collector; never was it known that a species went extinct or became endangered due to over-collection from the hobby. A general example is the collection of millions of cypraea tigris annually not only for the hobby but for the curio trade. We as collectors do not condone of using shells as curios but coming back to the point, cypraea tigris continues to be abundant by the millions.
On the contrary, proper collecting helps in preserving nature; you can’t protect what you don’t know. In fact, many species have been saved from the efforts of conchologist and malacologist alike. A classic example is the Hawaiian Achatinellidae snails. It was due to ignorance that man introduced rats and other invasive species that prey on these defenseless snails. Half of the 40 or so species have already become extinct.
Man has collected snails and clams for eons as a source of food. Countless species are being recorded every year and we are barely touching the surface of malacological study. It is the responsibility or every collector to:-
- Understand, appreciate and care about what you collect
- Provide honest information as accurately as possible. A specimen is worthless to science unless proper collection data is provided unless your collection is purely for the esthetics.
- Obey your local laws on conservation.
Shell collecting is a satisfying hobby if done so properly. In the past, shell collecting was reserved only for the rich connoisseurs but here at Malacology-Asia.com, we are dedicated to offer you the best value for money specimens so that anyone can appreciate these wonderful creations of nature.
A shell as anything else on earth is not everlasting, but with the proper storing and care, will be able to provide you with satisfaction for many, many years.
The general dos and don’t for any collection:-
- Protect the fragile shells carefully in safe containers, and avoid getting the spines, lips, protoconch, etc broken or chipped.
- Keep the information with the shell but in modern collecting, you can take a picture of the shell and keep the record in an excel sheet which works better for me.
- Avoid direct sunlight, avoid dust, avoid handling without gloves and avoid placing the shells directly on wood! This will discolour and create a sort yellowish roughness on your shells called “Byne’s disease”.