Butterflies have been gathered for generations. It is done in a careful manner so that it will not upset the balance of nature or the future livelihood of the native people. The marketing of these, as well as other renewable rainforest resources (rubber, medicinal plants, house plants, orchids, Brazil nuts, vegetable ivory, etc.), is playing an important role in halting the rapid destruction of forests in the tropical world. A purchase of these pendants is a real contribution to the efforts to preserve the tropical habitats and help provide for the economy of the indigenous peoples who live in them. Many biologists worldwide support this activity (controlled, "sustainable use") as a way to help reverse the current crisis of rapid and careless destruction of the tropical plant and animal habitats.
The insects come from insect "farming" projects and other “sustainable use” systems. By the marketing of these, and similar sustainable use products, rainforests gain economic viability, creating a strong incentive to leave them in their natural state, and to oppose the great pressures to cut them down for their highly marketable hardwoods.