I found another artical about this.
Flytraps filched from preserve
By Zane Wilson
The Sun News
The thief who dug up about 100 rare Venus' flytrap plants in Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve probably will have little to show for it but multiple insect bites, the scientist who studies the area's plants said.
Jim Luken, a plant ecologist who heads the Coastal Carolina University biology department and has studied the carnivorous plants for several years, said Thursday that they aren't worth much on the market but that quite a bit of damage was done to their natural habitat.
"This is not going to get you any money," Luken said. It's more likely that the perpetrator came home with scores of mosquito and tick bites than with something valuable, he said.
Luken discovered the theft about three weeks ago. It was announced Thursday by the state Department of Natural Resources, the law enforcement officers of which are investigating.
DNR Sgt. Stan Woodle said anyone convicted in the flytrap thefts could be fined up to $455 for each violation.
"Lewis Ocean Bay preserve is home to the largest population of naturally occurring Venus' flytrap plants in the state or possibly within its natural range in the two Carolinas," said Jamie Dozier, a biologist with the DNR's Heritage Trust, which oversees Lewis Ocean Bay.
"Large expanses of bay habitat on the preserve support at least 15 known populations," he said. "Venus' flytraps are increasingly rare and a plant species of special concern."
Naturally occurring populations also are found at Cartwheel Bay Heritage Preserve in northwest Horry County.
But plant collecting and habitat destruction pose a threat to the survival of the species, Dozier said. "The Venus' flytrap is of special concern to us in the two Carolinas," he said. "Worldwide, the Venus' flytrap is only native within a 100-mile radius of Wilmington, N.C."
Luken said whoever took the plants probably thinks they still sell for a good price. Until about 15 years ago, that was the case, he said.
Flytrap stealing was such a problem that the plants were almost wiped out in most of their natural habitat in North Carolina, Luken said.
So horticulturists learned to cultivate them and began growing them commercially by the thousands.
"It's just like making poinsettias," he said. The plants often sell in grocery and home-supply stores for a few dollars.
But even so, taking a large clump like the one stolen from Lewis Ocean Bay upsets the balance of nature, Luken said.
"This is the genetic basis for every Venus' flytrap on the planet," he said.
Asked whether he was upset by the loss, he said, "You get an emotional attachment to your plants. ... Very few people ever get to see them in the wild."