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Thread: Green swamp poached

  1. #1
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I just got here last night and today I found this news story.

    http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld....427.htm

    [QUOTE] Posted on Sat, Jun. 11, 2005
    CAROLINAS ENVIRONMENT


    R E L A T E D C O N T E N T


    The brilliant white flowers of the Venus' flytrap make the tiny plants easy to find during the late spring, when most poaching of the popular plant occurs. Authorities discovered signs that a number of flytraps had been taken recently from the Nature Conservancy Green Swamp in Brunswick County, N.C. CHARLES SLATE/The Sun News




    CAROLINAS ENVIRONMENT


    Poachers snare rare Venus' flytraps

    Removal of carnivorous plants increases threat to delicate species

    By Brock Vergakis

    The Sun News


    One of the world's most unique and rare plants is disappearing from Brunswick County, N.C.

    This time, it's not rapid growth and development threatening the Venus' flytrap.

    It's thieves.

    Poachers, to be exact.

    Hundreds of Venus' flytraps were taken from the nature preserve in the Green Swamp this past week, said Dan Bell, project director for the Nature Conservancy.

    The only place in the world the carnivorous plant grows naturally is in coastal bogs in the Carolinas within about 100 miles of Wilmington, N.C.

    The plant once grew along the entire coast of North and South Carolina, but development destroyed much of its habitat and today it can be found in its natural habitat only in secluded spots such as Green Swamp or Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve in Horry County.

    The plants can be grown from existing tissue culture in greenhouses and are widely available nationwide, sold for usually no more than a few dollars.

    Whoever took the plants probably is trying to sell them to a nursery for no more than 15 cents a piece, said Marj Boyer, a N.C. Department of Agriculture botanist.

    "If you go to an area that has a lot of Venus' flytraps and you have the right tools, you can have a few hundred plants," Boyer said.

    That's exactly what happened last week.

    And last year.

    And the year before.

    "It's a long-standing problem," she said.

    The Venus' flytrap is one of two plants that continuously is poached in North Carolina. The other is ginseng, which grows in the mountainous regions of the state and can be sold for about $1 per root. Poaching of ginseng probably will start in August, she said.

    However, it's already prime Venus' flytrap poaching season.

    "This is the time of year we see most of the problems. That's because the rest of the year flytraps are small and nondescript and are not easy to pick out," Bell said.

    Those who poach can face large fines - up to $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense.

    But poachers are rarely caught.

    "Part of the frustration is you literally have to catch them in the act. Short of that, there's really nothing I can do to punish or do to catch a poacher," Bell said.

    Those who grow the plants are allowed to sell them. But there's no documentation needed to prove the plants aren't stolen.

    The Nature Conservancy can't have someone watching the 15,000-acre Green Swamp all the time either, Bell said. And neither does he want to.

    "It's frustrating for us to try and offer this property for the public benefit. But when you have people come in and do things like this makes us wonder: Why do we have it open to public? We want to have opportunities for visitors to come in and see and appreciate how nice they are," he said.

    He fears if poaching of the Venus' flytrap continues, future generations won't be able to see one of the most fascinating plants in the world grow in its natural habitat anymore.

    "These are an incredibly unique natural feature of this area. There's rapidly diminishing habitat and you can find them in abundance in a handful of places," he said. "If we continue to have people go in there and go poaching, it will knock populations down and won't be viable."

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Oh, what a horrible thing to come home to. I'm sorry, Ozzy.
    I don't understand where people get off doing this kind of thing. 15 a plant? You've got to be kidding me - how could anyone expect to turn a profit on that? A few hundred plants... what could they have made for their afternoon of hard labor mucking around a swamp, $75? And that's before overhead - just the nursery pots for that many plants would probably eat up the 15 a pop.
    I can understand someone turning to amoral actions to make a buck, but being a stupid criminal is something that's totally inexcusable.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Oh darn.

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    OK, let me knee-jerk here for a second:

    Poachers should be hanged publically (short-drop, slow strangulation method... none of this humane long-drop crap), and their bodies tarred and gibbetted in the location from which they poached.

    Why the heck is VFT not CITES-I yet? If documentation were required, then this would mostly stop.

    And at $0.15 a plant, wouldn't the poachers do better to set up greenhouse facilities, get a few hundred plants from Agri-Starts, and begin their own propagating operation?
    My Grow List

    "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." -- Stephen Hawking

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ June 12 2005,5:47)]Oh, what a horrible thing to come home to. I'm sorry, Ozzy.
    I don't understand where people get off doing this kind of thing. 15 a plant? You've got to be kidding me - how could anyone expect to turn a profit on that? A few hundred plants... what could they have made for their afternoon of hard labor mucking around a swamp, $75? And that's before overhead - just the nursery pots for that many plants would probably eat up the 15 a pop.
    I can understand someone turning to amoral actions to make a buck, but being a stupid criminal is something that's totally inexcusable.
    ~Joe
    If they're selling for $0.15 a plant, they're prolly not potting them, just selling hundreds of obviously-dug-up plants to an equally-unscrupulous nursery.

    Hang the nursery owners, as well.
    My Grow List

    "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." -- Stephen Hawking

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I guess there must be more to it. Or maybe they're just saying the VFTs fetch 15 a piece to discourage would-be poachers. In any case it's pretty depraved. I can think of a dozen better ways to make easy money that have nothing to do with the harvest of endangered species. Haven't these people ever heard of identity theft?
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #7

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    I think the $0.15 quote is misleading. There are some venus flytraps selling for $12.95 on Ebay.

    Oz, I checked Ebay and did not see anything that looked unusual, but it may be too soon to see them yet. Maybe in the next few weeks. They could even sell them to local nurseries.

    Isn't it the Netherlands that has the noteriety for poaching the Green Swamp? I forget the story, but one person was awoken in the A of M, and the caller DEMANDED to acquire 100,000 flytraps.

    There is an Australian website that clones them by the millions. I do not understand why anyone would suffer the bugs and briars for a plant that could be bought in almost any nursery or CP vendor, in many countries.

    That whole area is such a high traffic area, that I see little hope for protecting flytraps insutu or the Green Swamp as a whole.

    It was around 15 years ago that I was last there. I remember seeing freshly dug drainage ditches, filled with water. The purpose was to dry out areas of the Green Swamp for development. I remember thinking then, 'This is the end of the Green Swamp.'

    Where is the power of the Wetlands Preservation Laws?

    I hope the NASC includes the other CP also. It would not be that difficult and many species occur together.

    I can not be optimistic for the future of CP in the wild. Dollars, furture tax base from development, and money will win over our beloved CP everytime.

    Even in "protected" areas there is poaching.

    The NASC needs to get into full swing as soon as possible.

    Time is running out.

    Tweek
    \"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.\" - EInstein

  8. #8
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    When I get more time I'll give my thoughts on this.
    They don't realize there's a new sherriff in town.

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