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Thread: Opinions Wanted! Field collecting?

  1. #9
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    I live in a pretty remote and wild setting. I am surrounded by sphagnum bogs so these questions arise in my mind all the time. I've taken every Carnivorous plant that grows here, out of its environment at least once. That's not something I'm necessarily proud of and I did it years ago and didn't even properly cultivate them afterwards.

    Now that I am a bit more mature and realize the consequences of my actions I have set some guidelines for myself.

    The thing is, in my area, there are thousands and thousands of seemingly vast acres of wetlands and CP habitat. The most common species here, without a doubt, is D. rotundifolia. Because there are so many billions of rotundifolia that I have seen and know to exist, I have no problems taking pretty much as many of these plants as I want out of the environment, because they do reproduce quite easily and they are quite common. That being said, I don't really do that. I've only taken maybe four or five rotunds out of the environment ever and I've never done it to trade or sell.

    D. anglica is a different story. These sundews are much less common and really only grow in a few select locations. I've taken one of those plants from their habitat, and because of my carelessness, it passed away. This is something I regret greatly. But, I'm not entirely opposed to taking another specimen and growing it correctly, and then growing its seed correctly as well. I feel that if you can capture the plant, and breed it successfully in your own environment, then taking one or two specimens is justified.

    P. vulgaris, are somewhat common as well. Though not as common as D. rotundifolia, they can be found in a number of environments across the islands. I've taken a few of these plants, and they grow well even when neglected, and they flower well as well. Because of this, I don't feel bad for taking the couple plants that I did in the beginning.

    The one unidentified Utricularia I have encountered, I have only taken once and I didn't care for it well enough, this was many years ago when I was a child. Since these aquatic Utricularia are relatively scarce, I don't feel good taking these plants. I might again, one day, take another example and care for it correctly, but I would never take more than one MAYBE two plants.

    It's a tricky question, when we are so fascinated with these plants, and I myself am surrounded with what seems to be infinite amounts of CP habitat. But even with the abundance of plants, I realize that poaching these plants is just the first step to reducing their wild numbers.

    Though, it could be the first step to expanding their cultivated numbers.

    If a plant were ever noticeably scarce or endangered, I would never take a plant. The fact that I have poached wild plants reflects only their localized abundance in my area.

    As far as land owners rights go, I literally have zero cares. In most cases the corporations that own these muskegs and the executive officers of these corporations see only dollar signs in the land, and being wetlands, not very big dollar signs at that. I'm sure they don't even know that insectivorous plants grow in this region.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

  2. #10
    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    I think it's most important to focus on the moral, not legal law. If you're taking some seeds or a cutting to spread the plant to other people, and with location data, I think it could be a net gain for the species. If you're ripping plants out of the ground to sell, with no care for their safety or the species itself, no. As said, the legal law isn't what's keeping a hobbyest from taking an S. oreophila, it's because they know the species is in danger. But even though it's illegal for, NASC, say, to take some seeds, grow them with a high success rate, keep a few clones as insurance, and replant the rest, I wouldn't have a problem with them doing that.
    Formerly known as Silenceisgod!

  3. #11
    rattler's Avatar
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    in general depends, wholesale collecting like happens with VFT's and the like isnt good......wipes out an area.....an individual that collects a couple of plants from a healthy population means nothing as far as the survival of the locale......ive got native wildflowers out in my yard i collected from road sides.....next tractor through could have killed these individual plants and its a species thats neither rare here nor threatened anywhere that i know of.....no laws against it either and i find it neat ive got the wild plant growing next to cultivated hybrids of the same genus and how lil difference there is between them.....

    as other posters have said common sense should prevail.......unfortunately to many ppl with to lil common sense makes laws necessary......
    cervid serial killer
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  4. #12
    Taargus's Avatar
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    I think the moral law is also more important here too, as actual law is very flawed in my opinion. I have no problem with field collection for institutions and for scientific purposes of understanding the plant better. I have no problem with any person or business field collecting if the plant is over-populated as long as it's one or two and not harvesting an entire area(obviously?) I have no problem with plants being field collected if they are extremely rare and taking one or two could lead to the entire species being saved from extinction, (I think there should be provisions made for this actually, but then the problem of who gets to decide arises...) I actually think that if a parcel of land is about to be bulldozed the plants should be collected, rare or not, whether the end is for survival of the species, replanting, or even in some situations for profit (but then again I'm conflicted as to who gets to decide?) Not allowing field collecting when land is about to be destroyed is where I think CITIES hurts, not helps.

  5. #13
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    If you see plants on privately owned property and want one, get permission from the owner. First, ask yourself why you want it. Is one plant unique? Or if te owner says to take them all, would you just to sell them? What is legal and what is ethical aren't always the same.


    Take one or two or even three, preferably baby plants, and some pictures and offer the owner a little cash for letting you take his plants. This conversation reminds me of one of my house mates. His family had some land full of Sarracenia at one point, and some environmental group wanted to do something, or maybe it was the government... Anyway they decided to kill every last plant and destroy the population instead of having some group/organization interfere with eir property. Sorry that I can't remember specifics.

    If it's public land like on a park, take pictures and leave only foot prints.

    If it's a CITES plant... Don't touch it. Even if it's about to be destroyed.... Not really worth getting into serious legal trouble over. But you shouldn't worry about that anyway, unless you go out looking for plants listed under CITES in the first place. I believe that CITES is overly restrictive and hinders as much as it helps, overall. A "Don't Touch" policy doesn't work, because sometimes things need intervention, and proactive measures (like getting a little bit of seed into TC) can really alleviate the threat of collection to wild populations, as well as spreading awareness simply by making an unavailable plant available.

    But still, no matter what, if we could all have cheap, mass-produced CITES 1 plants, people would still poach them. People will still buy poached plants. I'm sure some of our members have poached plants... Either knowingly buying poached plants, having suspicions but not asking about the origins, or at the very worst did it themselves.I know of several people who grow poached N. ,and I'm sure they paid a lot of money for them. Thats the motivation for the poacher...but a poacher will sell them for cheap prices, too. This is the value of TC. Endless amounts of cheap plants.

    If the plants are in impending doom of being bulldozed, try to get permission to save them... That's what the right thing for me to tell you is. That said, I'd be lying if I said I have never taken plants from what is now a paved subdivision. All of the ones I kept perished in the great freeze and fungal infection of 2009 as I call it. There are still plants circulating around between other hobbyists that I have given away or traded away. They weren't physically unique plants but it's neat to know that the genetics of that population, which is now gone to urban sprawl, still exist and some of you might even have their offspring.

    It's important to take down and keep records of location data, for instances such as the above. If you ever get plants with location data, even of you don't care about it, you should still keep a record of it in case you trade/give/sell it at some point. A plant with location data is more valuable in the eyes of the collector, for breeding, and monetarily.

    If you only see ten plants... Leave them alone if they are in no danger, even if you can get permission to take one or two. If you see a hundred and get permission, I see no problem with field collecting. When you can take seeds instead of plants, do that. I'd rather have one seedpod from a wild stand of plants that ten adult plants, that way I get a LOT of plants with a little patience, the plants get to spread their seed, and the population isn't really harmed.

    Some people may believe in the butterfly effect.... But I really don't see how legally taking a seedpod from a big site is anyhing but good. An exception would be something like S. oreophila. I am lucky enough to have a cabin within 15-20 minutes of one of the last mountain seep bogs, and one of the last remaining stands of S. oreophila. Even if I COULD take seed, I wouldn't dream of it. Even around the many large clumps of plants, I stepped pretty carefully to avoid hurting anything. The last time I was there was several years ago and the plants were healthy and numerous. It's a shame they had to put up cameras to deter poachers.

    It was in thread of erosion from development higher up. I'm not sure whatever happened with that, but the nature conservancy was trying to buy some land uphill and make a wall/filter of sorts out of te land to catch the silt and save the bog. I'm sure it all probably ended up well.

    I have pics somewhere in the depths of this forum if anyone cares to search for them.

    Clint

    PS: please excuse any typos... As you can see typing on an iPad os fast and easy, but it's autocorrection feature sort of sucks. Also, i need to change my avatar...I hate Obama.
    Last edited by Clint; 10-14-2010 at 06:59 PM.

  6. #14
    Nepenthesian Nepfreak's Avatar
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    2 cases where I think it's OK to collect, and these ONLY when you have all the legal permission:

    1. It's about to "play chicken with a bulldozer" (well, really )

    2. It's invasive and displacing native species
    Insanity is a sane response to an insane world.

  7. #15
    dashman's Avatar
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    Excellent point on #2 nepfreak. I didn't think about invasive species. I have been watching the fishing show on Animal Planet and this is a very real problem in the animal and plant kingdoms. Asian carp, snake heads, zebra mussels. The Indiana Dunes in northern Indiana are being slowly overtaken by invasive grasses seeded by residential areas. A very real problem indeed.

    Why can't there be any invasive CPs around my area though? I would gladly collect them all.

  8. #16
    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Bulldozers and invasives aside, I think there are two sort of extreme situations, where common sense prevails:
    1. There is a population so large you can't walk without stepping on them. Of course taking a plant won't harm the population.
    2. There are only a couple of individuals left. Even taking a seed could be critical.

    But I think in most cases, it's sort of a middle ground/grey area, and that's where the trouble comes in. For argument's sake, say I took a S. purpurea from a particular local bog. There are a few dozen at this site and taking just one plant won't harm the population. But there are more and more people coming into the CP hobby all the time. If all of the CP growers in my area did the same and each just took one plant, that would definitely harm the S. purpurea population at that site, probably even wipe it out.

    So you have to draw the line somewhere, but where do you draw it? Say that only "serious" CPers can collect? (How would you define "serious"?) There's really no clear-cut answer to that. Maybe I'd try to justify it to myself by rationalizing that I'm a dedicated grower, or that I'd be preserving a specimen from that site for posterity. But, the honest truth is, I cannot in good conscience say that I am any more worthy of field-collecting than the next guy. So, I don't collect.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that not all plant populations expand at the same rate. Something like a Drosera population can replace a few lost individuals in...what, a couple of months? Where replacing a mature Sarracenia would take years. So, the effect of taking a Sarr or two would be much more significant on its respective population.
    -Emily

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