Dear Fellow Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts,
I hope you all have had a very happy Christmas and New Year.
I hope those who have order Pitcher Plants of the Americas enjoy their copies – all orders from Redfern Natural History Productions have been dispatched and the books should all arrive this week! Pitcher Plants of the Americas is the result of six years fieldwork and research and I sincerely hope the end result is useful and enjoyable!
For those interested, the book is a study of the natural diversity and wild ecology of the American pitcher plants including three genera of true pitcher plants (Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia) and two genera of carnivorous tank bromeliads (Brocchinia and Catopsis). All currently known forms and varieties of each species are described and examined through the use of 245 spectacular images and diagrams.
The introductory chapters of this work outline the taxonomic content and groupings (by trapping methods) of carnivorous plants and briefly review the taxonomy, biology, evolutionary history, and biogeography of the American pitcher plants. The following five chapters are devoted to individual genera of the American pitcher plants and examine in detail the anatomy, habitat, ecology, trapping process, and distribution of each genus and each member species as well as many naturally occurring hybrids and selected cultivars. The concluding chapters of Pitcher Plants of the Americas summarize the current conservational status of each family of American pitcher plants in terms of the nature and extent of habitat loss and the resulting threat of extinction and the study closes by considering the various successful conservation approaches and initiatives which are helping to secure a bright future for these rare plants.
I am selling copies directly through Redfern Natural History Productions (www.redfernnaturalhistory.com) to raise money for the permanent preservation of carnivorous plant habitat. The money that is raised is donated directly to Meadowview Biological Station to support the permanent protection and ongoing management of The Joseph Pines Preserve - a 78 acre reserve in Virginia aimed at the restoration and preservation of pitcher plant habitat. We are working closely with Meadowview to raise the remaining funds required to permanently secure this important preserve. Thanks to those who have already purchased their copies of Pitcher Plants of the Americas through www.redfernnaturalhistory.com – you have in a very real way helped the conservation initiative and made our first major donation to Meadowview possible – the first donation of many.
Meadowview has a detailed website that provides an overview of the Joseph Pines Preserve available at http://www.pitcherplant.org/papers/JosephPines.htm
The preservation of carnivorous plant habitat, but especially Sarracenia habitat is of critical importance for a number of reasons. Not only are Sarracenia wetlands remarkably bio-diverse for carnivorous plants, non-carnivorous flora and a wide range of fauna, but importantly unlike many environmental problems which we hear about so frequently, Sarracenia habitat destruction for the most part has already happened. The overwhelming majority of the original wetlands of the South East of the USA has already been destroyed and just 1 – 2% of the original habitat remains today. Indeed even many of the remaining fragmented patches continue to be destroyed.
The devastation is not sustainable and further Sarracenia taxa will soon become increasingly threatened with the real risk of extinction in the wild. Even during the production of Pitcher Plants of the Americas five major sites which I visited in 2002 have since been wiped out – many of the plants which you will see in the book now no longer exist. *
Only by establishing large preserves can we seriously hope to maintain the natural diversity of each species and secure a future for the remarkable American pitcher plants.
Beautiful and very diverse habitats such as the following;
Are wiped out and become this (eventually to be turned into agricultural land, or development sites);
Drainage of Habitat - Image generously provided by Jerry McDonald (Used with Permission)
Site Clearance - Image generously provided by Jerry McDonald (Used with Permission)
Obviously it is not possible to altogether stop the destruction – but it is possible to actively secure a permanent future for some of the most important of Sarracenia habitats and directly contribute to the future survival of these remarkable plants in the wild. This is precisely what Meadowview Biological Station wishes to achieve and what you can contribute to by purchasing your copy of Pitcher Plants of the Americas through www.redfernnaturalhistory.com. Redfern Natural History Productions donates a very healthy proportion of the profits from all sales directly to Meadowview. The amount of money that we will ultimately able to raise is directly related to the amount of books which are sold through Redfern Natural History Production (www.redfernnaturalhistory.com). So if you like Pitcher Plants of the Americas please spread the word, both of the books and also of this conservation drive so that we may jointly secure a brighter future for these remarkable plants!
Redfern Natural History Productions offers signed copies of Pitcher Plants of the Americas which are available now and ready for immediate dispatch. I would be very happy to personalize any autographed copies and can do so up until January 25th 2007 during which time I will be in the UK.
Below are some images which feature in this work – many more are available on www.redfernnaturalhistory.com .
If you have any questions or any constructive feedback on the book or the conservation drive, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and I wish you all a very pleasant start to 2007