A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

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edfrank
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A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

Post by edfrank » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:29 pm

A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online
by Nell Greenfieldboyce

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/07/133565494 ... ale-online
February 7, 2011

A new study suggests that it is surprisingly easy to get your hands on an endangered plant. That's letting some activists engage in their own efforts to help save rare species from extinction. But some conservation experts worry that there are potential risks when private groups unilaterally decide to move their favorite plants to new habitats...

They found that around 10 percent were being advertised online, according to a recent report in the journal Nature. More than 50 sellers were offering to ship these plants between states, which is illegal interstate commerce under federal law without a permit.
ENTS, What caught my attention was the section about Torreya taxifolia, a species we had discussed previously:


Click on image to see its original size
One group, called the Torreya Guardians, organized with the help of writer and naturalist Connie Barlow, is already doing this kind of "assisted migration" for an endangered evergreen known as Torreya taxifolia, or Florida stinking cedar.

Currently, this tree's native range is in northern Florida, where fewer than a thousand grow wild along a stretch of the Apalachicola River. But starting in 2008, the Torreya Guardians planted seedlings from private sources onto privately owned land in North Carolina.
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"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Marcboston
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Re: A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

Post by Marcboston » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:16 pm

That is an interesting story. For the record I have legally obtained a Cathaya argyrophylla from one a nursery out in Oregon. The nursery that collected specimens from China had to get special permission from the goverment. They are pretty rare in there homeland and a protected species. I think I was but a few places in MA to get one 5-6 years ago.....

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Steve Galehouse
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Re: A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

Post by Steve Galehouse » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:00 pm

As long as the endangered plants are propagated from cultivated sources rather than collected from native stands, I see no harm in distributing them, only benefits.

Steve
every plant is native somewhere

TN_Tree_Man
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Re: A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

Post by TN_Tree_Man » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:42 pm

Steve,

I agree with you regarding the propagation and dispersement of endangered plants. It could be argued that we are doing endangered plants a favor through introduction into the home garden and elsewhere. The Franklin tree (Frankliana alatamaha) would be a good example of a plant that is considered extinct in its home environment while still maintaining an existence.

Steve Springer
"One can always identify a dogwood tree by it's bark."

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Steve Galehouse
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Re: A Growing Risk? Endangered Plants For Sale Online

Post by Steve Galehouse » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:18 pm

Steve S.

Years ago wildflowers(especially Trilliums, bloodroot, Jack-in-the-pulpit, & trout-lily) were collected from native stands in the southern mountains, bagged, and shipped north to be sold at garden centers. Fortunately this is no longer commonly practiced, primarily due to the low viability of the collected material.

Steve G.
every plant is native somewhere

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