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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Mar 18, 2016.
Trade in rare plants on social media must be monitored
That's unfortunate. I'd guess we've all known someone who was indiscriminately collecting species with a frivolous intent. The impulsive and immediate nature of social media aids this. Internet disinhibition of a sort. Many years ago, not quite pre-Web, but, y'know, dial-up and wonky time consuming connections, I went out with a native plants group to rescue some native orchids (Habenaria spp. of some sort) from an airport expansion area with the bulldozers already on site. They used a "phone tree" to notify regularly interested field trip people. Without us, there would have been 100% loss of the samples from that site, but even with us only a dozen or so were saved for wilderness preserves. About the same number were taken by individuals for home use, or even sale if they wished. While everything was legitimate, I wonder if any of them survived and propagated. It might just have been the wetlands habitat loss that prompted that trip and not any real endangerment.
I picked a slipper orchid (Cyprepedium spp.) when I was a toddler and still remember the scolding I got. It didn't put me off of plants, and later digging and transplanting them, but I think I grasped the message of conservation a bit early in life.