Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Biologists call for regulation of rare plant sales

People are increasingly obtaining endangered or threatened plants, often illegally, and moving them outside their native range.

According to their research last year, nearly 10 percent of the 753 plants listed as threatened and endangered are being sold — or, at least, advertised — online. Many buyers are horticulturalists who want flowers for their gardens. But increasingly, anecdotal evidence suggests that online shoppers include individuals and citizen groups involved in ‘assisted colonization’ projects. Here, species or genetic subtypes at risk of extinction are moved to non-native environments in which they might thrive — in the face of climate change, for instance.

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