Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists call for regulation of rare plant sales

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
University of Notre Dame
Summary:
People are increasingly obtaining endangered or threatened plants, often illegally, and moving them outside their native range, according to a new article.

People are increasingly obtaining endangered or threatened plants, often illegally, and moving them outside their native range, according to an article in the journal Nature by Patrick Shirey and Gary Lamberti in the department of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame.

According to their research last year, nearly 10 percent of the 753 plants listed as threatened and endangered under the US Endangered Species Act 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.

Some private groups who want to protect the plants, such as the Torreya Guardians, are legally planting seedlings of the Florida torreya outside its current range to aid species conservation. However, Shirey urges government agencies to take more of a leadership role to monitor translocations because of the risks associated with introducing new species. The widespread transfer of endangered or threatened plants poses both environmental and economic risks.

Shirey and Lamberti cite other studies reporting that damage from invasive plant species costs more than $30 billion in the United States by damaging crops, pastures and ecosystems. One example is the Australian paperbark tree which is a noxious weed in the United States that causes millions of dollars of damage, although its native habitats in Australia are considered threatened due to coastal development. The transfer of plants to new environments can also spread plant pathogens and pests.

Shirey and Lamberti warn of the dangers of unchecked species redistribution and urge the US Fish and Wildlife Service to better monitor the movement of plants around the world and enforce existing legislation. Shirey says, "Environmental agencies and governing bodies must better enforce existing species protection laws, and establish new legal frameworks to monitor and manage this rising tide of species redistribution."

As a first step in enforcing existing legislation, Shirey says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should establish surveillance teams to monitor online transactions. Secondly, the agency should restrict consumer's ability to purchase hybrids bred from endangered species which have serious implications -- good and bad -- for wild populations. On a worldwide scale, exporting and importing countries should ensure that domestic laws are enforced such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Notre Dame. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrick D. Shirey, Gary A. Lamberti. Regulate trade in rare plants. Nature, 2011; 469 (7331): 465 DOI: 10.1038/469465a

Cite This Page:

University of Notre Dame. "Biologists call for regulation of rare plant sales." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127160640.htm>.
University of Notre Dame. (2011, January 27). Biologists call for regulation of rare plant sales. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127160640.htm
University of Notre Dame. "Biologists call for regulation of rare plant sales." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127160640.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins