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SirKristoff is a poopiehead
Staff member
The Nature Conservancy replanted over 900 vft's and 500 S.purpureas today in their Green Swamp Preserve. I got the pleasure of helping. I took a few pics and I"ll post them a little later. Here are a few news stories about it.

From TV station WECT.


Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Conservation advocates are replanting more than 1,000 venus flytraps in southeastern North Carolina that were recovered over the past year from poaching.

Since the plants were poached, they have been kept alive at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill.

Venus flytraps grow naturally only within a hundred miles of the Carolinas coast, but the carnivorous plant's populations have been disappearing amid development, human encroachment and poaching.

The poached plants typically sell for about $0.25 a piece, but anyone caught taking the plants from nature preserves are fined about $35 a plant.

"There seems to be a market for these plants at local nurseries, for tourists, and unfortunately, instead of growing them in nurseries, it's easier to come out to a nature preserve and take them out," said conservationist Dan Ryan.

Tuesday, staff and volunteers with the Nature Conservancy replanted the flytraps and about 500 pitcher plants in Brunswick County's Green Swamp Preserve.

Here's the video.


Star News (Wilmington NC)


Conservationists replant poached Venus flytraps in Green Swamp


Wild Venus flytraps are seen on Nature Conservancy land near Boiling Springs Lakes. The Venus flytraps are marked in the wild. If they turn up for sale, inspectors are able to identify the plants as illegally dug up and removed.

By Ana Ribeiro
Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 7:38 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 10:11 p.m.
A favorite of Charles Darwin and famous all over the world, the Venus’ flytrap is a native of our area. Unsuspecting local bugs land on its comfortable leaves and before they know it, they’re swallowed up.
But these curious carnivorous plants can’t defend themselves from human poachers, who steal hundreds at a time from their natural habitat and sell them to people who may not know how to grow them properly. On Tuesday, about 1,000 poached Venus’ flytraps had a happier day as they returned home to the Green Swamp Preserve.

A group of 15 volunteers and staff members with the Nature Conservancy and the N.C. Botanical Garden replanted the flytraps in the Brunswick County preserve. Poachers had taken them from the area about a year ago, but the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recovered them, said Dan Ryan, a project director with the Nature Conservancy.

Also, about 500 pitcher plants, another carnivorous species, would be replanted later in the day, Ryan said. The type of soil in the Green Swamp is ideal for carnivorous plants because it’s acidic, wet and nutrient-poor, according to Michael Kunz, a conservation ecologist with the N.C. Botanical Garden.

The lack of nutrients has forced the plants to adapt by eating bugs for their nitrogen fix, Kunz said. It’s hard to raise these plants out of their habitat because they need a specific ratio of soil components.

The staff of the botanical garden, part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, rehabilitated the poached plants. The fine for Venus’ flytrap poachers is $35 a plant, Ryan said.

It’s legal to remove and sell the plants only when authorized by the property owner, said Lt. Matthew Long of the wildlife commission. But people take the flytraps from nature preserves, without permission, to sell the popular plants for a quarter apiece, Long said.

It’s hard to estimate how many get stolen, he said. One person told officers he poached the plants for a living.

“Any illegal activity is hard to put a number on,” Long said. “All I can tell you is what we’ve been catching.”

The agency catches about a dozen people a year, he said. The latest was about two weeks ago, and the Nature Conservancy was able to replant about 800 poached flytraps in Boiling Spring Lakes.

Long said the wildlife commission is keeping a close eye on poachers with routine patrols in Brunswick County, and officers being trained to spot their behavior. People may face hundreds of dollars in fines and be arrested, he added.

As part of efforts to catch Venus’ flytrap poachers, ecologists spread a dye that shows up only under black light, enabling them to spot poached plants in garden shops.

They’ll be checking on the Green Swamp’s returning residents to see how they’re faring.

Ana Ribeiro: 343-2327


There are other stories about this online if you look for them.

I'll have my own pics up soon.
Congrats! now the VFT population can last a while longer, and hopefully, people who try to make a quick buck won't try anymore. Haha, I rofl'd at your sig.
Here's the pics. I was pretty busy and didn't have much time to take many pics.









This is what 500 poached S.purpurea looks like.




These are plants that were already on the site. The site was burned the day before in preperation for replanting the plants today.







Glad they made it back home.
Just thought you guys might want to see some more of the press.

The Sun News (Myrtle Beach SC)


Poached plants back in native soil/QUOTE]

ASH, N.C. -- John Battigelli awoke before dawn Tuesday and drove three hours from Chapel Hill to Brunswick County to help replant 912 Venus' flytraps in the forest from which they were stolen last year.
Battigelli and several other volunteers worked side-by-side with personnel from the N.C. Nature Conservancy and the N.C. Botanical Garden to put 100 of the plants in each square meter of a small plot burned clear two weeks ago to prepare it for its new residents.
The site, in the biologically diverse Big Island area of the Green Swamp, was within shouting distance of where the poachers were apprehended with the ill-gotten plants by Wildlife Resources Commission Lt. Matt Long and a seed bank coordinator from the state botanical garden.

Long recalled that he had just happened on the scene and stopped because a car was parked on the shoulder of a lonely stretch of N.C. 211. The seed bank coordinator saw Long's vehicle and also stopped.
The two suspected there were plant poachers on the prowl and walked into the forest. They discovered the misdeed and found two people prone in the knee-high grass.
Fines for taking the plants range from $131 for a first offense up to $2,000, depending on the offense.
The seed bank coordinator gathered the plants and whisked them to Chapel Hill, where they were planted in a special soil officials have on hand for carnivorous plants.
"They were big, beautiful, robust plants," Johnny Randall, assistant director of the Botanical Garden said at the replanting site.
Tuesday, the plants were returned home along with 500 poached pitcher plants, which were destined for a new home in the conservancy's Myrtlehead land, on the other side of the Green Swamp from Big Island.
Scientists say Big Island is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, and their eyes widen as they describe the number of species documented in just one square meter.
The area is part of nearly 40,000 acres the Nature Conservancy has preserved in the Brunswick County. Big Island is part of 15,907 acres the conservancy owns along N.C. 211, north of U.S. 17.
The other two tracts, 6,157 acres near Boiling Spring Lakes and about 18,000 acres along Juniper Creek, are in state ownership. The Juniper Creek tract adjoins that which includes Big Island, forming an approximately 10-mile swath of protected land in north central Brunswick County.
Tuesday's planting was an opportunity for office-bound Nature Conservancy employees from the organization's state headquarters in Durham to see firsthand how their work helps to protect nature.
"We can come back here some day and see [the flytraps] are flourishing and think, 'I was part of that,'" said Jodie LaPoint, who works in land protection.
For Battigelli, a mechanical engineer, the trip had a double purpose. After transplanting dozens of the thumbnail-sized flytrap bulbs on his hands and knees, he was headed to the office of the N.C. State Ports in Wilmington to get the new identification badge needed for port workers.
"They're precious little plants," he said of the flytraps. "They're cute."
Contact STEVE JONES at 910-754-9855.

Here's some nice pics from the Sun News.


From TV 14

Click the link below to see the video.


Venus flytraps returned to habitat

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. – Hundreds of Venus flytraps are back in their native habitat in North Carolina after poachers snatched the plants from the Green Swamp Preserve last summer.

Workers and volunteers from across the state are recovered and replanted more than 800 Venus flytraps in the preserve.

Volunteer Christina Mason said it felt right to put them back where they belong.

"Returning something back to its natural habitat that was stolen – it's indigenous to this area and you really can't find them anywhere else," said Mason.

The plant is extremely rare and is only found within a 90-mile radius of Wilmington. The Nature Conservancy said nearly 80 percent of flytraps in North Carolina have little chance of surviving. Many have been wiped out or have not been seen in years.

North Carolina Wildlife said the plant is a hot commodity amongst poachers because it eats insects.

Lt. Matthew Long of the Wildlife Resources Commission said it is not difficult to poach this carnivorous plant.

"Some of it is financial gain. They're selling it for a quarter a piece," Long said. "It doesn't take long to dig. If you dig a thousand of them, there's $250. Some people like the novelty of them."

Before replanting the flytraps, conservationists rehabilitated them at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill.
They are being replanted just in time for the spring growing season.

"It's extremely unique considering the amount of attention they get worldwide. I mean everybody pretty much recognizes what a Venus flytrap is. And to think that they are only native to this specific area is pretty special," Dan Ryan, of the Nature Conservancy.

In an effort to conserve the plants, the Wildlife Resource Enforcement is on the lookout for poachers throughout the year. If caught, poachers can be fined up to $35 per flytrap.
Thanks for the post Ozzy. It's great to see some success stories when we mostly hear about what is being taken.

Great news! :)

Thanks for posting.
  • #10
Good to know! Glad they survived.
  • #11
Yay. You guys did a great job. :)
  • #12
In the video that you posted in your last response at about the 3/4 mark.. is that you taking a picture in the background? *lady in purple on front left... "you" in the back wearing light denim and stripped shirt*

Nice to see them going back in the ground :)
  • #13
No that wasn't me. I wasn't allowed near the reporters. Threre were two different spots that we planted the flytraps. Way in the back of the preserve and up near the front. The media circus was near the front. I was in the back of the preserve during all that.
Last edited:
  • #14
This is still terrible news. If we didn't poach plants in the first place, we wouldn't have to do this.

At least they're home.
  • #15
Good job, you should go back in a year and take some pics after they grow up!

<img src="http://www.rblewis.net/technology/EDU506/WebQuests/tellingtime/arg-hands-clapping-fast%2324F.gif">
  • #16
I'll get some pics this summer. I've been asked to help water them in a coup;e of weeks. I'll get some pics then too.
  • #17
Excellent work all around. It looks like the dye marking program is a success.

Mark, it's good that you are in the area to help look after these.
  • #18
Who were the poachers? I know there is a company in NC that has asked people to wild collect illegally. I sorta would like to know so I don't buy illegal plants!
  • #19
I don't know who they are. That information wasn't released.

If you don't mind PM me the company that has asked people to poach.

I do know one company that wild collects. It's Flytrap farms.
  • #20
There's CIP (or C.I.P.) Nursery in Surrey County, North Carolina. The owner got busted twice for supplying false paperwork to some Dutch buyer. The paperwork showed that the plants were nursery grown where as soil analysis showed they were wild collected. The articles don't state who did the collecting.

See this post for links to articles: