Sale of endangered bulb species

Alberto Castillo
Mon, 23 Jun 2008 16:54:15 PDT
Hi Ron:
         Interesting that you mention the Wollemi pine. To avoid plunderers without any scruples find the few existing specimens and offered to 2save the species2 by stuffin their pockets, it was decided to collect a quantity of material and propagate it under nursery conditions. When they were ready they were sold at high prices and fundings raised for further research. The decision behind the operation was desperate and to save the species, not with the aim of giving amateurs the chance of having another rare plant in their collections. I can certainly think of scenes other than the need of plant amateurs to complete their collections. 
         Along this, the alternative is not mentioned: if in concern with the fate of a rare plant, why not to give a quantity of seed for free. People with a reputation like Rod and Rachel Saunders, Dennis Szesko, Rhoda and Cameron McMasters, Rogan Roth, have donated quantities of seed of uncommon species in an effort to have more plants in cultivation. Thousands or millions of seeds of either rare or most common plants are left wasted or eaten by predators. Distibuting them can effectively save a species and there are a number of cases when a species became extinct of a sudden in an unexpected way. Having them in cultivation is very important aand hopefully more people proagate and distribute them further. But, this is completely different from selling them. If you have in your catalog tenths of different species for sale that are common and widespread, is it also necessary to sell those that are hanging from a thread?
        I know there are people that place profit before anything else, well known is the site in California that offers plundered plants from the wids of Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, and other places and fossils from my country, Argentina, where smuggling them out of the cpountry is illegal. Yet they have customers. Another site in South Africa offers seeds and plants of the rarest Pelargoniums, Ledebourias, etc., explaining that they grow in a single population, a single hill, or has not even been described. And they have customers. Who do not care about their part in exterminating a species, just a matter of free market.
        Again, it would be very helpful to collect seed to distribute in an effort to save a species. But, to sell them is something different, don't you think?
> From:> To:> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 09:03:40 +1000> Subject: [pbs] Gorilla Skins> > > Along this, have you ever heard of Jane Goodall selling chimpanzee meat or Diane Fossey trading gorilla skins to fund their research? Or to help preserve "these species from extinction". This is not serious. Reputable bulb seed tradespeople like the Saunders or the McMasters among others state clearly that they DO NO SELL seed of rare or endangered species.> > Alberto et al> > This is something that I just have to say something about as I absolutely and totally disagree with it. To make this sort of comparison is highly emotive and not one I think should occur. > > Now it would be wonderful if we lived in a world were we could say that part is endangered lets put it aside and protect all of its flora and fauna. There are places like that however they are owned or donated to the state or run by dedicated individuals. The world in which I live is working to claim back some of this lost land to provide nature corridors - however where does the material come from that was once there. Some of it has come from the back yards and collections of private individuals that gave it a value or decided the place that it had could be left alone until required. What about development that is going ahead regardless of what is in its way? what of the trashed plant life there? Leave it as it is against the will an individual who thinks it is wrong to collect and propagate rare and endangered plants?> > In Australia we have recently released the work of people who gave a plant a commercial value it is the Wollemi Pine only five individuals were left in the wild now there are millions of them, because the marketing and propagation were handled commercially. If they had been left on their own there would in all probability still be only five or less. Should this not have happened as it gave a commercial value to an extremely endangered and almost lost ancient tree? In short, in a commercial world a commercial value is more powerful than any intrinsic value we place on it no matter how valid or deserving. > > I agree that we should not collect any material that can be protected and left in its wild habitat however it can be helped and collecting a reasonable amount of seed that is sustainable can only benefit any endangered and rare plant. I do not condone raping the landscape for plants or to leave the landscape any worse than they way it was found however help individ uals that are prepared to rescue otherwise doomed, even if this is by natural attrition, by giving them some funds and value to their work so they may continue as they have given us such things that may have been lost forever. A lot of what is on the people's seed list that has been mentioned may be in your view common but there is no store I can walk into and buy it most of it over the counter and they are the only source of some in the world - are they to "something common"? > > No mention has been made of how or where any of the Chilean material is collected - I would like to know this before I cast my approval, disapproval or otherwise. > Kind Regards and Best WishesRon ReddingHervey BayAustralia
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