Earlier this month, four men were charged for poaching 900 Venus flytraps from the Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County. They were arrested by state wildlife officers, and they are the first people to be charged under a new state law that makes it a felony to steal flytrap plants or seed.
Venus flytraps are protected under North Carolina law. They are rare plants that grow wild only in southeastern North Carolina and nearby areas of South Carolina.
The flytrap isn’t the only protected plant with a stiff penalty for poaching. In another recent case, a Boone man is believed to be the first person in the state convicted of a felony for poaching ginseng from private property. (Wild ginseng can be harvested legally in North Carolina with the proper permits. Information is available here.)
The NCDA&CS Plant Conservation Program seeks to protect rare and threatened plants such as the Venus flytrap and ginseng. Commissioner Troxler says he hopes these criminal penalties will help deter people from breaking the law and putting these plants at further risk.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the protection of rare and protected plants.
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