Carnivorous Plants are in need of conservation help
The benefits that could be derived from carnivorous plants go beyond their being conversation pieces in your home’s terrarium or as interesting nursery collections. These unique plants could serve as educational tools to inspire students about the many wonders of nature and spark interest in environmental conservation.
Like other creatures of the wild, carnivorous plants are bio-indicators of the overall quality of the environment. For instance, the state of a wetland habitat would be indicated by carnivorous plants. A vanishing number of these plant species would indicate degradation of the wetlands. Sadly, over 95% of the carnivorous plants’ habitat range in the USA has been degraded causing tremendous loss of carnivorous plant populations, which remain threatened to this day.
Knowledge of the plight of carnivorous plants is a source of inspiration to work for their conservation as well as the environment on which they thrive. This awareness could start from learning about their evolution into carnivorous plants, the complex plant mechanisms that they developed to trap their prey, and the many species that have evolved as a result of their adaptations to their environment. Carnivorous plants are also a wellspring of information on plant–animal interactions as they seem to have defied the natural order of things by being flesh-eaters instead of being confined to the bottom of the food chain.
There are many people who just started out as hobbyists interested in growing carnivorous plants. But as their knowledge and awareness on these plants and what they represent grew, they progressed into full-fledged naturalists, concerned not only about the unique flesh-eating flora but also their wild habitat and all the living things it supports. “Growing Carnivorous Plants” by Barry Rice has an excellent section about the conservation of these species.
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