Jan Schlauer (
Thu, 9 Mar 1995 10:43:06 +0100


>I believe nobody stops you from collecting Taraxum officinalis in
>Holland, right ?

NB: It is _Taraxacum officinale_ ("Taraxacum" is neuter). _Bellis perennis_
or _Plantago major_ are better examples because these do not tend to
diffuse into (or to be splitted by taxonomists into) dozens of microspecies
like in _Taraxacum_, some of which being rare and +/- endangered.

To answer your original question, you need a permit only where it is
forbidden to collect without a permit (my contribution to tautology for
today). This is in the first line dependent on local legislation (which is
not at all homogeneous on this planet). Mostly, the taxa explicitly
mentioned in the appendices of CITES (which is a treaty, not a law) are
protected by law in the countries which have accepted CITES. But many other
locally endangered taxa may be protected additionally, e.g. the only "CITES
taxon" (as far as I remember) which does occur spontaneously in Germany is
Orchidaceae (only p.p., however: the species originally *meant* in CITES
do, of course, not occur here!) but many other taxa growing here (e.g. all
13 native cp species) are also protected by German law.

Your assumption is correct that it is in the most cases forbidden to
collect (even _Taraxacum officinale_) without a permit in national parks or
similarly protected areas.

So first check out the legal situation of the area you intend to sack, then
get a permit if necessary (this is the rate limiting & sometimes $$
consuming step), and finally (just a few years later...) start collecting
(if the species you wanted originally does still exist).

But there are some people (even professional botanists or -worse-
commercial growers) who do not give a damn for permits, and who collect
protected species in protected areas, anyway. And I still bet these do not
even account for 1 % of the loss of biodiversity caused by pollution,
drainage, logging, and similar activities (which are in some of the more
perverse cases even encouraged by legislation!) of our splendid race.

Another problem: How to get a permit to collect taxa which have not yet
been discovered?

Solution: Either
1. you try to formulate some scientific-ish expertise, cite some of your
papers, propose for a permit, and wait for a response (chances to come
through with this are close to 0, anyway if you do not have/buy a buddy in
the relevant office),
2. just forget the legal stuff (this does work in most cases).

Kind regards