Re: CP digest 280
Thu, 9 Mar 1995 22:49:54 -0500

There was a reply to a letter asking about the legalities of collecting
plants in Sulawesi. The actually legalities of CITES are that seed of CITES 2
taxa are as far as I know exempt. CITES 1 taxa (rajah, khasiana) would
require import and export permits. HOWEVER seed may fall under other laws
both of the U.S. (USDA) and the country of origin. This should be
investagated before any (expensive) trip is planned.

The ethical question is a seperate one from the legal question. Nepenthes are
lianas often associated with disturbed habitats, road cuts, landslide areas,
etc. If the CITES laws could be ammended to allow for a limited number of
cuttings per permit holder/per species/per year it would do relatively little
harm to the population considering the way these plants grow by producing
basal rosettes in responce to the meristem being cut. But failing this
unlikely sane response of government, the best way to collect is by seed. The
fact is that a single raceme of say, N. lowii, could supply the entire world
demand, especially if put into tissue culture. One problem to be worked out
is the high mortality rate of seedlings when not grown in tissue culture, if
that is accomplished a few racemes could again satisfy the demand.

Let's face it there is just not the huge demand for these plants that exists
for orchids and cacti, otherwise I would see them at Home Depot and K-mart
(next to the orchids and cacti!). These plants are far more in danger from
slash and burn agriculture that gets out of control and logging, then they
ever were from collectors.

In 1992 I made a visit to Thailand and Singapore, upon trying to land in
Singapore we decended through what seemed to be thick clouds. We later
learned that it was actually the smoke of either Kalimantan or Sumatra, both
of which were experiencing drought and wildfires that consumed hundreds of
thousands of acres. N. campbelliana seems to be a casualty of these fires,
the type locality of N. clipeata was also burned over. So I for one do not
have a problem with limited collection of Nepenthes, especially seed, in fact
the sooner the better for the sake of the survival of the genus. Just try to
obey the laws.