Re: Habitat loss
Sun, 16 Apr 1995 21:35:43 -0400

In regards to the plant smuggling issue, it is regrettable the laws cannot be
amended regarding legal collection. Unregulated collection in the past may
have done damage, however the real threat is habitat destruction, and
especially fire. N. neglecta was destroyed by human habitation of Labuan. N.
campanulata is likely extinct, the habitat burned over, N. clipeata is now
known only in cultivation (again from fire, but also collection), N. khasiana
is fortunately common in cultivation but its habitat is threated, N. alata is
rare or now gone from Cebu Island if reports are true. Seed collection,
especially in vitro, is one of the answers in preservation, but many
expensive expeditions find no seed. For those species that are still
relatively common it is unfortunate that CITES regulations could not be eased
for LIMITED collection of cuttings only, without the red tape. With hundreds
of thousands of acres of S.E. Asia going up in smoke during every drought,
cultivation may be the only place certain species can be maintained, at least
in the short term.

Human pressure is indeed the problem. I hope that salvaging the species will
eventually take priority over regulations.