Re: CP sites

From: Toby Marsden (
Date: Sun May 09 1999 - 07:49:08 PDT

Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 15:49:08 +0100
From: "Toby Marsden" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1594$foo@default>
Subject: Re: CP sites

Paul, Chris, et al,

>We have had a discussion here re this subject before so I will not bore
>with the whole content. However, I have stated that publishing maps or
>location sites in a public place is an invitation for plant thieves to
steal the
>plants we care about.
>I hope you'll rethink the idea and maybe keep an unpublished map and
>the fact you have it (even on your web site). Then you can choose who to
>the information with - which will also give you the benefit of specifically
>getting to know those people who ask for your information.

I have to say that I now whole-heartedly support what Paul says, even though
I was the one who first suggested creating a map of CP.

There are 2 anti-map factors that you must be aware of:

* CP's suffer from illegal (and to some extent, legal) collection perhaps
more than any other group of plants (except Orchidaceae), so while it is
certainly true that only a handful of species are threatened by extinction
through trade, when compared with the number facing extermination through
habitat destruction, many species in that handful are carnivorous.

* Most sites that are host to CP's (notably bogs, swamps, marshes) are
delicate and a large number of people sightseeing would destroy them very
quickly indeed.

There are, of course, some factors that appear to work in the opposite
direction, namely:

* Flora Brittanica, Flora Europeae and similar publications give site
specific details of many CP's - I know a trip to my local library could show
me a dozen sites within travelling distance of my house where I may see
CP's. If I wanted to.

* Any herbarium containing CP's would have recorded location details of
plants, or at least type details, even if these were inaccurate/deliberately
misleading. But, of course, security is tight around such places and
information is not disseminated freely.

These arguments aren't, however, compelling to give even more information
out on such fragile sites. So I would now say: We've had all of the
arguments once already, which sent some members of this group (including me)
off to lick their wounds. A map is, generally speaking, NOT a good idea. It
doesn't matter if you are a poacher or not. By the time you have given the
info to someone who *IS* a poacher, it will be too late. Those (responsible)
people who want to see CP's in their habitat can go on 'field' trips with
societies or plan their own expeditions. Competent and genuine people will
find their information from 'proper' sources, without the help of these

Kindest Regards,


Toby Marsden
Herefordshire, UK

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