Save the Venus Flytraps
Venus flytraps, found only in the wild in southeastern North Carolina, are endangered, and you can help.
Contributed by Tara Moore
Most people know of the Venus flytrap — the iconic carnivorous plant that traps insects in its leaves — but few ever see it in the wild. These fascinating plants only appear naturally within a 60- to 70-mile radius of Wilmington, North Carolina, and they are at risk of becoming extinct.
Sadly, you can walk into pretty much any garden or pet store in the United States and find one for sale. Poachers uproot the plant, strip off the trap and take just the root bulb. More than 100 can fit in the palm of a hand. Poachers fill their pockets or small coolers with flytraps and sell them wholesale for about a quarter each.
Poaching isn’t the only reason for the plant’s decline. They’re also at risk of extinction because development is draining their bog habitats. Roughly 70 percent of historic flytrap habitat is gone.
Protecting what’s left is critical to their survival.
North Carolina Wildlife Federation and its Carolina Beach-based Island Wildlife Chapter are partnering with Carolina Beach State Park to restore flytrap habitat. Later this month, we’ll plant flytraps, moss and pitcher plants at the park. We’re also installing educational signs to raise awareness about Venus flytraps in the wild, the reason for their decline and how people can help.
Want to help?
Habitat restoration at Carolina Beach State Park and awareness building costs are estimated at $12,000. More than $5,500 has already been raised through the generous support of an individual donor and the fundraising efforts of Island Wildlife Chapter. Your gift will help raise the additional $6,500 needed for this special habitat restoration and awareness building project.
An investment of $35, $50, $100 or more can help plant more Venus flytraps and restore their bog habitat at Carolina Beach State Park. Donate here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12185&id=271