Tag Archives: wildlifetrade

Mass Producing to Save Pitcher Plants A Tricky Business

Horticulturists say producing lots of pitcher plants can conserve wild plants. Is it enough though, when ever more new species whet buyers’ appetites?

IN JULY 2023, a Filipino Facebook post appeared advertising the sale of a Malaysian tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes berbulu. What was on sale were seeds, purportedly harvested on July 15. The thing is, this is a newly discovered species of pitcher plant from Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Mountains.

Its existence was made public a mere 4 months earlier in a scientific publication. The plant’s exact location was not disclosed and specimens were also only supposedly collected for research.

(Feature photo:  Flooding the market with affordable propagated Nepenthes helps reduce pressure on wild plants. | Image: Bryan Yong)


Popular Songbird Gets Trade Protection

As regulators tighten international trade of the White-rumped shama, local hunting and captive breeding continue.

“THIS ONE, nine-inch, a Kuala Lumpur champion for more than 5 times,” says Soo Hoo Kok Weng as he points to a bluish-black bird in a cage. The White-rumped shama is popular in bird-singing competitions and Soo Hoo breeds them for this purpose.

But this bird has not sired any chicks after more than a year of pairing. Soo Hoo reckons its previous owner had been feeding it stimulants to win the highly-competitive bird singing competitions. “Its sperm is spoilt,” he says. “That’s the price it has been made to pay.”

But for the species, the price is far higher than that: extinction.

(Photo: Birdkeepers enter their songbirds into competitions for prizes and prestige. Winning competitions also increases the selling price of the bird | Pic by Lee Kwai Han)

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Illegal Export of Blue-legged Tarantula Highlights Biopiracy Woes

She has electric-blue legs and a creamy toffee body. She’s a spider and she has just been named. But the dubious means by which specimens like her end up in scientists’ hands is cause for alarm, as featured in Science by YH Law, with reporting by Erik Stokstad.

Continue reading Illegal Export of Blue-legged Tarantula Highlights Biopiracy Woes