Venus Flytrap habitat endangered
Fri, 10 Oct 2008 19:59:40 GMT —
You've heard of the Venus Flytrap plant. Maybe you've seen one for sale in a beachwear store.
You probably didn't know, the only place where you can find it in the wild is right here close to home. But, commercial development is putting the tiny plant in danger.
Take a good look at the Venus Flytrap while you still can.
"It's getting more rare. It's habitat is endangered," said Coastal Carolina University Biologist, James Luken.
To discourage poachers, we've agreed not to reveal the location where these plants are growing. But the only place in the world where the Venus Flytrap is found in the wild, is within about a 50-mile radius of Myrtle Beach.
"Most of the newcomers, people who've moved here from other places, have no idea this plant is here," said Luken. He added that these days it's almost impossible to find the plant outside of a nature preserve.
Most of the places where it used to grow are now golf courses or housing developments.
Long a favorite of grade school science classes because of its ability to capture bugs, the Flytrap is not listed as endangered, but Luken said, it does need to be protected.
"Having more people and maybe more funds allocated to maintaining these unique biological resources we have in the state would be a good idea."
Luken doesn't believe it would cost developers much to set aside land to save the Flytrap. "There are things developers and landscape architects can do to make little patches of habitat that's still viable for a plant like this. The problem is, we just haven't had the will or the impetus to do something like that."
Luken said biologists from all over the world come to Horry County to see the Flytrap in the wild, but it's getting harder to find.
Despite its name, Venus Flytraps capture mostly ants and spiders... very few flies.