Carnivorous plants in the luggage will enrich the botanical garden. However, most did not survive

Carnivorous plants in the luggage will enrich the botanical garden.  However, most did not survive

In a package containing T-shirts, officers of the Masovian National Tax Administration found Nepenthes seedlings. The retained plants are protected under the CITES Convention. Unfortunately, most of the plants could not be saved – they died during the journey.

Customs and Tax Service officers from the Customs and Post Office of the Masovian Customs and Tax Office in Warsaw found 17 pitcher seedlings in a parcel sent in Malaysia. These are carnivorous plants protected by international conventions, primarily under the Washington Convention, known as CITES.

CITES protects those species of animals and plants that have become threatened with extinction due to international trade. Currently over 34 thousand plant species are protected by CITES, including: all species of orchids and cacti.

Deadly beauty and llegal import of CITES specimens

The leaves of these unusual plants have been modified into characteristic jug-shaped traps.

The pitchers have slippery, nectar-secreting edges that allow the insect to be caught inside. Each trap jug is filled with a liquid with digestive properties and equipped with a lid to protect the contents from rain. This is to prevent dilution of the digestive fluid.

Nepenthes attract their victims not only with nectar and scent, but also with the beautiful colors and shapes of their traps. Once the prey falls inside the jug, it has no chance of getting out and is slowly digested.

The import or export of CITES specimens is prohibited unless the person transporting them has the appropriate CITES permits and certificates to do so. Lack of such documents during transport results in the seizure of CITES specimens and is a crime. Attempted smuggling may result in imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years.

The seedlings were donated to the Botanical Garden of the University of Warsaw. Unfortunately, most of the plants died due to unsuitable transport conditions from Malaysia.

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