Published January 08, 2015
The venus flytrap's struggle for survival in the wild along coast of the Carolinas faces an added threat from poachers looking to make a buck by uprooting and selling them.
North Carolina wildlife enforcement officer Matt Criscoe says three people were arrested this week and charged with uprooting an endangered species without permission, a misdemeanor. Criscoe says they took about 200 plants, which they expected to sell for about 10 cents apiece.
A spokeswoman for the nonprofit group The Nature Conservancy says that roadside stands sell the plants for about $15 each.
The species grows wild only in the sandy soils within about 100 miles of the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina.