With the campaign of “Clean Internet for Conophytum” in full swing, some enthusiastic volunteers and readers raised questions like “what is the next step if wild Conophytum plants are confiscated?” “which organizations should I turn to if I have wild Conophytum plants in hands and want to give them to reliable conversation groups?” and “can they be taken back to nature or even their homes in South Africa and survive in the wild?”
According an expert in this field, it is unfortunate that wild Conophytum plants which have been recovered in police confiscations from arrested poachers or dealers cannot easily be replanted back to the wild. The exact location where they were poached from is not always known. In addition, because of the difficult conditions, plants may not survive once replanted. The same goes for breeding horticulturally and reintroducing them back into the wild. It has been done with some Lithops in Namibia, but many of these conos germinate and grow in rock fissures or shallow granite pans and atop remote hills and mountains, so how does one replant and nurture them there until established, coping with drought and other opposing forces. There are simply not enough resources to do it. Protection is the same issue with not enough resources to cover these vast areas.
As for “rewilding” with seeds, you would need many thousands. It’s thought that a very small percentage actually survive and grow to maturity even from naturally produced seeds. Even then the authorities are very reluctant to do it due to the perceived risk of introducing unwanted pathogens from cultivation into the natural environment. Some botanists and others in SA don’t trust the purity of material (seeds or plants) produced outside of their botanical gardens.
There really are no easy solutions. And the only way for effective rescue is to stop trading.
Original Chinese Article:
Checked by Daisy
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