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Extinction Countdown

Rare British orchid gets police protection from overzealous collectors

the lady

Police protection for a plant? It makes sense if it’s one of the last wild examples of its species and collectors are willing to pay rhino horn–level prices for its flowers. That’s the situation for the lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus). Just a few of the wildflowers remain in Britain following decades of habitat loss [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World’s rarest tree gets some help

The last wild Pennantia baylisiana tree

The tree species known only as Pennantia baylisiana could be the rarest plant on Earth. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records once called it that. Just a single tree exists in the wild, on one of the Three Kings Islands off the coast of New Zealand, where it has sat, alone, since 1945. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The fly’s revenge: Are cadmium-contaminated insects killing endangered meat-eating plants?

white-topped pitcher plant

Around the world carnivorous plants are on the decline, the victims of habitat loss, illegal poaching and pollution. But now a new factor has come to light: The very insects the plants rely on for food may be poisoning them. According to new research by Christopher Moody and Iain Green of Bournemouth University in England, [...]

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