ENDANGERED SPECIES: THE PITCHER PLANT

Do your part to protect this killer plant!!

pitcher_20090811191343_320_240.JPGpitcher-plant.jpg

History and Basic Information

  • the pitcher plant is one of the few carnivorous plants, meaning it feeds on living organisms for its primary source of nutrients
  • inside the cone of the pitcher plant is a acidic liquid that traps and digests flies and other small bugs that make their way into the "mouth" mouth of the pitcher plant. The bugs are often attracted to the unique shape or the interesting colors of the plant.
  • Some species of pitcher plants will have mutualistic relationships with insect larvae. When an insect gets caught in the pitcher plant, the larvae will feed on it. The plant will then extract the nutrients it needs from the larvae excrement.

Niche and Endangerment Pressure

  • All species of the pitcher plant live from along the east coast of North American ranging from Southeast Canada to the south of Florida
  • The pitcher plant grows in sunny swamp-like areas that have low soil nutrition. Because the pitcher plant feeds on other organisms, it doesn't need to extract nutrients from the ground.
  • The declining pitcher plant population is primarily due to a loss of habitat. Swamps and wetlands are constantly being filled in with dirt and converted into residential areas.
  • Invasive plants such as Japanese honeysuckle and kudzu have taken over whats left of the pitcher plant's territory and completely choked it out. When these plants take over an area, it is virtually impossible for anything else to grow.

Laws for Protection

  • There is very little being done in the court system for the preservation of the pitcher plant.
  • Most preservation is done privately because the pitcher plant can be grown in pots at home.
  • In a bill passed by George W. Bush entitled the Florida Forever Program, 3 billion dollars will be given to the state of Florida over 10 years to ensure the protection of environmentally sensitive land.

Sources


Anonymous. "CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES: Unique North American pitcher plants
are threatened by habitat loss, herbicides, and invasive species." The
Conservation Report. N.p., 26 Sept. 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
<http://conservationreport.com/2010/09/26/
critically-endangered-species-unique-north-american-pitcher-plants-are-threatened
-by-habitat-loss-herbicides-and-invasive-species/>.

- - -. "Protection Expands for Rare Pitcher Plant." Florida DEP. N.p., 18 Nov.
2004. Web. 14 Oct. 2010. <http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2004/
oct/1026_03.htm>.

Mentzer, Alissa Pond. "Pitcher Plant Habitat ." Ehow. N.p., 21 Sept. 2009. Web.
14 Oct. 2010. <http://www.ehow.com/
about_5436514_pitcher-plant-habitat.html>.