Venus Flytrap Relocations, A Win-Win Situation

ESI recently completed an onsite relocation of Venus flytraps for a client in southeastern North Carolina.  This relocation allowed our client to complete their development goals for the property and also protect valuable natural resources.  Projects like these are a win-win situation - balancing development interests and rare plants and natural communities.

The Venus flytrap is North Carolina’s most recognizable carnivorous plant in part to its highly modified leaves that function as a trap for insects.  The native worldwide range for Venus flytrap is limited to a few counties in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina.  The habitat for Venus flytrap includes wet to moist soil areas associated with pine savannas.   This species is considered to be in decline throughout its range due to habitat loss and over collection, with more urban areas being especially vulnerable. 

The Venus flytrap is not afforded federal protection, but is afforded limited state protection that controls collection, relocation, and commercial sales of individual plants.  While development impacts to this species are not currently regulated, this species is being evaluated for future federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

Voluntary efforts to protect existing populations of the Venus flytrap assist in stabilizing this species and prevent the need for future federal listing that would place federal regulation on the development of sites that contain suitable habitat for this species.

During the course of ESI’s evaluation, a total of 573 individual Venus flytrap were identified on the property.  An estimated 478 individual Venus flytrap were relocated from areas proposed for construction to areas on the property outside of the proposed construction limits.  The remaining Venus flytrap are located in areas of the property not planned for development. 

The relocated Venus flytrap and those identified outside of the construction areas on the property will not be impacted by future construction.  It is anticipated that the Venus flytrap will remain as a stable community component in the project study area.

Article written by: Matt Smith, Project Manager, ESI

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