Seeds Smuggled from Mexico May Cause Extinctions
When we think of global threats of extinction, exotic animals usually come to mind. But many rare plants also are at risk of disappearing forever. And that is a major concern as plants are the foundation of all food chains.
Few scientific studies have ever examined plant species facing extinction – until now. Biologists from across the Americas have produced the first full assessment of cacti species. It found nearly one-third of these desert plants face extinction.
Correspondent Franc Contreras takes us to a special botanical garden in Mexico, dedicated to conserving rare and threatened cactus species.
Researchers who conducted the cactus extinction study say cactus seeds are illegally taken to Europe and are often planted in green houses and nurseries. Once the exotic and endangered desert plants begin to grow, they are sold as expensive home ornaments.
Check out Franc’s report from the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve in the state of Puebla, Mexico.
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