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Friday, May 29, 2015

Save the Nepenthes

Nepenthes Surantensis

My friend Shawn has spent many years trying to save an endangered plant in southeast asia, Thailand's nepenthes plant. He has been working with the highest echelons of science and government and has done much to help this beautiful plant survive. With single minded focus he has worked to save this entire carnivorous plant genus from extinction.

A few weeks ago, after a series of very positive meetings at Prince of Songkhla University Shawn sent out a press release celebrating some very hard fought victories.
"PSU Trang has set aside 5 rai of the​ last known genetically pure and extremely endangered​ N. mirabilis var globosa colony as a 'total ​ex​clusion zone' for Nep​enthes​ conservation​!​
​PSU Trang has set aside ​a further ​6 rai of the N. mirabilis var globosa colony as an educational​ ​conservation garden​!​
PSU Surat has offered ​use of ​2,700 rai of land ​in Chai Ya ​for Endangered Nepenthes ​species ​​gene banking!
The Department of Corrections has set aside 50 rai of their Kanchanadit prison land as a conservation area​ for the World's very last remaining colony of the critically endangered N. suratensis​!
SEANSRF has PSU's full support of​ all​ Nep​enthes​ research and conservation programs​ in Thailand​ including hosting our first primary school teacher training Science Camp on June 2, 3 &
The Walailak U. study, 'A new classification of Thailand’s Nepenthes species by genetic analysis of AFLP markers' has now been repeated​ (4 times!)​ with 12 Thai species + 1 variety and numerous​ surrounding countries'​ IC ​species, each time confirming the initial results!The PSU preliminary experimental results of the 'Flow Cytometry Identification of Sex of Individual Nepenthes ​​species'​​ ​(N. suratensis) has been a success!​ (Hint; lower pitcher tissues provide the best results!)​
The PSU preliminary experiments on 'Nepenthes Pollen ​storage for ​l​engthened ​​viability' has been a success!​ (we are up to 42 days at 4 degrees Celsius)​
The PSU experiments on 'Creation of Artificial Seeds​​ ​('Synseeds') based on Somatic Embryos with Artificial Endosperm' has been a success!"
I don't know how much you know about botany but in plant speak this guy is really kvelling! Shawn runs a botanical nonprofit called SEANSRF, the Southeast Asian Study and Research Foundation.

Then life decides to give him a fudgie. I get this letter the next day. Talk agony and the ecstasy...

Dear friends,
As much as yesterday's Nepenthes workshop and discussions at Prince of Songkhla University were filled with good news (See below), today's session brought us back down to Earth!

The participating official from Thailand's Department of Corrections informed us that the 'far-off' construction of the new prison complex on the site of the World's last remaining N. suratensis colony will actually begin in about 2 weeks with clearing of the site by bulldozers! Without immediate action, this almost assures the extinction of Thailand's N. suratensisspecies.
I have posted an appeal for assistance on a few of the Nepenthes forums on the internet and rather than repeat it all here I will just pass you the link in hopes you will take a few minutes to read through it.

Anything you can do to assist us in this matter will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time!
Shawn Mayes
Secretariat - SEANSRF

Wow, talk about a left hook. If you prefer to read something about it in thai, click here.

This no joke. Shawn needs our help. He needs signatures. Let's figure out a way to help him achieve his life's work, not have the remaining plants and habitat lost to a prison. Forward this information to anyone you know that is interested in saving rare species, ecology and even Thailand. 

I asked Shawn if I could help.

SURE! request people not get negative with comments on government or prison... Need to keep the cooperation I'm now getting going!  Thanks!  Shawn

Shawn, where is the link to the Change.Org petition?


"...trying to save an entire endangered plant Genus...Shawn

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