Nepenthes rigidifolia is not yet listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, however a provisional evaluation classes this species as ‘Critically Endangered’. Known only from a single location in Sumatra, Indonesia, this spectacular carnivorous pitcher plant produces mottled brown and yellowish green pitchers up to 21 cm tall and 8 cm wide, borne from unique, rigid leaves from which it receives its name. The traps of this plant are home to a wide range of dependant animals, including mosquito larvae and other arthropods.
Only 24 specimens of this ultra-rare plant species were ever discovered in the wild, all outside of national parks and nature reserves. Unfortunately, that small number has been decimated by poaching and habitat destruction, and a recent survey confirmed just two individuals surviving in the wild today.
To safeguard against complete extinction, multiple strains of Nepenthes rigidifolia are preserved through an ex-situ conservation strategy (i.e., conservation outside their natural habitat), with the hope that protection and restoration of its habitat may save this critically rare species, and the ecosystem of miniature life that it supports.
If you live in Orange County, here is a great volunteer event for you.
ROOTS, restoration events, one Saturday each month 9-12pm:
Volunteers help remove invasives species and plant natives in order to provide habitat for wildlife. Training, tools, refreshments, camaraderie and beautiful scenery are provided. All ages welcome!
Bring a water bottle, sturdy shoes, and sun protection. Restoration sites vary around the Bay.
Reservations are recommended, especially during the school year when events can fill up a month or two in advance. Please contact Matt Yurko at email@example.com or (949) 640-0286
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