Plant collection by people has caused a decline in many species and plant communities. In some cases collection has been out of scientific interest. For example, botanists collect specimens to be deposited in a herbarium to provide a record of a species occurrence at a particular site. In other cases collection has been for human use. For example, Captain James Cook, when he arrived in New Zealand after a voyage of several weeks from Tahiti, ordered that ‘scurvy grass’ or a herb of the mustard and cabbage family, be collected and loaded onto the boat to be fed to his crew to prevent them from developing scurvy or vitamin C deficiency. More recently people have collected wood roses (Dactylanthus taylorii) for use in decorative carving. In both cases plant collection has led to species decline. The Network logo, Trilepidea adamsii (Adam’s mistletoe), is now almost certainly extinct due to repeated collection by botanists from sites near Auckland. Collecting native plants in the wild should only be done with a permit from the person or agency that owns or manages the land on which the species grows.
For more information about acquiring collection permits:
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