In terrible news for the day, the majority of a wild population of Venus Fly Traps were dug up and stolen in North Carolina, as well as some Sarracenia and Drosera. More than 1,000 Venus flytraps stolen from Wilmington's Alderman Park. Although the value was stated at $20,000, it really isn't about the financial value of the plants stolen. Genetic diversity and a healthy population size is what keeps plants like this from going extinct. The selfishness and nearsightedness of people who take plants from the wild is astounding. I'm a big fan of the phrase, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints."
I know it's not quite the same to buy a cheap tissue cultured plant from the local store as to have a seed grown plant. However, VFT seed is cheap and readily available too, it just takes some patience to have full grown flowering plants. My typical flytrap is from a place called Fly-Trap Farm. It was pointed out to me not that long ago that this business pays people with "collector's permits," to wild collect their VFTs,.(See Article: Rare Plants A Solid Niche Market.) I don't really care about collector's permits and whether these plants were legally obtained or not. I wouldn't have bought a flytrap from them if I knew it was wild collected at all. The ICUN Red List has Dionaea musculpula listed as "Vulnerable", let's not make such a beautiful and unique plant any worse off please. Buy seeds or buy a tissue cultured plant, make sure you're dealing with reputable and sustainable sources for your plants. I wouldn't be surprised if these stolen plants start popping up on ebay or other sites. Why would you need, and risk getting caught digging up protected plants at a park for that many VFT's if there wasn't some sort of profit involved.