Why is the needle palm protected by the government?

mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)August 20, 2012

I am curious. If the needle palm is endangered in the wild, yet common in peoples gardens(especially way up north), why is it protected? With people actually wanting to grow palms in, for example, my zone and the needle palm is their only option, those people are obviously going to grow that palm willingly. Thus it isn't going to go extinct. So I don't understand why it's protected. Even if it goes extinct in the wild, with people growing them in their yards and gardens, there is still a likely hood that someone will plant the seeds in the wild where it will grow and flourish again. So, if you can tell me why they protect it, that would be great. I'm just curious. Thanks in advanced.

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lindenska

Sorry I don't have your answer, but this is the same thing that goes on in the aquarium trade too. As an example, I'll read about a species of fish (ie. White cloud mountain minnow) that is endangered in its natural habitat, but bred by everyone all over the world. Like your needle example, anyone can breed them then release them in their natural habitat, but since they are endangered in their original habitat, they stay on the list.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:48AM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

So the list is meant for the wild? It's not used for general purposes?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:00AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Think of seeing a snow leopard in the zoo and seeing one in the wild. Just because they are living in zoos is no reason to allow people to kill them in the wild. Yes, that's an extreme analogy because we don't all keep them as house pets, but I'm trying to explain the concept.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

The reason is because the plant(s) have become endangered in their natural environment due to harvesting for trade. When you remove a species of... anything from an ecosystem, you upset the balance that Mother Nature has worked tirelessly for millions of years to create. The Needle Palm might be very common in the Trade, but the critters that depend on them aren't in the Trade, they're sitting in an area going, "Wait, I swear my home was RIGHT here..."

Wild Palmetto Palms and Coonties are protected here in Florida, but the ones in the trade and being bred by nurseries are fair game.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:06PM
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subtropix

Consider too that this particular species along with many other palms is dioecious. That means it is either male or female, growing it out of its natural range will probably means it is unlikely to produce fertile seed without a male pollinator nearby. Asex. reproduction fine but they will all be clones and the strength and survival of he species depends on genetic variability as much as the absolute numbers of individuals. We see this problem with ginko trees. Very little genetic variation among among the trees grown in North America to begin with then too only males are usually planted so the species really cannot be said to be secure even if you see them everywhere. If a species is on the threatened or endangered list, you can be sure that there is good reason for it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:19PM
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lindenska

Yes, I believe it is for the natural environment. The species' health in their natural habitat regardless of their proliferation around the world.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:58PM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

Okay, that's a good explanation. I didn't understand until now. I totally forgot about the Needle palm being male or female. lol I even forgot the fact that it's nearly impossible for mother nature to propagate these palms via vegetative reproduction. So now I understand. Thanks :-)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:01AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
What would be your system of classification?? Wouldn't you have to use the natural range ?? If a plant is growing outside it's origin wouldn't it jhave to be considered "invasive.? The total number of species is at least twice the known classified numbers.How would you keep track of them?? gary

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:03AM
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InsanePalmNinja

I Thought about putting Needles and Sabal minors in the park and see How long People would Notice it. lol.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:23PM
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