The Seedy World of Plant Poaching, The Walrus

Can one of Canada’s most valuable endangered plants survive another plundering? In this February 19, 2019 article (3 minute read) by The Walrus, “The Seedy World of Plant Poaching,” a light is finally shed onto the illegal trade of Wild American ginseng. It is one of the most well-known herbs in natural medicine coveted for its array of health benefits, from lowering blood sugar levels to reducing stress. Though their plight may not be as newsworthy as that of endangered animals, this rare root is being harvested by poachers, smuggled across borders and illegally sold online. “If we lose those wild populations, maybe we’ll lose something bigger than just a plant… maybe we will lose a drug that can save lives,” says Jean-François Dubois a federal wildlife-enforcement officer. The wild plant population has been in decline for years, but pressure from excessive harvesting and poaching to feed demand in Asia is causing numbers to plummet. A growing environmental consciousness for ethically collected ginseng may be the only option left to save the dwindling root. Visit Canadian Wildlife Federation to learn more about supporting Canada’s endangered plant species like Wild American ginseng and many more!