Native CA coastal plants smuggling

Keep an eye out on our coastal bluffs for this activity:

Here is the original story by Lisa Krieger, and it is more thorough, better written, and has  the photos.

Smugglers Caught Trafficking Thousands Of Stolen California Succulents

“SANTA CRUZ (KPIX) – A group of people smuggling succulent plants were busted in Northern California.

Wildlife detectives from several agencies made three separate busts along the north coast in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.

Rare and native plants were pulled from the soil and shipped overseas.

It was an international smuggling ring that was trafficking not in guns or drugs, but native California succulent plants called Dudleyas.

“Pretty unusual case for us,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy. “Like nothing we’ve seen before in terms of the scale and the type of poaching involved.”

California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators busted up the ring in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, where they say poachers were scaling coastal bluffs to rip the plants out of the ground by the thousands.

They would then allegedly ship them to China and Korea where they would be sold on the black market for $40 to $50 each.”

For the rest of the article and the video, go here:


6 thoughts on “Native CA coastal plants smuggling

  1. Hi Kate,

    Apologies – would it be an inconvenience to link to the original story, which I wrote for Bay Area News Group on Thursday?

    It has more detail, and was chased by other media (KPIX, CBS, etc).

    Thank you! Proud of it, and any traffic helps make the case to editors for similar/continued coverage

    Best, Lisa

    *Lisa Krieger* Science and research reporter | Editorial 408-859-5306 Direct @lisamkrieger *Over 5 million engaged readers weekly*

  2. I did, Lisa. Apologies, I did not know you wrote the original article, which is much better and so well written. I am adding it to the FB post as well.

  3. wow – so sad. My mind immediately went to what some may consider “cruel and unusual punishment”… Have them replant them in “difficult to safely reach” areas. Sheer cliffs, under active slides (we’ve got a few of those) etc. wearing mis-matched high heels… one 3 sizes too big and the other one size too small…and NO they CAN’T kick them off. My first thought was no safety ropes but I guess I would allow it if they actually got the plants back where they belong. But they would have to do their own tie offs, (maybe to each other?). No assist from “officials”… they’ve wasted enough of their time and have more important things to do.

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