South Africa


Plants on the black market: Inside South Africa’s new poaching problem

The police’s Springbok Stock Theft and Endangered Species unit confiscated more than 5,500 conophytum plants on 1 February 2022. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks)

More than 1.5 million rare succulents have been removed from the wild in the past three years.

Rare succulents in the most arid province in South Africa are being poached and illegally exported to Asia. Little is known about the plants once they leave the country. GroundUp spoke to police officials, Northern Cape locals, a nursery manager, and conservationists and people connected to poaching to get to the bottom of the black market trade in these plants. DM

First published by GroundUp.


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