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Rare carnivorous plant spotted in Wisconsin for the first time in 40 years

Posted at 9:26 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 10:30:50-04

ASHLAND COUNTY, Wis. -- Volunteers with the Wisconsin DNR's Rare Plant Monitoring Program (RPMP) recently spotted a rare carnivorous plant in the state for the first time in 40 years.

The English sundew (Drosera anglica) was spotted in Ashland County last year thanks to the result of teamwork by RPMP volunteers Don and Judy Evans and the Northland College students of Dr. Sarah Johnson, according to a news release from the DNR.

While the sundew's re-discovery is thrilling, RPMP also documented 59 never-before-seen plant populations in Wisconsin. You can see the group's annual report, which details all of those discoveries, right here.

“This is the most productive year we’ve ever had from the standpoint of volunteers finding rare plants in new locations,” said Kevin Doyle, a DNR Natural Heritage Conservation botanist who coordinates the program. “These new discoveries are very exciting. They help increase our understanding of the number and locations of rare plant species so we can better monitor and protect them.”

The RPMP was founded in 2013. Volunteers are trained and sent to check on "the health and size of rare native plant populations," the DNR says. The program is the largest source of rare plant data in Wisconsin.

“The information these trained volunteers collect for us is critical for understanding how rare plant populations are doing in Wisconsin and informs our next steps like research projects or management action to sustain these rare plants,” Doyle said.

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