A gardner works at a Cycad Garden in Walter Sisulu National Botonical garden in Roodeport.Because of the increasing rate of Cycad plant theft, the Garden has since Microchipped its 350 Cycad plants as a security from theives. Picture: Paballo Thekiso

New regulations came into effect this week banning the trade and export of rare and protected cycad species.

According to a notice in the government gazette on Monday (May 14) it is now an offence to collect, pluck, uproot or destroy any wild specimens of Encephalartos (cycad) plants which had been listed as threatened or protected species.

The notice said it was also illegal to export or receive these plants, or to relocate them without a permit. The possession of protected cycads was also prohibited, unless the owner had acquired a permit prior to the publication of the latest gazette.

Further restrictions had also been placed on the ex- port of artificially propagated species, including E caffer, E humilis, E cupidus, E cerinus and E Ngoyanus.

For more information, contact Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.