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Catching cactus criminals. (Stateline).

Thieves are raiding the Chihuahuan Desert's rare cacti, and the ecosystem is suffering. Demand for wild cactus and succulent plants is growing rapidly. Since cactus grows so slowly, those who want larger specimens are increasingly looking to wild sources. The Chihuahuan Desert--which spreads from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas into Mexico--is one of the most biologically diverse deserts in the world and is home to almost a quarter of the known 1,500 cactus species. In Texas, laws permit landowners to harvest cacti from their property or give others permission to do so. But in Arizona, strict laws make cactus harvesting illegal, thus driving cactus rustlers across to Texas.
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Title Annotation:theft of cacti
Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:109
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