I don't need any Mary's roots! I want snowdrops!

Flowers from the Red Book

Every year, illegal trade in primroses begins on makeshift counters near the metro and crossings. The scale of this disaster has reached such proportions that it is now the main reason for the decline in the number of snowdrops, cyclamens and some other early flowering plants.

This is because when they are poached, the daughter bulbs that form at the time of flowering are injured - they are simply trampled down.Thus, not only the plucked plant is destroyed, but also the whole family, which could subsequently grow in this area. As a result, the populations of cyclamen, snowdrop and other wild flowers are on the verge of extermination, and their growing areas have significantly decreased, especially in places where people live.

Operation Primrose

To combat flower poaching, Operation Primrose is held annually in April-May. Its goal is to stop illegal collection, import and trade of plants listed in the Red Book. The operation is attended by Rosprirodnadzor, state and public environmental organizations, law enforcement and regulatory bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. More than 30 thousand wild plants are seized annually within the framework of the Primrose.

Punishment of traders and buyers

For illegal collection and sale, for example, of lilies of the valley and snowdrops, the legislation establishes administrative responsibility. In addition, the violator must compensate for the damage caused to nature, which is calculated from 300 to 900 rubles for one shoot of a herbaceous (flowering) plant. In the event of aggravating circumstances - the sale, purchase or shipment of a plant in the Red Data Book - payments for damage caused will be increased threefold.

At the federal level (the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation), this liability occurs in accordance with article 8.35 "Destruction of rare and endangered species of animals or plants" with a fine of up to 5 thousand rubles to citizens. But regional legislation, for example, in Moscow (Article 4.20 of the Administrative Code of Moscow) imposes a fine of up to three thousand rubles, both on the seller and on the buyer for the sale and purchase of plants listed in the Red Book.

If, in the process of illegal collection, for example, snowdrops, their place of growth is destroyed, then in this case, criminal liability arises (Article 259 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), which threatens the offender with a term of imprisonment of up to three years.

What if you see primroses being sold?

The sale of spring primroses is illegal, and it is the duty of every citizen to help curb this harmful practice. To do this, it is necessary, upon finding a place for such a trade in the Red Book of plants, to apply with a statement:

  • to the police,
  • to the authorized state body in the field of environmental protection (for example, in Moscow it is the Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection of the city of Moscow) or
  • to the Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor).


All of these agencies have the power to initiate administrative proceedings and impose fines, but the police usually respond most quickly.

How to write a statement

The appeal should specify the following as accurately as possible:

  1. At what address is illegal trade carried out, and if this happens at the exit from the metro, both the exit itself and the addresses of nearby buildings should be described,
  2. What plants were traded
  3. What time did the illegal trade take place?


The duty of the police is to suppress the commission of an unlawful act when a signal is received, therefore, theoretically, law enforcement agencies should even respond to a call and immediately go to the scene of the crime.


However, if you look at the world realistically, given that the trade in lilies of the valley and snowdrops is carried out for more than one day, it is enough to ensure that law enforcement agencies respond to a written appeal and be sure to ensure that the necessary operational measures are taken. If the police fail to act, it is necessary to appeal it to the higher authorities or the prosecutor's office, indicating when the appeal was filed and the fact that the trade is still ongoing.





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