Implanted radio chips help park rangers protect precious cactus from poachers

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The chips are chiefly deterrents — “it’s keeping the chip in people’s minds,” the ranger said — though he added that plans are in the works to visit nurseries and scan cacti to determine whether they have been chipped, and thus taken illegally.

Technology gives authorities another tool. Mr. Reimer said Google Earth lets authorities see what cacti were growing when photos were taken and whether something is missing.

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