Nepenthes rigidifolia is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. Known only from a single location in North Sumatra Province, Indonesia, this spectacular carnivorous pitcher plant may be the closest to extinction in the wild at present of all the Nepenthes species.
Only 24 specimens of this extremely rare plant species were ever discovered in the wild, all outside of national parks and nature reserves. Unfortunately, that small number has been decimated by poaching and habitat destruction, and a recent survey confirmed just two individuals surviving in the wild today. The traps of this plant are home to a wide range of dependant animals, including mosquito larvae and other arthropods.
Over-collection of plants from the wild represents a significant threat to this species, and its rarity is likely to raise the value and appeal considerably for collectors. To safeguard against complete extinction, multiple strains of Nepenthes rigidifolia are preserved through an ex-situ conservation strategy (i.e., conservation outside their natural habitat), with the hope that protection and restoration of its habitat may save this critically rare species, and the ecosystem of miniature life that it supports.