As somebody who used to have a front yard with a saguaro cactus, I understand why people pay up to $1,000 for them. Last year the law caught rustlers trying to steal 17 of these Sonoran Desert natives. So the National Park Service in Tucson, Arizona is planning to imbed chips in the cactuses to track them in case the plants go AWOL.
“We would likely not just go out and implant, but would gather data, GPS the locations, and record heights and widths and measures,” [Saguaro National Park chief ranger Bob] Love said. “We probably wouldn’t implant a plant that was not healthy or a desirable plant for someone to steal.”
Nevada chipped some of its barrel cactuses in 1999 to deter theft and help take inventory.