Orchids Facing Extinction | Ingrini
Something that really breaks my heart is when people don’t respect the ground they walk on and what that means for the future of this beautiful planet.
After reading 32 Orchid Species Feared Extinct in Bangladesh on The Revelator, I felt compelled to share.
What is happening with Orchids?
Orchid species around the world are at risk of eternal extinction because of overzealous exploitation, illegal trade, and habitat destruction. Collectors are known to pay thousands for rare orchids –the trade itself has already driven numerous species extinct and researchers now keep the species locations secret.
The sad reality in Bangladesh
An orchid named Theocostele Alata is one of 32 orchid species that can’t be found in Bangladesh anymore. Another species, Habenaria Viridifolia hasn’t been observed since 1890, and the Spathoglottis Pubescens was last seen in 1999.
According to the article, it is hard to determine exactly when these orchids went extinct in Bangladesh, but they believe it could have happened more than a century ago due to the rapid deforestation.
The loss of local orchid species will affect people. Many are edible or have medicinal qualities.
“Researchers call the loss “alarming” due to the flowers’ ecological uniqueness and their potential medicinal, horticultural and ornamental values.
Experts say the loss of orchid species in Bangladesh embodies similar problems that orchids face around the world.”
The reality is that there are more than 1500 orchid species currently on the IUCN Red List – the international database for threatened species.
Of the 1500 species:
- 195 are assessed as critically endangered
- 349 as endangered
- 185 as vulnerable to extinction
- 74 as near threatened
- another 212 species appear on the list as data deficient – meaning no one knows how well they’re doing in the wild.
The good news
Quite a few of these species have historic ranges in other countries and may still exist there, some have been successfully cultivated in other countries for years.
The Netherlands supplies most of the cut orchids in the Southern European countries, and is at the center of the European flower trade with an exceptional system of traders and logistical service providers to facilitate the trade-in cut flowers. Dutch traders source the orchids from Dutch producers but also re-export these products.
Cut orchids exported to the EU, must:
- comply with the EU legislation on plant health to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms.
- be accompanied by an official “phytosanitary certificate” guaranteeing the phytosanitary conditions of plants and plant products.
- be officially inspected and comply with statutory requirements for entry into the EU.
The loss of such a beautiful species should be a reminder to us all – look after and appreciate every bit of nature around us.
Ingrini would like to give a big thank you to the following sources who provided very insightful information in order to write this post: