Internationally, there is concern about the decline of orchids as seen in the resolutions passed in May 2016 at the International Orchid Conservation Congress Conference. In Australia, there are many orchid conservation projects in progress both in situ and ex situ.
The following are some examples of the varied work being done around the country by volunteers, orchid enthusiasts, ecologists, conservationists, academics and government departments.
- From Western Australia, “Research which germinated plantlets from orchid seed ‘surrogates’ has boosted the survival prospects of threatened terrestrial orchids. The advancement means seeds from rare orchids can be preserved and the surrogates used for research into the many factors endangering them.”
- From New South Wales, the Wild Orchids Project in the Murraylands is working to ensure the long term survival of three endangered orchid species.
- From Tasmania, “Research conducted by Drs Nigel Swarts and Magali Wright at the RTBG, is aiming to improve the conservation status of Tasmania’s most threatened orchids through a range of projects involving collaborations with community groups, NRM regions and other funding bodies.” The also have a Facebook page to help keep people informed about what is happening not only in Tasmania but also in other parts of the country.
- From Victoria, work headed by Dr Noushka Reiter of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has seen the propagation of threatened orchids from seed returned to their habitats.
And here in South Australia there are also various projects. Dr Noushka Reiter is also working with the South Australian Seedbank to help propagate four of our very threatened orchids. Members of the Native Orchid Society are assisting as also are Paul Beltrame (teacher) and students from Kildare College through the Orchid in Schools Project.