Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paphiopedilum stonei - species under attack


This limestone species is found only in southwest Sarawak, around the Kuching division. Because of its limited distribution and specific habitat requirements, along with endless unchecked collecting of hundreds of plants by selfish parties, they are difficult to see now in the wild.


It will not come as a surprise to me if almost all of the plants in Bau’s limestone hills have been stripped clean by poachers. Most of them often end up in the international market, where high prices and profits drive greed and fuel this ongoing problem (plants are sold at cheap prices locally but I won’t be surprise if they fetch a hundred times more internationally). High cliffs do offer some protection to a few plants but cliffs are no match for greedy human beings.


To see these plants bloom in the wild is incomparable to seeing them bloom in a pot. Hopefully the remaining ones in the wild will always be protected from orchid poachers or rescued for ex-situ conservation if they are in the path of development. I think Australia is a country with some notable laws protecting their wild native plants. A lot of effort clearly has been put in to safeguard their national treasures. As long as it doesn’t turn into nazi-style military-style policing, I’m all for stricter measures against poachers and the export of our rare species.


Here are some older pictures from my collection of this highly endangered slipper orchid, Paphiopedilum stonei growing and flowering in nature. Enjoy the pictures and comment below if you like!















Thanks for viewing!


Corbin Fletcher said...

Very nice looking, healthy population of species...are these plants still in this location?

sarawaklens said...

Corbin, I haven't been back there for a really long time so I honestly don't know. But I hope they're still there!

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