The Orchid Conservation program the the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens grows Tasmania’s threatened native orchids as insurance populations to prevent extinction, with a focus on species known from single or very small populations. Over the last year I have been part of a small team of scientists and volunteers helping to preserve selected populations of threatened Orchids, helping endangered species to be germinated, grown and nurtured in the lab before being planted out in the wild to rejuvenate endangered populations. Raising awareness about Threatened Species. Such a lovely ,committed bunch of people, such a long way to go…….
Since 2012 this program has been maintained by a group of passionate volunteers with the support of Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, NRM South and Cradle Coast NRM and 1000s of hours of volunteer passion, plus the skills and direction of Dr’s Nigel Swartz and Magali Wright.
We have now got seven of our threatened orchid species growing well in cultivation with some flowering.
As with many threatened species programs our funding is under threat, just when we have the know how to make a real difference to Tasmania’s threatened orchids. Tasmania, despite being home to more than 600 threatened species, has a threatened species section of effectively two full-time positions (one of which is not currently filled). They have an annual budget of about A$5,000, or roughly A$7.14 per species)
The Orchid conservation project is just one area being addressed. There is so much work to be done here and in other areas, but never enough money to go around.
The community of scientists and volunteers that I have had the privilege of working with at the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, is dedicated and does essential work towards recovery of the population of threatened species.