Invasion of the Orchid Snatchers

The story’s been told many times before, e.g. The Orchid Thief, but tragically, it never dies. The BBC has an update on the “Invasion of the orchid snatchers,” collectors who illegally take orchids from the wild. The article includes info about several orchids, including Phrag kovachii, the giant purple lady slipper discovered in Peru in 2001. That tale is one of many which illustrates the sad history of irresponsible orchid collectors, whose greed and selfishness endanger the survival of rare species. Dr. Richard Thomas of Traffic International, a group that monitors wildlife trade, explains “The loss of any one species is a tragedy – the world needs rich biological diversity to survive. Species have taken millennia to evolve, but can be lost in days.” Responsible growers should never take orchids from the wild, or buy wild-collected plants. Purchase only from reputable vendors to enjoy orchids without endangering them. If you’re not sure, ask.

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2 Comments on “Invasion of the Orchid Snatchers”

  1. nancy Says:

    I’m so happy you really talk about conservation and extinction on this blog. These aare issues that everyone needs to talk about. I was traveling in Mexico many years ago near Cancun and there were locals who would take orchids from the jungle and sell them onthe side of the road. It just made me cry to see tourists buy an orchid for their hotel room for a week because I knew those orchids would die. I doubt that jungle has many orchids left today.

  2. Mara Dempsey Says:

    Good for Traffic Internatl for trying to stop this. Its a sobering statement that species can go extinct in just days. So sad…