Beauty Drives Orchids Towards Extinction

A distressing study of Asian orchid species reports that many are threatened with extinction. Habitat destruction, deforestation, and illegal sales of wild plants are destroying these beauties. The Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia inspected Thai flower markets, and found hundreds of endangered species for sale. Even though it’s illegal to sell these plants taken from the wild, the laws are almost never enforced. The study’s authors have called for better monitoring of these species, and improved enforcement of conservation laws.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also has a sad update that almost all Asian Lady Slipper orchid species are highly endangered. It’s not all bad news, however. Conservation efforts to save some threatened animal species, such as the Iberian Lynx and Guadalupe Fur Seal, are succeeding, and this proves that these efforts do work. Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General, said “But this update is also a wake-up call, reminding us that our natural world is becoming increasingly vulnerable. The international community must urgently step up conservation efforts if we want to secure this fascinating diversity of life that sustains, inspires and amazes us every day.”

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