Battling to Save Orchids in Assam, India

The state of Assam in northeastern India is full of hundreds of orchid species. In fact, Assam’s official flower is the Foxtail Orchid, a Rhynchostylis known in Assamese as kopou phool. Sadly, native orchids have been disappearing, destroyed by deforestation, erosion, overgrazing, and the illegal plant trade. Some native orchid species cannot be found in Assam’s jungles anymore. Fortunately, a few orchid lovers are starting to take action. First, they connected on social media. Recently, they founded the Orchid Society of Assam to promote orchid conservation. By learning more about their native species and how to propagate them, they hope to protect them. In addition, Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park was opened a few years ago. The small park has already become a tourist attraction, and boasts 500 orchid varieties.

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