native orchid book. Acknowledging the Wellington region as one of New Zealand's "orchid hotspots", the Department of Conservation has produced a
field guide identifying 72 species of wild orchids in the lower North Island...
The book was launched on September 4...
"We want to inspire people to head out and explore the region's parks and reserves while searching for orchids that, once found, can be left for others to enjoy," said Department of Conservation [DOC] botanist John Sawyer, who co-authored the book with Peter de Lange, one of New Zealand's
leading plant conservation scientists; photographer and botanist Jeremy Rolfe, and national orchid expert Ian St George.
"DOC is interested in orchids because, while much of the global interest is in the cultivation of exotic forms and varieties, there is also the most
important work of protecting wild populations, Mr Sawyer said. "Wetlands, dunes and forests continue to be degraded through development, drainage and
the effects of exotic animals and weeds so the need to protect wild orchids becomes ever more pressing," he said.
Mr Sawyer said Wellington was a hotspot for orchids because of its huge diversity of habitat types and ecosystems, ranging from the dry eastern
Wairarapa terrain, to sub-alpine areas and wetlands, estuaries, and the coast. "More than 70 percent of New Zealand's orchids occur in Wellington...
"We encourage the public to keep an eye out for wild orchids and let us know if they see anyone removing plants from the wild," Mr Sawyer
said... DOC is working with landowners, councils, iwi and community groups to protect nationally threatened orchids at key sites."
photo : [caption : A decade in the making, Wild