Orchids are in danger of extinction

Orchids are the largest family of plants in the world and now they are in danger of extinction as a result of deforestation

Orchids are in danger of extinction
Deforestation is putting Mexican orchids at risk- Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
English 19/02/2019 13:14 EFE Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas Actualizada 16:52
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Besides being one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, orchids contributed to pollination but they are currently in danger in Mexico because of deforestation in the southern region in the country.

Chiapas, in southern Mexico, is one of the states with the richest orchids variety, as well as Oaxaca. Both states have the largest number of plants from the Orchidaceae family in Mexico, said Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher, a researcher.

In Chiapas, they have registered 723 orchid species, which is 60% of the species in the country.

The species is among the most evolved plant family because of its sophisticated mechanisms that ensures pollination.

The expert explained that the orchids are one of the most diverse and rich families. They are divided into two types: terrestrial and epiphytes. Terrestrial orchids are grown on earth and epiphyte orchids grow on trees, stones, or sticks.

In Chiapas, around 200 species are terrestrial and 500 other species are epiphytes.

Unfortunately, all these richness of orchids are in danger of extinction, said the expert, who demanded that the authorities take “strong actions in favor of the environment before the spaces where the enigmatic orchids live end up deforested and make room for a kind of desert.”

“There is, unfortunately, a process of destruction of nature. In Chiapas, it's calculated that we lose between 40,000 and 50,000 hectares of original vegetable soil per year, therefore, we have lost around 75% of the original area,” he said.

He also said that the Mexican government has to pay more attention to this issue because “this is a very strong and quick process and Chiapas is turning into crops or pastures.”

He also said that in the last years in the coast of Chiapas, 17 lakes have dried as a result of logging.

“While there are no strong actions implemented by the federal and local government, this process will continue and it's going to affect the whole world because of climate change,” he explained.

Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher also said that 5 new species have been found in Chiapas, as well as other varieties that weren't known in the region.

One of the new species mentioned Rommel Beutelspacher is the “Encyclia dresslerii", which was named after Robles Dresly, who is considered as the father of the modern orchid.

The "Estely Miranda" was also found in Chiapas; this orchid was named after Faustino Miranda, a Spanish botanist who carried out a research project in Chiapas and made a “great contribution to the knowledge of our plants,” he said.

In the light of this saddening news, the expert is inviting people to stop buying orchids and help to preserve “what little we have left.”


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