Orchids are one of the oldest and largest species of plants on earth. It is precisely because of this that sometimes they are being taken for granted. Around the world there are now certain species that are close to extinction due to man-made reasons.
A recent incident in Nepal proves again that humans are nature’s number one enemy when it comes to losing its natural beauty and treasures. The report states that illegal traders were caught by a team of foresters and police with 3,943 kilograms of orchids in their possession. In fact, the government of Nepal had announced a ban for orchid trade. They suspect these orchids are being brought to India to be used as medicinal herbs and such.
Orchids in Nepal were declared endangered over ten years ago, and they have just recently been listed as illegal for trading. Poor people in Nepal harvest these plants without knowing their importance and then sell them for small amounts of money. These orchids are then used as weeds, compost, beddings and cattle feed. And the illegal trade is very difficult to stop because the livelihood of the people depends on it.
Some harvested plants are then bundled in tracks and carried off to India where they will be used for medicinal purposes. To these people who do the harvesting and trade, these plants are just a source of income.
There are over 302 types of orchid found in Nepal and because of these illegal trades, the number is dwindling down. Unless harsh punishment and strict implementation of the law is enforced, their numbers will continue to fall until they become extinct.
Although there are a lot of species of orchids available today, there are still certain species of orchids that are needed to be protected. This is not only for culture’s sake but also for the sake of the environment. Think about how it can affect the world. Sure they are “just orchids” to many people, but to the entirety of the planet, they are a part of something bigger.
What do you think about the illegal trade of orchids? Let us know and leave your comments.
Another species that is endangered in the United States is the Calypso Orchid. We all need to protect this one too.