April 22, 2022
LHASA – Metog county in the Tibet autonomous region is working to restore wild orchids and improve people’s awareness of the elegant flowers.
More than 300 orchids were donated by residents of the county’s Drepung township, the local government said. The activity is co-sponsored by the county’s forestry and grassland bureau, the local township, village officials and the ShanShui Conservation Center, an environmental conservation NGO.
Known as the second-largest family of angiosperms, orchids include more than 20,000 species worldwide.
Surveys done by the conservation center show that despite many orchids being planted artificially, many people still pursue the cultivation of wild orchids in their yards at home.“With the pressure of wild orchid collecting on the rise, the environment has been threatened. This makes protection quite urgent. They are severely threatened,” said Zhao Xiang, director of the center.
About 293 species of orchids are included in the list of national key protected wild plants issued last year, Of those, seven species and the whole genus of Paphiopedilum are listed as first-class protected wild plants.
Located at the foot of the Himalaya, Metog is a global hot spot of biodiversity.
“Because of the huge differences in altitude and with its many different climate and vegetation zones, Metog has a unique and rich biosystem,” said Zhao, adding that the area provides favorable conditions for the growth and reproduction of orchids.
Metog is among nine counties in China with the most orchid species.