This edition of Wildlife In Spotlight features native orchids. It may come as a surprise to some of us that a number of species of native orchids have been poached to near extinction. It is hard to believe that one of the world’s most exotic flower families shares some of the same threats as tigers, elephants, and rhinos. I recently caught up with Mr. Matt Richards, Manager of Conservation Horticulture for the Atlanta Botanical Garden to talk about his work related to orchid conservation. In this interview, Mr. Richards explains the complex yet intriguing relationship these plants share with other organisms within an ecosystem, the challenges of collecting seeds from the wild and habitat restoration along with many fascinating facts about orchids. I would like to thank Mr. Richards for making time for this interview and for sharing his insights on orchid conservation.
The interview has been formatted in the following order:
• Introduction: Interesting facts about orchids.
• Conservation: Threats that decimate the orchid population, the process of seed collection, lab propagation and habitat restoration.
The interview has been edited and condensed.