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Thu, 01/20/2022 - 11:54
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Indonesia highlights two main threats to Venus slipper orchids

Jakarta, January 20 (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has highlighted two primary phenomena that are threatening the existence of Paphiopedilum or Venus slipper orchids: overcollection and a decline in their natural habitats' quality. "The natural habitats of several Paphiopedilum species have shrunk more and more, and they are threatened by land-use conversion, primarily for plantations," BRIN researcher Destario Metusala said in a press statement released on Thursday. The threat to the sustainability of certain species has also increased because of overcollection, he added. To this end, accurate conservation strategies are necessary to prevent the continuous decline of Paphiopedilum species' natural population, he remarked. The threats endangering the Venus slipper have been enumerated in the 'Baseline Study on Paphiopedilum (Orchidaceae) Conservation Strategies in Indonesia' conducted by the Plants and Botanical Garden Conservation Research Center in 2021, he informed. All species of Paphiopedilum orchids that come from nature have been included in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix 1, Metusala said. These orchids are not allowed to be brought outside of their origin countries except for non-commercial or research purposes, which have to be proven through official permits and involve stringent monitoring by the government, he added. In addition, the Paphiopedilum is the largest orchid genus with a total of 15 species included in the list of protected orchids, based on the Environment and Forestry Ministerial Regulation No. 106 of 2018, he noted. Indonesia has around 38 species of Paphiopedilum that are spread out from Sumatra all the way to Papua, Metusala informed. The high diversity of Paphiopedilum orchids and their endangered status have led to scientists and orchid conservationists from several countries paying special attention to efforts to conserve Paphiopedilum orchids in Indonesia, he added.