|Thanks to funding from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) Plant Conservation Team, the ANPC started surveying epiphytic orchids in north-eastern NSW in September. The Black Summer fires are thought to have hit many of these species (which occur on rocks and/or trees) particularly hard because they are killed by intense fire due to lack of both an underground dormant phase and a persistent seedbank from which to recover.
The surveys will document the impact of the fires, establish the geographic distribution and size of the remaining populations, and inform conservation assessment and threatened species listings. Eleven species have been selected, with the focus so far on Plectorrhiza purpurata, Sarcochilus aequalis and Tropilis angusta (syn. Dendrobium angustum). Although the North Coast and Northern Tablelands target areas are amazingly green following the last few years of abundant rain, the legacy of the Black Summer fires remains. A recently found population of Plectorrhiza purpurata was determined to be heavily impacted, with most host plants dead and all epiphytes on those plants killed.
Image: Plectorrhiza purpurata growing in Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Credit: Lachlan Copeland
|The final video produced under our Plants Going Places project features a favourite – orchids! With their specialised biology and pollinator specific associations orchids have gained a reputation for being difficult to propagate. This video discusses how to grow and restore orchid populations when faced with many challenges. The video and a podcast were produced by Chantelle Doyle and Michael Lawrence-Taylor under the Plants Going Places project funded by The Ross Trust. Thanks also to the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub for their support.
You can find the three Plants Going Places videos on the ANPC YouTube channel.
All the videos and podcasts from this series and other translocation stories can be found on the Plant Heroes website.