- December 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Environment
Context – In Arunachal’s Sessa Orchid Sanctuary communities collaborate with forest officials to conserve orchids
- The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, was the first, and until recently the only, protected area in the country dedicated to the preservation of naturally growing orchids.
- Notified in 1989, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is home to 236 orchid species, several of them rare and endemic, with unique botanical value, and the sanctuary has also been used as an ex-situ conservation site for threatened orchids.
- The Arunachal Himalayas (formerly called Assam Himalayas) have been described by botanists as a treasure trove of orchids.
- Indeed, Arunachal Pradesh, with around 622 recorded orchid species which is 40% of the total orchid species found in the country, is known as the ‘Orchid Paradise of India’.
Orchids in India
- The 1,256 species or taxa of orchids belong are found in India.
- 388 species of orchids are endemic to India of which about one-third (128) endemic species are found in Western Ghats.
- While north-east India rank at the top in species concentration, the Western Ghats have high endemism of orchids.
- The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh with 612 species, followed by Sikkim 560 species and West Bengal.
- Among the 10 bio geographic zones of India, the Himalayan zone is the richest in terms of orchid species followed by Northeast, Western Ghats, Deccan plateau and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Orchids can be broadly categorised into three life forms: (1) epiphytic, (2) terrestrial and (3) mycoheterotrophic.
- About 757 species or 60% of all orchids found in the country are epiphytic, 447 are terrestrial and 43 are mycoheterotrophic.
- The only commercially important product derived from orchids is vanilla. Most vanilla is produced from one species, Vanilla planifolia.
- The principal vanilla-growing areas are Madagascar, Mexico, French Polynesia, Réunion, Dominica, Indonesia, the West Indies, Seychelles, and Puerto Rico.
- Various other orchids are used for a variety of folk medicines and cures.