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Orchid Conservation

For the OSCOV General Meeting on Sunday 16th March 2003 - Andre Cleghorn

Many projects to conserve endangered orchids in Victoria have been commenced over the past two years and most are still in progress. The impetus for these projects has been the very active Australian Native Orchid Society Vic. Group (ANOS) Conservation Group. They have been assisted by many other organisations including Parks Victoria, The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Botanic Gardens. Grants to purchase materials for projects and general expenses have been obtained from The Botanic Guardians scheme.

An orchid conservation symposium was held in Melbourne last October at which papers were presented by ANOS Vic members Andrew Dilley & Dick Thomson and many other speakers.

A terrestrial seed propagation group lead by Dick Thomson is growing several threatened species in a laboratory for eventual reintroduction in areas where plants have been lost.  Some of the projects underway are:

1.    Ballarat area - Protection of Prasophyllum suaveolens growing in a local cemetery by removal of the weeds Watsonia & Broom Bush. The CFA was paid to carry out a controlled burn on the site and plants have been monitored.

2.    Talbot and Avoca area - Pterostylis despectans has been monitored and plants have been caged to protect their tubes from scavenging by birds. Some plants have been hand pollinated to increase seed production.

3.    Portland area - Pterostylis basaltica has been monitored and a grant has been received to carry out protection work.

4.    Tootgarook and Cape Schanck - Pterostylis cucullata protected by weeding and clearing work.

5.    Little River Earth Sanctuary - A new project in conjunction with ANOS Geelong group to search for Pterostylis truncata.

6.    Stony Point - Prasophyllum spicatum and P. lindleyanum populations have been monitored and a fence is to be constructed to prevent the orchids being damaged by motorcyclists.

7.    Clyde - Prasophyllum frenchii monitoring.

8.    Rushworth - Calcochilus richea monitoring.

9.    Mt. Buffalo - Prasophyllum suttonii monitoring.

10. Plenty parklands. A general survey for orchids was done and a vegetation map produced.

11. Mornington Peninsula - Diuris punctata was protected by weeding and a search was carried out for Arachnorchis robinsonii.

12. Braeside Park - Diuris punctata seedlings are being grown from seed supplied by the ranger for re-establishment.

13. Belgrave South - General surveying of orchids, weeding out Watsonia and Agapanthus and poisoning of pine trees and pittosporum in conjunction with Parks Victoria.

14. Wonthaggi - A topographic survey is to be done for DDSE of either Prasophyllum correctum or Arachnorchis orientalis.

15. Loch Sport - A search for Thelymitra epipactoides is being carried out.

 

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