Orchids Under Threat:
There are more than 22,000 species of orchids found around the world in jungles, mountains, wetlands, and prairies. And yet, many orchids are threatened, endangered, or already extinct because of human-caused pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.
Orchids are extremely sensitive to environmental changes. Like canaries in a coal mine, they are often the primary indicators of a habitat's health. When orchids struggle to survive, other species are soon endangered.
Many orchids rely on one or a few specific pollinators. To protect the orchids, we must also protect birds, bees, and moths -- and the other plants they pollinate.
Orchids Entangled with Their Environment:
Wild orchids are key conservation targets, but because of their complex life cycles and ecological needs, we're only just beginning to understand how to protect them.
Orchids often have strong relationships with particular animal pollinators, and they depend on specific fungi for nutrients. Orchids are so interconnected with their habitat that we can't isolate individual pieces of the puzzle -- we need to protect entire ecosystems.
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Acu (REGUA) has reclaimed more than 18,500 acres of previously deforested land in Brazil. The reserve purchases or manages land with other organizations to protect and restore as much forest and biodiversity as possible.