Sikkim 2009

Exciting news – the orchid project is going to Sikkim!

The Sikkim Himalayan project had been working slowly for about three years now.  The Project involves students in the lab growing the rare species ‘Cymbidium Whitea’.  There are very few of these plants remaining in the wild and they are only known to come from a small area around Gangtok.

The Cymbidium Whitea’s are now fully grown and can’t wait to come out of their flasks.  The trip to Sikkim will give them that opportunity.  This is as close to re-introduction of a species that we have ever done at writhlington.  We believe that re-introduction is pointless unless you tackle the problem that has made them close to extinction in the first place.  With the Whitea this is easy, as their main threat is collection.

The plan is to give everyone at the Annual Gangtok orchid fair a flask of Cymbidium Whitea and tell them how to look after it.  The plant will then be common in the area and people won’t cut it down from the wild.  Another benefit from this is that when the plant flowers, it will be in it’s natural environment, with it’s natural pollinators.  With us more than doubling the population of Cymbidium Whitea, and each seed pod producing 2.6 million seeds, the wild population should quickly recover.

The expedition is set to depart on 27th March 2009 and arrive back on 10th April.  As usual with our trips we are hoping to keep you up to date via the wonder that is the internet and our website.

Stay tuned for more information!


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