about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Friday, 25 March 2011

good news story: an orchid saved from extinction

This post is a Good News Story. After the horrendous and ongoingly terrible events in Japan,  I think we desperately need stories like this to help  maintain a sense of hope and optimism for the future.

Bush Heritage Australia is a non profit organization that protects Australia's native flora and fauna and their habitats. It does this by buying suitable land, then managing it and restoring it to natural bushland.

The Nardoo Hills Reserves in Victoria was acquired by Bush Heritage between 2004 and 2007.  Volunteers  controlled the rabbit population, poisoned huge stands of wheel cactus, a noxious weed, and got rid of grazing sheep and cattle.  This meant that native plants, animals, birds and insects once again had a habitat in which to thrive.

In 2009 excited visitors saw the return of the Robust greenhood orchid. This orchid, on the critically endangered list, was last seen in 1941!

Bush Heritage's field officer, Jeroen Van Veen said:  "This is what we work for. After years and years of  slogging away and restoring natural bushland, these are the kinds of things that keep you going."

The robust greenhood orchid. Photo: Jeroen Van Veen.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Catmint, That's a wonderful story - and what a unique flower! With your photo, can I assume you saw it "in the flesh?" :-)

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  2. Nice to see you spreading the word of the survival and rediscovery of this rare plant.
    .
    There are many plants like this Greenhood, which are known to exist in only one or two locations, and are threatened by (a) ignorance and (b) development.
    .
    I can answer Shady Gardener's question - the photographer is named, and the discovery has been publicised recently by "Bush Heritage".
    But I am pleased t see Catmint spreading the word.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  3. What good news - and great to have a good news story.

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  4. Thanks for the comment Shady - Denis has answered your question.

    Dear Denis, I so appreciate your approval - I am in awe of your vast knowledge of nature and your political dedication. You're a role model.

    Thanks Hermes - I love to share my good news story - hope your health is OK.

    cheers, catmint

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  5. How beautiful! And what an uplifting story. I'm glad this habitat is now thriving. Thank you for encouragement and hope.

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  6. Great news and keep spreading the word!

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  7. I can imagine finding a flower, like that, walking on our mountains. Not the same species!
    Going forward, it is those same volunteers who will protect that habitat and give the orchid a chance to flourish!

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  8. Thanks for this good news Catmint! Thank goodness this beautiful orchid is now growing happily. Congrats to Bush Heritage in their effort to preserve this beauty :-D

    Have a great weekend.

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  9. That really is good news, how wonderful. And what a beautiful plant.

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  10. Dear Catmint, Thank you for sharing this good news! What an exquisite orchid too! It is so hopeful that all over the world citizens care about preserving land for wild flora and fauna.

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  11. It was worth waiting 68 years! A tribute to plant survival - and an uplifting tale.

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  12. I missed hearing about this wonderful discovery - thanks for passing on the news Catmint!

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  13. Very cool! My husband and I have done a lot of tromping around in Florida where many rare orchids live and now that we are back in Texas we like to search out the natives here, too.

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  14. Just amazing that a plant not seen for 60+ years reappears after the natural habitat is restored. Kinda makes one wonder if seeds were viable that long or if roots were underground but not in a habitat to thrive. Not a botanist...

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