WILD ORCHIDS CONSERVATION FOR ECOTOURISM IN THAILAND
Thailand is a tropical country with attractive biodiversity of orchids. They have been found and identified as 1125 species among 177 genera. The research work on wild orchid conservation would be beneficial for the local villagers in earning income from ecotourism. Mae Hong Son, the beautiful province of hills with attractive biodiversity of plants especially orchids, is situated near the Myanmar border northwest of Chiang Mai. It is the best place for biological conservation and admiring of wild orchids. The project has created a collaboration work between researchers and hill tribes at Ban Huai Hi in Mueang District of Mae Hong Son Province. Biological surveys were made in order to examine wild orchids in the fertile tropical rain forests accompanying of the villagers. The orchids of 172 species in 61 genera were totally inspected and identified. Most of them are epiphytes and their flowering seasons were recorded to be during January and May. For sustainable conservation, the activity included the formulation of the easy-to-do aseptic media for seed germination. The medium that contained orchid fertilizer, multivitamins, table sugar, banana and agar showed good results in Dendrobium chrysotoxum seed germination. The transflask medium was potato containing in the germination medium. Both media gave good seed germination and seedling development as compared with the modified Vacin-Went medium. This technical know-how will be transferred to the villagers for multiplying their orchids. The following step was the practical training for the villagers on seedling culture and cares. Large size of 6-months old Rhynchostylis gigantea seedlings from flasks were grown for the first lesson at homes of co-workers in the villages. After having experience ten thousand seedlings of wild orchids developed from seeds collected from Mae Hong Son forest were transplanted and nursed at the residences of the villagers. The seedlings thrived in their habitat environment. The vigorous seedlings were chosen to implant on the forest trees along the tourist trail aiming for flower attraction.
Piluek, C. and Triboun, P. (2008). WILD ORCHIDS CONSERVATION FOR ECOTOURISM IN THAILAND. Acta Hortic. 788, 69-76
biodiversity, epiphytes, sustainable conservation, Dendrobium chrysotoxum, Rhynchostylis gigantean