Despite their high conservation value and precarious conservation status, very few threatened orchids have been reintroduced back into the wild. KFBG has growing experience of conducting scientifically informed but cross-cutting, multi-stakeholder orchid reintroduction projects within the Indo-Burma region. This experience tells us that communication and social learning are as important for the success of the project as is a scientific understanding of species biology.
To improve know-how of the environmental and applied factors that contribute to the success (or failure) of orchid reintroductions, we are experimenting with different planting conditions for a number of native Hong Kong orchids raised in our nurseries and established back into natural sites on our hillside. The aim is to build applied knowledge so that reliable methods can be prepared in advance for the many orchids that are urgently in need of restoration.
Preliminary results indicate that care in planting-out is critical for establishment, but that initial mortality can be offset by ensuring conditions conducive for flowering and fruiting are provided for long-term population viability.