Monday, December 12, 2011

Toba 'orchid paradise' yields 200 new species

Scientistssay they have found almost 200 new species of orchids in the Eden Park touristforest in Sionggang village in Toba Samosir, North Sumatra.

A group led by botanists and orchid experts Ria Telambanua and Michele Siraithas been exploring the area for years.

“We’ve successfully identified almost 200 species of forest orchids afteralmost four years of research. We intentionally haven’t published any of themfor the sake of preservation,” Ria said on Sunday in Toba Samosir.

The discovery of new orchid species was typically followed by large-scaleexploitation, she said.

The researchers identified the new species by identifying morphologicaldifferences, using orchid catalogues and by consulting with experts.

“This area is an orchid paradise. It has extraordinary natural riches. Thereare thousands more orchid species that have yet to be identified here,” shesaid as quoted by Antara.

Ria and Michele will launch a book on the new species late next month, Riasaid, adding that a portion of the profits would be donated to orchid experts.

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