Orchid Surveys and Inventories
To conserve a species in the wild we must first ensure its habitat is secure. We thus need continued monitoring of existing wild populations in their natural habitat, as well as to survey new areas. By doing this, we may also make new distribution records. Apart from simple inventories, we also study plant community structure, highlight local orchid hotspots and assess the degree of disturbance to orchid populations and their habitats. This helps us assess the conservation status of these plants at the local and regional scale. The surveys also help us identify species most susceptible to habitat loss or to the disruption of specific ecological relationships, such as those that are dependent on specific pollinators.
We also undertake surveys in South China and Indochina. Being such a small region, Hong Kong cannot be considered in isolation. Orchids found in small patches in Hong Kong may be distributed across national boundaries. Since gene flow can be influenced by cross-pollination and seed dispersal over varying geographic scales, conservation plans for Hong Kong's native orchids need to take regional populations into account. To conduct studies on such a large landscape scale, there is a need to collaborate with institutes and organisations in neighbouring countries like China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.