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Why Are Orchids Illegal To Trade?

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Why are orchids illegal to trade? Orchids are illegal to trade as many people tend to collect them for their aesthetic beauty as well as for the medical value. Many people tend to own the orchids due to these benefits and due to that higher demand has made it illegal for trading. 

Why Are Orchids Illegal To Trade

Why are orchids illegal to trade?

There are legal protections which are in practice for these plants to avoid the illegal trafficking. However, orchids are still under threat for illegal trade globally. With that being said, some online stores have proper documentation and engage in trading orchids, and they mainly sell the greenhouse grown orchids. 

However, there are wild orchid traffickers which tend to obtain some orchids from the protected forests and that cause a greater risk for those orchid species. Besides there is always overlap between the legal sales and illegal sales as they use the same platform, same buyers, and the sellers etc. Most of the rare orchids are protected as per the international trade as they are prone for extinction. 

However they have stated that all orchids are protected plants. So, literally if someone wants to do international trade with orchids across borders, they have to take a special permission.  Orchids are such a mysterious yet spectacular plant. Once could think orchids are soothing plants by simply looking at the plants. Further their splendid flowers make them look even more beautiful.

You could commonly spot some orchids growing along the roadside and there is no protection for those plants. Actually, the majority of the orchids are not rare. It is just that it is somewhat difficult to spot them carrying the flowers since they flower briefly. They would disappear in some seasons and come back in the next season at random.

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Why are orchids protected?

Orchids are vulnerable to extinction as many people tend to collect them in big numbers. Further the loss of habitat is more reason as to why you consider them as protected plants. In other words, those authorities have introduced some orchids as endangered species due to over collection of these species. 

Ultimately it would make the orchids an uncommon plant species. Due to these, there are certain law enforcements to conserve them and their habitat as well. In fact, there are various efforts which are in practice on a local, national and on a global level as well.

For example, lady orchids are vulnerable to extinction due to drastic decline in their habitats. Their natural habitats would usually be the woodlands and the majority of the woodlands have been cleared during recent times and that had made it difficult for these orchids to thrive.

Simply, people tend to protect the orchids due to rapid destruction of natural habitat due to deforestation, forest fire, felling of trees and due to overcollection of orchids for the floral business. Further the medicinal value of some orchids is also another reason for protecting orchids. Orchids are a significant component of the ecosystem as well.

Is it illegal to pick wild orchids?

To answer the question whether it is illegal to pick wildflowers or not , in fact it is not illegal. It is not illegal as long as you obtain them for personal and noncommercial uses.

Is there a black market for orchids?

Yes, there is a black market available for orchids. Furthermore, it is moving and quite popular nowadays. There are times where orchids get extravagant prices. In fact, orchids are the highlight among the hot selling plants. For example, Paphiopedilum kolopakingii has a high value as they are rare orchid species.

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These days, many people tend to sell them in open air markets especially in Asia countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. However, many people tend to trade orchids through e-commerce sites such as ebay and through various other sites. 

The sellers could be casual collectors to serious foreign buyers. You can come across many of them in the USA, Europe and in Australia as well. However as aforesaid you need to have a proper legal permission to sell the orchids through international borders.

As mentioned in the above, you can’t engage in global trade in wild collected orchids since you can’t get the permit. Orchids have a high demand across the globe and that has created an international black market for these plants.

Why Are Orchids Illegal To Trade

Where do you find orchids in the wild?

Orchids would usually grow in tropical forests. Besides you may also find them in semi desert regions near coaster areas and in tundra. Furthermore, you can find many of the neotropical orchid species in countries such as southern central America, northwest south America. Additionally, you may find them growing in the Andes mountains too.

If we consider the orchids which would usually grow on tree barks in the rain forests, they will usually arise from the dirt in the ground. There are orchid types such as lady slippers which prefer to have some dry conditions in-between rainfalls. On the other hand, there could be some orchids which require moist soil right throughout.

Further the wild grown orchids have seasonal blooming as well. There are some orchids which need to have freezing temperatures to produce the attractive blooms. This is something in contrast with the orchids which grow in tropical forests as they cannot withstand the frost temperatures. Furthermore, many orchid species which grow in the wild are prone for extinction.

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Credit to : TRT World

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.