NOCI has just begun a new project that will help to conserve Manitoba's native-orchid species far into the future. This involves the collection of seed capsules from native-orchid species for storage in Canada's national seed bank.
Although we believe that conservation of their habitat is the best way to protect native orchids, we know that long-term storage of their seed will improve our ability to respond to rapid environmental changes that may be harmful to them.
This project will involve selection of healthy plants from different species and from different populations and locations throughout Manitoba. Then we will put a protective wire cage on those species likely to be eaten by deer or other animals but which still allows pollinators to visit. When the seed capsules are ripe we will collect them and mail them with the proper documentation to the national seed bank in Saskatoon where they will be placed into long-term storage.
The end result of this will be the conservation of plant biodiversity, as about 25% of Canada's vascular-plant species are considered rare and there are many orchid species among them.
This project will take a number of years to complete and will involve substantial mileage expenses as we travel to different parts of the province to collect seeds from all 36 native-orchid species. If you would like to help us with this project by making a financial donation please contact Doris at 947-9707 or check our online Information on Donating.
For information on Canada's national seed bank, more formally known as Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC), see the PGRC website. Or see their webpage on Dr Richard St-Pierre, who is in charge of the Wild Plant Species Conservation component of PGRC, and who is advising and working with us on this project.
Dr St-Pierre installs protective cage over a Hooker's rein-orchid, at Sandilands Selective Cutting site, 2006Jun12
Moccasin-flower lady-slipper in protective cage, at Mary's Bog, 2006Jun12