Checking recruitment at threatened orchid re-introduction sites in the South East
Sheryl and I recently headed out to check on the Little Dip Spider Orchids (Caladenia richardsiorum) that were planted out at various sites in the region in winter 2015. To refresh your memory, these threatened orchids along with three other species were purpose-grown for reintroduction to boost wild populations (more detail here).
We visited several sites between Beachport and Robe, weeding and recording condition of the orchids at each site. Initial planting of the orchids was a painstaking process involving carefully placed grids and numbered tags for each individual orchid; these initial steps have made follow-up monitoring relatively easy as we can compare results between years to see which orchids have survived and which have done less well.
We accidentally saved the best til last and at the final site for the day we discovered the orchids were booming! At this site lots of flowering was occurring, some pollination was noted, and excitingly there appeared to be lots of recruitment of non-tagged individuals!