Goal: To collect and conserve as many of the orchids from the citrus farms near Saint Margaret’s village before they are destroyed.
Orchids are the world’s most diverse plant family with the number of species estimated to be between 30,000 to 40,000 in over 800 genera. In Belize, exceptional populations of epiphytic orchids and bromeliads are growing on the citrus trees in the groves near Saint Margaret’s village. As part of the natural cycle of citrus farming hundreds of acres of citrus are being cut down and burned in order to plant new trees. Consequently the orchids and bromeliads living on these citrus are being destroyed as well. We are working with Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Botanical garden to preserve this amazing biodiversity before it is destroyed. Initial efforts have been to collect orchids and relocate them to the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens. With space running out in the Botanical Gardens we have also started relocating the orchids to the grounds of the Sibun Education and Adventure Lodge. Groups staying at Sibun will be able to participate in the orchid rescue program as well as the ongoing studies about orchid and bromeliad diversity.