DECR staff member, Bryan Manco demonstrates to TCI Environmental Club members a method of removal of an Encyclia orchid while showing the fragile network of fungus in the orchid’s roots that keeps the plant alive in times of drought.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The TCI Environmental
Club, organized by the DECR and comprised of concerned citizens with a
deep passion for the protection and promotion of environmental
sustainability, recently held their first terrestrial conservation
activity - rescuing native plants from a development area in
Volunteers from the
Environmental Club relocated specimens of TCI’s unique flora from the
threatened site to areas safe from development. Approximately
300 plants and 17 species were rescued, the majority being young
seedlings of slow-growing and international protected and endangered
lignum vitae tree.
said “Many of the rescued plants are globally threatened, endangered or
endemic to the TCI and the Bahamas, and have very restricted worldwide
ranges. However, not all plants endure relocation and those that did
not, but bear fruit, were rescued by seed collecting.”
The DECR noted that
during collection, plants were tagged with botanical name, collection
date, and area of provenance. GPS coordinates for the collection site
were logged as well. Permanent relocation for the plants will be within
areas protected from development and private and public native plant
Similar rescues are being planned for the future.
Anyone interested in native plant rescues or in the TCI environment in
general may join the DECR’s TCI Environmental Club, which generally
meets at 6 PM at the National Environmental Center on the first Thursday
of each month.
● Rescue collecting largely focused on epiphytes, particularly
Encyclia orchids and Tillandsia air plants, as well as wild frangipani
Plumeria obtuse and lignum vitea Guaiacum sanctum
nursery and the rescue mission are components of a DECR project for
Endangered and Endemic Plant Rescue by the UK Government’s Joint Nature
● Collected seeds will be grown in the DECR’s native plant nurseries in Providenciales and North Caicos.
more on the “TCI Environmental Club” Facebook page or by contacting the
DECR at telephone contact #946-5122. The Club is also accepting
suggestions for future native plant rescue sites.