Why do people still collect?

Discussion in 'Orchid Conservation' started by paphioboy, Jul 27, 2011.

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  1. Jul 29, 2011 #21

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    I'm not sure I entirely agree with that. Although the stress to collect them is lessened by the variety of alternative plants to grow/decorate with here; I think that U.S. native orchid populations have diminished or are at such a distance from living areas that we dont collect them. Plus I'm sure the need to preserve them in the wild is fairly understood here.
     
  2. Jul 29, 2011 #22

    cnycharles

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    well, maybe they aren't that crazy... paphs to thais may be like dandelions and goldenrod to us (though I know dandelions aren't native to here). if you could make a few bucks by digging up and selling a bunch of goldenrod, you probably would because they are everywhere. I say goldenrod because I've heard that they are used in foreign countries in flower arranging, and i'll bet a florist here wouldn't get caught dead using goldenrod in an arrangement and trying to sell it... but they would use a paph blossom even a 'common' one like paph bellatulum. they are there, easy access, and someone will buy them. in another way of being lazy, if someone doesn't want to do a trade, they can go in the woods and dig up common plants. also maybe they can't afford a tv to watch so they buy common native plants and hope they flower. at least they aren't spraying weed killer and chopping them down with front deck mowers
     
  3. Jul 29, 2011 #23

    NYEric

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    I dont believe that paph bellatulum grow like a version of Asian dandelions!
     
  4. Jul 29, 2011 #24

    Roth

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    Honestly, they really do. For the 17 years I have been to Thailand, I always have seen one or more boxes of fresh bellatulum. I have seen as well at the same time some more boxes in less good condition, old, and some boxes dead ( quite a few). Until a few years the price was by kilogram, not by plant. 300-500THB/kg. Now they price by plant usually (though some people still offer by kg but usually the runts from the 'priced per plant' box).

    Last month, there were about 10 rice bags as well of a reddish leafed bulbophyllum. I talk about the 60-80L bags. They were at the back of a pickup, was very impressive. I doubt there are customers for all of them anyway. But for paph bellatulum, they are really common in Burma, there are as well some massive colonies in Laos, and few colonies in Thailand (never been that many in Thailand anyway compared to Burma). Now, the same applies to the US dandelions, if you collect so much for so many years, at the end the dandelions will be extinct.
     
  5. Jul 29, 2011 #25

    NYEric

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    OK, must get some bellatulums then. Thanx.
     
  6. Jul 29, 2011 #26
    Thailand has great laws but neither the people nor the police respects them. Salvation picking is illegal but we (The Orchid Ark) try to change that, meanwhile large-scale illegal collecting, illegal land encroachment and illegal logging is big business. If you are truly upset and wish to help saving Southeast Asian orchids: http://www.dokmaigarden.co.th/orchidark.php

    Cheers, Eric
     
  7. Jul 29, 2011 #27

    paphioboy

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    :rollhappy: Hey, we're not THAT backward.... :poke: :poke:
     
  8. Jul 29, 2011 #28

    paphioboy

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    Ok. I'm going to post pics of 'responsible collecting' vs. collecting for selling and see what you guys think....

    'Responsible collecting', like this guy here, who goes into the jungle close to his home and brings back various plants for his own collection. Personally, I think some of the pieces he harvests can be considered specimen plants already. IMHO responsible collecting means getting a bulb or two, not a whole bunch :
    http://orkidland.blogspot.com/2011/07/hasil-buruan-1.html
    http://orkidland.blogspot.com/2011/07/hasil-buruan-2.html

    And there's this guy here:
    https://www.facebook.com/nazri.yusoff
    I have to host his pictures on my photobucket account to upload them here. Original pictures can be found in his Facebook album, all pictures belong to him:
    Bulbos, lots and lots of bulbos (and a dendrochilum, I believe):
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Coelogyne pandurata:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Coelogyne rochussenii:
    [​IMG]
    Dendrobium:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jul 29, 2011 #29

    paphioboy

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    [​IMG]
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    Dendrobium lamellatum, I think..
    [​IMG]

    All his plants are for sale to whoever interested and they sell like hot cakes....
     
  10. Jul 29, 2011 #30

    Andrew

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    I don't know what the current state of play in the US is but I recall 10 years ago there was discussion on various forums about Lowes selling wild collected Cyp's, not to mention various public outings in the carnivorous plant community about a commercial nursery selling illegally collected flytraps. Places like Australia and Europe don't exactly have clean hands either. Sure there's more public condemnation in the west for illegal and unsustainable wild collection but I find it difficult to judge people in poorer countries too harshly for wild harvesting plants when people in wealthier countries haven't got their own backyards in order.
     
  11. Jul 29, 2011 #31

    Roth

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    That's true on one side, but actually, the people who collect in those poorer countries usually have more money than the average US salary per month, and maybe even than yours ( the collector of gigantifolium and few others things in Sulawesii as an example earns about 5000USD a month tax free, the helenae collector here in Vietnam earned when it was still plentiful about 3000USD a month ( with plants at 15US/kg... make the calculation on how many kilos per month) and I know exactly what I am talking about.
     
  12. Jul 29, 2011 #32

    paphioboy

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    :eek::eek: And where are all these plants now..? Dead or alive?
     
  13. Jul 29, 2011 #33

    Rick

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    And not a single flower in all these thousands of plants. That means that all the people buying these plants have expectations of growing these plants long term to flowering. Or do they just buy them for foliage?

    If the mortality rate is as high as Roth says, then where is the satisfaction of shelling out the cash for a handful of foliage that gets thrown in the trash a month later?

    I realize we all have killed our share of plants, but if I lost 99% of everything I purchased before seeing a single flower, I'd probably not get a lot of satisfaction out of this hobby. Not everyone can be that bad a grower over there.
     
  14. Jul 29, 2011 #34

    Roth

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    No, the plants from malaysia in the facebook are not even from the collector, they are from the reseller. Coelogyne pandurata minimum order is 200-300 plants...


    The guy who posted those photos on facebook does not hope to bloom any single plant. He offers them by batches of 10 or 5, to smaller sellers, who will make the 'business' and 'profit' and resell by 1-2-3 plants to hobbyists. Most of those plants will die pretty quickly anyway, therefore the business and profit must be carried out very quickly, resell/buy/resell/buy until the plants are dead. That's how the helenae ended up by kilogram too, most died during this game buy many/resell with profit to 5 people, who buy a lot, resell with a profit to 50 people who buy quite a few, resell with a profit to 500 street sellers, who buy few and sell one by one to 50000 people. That's their thinking. The truth is really different, but that's the scheme they hope for. The first 1-2 steps are always successful, but at the next stages, there are many losses, not so many customers (as an example, the 5 wholesaler hope to sell to 10 customers, but the 10 customers are the same for each wholesaler, so this means that it is not 5 wholesalers x 10 customers = 50 customers and the batch sold, it means 5 wholesalers, the fastest will sell to 4 customers, second one 4 others, third one 2, and the last 2 wholesalers that time do not sell, and loose money. The total customers is therefore 10 overall for those 5 wholesalers, and the stocks available are 5x the maximal quantity that can be sold. However, each wholesaler hopes to catch all the customers, and they fight for that. If they loose, they try again with another batch or another species. That's how it works. Flowers are useless for this trade.
     
  15. Jul 29, 2011 #35

    paphioboy

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    As roth said.... That is true. The 'good thing' is that most of the customers are orchid enthusiasts, hence probably have experience in keeping plants in this condition alive and hope to rebloom them. Some of these plants are often seen for sale during flower shows, mounted on a piece of wood with a pad of sphag, selling for ridiculous prices to the general public, advertised as 'wild orchid' and with a sample pic of the flower attached. The unfortunate thing is that even if they (experienced enthusiasts) manage to rebloom them, not many people will send seed for flasking as gathering wild plants is so much easier and cheaper (less time to blooming, obviously).. That being said, IMHO collecting wild plants is one way to 'discover' new species/varieties...
     
  16. Jul 29, 2011 #36

    gonewild

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    Native North American species are smuggled (exported illegally) to other countries all the time and sold for big money. Just check what minnows from the bait shop sell fro in Germany...$50@.
    Only imagine what an endangered Pup fish goes for.

    As an American speaking about Americans I say we the people are about as conveniently blind as can be. And add arrogant for condemning other societies for doing what we have always done and continue to do.

    People collect things for their own enjoyment or to earn money for only one reason.... because they want to.

    It's just what the human species is.
     
  17. Jul 29, 2011 #37

    Rick

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    Aren't you contradicting Roth's notion that 99% of these collected plants will die without blooming?

    What you are describing Paphioboy is not that different from the US, when whatever fraction of plants survive to blooming or reblooming very few are bred and flasked.

    If I get the gist of Roth's math, then virtually all plants will die before blooming at the individual plant retail level, but those end of pipe, one plant per person retail customers don't care if it dies before it blooms. They just want to take a chance that it might survive to blooming. Orchid lottery! I know every culture accepts different levels of risk for different things, but doesn't really seem usual to waste money on a sure loss.
     
  18. Jul 29, 2011 #38

    valenzino

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    Orchid "fever" usually dont works on a "rational" way...also for profesionals sometimes..."it isn't just a dream"?
     
  19. Jul 29, 2011 #39

    Rick

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    Now I've been around the aquarium trade for a long time. Those endangered pupfish are easy as heck to breed in captivity. It's alot cheaper to breed these guys in your spare bedroom tank than to spend the gas money to drive out to the middle of nowhere to trespass somebodies huge ass ranch or evade a park ranger and go seining for them.

    Tennessee has more freshwater fish species than anywhere in the nation, and many of the most prized for potential aquarium fish. The prettiest stuff is not endangered, and there are comercial (and underground) propagators for anything that's worthwhile. Keeping in touch with local State Natural Heritage personel, the "good stuff" is not getting poached in any significant amounts that they can measure. However, its not that rare for the Department of Transportation or a developer to buldoze over a prime spot to put in a highway or a subdivision. Farming and timbering operations take a heavy toll to this date in TN. This is also were most of the native orchids go too. Some people get legitamate salvage permits but some don't get them (personally I don't think you should have to get a permit to save something that's going to be plowed under anyway).

    Recently 3 or so species of native orchids showed up (from highway salvage) where brought into a local lawn and garden show, and our local society. Maybe 100 plants total (definitely not enough to be wieghed in Kg). They were potted and fairly healthy, not in bloom, but even with pictures of the blooms, only about 10% of the plants sold at $5. each. It was hard to give them away. These weren't big showy Cyps, but I didn't even see any interest as conservation plants.

    I'm not saying the trade in US Natives is non existent, but it pales in comparison to the above pics.
     
  20. Jul 29, 2011 #40

    gonewild

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    I don't think it does. I think what pales is the lack of pictures published by the underground dealers in the USA and EU.

    It may be easier to breed an endangered pupfish but the possession of them in your home is illegal and if you are caught the fine could include forfeiture of your home. So there is a benefit to take them from the wild, clandestinely.
     

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