BOGOTA — Researchers at Colombia's Universidad del Valle recently discovered a new species of orchid as part of their investigation into how global warming affects the plant. But unfortunately, their research across the country also revealed that at least three species of local orchids registered during the 19th century are now extinct.
The new orchid type, Encyclia Parkeri, was found in the districts of Restrepo and La Cumbre in the western Valle de Cauca department. Researchers had initially studied the flora of 421,000 hectares of Valle de Cauca, but this research was extended to other departments with the help of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute.
That's when they found that three types of local orchids registered by explorers Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland could no longer be found. The investigators are expected to present the final results of their findings in November at the World Orchid Congress at Cali's Javeriana University.
Photo: Francisco Lopez-Machado/Universidad del Valle/Worldcrunch