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Vanda coerulescens A Survey of the

Orchid Trade in
Thailand

Cymbidium tracyanum

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


January 1999

Cymbidium eburneum

Financially supported by the CITES Management Authorities of Japan and


the United Kingdom, and the Commission of the European Union
Extract from the IUCN Species Survival Commission 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened
Plants. Eds: Kerry S Walter (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh), Harriet J Gillett (World
Conservation Monitoring Centre)

IUCN Categories of Threat (pre-1994)

EXTINCT (Ex)
Taxa not definitely located in the wild during the past 50 years.

EXTINCT/ENDANGERED (Ex/E)
Taxa that are suspected of having recently become Extinct.

ENDANGERED (E)
Taxa in danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely if the causal factors continue operating.
Included are taxa whose numbers have been reduced to a critical level or whose habitats have been so
drastically reduced that they are deemed to be in immediate danger of extinction. Also included are taxa
that may be extinct but have definitely been seen in the wild in the past 50 years.

VULNERABLE (V)
Taxa believed likely to move into the ‘Endangered’category in the near future if the causal factors
continue operating. Included are taxa of which most or all the populations are decreasing because of
over-exploitation, extensive destruction of habitat or other environmental disturbance; taxa with
populations that have been seriously depleted and whose ultimate security has not yet been assured; and
taxa with populations that are still abundant but are under threat from severe adverse factors throughout
their range.

RARE (R)
Taxa with small world populations that are not at present ‘Endangered’or ‘Vulnerable’, but are at risk.
These taxa are usually localised within restricted geographical areas or habitats or are thinly scattered
over a more extensive range.

INDETERMINATE (I)
Taxa that are known to be Endangered, Vulnerable or Rare but where there is not enough information to
say which of the three categories is appropriate.

The world ‘threatened’ has no official definition within the IUCN Categories but is generally understood;
however, to include taxa that are Endangered, Vulnerable, Rare or Indeterminate.

NOT THREATENED (nt)

NO INFORMATION (?)

OUT OF DANGER (O)

INSUFFICIENTLY KNOWN (K)

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand iii RBG Kew, January 1999
CONTENTS PAGE NO.

Part I

• Floristic regions of Thailand ..................................................................................................................... i

• IUCN Categories of Threat..................................................................................................................... iii

• WCMC CITES Trade Database Output User-Guide................................................................................. v

• Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1

• Objectives .............................................................................................................................................. 1

• The role of Kew ...................................................................................................................................... 2

• Method .................................................................................................................................................. 2

• Analysis of data ..................................................................................................................................... 2

• Results and summary of the analysis ..................................................................................................... 4

• Workshop ............................................................................................................................................ 11

• Review ................................................................................................................................................. 11

• Summary results of workshops............................................................................................................. 12

• Recommendations
• Priority taxa for conservation action
• Repatriation of data and information

• Bibliography ......................................................................................................................................... 13

Part II

• Results of analysis of data - subsets of Master Database..................................................................... 15

• Orchid species in trade .................................................................................................................... 21


• Net trade of orchids reported at species level.................................................................................. 29
• Net trade of orchids reported at Family, Genus or Hybrid level only................................................. 45
• Net trade of orchid species - including distribution and conservation status...................................... 49
• Net trade of orchid species listed according to region of distribution in Thailand ............................. 101
• Net trade of orchid species endemic to one of the seven floristic regions of Thailand ..................... 223
• Net trade of orchid species - occurrence in Thailand unknown....................................................... 241
• Net trade of non-native orchid species........................................................................................... 243
• Net trade of non-native orchid species - distributions in neighbouring countries............................. 253
• Net trade of orchid species - global distribution unknown............................................................... 259
• Net trade of orchid species listed by the first year in recorded trade............................................... 261
• Trade in orchids - listed by country of import.................................................................................. 281
• Net trade of orchid species assigned IUCN country conservation rating of Extinct, Endangered,
Vulnerable or Rare ........................................................................................................................ 287
• Net trade of orchid species assigned IUCN global conservation rating of Extinct, Endangered,
Vulnerable or Rare ........................................................................................................................ 303
• Net trade of orchid species assigned IUCN global conservation rating of Not Threatened .............. 307
• Trade in orchid species reported as ‘Wild-Collected’ ...................................................................... 319
• Trade in orchids reported as ‘Wild-Collected’- family and generic level only.................................. 333
• Orchid species traded in large quantities ....................................................................................... 337
• Orchid species traded in small quantities....................................................................................... 343

Part III

• Results and recommendations of Workshop....................................................................................... 355

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand RBG Kew, January 1999


A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand RBG Kew, January 1999
PART I

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand RBG Kew, January 1999


A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand RBG Kew, January 1999
Viet Nam
Myanmar

Laos

II

III
V

IV VI Cambodia

Viet Nam

VII

Malaysia

Figure 1: The seven floristic regions of Thailand according to Smitinand, 1958 and
Smitinand, T. & Larsen, K. eds. (1972). Flora of Thailand. Volume 2 Part 2.

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand i RBG Kew, January 1999


Floristic Regions and Provinces of Thailand

I. (Northern) V. (Central)
Mae Hong Son Chai Nat
Chiang Mai Sing Buri
Chiang Rai Lop Buri
Phayao Suphan Buri
Nan Ang Thong
Lamphun Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Lamphang Saraburi
Phrae Nakhon Nayok
Uttaradit Nakhon Pathom
Tak Pathum Thani
Sukhothai Nonthaburi
Phitsanulok Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok)
Kamphaeng Phet Samut Prakan
Phichit Samut Songkhram
Nakhon Sawan Samut Sakhon

II. (North-eastern) VI. (South-eastern)


Phetchabun Prachin Buri
Loei Chachoengsao
Udon Thani Chon Buri
Nong Khai Rayong
Sakon Nakhon Chanthaburi
Nakhon Phanaom Trat
Kalasin
Maha Sarakham VII. (Peninsular)
Khon Kaen Chumphon
Ranong
III. (Eastern) Surat Thani
Chaiyaphum Phangnga
Nakhon Ratchasima Phuket
Buri Ram Krabi
Surin Nakhon Si Thammarat
Roi Et Phatthalung
Yasothon Trang
Si Sa Ket Satun
Ubon Ratchathani Songkhla
Pattani
IV. (South-western) Yala
Uthai Thani Narathiwat
Kanchanaburi
Ratchaburi
Phetchaburi
Prachuap Khiri Khan

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand ii RBG Kew, January 1999


A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand iii RBG Kew, January 1999
SURVEY OF THE ORCHID TRADE IN THAILAND: 1990 - 1995

Introduction
The report presented to the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties on the Review of Significant
Trade in Species of Plants included in Appendix II of CITES (Doc. 8.31), included a recommendation to
carry out a survey of the Thai orchid trade. In addition, it recommended that assistance be provided to the
Thai Government for the protection of native orchids and the development of appropriate national CITES
controls. A first step taken with respect to this recommendation was the acquisition of a computer for the
Management Authority of Thailand for Plants to improve and facilitate annual reporting. The Government
of Japan and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia funded this project.

Thailand is the world’s major producer of orchids for international trade. Commercial orchid production is
well established within the country, with nurseries propagating a range of native and non-native species. At
the same time however, Thailand exports a significant quantity of wild orchids, collected within the country.

The present project was developed in close consultation between the CITES Secretariat, the CITES
Management Authority of Thailand (MA, Thailand) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK (RBG Kew) -
the CITES Scientific Authority for Plants of the United Kingdom. The resulting project proposal was
approved by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the CITES Standing Committee and
supported by the CITES Plants Committee.

Objectives
i) Analysis of the data available on international trade in wild-collected specimens of orchids from
Thailand.

ii) Review of the distribution in Thailand of orchid species common in international trade and
preliminary survey of the conservation status of Thai orchid species reported in trade.

iii) Collection of information on the current structure of the trade via the central point of orchid trade in
Thailand, the Bangkok Flower Market, and on the possible sources of the orchids traded there.

iv) Collection of information on the chain of trade from collector to exporter and, if the study referred
under iii) has demonstrated that such is the case, on sources outside Thailand.

v) Collection of information on the volume of national trade in orchid species already studied with
respect to item ii) above.

vi) Collation and review of data on the import and re-export of orchid species from neighbouring
countries.

vii) Analysis of existing conservation measures for wild orchid species in Thailand and current
mechanisms for the implementation of CITES with respect to trade in orchids and other species of
flora.

viii) Provision of assistance and information to help strengthen the role of the CITES Management
Authority for plants in Thailand in the implementation of CITES.

ix) Development of a conservation strategy for Thai orchids with recommendations for species
protection.

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 1 RBG Kew, January 1999


The role of Kew
The two consultants for the project were The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and the CITES Management
Authority of Thailand. At Kew the project was co-ordinated by the Conventions and Policy Section, who
consulted with orchid experts at Kew and globally. The following tasks were the responsibility of RBG
Kew:

1) Review the trade data available in the CITES database held at WCMC, regarding orchid species
occurring in Thailand and the trade to and from Thailand in order to:

a) determine or extrapolate the actual quantities of wild specimens of orchid species from
Thailand in trade;

b) produce a short-list of species of orchids from Thailand traded as wild specimens;

c) produce a list of species of orchids not indigenous to Thailand, but traded from there as
wild-collected specimens, if such is the case.

2) Collect preliminary information on the conservation status of the species referred to under 1 b) and 1
c), by review of the literature and by correspondence and interviews with experts within the country
and elsewhere.

3) Identify, for which areas of the country and for which taxa, field research is necessary to assess the
current conservation status of the orchid species concerned.

Method
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) provided the CITES trade data for the years 1990 -
1995. These were transferred into a Microsoft Access database (the Master Database) created and
maintained by the Conventions and Policy Section (CAPS), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK (RBG Kew).

The following information was gathered for each of the orchid species traded over that period:

• Published Authority
• Original Reference
• Global Distribution
• Distribution in Thailand (using seven floristic regions according to Smitinand, 1958)
• Conservation Status: (WCMC Threatened Plants Database and expert review)

This information was incorporated into the Master Database. Sources of information included Index
Kewensis and Gunnar Seidenfaden’s comprehensive references to Thailand (Opera Botanica and Dansk
Botanic Arkiv series). A number of orchid experts were also consulted for their advice.

Analysis of data
Queries were run on the Master Database to ascertain trends, trade patterns and possible detrimental trade.
The results are included in Part II of the report. A trade pattern analysis for the years 1990 - 1995 was then
carried out and is presented as a summary in Part I of this report.

Following the initial analysis and consideration of the data on distribution and conservation status, priority
was given to:

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 2 RBG Kew, January 1999


1. Orchid species endemic to Thailand
2. Orchid species considered threatened at national or global level
3. Non-native orchid species traded from Thailand
4. The most heavily traded orchid species

Individual data sheets for each of the species under consideration were prepared. The data sheets included
accepted name, synonymy, national and global distribution (including map), national and global conservation
status, trade figures and comments from expert reviewers. These data sheets were presented for discussion at
the project workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand. An example of a data sheet is given in figure 2 below:

Figure 2 - example of a data sheet

Dendrobium nobile Lindl. Gen. & Sp. Orch.


34: (1830).

Viet Nam
Synonymy:
Myanmar Callista nobilis (Lindl.) Kuntze
Dendrobium chlorostylum Gagnep.
Laos
Dendrobium coerulescens Wall.
Dendrobium formosanum (Rchb. f.) Masamune
Dendrobium friedericksianum auct. non Rchb. f.
I Dendrobium lindleyanum Griff.
II
Dendrobium nobile var. formosanum Rchb.f.
(Ref: OB83)

Distribution
III
Thailand:
V
I, II
IV VI Cambodia Global:
BT, CN, IN, LA, MM, NP, TH, TW, VN

Conservation Rating
Viet Nam by Country:
BT - ?, CN - ?, (TW)?, IN - I, LA - ?, MM - ?, NP - ?, TH - ?

Global:
?
VII

Malaysia

Trade Data

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995


Net Exports 261 534 230 459 13099 751

Workshop comments
1994 importer = JP (10,000), but export permits issued for 469 - CITES Plants Officer to check. Possibly came
across border. Doubt regarding identification because "many experts say that we don't have the real D. nobile in
Thailand". Could be confused with D. signatum. Temporary ban until taxonomic and nomenclatural status is
verified.

Workshop recommendation
Temporary export ban and field studies. Check taxonomy and nomenclature. PRIORITY (5).

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 3 RBG Kew, January 1999


Results and summary of the analysis
A number of specific queries were generated from the master database and new data sets were produced.
Figures 3 - 9 illustrate the results. The complete data sets are included in Part II of this report and are also
supplied on diskettes.

Notes for interpreting the graphs in figures 3 - 9:

• Reporting years

Note that Thailand did not start providing annual reports until 1991 and thus any trade information
included has been compiled from the annual reports of the importing countries. For example, in figure 3
there are no exports shown of wild-collected material from Thailand.

• Trade ban

Note that from 22 April 1991 to 2 April 1992 there was a CITES trade ban with Thailand. CITES Annual
Reports go from 1 January to 31 December, therefore there is only partial data each year which
corresponds with the ban:

In 1991 there was an (almost) 9 month ban


In 1992 there was a 4-month ban

• Differences in trade figures provided by Thailand and by importing countries*

Some countries compile their annual reports based on permits issued (whether the transaction occurred or
not), whereas other countries record the actual transactions. This would effect the trade figures recorded
as exports from Thailand and imports from Thailand.

• Net exports*

“The term ‘net exports’refers to the positive difference between total (re)exports (gross) and total imports
(gross)” (World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 1996).

Imports in this instance refers to the imports from Thailand which were recorded in the annual reports of
the importing countries (that is, orchids which were imported from Thailand).

* refer to pages iii - xi

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 4 RBG Kew, January 1999


Net exports reported at family or genus level or hybrids
Net exports reported at species level

30000000

25000000

20000000

15000000

10000000

5000000

0
1990 1991 1992 Year 1993 1994 1995

Figure 3: Net exports of orchid plants - Thailand 1990 - 1995 (including those reported only at
genus and family level)

Imports from Thailand reported as wild-collected


Exports fromThailand reported as wild-collected

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995


Year

Figure 4: Total number of orchid plants exported from Thailand and reported as 'Wild-Collected' -
1990 - 1995

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 5 RBG Kew, January 1999


Net exports

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995


Year

Figure 5: Exports of orchid plants with an IUCN global conservation rating of Extinct,
Endangered, Vulnerable or Rare - Thailand 1990 - 1995

Net exports

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995


Year

Figure 6: Net exports of non-native orchid plants with distributions in neighbouring countries
(Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Viet Nam and China) - Thailand 1990 - 1995

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 6 RBG Kew, January 1999


Region I Region II Region III Region IV Region

1990 1991 1992 1993


Year

Figure 7: Net exports of orchid plants endemic to one of the seven districts of Thailand (see Figure 1) - Thailand
Total exports reported by Thailand: 1990 - 1995 Total imports from Thailand (repo

1400000

1200000

50000000

40000000
1000000
30000000

20000000

800000 10000000

0
Japan

United
States

600000

400000

200000

0
AU AT BE BM CA CH CN CR DE DK DO ES FR GB HK IN IT KP
Importing Countries

Figure 8: Major importing countries of orchids from Thailand: 1990 - 1995


(Reported by Thailand and by importing countries)
90000

400000

80000 360000

320000
70000
280000

Dendrobium chrysotoxum
240000

Ascocentrum miniatum
Habenaria rhodocheila
60000

Dendrobium lindleyi
Dendrobium somaie
200000

160000
50000
120000

40000 80000
Species traded in quantities > 1

30000

20000

10000

Orchid Species traded in quantities > 10,000 - Thailand: 1990 - 199

Figure 9: The most heavily traded (total quantities >10,000) orchid species from Thailand during the six years 1990
A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 10 RBG Kew, January 1999
Workshop
The workshop to review the results of the trade analysis carried out by RBG Kew and the research carried
out by the CITES Management Authority of Thailand took place in The Louis Tavern Hotel, Bangkok from
27 - 29 July 1998. The workshop was organised by Mr Wichar Thitiprasert and his team in the CITES
Management Authority of Thailand and was opened by Dr Ananta Dalodom, Director-General, Department
of Agriculture, Thailand. Twenty seven people attended. The expert panel comprised: Asst. Prof. Dr
Pimchai Apavatjrut, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, Chiang Mai, Assoc. Prof. Dr Obchan
Taitong, Chiang Mai University, Asst. Prof. Dr Surawit Wannakairoj, Scientific Authority of Thailand, Mr
Chamlong Chettanachitara, Director of Agricultural Regulatory Division, Department of Agriculture,
Thailand and Mr Wichar Thitiprasert, Dr Ger van Vliet (Plants Officer, CITES Secretariat), Mr Noel
McGough, Ms Jacqueline Roberts, Mr James Comber, (RBG Kew). Mrs Supanon Sirichuaychoo was the
Workshop Secretary and there were 17 observers.

Presentations were given by representatives of the two consultants (CITES MA, Thailand and RBG Kew),
outlining the methods used in the collection of data for the workshop review. In addition Thailand informed
the group that since November 1997 new controls on the export of orchids from Thailand were in place.
Thus in order for a permit to be granted for the export of wild-collected orchids from Thailand, the exporter
was required to obtain written proof from the private landowner or from the Royal Forest Department to
show that the plants had been legally collected. Only where such proof of legal collection was shown would
an export permit be granted. No such permits had been granted between November 1997 and July 1998. In
addition a number of traders who had been found to be trading in illegally collected wild material, at
Chatuchak market, had been arrested and prosecuted.

Review process
The working group, chaired by Mr Noel McGough, was provided with the following working documents:

291 data sheets covering:

a) Orchid species endemic to Thailand.


b) Orchid species considered threatened.
c) Orchid species not native to Thailand, but recorded in trade.
d) The most heavily traded orchid species.
e) Orchid species traded in low volumes.

The working group was asked to discuss and provide recommendations on the following basis:

1. No action required.
2. Field investigation required.
3. Quota required.
4. High priority for artificial propagation in Thailand.
5. Export ban required.

In light of the new controls in operation the working group did not consider it appropriate to recommend
quotas for any of the species considered. Quotas may be considered at some time in the future.

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 11 RBG Kew, January 1999


Summary results of Workshop

Recommendations for action

No action
160
153 No action (non native)
140

120 Temporary export ban

100 Temporary export ban and field


studies
80 Full export ban and field studies
79
60
Field studies only
40
Check nomenclature
20 23
14 2 1 3 2 1 Species unknown
0
Action Appendix I (no further action)

The bar chart above summarises the discussions and subsequent recommendations of the review process.
See Part III for full results. Of the taxa included above, 16 species and one genus were identified as priority
for action:

Priority taxa for conservation action


Brachycorythis spp. (Priority for artificial propagation)
Bulbophyllum orientale
Calanthe rosea
Cleisostoma arietinum
Cymbidium cyperifolium
Cymbidium eburneum
Cymbidium tracyanum
Dendrobium scabrilingue
Dendrobium sulcatum
Dendrobium seidenfadenii
Dendrobium kratense (endemic)
Dendrobium nobile
Dendrobium keithii (endemic)
Habenaria carnea
Schoenorchis fragrans
Vanda coerulescens

A table listing all the species discussed, with recommendations and comments is included in part III

Repatriation of data and information


The master database, all data subsets and over 200 photographic images of Thai orchids have been given to
the CITES Management Authority of Thailand. It is planned that the good working relationship developed
been the two consultants will result in future co-operative projects in the years to come. It is intended to
continue the information flow to develop and maintain the database.

A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 12 RBG Kew, January 1999


Bibliography

Seidenfaden, G.:

(CLV75) Contributions to a revision of the Orchid Flora of Cambodia,


Laos & Vietnam 1975
(COoT) Contributions to the Orchid Flora of Thailand XIII 1997
(DBA73) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Notes on Cirrhopetalum 1975
(DBA75) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand I 1975
(DBA75) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand I-III 1975
(DBA76) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand IV 1976
(DBA77) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand V 1977
(DBA78) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand VI 1978
(DBA78) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand VII 1979
(DBA79) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand VIII 1979
(DBA80) Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand IX 1980
(OB62) Opera Botanica 62 Orchid Genera in Thailand X 1982
(OB72) Opera Botanica 72 Orchid Genera in Thailand XI 1983
(OB83) Opera Botanica 83 Orchid Genera in Thailand XII 1985
(OB89) Opera Botanica 79 Orchid Genera in Thailand XIII 1986
(OB95) Opera Botanica 72 Orchid Genera in Thailand XIV 1988
(OB114) Opera Botanica 114 Orchids of Indo China 1992

Seidenfaden, G. & Smitinand, T.:

(OoT63) Orchids of Thailand (Preliminary List) 1 - 4, 1959 - 1964 1963


(OoT65) Orchids of Thailand: A Preliminary List 1965

Seidenfaden, G. & Wood, J.J.:

(OMS92) The Orchids of Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore 1992

Other:

(CK1) Roberts, J.A. et al. CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 1 1995


(CKII) Roberts, J.A. et al. CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 2 1997
(CKIII+) Roberts, J.A. et al. CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 3 (in prep.)
(COS86) Bechtel, H. et al. Cultivated Orchid Species 1986
(Den,S,S) Schelpe, S. & Stewart, J. Dendrobiums 1990
(ENR95) Kraenzlin, F. Eine Niue Rodriguezia - Art. 1895
(FGT97) Vaddhanaphuti, N. A field guide to the wild orchids of
Thailand. 1997
(FOM64) Holtum Flora of Malaya, Volume 1 1964
(GC88) DuPuy, D. & Cribb, P.J. The Genus Cymbidium 1988
(GE36) Oakes, Ames & Hubbard The Genus Epidendrum 1936
(GP87) Cribb, P.J. The Genus Paphiopedilum 1987
(OAD86) Upton, W.T. Orchids of Australia, Dendrobiums 1986
(OoB94) Wood, J.J. & Cribb, P.J. A Checklist of the Orchids of Borneo 1994
(OoJ90) Comber, J.B. Orchids of Java 1990
(SWE80) Sweet, H.R. The Genus Phalaenopsis 1980
(WCMC) World Conservation
Monitoring Centre Threatened Plants Database 1998

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A survey of the orchid trade in Thailand 14 RBG Kew, January 1999