Since the publication of a checklist of Lesser Antilles’ orchids not far of twenty years ago, the orchid family has been the subject of many studies and publications, including extensive taxonomic revisions, thanks to the use of molecular tools and to the improvement of data availability through Internet (virtual herbariums on line). The knowledge of his family and on its distribution has been largely improved. The analysis of these new data and of in situ intensive prospections has given a number of 138 species recorded in the Lesser Antilles (in March 2012), 130 of them being native. This apparently stable number compared to the 1993’s checklist comes from the suppression of some species and the addition of others. It is also a consequence of taxonomic changes for around one third of the taxa. Guadeloupe remains the richest island with 103 recorded species, followed by Dominica, with 90 species and Martinique with 80 species. Examination of all the types specimen on one island’s endemics does not support the endemism level sometimes described. There are only 5 true one-island endemic species, 3 to Guadeloupe (Basse Terre), one to Dominica and one to Montserrat. The rate of endemism in the Lesser Antilles is 16%, and 27% of the Lesser Antillean orchids are endemics to the West Indies.
Bijzondere uitgave van ‘Orchideeën’, tweemaandelijks tijdschrift van de Nederlandse Orchideeën Vereniging, met een special over Saba. Michiel Boeken, voor deze gelegenheid gastredacteur, woonde en werkte twee jaar lang op Saba en maakte onder andere een inventarisatie van de orchideeën die er voorkomen. Dat zijn er meer dan twintig, en dat is veel voor een eilandje van amper vier kilometer in doorsnede. Hoe valt die soortenrijkdom te verklaren? En wanneer bloeien de meeste orchideeën? Na een inleiding over Saba volgt een uitgebreid geannoteerde lijst van orchideeensoorten per vegetatiezone waar zij voorkomen, van de kliffen en droge bossen tot het regenwoud en het nevelwoud, plus de op het eiland voorkomende exotische orchideeen en niet waargenomen, maar mogelijk wel op het eiland voorkomende soorten. Alle soorten zijn geillustreerd met fraaie foto's van de auteur.
This field guide includes all the orchid species located during the orchid survey conducted between winter of 2002 to date of publication. In keeping with the format of the study itself the arrangement of orchids presented is done by first, island wide
species, and second, orchids by geographic quadrant. This volume contains those orchids found to date growing below the line of the cloud forest on Mt. Scenery. The cloud forest orchids are in a ―special‖ environ-ment and are the subject of a future volume devoted strictly to the cloud forest and its ecology. Technical terms have been minimized to make the guide sim-pler to use by nonscientists.
The Orchidaceae on the island of Saba, Netherlands Antilles, have only briefly been studied and described. In January 2003, in cooperation with the Saba Conservation Foundation, a 3-year orchid population study of the island was established and is expected to continue as an on-going project. Unique in its geology, as well as its lack of serious tourism impact, the island of Saba provides a distinct research environment for Caribbean Island orchid habitation and ecology data. To date, the study has identified 13 species in eight genera of Caribbean orchids that may be considered naturalized. A unique copper form of Epidendrum ciliare has been located, which presents possible indications of variation from the usual E.ciliare Caribbean types. Orchid populations have been identified and GPS-located for use in future studies.
Populations of significant size have been map-plotted for use by the Saba Conservation Foundation in its land-based environmental management programs. This paper addresses species recordings of the Saba Orchidaceae, with previous historical citations, to date of publication.
This month’s issue focuses attention on the conservation efforts on the Windward side of the Dutch Caribbean. On St. Maarten, these days sharks are protected by law, largely due to the determination of the Nature Foundation. Their Shark Research Project is aimed at determining whether these protective measures have the desired effect and shark numbers are indeed rising again. On Saba and St. Eustatius James Ackerman and Raymond Tremblay of the University of Puerto Rico have continued their long-term population viability study of two beautiful and rare orchid species in order to produce management recommendations to save these species from local extinction.