We're devastated to announce up to 900 of WA’s rarest orchids have been stolen from the Conservation Garden in Kings Park.
The majority of the 400 Carbunup King Spider Orchids (Caladenia procera) and 500 Collie Spider Orchids (Caladenia leucochila) housed in the Conservation Garden have been removed or destroyed.
These orchids only occur naturally in a very restricted part of WA, with global population estimates sitting at just 280 Carbunup Kings Spider Orchids and 900 Collie Spider Orchids.
The plants were on display to provide a unique opportunity for botanic garden visitors to see rare species unlikely to be seen in the wild. These plantings play a valuable role in reducing visitation impacts on endemic populations, contributing to conservation in their natural habitat.
The plantings are the result of a four-year collaboration between science staff and horticultural teams. They were designed to better inform how precious seedlings are moved into natural sites.
It is an offence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act (2016) for illegal take of threatened species with significant penalties of up to $500,000 for individuals and $2.5 million for a corporation. All orchid species are listed under CITES, an agreement that regulates the international movement of species that may be threatened by trade.
If you believe you have information about this theft, please contact Crimestoppers at www.crimestopperswa.com.au
For media enquiries, please contact us.