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Phragmipedium peruvianum syn. kovachii

This is a discussion on Phragmipedium peruvianum syn. kovachii within the The Outback Terrace Bar forums, part of the Land Plants category; Yes of course there was a name in Peru, just like we have common names ...

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  1. #11
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    Yes of course there was a name in Peru, just like we have common names for our native species. The reason why every species has to be renamed in latin is because the name can be used universally and in a orderly taxinomic fashion, it's not arrogance.

    And CITES was intended to protect endangered animals like elephants which were poached and the regulations for flora were written up as a last minuite thing since there weren't many botanists involved. Most orchids are NOT endangered and they are plentiful in its native habitat as Mahon stated. Nobody really put out a scientific study on whether taking some orchids from the wild even has an significant effect on native populations before setting up CITES regulations. I still think CITES should stick with what is endangered and most orchids are not.
    I do not think that removing CITES regulations on orchids will cause any extinctions at all. In vitro technology can bring orchids to everyone and satisfy their desires, so orchids do not need to be harvested from the wild in bulk quantities. Habitat destruction is what really kills.

    Besides isn't it silly I can't bring a tropical house plant from USA which was grown in vitro into Canada without paperwork? I can bring any other tropical house plants except orchids according to customs.

    The 'Orchids are endangered due to poaching' myth is blown out of proportion. I can also add that an endangered plant population can grow much faster than an endangered animal population based on the number offspring produced. Therefore plant populations regenerate faster You guys know how many seeds orchids make.

    PS: don't worry guys I don't grow anything that is considered illicit and any rare species have paperwork done to prove they were grown in vitro.
    Last edited by smartie2000; October 5th, 2006 at 02:39 AM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #12
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    ok, so... I think I'm gonna go with Pat on this one.

    Mainly because I see this as a nortie finger up on CITES.

    I agree with Smartie about the ability of orchids to be reproduced x amount in a laboratory and international demand would be better served if CITES wasn't so strict.

    I think that local demand tends to wipe out plants more so than international pressure. Also, loss of land through farming, timber felling, mining and other habitat destruction has a greater effect on reduction of orchid numbers.

    Having said that, I do think there should be some form of control over import/export of plants... however, there should not be any barrier at all on plants sold as flasks... this at least shows that the plants are propagated and not wild collected.

    Oh, and I have two flasks of Phrag kovachii sitting next to me... woo hoo...

    I also, have a couple of other plants which various nurseries in Australia imported as seedling flasks and then sold on when they are bigger which I believe is illegal in the USA. Will these plants become extinct? Not likely with the number of them being grown in this country... and who knows... when the habitat they once use to grow in which is probably now a temprary slash and burn farm reverts back to it's wild ways... maybe we can re-introduce these plants.

    cheers
    tim

  3. #13
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    You guys are missing my point completely. I don't give a flip what laws are involved. He broke the law. He knew he was breaking the law. That was smuggling. Period. If people don't agree with a law, then they should work to change it, not ignore it. And I am more concerned with harmfull insects, diseases, bacteria, noxious weeds, etc., being brought along for the ride than I am about over harvesting.

    As for the name, there is no reason why the taxonomic process could not include the Peruvian name for the plant, "Phrag whateverii" instead of "Phrag kovachii". There is no valid reason not to incorporate the common name into the scientific name in some form, and no valid reason to name it after the person who first describes it to the scientific community. (After all, he/she did not discover the plant, they just brought knowledge of it's existence into a wider circle).

  4. #14
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    actually, breaking the law is the most effective course the average american has to trying to change it. if you break the law, you are tried. if you are found guilty of something you think shouldn't be illegal, you can then appeal. if you fight hard enough, its possable to actually get the laws changed, with just you and your lawers. its not common, and its not easy, but it does happen, and it is by far the easiest way for the average american, and the only way other than trying to deal with "congress," which i think we all know is just the opposite of "progress." ;P

    this is pretty off topic, i'm sorry.

  5. #15
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    You make an interesting point, although I doubt Mr. Kovach smuggled the plant in an attempt to change the law...

    I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe the judiciary system can change laws. They can strike one down if they believe it's illegal, but I think that's all. Actually changing laws would be a legislative function.

    Oh well...I've just expended all my interest in the legal process. I'll just avoid smuggling orchids and I'll have to live with the disappointment that none will ever be named after me. Phrag McJulieii is a bit of a mouthful anyway...

    McMarbleheadii

  6. #16
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    Unforunately these are international laws so I don't know how action can take place. The general public still believe most orchids are rare, exotic and endangered, and orchid hobbyists and botanists who know the truth are still a minority.
    I haven't been arrested yet nor smuggled anything that was wild collected, so I have no experience in changing the law. I know that CITES must change eventually, who knows when. The regulations are outdated, based on the practice of century old orchid hobbyists(no in vitro plants).
    I don't remember clearly, but I believe the botanist that wrote up he CITES regulations was a orchid collector as well. I get the feeling he just wanted control over all orchid discoveries, and he wants the best collection of specimens and herbarums. I forgot the names of the botanists who wrote up CITES, but remember the man involved couldn't back up on why he made the regulations and how his regulations would increase wild populations in an interview.

    It's too bad the plant was named Phrag. kovachii, but I am sure there other people who named another species that were just as insensible. Phrag. kovachii had to cross borders to get ID as there are no taxomists in Peru. Some parts of he plant would have needed to be taken regardless.

    It's just that Phrag. kovachii will revolutionize phrag genetics that the story made to so big globally. The Canadian discovery Phragmipedium tetzlaffianum, included lots of smuggling as well (wild collecting and mailing plant parts to Olaf Gruss several times), and no big story was made. He was only charged by he Canadian government because a fellow jealous orchid hobbyist reported Environment Canada. He obtained the plant from Venezuela and Venezuela pressed no charges. Phragmipedium tetzlaffianum was not a plant that would revolutionize phrag genetics, so the story was not inflated a million times globally. The only big hit was that it is the only Canadian tropical orchid discovery. BTW he named the plant after his family name as well.

    Besides being able to give a scientific name to a plant gives an incentive to 'discover' and have it contribute to orchid genetics and science.

    Still there are many other plants that are truly rare and endangered and law enforcements don't seem quite as strict.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    You make an interesting point, although I doubt Mr. Kovach smuggled the plant in an attempt to change the law...

    I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe the judiciary system can change laws. They can strike one down if they believe it's illegal, but I think that's all. Actually changing laws would be a legislative function.
    yeah, i don't think he was either. i figured i was rambling OT enough without adding that it didn't seem like the case and i wasn't trying to stand up for him...but i don't think that was the case, and i'm not trying to stand up for him!

    the judiciary can't change the way an existing law works, or add new laws, but they can indeed strike down existing laws, and in doing so, they can change what is legal and what isn't.

    and, like smartie2k says, its an international law, so even if he was trying to protest the law to get it changed (which is hard to immagine), he wouldn't be able to, since he was tried in a court with no jursdiction to change the law (chang it by making it not a law).

    i guess i was replying more to "If people don't agree with a law, then they should work to change it, not ignore it." than to the rest of the topic.

    for the record, i think preserving samples (preferably with a diverse DNA base so as to ensure longtearm viability) of native species (especially flora, because it is so much easier to harbor a large population of) in areas where for any reason the native species is risking extinction is a great idea. i think it is not only important because i like orchids, but because humanity is responcible for driving a huge number of species of living things off the face of the earth, permanantly.

    that said, i don't think this task, as important and noble as it is, is the job of private collectors or comertial growers. its the kind of work that needs to be done by an international organization that is free from outside pressure. let *them* collect 100 samples of a native orchid, and introduce it to the market when the seedlings are ready, for example. and if the native plants dissapear, for whatever reason, the same organization will be able to return to that environment with a viable community of plants, and reintroduce them. ideally they would be able to take care of the threatened wild animals and such, too...but that would be even more of a fantasy...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartie2000 View Post
    Phrag. kovachii had to cross borders to get ID as there are no taxomists in Peru.
    I find that very surprising, as Peru has some very well known Botanists. But even if that is the case - my humble opinion is that it shouldn't be that you should get to name the plant just because you are the one who has the task of classifying it. I think that should be true of all species plants - that it has the native name included instead of some persons... anything that is a man made hybrid can be named whatever they want.

    But hey, no one is going to change they way it is done because of my opinion.. way too many egos involved.

  9. #19
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    The orchid portion of CITES was developed in part and proposed by Phillip J. Cribb. My opinion on the orchid portion of CITES is that it was set up to be benificial to himself, but I cannot say for sure. But look at the species that are auto-protected by CITES; all Cypripedioideae. I believe that Rhizanthella and many Pleurothallids are rarer than most species of Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium. Funny that Cribb specializes in the Paphiopedilum and Cypripedium, then writes the Monographs of both genera... funny?

    And for the record, Phragmipedium kovachii was named in honor of the person who brought in the taxon to be described. The taxonomists are Stig Dalstrom, John T. Atwood, Ph.D., and Ricardo Fernandez. James Kovach was the person whom the species is named after. I do not believe there is a common name given to the plant in Peru by locals... otherwise, we would have had the species earlier than it was discovered.

    We are dealing with flowers... not the miraculous cures of cancer or flying plants who perform circus acts... they grow and bloom. They really have no purpose. We like them... so we grow them. But don't you think it is riduculous to cause a person a lifetime of trouble over a flower (in this instance, a single flower)? Besides, I was personally told that there were proper documents to import the plant, but there was a complication in the paperwork (which was not discussed to me). The Peruvian gov. wanted the plant back because of it.

    Is it not funny that a person who is driving drunk on the road won't have as many problems as a person who brings in a ladyslipper into the US? There are more important things to be focusing on than a flower... the orchid trade, like almost all other trades, need to be left alone.

    -P.A. Mahon

  10. #20
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    Whew... gotta love debate! And interestingly, this has actually been a rather nice one... not like others I've had the (dis)-pleasure of seeing/reading/etc etc...

    We've really opened up a can of worms here too haven't we...

    1. we've questioned both local and international laws
    2. we've touched on human psyche and in particular taxonomists and how that profession relates to ego
    3. and even linguistics... "a rose by any other name, would still prick you"

    I do think that there isn't much I can do about the whole CITES thing though... but I can try and grow species as best as I can so that they continue to exist.

    As nice as some taxonomists are, I still don't have to like what some of them do... imagine... Thelychiton kingianus (eugh... bleh, bleh)

    And finally, Phrag kovachii (aka peruvianum)... hey, that's not even as long as some of my tags... maybe, I can include both!

    Finally just to apease... I think that the matter of Mr Kovach breaking the law and being fined and the media and general interest of the community has shown that doing something against the law has it's consequences! So, don't do it kiddies!!!

    now... then... back to my cup of tea!

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