Rafflesia, Amorphopallus flowers declared endangered species: Research

14 , 2015 | Source: Antara News

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has said two rare native flowers species from the Sumatran forests, Rafflesia and Amorphopallus, have become endangered due to habitat conversion done for various purposes.

The Deputy for Life Sciences, Enny Sudarmonowati said on Friday that the two rare flower species had to be preserved by all parties, including researchers, governments and the community.

"Not much time is left for botanists to apply research to conserve these giant flora," Sudarmonowati said.

The endangered status of the two rare species will be highlighted at the international symposium for Rafflesia Arnoldii and Amorphopallus Titanum, which will be organized by LIPI in Bengkulu from September 14 to 16, 2016.

Sudarmonowati remarked that the endangered flora indicated that changes have been taking place in the Sumatra forests, particularly Bengkulu, the native habitat of the flowers.

There is a biological aspect that remains a mystery about the ideal habitat for these plants.

LIPI has also initiated an international forum to bring together researchers and academics to discuss the preservation of the rare flowers.

"The forum is expected to build perspective to save Rafflesia and Amorphopallus," she said.

In addition to a number of experts on Amorphopallus and Rafflesia, the symposium will also draw local administrators, community groups and tourism players.

The Head of Plant Conservation, Bogor Botanical Garden, Didik Widyatmoko, said the forum would bring together stakeholders to share knowledge and experience related to Rafflesia and Amorphophallus.

One expected result is the formulation of a preservation model for rare flowers that will be beneficial for not only biodiversity conservation, but also for the tourism sector to have a positive impact on the development of Bengkulu.

Bengkulu forests house four species of Rafflesia, including Arnoldii, Gadutensis, Bengkuluensis and Hasselti. Meanwhile, the Amorphophallus species, among others, includes Titanum, Phaeonifolius, Gigas and Variabilis.

 

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