Orchids of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
Orchids are unique flowering plants under the botanical family Orchidaceae and are one of the largest flowering families in the entire plant kingdom. They occur in almost all the continents except in the polar region. Globally, there are more than 30,000 known species of orchids. Out of which more than 1100 species are reported from India and nearly 300 species from Western Ghats. Orchids are both, Epiphytes (which grow on tree-tops and branches) and terrestrial (which grow on ground).
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (18°25’26″N 72°56’50″E) is situated on the west coast of Maharashtra in Roha and Murud taluka of Raigad district and covering around 52.6 km area.The sanctuary area is mostly covered with Southern Moist Mixed-Deciduous Forest. It is also ranked among one of the highest conservation priority zones of Maharashtra. The landscape of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is virtually isolated from the mountains of Western Ghats Phansad wildlife sanctuary also bears some critically endangered as well as endemic Floral species which requires special attention and area protection for their wellbeing.
Orchids are extremely sensitive to environment and even the slightest disturbance to the habitat would affect its growth. With tremendous pressure on natural resources, particularly forest resources, orchids and their habitats are constantly under threat. More than 30% of the orchids found in the western Ghats are endemic and threatened.