The selling of orchids via the Internet is becoming a problem in that the Internet acknowledges no boundaries or legislation. Orchids which are listed as endangered or vulnerable under state or federal legislation are currently being sold in this manner. Also orchids which have not been identified by the seller are also being sold via Internet auction sites.
Two recent occurrences of this are from Queensland. The first concerns Geodorum terrestre(syn.G. densiflorum), which has been sold by a woman who stated the plants were from her property and of no concern to anyone but herself. G. terrestre is considered abundant in Qld. but endangered in NSW and the ramifications are immense if removal from their natural habitat is ongoing.
The second instance concerns an Arthrochilus species or two, as the seller is unaware which of two species he is selling. His Internet sales site infers either A. prolixus or A. irritabilis. A. prolixus is considered abundant from Gympie to near Sydney and A. irritabilis occurs from Ingham to Brisbane. Tubers of these orchids have been sold via auction for some time but in this and the previous case, no sellers licence number or tag is available on the sales site or accompanying the tubers when sold.
A visit to the seller of the Arthrochilus by an officer of the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) produced these interesting facts. The tubers were allegedly obtained prior to the enactment of appropriate legislation and additional tubers were purchased via the Internet and resold. My information from DERM did not indicate the seller had a licence, no mention was made of a requirement to obtain one and apparently no penalty was considered.
In light of this information I ask all ANOS people to consider the source of their intended Internet purchases as it is quite obvious, some of them are not as legal as they appear.
In an email arriving just hours after the above posting (13-9-09) I was informed the seller of Arthrochilus has succumbed to DERM requirements and will no longer sell any native orchids until such time as a licence to propagate is obtained and to date no application has been sought.