Costa Rica is home to a distinct variety of orchids. So much so that Costa Rica’s national flower is the Guaria Morada orchid. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that researchers from the Lankester Botanical Garden along with the University of Costa Rica discovered fifteen new species of orchids, as well as five other species that had not been recorded before in Costa Rica but had been recorded in other countries.
All species names consist of two parts. The first part is the genus, or the larger group the organism is related to. The second part, the specific name, is typically chosen by the person who found the new species. Often, this second name is based on a Latin word that describes the species, or is a name selected to honor a personal hero.
But scientists of this academic center named one of these fifteen new species, not found naturally in any other part of the world, SINAC (Epidendrum sinac), due to the collaboration that has existed between National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC-MINAE) and Lankester Botanical Garden
The new orchid species were found in place such as La Amistad International Park (PILA), Braulio Carrillo National Park, Volcán Tenorio National Park, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Guayabo National Monument, and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.
The executive director of SINAC, Rafael Gutiérrez, mentioned that the efforts made by SINAC in conjunction with other public and private institutions, in the protection of Wildlife Protected Areas, is of vital importance for the conservation and increase of biological diversity and ensure the protection of new species, their habitats and natural resources for future generations.
“The study conducted by the JBL reveals the importance of Costa Rica as a center of diversity of this group of plants and emphasizes the importance of conserving these species, since many of them are endemic, which means that they are not found naturally anywhere else in the world,” concluded Gutiérrez.