THE FATE OF DIPLOMERIS HIRSUTA (LINDL.) LINDL.: A VULNERABLE ORCHID IN DARJEELING REGION OF EASTERN HIMALAYA, INDIASaurav Moktan, Sinjini Mondal, Debasruti Boral and Preshina Rai
The present communication investigates the population and habitat assessment of Diplomeris hirsuta (Lindl.) Lindl. (Orchidaceae) in Darjeeling region of eastern Himalaya, India over a period of three years. The method of quadrate sampling was followed and it was observed that the data show a reduction in the average population count of the species from 13.58 to 9.41 with a decline of about 20 to 25 percent including variation in the importance value index from 116.73 to 98.34 over a study period. The fate of the orchid is under tremendous threat and is likely to become extinct from its present vulnerable categorization if the frequency of population decrease continues at this rate. Proper conservation strategy is utmost necessary at this point for its survivability.