The Cliffs Interpretation Centre hosted Greenhouse Malta for a talk on Orchid Surveying as part of a citizen science initiative to record wild orchids in the Maltese Islands on Sunday 25th February. Following the talk, volunteers went out in the field to spot orchids.
Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research. A local initiative is the photographing and recording of orchids found in the garrigue environment in a project aiming to identify the status of wild orchids in the Maltese Islands. The project is being managed by Greenhouse Malta who have contacted The Cliffs Interpretation Centre for a talk to be held at The Centre, made last Sunday at the lecture room of The Cliffs Interpretation Centre.
The Centre is doing its utmost to help monitor such flora species. The weekly organised free walks, involve strolling along footpaths within the natural garrigue habitat and whenever orchids are spotted, we do our utmost to educate all types of visitors. Despite being seen as open rocky ground with few patches of soil, this main habitat type is home to over 500 of the indigenous plant species of the Maltese Islands including orchids. Perhaps one of the interesting features of orchids is their reliance on highly specialised pollination systems and their use of shape, colour or scent to attract pollinators, including bees and wasps.
Recently, two of the earliest indigenous orchids to flower in the Maltese Islands, the Fan-lipped Orchid (Anachamptis collina, Orkida Ħamra) and the Milky Orchid (Orchis conica, Orkida tat-Tikek) were spotted during our regular eco-walks, spotted as individual plants or in isolated clusters. Browse through our website for more information about The Centre’s initiatives of awareness-raising – http://www.thecliffs.com.mt/