Ecology and Conservation Status of Threatened Orchid Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don) Soo in Manaslu Conservation Area, Central Nepal


Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don) Soo, commonly known as “Panchaunle”, is an important medicinal plant species distributed throughout the Himalaya region. The present work was conducted in order to assess its availability in natural habitats because of its medicinal properties, cultural significance and declining population density. The work focused primarily on its ecological features and conservation status. The density of D. hatagirea was found to be 2.18 individuals·m-2 with frequency and abundance being 81.81% and 2.67 individuals·m-2, respectively. We considered grazing, trampling, number of cattle and distance to settlement as anthropogenic factors. While grazing and trampling were shown to have a significant, negative impact on population density, we observed no significant change in the number of the species with respect to number of cattle and distance to settlement. We conclude that the species is threatened and that anthropogenic factors have a significant effect on its habitation in the study area.

Share and Cite:

Bhattarai, P. , Pandey, B. , Gautam, R. and Chhetri, R. (2014) Ecology and Conservation Status of Threatened Orchid Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don) Soo in Manaslu Conservation Area, Central Nepal. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 3483-3491. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.523364.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Swarts, N.D. and Dixon, K.W. (2009) Terrestrial Orchid Conservation in the Age of Extinction. Annals of Botany, 104, 543-556.
[2] Warghat, A.R., Bajpai, P.K., Srivastava, R.B., Chaurasia, O.P. and Sood, H. (2013) Population Genetic Structure and Conservation of Small Fragmented Location of Dactylorhiza hatagirea in Ladakh Region of India. Scientia Horticulturae, 164, 448-454.
[3] Rokaya, M.B., Raskoti, B.B., Timsina, B. and Munzbergova, Z. (2013) An Annotated Checklist of the Orchids of Nepal. Nordic Journal of Botany, 31, 511-550.
[4] Averyanov, L.M. (1990) A Review of the Genus Dactylorhiza. In: Ardit, J., Ed., Orchis Biology: Reviews and Perspectives, V, Timber Press, Oregon, 159-206.
[5] Pedersen, H.E. (1998) Species Concept and Guidelines for Infraspeciefic Taxonomic Ranking in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae). Norwegian Journal of Botany, 18, 289-310.
[6] Hedren, M. (2001) Conservation Priorities in Dactylorhiza, a Taxonomically Complex Genus. Lindleyana, 16, 17-25.
[7] Raskoti, B.B. (2009) The Orchid of Nepal. Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti and Rita Ale, Kathmandu.
[8] Flora of China Editorial Committee (2009) Flora of China (Orchidaceae). In: Wu, Y., Raven, P.H. and Hong, D.Y., Eds., Flora of China, Science Press & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing, 1-570.
[9] Bulpitt, C.J. (2005) The Uses and Misuses of Orchids in Medicine. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 98, 625-631.
[10] Acharya, K.P. and Rokaya, M.B. (2010) Medicinal Orchids of Nepal: Are They Well Protected? Our Nature, 8, 82-91.
[11] Pant, B. and Raskoti, B.B. (2013) Medicinal Orchid of Nepal. Himalayan Map House Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu.
[12] Watanabe, T., Rajbhandari, K.R., Malla, K.J. and Yahara, S. (2005) A Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Nepal. Kobfai Publishing Project, Foundation for Democracy and Development Studies, Bangkok.
[13] Baral, S.R. and Kurmi, P.P. (2006) A Compendium of Medicinal Plants in Nepal. Mass Printing Press, Kathmandu.
[14] Thakur, M. and Dixit, V.K. (2007) Aphrodisiac Activity of Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don) Soo in Male Albino Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4, 29-31.
[15] Giri, D. and Tamta, S. (2010) A General Account on Traditional Medicinal Uses of Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don) Soo. New York Science Journal, 3, 78-79.
[16] Ranpal, S. (2009) An Assessment of Status and Antibacterial Properties of Dactylor hizahatagirea in Annapurna Conservation Area, a Case Study of Paplekharka, Lete VDC, Mustang. Master’s Dissertation, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.
[17] Kulla, T. and Hutchings, M.J. (2006) A Comparative Analysis of Decline in the Distribution Ranges of Orchid Species in Estonia and the United Kingdom. Biological Conservation, 129, 31-39.
[18] Sharma, P.K., Sharita, S. and Prell, J. (2005) Dactylor hizahatagirea (D. Don) Soo—A West Himalayan Orchid in Peril. Current Science, 89, 610-612.
[19] Fischer, M. and Matthies, D. (1998) Effects of Population Size on Performance in the Rare Plant Gentianella germanica. Journal of Ecology, 86, 195-204.
[20] Matthies, D., Brauer, I., Maibom, W. and Tscharntke, T. (2004) Population Size and the Risk of Local Extinction: Empirical Evidence from Rare Plants. Oikos, 105, 481-488.
[21] Zobel, D.B., Behan, M.J., Jha, P.K. and Yadav, U.R.K. (1987) A Practical Manual for Ecology. Ratna Book Distributors, Kathmandu.
[22] MacCullagh, P. and Nelder, J.A. (1989) Generalized Linear Models. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
[23] Lomolino, M.V. (2001) Elevation Gradient of Species-Density: Historical and Prospective Views. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10, 3-13.
[24] Manandhar, N.P. (1990) Some of the Medicinal Plants of Nepal. Ancient Science of Life, 9, 231-233.
[25] Shrestha, T.B. and Joshi, R.M. (1996) Rare, Endemic and Endangered Plants of Nepal. WWF Nepal Program, Kathmandu.
[26] Uniyal, S.K., Awasthi, A. and Rawat, G.S. (2002) Current Status and Distribution of Commercially Exploited Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Upper Gori Valley, Kumaon Himalaya, Uttaranchal. Current Science, 82, 1246-1252.
[27] Kala, C.P. (2005) Indeginous Uses, Population Density and Conservation Areas of the Indaian Himalaya. Conservation Biology, 19, 368-378.
[28] Jalal, J.S. and Rawat, G.S. (2009) Habitat Studies for Conservation of Medicinal Orchids of Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya. African Journal of Plant Science, 3, 200-204.
[29] Kala, C.P. (2000) Status and Conservation of Rare and Endangered Medicinal Plants in Indian Trans-Himalaya. Biological Conservation, 93, 371-379.
[30] GoN (2008) National Capacity Self-Assessment for Global Environmental Management. Nepal Thematic Assessment Report: Biodiversity. Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu.
[31] Bhattarai, P., Bhatta, K.P., Chhetri, R. and Chaudhary, R.P. (2014) Vascular Plant Species Richness along Elevation Gradients of the Karnali River Valley, Nepal Himalaya. International Journal of Plant, Animal and Environmental Sciences, 4, 114-126.
[32] Olea, P.P. and Mateo-Tomas, P. (2009) The Role of Traditional Farming Practice in Ecosystem Conservation: The Case of Transhumance and Vulture. Biological Conservation, 142, 1844-1853.
[33] Pillon, Y., Ray, M.F., Shipunov, A.B. and Chase, M.W. (2006) Species Diversity versus Phylogenetic Diversity: A Practical Study in the Taxonomically Difficult Genus Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae). Biological Conservation, 129, 4-13.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.