From the introduction:
"Orchids have always attracted the admiration and curiosity of people. Still, several aspects of their complicated life-style remain full of secrets.
The Estonian native orchid flora (36 species) is rather species-rich considering the small size of the country and its northern location. The number of native orchids is declining throughout the world as a result of changes in land use, while some species have lost many of their habitats here. However, there are districts, e.g. on Saaremaa Island with 32 species while they occur in rather large numbers. These can be called a real orchid paradise. Already in 1936, the first species were protected by law in Estonia. Nowadays all species of the family are placed under nature protection.
Orchid studies in Estonia began in the last century. Many of the studies deal with the distribution of the species; ecological, taxonomical and biological problems have also been dwelt upon. In 1985, the Estonian Orchid Protection Club was founded, and its members have been very active in studying and protecting these plants. Orchid Ecology and Protection in Estonia contains an overview of the literature published here on orchids as well as some ofthe studies carried out in the 80s. We hope to cast light on the orchidological treasures of this country and help to refer people, interested in northern orchids, all over the world to the information on the region that has, during the last half a century, been inaccessible to orchid tourists and even to researchers from the West."
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