Endangered orchid stolen from Mt. Nago
A civil servant from Nago Municipal Office confirmed that a wild orchid, Goodyera hachijoensis var. matsumurana, that is registered as an endangered species, was taken from a park on Mt. Nago.
The area is Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park, and to take the plant requires a special permission from the Okinawa Prefecture. Taro Hosokawa, who reported the wild orchid missing, said, “People who love plants should protect the environment, and stealing them should not be forgiven.”
Hosokawa visits Mt. Nago regularly to watch birds and the nature. According to him, there had been 15 Goodyeras on Dec. 8th, but three days later one of them was missing. He said that he could see that one was missing immediately, since he had taken photos of the orchids one by one.
The site is registered as a special nature spot in Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park based on the National Park Law. According to the law, a person taking a rare species plant without permission shall be punished by a maximum imprisonment of six months, or a fine of not exceeding ¥500,000.
Nago City officials who investigated the incident said, “We intend to watch the site. It’s so sad that someone stole the endangered orchid.”