New York Natural Heritage Program
Dragon's Mouth Orchid
Arethusa bulbosa L.

Threats [-]
Invasive plants and succession of the habitat to shrubs are a continuing threat to most of the populations present around the state. Populations on Long Island are threatened by development and natural changes in habitat. These Long Island populations are usually small with only a few plants each. As a result, even minor threats or changes to the habitat can extirpate these populations. Some upstate populations are threatened by surrounding development, but most of them are in isolated wetlands. Any hydrologic changes that impact the wetlands where this orchid is found would certainly threaten the long-term stability of the orchids in and near the impacted site.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
Since development activities directly result in habitat loss and indirectly may cause an increase in invasive species, sufficient buffers are needed around sites where this orchid is known to occur. These buffers should be a minimum of 100 meters. The buffers should be greater than 100 meters in cases where drainage patterns, slope, and/or soil type may result in runoff into the wetland supporting this orchid. In areas where the orchid is known, some active management to reduce the overall shrub cover may be needed to maintain an open canopy. As a precaution to limit illegal collecting and the spread of invasive species, human visitation to sites where this orchid is found should be monitored.

Research Needs [-]
Habitat studies are needed on Long Island to determine the habitat requirements there. The Long Island populations are in vastly different habitat than typical habitat observed elsewhere in New York. In order to provide more detailed management requirements, a competition study is needed to determine the population dynamics of this orchid as a site succeeds from an open wetland to a shrub-dominated wetland. Habitat modeling may be helpful in locating new populations.