Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don), Soo (Panja, Salam-panja or Hath-panja) is a critically endangered native and high value medicinal plant of the Himalayan Region. The several medicinal properties of the roots of this species have increased its risk of extinction due to pressures for utilization. It is also subjected to browse by cattle’s. The species also does not regenerate well in nature which is another risk factor. Therefore, an attempt has been made to investigate the population ecology of the species as a foundation for its conservation. Forty eight sites in the Suru valley, a part of the cold desert region were surveyed but only in sixteen sites was the target species present. The abundance of the species, impacts of over exploitation and its current status indicated that it may soon be extirpated from the Suru valley. So a plan for conserving the remaining number of the species is presented. It could provide a template for conservation in other locations where the species is at risk.
Key words: Angulakpa, cold desert, population ecology, hath-panja, wanglak.
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