Posts tagged with South Island

Plant collecting in south Canterbury and Marlborough

On our first collecting day, we set a new elevation record for Te Papa’s new 4WD, with 1100 m on Mount Studholme near Waimate.  We smashed that with 1700 m on our last collecting day, on top of Marlborough’s Black Birch Range.  The snow-capped Tapuae-o-Uenuku of the Inland Kaikoura Range is the backdrop. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

An important function for Te Papa’s natural history collections is to document the plants and animals we have in New Zealand. What species are present, how can they be distinguished, and where do they occur? These questions need addressing before our biodiversity, both indigenous and exotic, can be managed in an informed manner. It is… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip: weedy highlights

goat's beard, Tragopogon pratensis L., (SP103848). Collected 16 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Canterbury, West Coast Road. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In early December 2014, three Te Papa Botany Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  We collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). See the first blog in this series for more detail. Along the way, other native (and naturalised) species were also collected for Te… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip – Te Papa Botanists in Action!

  • Torlesse.Phil.photobyPhil
  • Broken River Ski Field 4WD photo by Phil
  • Torlesse.Heidi.photobyPhil
  • 21Amuri Notothlaspi 4 Phil

In December 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on an 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens collected, including 19… Read more »

Climb every mountain

Brian Brake grew up in Arthur’s Pass and retained a love of New Zealand’s mountains all his life.  He took hundreds of photographs of South Island peaks, lakes and rivers.   If you’re an alpine enthusiast, a keen tramper, or you know the South Island well, please take a look and let us know if you can name any… Read more »

When did little spotted kiwi become extinct on the New Zealand mainland?

Map of the locations where three post-1940 little spotted kiwi were found (names in black type). Today’s little spotted kiwi all derive from birds that survived on Kapiti Island (red type). Base map supplied by Geographx (

Little spotted kiwi  only occur in New Zealand, where there are around 1500 individuals remaining.  They are the smallest kiwi species, about the size of a bantam hen, and are very susceptible to predation by introduced mammals, such as stoats and dogs.  Today they survive on predator-free offshore islands and the fenced mainland sanctuary Zealandia… Read more »