A highlight of my recent South Island fieldwork was helping to survey the last remaining New Zealand population of the liverwort Petalophyllum preissii. It’s a distinctive looking plant, a bit like a little lettuce, and about the size of a fingernail. Seeing it was special because I likely won’t have the
During the recent expedition to central Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, my job was to document the ferns and lycophytes. This was at the invitation of Marika Tuiwawa (University of South Pacific) who led the expedition’s plant team. It built on my previous experience working with ferns in Fiji, New
Valevahalo was the main camp for our recent Solomon Islands’ expedition. Sited at about 800 m above sea level, it is deep in the jungle of the northern foothills of Guadalcanal’s Mount Popomanaseu. I was there for eight nights, with two additional nights at a satellite camp at the nearby Haviha River.
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
Increasing plant populations through propagation is one way to help threatened species. Last week, Wellington City Council biodiversity staff collected cuttings and seed from several plant populations in the Te Kopahou area on the coast south of Wellington. I tagged along. The targeted species Spectacular, steep habitat Wellington’s south coast
Interesting and useful observations of life’s diversity can be made pretty much anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Last January, I joined the Wellington Botanical Society’s exploration of the area around Nelson Lakes. One of our day trips was to the Rainbow Ski Field. Some of us clambered up to the main
Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors: