Site Index
Trip Report - John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop 2012

Trip Report – 23-28 November 2012:   John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop 2012, Stewart Island

Thirty-one people flew and ferried to this year’s workshop, based in Oban, Stewart Island.   Participants came from all over NZ, with some from Australia.   There were also people from the USA, Sweden and Germany who are studying in NZ.   Several locals joined the group for some of the collecting trips.

Over the four days we visited a variety of habitats within easy reach of Oban.

Day 1: we were bussed to Lee Bay to explore the Rakiura Track to Maori Beach, and the Garden Mound Track.

Day 2: we explored Fern Gully and, whilst some returned by road to Oban, others walked back via Ryan’s Creek Track and the coast to Oban.

Day 3: we boarded Aurora to collect on Ulva Island.   Later we re-boarded Aurora to continue up Paterson Inlet.   We climbed Pryze’s Peak Track through the temperate zone to 365 m, and low scrub dominated by manuka and pink pine.

Day 4: we explored the roadsides and shorter tracks around Oban.

We used the RSA Hall as a lab, a place to eat, and as a lecture hall.   Each evening we examined the day’s collections and listened to talks.   The latter covered the geology and vegetation of Stewart Island, and the local identities who had contributed to the knowledge of the island’s flora and fauna over more than a century.   Several attendees made interesting presentations on aspects of the work they are involved in.

For the beginners, there was an hour’s formal introduction to bryophytes and lichens on the first evening.   For the remainder of the workshop interaction continued between beginners and those with some knowledge.

What did we find?   We won’t know for a few months.   For liverworts and hornworts, we added at least eight taxa to the substantial list compiled from herbarium records before the workshop.   For mosses, the collections made in the middle of last century by William Martin were taken as a guide.   No doubt species will be added as the collections made during the foray are worked through.

We thank John Steel and his helpers (Aimee and Kelly) for the organisation and catering, and for bringing microscopes and other equipment from Dunedin.

The 2013 workshop is planned for Ohakune in the central North Island.

Rodney Lewington and Peter Beveridge


Please Email comments regarding this web page to webmaster (at)