Kia ora koutou,
I’m in need of some help for a current research project. Given the large scale and time restraints of the work, iNaturalist could be a huge help, hopefully this an appropriate forum to ask for this kind of help.
I’m a Master’s student at the University of Auckland, investigating how climate and soil variables might influence variation in the fruit crop of the endemic tree Beilschmiedia tawa across it’s entire natural range, and the implications for kererū and other frugivores.
Before field work begins (early Feb) we are trying to gauge how much fruit is being produced around the country (tawa occurs from near the top of the North Island down to Kaikoura). If it is too poor a fruiting year we may have to abandon the project for now. So far we have looked mostly in the central North Island and found very little fruiting trees.
So, if you are out for a bush walk and happen across any tawa I would be super appreciative if you wouldn’t mind having a quick look for any fruit! It can be quite hard to see fruit on the taller trees without binocs, but if trees are producing lots there should be both ripe and unripe fruit on the ground beneath the canopy. Also, fruit only really grows on branches exposed to direct sunlight. Any questions please get in touch.
Many thanks :)