New Zealand - iNaturalist World Tour

Again in the Southern Hemisphere we move from South Africa to New Zealand for the sixth stop on our iNaturalist World Tour. Here, top observers seem relatively well distributed across the two islands. But the major cities: Auckland Wellington, and Christchurch are particularly well represented.


The New Zealand Biodiversity Recording Network Trust, under the leadership of @jon_sullivan and @meurkc, launched a separate instance of the iNaturalist software known as NatureWatch NZ in 2012. In 2014, they joined the iNaturalist Network and are now known as iNaturalist.nz. Its fascinating to see the reverse seasonality to what occurs in the northern hemisphere. It also looks like the rate of observations per month has greatly increased in the last year.


The number of herp and mammal observations are low, reflecting the few species that made it to New Zealand. Plants, invertebrates, birds, and fungi top the chart.


We’ll be back tomorrow with the United Kingdom!
@jon_sullivan @jacqui-nz @leonperrie @john_barkla @kaipatiki_naturewatch @esler @david_lyttle @kiwifergus @cooperj @stephen_thorpe

Posted by loarie loarie, June 29, 2019 14:39

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And now for something completely different - again. The top 50 species from New Zealand.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6803&view=species
For the first time we have a country where plants are #1 (with 22 species in the top 50), followed closely by birds (with 20 species). Apart from insects with 4 species, everything else is an afterthought: spiders (2) and mammals and fungi, with only one species each. But this is the first time that spiders and fungi feature on our tour of top countries. For the first time too, we have a very strong marine signal in the species (2 Cormorants, 2 Gulls, Oystercatcher, Penguin & Fur Seal).
But a major feature of New Zealand is the large number of alien species - more than twice as much as any other country so far - with 12 species. The Honey Bee is there at #12, but also included are plants, other insects (bumblebees and butterflies), birds, fungi. (the Hedgehog - another alien - just fails to make the top 50 species). One might almost be forgiven for wondering if New Zealands biota was just too different for European colonists?

Posted by tonyrebelo 8 months ago (Flag)
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Identifiers are from
9 New Zealand &
USA (birds)
After the United States, New Zealand has the most of its own identifiers of any country so far visited, with only birds having a top identifier from outside the country.

Posted by tonyrebelo 8 months ago (Flag)
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In marine species, not a Sea Lion, but a fur seal. And the hedgehog doesn't make the top 50.

Posted by tony_wills 8 months ago (Flag)
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My bad: sorry, I will edit and fix.
(whoops: is Fur Seal and not Fir Seal).

Posted by tonyrebelo 8 months ago (Flag)
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I enjoyed looking at all the unique and amazing looking photos. The folks taking the pictures did a beautiful job in the way they photographed each and every living thing. They are works of art. I have to say, some to the birds are so pretty. I love the New Zealand Robin, New Zealand Kaka, Australasian Swamphen, Tomtit, Little penguins, and the list goes on... Also the Snakeskin Chiton, so cool looking! Never seen or heard of such a thing. Thank you for sharing this link.
I love to see what is found in other parts of the world.
Like people, the diversity is truly beautiful.

Posted by walkingstick2 8 months ago (Flag)
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According to my records the first observation with photo for NaturewatchNZ was https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/940032, submitted 29 June 2012, I might have worked this out from the photo ID number (can't remember now!). I think there are earlier observations with photos but they were bulk uploaded observations where the photos were added later.

Interestingly the first photo on iNaturalist.org, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/1, now deleted, was a NZ Kaka (presumably a test).

, .

And the first observation on iNat from NZ was a Kea:

Posted by tony_wills 8 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks @tonyrebelo for your analysis :-)

There are a lot of alien species, but of the top 50 species observed, 24 are endemic to NZ (I include the NZ Robin although it doesn't seem to have its endemic status noted on iNat). Not sure how that compares for other regions.

Posted by tony_wills 8 months ago (Flag)
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I dont think Australia and South Africa have all their endemics coded. I assume USA, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand as established communities do have their endemics listed. Although I see for Mexico some are marked "N - native to North America" (but their Endemics and Invasives are marked "to Mexico", but I dont know how comprehensive these are). There are a few marked "E" for South Africa, but a quick investigation gives them as "endemic to Africa" - they are clearly not endemic to South Africa. I find the USA tally suspect - are all their common species widespread on the continent?

Counts - based simply on "E" on the species thumbnails - are:
New Zealand 24, Australia 12, Mexico 1, USA 0, Canada 0

A very quick gestimate for South Africa is 20-22 species.

Posted by tonyrebelo 8 months ago (Flag)
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Being on the other side of the world, mail can be a bit slow getting here. Even tags... I just received the alert for the mention above, 19 days after it was made!

Posted by kiwifergus 8 months ago (Flag)
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@kiwifergus - sorry about that and see comment here

Posted by loarie 8 months ago (Flag)
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I figured it had to be something wrong, even CNC delays were never that long...

Posted by kiwifergus 7 months ago (Flag)

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