Scientists from La Planète Revisitée are making an initial assessment of the 2016 expeditions to New Caledonia. Targeting “neglected” biodiversity, the three modules: terrestrial, freshwater and marine, this major exploration program is continuing in 2017 and 2018. On the Forest module, the “Forest” component took place from November to December, 2016 on: “Bwa Bwi” Kwakwé “and” Ouinné “, in the context of the customary moratorium on mining.
An altitude camp served by a helicopter allowed a team of 16 people to sample this inaccessible area in good conditions of “scientific comfort”. The Bwa Bwi, home to different forest facies, presents a variety of relatively intact habitats and is of great heritage interest.
Some endemic plants are adapted to the ultramafic soils. A particular attention was paid to insects, reptiles and snails. Malaise traps collected on the Forgotten Coast contain a total of 12,000 specimens of insects, many new species of cockroaches, crickets and grasshoppers, beetles and hymenoptera have already been confirmed.
In 2016, the expedition was geographically concentrated on the “Great South” (commune of Yaté) and the “Far North” (communes of Koumac, Kaala-Gomen and Hienghène), with an important innovation: Underground flows, in particular the underflow of small rivers and springs. Special attention was also paid to temporary pools.