Today we searched for a new species in the Ruvu Forest (see picture with first blog entry). We had specific GPS coordinates, and we asked numerous local villagers about best roads and showed them the picture of the plant specimen. The Ruvu Forest is home to people who grow sesame and maize, and parts of the forest are often cleared for cultivation. We walked across many fields and small forest patches with local guides, but found nothing like the plant we were looking for. I am worried that this new species may have gone extinct before it was even given a name, because so much forest has been cleared in the 10 years since the only collection.
The next two days are daunting. We need to walk up two different mountains, walking for many hours in the heat, but it is so hot I feel a bit wobbly after walking on flat land today.
Ruvu Forest. This is a plantation of sesame, not much forest is actually left.