From the email loop circulated by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy which was dropped into my inbox today:
The recent Bush Blitz at our fabuolous Skullbone Plains reserve has been a tremendous success — with between 520 to 550 species of plants and animals collected during the week.
Now that the fieldwork is now over, the team of 20 scientists are back in their labs identifying the specimens. This can often take many months, if not years to complete. Each specimen will be painstakingly described and documented before being entered into the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Herbarium, as well as other museums, universities and herbaria around Australia. They will be carefully preserved and made available for research.
Why the Blitz ? There are many plants and animals still to be discovered by science. There are an estimated 566,398 species in Australia – but three-quarters of this biodiversity is yet to be identified. Forty-five per cent of continental Australia and over 90 per cent of our marine area have never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists.
Interesting stuff. I have just read the introduction of Tim Frannery”s book, The Future Eaters, which brings into light how the waves of settlement and immigration have changed Australia’s biodiversity. Many of the native animal and plant species have become extinct in the course of influx of foreign species and foreign environmental practices.