An Aussie biodiversity project that’s already unearthed 700 new plants and creatures has just been given a big cash boost, extending its operations to 2017.
The Australian Government and BHP Billiton have each kicked in $6m to the Bush Blitz scheme, which has been sending scientists on treasure hunts in Australia’s remotest corners since 2010.
Orright, so why get excited? Because the Bush Blitz team have already discovered an ark of new life forms, and now they have plenty of time to find a stack more. According to the Earthwatch Institute, scientists have only thoroughly explored 10% of Australia’s marine environment and less than half of our continent – so the researchers are facing a hard but exciting slog. In fact, “There are an estimated 566,000 species in Australia – but three-quarters of this biodiversity is yet to be identified,” says Earthwatch.
Exciting times, especially as Bush Blitz have already discovered literally hundreds of new species – think, a wolf-spider that walks on water, a stunning flowering plant called the “fairy apron”, new frogs and damselflies, as well as native truffles (mmm… truffles). Can’t wait to see what they find next.