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Publications archive - Annual reports


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISSN 1441 9335

Review of performance - Outcome one: Environment (continued)

Biodiversity (continued)

Australian Biological Resources Study

(Administered item, Departmental output 1.2)


To provide, through strategic partnerships, the underlying taxonomic knowledge necessary for the conservation and sustainable use of Australia's biodiversity.


The Australian Biological Resources Study made a significant contribution to the acquisition of new knowledge and information about Australian biodiversity, administering $1.876 million in 2002-03 for 65 taxonomic research projects. These projects all met the research priorities set by the Australian Biological Resources Study Advisory Committee in 2001, with a focus on lesser-known fauna and flora groups.

Other grants included one new and three ongoing postgraduate scholarships in taxonomy, 12 travel bursaries for postgraduate taxonomy students and, for the first time, the Ebbe Nielsen Regional Postgraduate Scholarship which was established to encourage outstanding students to undertake a doctorate in Australia on Australasian biodiversity.

The Australian Biological Resources Study again affirmed its position as the foremost provider of Australia's taxonomic information. The program published 23 new products in a variety of media including books, newsletters, CD-ROM identification guides and keys, web sites and posters. A greater emphasis was given to the provision of online information, including development of identification keys and electronic databases that can be accessed at

The Australian Biodiversity Information Facility is a web-based source of taxonomic and biological information being compiled by the Australian Biological Resources Study for all fauna and flora species known to occur in Australia. The fauna database (the Australian Faunal Directory) now delivers information on 49 000 species. Seventeen-hundred new species from the Flora of Australia publication series were added to the flora database and a further 1200 plant species were added from Australia's oceanic islands and offshore territories. In addition, the database houses 3075 species names in the Checklist of Australian Lichens. The flora database has been developed in parallel with the Integrated Botanical Information System of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.

The Australian Biological Resources Study has continued to play a strong supporting role in the development of the first stage of the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums web portal (OZCAM: Australia's Fauna) and continues to be involved with Australia's Virtual Herbarium. The Australian Marine Algal Name Index, the Interactive Catalogue of Australian Fungi and the Australian Plant Name Index are all databases that the Australian Biological Resources Study has collaborated to produce and continued to update, as well as developing data and cost-sharing partnerships with the Australian Heritage Commission and contributing to the Australian Plant Pests Database for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Internationally, staff of the Australian Biological Resources Study contributed to the development of the Australian node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, participated in the Global Taxonomic Initiative, and edited and published three new volumes of Species Plantarum, an international cooperative project to write a descriptive account of the world's vascular flora at species level.