Bush Blitz is a groundbreaking species discovery partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia that is documenting the plants and animals across Australia's National Reserve System - the cornerstone of our national efforts to protect terrestrial biodiversity.
These protected areas are vital to the survival of our unique and diverse ecosystems and the plants and animals they support. Discovering what lives on these reserves will help protect their special values and the many essential ecosystem services they provide. Such information is essential especially under conditions of climate change.
Since it began in 2009 Bush Blitz has collected hundreds of new or undescribed native species - helping to increase our knowledge of Australia's amazing biodiversity.
Mygalomorph spider from Neds Corner Station
Photo: Mark Norman, Museum Victoria
Bush Blitz brings together some of Australia's top biodiversity scientists from a range of scientific institutions including universities, museums, herbariums, botanical gardens, CSIRO and government agencies.
Ranging from five to 10 days, Bush Blitz expeditions involve a team of biodiversity scientists getting out and getting dirty in some of Australia's most spectacular and often remote conservation reserves - with a focus on collecting some of Australia's still largely undiscovered plants and animals - including spiders, insects, scorpions, flowering plants, fungi, and mosses.
And once the field collecting is done, the scientists head back to the lab for hours of painstaking work at the microscope to identify, classify and describe their plant and animal specimens.
It's through this work that Bush Blitz is helping to inform conservation reserve managers about the species diversity protected as part of the National Reserve System - helping us to understand our natural world so we can protect it for future generations.