Bush Blitz is a national partnership between Earthwatch Australia, BHP Billiton, and the Australian government to discover, document, and describe Australia's unique flora and fauna.
Since the program began in 2009, Bush Blitz has discovered more than 650 new and undescribed species and has added detail to thousands of species that were already known – providing baseline scientific data that will help us protect our biodiversity for generations to come.
There are many plants and animals still to be discovered by science. There are an estimated 566,000 species in Australia – but three-quarters of this biodiversity is yet to be identified. Forty-five percent of continental Australia and more than 90 percent of our marine areas has never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists. The project is a unique effort to identify, map, and understand the biodiversity across an entire continent: Australia.
CITIZENS AND SCIENTISTS AT WORK
Scientists from various Australian museums and herbaria conduct major biological expeditions every year throughout Australia, discovering new species, creating new records for existing species, and reporting on these to assist in better land management practices. Bush Blitz will target approximately 300 reserves that have been added to the National Reserve System.
As part of the partnership program, Earthwatch also facilitates the participation of environmental specialists and other staff from BHP Billiton, as well as engaging teachers from around the country on Bush Blitz TeachLive.
Bush Blitz is a unique cross-sector partnership between Earthwatch Australia, BHP Billiton, and the Australian government. The program also draws on the knowledge and expertise of industry and science delivery partners to document the biodiversity of the oldest continent on Earth and provide an international benchmark for knowledge of biodiversity.
THE NATIONAL RESERVE SYSTEM
The National Reserve System is Australia's network of protected areas conserving examples of our natural landscapes and native plants and animals for future generations. These protected areas help sustain the living systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel, water, and the vital services our lives depend on.
Covering more than 11 percent of the continent, the National Reserve System is made up of more than 9,000 properties: national parks and reserves managed by all levels of government, Indigenous lands and protected areas run by nonprofit conservation organizations, through to ecosystems formally managed for conservation by farmers as part of their working properties.
For more information, visit www.bushblitz.org.au.