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Going beyond #BushBlitz


Tony Kennedy

A teacher with a passion in getting our younger generation involved in looking after the environment, getting to know other people by learning languages, and getting outdoors.

As reported in my last blog on day 6, Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery program. #BushBlitz provides an opportunity to document the plants, vertebrate, and nonvertebrate species present in landscapes across Australia. Having begun in 2010, over 1,700 new species have been found and added to taxonomic records. The knowledge gained through #BushBlitz surveys provides a greater understanding of our biodiversity, which ensures that we pass on more accurate records to future generations.
During BushBlitz Scientists will survey all species found. This includes native and introduced. Scientists take accurate records of the species found, as far as possible and within safety constraints, all species are recorded. Within three months of the culmination of the BushBlitz the various scientists, or their combined research groups, are asked to submit their final report. These reports are presented to the Minister of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water. The reports will also be presented to all research institutions that attended the BushBlitz, the National Library of Australia, and Australian universities.
So, is the preparation of detailed reports the end of a BushBlitz? Yes and no!

Yes, the scope of BushBlitz is the preparation of detailed surveys about species found within the survey area. But, no the intent of producing this detailed information is to provide land managers with detailed and powerful data that will enable them to make informed decisions about how to best manage our - every Australian's - natural environment. BushBlitz is a combination of the efforts of government, publicly listed and private companies, one of the being #BHP, and non-profit organisations including #Earthwatch.
What sort of things can BushBlitz reports be used for? (The brief list that follows is a brief example of what BushBlitz may be used for:)

  • provide the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water with information on how to manage our national parks,
  • provide National Parks Associations with data on what to lobby for and the information to use to educate volunteers to conduct hands-on work,
  • provide philanthropists with knowledge so that they can donate funds to improve our natural environments,
  • provide governments with data to inform their decisions on how to best manage natural reserves for posterity,
  • educate land users, such as farmers, about current or anticipated management issues, and
  • enable citizens to take action and to volunteer to improve public areas, such as reserves and national parks.

 Hence, BushBlitz is a very useful and powerful tool that can be used by all types of users. It is most important that BushBlitz surveys become a permanent feature in our land management.