Top scientists target Bon Bon Station Reserve in an effort to discover new species
In October 2010, a team of scientists, Earthwatch volunteers and BHP Billiton environmental professionals descended on Bon Bon Station Reserve to carry out the largest‐ever survey of plants and animals on the Bush Heritage property.
The survey was part of the Australian Government's Bush Blitz program – a continental-scale survey launched this year to document plants and animals protected in Australia’s National Reserve System.
The 215 000-hectare reserve in arid South Australia has until now been an unknown quantity in terms of biodiversity, with little known about the full range of the reserve’s plant and animal
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||Dr Jim Radford, Bush Heritage ecologist, carefully removes a lizard from a pitfall trap on Bon Bon Station Reserve.
Dr Jim Radford, ecologist at Bush Heritage Australia, described the survey as a 'great success'.
'The number of animals and the variety of species we found really highlights how incredibly productive parts of the reserve are', he said.
And what exactly did the team find? Well, the figures are now in. Using a range of trapping techniques, spotlighting, and active searching, they found:
- 5 native small mammal species;
- 1 bat species;
- 40+ reptile species;
- 450+ plant specimens; and
- many thousands of invertebrates (including insects), most of which are awaiting identification.
Dr Radford also said 'One of the really great things about the survey was that the Bush Blitz
team were able to assemble a diverse bunch of specialists – experts on
plants, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates – which brought a new depth to our
understanding of the reserve.'
Although more detailed results will take some time to come through, it's
very likely that there are many undescribed species among those
Bush Heritage's supporters should feel very proud of the incredible diversity of life that exists on Bon Bon Station Reserve.
Bush Blitz: www.bushblitz.org.au
Page Last Updated: Thursday 4 November 2010