York Bioblitz uncovers hundreds of species

More than 70 volunteers, ecologists and scientists have identified nearly 400 native species at a weekend Bioblitz near York.

The rapid 24-hour hunt involved the search and identification of flora and fauna including insects, in a 200-hectare patch of bush land just west of the town.

Natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM organised the event, which uncovered barking geckos, wishbone trap door spiders and sand scorpions.

Wheatbelt NRM’s Leigh Whisson said he was waiting for official identification of the Trigger Plant, or “Stylidium”, a priority species under the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

“We’ve found a really healthy ecosystem at the Oswald Sergeant Reserve,” Leigh Whisson said.

“This is helped along by the eight different types of habitats, ranging from young woodlands through to old growth Powderbark Wandoo forest.

“There’s also high diversity within the mammal population, including brush tail possums, echidnas and 40 plus bird species.”

This Bioblitz also made use of remote cameras and drones to access nests and hollows, with volunteers camping and searching through the night.

“These events give the scientific and general community the chance to interact and improve outcomes for the management of private and public bush land,” Leigh Whisson said.

“We can now use this information to help fund numerous projects through the Australian government’s National Landcare Programme.”

Media contact: Wheatbelt NRM’s Leigh Whisson on 0488 900 297 or 9670 3100.