29 June 2022
Did you know around three-quarters of Australia’s rich and diverse biodiversity is still waiting to be discovered by science?
For more than a decade, BHP has partnered with the Australian Government and Earthwatch Australia to deliver Australia’s largest nature discovery program, Bush Blitz, supporting species discovery and biodiversity conservation efforts across our states and territories.
Established in 2010, the Bush Blitz Program aims to increase the scientific knowledge of biodiversity in Australia.
This is achieved by connecting specialist taxonomists on biodiversity expeditions, with local communities, Traditional Owners, rangers and Indigenous rangers, landholders, teachers and our very own BHP employees.
To date, there have been 47 expeditions in all states and territories, with 17 of these having surveyed Indigenous-owned properties, including Kiwirrkurra IPA in Western Australia, and the Yalata Lands in South Australia.
Stephen White, Principal at BHP’s Rehabilitation and Biodiversity team, says BHP’s Bush Blitz partnership represents a significant investment in biodiversity conservation for the Company.
“For more than a decade BHP has invested $10 million in the program, and the outcomes and discoveries made to-date is really telling to just how much remains unknown, and why this work is so important,” Stephen said.
“Species identification is vital data for the protection and management of species, as identification is the first step in developing threatened species lists and outlining the threats that face them. Without scientific names and correct identification, these lists would not exist.”
Jo Harding, Bush Blitz Manager, said there has been a number of exciting discoveries made to date.
“Since it started, Bush Blitz has discovered more than 1800 new species and has added thousands of species records to what is already known, increasing our scientific knowledge to help us protect our biodiversity for generations to come,” Jo said.
The program is also future focused, empowering school teachers to develop scientific skills and inspire students. Under the TeachLive method, teachers use livestreams and blogs to bring the outback into the classroom.
Fiona Sutton Wilson, Earthwatch Australia CEO, says the goal is to create a science-literate society that values biodiversity.
“With Bush Blitz, we have empowered 62 TeachLive Fellows to inspire over 16,800 students to become environmental stewards,” Fiona said.
We look forward to the continuation of this Partnership into the future to ensure we preserve our unique animal and plant life here in Australia!