Bush Capital | Bush Blitz comes to the ACT

A wise old chief ranger once said, “You simply don’t know, what you don’t know…”  

That is true for our understanding of the rich wonders of nature. While we know a lot, we really don’t know what’s still out there.

EXPLORERS: Botanists head to remote parts of Namadgi National Park in search of new plants as part of the Bush Blitz program. Photo: David Paul.

EXPLORERS: Botanists head to remote parts of Namadgi National Park in search of new plants as part of the Bush Blitz program. Photo: David Paul.

It is remarkable to reflect that science is yet to discover all the plants and animals that comprise the incredible biodiversity underpinning our environment. 

It is estimated there are up to 680,000 species in Australia, but nearly three-quarters of this biodiversity is yet to be formally identified.

An amazing 45 percent of mainland Australia and a staggering 90 percent of our marine life has never been systematically surveyed by scientists.

Who knows what incredible discoveries await, what astonishing insights we are to gain from nature. 

Enter Bush Blitz...Australia’s largest nature discovery project, a treasure hunt of the natural world.

Bringing together the resources of the Australian Government, BHP and Earthwatch Australia, Bush Blitz aims to fill knowledge gaps in our biodiversity, building the capacity of land custodians and local communities, empowering us to better appreciate our natural environment and safeguard it for future generations. 

Bush Blitz is now the largest biological survey of its type in the world.

Bush Blitz involves specialist taxonomists, Indigenous communities, teachers and students to build our understanding of the role biodiversity plays in healthy, sustainable ecosystems.  

Bush Blitz has come to the bush capital and is now underway across the mountains of Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, the Australian National Botanic Gardens and Parliament House. Base camp is Birrigai Outdoor Education Centre. 

Parks and Conservation staff and ACT Government ecologists are on the ground, adding their intimate knowledge of the area and its ecology to the search for new species.

Five teachers from across Australia will join the team as part of an innovative educational element that immerses teachers within field-based research projects.

They are teaching directly to their classrooms via TeachLive websites. Back in the classrooms, students are taking a hands on virtual expedition, engaging in real-time scientific study.  

The microscope of today’s class room has been taken to the mountains. Who knows what natural wonders await to be discovered here in our beautiful bush capital? 

To glean your own insight, visit BushBlitz - Uncovering Australia’s vast biodiversity.

  • Brett McNamara is with ACT Parks & Conservation Service.