Knowledge of Fish River’s biodiversity gets a boost

A black tarantula the size of a human hand and a minute four-eyed spider about half the size of an ant were among the plethora of new species found during a recent Bush Blitz at Fish River Station in the NT’s Top End.

The Bush Blitz team found 100 species of spider on the 180,000-hectare conservation reserve, including at least 19 species thought to be new to science. Other possible new species included a small fish — the golden form of the delicate blue-eye fish — as well as a number of snails.

The expedition was undertaken at the end of the wet season, forcing the team use choppers to access remote field sites. One chopper pilot obviously hadn’t read the Bush Blitz brief before taking the job, and by all accounts was quite alarmed by some of the long writhing as well as hairy black cargo he had to ferry to base camp.

Most of the plants (a staggering 400 species!) and animals found during this Bush Blitz are new records for Fish River Station, adding significantly to our knowledge of the reserve’s biodiversity.

Kate, Bush Blitz

Fish River Station is a new addition to the National Reserve System, having been bought for conservation last year by the Indigenous Land Corporation, The Nature Conservancy and the Pew Environment Group with funding assistance from the Australian Government and support from Greening Australia.

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