bush blitz

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Is it a bird? Is it a branch? It’s a tawny frogmouth! How many can you see?

Tawny frogmouths photographed by Wayne Longmore Check out this amazing photo taken by Wayne Longmore during a Bush Blitz at Neds Corner Station in Victoria… our latest internet sensation! Found right across Australia, the poor tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl because of its nocturnal antics and similar colouring. During the day they rest, cleverly camouflaging themselves to look like part of a branch.

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Coral Sea Voyage crews commence island clean-up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Two vessels involved in a voyage to remove marine debris and look for new marine species have arrived at the Coral Sea Islands. Both boats braved some rough weather conditions to ferry a team of 24 scientists, teachers, Parks Australia staff and non-government organisations to the remote islands that will become their ‘office’ over the next few days. Keith Martin-Smith is one of the two Bush Blitz TeachLive Program teachers involved in the voyage, and has been busy blogging tales of discovery prior to departure from Hamilton Island.

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Voyagers hooked on Hamilton Island

With high winds and rough weather, the second vessel’s departure from Hamilton Island was delayed by three days providing an opportunity for scientists to collect a variety of species around Hook Island’s coral cays and reefs in the Whitsundays. The images snapped here show the visual feast that greeted scientists below the water’s surface. Images by Gary Cranitch copyright Queensland Museum Network

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Native bee hotel open for guests

The native been hotel won the People’s Choice Award for Implemented Ideas in the Department of the Environment’s 2015 Awards for Innovation. There’s a new hotel open in Canberra but this one doesn’t offer the usual concierge services or crisp white linen. Instead it’s an enhanced habitat for native bees. Department of the Environment Secretary, Gordon de Brouwer, today unveiled the Australian Native Bee Hotel in the Australian National Botanic Gardens, accompanied by ABC TV’s Dirt Girl.

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New populations of Australian plants found following Bush Blitz

A new location for the rare Australian species Eucalyptus magnificata has been discovered in the Oxley Wild Rivers region in NSW, thanks to the latest Bush Blitz. Tim Collins from the University of New England (who just happens to be working on this species) couldn’t believe his eyes as we came across the plants. The species is only found in the northern tablelands of NSW, so another population of the plant is a very exciting discovery.

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An unexpected find in the heart of the Gibson Desert

_The tiny snail found at Kiwirrkurra_ When most of us think of snails we think of slimy garden pests devouring our lettuces, but Australia is home to over a thousand native snail species, many smaller than a grain of rice. And now Bush Blitz scientists investigating a fresh water oasis in the very heart of the Gibson Desert have found a tiny snail that could be new to science.

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Learning more about witchetty grubs

Yalti and Alan Yen with witchetty grub Kiwirrkurra women have been helping scientists find witchetty grubs on the latest Bush Blitz, in Kiwirrkurra Indigenous Protected Area. Dr Alan Yen is studying the witchetty grub and how it’s used as a food source by Indigenous people. Witchetty grubs are high in protein and fats and have always been an important food source for these communities, but very little is known about the grub itself.

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More spiders discovered in Australia!

PhD student Sophie Harrison with the newly discovered spider Australia can add seven more species of spiders and a new genus of tarantula to its list of iconic arachnids. Parks Australia’s latest Bush Blitz discovered the creatures in Judbarra/Gregory National Park in the Northern Territory - where scientists, Indigenous rangers and volunteer field-assistants from BHP Billiton dug up spider holes, tickled eels and catalogued the park’s spectacular birdlife.

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Collecting the future in Tasmania

'Royenrine' served as a field lab for the blitz It was late at night – the final night of the Tasmanian Bush Blitz – and most members of the expedition had gone to bed. Only a handful of hard-core party animals remained in ‘Royenrine’, the building that had served as a field lab for the duration of the survey, but which had now been converted back into a comfortable tourist cabin.

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Catching the elusive carlia skink

Rock-figs grew in the cracks, their roots like pythons climbing slowly up the yellowish walls. I had heard a lot about the SWER line before I got to go there. Christine Lambkin, a fly expert from the Queensland Museum, had gone into raptures about the entirely different, unexpected, and mind-blowingly weird species caught there on a previous trip. One of the most elusive of these creatures is the carlia, a medium-sized skink with a bright red throat.

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