11 September 2015

MorialtaIf you go down to Morialta next week, you’ll be in for a BioBlitz surprise – as the University of South Australia’s Discovery Circle will help the Conservation Park mark its centenary.

The BioBlitz, which will be held on September 18 and 19, is a free event that will enable individuals and families to explore and learn more about this scenic, iconic and important park.

A BioBlitz is an event where scientists, naturalists and the public work together to record the biodiversity in a set location over 24 hours. At Morialta, local experts will lead over 50 organised searches for birds, bats, frogs, reptiles, mammals, water-bugs, native plants, orchids, weeds and more. Members of the public can join in to help collect, observe, record and learn.

BioBlitz events are hands-on and fun, designed around making discoveries, sharing talents, and igniting the interests of participants says Project leader, Dr Philip Roetman, of UniSA’s Discovery Circle initiative, who is encouraging participants of all ages to get involved.

“Morialta is an important park, with a great diversity of wildlife so close to the city,” Dr Roetman says.

“The Morialta BioBlitz will give everyone a chance to experience and learn about the plants and animals in the park, while contributing to the BioBlitz search effort.

 “What we find, the records of plants and animals, will be added to the Atlas of Living Australia, an online information resource on Australian biodiversity, which is accessible to the public and the research community.”

Recording the species that persist in an area is an important job. The information guides management and biodiversity studies can lead to the discovery of new species – such as the reported discovery this week of a possible new species of funnel-web spider near Jervis Bay.

“The park is home to some amazing vegetation, seasonal waterfalls and many reptiles, frogs and birds.  And it is here, right next to where we live. There is so much to explore here, and it is accessible for all ages,” says David Heard, Senior Ranger, Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges.

John Fleming from the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, says the group is excited about the BioBlitz. The Friends group look forward to using the information generated at the event, as it will assist in planning their restoration projects in the park. 

This project is being organised by the Discovery Circle (University of South Australia) with: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board; Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; South Australian Museum; and the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta. The event has received generous support from Campbelltown City Council and SGIC.

More about this BioBlitz event is available online here

To learn more about other BioBlitz events that are taking place later this year, sign up for our monthly Discovery Circle eNewsletter, or visit our BioBlitz website.

Contact for interview:

Dr Philip Roetman, office: 8302 1081, email Philip.Roetman@unisa.edu.au  

Media contact: Will Venn office 8302 0096 email Will.Venn@unisa.edu.au

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