York BioBlitz Update – November 2017

Photo: One of the many Banksia species recorded.
Click to view

On the 14th and 15th of October, the Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management ran a Bioblitz in 3 conservation reserves west of York – Oswald Sargent, Wambyn and Mt Ronan. Anyone interested in discovering what natural flora and fauna resided around our area was invited to attend. Experts in flora and fungi, reptiles and invertebrates led small groups in 3 chosen reserves for the survey and noted down the different species they found.

More than 70 volunteers, ecologists and scientists identified nearly 400 native species at last weekend’s Bioblitz near York. The rapid 24-hour hunt involved the search and identification of flora and fauna, including insects, in a 200-hectare patch of bush land just west of the town.

Wheatbelt NRM’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, Leigh Whisson, reported that Barking Geckos, Wishbone Trapdoor Spiders and Sand Scorpions were discovered during the event, along with the Trigger Plant, or “Stylidium”, a priority species under the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, of which we are awaiting official identification. Leigh added, “We’ve found a really healthy ecosystem at the Oswald Sergeant Reserve. This is helped along by the eight different types of habitats, ranging from young woodlands through to old growth Powderbark Wandoo forest. There’s also high diversity within the mammal population, including brush tail possums, echidnas and 40 plus bird species.”

This Bioblitz also made use of remote cameras to access nests and hollows, with volunteers camping and scouring a section of the Wambyn Reserve on the night-walk. “These events give the scientific and general community the chance to interact and improve outcomes for the management of private and public bush land,” Leigh said. “We can now use this information to help fund numerous projects through the Australian government’s National Landcare Program.”

River Conservation Society members and volunteers were proud to take part in the BioBlitz survey and are looking forward to participating in Wheatbelt NRM holding the 2018 BioBlitz.