Media Release: Citizen Science builds case for Tarkine National Park

In five years, Bob Brown Foundation has recorded over 1800 species of flora, fauna, fungi and more in the threatened takayna / Tarkine, as the conservation group has been calling for a World Heritage listed National Park and return to World Heritage listing of the north west Tasmanian region.

This evening, Bob Brown Foundation will host a virtual event this evening as part of National Science week, to celebrate five years of Tarkine BioBlitzes.

“Our BioBlitz is both the largest and the longest running citizen science event in Tasmania. It is hosted annually each November in the Tarkine region and to date, has helped record over 3200 observations of more than 1800 species of flora, fauna, fungi and more – and has brought over 500 scientists, citizens and into the Tarkine,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“We started our Tarkine BioBlitz as citizen science can improve conservation efforts by building scientific knowledge, encouraging public action and raise the alarm that threatened nature is far more important left intact than destroyed.  In takayna / Tarkine we are losing ancient ecosystems, unique flora and wildlife to logging, mining and off-road vehicle recreation,” Jenny Weber said.

“Science tells us that only when 50% of the Earth’s terrestrial areas are protected, along with substantial cuts in fossil-fuel use, will we have a good chance of fighting the climate emergency.  Tasmania has a unique role to play in protecting more of its intact nature to absorb carbon and provide critical biodiversity services.  The government needs to move toward providing a future for all by protecting intact nature and take serious action on climate rather than falsely claim ongoing destruction of Tasmania’s natural places is essential for employment,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tonight’s event will showcase the discoveries and experiences of the past five BioBlitzes, and will feature talks by Giant Freshwater Crayfish Expert Todd Walsh, Threatened Species Zoologist Dr Clare Hawkins, and Freshwater Fish Researcher Greg Martin,”  Bob Brown Foundation’s BioBlitz organiser Molly Coburn said.

“Our Foundation will host our sixth annual citizen science event with Tarkine BioBlitz 2020 set to go ahead this November, albeit in a COVID-19 friendly adaptation of the traditional event. The 2020 event will be held in smaller, independent groups that will run surveys in the Tarkine from the 13th-15th of November.  In rainforests and tall eucalyptus canopies threatened by logging, to rivers filled with wildlife and on the wild remote coast where the government is threatening the opening of off-road vehicle tracks, scientists and citizens will collaborate via livestream before, during and after the weekend to discuss and reflect on their findings,”  Molly Coburn said.

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