Held between Thursday, 1 December and Friday, 2 December 2016, eight MLC students were fortunate enough to join Bush Blitz, a national program dedicated to discovering and documenting plants and animals in conservation areas of Australia.
The Blitz, now in its sixth year, was held at MLC’s Marshmead campus in the Croajingolong National Park in far-east Gippsland. The Bush Blitz is a partnership program between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch Australia. The Blitz also involved CSIRO, Parks Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens and Museum Victoria.
The Year 10 and 11 students joined the botanist and entomological teams on studies including sampling streams for aquatic invertebrates, learning about key species in the rainforest, observing the diversity of aquatic life in the creeks and discovering enormous water spiders which will be displayed with Museum Victoria.
Since the program began in 2010, Bush Blitz has discovered more than 1,000 new species and has added thousands of species records to what is already known, making it the largest nature discovery project in Australia. Highlight discoveries of 2016 include an undescribed species of violet, and an estimated 300-500 moth species.
“Having been involved with Marshmead over the past decade I have never experience the campus like I did on this day,” says Dan Short, MLC’s Director of Education Outdoors. “It was outstanding. All the scientists we worked with were absolutely fantastic, and I know the students felt very privileged to have this opportunity. Thank you to everyone who was involved.”
It was a successful expedition for all involved and MLC is delighted to have been able to host this event and involve our students.