Capturing a snapshot of biodiversity in the Walpole Wilderness
The inaugural Walpole Wilderness Bioblitz (WWBB) was a highly rewarding event, attracting over 150 citizen scientists and other conservationists.
It recorded valuable information on threatened, rare, common and new species which will contribute to a greater understanding of the area and help to inform the future protection, conservation and management of this unique environment.
The WA Parks Foundation provided funding support, along with the Walpole-Nornalup National Park Association (WNNPA) and Lotterywest.
Coordinated by volunteers from the WNNPA in October 2021, the Bioblitz comprised a series of surveys within the heart of the Walpole Wilderness Area. These were undertaken by groups of up to ten people allocated to different vegetation and habitat types. Each group included an experienced volunteer or specialist to help best capture the presence of flora, fauna and fungi species.
Some of the key aims were to create an inventory of species in the survey area; identify and map the area’s natural assets, including species abundances and distribution, geological and hydrological features and vegetation communities; and identify new, threatened or rare species.
Encouraging an appreciation of nature and biodiversity, creating opportunities for citizen scientists to work alongside experts and recording evidence of invasive species were among other important objectives.
Information gathered will be shared with land managers to inform conservation practice and policy and improve planning and management outcomes in the future.
Participating organisations included the Walpole-Nornalup National Park Association, WA Museum, Birdlife Western Australia, Biologic Environmental Survey, WA Native Orchid Society and Conservation Group and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
Guest speakers for the Walpole Wilderness Bioblitz 2021 were Viv Read – Birdlife Western Australia, Dr Joanna Young – History in the Making, Dr Mark Harvey – Walpole Spiders, Gary Muir –Seven Wonders of the Walpole Wilderness, Tim Andrews – WNNPA President and MC Dr David Edmonds – WWBB Project Coordinator and WNNPA committee member.
A report of the Bioblitz findings can be accessed here along with ABC TV’s coverage of this event.