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Australia starts 10 million dollar initiative to find new species

Known as the ‘Bush Blitz’, Australia will spend 10 million Australian dollars (8.88 million US dollars) over the next three years to conduct biodiversity surveys in far-flung places, reports Sydney Morning Herald. The program hopes to both uncover new species and gather more data about innumerable little-known plants and animals on the continent.

The Bush Blitz will undertake a total of eighteen major expeditions during three years. Groups will be made up of 10-12 scientists and volunteers who will survey the nation’s reserves for hidden biological treasures. The program is focusing on places that are little-known both to the public and researchers.

The International conservation group Earthwatch. is set-up to manage research sites and coordinate volunteers.

“[Bush Blitz is] bringing together business, and community groups, and government, and volunteers, in a way that probably hasn’t been done before. This is an important large-scale project that just couldn’t be done by one group, or by scientists alone,” Earthwatch Director, Richard Glimore, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Bush Blitz is funded by the Australian government (6 million dollars) and mining company BHP Billiton (4 million dollars).

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