Biodiversity is the very fabric of the Earth. It is diversity in plants and animals that enables ecosystems to function. Yet, one eighth of the world’s species – more than a million – are threatened with extinction.
In Australia, we are renowned for our unique wildlife with more than 70% of our species (69% of mammals, 94% of amphibians, 46% of birds and 93% of reptiles) found nowhere else on earth. But, we also have the highest rate of vertebrate mammal extinction in the world.
The greatest threats facing our plants and animals are changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasion of alien species.
Earthwatch is working with scientists and communities to understand the declines and how we might all take part in reversing them, so that we can live in balance with nature.
Manta rays are globally threatened by overfishing, tourism and climate change. In partnership with Brother and Murdoch University this research program endeavours to take a whole of ecosystem approach. Research into the primary species (manta rays) is complimented by the concurrent collection of data on reef sharks and benthic rays, as well as reef habitat itself. Understanding the ecology of the manta ray will help build robust management strategies for this threatened species.
Frog populations have drastically declined globally and along the east coast of Australia, nine species of frog have totally disappeared in the past two decades. Working with researchers from University of Newcastle, we take teams into the rainforests of the Great Dividing Range to monitor the population health of several critically endangered species and watch others for signs of decline. Our goal is to unravel the mystery behind the decline of the forest frog communities.
Calperum Station, a transformed pastoral region, has been undergoing substantial social, economic and environmental change over the past 100 years. The station provides an excellent opportunity to study ways in which to best manage changes in semi-arid and arid systems. Working with Australian Landscape Trust, teams from corporate, student and teacher backgrounds partake in research focused on carbon, water and biodiversity responses to the changing land use.
Urban forests play a critical role in maintaining the health and liveability of cities, increasing a city's resilience. Earthwatch Australia is partnering with researchers and social enterprises across Australia to deliver tiny forests, an accelerated and intensive planting process to bring biodiversity back into our cities.
Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery project, a unique partnership that’s documenting plant and animal species across the country.