Biodiversity discovery

A rich variety of wildlife is found in the natural landscapes and seascapes of South Australia. On land these range from kangaroos, wallabies, birds, eucalypts and wattles to myriads of tiny insects, grasses, mosses, lichens, mushrooms and toadstools. Our coasts and seas are home to many other kinds of living things, including whales and other marine mammals, seabirds, penguins, fish, shellfish, algae and seagrasses.

All of these living things and the communities they live in make up the state's natural biodiversity. Many kinds still remain to be discovered and described.

The Biological Survey of South Australia is systematically documenting where our vascular plants and vertebrate animals are located. The specimens obtained from this survey are then documented and deposited in the State Herbarium or the South Australian Museum, ensuring correct identification. With over 25,000 plot-based samples, it is the largest and most systematically sampled biological survey in Australia.

Plant systematics research uses classical and modern taxonomic tools to find out what types of plants, macrofungi and marine algae occur in South Australia and where they are found. Through this work we improve the knowledge of the taxonomy and distribution of the state’s biota. Knowing what you have, what it looks like and where it is, provides fundamental knowledge for species management.

Survey efforts, particularly in remote areas of the state, have uncovered new species and rediscovered species thought to have been extinct.

DEWNR is conducting marine mapping and biological surveys to provide baseline information for South Australian waters.

We also provide a list of current scientific names of plants with their regional distribution within South Australia, as well as an official listing of taxonomy for all vertebrates known to occur in the state:

Find out how DEWNR, South Australian Museum and University of Adelaide researchers are using DNA research to look at dietary patterns of camels in the outback of South Australia.