Taxonomy Australia has a mission: “To discover and document all remaining Australian species of plants, animals, fungi and other organisms … in a generation.”
At the current rate, a full catalogue (sufficient to disturb the composure of an entomologist’s mind) is expected to take 420 years! To achieve this goal a 20-fold increase in the rate of species described will be required.
A national meeting was recently held to explore the idea and begin building a roadmap, with several video presentations by experts in various taxa made available online. If you’d like to know more about the current state of play and what exactly it takes to describe a new species, check out the presentations below:
Introduction to the Mission (Kevin Thiele)
How will we discover and document the remaining hyperdiverse insects? (Erinn Fagan-Jeffries)
How on earth will we discover and document all of the fungi of Australia? (Tom May)
How to describe the remaining Australian plants? (Katharina Nargar)
The status of marine invertebrate taxonomy (Zoe Richards)
How will we discover and document Australia’s remaining arachnids and myriapods? (Mark Harvey)
How will we discover and document the remaining non-hyperdiverse invertebrates? (Bryan Lessard)
So how are we going in 2020? Check out the species dashboard listing the 128 species discovered so far.