High-throughput, high-quality alpha taxonomy underpinning ...

High-throughput, high-quality alpha taxonomy underpinning land management in Western Australia Kevin Thiele Western Australian Herbarium Department of Environment and Conservation National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Context (1) Western Australia: Known vascular plant taxa

13,089 Conservation taxa 2,622 20% Known undescribed taxa 1,743 13% Undescribed conservation taxa 520 30% + est. 10-15% more National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007

Context (2) The Western Australian Herbarium part of the Department of Environment and Conservation National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Context (3) National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Context (4) Undescribed (phrase-named) taxa Have status under legislation, but Uncertain taxonomic status

Often difficult to identify Usually poorly known National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Context (5) Numbers of new taxa described by year 600 400 300 200 2005 1995

1985 1975 1965 1955 1945 1935 1925 1915

1905 1894 1884 1874 1864 1854 1844 1834 1823

1813 1803 1790 0 1773 100 1753 Number of taxa 500

Year National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Saving Our Species 2-year, $15 million State-funded biodiversity rescue program to boost the conservation of Western Australias unique plants, animals and ecosystems tackling key conservation issues where significant long-term results can be achieved from a short-term, strategic focus National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007

Saving Our Species 2-year, $15 million State-funded biodiversity rescue program to boost the conservation of Western Australias unique plants, animals and ecosystems to resolve the taxonomy and expedite the scientific description of unnamed vascular plant taxa in Western Australia, especially those that may be vulnerable to future mining activities. to deploy in FloraBase interactive keys to the flora of Western Australia National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Saving Our Species Taxonomy Juliet Wege Kelly Shepherd

Ryonen Butcher High throughout, high-quality alpha taxonomy of Banded Ironstone conservation taxa National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Saving Our Species Taxonomy Achievements Collaboration with >70 Australian and international botanists 45 papers in a special, bumper edition of Nuytsia 95 newly described taxa, in 21 families and 33 genera

78 of these are conservation taxa, of which 39 are new to the State schedule 3 highly skilled, enthusiastic and experienced new taxonomists National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Saving Our Species Taxonomy Achievements Improvements to Florabase to allow flexible addition of new content towards a full electronic Flora of Western Australia interactive keys to 200 Families 1050 genera key publication protocols and

architecture National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007 Saving Our Species Taxonomy Issues The significance of alpha taxonomy and identification is obvious to the funders and the public but, both depend on revisionary taxonomy and this is harder to sell need to point out that these projects picked the cherries higher-level systematics played a minor role National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007

Saving Our Species Taxonomy Conclusion Seen as successful, high-profile projects Continuing but still short term Strengthen arguments for longer term (permanent) positions Opens doors to non-Government funding sources National Taxonomy Forum Sydney, October 2007

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