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The Big Scrub

The Big Scrub – Saving the 1 percent

Australia was once covered in rich dense rainforest. In fact, as recently as the 19th century, the east coast of NSW was covered in more than 75,000 hectares of lush subtropical lowland rainforest. Tragically, 99% of this highly diverse ecosystem was cleared in the mid-1800s for its stunning timber and to make way for European influenced agriculture. Bit by bit, the natural rainforest was whittled away leaving a small number of tiny rainforest pockets known today as the Big Scrub.

The Big Scrub may today be small, but it is home to a bountiful biodiversity, many species of which are incredibly rare. The six main reserves are constantly vulnerable to external weeds and other threats. Their survival is contingent on our ability to protect and rejuvenate.

Restore & Renew is a project that began in 2015 by Dr Maurizio Rossetto and his team to support and enhance the efforts to restore and rehabilitate our native bushland. The aim is to arm bush regenerators around the country with the information needed to ensure restored and managed ecosystems remain healthy and thriving. To achieve this and advance conservation in Australia, Maurizio and his team apply the latest genetic technologies.

According to our Senior Principal Research Scientist, Dr Maurizio Rossetto, our Restore & Renew program was designed to: “provide an easily accessible source of evolutionary, functional, environmental and ecological information that will support ecological restoration projects”.

Collecting and analysing data from vulnerable ecosystems such as the Big Scrub will enable us to identify the best path moving forward. Dr Rossetto and his team work with citizen scientists around NSW to embrace new technologies and find the best approach to restoration.