Sometimes a species is so rare it can be endangered without many humans even going near it.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to help.
Researchers from Federation University Australia are determined to prove the point.
Halosarcia lylei is a low-lying shrub that grows near outback salt lakes and is one of Australia’s rarest plants.
It grows only in remote corners of NSW and South Australia – areas that have sometimes never been seen by non-Aboriginal people, let alone cleared.
Federation University’s Emeritus Professor Martin Westbrooke first described the species in the early 1990s after coming across it at Nanya Station, a unique system of salt lakes in western NSW.
Now he is returning to conduct a detailed study of the shrub, thanks to a $285,000 grant from the NSW Environmental Trust.
“This research will help preserve a species of shrubland that many Australians would recognise as being part of Australia’s arid landscape but would have no idea is under threat,” Professor Westbrooke says.
“It’s exciting to be able to go back to undertake further studies on the halosarcia lylei low-open shrubland community we discovered and described over 20 years ago and to carry out this important research on ways to protect it.”
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