Wellington’s Bioblitzm – four new species

Date: 2/12/2007

Wellington’s Marine Bioblitz identified 551 species during the month-long search. The Co-ordinator, Heather Anderson, says the Marine Bioblitz – the world’s first – was a tremendous success in revealing the diversity and richness of plant and animal life in Wellington’s marine environment. The Bioblitz, conducted in the area off Wellington’s south coast to be announced as the Kupe-Kevin Marine Reserve in January, found four new species: A many-tentacled tube anemone found by NIWA scientist Malcolm Francis, a tiny red and green nudibranch (sea slug) found by Forest & Bird marine advocate Kirstie Knowles. A bryozoan (a tiny animal that builds a stony skeleton, also known as moss animals or sea mats) found by Kirstie Knowles and NIWA’s Adam Smith. A diatom (a single-celled phytoplankton) found by Margaret Harper of Victoria University. These discoveries will now be analysed in more detail by experts to determine whether they are indeed new species previously unknown to science.

www.marinebioblitz.wellington.net.nz

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