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AM EXPEDITION: LORD HOWE ISLAND, 2017

By: Madelaine Love, Category: Science, Date: 20 Mar 2017

A daring Australian Museum expedition to Lord Howe Island has succeeded in its search for the rare and elusive Lord Howe Island Phasmid.

Background

In February 2017, Australian Museum scientists embarked on an expedition to benchmark native and introduced animal populations on Lord Howe Island. Nestled on the Tasman seas between Australia and New Zealand, this volcanic remnant has a unique ecosystem that’s been largely preserved, rivalling that of the world-famous Galapagos archipelago.

Outcome

AMRI scientists documented native flora and fauna, exhumed three whale skeletons, and scaled the sheer cliff faces of the remote Balls Pyramid in search of further specimens of the extremely rare LHI Phasmid.

Now, thanks to the daring efforts of the expedition team, a new female Phasmid has been recovered from Balls Pyramid, adding genetic diversity to a breeding program at Melbourne Zoo, and in doing so increasing the chances of survival, and eventual reintroduction of this rare insect species to its native home on Lord Howe Island.


A rare Lord Howe Island Phasmid found during the AM expedition on Balls Pyramid. Photo by Tom Bannigan © Australian Museum. 

Lord Howe Island and the Australian Museum

28 FEB 2017
Blog

'Lord Howe Island and the Australian Museum'

READ HERE

The 'other' Lord Howe Insect by Dr Chris Reid

10 MAR 2017
Blog

'The 'other' Lord Howe Insect' by Dr Chris Reid

READ HERE

Digging for whale bones

16 MAR 2017
Blog

'Digging for whale bones'

READ HERE

Climbing Balls Pyramid by Keith Bell

20 MAR 2017

'Climbing Balls Pyramid' by professional climber Keith Bell

READ HERE

 

Landing on Balls Pyramid

24 MAR 2017

'Landing on Balls Pyramid' by Paul Flemmons

READ HERE

VIP Phasmid

6 MAY 2017

'VIP: Very Important Phasmid' by Rohan Cleave (Melbourne Zoo)

READ HERE