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Wildlife atlas lives up to billing

Wildlife atlas lives up to billing

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The Atlas of Living Australia tells you all about what's crawling, flying and growing in your neighbourhood, writes SIMON WEBSTER.

This is a fun tool. At the Atlas of Living Australia you can type in your address (or any address for that matter) and up will pop one of those Google maps showing not restaurants or car parts dealers, but plants and animals.

Well, actually, they are yellow and orange dots representing where plants and animals have been recorded. Alongside is a list of all the species.

Within 10km of my home, for example, I can see that 1573 species have been recorded, including no fewer than 105 fungi.

The atlas is a national initiative (a joint effort between the CSIRO and various museums and herbaria) that aims to bring together information on  Australian flora and fauna and put it in one place. Described as a “work in progress”, it offers a page of information on each species, lots of interesting mapping tools and the chance to share your animal and plant sightings.

You can hear the atlas’s director, Donald Hobern, talking about the project to ABC Radio’s Life Matters here.