Have you ever thought about how many kinds of insects one city could be supporting? A recent study by CAUL researchers found over 550 insect species thriving in Melbourne’s green spaces, and citizen science is playing an important role in further research. To continue to support these diverse insect communities we need to be prioritising the planting of both native and non-native plants in different vegetation habitat types, says Luis Mata, who spoke with Professor Tim Entwisle on ABC Radio National about insect biodiversity in Melbourne recently. During the interview they walked through the Royal Botanic Gardens observing some of the insects that call Melbourne home. His research is part of CAUL Hub’s project on the Shared Urban Habitat and is advocating for insects to continue to become part of the conservation movement. Luis recently produced a children’s book, “The Little Things that Run the City – 30 amazing insects that live in Melbourne!”, which is beautifully illustrated by science communicator and artist Kate Cranney, and runs regular workshops at Westgate Park involving members of the public in observing and documenting urban pollinators.
Image credit: Luis Mata