Bioprospecting and traditional knowledge in Australia

Authored by: Michael Blakeney

Routledge Handbook of Biodiversity and the Law

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138693302
eBook ISBN: 9781315530857
Adobe ISBN:


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Australia is one of seventeen countries described as being “megadiverse”, supporting more than 70 per cent of the biological diversity on earth (Mittermeier et al., 1989). Australia has some 44,000 species of plants of which 88 per cent occur only in Australia (Coordination Committee, 1994, 12). A report of the Coordination Committee on Science and Technology of the various Australian State and Federal Government Departments noted that 90 per cent of Australian flowering plants, more than 80 per cent of its mammals, 70 per cent of terrestrial birds, 89 per cent of its reptiles, and 93 per cent of its frogs, are endemic to Australia. Similarly, of the estimated 600 inshore fish species in the southern temperate zone, about 85 per cent are found only in Australia.

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