Dr Michael Braby protects the little-known invertebrates of Australia’s north.

Story By Kerry Sharp

Dr Michael Braby is one of only a handful of government employees in Australia with a job dedicated to invertebrate conservation.
“There’s never a dull moment,” he says. “Northern Australia is the last frontier for new discoveries.
In 1987, at just 22, he rediscovered large breeding colonies of Victoria’s Eltham copper butterfly, which was thought to be almost extinct. He subsequently became embroiled in a huge conservation campaign to save its habitat from proposed urban development.
Michael’s current major projects with the Northern Territory Government include sampling and monitoring across Kakadu National Park and other Top End landscapes to increase knowledge of the largely neglected invertebrates. “Almost all our understanding of biodiversity is based on vertebrates, yet invertebrates make up a remarkable 98 percent of the animal world so they’re critical in the function of our ecosystems,” he says.

This Story is from Issue #99

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2015