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Gunbower Island Diversity

William Blandowski was the first scientist appointed to the newly opened Victorian Museum in 1854. He immediately started documenting the rich biodiversity found in Victoria through a series of expeditions. His first major expedition was to the Murray River in 1856 with a basecamp established in the Gannawarra region. Blandowski worked closely with the local indigenous people to collect numerous species of reptiles, birds, fish and invertebrates some never seen before by European eyes. Many specimens were curated to be displayed in the Melbourne Museum.

To mark 160 years since William Blandowski undertook an expedition to the Murray River in 1856, Museum Victoria's team of scientists, historians and curators camped along the Murray near Cohuna to undertake a special anniversary 'expedition' in 2016. The scientists found an impressive 120 species of birds in 7 days along with many reptiles, frogs, fish, insects and mammals.

See the incredible work undertaken during the expedition; watch the video below.