The benefits of joining MABA are several fold.
MABA provides a forum to unite people with similar interests in moths and butterflies at a national and international level. Within Australia, much of the current expertise (and the major national collection) is geographically centred in Canberra; thus, there is a critical need for broader linkages of expertise across the country and beyond. We aim to increase connectivity between various people, research institutions and non-government organizations, facilitating networks between experts, promoting collaborations and avoiding duplication of work. MABA also aims to provide better coordination nationally and regionally by bringing together some of the smaller, local interest groups (e.g. BCSA, BOIC, MBNZT). MABA is based on a strong scientific foundation but has a broad appeal to the community and a wide range of interest groups (e.g. photographers, conservationists, citizen scientists), not just taxonomists or ecologists. High scientific standards and centres of research excellence are at the foundation of MABA upon which knowledge of the Australasian fauna is built.
MABA provides a forum for publishing natural history observations and discoveries (e.g. life histories, linking caterpillars to adults, behaviour). Such publications currently take the form of an electronic newsletter, with links to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
MABA has an important role in education by assisting the general public, industry, government and other stakeholders with species level identifications (e.g. from images) or providing information on species. The development of tools for identification of images on the internet (e.g. of live adults and larvae) is seen as an important resource and an adjunct to the Moths On-Line.
MABA intends to establish and maintain a public fund – the MABA Biodiversity Fund – for the specific purpose of supporting the society’s environmental objectives on biodiversity conservation.
Research and Advocacy
MABA aims to identify knowledge gaps for further research, such as poorly known taxonomic groups in need of revision, or the conservation, pest or biosecurity status of individual species. The scientific research (and underlying data managed by MABA) are to be used in various ways, for example, for research, policy and advocacy on matters relating to biodiversity, land use, conservation of threatened species, biosecurity and management of pest species. With your support MABA will also advocate and lobby (in partnership with Taxonomy Australia) for more resources for specialist positions in Lepidoptera (especially in systematics and biodiversity discovery) at museums, universities and other government institutions, recognising that there are very few professional Lepidopterists currently employed in Australasia.
MABA aims to create a safe environment that: (1) encourages more young people (the next generation) to become interested in and stimulated by moths and butterflies, recognising that we have an ageing (and declining) population of experts; (2) mentors the next generation, with the expectation that some of these people will go on to become expert taxonomists or field ecologists (possibly even professional Lepidopterists); (3) provides older generation Lepidopterists exposure to new approaches and technologies, and new modes of communication; and (4) embraces and promotes diversity.