Arid Zone, Fertile Ground

The unique landscape surrounding UNSW's Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station near Broken Hill has drawn researchers from around the world for over 40 years, spawning over 300 PhDs and over 1,000 scientific papers.

Australia's only arid zone research station, it has enough diverse ecosystems and habitats to provide a vital snapshot of Australia's interior.

This is where the most extensive long-term research on the kangaroo has been carried out; indeed the kangaroo sequences for David Attenborough's Life On Earth were shot here.

In this video we look at how researchers from different universities are studying the social phenomenon of cooperative breeding, where groups of animals gather together like a family to support non-family members. Rare in most ecosystems, it's found at Fowlers Gap in abundance, even in the tiniest insects.