This term we welcomed on board Fairhaven Primary School in Te Puke. We have an awesomely supportive contact teacher called Liz Logan who is the pod leader for the senior school. Liz selected ten, year 5&6 students for the WANZ group this term. Our first session there consisted of an icebreaker/korero, a walk around the school grounds doing the “Rainbow forest chart” and assessing the kid’s knowledge base. We also put out 2 tracking tunnels to “weather” (lose the plastic smell and allow animals to become used to them) and some wooden insect disks. These will be already to use when we return in term one next year (2018). The kids were excited to be a part of the group and we look forward to creating a positive and sustainable relationship with the school and its pupils.
- Continue to communicate and engage with school(s) and the wider community about protecting and enhancing biodiversity in Te Puke via articles in the local newspaper (Te Puke Times), school website, newsletter and Wild NZ blog.
- Increase contact with local conservation group/s.
Theme – Overheard the bird (native & non-native bird species)
- Students learned to identify the birds in their local areas and the purpose of bird monitoring in predator control projects.
- Students, teachers and parent helpers contributed to annual bird surveys (using 5 minute bird counts) and added information to the Wild NZ database.
- The students learned how to correctly identify the most common bird species in their area and gained basic bird call knowledge.
- We investigated local threats to native bird populations
- We practised 5-minute & 1-hour bird surveys at two sites (school grounds & at Otawa Trig Reserve). Finding out about flight patterns & behaviour helped students identify birds too.
- The students had a field trip to Maketu Estuary where we met wetland expert, Tania Gaborit who works for Maketu wetlands. She showed the kids a collection of taxidermy pest animals and native birds & talked about the project. It was great seeing the bird’s beaks/bills and feet up close when she discussed how the use them.
- Wild students participated in the citizen science projects; the garden bird survey in July & the WHOLE class participated in the Great Kereru Count in September.
- Students created kereru window protectors.
Theme – Pest Preventers
Fairhaven Primary School students:
- Used a variety of pest monitoring methods (including tracking tunnels and chew cards) to locate pest animals in and around the school grounds.
- Learned how to identify pest footprints and teeth marks/chew marks on chew cards using identification guides. Tracked mice & insects.
- Visited Papamoa Hills Reserve with ranger Mark Ray (BOPRC) at the. Mark demonstrated a range of traps to the students including stoat traps, cat cages, rat bait stations. He talked about the rabbit problem there and how they use baits to help control the population.
- Learned how to identify pest footprints and teeth marks/chew marks on chew cards using identification guides.
- Created “Wanted” pest posters for display at school
- Uploaded posters and trip photos to Seesaw (classroom app) to share with parents.
- Participated in the national Landcare Research Garden Bird survey and added bird counts to the database.
Theme – Clean Streams
- Year 5-6 classes learn about where our water comes from (visual and interactive session), healthy stream vs unhealthy stream activities.
- Students assessed health of Ohineanganga stream through observation, collecting macro invertebrates and water quality tests. Students determined this stream to be in good health based on WQ results and range of macroinvertebrates. Results recorded.
- Collect and identify macroinvertebrates to help assess the stream health.
- Macrophotography and close observation of invertebrates