Te Puke Intermediate is located at the southern end of town near the Ohineanaganga stream and adjacent to Noel Bowyer Park. The school has a role of approximately 300 students and is our newest ‘Wild’ school.
Term 3 – 2017
Key Focus: Native Birds “Overheard the bird” term 3
- Learning how to conduct 5-minute bird counts, various locations.
- Learning how to collect and record data accurately.
- Learning how to correctly identify NZ birds (native and non-native) including their calls and songs.
- Participated in the Great Kereru Count, data recorded online
- Created supplementary bird feeders and nesting material holders, displayed at school
- Created kereru window protectors
- Creating a short film about native bird’s vs pests (ongoing).
Focus for term 4 2017
- Insect monitoring, butterfly garden, weta motel and lizard garden.
- Leadership group, taking on the role within the WANZ classroom sessions.
- Further develop the backyard biodiversity concept with students and volunteers.
- Support teachers of our students to develop and continue learning sequence.
- Involve parents and community with local enhancement projects.
Term 1 and 2 – 2017
- Learning how to assess their local stream health. Examining the differences between urban (Ohineanganga) and rural/bush clad streams (Otawa Reserve) using macro invertebrates, pH, water clarity & temperature.
- Stream data collected, presented and displayed at a recent parent night.
- Set up pest monitoring/survey sites opposite the school (Noel Bowler Park).
- Pest monitoring with tracking tunnels & chew cards (school grounds, Noel Bowler Park and Otawa.
- Pest identification – trakka & chew cards.
- Bird identification learning through observation of behaviour, knowledge of feeding options.
- Four WaNZ students attended a 1 day short film making workshop- Outlook of Someday.
- Looking at options for setting school blog for WaNZ.
Other recent Activities
- Set up monitoring/survey sites in school and bush walkway opposite school (Noel Bowyer Park)
- Bird surveys including 5 minute bird counts and pest monitoring with tracker tunnels in school grounds and local reserve.
- Identified invertebrates wit hin local environment using bush ‘shake’ technique and investigated presence in other microhabitats.
- Investigation of local stream health by measuring water clarity, pH, temp and surveying macro-invertebrates at two sites (Ohineanganga & Raparapahoe Manoeka Rd)
- School environment treasure hunts – searches for invertebrates, birds, native trees and stream life.
In term 1 the students visited two stream sites, Ohineanganga and Raparapahoe /Manoeka Rd. The group looked at the health of the streams and completed a stream assessment at each site. The group found and identified invertebrates such as caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies. They observed the human impact on the area, the stream beds, algae layers, stream shading, bank stability, water temperatures and water clarity.
|Stream habitat||Excellent-pool/riffle/run present||Ok- 2 of 3 (run/rifle/pool) present|
|Aquatic animals||Excellent- lots of caddisflies, mayflies &stoneflies||Ok- much less diversity|
|Human impact||None||Animals (cows) present, + stormwater pipes/drains|
|Stream bed||Excellent-Stones||Excellent- Stones|
|Shading||Excellent-Mostly shaded||Excellent- Mostly shaded|
|Bank stability||Excellent-stable banks||Ok- some erosion|
|Water clarity||Excellent- clear (no sediment)||Excellent- clear|
|Water temperature||Excellent- 15 deg||Excellent- 17 deg|
Ohineanganga stream provides good instream habitat and ‘home’ to lots of stream invertebrates. Water clarity is usually very good. In contrast Manoeka stream health is reduced by local landuse. Stream bank erosion also effects water and habitat quality.
In terms 2 &3 the students completed several 5-minute bird counts on the school grounds, at nearby Noel Bowler Park and at Te Hapai Rangitahi (the schools offsite) ~7km up the road which has a small section of native bush.
In term 3 our group did small mammal monitoring (using tracking tunnels) on the school grounds and at Te Hapai Rangitahi. We used keys to identify prints and analysed the results – almost all rats and some mice.
We learnt more about pest species and discussed what makes an animal a pest by playing a fun game “Possum picnic”. This outdoor activity presents ideas about the impact introduced animal species have on our natural environment.
Rating our ‘backyards’
During Conservation week students surveyed the school using the D.O.C “How green is your backyard” guide. The students gave their school a low “green” rating and considered ways they could help to improve on this. They identified the best way to do this is by planting more native trees and shrubs, getting the care taker to stop spraying around the existing trees that exist so a leaf litter/mulch environment can start to be created for insects and therefore more appealing for our native bird species.
Also for part of Conservation week the students created a “Habitat Heroes” short film- investigating the health of their local school environment, explaining what monitoring they had done and what they thought needed to be done to help improve it.