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.
- 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.