Koala Camp – Yangan State School
Jacobs Well Environmental Education Centre recently undertook a science camp with year 5/6 students from Yangan State School (near Warwick, Qld) focusing on growth and survival of living things. Part of the education program was focused on the East Coomera area, looking at the remaining koala habitat and learning about the food and habitat trees that koalas need to survive. Twenty one students/fauna forensic scientists spent part of a day out at Colman Road reserve at Coomera looking for evidence of koalas, using binoculars to spot koalas in the trees, identifying suitable food and habitat trees, and discussing the Coomera koala population and actions being taken to help them to survive.
The program was a huge success, with three koalas (and one joey) being sighted during the surveys. The students were great at finding koala scats, observing scratch marks on the trees and using eucalyptus keys to identify tree species. The students engaged really well with the opportunity to be real scientists involved in monitoring koala populations and the teachers and parents accompanying thought it was great that they were studying relevant issues and using methodology from the real world. The program was developed in consultation with the City’s Vulnerable Species Management Team and the important information that the students collected has been provided to the City to be used to help inform long term monitoring of koalas in the area and to assist with future planning.
Figure 1: Koala spotted by Yangan State School Students.