Tadpoles, Transects and Nestboxes with Tara Anglican School for Girls
What a day for the year 7 geography students of Tara. Perfect weather to use a myriad of geographical tools to asses the ecosystems of Brewongle. The forest was thoroughly examined by all students . We were impressed with the ability of some students to find north on the compass as well as test for soil pH, canopy cover and vegetation structure. They were also excellent at shooting each other in the head with our clinometers to measure slope angle.
The water bug surveys proved a hit and we managed a whole day with no major falls in the ponds! One group extracted over twenty large tadpoles from one corner of the pond. We discovered dragonfly nymphs and the occasional mayfly nymph. Mayfly’s are very good indicators of water quality as they are sensitive to pollution. For more education resources and ideas for school aquatic surveys go to the Streamwatch website http://www.streamwatch.org.au/cms/get_involved/.
After testing water quality we were surprised to find an ammonia level of 0.2 mg/l which was high enough to kill aquatic life. Luckily we realised our indicator was out of date and gave us this faulty reading. Well done all girls on your aquatic assessments!
Our unique nest box cameras were giving us some technical issues but we managed to get most of them working. No possums or birds in the boxes today! Check out the resources at Birds in Backyards http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder to really get into birdwatching at your school!