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Lesson 1.

Community and Social

Koala Home Ranges

Description:

In this lesson we look at koala territories and explore a simple simulation that enables students to see that habitat loss and disruption affects a whole population of koalas in any one area. Optional extensions allow for individual research and action plans.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how koala populations are structured by territory and social group.
  • Understand that loss of habitat for one koala has a negative affect on many koalas.
  • Begin to explore how this affects genetic diversity (older students).
  • See how ecologists and geographers map koala territories.

Links to:

Science

Living things & environment / genetic diversity

HASS/HSIE

Geography & Mapping

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Additional Resources:

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Resources for students:

Primary:

Home Ranges

Relevant research material for this lesson can be accessed by primary students here

Habitat Loss

Relevant research material for this lesson can be accessed by primary students here

Secondary:

Home Ranges

Relevant research material for this lesson can be accessed by secondary students here

Habitat Loss

Relevant research material for this lesson can be accessed by secondary students here

Recommended Interviews:

Linda Sparrow

President, Bangalow Koalas
Learning Areas:
Civics & Citizenship, Geography
Linda loves koalas, but she’s worried about how many challenges they face. Her way to help was to get together a group of friends and start protecting and planting trees. The idea grew and grew until now they have a big plan to create koala corridors and plant a quarter of a million trees for koalas.

Margot Law

Project Officer
Learning Areas:
Civics & Citizenship, Geography, Science
Margot is the Koala Officer for her Shire Council, which means that she works to convince people to set aside land for wildlife. She talks about trying to conserve koala habitat in perpetuity in the Southern Highlands – that means homes for koalas, forever. To get that right, Margot and her colleagues are mapping how many koalas are where.

Martin Smith

Parks Ranger
Learning Areas:
Science, Geography
Martin Smith is a Ranger with the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service. He is an Incident Controller, Operations Manager and Planning Officer for bushfires and has spent thirty years protecting koalas. He talks about lots of things, from drought to how far a koala ranges (sometimes a long way), and what kind of music trees like best.

John Turbill

Threatened Species Officer
Learning Areas:
Science, Technology, Geography
John Turbill has a different way of finding koalas. To help find koalas, John been working with consultants with specialised koala detection dogs. These dogs are trained to sniff out the scent of koala scat. That means poo. And there’s a lot a scientist can tell from koala poo.
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