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Lesson 4.

Our Planet, Ourselves

The Koala Connection

Description:

In this lesson we look at how koalas are connected with their environment, researching the complex connections that are critical to understanding how we can help save the koalas.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand that koalas have adaptations that help them survive in their environment.
  • Understand that the health of habitat (including tree health) is linked to the health of koala populations.
  • Understand that soil and water health are important to koala health, and that drought, fire and other changes can affect this balance.
  • Explore ways to communicate information including increasingly complex ideas of biological interaction.

Links to:

Science

Biology, ecology, environmental science, planet science​

English

Plan, draft and publish informative texts​

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Additional Resources:

Primary:

Research

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

Secondary:

Research

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

Recommended Interviews:

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.

Kai Wild

Arborist and Koala Rescuer
Learning Areas:
Civics & Citizenship
Kailas Wild is a pro tree climber, or arborist. He had experience of koala rescue, so when he heard about the Kangaroo Island bushfire in the summer of 2020 he immediately wanted to help. He spent seven weeks with the rescue effort, climbing trees to bring injured koalas down so that they could be treated and released. He’s been in the media and campaigns for koala conservation.

Cheyne Flanagan

Clinical Director, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Learning Areas:
Science
Cheyne Flanagan is the Clinical Director of the hospital, and a trained Wildlife Biologist. We talked about what it’s like to try to save koalas from the worst injuries – burns, smoke, disease and road accidents. Cheyne has some suggestions on what students can do to help.

Mark Wilson

Trees Officer, Friends of the Koala
Learning Areas:
Civics & Citizenship, Science
Mark is the Trees Officer with Friends of the Koala, a voluntary group that began 30 years ago to plant habitat trees for koalas. They plant about 50,000 trees in a year and in recent years have set up care facilities for koalas. Mark and I spoke about tree planting and koala carers.
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