Ranger events prove to be a triumph
13 February 2019
Recent Department for Environment and Water (DEW) ranger-led community events have proved to be very popular during the school holidays.
Rangers from DEW put on a series of community events for families across the island during the latter end of the summer school holidays.
From Flinders Chase to Nepean Bay children and their families were invited to become mini scientists themselves and learn about the secrets of the bush, the conflict and drama of a seal colony, and the hidden underwater world of our marine parks.
Ranger-in-Charge, Paul Jennings, said that with over 250 children and parents turning up to the five events across KI it is safe to say that the events were a success.
“From ‘Fun in Flinders Chase’ through to ‘finding out what’s under the sea’ our rangers were left equally impressed by the eagerness of the children to learn and their passion to get involved.” said Mr Jennings
Landscape Ranger for KI West, Reece Boulden, said that guided walks down the Admirals Arch boardwalk were a hit among locals and visitors alike with stories of the numerous ships that have been wrecked on the rugged South Coast.
The waters around Cape du Couedic have been infamous over the years accounting for the loss of 94 lives, with some truly remarkable stories of survival.
“The highlight of one of the walks was the conflict, drama and entertainment provided by the long-nosed fur seal colony that was in its breeding season. An Australian sea lion and her pup were also spotted, much to the excitement of our resident expert and Senior Marine Ranger Tanya Rosewarne.” said Mr Boulden.
“On the twilight tour, visitors of all ages gazed upon the beauty of the platypus pools and there were rumours here and there that a platypus had been sighted, but alas, these rare and elusive monotremes remained just that.”
Tanya Rosewarne, who ran the ‘Find out what’s under the sea’ series of events, said a wide variety of sea life was on display at the mini marine discovery.
“Seaweeds, sea stars, urchins, scallops, decorator crabs and even nudibranchs (soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs) were just some of the marine life on hand for children to hold and compare. The big drawcard was definitely the large blue swimmer crab, although he was only there to look at!” said Ms Rosewarne.
“The ‘Seagrass Secrets’ event was held at the Yacht Club Beach, were a fine mesh net was used to discover some of the more inconspicuous marine species that hide within the shallow seagrass meadows. The children were delighted to see and learn about rarely seen species such as pipefish, sea centipedes, weedfish and weed whiting. Many of the species were juveniles which highlighted the importance of seagrass meadows as nursery habitats for many types of fish and crustaceans.
“As the tide rose the group moved to explore the rocky intertidal zone to compare the different habitats and species that can be found there, giving the children a unique opportunity to learn about the importance of both habitats.” added Ms Rosewarne.
“DEW will be looking at several more opportunities during public and school holidays to get more people interested in the science behind what we do, so keep your eyes peeled on the NRKI events website for more chances to get involved.” said Mr Jennings.
Communications & Media Coordinator