Teaching radio-tracking skills to city students

News article |

Eleven students from Norwood International High School know a new thing or two about radio tracking and animal tracks following their involvement in the Nature Foundation Kids on Country Camp at Witchelina in October.

The board’s Marree-Innamincka Community Landscape Officer Alice Smith and Community Ecologist Declan Morris were invited to attend the camp for two days to run some activities alongside the Nature Foundation Kids on Country team and participate in the program.

Students took part in a radio tracking exercise to track wildlife fitted with a VHF collar. While it provided an opportunity to track an animal across a paddock, over a hill and down a deep creek line, students were a little disappointed to find the Western Quoll they thought they were tracking was one quite literally – stuffed.

In the classroom, students learned about threatened native species found in the SAAL region, and shared some interesting facts about a species they studied. Interaction with bones and specimens provided an opportunity to learn about animal anatomy and identification.

The Scats, Tracks and Facts game required students to match scats and tracks to their correct animal and then answer a quiz on some of the quirky facts about each one, while Dunnart Uprising, SAAL’s own version of Stuck in the Mud, involved cats and foxes trying to catch dunnarts. The latter was designed to get the students thinking about how introduced predators impact native wildlife.

The Kids on Country camp also exposed the students to bird watching and identification; camera trap set up; Adnyamathanha culture, stories, practices, language and traditional plant uses; torchlight tours, water sustainability and drought; Ediacaran fossils history; a virtual reality geology experience; GPS mapping; recycling and sustainability; and maintenance of vehicles, property and fences.

Nature Foundation’s Kids on Country Junior Ranger Program is a comprehensive SACE accredited program combining e-learning and on-country experiences. The program has a culture-first approach, where participants have the opportunity to grow under the mentorship of senior Aboriginal people, while engaging in practical on-country studies in conservation and land management.

If you would like to learn more about Kids on Country, please contact Nature Foundation’s Youth Programs Coordinator on 08 8340 2880 or katie.perry@naturefoundation.org.au

Teaching radio-tracking skills to city students
Declan Morris teaches radio tracking to Norwood International High School students. Photo Katie Perry.

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