May 17, 2023
The platypus is an adorable animal that’s sort of like a mix of a duck, beaver, otter, and scorpion. They are a beloved symbol of Australia’s unique wildlife. Now, because people have worked hard to protect them, you can find them again in Sydney’s Royal National Park.
Last Friday, four female platypuses were released into the park. They have special tags on their bodies. That’s so researchers can monitor them for the next two years. Representatives from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and other groups worked together to make this happen.
“(It is) very exciting for us to see platypuses come back into the park,” a researcher at UNSW told Reuters.
Scientists hope to learn how best to move the mammals. Droughts, fires, habitat destruction, and floods have all threatened them. They used to be found all over. However, their numbers have fallen in the last 100 years. The Royal National Park hasn't had any platypuses in over 50 years. Scientists think there are around 30,000 to 300,000 of them in the wild.
First, the four females will need to get used to their new home. Then, males will be brought into the same area. Researchers hope that they may breed. Cameron Kerr, the CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia, is confident in the conservation efforts. “The platypus is Taronga’s emblem,” he told News.com.au, “and we are committed to ensuring it not only survives but thrives for years to come.”
Photo from Unsplash via Klaus.
Reflect: What are some ways, either big or small, that we can help protect endangered species and their habitats?
How Can We Conserve Energy? (Renewable Energy #2)
In this lesson, students reflect on their personal energy use, make a bar graph to analyze data from the class, and create a conservation poster for display.
Energy Conservation Audit and Action Plan
This worksheet guides students to examine their current energy use at home and create a plan to conserve more energy.
This resource is comprised of of five 45-minute lessons where students will learn about the benefits of trees, predict and analyze the temperature difference of soil in the shade and direct sun, draw a map of all trees on their school grounds, and identify trees using a dichotomous key, tree identification guide, or app.