Bournda Environmental Education Centre(Bournda EEC) is operated by the Department of Education and Training and is located in Bournda National Park on the Far South Coast of NSW; an ideal setting for the delivery of environmental education programs. See their website: http://www.bournda-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/ and Herbarium – which shows which local plants are in flower at what seasons: http://www.bournda-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/ecosystems/terrestrial/
The staff at Bournda EEC assist teachers to plan and conduct field trips for students from Kindergarten – Year 12, which are designed to specifically target KLA outcomes.
Bournda EEC has recently added its Herbarium records to the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness and will be adding future records to help build a record of what lives on our coast.
The first project that Bournda EEC is running in conjunction with Taronga Zoo (Insitu) and the AStlas of Life, is the Yellow – Bellied Glider project to encourage schools and our community to help record where populations of Yellow – Bellied Gliders are living in this region.
CAN YOU HELP WITH OUR SCIENCE WEEK 2013 YELLOW-BELLIED GLIDER SURVEY?
What is the survey all about?
Bournda Environmental Education Centre (EEC) is collaborating with Taronga Zoo and the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness (ALCW) in an exciting science week project.
Project Insitu is a highly successful community education program developed by Taronga Conservation Society Australia. It involves school children engaging their local community to take action in helping save a locally threatened species.
The focus species for our Project Insitu is the Yellow Bellied Glider (Petaurus australis) – YBG for short! community surveyhttp://alcw.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/alcw/fieldguide/taxon.htm?id=1410
Yellow Bellied Glider calls: 18 Track 18
So far participating schools in the Bega Valley have:
1. Been introduced to Project Insitu during the Zoomobile visit.
2. Researched information about the YBG.
3. Brainstormed ways to let their local community know about how to help protect the YBG.
4. Participated in a video conference with Taronga Zoo staff to learn more about the YBG.
The final phase of the project will involve students and other community members in a survey to map YBG sightings in the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness database.
How to conduct your own YBG survey
Where would I look?
Gliders like tall trees and are found in a range of forest habitats. If you are lucky enough to have suitable habitat in your backyard, that could be your search area! Make sure you can legally access the bushland you survey. You could check the Atlas of Living Australia to see where previous sightings have been recorded and to identify sites with no records.
Is it safe to survey?
If you are going to go somewhere in the bush to listen for gliders it is a good idea to have a look around in daylight hours so you can see if there are any hazards or safety risks that you need to be aware of. Your safety is your responsibility but don’t survey alone and make sure you get support from adults.
During the day you might also see signs of where gliders have made cuts in the tree to access sap or scratch marks on tree branches.
When would I survey?
You can look anytime you like but we are focusing on the Yellow Bellied Glider next week because it is SCIENCE WEEK! (Saturday 10th August – 18th August). You can have a look and a listen on one night or more. You will have the best chance of seeing something if the weather is fine and there is no moon.
What will I need?
Make sure you have suitable footwear, clothing and a good torch. Binoculars can help you make accurate observations. You might need insect repellent. Take a notebook or a GPS to record your location as accurately as possible. Be patient and quiet and you will have a better chance of seeing something.
What will I look for?
The yellow bellied glider has a distinctive call and you can confirm a “sighting” without even seeing the animal. They are agile and reclusive but you can spot them by seeing the eye-shine reflected from the back of their eyes. Keep your torch at eye-level. A red filter (cellophane) can be placed over the torch. The gliders are nocturnal so bright lights can be distressing to them.
You can listen to the gliders call here 18 Track 18
What do gliders look like? Check out this great video http://www.arkive.org/yellow-bellied-glider/petaurus-australis/video-00.html
Report your findings
Visit the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness website and register. You will then be able to record your sightings online.
You can also email details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call Bournda Environmental Education Centre on 64945009
A good scientific record would include:
Your contact details (name/phone number/email), date, time, start and finish times, location (including a description of the vegetation), area and length of survey, details of how you made your sighting (hearing call, actually seeing the animal, the number of animals you saw, animal behaviour and any other relevant comments..
Your research will help our understanding of this amazing animal!