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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Written by Jane Bourke. © Ready-Ed Publications - 2005. Published by Ready-Ed Publications (2005) P.O. Box 276 Greenwood Perth W.A. 6024 Email: info@readyed.com.au Website: www.readyed.com.au

COPYRIGHT NOTICE Permission is granted for the purchaser to photocopy sufficient copies for non-commercial educational purposes. However, this permission is not transferable and applies only to the purchasing individual or institution.

ISBN 1 86397 619 1


ENDANGERED SPECIES OF AUSTRALIA

Teachers’ Notes r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

This book endeavours to educate students to the plight of critically endangered, endangered and threatened species. It draws attention to wellknown species such as the numbat and Tasmanian devil, but also focuses on less recognised animals that are in a similar predicament such as Gilbert’s potoroo, the orange-bellied parrot and the increasingly rare spotted handfish.

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Despite the efforts of a range of conservation programs, several native Australian animal species are still classified as critically endangered at a national level. While there are extensive education programs in place, many students are usually unaware of some of the lesser-known native species struggling for survival.

Other aims include clarifying the terms and status of endangered species as well as providing reasons for endangerment, which often vary among species. Students are also informed of what they can do to help certain species through a range of practical and simple strategies.

The animal species explored in this book are classified according to the regions in which they are found. For each featured animal there is a background information page (Fact File) that contains relevant details (e.g. species’ name, habitat, description and so on) as well as conservation efforts, trivia and websites for further research. The tasks can be carried out in any order and completed independently. While Internet sites have been provided they are usually not essential to the activity. A symbol ( ) indicates where Internet access is required.

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There is a heavy emphasis placed on exploring the issues that threaten animal survival and students are given opportunities to examine conservation programs that are currently in place. The activities lend themselves to extension activities, which have been detailed on page 11 as part of ideas for National Threatened Species Day.

School World Endangered Species Project (Page 45)

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At the end of each activity page is a WebQuester Challenge that will require access to the Internet. Ideally, the students should use the websites provided on the Fact File page as a starting point for their research. This is a global school project involving thousands of students from around the world. The aim of the project is to allow students to share their information on endangered species with other classes. Please visit the website at www.schoolworld.asn.au/species/species.html to ensure that your students meet the required guidelines before attempting to complete this activity. Specific guidelines for reporting are available at this link: www.schoolworld.asn.au/species/outline.html - Report Outline

WEBSITES

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All websites mentioned in this book, including the page of Useful Websites on Page 5, have been linked online through the Ready-Ed Website at:

www.readyed.com.au/urls/kids/species.htm By bookmarking this page, students can easily access the sites without having to type the addresses in. The websites are also checked regularly and replaced where necessary. Any broken links should be reported to fixlink@readyed.com.au

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Contents 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 11

ENDANGERED SPECIES AROUND AUSTRALIA New South Wales ............................................................... Fact File: Regent Honeyeater ......................................................................................Activity: Helping Honeyeater Habitats ...................................................................................... Fact File: Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby ............................................................................................... Activity: Rock On, Rock Wallaby

12 13 14 15

Northern Territory .................................................................... Fact File: Northern Quoll .............................................................................................................. Activity: Rock ’n’ Quoll ...........................................................................................................Fact File: Greater Bilby .................................................................................................... Activity: Great, Greater Bilby

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Queensland ............................................................. Fact File: Lake Eacham Rainbow Fish .................................................................................................... Activity: End of the Rainbow? .............................................................................Fact File: Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat ................................................................................................ Activity: Wombat Whereabouts

20 21 22 23

South Australia ......................................................... Fact File: Pygmy Blue Tongue Lizard ........................................................................................................... Activity: Leaping Lizards ....................................................................................... Fact File: Kangaroo Island Dunnart ................................................................................ Activity: Dunno Much About the Dunnart?

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Tasmania .................................................................................. Fact File: Tasmanian Devil ..................................................................................................... Activity: What a Little Devil! .....................................................................................................Fact File: Spotted Handfish ........................................................................................................Activity: Spot the Handfish

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Teachers’ Notes ......................................................................................................................... Curriculum Links ....................................................................................................................... Useful Websites ......................................................................................................................... Endangered Species - Definitions ............................................................................................... Glossary .................................................................................................................................... Threatened Animal Species in Australia ..................................................................................... So Why Are These Animals Threatened? ................................................................................... National Threatened Species Day .............................................................................................

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Victoria ........................................................................... Fact File: Orange-Bellied Parrot .............................................................................................................. Activity: Parrot Poster .................................................................................................... Fact File: Spotted Tree Frog ............................................................................... Activity: Spotted Tree Frogs Under Threat

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32 33 34 35

Western Australia ....................................................... Fact File: Western Swamp Tortoise ............................................................................................. Activity: Swamped with Tortoises ..................................................................................................... Fact File: Gilbert’s Potoroo .................................................................................................... Activity: Potoroo-ing Around

36 37 38 39

Other Endangered Species Around Australia .................................................................................................................................... Fact File ........................................................................................................ Activity: Facing the Future ................................................................................................................. Activity: A Wild Zoo .....................................................................................................Activity: Animal Comparison .................................................................................................. Activity: Animal Trading Cards .................................................................. Activity: School World Endangered Species Project ............................................................................................ Activity: Australian National Parks Answers ............................................................................................................................

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Curriculum Links NEW SOUTH WALES Science & Technology

Strands / Outcomes VA7

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LT S3.3

ES S1.6

Human Society & Its Environment (HSIE) Strands / Outcomes Environments: Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness ENS3.5 between Australia and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner. Social Systems and Structures: Describes how Australian people, systems and communities are globally interconnected and recognises global responsibilities SSS3.7 (e.g. protecting endangered species). Change and Continuity: Explains changes in the local community and global environments CCS2.2 and their effect on individuals, groups and living things.

3.1 3.3

SOSE Time, Continuity and Change: Organises information about the causes and effects of specific historical events. TCC 3.4 Place and Space: Compares how diverse groups have used and managed natural PS 3.1 resources in different environments; Describes the values underlying personal and other people’s actions PS 3.5 regarding familiar places; Cooperatively identifies an environmental issue of concern and PS D3.6 contributes to its solution.

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Values and Attitudes: Appreciates contributions made by individuals, groups, cultures and communities to scientific and technological understandings. Information and Communication: Creates and evaluates information products and processes, demonstrating consideration of the type of media, form, audience and ethical issues. Living Things: Identifies, describes and evaluates the interactions between living things and their effects on the environment. Earth and its Surroundings: Identifies and describes ways in which people and other living things depend upon the Ear th and its environment.

QUEENSLAND Science Life and Living: Draws conclusions about the relationship between features of living things and the environments in which they live; Describes some interactions between living things and between living and non-living parts of the environment.

VICTORIA Science Biological Science: Describes environmental factors that affect the survival of living things. Students describe some interactions between living things and between living and non-living parts of the environment.

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3.1 2.6

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Science Life and Living: Understands that living things have features that form systems which determine their interaction with the environment.

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NATIONAL CURRICULUM (NT / TAS / ACT)

Science Life and Living: Maps relationships between living things in a habitat; Explains why some living things have become extinct and identifies current endangered species. SOSE Time, Continuity and Change: Gives reasons why the local community and environment have changed and are likely to change. Place and Space: Identifies issues about the care of places arising from the different ways in which they are valued. Resources: Describes ways in which innovation and enterprise affect people and the environment. Natural and Social Systems: Describes examples of cycles within natural systems (e.g. understands how animals and plants are linked by a food chain). Investigation, Communication and Participation: Frames questions and identifies sources of information.

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SOSE Natural and Social Systems: Identifies elements of natural systems and shows examples of animals and plants linked in a food chain. Time, Continuity and Change: Understands that changes have occurred over time which have affected, people, animals and the environment. Place and Space: Investigates issues related to the care of places, particularly animal habitats.

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA Science Earth and Space: Describes the characteristics that sustain life on the Ear th and changes to these characteristics and their impact over time. Life Systems: Communicates understandings of life cycles and the importance of diversity for the future; Explains the interrelationships between systems within living things, and between living things in ecological systems. Society & Environment Time, Continuity and Change: Identifies and explains sequences of change that have occurred over time and recognises various perspectives on events. Place, Space and Environment: Identifies and describes significant resources, explains the threats which endanger them, and suggests strategies to combat threats. Understands that people cause change in natural and built environments.

3.7 3.9

3.3 3.6 3.12 3.13 3.16

3.1

Society & Environment Investigation, Communication and Participation: Justifies decisions from a personal perspective using related evidence and gathers information from more than one source. Place and Space: Understands that the features of places are influenced by various natural processes. Understands that people have different views about which places need to be cared for. Understands that people act to sustain the environment according to their values. Natural and Social Systems: Understands that elements of natural systems link to form cycles of which people are a part. Time, Continuity and Change: Understands that at particular times there are various factors which result in change.

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ICP 3.2, ICP 3.4 PS 3.1 PS 3.3 PS 4.3

NSS 3.1

TCC 3.1

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Useful Websites r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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GOVERNMENT SITES AND OFFICIAL BODIES www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl - National List of Threatened Fauna www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/ - Threatened Australian Species and Threatened Ecological Communities www.calm.wa.gov.au/ - Nature Base from Conservation and Land Management (WA) www.parks.tas.gov.au/nature.html - Parks and Wildlife Service (Tas) www.denr.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/index.html - Department for Environment and Heritage (SA) www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au - National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW) www.denr.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened.html - Parks Web Biodiversity - Threatened Species www.env.qld.gov.au/nature_conservation/biodiversity/endangered_wildlife/ - Endangered Wildlife (QLD) www.nt.gov.au/ipe/pwcnt/ - Parks and Wildlife Commission (NT) Click on Plants and Animals. www.environment.act.gov.au/nativeplantsandanimals/thrtspecinfo.html - Environment (ACT) Threatened Species www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/factsheets/index.html - Fact Sheets SITES FOR KIDS www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/20-tips.html - How You Can Help! www.schoolworld.asn.au/species/species.html - School World Endangered Species Project www.science.org.au/nova/010/010key.htm - Australia’s Threatened Species from NOVA www.museum.qld.gov.au/features/endangered/ - Queensland Museum Endangered Species Online www.rainforestinfo.org.au/spp/ - The Endangered Species Project www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/Austendangered.htm - Endangered Australian Animals www.spx.nsw.edu.au/src/Links/endanganim.html - Endangered Animals Links www.calm.wa.gov.au/plants_animals/watscu_splash.html - Saving Our Threatened Wildlife www.australianwildlife.org/ - Australian Wildlife Conservancy www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/factsheets/index.html - World Wide Fund for Nature www.extinctanimal.com/extinct/extinct_mammals.htm - Extinct Mammals users.netconnect.com.au/Easter_Bilby/ - Read the Easter Bilby Story www.museum.vic.gov.au/bioinformatics/mammals/images/thumblmar.htm - Mammal Images rainforestinfo.org.au/spp/Schouten/ - Extinct Australian Species www.calm.wa.gov.au/plants_animals/feeding_wild_animals.html - Feeding Wild Animals www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/factsheets/index.html - National Threatened Species Day edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/endangsp.html - Excellent Links Page

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Definitions VULNERABLE: Refers to species that are not classified as endangered or critically endangered, yet are facing a risk of extinction in the “medium-term” future. Species that fall into this category are likely to be classified as “endangered” within the next 25 years if no action is taken to preserve the species. Australian species that are considered “vulnerable” include:

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EXTINCT: A species is said to be extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last member of this species has died. Extinctions can be hard to prove and a limit of fifty years with no official sightings of the species is now used. It is believed that in the last 200 years, at least 17 Australian animal species have become extinct. Examples of extinct Australian species include:

• Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) • Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

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Threatened animal species are classified according to the severity of their risk of extinction. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) classifies threatened species using the categories below. The aim of the Act is to promote the conservation and biodiversity of threatened Australian species. The classifications vary slightly among states and territories.

• Chuditch, Western quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii)

CONSERVATION DEPENDENT: Refers to species that are the focus of specific conservation programs. Without such a program the species would be classified as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered within a five year period. Examples include:

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• Pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) Last seen in 1901

• Lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura) Last recorded sighting in the 1950s

EXTINCT IN THE WILD: When a species exists only in cultivation, in captivity (i.e. a zoo program), or as a naturalised population outside its past range.

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CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: Refers to species that are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the “immediate” future. Examples of critically endangered Australian animals include:

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Definitions used in certain states and territories: NEAR THREATENED: This category is used in some states and territories, where it is believed the species is “vulnerable” but there are no actual estimates of population sizes. Without these details, the species is unable to be classified as threatened or vulnerable. Examples include: • Narbalek (Petrogale concinna leichardti) - a rock wallaby species

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•Western swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) •Gilbert’s potoroo (Potorous gilbertii)

ENDANGERED: Refers to species that are likely to become extinct in the “near” future unless the threats and dangers to their survival are removed. Animal species in this category are not “critically endangered” but they are still facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Examples of endangered Australian species include: •Northern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) •Spotted tree frog (Litoria spenceri)

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• Southern bent-wing bat schreibersii bassanii)

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• Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) Last seen in 1936

• Kakadu fourbar swordtail butterfly (Protographium leosthenes geimbia)

LEAST CONCERN: Refers to species that have abundant populations and are considered to be of least concern. There is no recorded evidence of a decline in numbers. An example includes:

• Eyrean grasswren (Amytornis goyderi) DATA DEFICIENT: Species where little is known about remaining numbers and populations are listed in this category.

* Source: Natural Heritage Trust (2004) Threatened Ecological Communities in Australia

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Glossary Least concern: This is the status given by CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) when a species of plant or animal has been evaluated but does not qualify as being threatened at this time.

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Community: Term used to describe all organisms inhabiting a common environment where all living things interact with each other. Ecosystem: A self-supporting biological system involving all the organisms in a community and the natural environment. This basically includes all species of plant and animal and the relationships that exist between them and the non-living aspects of their environment such as air, water, light and soil. If anything upsets the delicate balance the whole ecosystem will be affected. An example of an ecosystem is a worm farm where there are many independent factors that work together so the whole system survives.

Marine Protected Areas: A marine protected area (MPA) is any marine area, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. Some of the functions of MPAs are protecting important habitats and areas, studying the effect of developments such as marinas on marine habitats, protecting endangered marine species and regulating the fisheries to make sure size limits do not endanger the survival of certain species.

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Biodiversity: (Biological diversity) is the term used to describe the variety that exists among organisms and their environments. It is important that biodiversity be protected so as to allow species to continue to thrive. In the past, species have become extinct as a result of natural causes. Today, however, loss of biodiversity is largely caused by humans. People have hunted certain species to extinction and polluted and destroyed their habitat. Conservation and protection efforts of recent years have slowed down the loss of biodiversity but have not stopped it.

Predators: Predators are carnivorous animals that hunt and kill other animals for food. This term is used to describe any animal that lives by preying on another animal. For example sharks are predators of smaller fish, frogs are predators of beetles and insects, crocodiles are predators of fish, eagles are predators of lizards and humans are predators of dairy cattle.

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Environment: The surroundings in which a plant or animal lives is called its environment. An animal’s environment is very important because it can influence its development and behaviour. The environment of an animal includes its immediate habitat, climatic conditions, weather and human interference. An animal or plant adapts to its natural environment in order for it to survive. If an animal exists in a harsh environment it will try to develop special features over time that will allow it to exist more easily in the particular environment. For example, chameleons have developed a way to change their skin colour to allow them to blend in with their surroundings, escaping predators in the process.

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Special adaptations: Animals make adaptations to their environment by changing to become better suited to their environment in order to survive and reproduce. Some of these adaptations may be behavioural while others, which happen over long periods of time, may be physical. Kangaroos, in times of drought when there is little food, will not have as many babies so there are fewer kangaroos to share the limited food sources. When there has been a really good season they will have more joeys than normal because there will be an ample food supply.

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Endemic: Refers to a species or population that occurs in one particular region in all months of the year and all years. For example, the chestnut-breasted whiteface (Aphelocephala pectoralis) is endemic to South Australia while the golden-shouldered parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) is endemic to the Cape York Peninsula.

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Habitat: The place or places normally occupied by a particular species or population.

Species: This is the basic unit of classification for all members of the animal and plant kingdoms. Animals are grouped together according to their common characteristics. Each group is classified as a species. Members of a species all have common characteristics and differ from all other living things in one way or another. The scientific name for species is usually written in italics or is underlined. No two species in a genus have the same name and most of these names come from Greek or Latin words. All organisms are known by different common names around the world, however, their scientific name is always the same no matter what language.

Home range: The home range is the area in which an animal will move around in order to feed.

Sub species: A group that is a subdivision of a species, which usually occurs because of isolation within a species.

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Threatened Animal Species in Australia Threatened species are found in all states and territories of Australia. Many of these species live only in a tiny area while others are still found – in small numbers – scattered in locations all over the country and in the surrounding waters.

Australia’s native species have flourished and evolved over thousands of years. However, in the years since Australia was colonised, many physical changes have taken place that have greatly affected the environment. A number of species have seen their habitats disappear or change. In addition to man-made changes such as the clearing of forests and native vegetation, natural occurrences such as bush fires, drought and flooding have affected the soil and surrounding environment. All of these events have had a significant impact on the many ecological communities that exist throughout the country. These changes have affected the way animals and plants interact with their immediate environment and have changed the balance in the ecosystem. Some of these changes are things that native species have been able to overcome, either though developing special adaptations or by finding new habitats in which to exist.

What is a “threatened ecological community”?

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An ecological community is where a group of native plant and animal species inhabit a particular area and function and interact as a community. This is not unlike the way humans develop and interact within their own communities. Species in a community interact and rely on other species for food or shelter, e.g. a bird relies on a tree in order for it to build its home, a small mammal relies on certain insects as a food source.

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There are over one million animal species existing in Australia. Most of these species are unique to our country and are found nowhere else in the world except in captivity. The species may live in aquatic (water) environments or terrestrial (land) environments.

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Threatened ecological communities exist all over Australia and in island territories such as Christmas and Norfolk Islands. Some examples include: • grassy white box woodlands and the natural temperate grassland of the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory;

Many other native species are considered to be “threatened”, and are listed under Australian Government legislation as “endangered” or “vulnerable”.

Percentage of Australian species considered endemic to Australia • 85% of the continent’s flowering plants • 84% of mammals • 45% of birds • 89% of inshore, temperate-zone fish

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• Buloke woodlands of the Riverina and Murray-Darling depression bioregions;

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However, many of these changes have meant that some species have become threatened in their quest for survival. For example, since European settlement 200 years ago, hundreds of species have become extinct and are no longer to be found existing anywhere in the world. Ecologists and botanists estimate that at least 50 bird and mammal species, four frog species, and more than sixty plant species have disappeared – and these are only the ones they know about!

• Brigalow belt in south-eastern Queensland;

• critically endangered swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. Source: Department of the Environment and Heritage (2004) www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/information/ overview.html

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To view a current list of animal species that are classified in these categories, visit this page of the Department of the Environment and Heritage website:

www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/ publicthreatenedlist.pl

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So Why Are These Animals Threatened? INTRODUCED SPECIES Since Australia was colonised by European settlers, many animal and plant species have been introduced from other parts of the world. Some species have been used for agricultural purposes, e.g. chickens, sheep and cows, other species such as horses and greyhounds have been used in sporting events and some have been brought here merely as pets, e.g. cats and dogs.

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HABITAT CHANGE Changes to an animal’s habitat can occur after a natural disaster such as bushfire, flood, drought or storm. Over time, these habitats can recover, but some communities may not survive or may have been completely destroyed in the actual event itself. Human activities, such as clearing of natural bushland or rainforests, mining and other industrial processes can have such an impact that the natural environment is unable to recover or restore lost habitats, causing many ecological communities to suffer.

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HABITAT LOSS Imagine if you came home from school one day and your home was gone and possibly your family! Well, this is what millions of living things are facing on a daily basis. Most habitats are lost or destroyed to make room for urban development. Habitats can disappear when trees are cut down, when bushland is cleared, when areas are prepared for mining and other industrial activities, and when weeds and pests take over an area.

While certain introduced species can contribute greatly to Australia’s economy and provide fresh food sources for humans, others have caused widespread environmental damage in the wild. Some animal species have upset the delicate balance that exists in an ecosystem by preying on the eggs and young of native species, others compete with native species for food and space while some types of fish, such as the European carp, muddy waterways and upset other species’ habitats that exist within a natural ecosystem.

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Clearing native vegetation results in habitats being broken up and can even isolate some populations of plants and animals. If only a small section of the habitat remains then it will only be able to support a reduced amount of the original population. Unless there are similar habitats nearby that the animals can colonise, these animal species will not survive.

Check out this site for a list of Australia’s introduced pests www.teachingtreasures.com.au/scienceprojects/pests.htm

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Marine habitats, such as rivers, lakes and coastal waters, can be affected by industrial activity such as run off into waterways. The run off can contain harmful pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, sewage, oil, toxic chemicals and sediments. Such substances can kill marine species (both freshwater and saltwater) or make them very sick. These substances also damage the natural environment that the living organisms depend on for food and shelter.

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So Why Are These Animals Threatened? r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

PREDATORS Introduced species such as foxes and cats prey on many native species. The numbat, western quoll (chuditch), woylie and many species of wallaby are a food source for such predators and so it is difficult to release these Australian species back into the wild where the spread of foxes and cats cannot be controlled.

Records show that these starfish were possibly brought to the Tasmanian region as early as 1986 and marine biologists estimate that there are at least 30 million existing in the Derwent Estuary today.

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ANIMALS BEHAVING BADLY • Livestock such as rabbits, goats, pigs, sheep, buffalo, donkeys, horses, camels and cattle have been responsible for the degradation of natural environments through their grazing habits. • The hooves of some animals compacts the soil and stops new plants growing in areas of revegetation. • The lack of plants then leads to soil erosion and soil salinity (too much salt). • Introduced animals also compete with native Australian species for food, shelter and breeding sites.

Derwent estuary. Scientists say that this marine “pest” poses a serious environmental threat from New South Wales coastal areas and could reach right across to Western Australia in the near future. Early efforts to destroy this pest were unsuccessful.

Source: massbay.mit.edu/exoticspecies/oceanspace/ seastar.html

PLANT PESTS Weeds are plants that invade an area in the same way introduced animals have invaded areas. These “invasions” upset the natural balance of an ecological community. Weeds are able to thrive in places where they would not normally grow. By doing this, they compete with native plants for space, water and nutrients from the soil. Weeds generally have the ability to invade disturbed sites such as places that have been cleared, and are often not able to be of any use to native animals as they are not a food source or form of shelter. In fact, the only animals likely to benefit from such plants are feral animals!

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MARINE INVASIONS Introduced predators aren’t just restricted to land! Many ships have brought fish, crustaceans, molluscs and worms into Australian waters through their ballast water.

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What is Ballast Water?

In order to maintain stability during transit along coasts and on the open ocean, ships fill their ballast tanks with water. This water comes from coastal port areas from where the ship sets off. It is then transported with the ship to the next port of call where the water may be discharged into the harbour or exchanged.

Check out Weedbusters~! www.weedbusterweek.info.au/ Learn all you need to know about weeds and how to get rid of them! Also visit www.weeds.org.au/ to identify a particular weed!

One of the more well known “bio-invaders” is the Northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis).This species of starfish was officially discovered in Tasmanian waters in 1992 and has caused the decline of many native seastar populations as well as being responsible for reduced numbers of the spotted handfish in the 10

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National Threatened Species Day highlight the damage that such bags cause on our environment, the animals and plants that they affect and the alternatives we can use when we shop. You can find about local projects by ringing your local Threatened Species Network on 1800 032 551.

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National Threatened Species Day draws attention to the dangers affecting many plant and animal species as well as highlighting ways that the community can help the futures of these threatened species.

3. Creatures Collage: Create a chart showing all of the threatened species that live near your area. Write key facts for each such as their scientific name, habitat, threat risk, reasons for being classified as threatened, diet, behaviour, special features, other locations around Australia and so on. Use your local library to find images of these species. If possible, try to take some photos to help illustrate your poster.

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This special day is held on September 7 each year with the aim of encouraging the community to reduce the risk of extinction for threatened native species. Many Australians use this day to celebrate our national flora and fauna. The day was first held in 1996 and marked the 60th anniversary of the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger in captivity in Hobart. It was organised by the Threatened Species Network which is a community-based program of the Natural Heritage Trust and the World Wildlife Fund (Australia). ( www.wwf.org.au)

4. Advertise a local event that is coming up, e.g. tree planting, local clean-up day, weeding day, etc.

5. Create a poster for the RSPCA – give details on where the nearest centre is, what their mission is and why you should contact them. On your poster be sure to make a note of everything the RSPCA can help you with in terms of caring for abandoned or injured wildlife. You should also note down the number for your local wildlife rescue service.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• POSTER DESIGN

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Design a poster for National Threatened Species Day. This poster can be displayed at your school or in your local community, e.g. shopping centre notice board, shop window, park notice board, church, community hall and so on. You can choose whatever focus you like for your poster. Here are some starting ideas below:

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7. Choose an important community action to highlight. Think of an eye-catching headline to get people looking at your poster. Ideas for poster themes include: • Extinguish your camp fires and cigarette butts when you are in the bush. (Catchy headline = BUTT OUT!) • If you live by the seaside, throw back fish that are too small when you are fishing. • Drive slowly at dawn and dusk to reduce the risk of animal road deaths. • Take your own bag shopping rather than using the plastic ones which can choke marine animals.

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1. Threatened Species Fact File: Research specific details of a particular threatened species and create a poster that highlights the unique features. Be sure to include in your poster the locations and habitat of this species and the threats it is currently facing.

2. Advertising a Community Project: If there are any projects that you know of that are aiming to reduce the threat of extinction of certain plant and animal species, then find out as much as you can about this initiative and use your poster to promote community involvement. For example, your community may be pushing to stop the use of plastic bags at shopping centres. If this is the case, your poster could

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6. Create a poster for the Parks and Wildlife Service that explains what to do if you sight any unusual animals or plants, or feral pests and weeds.

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Check Out: www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/ threatened/information/factsheets/ index.html - Fact Sheets

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Endangered Species of New South Wales

Regent Honeyeater Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name::Xanthomyza phrygia

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Threats of Extinction: r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Extinct?

The main threat for the honeyeaters is the loss of their woodland habitat. This threat affects many other woodland plant and animal species. Since European settlement the unique box-ironbark woodlands have been cleared for reasons such as gold-mining, room for industrial and residential development and for agricultural purposes such as farming. Today only 17% of Australia’s original boxironbark vegetation remains untouched.

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The regent honeyeater is known for its striking black, white and yellow appearance and was once found in abundance in regions throughout Victoria and New South Wales. It is now restricted to ironbark forest habitats which have become threatened communities. This species was once commonly found living in Queensland and South Australia, however it no longer exists in these areas due to loss of habitat. It is estimated that there are as few as 800 to 2000 birds left in existence and it is listed as nationally endangered.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

Habitat:

Honey Diet:

Current populations exist mainly in dry box-ironbark forests and woodland areas inland of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales. The birds like to live near wet and fertile soils usually along river beds and valleys. They pollinate species such as mulga ironbark, white box and Blakely’s red gum trees. The honeyeater relies on these plant species for food and shelter.

©Margaret Harris www.barraba.org

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Mainly eats plant nectar from eucalypt species. This honeyeater plays an important role in the reproduction of many flowering plants, acting as a pollinator by carrying pollen from the anther of one plant to the stigma of another flowering plant.

Did You Know?

Conservation Efforts:

Firewood collection is threatening the future of the regent honeyeater!

The main focus at the moment is to preserve the habitats of the regent honeyeater. Box-ironbark woodlands are a threatened ecosystem and are also home to many other animal and plant species, several of which are becoming endangered. Conservation programs have been set up to protect and restore the natural habitats.

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Many people think they are helping out the environment when they collect firewood from the bush. Instead, they are often doing more harm than good. The dead trees and fallen timber that many people remove from forests and bush regions actually play an important part in the survival of the forest ecosystem as many fungus species live on the dead wood. The fungi are a food source for many small woodland species and at least 20 bird species can be affected by the reduced amounts of these fungi.

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There are also organisations, such as the Wilderness Society, who work to promote awareness of the honeyeaters uncertain future. You can learn about what the Wilderness Society does by visiting this website: www.wilderness.org.au/campaigns/forests/ general/threatened/ - Threatened Species Want more about the regent honeyeater? www.birdsaustralia.com.au/birds/regent.html Ready-Ed Publications


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Endangered Species of New South Wales

Helping Honeyeater Habitats Activity

Woodland Worries

Make some notes about three threats that the regent honeyeater is facing.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

• _____________________________________ ______________________________________

• _____________________________________ • _____________________________________ ______________________________________

Which of these threats do you think is the most concerning? Why? ______________________________________

Shade in the status bar.

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______________________________________

Be a super sleuth and hunt around the sites below to find out the names of some other endangered animals that live in box-ironbark woodlands. In the table below, list the names of four animal species that rely on these habitats for their survival. See if you can find out the status of each animal species.

COMMON NAME: ______________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME: ______________________________________ STATUS:

______________________________________

Conservation Dependent

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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By leaving dead wood alone you stop the disruption to the natural ecosystem. This means that you are leaving food sources there for the birds who are already facing competition for food from other animals not native to Australia. You can also ask your local firewood seller where he/she collects their firewood from and find out if they are taking it from a threatened ecological community such as the box-ironbark woodlands.

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WEBSITES:

COMMON NAME: ______________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME: ______________________________________ STATUS:

Conservation Dependent

Vulnerable

Endangered

COMMON NAME: ______________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME: ______________________________________ STATUS:

o c . che e r o t r s super Conservation Dependent

Check out these sights for woodland information www.vnpa.org.au/campaigns/ boxironbark.htm www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/ 1park_boxironbark.cfm

Critically Endangered

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Did you know that you can actually help regent honeyeaters and other endangered woodland birds?

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

COMMON NAME: ______________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME: ______________________________________ STATUS: Conservation Dependent

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

WebQuester Challenge: What’s Growing On? Find out the names of the endangered plant species that exist in box-ironbark woodlands. List them below.

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Endangered Species of New South Wales

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Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Petrogale penicillata

Least concern

Decreasing population

Vulnerable

Critically Endangered

Endangered

Physical Features: r o e t s Bo r e p ok u Behaviour: S

This species of wallaby is nocturnal, however, they are often found enjoying the sunshine when it’s not too hot. These animals do not like to be disturbed in their natural environment and those that exist in the wild are not at all friendly to humans!

Compared to other wallaby species, the rock wallabies are of medium size with an average head and body length of 550 mm. Their tail measures an average of 600 mm.They are usually brown in colour however, their underbelly fades to a light brown or white. They have a cream stripe running across the fur of their cheeks and their tail is covered with extremely thick fur. They are able to climb fairly tall trees due to their strong hind legs.

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This marsupial is also found in Queensland and parts of Victoria, however the populations in Victoria are very close to extinction. The Warrambungles population of New South Wales is classified as critically endangered. Many brush-tailed rock wallaby populations in New South Wales are now thought to be extinct.

Extinct?

Reproduction:

Females are old enough to breed after 18 months and breeding occurs all year round. The joey stays in the mother’s pouch for around 29 weeks and then continues to suckle for a further three months.

WANT MORE?

Habitat and Diet:

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons READ ABOUT “OLD MATEY”: •f orr evi ew pur poses onl y•

www.australianfauna.com/ brushtailedrockwallaby.php

Like their name suggests, rock wallabies tend to live in rock areas and caves. They feed on a selection of native grasses, roots and bark.

www.secretgully.com.au/ brushtail.html

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Threats of Extinction:

Did You Know?

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Predators – mainly foxes – are the main threat to the survival of the rock wallaby, however, this species is also facing a loss of habitat and must compete for food with introduced species such as goats and rabbits. Floods and bushfires have also played a role in the declining numbers. Human factors such as illegal shooting and road accidents have greatly decreased the numbers of the rock wallaby populations. Because some populations have become very isolated, there has also been an increase in the number of animals inbreeding. In the late 1800s this species was hunted for its thick fur and it is thought that at least 500,000 animals were killed at this time.

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In 1916, the rock wallaby species was inroduced to the Hawaiian islands as part of a conservation program. Today there are several populations in existence in Hawaii. It is believed that a pair of wallabies escaped from captivity on the island of O’ahu after being sold by a travelling animal dealer to a local businessman. Wallabies bred successfully in the Kalihi Valley along cliffs. Sadly, the populations in Hawaii also face the same threats to survival that Australian wallaby populations are experiencing.

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©Source unknown

EXTINCT WALLABY SPECIES:

•Central hare-wallaby •Rufous hare-wallaby (south-west mainland) •Eastern hare-wallaby•Banded hare-wallaby (mainland) •Tammar wallaby (South Australia)•Toolache wallaby •Crescent nail-tail wallaby ENDANGERED

•Proserpine Rock-wallaby •bridled nail-tail Wallaby VULNERABLE •black-flanked rock wallaby •yellow-footed rock-wallaby •spectacled hare-wallaby (Barrow Island) •Rufous hare-wallaby (Bernier and Dorre Islands)•Recherche rock-wallaby •Pearson Island rock-wallaby

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Endangered Species of New South Wales

Rock On, Rock Wallaby

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Activity Devise a media project that will promote awareness of the plight of the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby.

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Read about previous conservation programs and also conservation efforts that have helped other endangered native species.

Use the questions below to help you clarify your planning. 1. What are the key points I want to get across?

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SOME IDEAS:

- Create a PowerPoint presentation or website about the rock wallaby - Design a poster/chart for your school or community library - Write a letter or story for a nature magazine

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

2. What are practical things people can do to help the plight of the rock wallaby?

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

3. Where are the populations that are still in existence of the rock wallaby?

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. What factors have caused the rock wallaby to become endangered?

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Who are the types of people I want to tell about the rock wallaby? E.g. Kids, parents, general public.

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_____________________________________________________________________________________________

6. What method am I going to use to get my message across? E.g. poster, Website, PowerPoint presentation, story.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

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SPECIFIC DETAILS:

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Title of Project: E.g. Rock on, Rock Wallaby Sections to include:

Approximate time it will take to make each section: Resources and reference materials I will need:

WebQuester Challenge: Find out the names of two organisations that are currently involved in conservation programs for the brush-tailed rock wallaby.

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Endangered Species of Northern Territory

Northern Quoll Fact File Scientific Name:

Status meter

Dasyurus hallucattus

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Extinct?

Northern Quoll Populations: r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Quolls are carnivorous mammals and prey on smaller mammals, reptiles, birds and insects at night. These animals are known for their aggressive behaviour.

There was a time when the northern quoll was found all over northern Australia, ranging from the Pilbara in Western Australia, to areas in southeastern Queensland. However, in the last fifty years numbers have greatly reduced and there are now only six main populations. Quolls like to live in rocky areas, open woodlands and quite often are to be found near human settlements. They also tend to live in areas that are less than 50 kilometres from the coast.

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This small mammal is often referred to as a “native cat” and is grey brown in colour with large white spots on its body. They are related to the chuditch, which is also found in the northern parts of Australia. The northern quoll is approximately the same size as a rabbit and is the smallest of all of the quoll species.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

Check Out

The map below shows the original locations of quoll species as well as the current six remaining populations.

www.quollseekers.com to learn about the northern quoll and other quoll species

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

www.deh.gov.au/ biodiversity/threatened/ information/factsheets Click on Quolls of Australia

Map Source: Menkhorst P & Knight F (2001) A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

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Cane Toads - The Deadly Food

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Northern quolls are aggressive predators and will basically eat anything that moves and is small enough for them to fit in their mouth. Cane toads are easy prey for quolls but are proving to be another reason for the decline in quoll numbers. Basically, when a quoll eats a cane toad, as soon as the lethal cane toad in the quoll’s mouth it oozes poison from tiny glands (called paratoid glands) located on the toad’s shoulders. This poison is immediately absorbed in the quoll’s mouth and then death for the quoll is only about ten minutes away! Interestingly, some other predators, such as crows have worked out how to prey on cane toads without being poisoned. This involves turning the cane toad over and eating only its stomach region. This doesn’t help the quoll though as it is a solitary hunter and is unlikely to learn “safe cane-toad eating” methods. Learn more about these amphibian pests at www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/canetoad.htm

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©Dr Ellen K. Rudolph www.2DocStock.com

Threats to the Northern Quoll’s Survival

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No one is completely sure why this species has become endangered but there are many factors that are thought to have reduced their numbers. The quoll’s habitat has often been destroyed through the grazing habits of introduced species and fire has also played a part where many quoll habitats have not been able to recover. The six populations that exist today are isolated from each other.

OTHER REASONS INCLUDE: • humans that are trying to bait feral dogs and foxes often end up trapping, baiting and poisoning quolls in the process; • quolls eating poisonous feral plants (weeds); • quolls competing with other animals for prey; • controlled burning and logging of forest habitats has affected quoll breeding cycles.

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Endangered Species of Northern Territory

Rock ’n’ Quoll

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Activity Find out all you can about the northern quoll’s rocky habitat. Name and describe some of the areas in which the quoll is found.

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___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

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___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

On the map of Australia below show where the current northern quoll populations are found. Study the map on Page 16. You may need to check out some websites as well so start at this site: www.quollseekers.com

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Original population

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Remaining population

Create a key for your map and show where the original populations of quoll existed. Using another colour, show where the remaining populations exist today.

WebQuester Challenge: Find out the names of some other quoll species of Australia. List them below and also include their status (e.g. endangered, critically endangered, etc.). ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Northern Territory

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Greater Bilby Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Macrotis lagotis

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Extinct?

Why are bilbies “vulnerable”? r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

This very cute marsupial is sometimes known as a rabbit-eared bandicoot, pinki, dalgyte, ninu or walpa. They are the largest species in the bandicoot family.

How Can You Help?

Well, already you may have heard about the Easter Bilby. Already moves are underway to give the bilby a higher profile in Australian culture with the introduction of chocolate bilbies at Easter time, which replace the traditional Easter Bunny. Not only does this increase the awareness of the plight of the bilby but part proceeds from Easter bilbies can go to a Save the Bilby fund.

Like many bandicoot species, the greater bilby is suffering a loss of its grasslands habitat as a result of land clearing and the grazing habits of European cattle. They have also had to compete for their burrows with rabbits and other introduced species. In the past, bilbies have been hunted by humans for their precious fur pelts, however, predators such as foxes and feral cats have a far greater effect on today’s continuing decline in numbers. Without conservation programs in place, the greater bilby would soon be making it onto the critically endangered list.

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Before European settlement, bilbies used to roam at least 70% of the Australian mainland. It is now believed that they inhabit less than 20% of the land today. The lesser bilby (macrotis leucura) has not been seen since the 1930s and is classified as extinct.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i on sBilby! Save the •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• © Robert Dockerill

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Bilby Specs

Weight: Males – 1.5 - 2.5 kg, Females – 0.8 - 1.2 kg Diet: Omnivorous, feeding on snails, fungi, insects, bulbs and sometimes small mammals and reptiles. Length: 30-45cm in length (including about 25 cm tail). Fur: Soft, silky blue-grey coat with tan markings and a white belly. Also has rabbit-like ears. Its long grey tail is carried upright like a flag when the bilby runs. Snout: Bilbies have a long, hairless, pink snout. Senses: While bilbies have an excellent sense of smell and good hearing, their eye-sight isn’t so flash. Camouflage: Bilbies colouring usually blends into the Australian bush and desert, however, during the day time they mostly spend time in their burrows, venturing out at night for feeding. Learn more about the bilby by logging onto this site: www.arazpa.org.au/ Education_FactSheets_Bilby.htm

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www.easterbilby.com.au

Bringing the Bilby Back South - A Conservation Program

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A few hundred years ago, bilbies existed in great numbers all throughout the southern regions of Australia. In 1994, the South Australian Bilby Recovery Team was set up to help bring the bilby back to South Australia. It was decided that if the bilby is to survive, then it should be reintroduced in captivity to the areas in which it once used to thrive. Use this website to read all about the bilby breeding program that this group set up: www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/bilby.html

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Endangered Species of Northern Territory

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Great, Greater Bilby! Activity

Create a Species Specs card for this “great” Australian mammal. Find a bilby image on the Internet and print it out to complete your information card.

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Species Specs

Status: ________________________________________________ Physical description: _____________________________________

Diet:__________________________________________________ Habitat and locations: _____________________________________ Significant features: ______________________________________

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Scientific name: _________________________________________

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_____________________________________________________

Threats to survival: _______________________________________ _____________________________________________________

Paste picture here

Conservation Efforts

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There are some great greater bilby conservation programs currently running to increase bilby numbers. Use your research skills to find out more about how these programs work. Check out the website on Page 18 to start you off. Based on what you have read, imagine you are part of the Bilby Recovery Team. Write a report to show what your team is doing to improve the future of the greater bilby populations.

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____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge: See if you can find a story on the Internet about the Easter Bilby. Find out the name of the author of this story:

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Endangered Species of Queensland

Lake Eacham Rainbow Fish Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Melanotaenia eachamensisis

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Threats to Survival r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Extinct?

The researchers realised that it would be pointless to place the fish back in Lake Eacham as the predators would again hunt them. Also, it would be impossible to get rid of the predator fish. Instead, people have learnt the lesson of the risks involved in moving fish from one area to another.

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Lake Eacham is not just any ordinary lake. It is actually a volcanic crater that has filled with water and it is completely isolated from any other water body. It is somewhat of a mystery as to how ANY fish ever got there. The Lake Eacham rainbow fish is very similar to the eastern rainbow fish and unfortunately, was hunted by larger introduced fish to Lake Eacham. These larger fish eventually ate all of the Lake Eacham rainbow fish and the species was almost classified as extinct.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

A captive breeding program remains the best solution for the survival of the Lake Eacham rainbow fish.

Check Out

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

rainforest-australia.com/ Lake_Eacham_Rainbow_Fish.htm

Find out more about the interesting story of this rainbow fish species by visiting these websites:

www.qmuseum.qld.gov.au/ features/endangered/animals/ rainbow_fish.asp

watershed3.tripod.com/ rainbows.html - About Rainbow Fish

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Recovering from Extinction?

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Right around this time, some people had been illegally collecting the rainbow fish from Lake Eacham and had been very successful at breeding them. This private collection of rainbow fish was used to reintroduce the fish to Lake Eacham. Meanwhile, the reason that the species became “extinct” in the lake in the first place, was still there lurking about waiting for new prey. This entire population of re-introduced rainbow fish were eaten again until not one fish existed!

Other Freshwater Fish Under Threat

There are many reasons for possible extinction of certain freshwater fish species. Growth and development in the north Queensland coastal areas has meant that many freshwater habitats have been destroyed. Secondly, many species have been relocated to other areas and this can greatly upset the delicate ecosystems that exist in these water bodies. Sometimes fish used as bait have ended up thriving and preying on the fish that native fish would normally feed on. Other fish such as guppies, swordtails and platys have somehow ended up in the waterways and compete with rainbow fish for available sources of food. Certain fish species such as the mosquito fish were introduced to the wet tropics area mainly to act as a pest control measure. Apart from eating insects and other pests, this species has also chosen to feed on tadpoles and this has caused major problems in the food chain of freshwater habitats. Other causes for concern include: • Water extraction projects; • Barrier projects such as the building of dams and weirs; • Recreational and commercial fishing; • Introduced exotic fish who act as predators.

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Scientists and marine researchers from the Wet Tropics Management Authority then discovered the Lake Eacham rainbow fish living in neighbouring rivers such as the Tully, Herbert and Johnstone rivers. They found that many of these fish were genetically identical to the original Lake Eacham rainbow fish while others were a result of interbreeding with the eastern rainbow fish. 20

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©Wet Tropics Management Authority

Source:

www.wettropics.gov.au/pa/pa_rainbow_fish.html

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Endangered Species of Queensland

End of the Rainbow? Activity

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S My life as a rainbow fish ...

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What a story the Lake Eacham rainbow fish has had! Imagine you are a Lake Eacham rainbow fish. Write a story about your life so far and what you have had to endure to make sure you survive. Read about the threats to fish that live in freshwater environments and use these in your story. You can make your story humorous or turn it into a horror story. Try to stick to the facts though and research your work using the websites listed on Page 20

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_______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ © ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons _______________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ . te _______________________________________ o c . _______________________________________ che e r o _______________________________________ t r s super ____________________________ ____________________________ WebQuester Challenge:

Find the names of at least three other freshwater marine animals that are listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

• __________________ • _________________ • __________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Queensland

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Lasiorhinus krefftii

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Extinct?

Another interesting fact is that its teeth NEVER stop growing, so even in old age it is still able to grind away on native grasses and leaves. There have never really been high numbers of this native species, however, fossil records show that they used to inhabit a much wider area of Australia, ranging from Victoria to central Queensland. Today there is only one population of this wombat species and it is restricted to the 300 hectares in the Epping Forest National Park. It lives along an ancient waterway where the soil is sandy and dry.

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The northern hairy-nosed wombat is sometimes known as the Queensland hairy-nosed wombat to distinguish it from the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons), which is found mainly in the southern areas of South Australia. This interesting marsupial has a backward facing pouch so that dirt stays out in when it burrows for food. Its funny name comes from its distinctive snout, which is covered in short, brown hairs. It is also the largest herbivorous (plant eating) mammal in the world.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

Check Out

Diet and Habitat

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Learn more about the conservation of this unique species:

These wombats feed on native grasses, eucalyptus and acacia leaves and tend to live in groups of large burrows near wooded areas.

©Queensland Parks & Wildlife

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What is Threatening the Wombat’s Survival?

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A number of factors have contributed to the decrease in wombat numbers. All the usual factors such as industrial and agricultural development (leading to habitat loss), competition for food and shelter with introduced animals such as sheep, cattle and rabbits and the impact of drought have played a key part in the decline of this species. Certain introduced grasses were pushing out some of the native grasses that wombats needed to feed on, which forced the wombats to move further south where they met more predators.

Conservation Efforts

In 1971, Epping National Park was established in a bid to protect the habitat of the northern hairy-nosed wombat. Only park rangers and researchers are allowed into the park, which is protected from bush fires by firebreaks and controlled burning. Cattle were removed from the park in 1982 and this saw wombat numbers increase by 50 %. Even after the drought in the early 1990s, the wombat numbers have increased steadily to 113 (at time of publication).

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Did You Know? There are only three species of wombat: •southern hairy-nosed wombat; •northern hairy-nosed wombat and; •common wombat

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www.epa.qld.gov.au/ nature_conservation/wildlife/ endangered_animals/ northern_hairynosed_wombat/

The park is also involved in programmes to improve the supply of native grasses so that the wombats can move to other areas of the Epping Forest National Park.

The northern hairy-nosed wombat is the largest of the three yet the rarest. Common wombats breed at any time of the year, southern wombats breed from September to December and the northern hairy-nosed wombat breeds from April to November. The northern hairy-nosed wombat is the only wombat species that is in danger of extinction. Ready-Ed Publications


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Endangered Species of Queensland

Wombat Whereabouts Activity Conduct some research using library books or the Internet. Find out where each of the three wombat species live in Australia. Use coloured pencils to shade in areas to show the distribution of each species. Use the excellent website below as a source for wombat locations.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Key

Common Wombat Northern hairy-nosed wombat Southern hairy-nosed wombat

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www.wombania.com/wombats/index.htm - Wombania’s Wombat Information Centre

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi e w pu r posesonl y• Wombat Wonders

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Read the information in the Fact File on Page 22 and also hunt around some websites. The Wombania website has loads of interesting information on these unique mammals.

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Make a list of all the special features of the northern hairy-nosed wombat that are unique to this species: • __________________________________________________________________________________

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• __________________________________________________________________________________

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• __________________________________________________________________________________ • __________________________________________________________________________________ • __________________________________________________________________________________ • __________________________________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge: Approximately, how long can the northern hairy-nosed wombat live ... A) in the wild? ________________________________________________ B) in captivity? ________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of South Australia

Pygmy Blue Tongue Lizard Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Tiliqua adelaidensis

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

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These lizards rarely grow to more than 20 centimetres in length.

Extinct?

What Happened to the Pygmy Lizard?

These lizards seem to only be able to exist in areas that have not been ploughed. The native grasslands that used to extend south onto the Adelaide Plains provided habitats for several lizard populations. However, this area has been cleared and ploughed for agricultural purposes and this has permanently changed the surface, ruining it as a habitat for the pygmy blue tongue. Ploughing destroys the lizard burrows and also kills lizards directly. It leaves the surviving lizards without any shelter and they are then easy prey for predators.

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Blue tongue lizards are the largest lizards in the skink family and yes – they really do have blue tongues! Like their name suggests, the pygmy blue tongue is the smallest of these lizard species. It is still of a medium size when compared to other skink and lizard species. Its head is relatively large compared to its body and it has very short, narrow limbs.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

Check Out

Extra

www.abc.net.au/science/ scribblygum/February2000/ gallery.htm

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Try your hand at drawing a blue tongue lizard. Use a photo to help you – there are plenty on the Net. Submit your artwork to this amazing blue tongue skinks website: www.bluetongueskinks.net Go to the Fun Facts area.

Find out more about the pygmy blue tongue lizard at these interesting sites: bluetongueskinks.netbpygmy.htm

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The pygmy blue tongue lizard species was first discovered in Australia sometime in the 1800s. It then disappeared from sight and was believed extinct.

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The Lizards That Came Back To Life

Recovery Plans

The only population in captivity is kept at the Adelaide Zoo in a special habitat exhibit. There are future plans to expand this exhibit that has been running since the pygmy blue tongue lizard was “rediscovered”. The breeding program started from a group of just six lizards. This program has suffered setbacks mainly due to the fact that the lizards are kept on display for the public. The lizards have also shown aggressive behaviour. In 1996, a larger display enclosure was created that was heat controlled.

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In 1992, several small populations were discovered in the Burra region of South Australia and it is thought that up to 5000 of these lizards are in existence today. Not much is known about where the pygmy lizard lived in the 19th century but some researchers suggest that it was found in areas ranging from the Adelaide Plains to the North Mount Lofty Ranges.

These reptiles are very secretive and only venture out of their burrows for food. They seek refuge in their burrows and the only burrows they use are empty spider holes. Only one adult is ever found in a burrow. The diet of these lizards consists mainly of native plants and medium sized invertebrates such as cockroaches, beetles, ants, spiders and grasshoppers.

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www.amonline.net.aufactsheets/ blue_tongue_lizard.htm

©Johan Van den bergh. BlueTongueSkinks NET

Source:

The Adelaide Zoo is responsible for raising public awareness of the dangers that the pygmy blue tongue lizard species encounters. It is unlikely that many people will come into contact with this species in the wild, so the zoo’s display is able to educate people about the current threats this animal is facing.

www.bluetongueskinks.net/blue.htm

Ready-Ed Publications


Endangered Species of South Australia

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Leaping Lizards Activity

The pygmy blue tongue lizard has had an interesting story so far. Once thought to be extinct, it showed up again a little more than a decade ago. Write a newspaper report covering the history of this lizard species so far. Base your report on actual facts, using the Fact File on Page 24 and the websites listed.

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___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

ACROSS 1. Because of its size, this blue tongue species is known as a ___________. 4. Lizards seek refuge in one of these. 5. Clearing of the natural habitat has led to the ____________ in lizard numbers. 7. The burrows are actually ________ holes. 8. Predators have been a ____________ to the survival of these lizards.

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DOWN 1.Most of the lizard species’ habitat has been _______________. 2. The region where these lizards were “rediscovered”. 3. These lizards rarely grow longer than ___________ centimetres. 4. An invertebrate that pygmy blue tongue lizards feed on. 6. This species was thought to be ______________ for many years. 7. Adelaide Zoo started a breeding program with a total of _________ lizards.

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Read the Fact File and then complete the pygmy blue tongue lizard crossword below.

o c . che e r o t r s super WebQuester Challenge:

Find the common and scientific names of the other species of blue tongue lizard that exist in Australia. List them below. ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of South Australia

Kangaroo Island Dunnart Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Sminthopsis aitkeni

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

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The tiny and very rare Kangaroo Island dunnart is endemic to Kangaroo Island and is the only species of dunnart to be found on the island. Weighing only 20-25 grams, it stands out from other dunnart species due to its dark colour and slender pointed muzzle.

This curious marsupial species was only sighted for the first time in 1969 and in the following ten years, a further four dunnarts were recorded. In 1990, another dunnart was captured during a biological survey of the island. In

Extinct?

1999, a total of ten of these creatures had been captured for research. The species was listed as nationally endangered in 1996 and around that time, a special research project was set up to find out more about this rare species. The project involved the setting of thousands of traps over an area covering 46 sites. At least 22,000 traps were laid down which resulted in the capture of 22 dunnarts in only 6 locations. No adult females were captured suggesting that this species was very rare indeed.

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Least concern

Decreasing population

Today a total of 32 dunnarts have been captured.

Other Endangered Dunnarts

Check Out

These dunnart species are also classified as endangered. • Julia Creek Dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) • Boullanger Island Dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer boullangerensis) • Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila) • Butler’s Dunnart (Sminthopsis butleri)

Find out more about the Kangaroo Island dunnart at these sites:

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

www.environment.sa.gov.au/ biodiversity/kidunnart.html

©Melissa Starling

What Did the Survey Find?

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www.australianfauna.com/ kangarooislanddunnart.php

Did You Know?

In November 2004, a new research project known as the Kangaroo Island Long-Term Ecological Research Site (KILTER) was started. This project aimed to study the whole of Kangaroo Island.

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Research found that the dunnarts dined on mainly spiders, ants, scorpions and beetles and that there was little difference in the diets of male and female dunnarts. Breeding seemed to occur around late September and then again in late December. It was also shown that dunnarts showed a great deal of variety in their choice of habitat, with many of the habitats having completely different plant species living in it. All of the captured dunnarts came from various corners of Kangaroo Island.

Conducted by the University of Adelaide, it is believed to be the biggest of its type in the world. The dunnart will be a major focus of the research. Kangaroo Island was chosen as the research site due to its unique environment and isolation.

Special radio tracking devices found that the dunnart is likely to shelter in burrows and that sometimes the habitat of one dunnart might overlap the habitat of another dunnart.

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Endangered Species of South Australia

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Dunno Much About the Dunnart Activity

r o e t s Bo r e p o u k WANTED! S

Common name: _____________________________________________ Scientific name: _____________________________________________ Last seen: _________________________________________________ Likely to be found in areas that: __________________________________ _________________________________________________________

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There are several endangered dunnart species in Australia. One of the most rare is the tiny Kangaroo Island Dunnart. Create a “Wanted” poster for this elusive dunnart species by completing the information below. Have a good look around the Internet for any pictures you can find to illustrate your poster.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Likely to feed on: ____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________

If you see this animal ... _______________________________________ ___________________________________________________

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Opinion

Paste or draw your image in this box

There are at least 32 King Island dunnarts in captivity. What are your thoughts on the idea of capturing every known animal of this species for research, in an effort to increase the survival rate of this species?

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____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge:

There are four other dunnart species listed as nationally endangered. Where are each of these species currently located. One is listed below. Give details for the other three. E.g. Julia Creek Dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) in Julia Creek and Richmond in north central Queensland.

____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Tasmania

Tasmanian Devil Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Sarcophilus harrisii

Protected since 1941

Devil Homes

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

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The Tasmanian devil is a marsupial that lives only on the island of Tasmania. They were exterminated from the mainland of Australia some 600 years ago. As this was before European settlement it is believed that the dingo is responsible for the extermination.

The Tasmanian devil is related to the extinct thylacine (also known as the Tasmanian tiger and Tasmanian wolf), which was wiped out by settlers because it was thought to be a threat to livestock.

Extinct?

Devils are actually widespread in Tasmania, living from the coast to the mountains. They will live anywhere that they can hide and find shelter in the day and food at night. They shelter during the day in caves and hollow logs and anywhere that can provide them with protection. Being nocturnal mammals, they only hunt at night.

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Least concern

Decreasing population

A Protected Species

Check Out

Find out more about this unique mammal at:

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Even though the Tasmanian devil is abundant today, it has been protected by law since 1941 due to the fact that it was nearly extinct in the past. This animal is the symbol for the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Services.

www.parks.tas.gov.au/ wildlife/mammals/devil.html Parks & Wildlife Services

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Dead Food!

©Mike Jagoe www.talune.com.au/devil

Devils are carnivorous but are actually inefficient killers, so they live mainly on carrion, which is the dead and rotting flesh of animals! They eat small animals they can find and kill, such as rodents, lizards and sometimes even larger animals. Tasmanian devils have some of the strongest jaws of any animal and generally devour the whole carcass of their prey. They will eat bones, fur, feet and one family of Tasmanian devils were found to have eaten a horse and left only the skull and the tail. The Tasmanian devils fight over their food, snapping and snarling during their communal feeding. To assist in this carnivorous, carrion eating lifestyle, the Tasmanian devil has 40 teeth to help tear the meat and its mouth is able to open as wide as 120°.

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Devil Facts

• Tasmanian devils measure from 0.9 metres to 1.2 metres long, including a tail of about 30 centimetres.

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Did You Know? The Tasmanian devil had a recurring role in the Bugs Bunny cartoon series. It now features in many of the cartoon’s computer games.

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www.tased.edu.au/tot/ fauna/devil.html - From the Tour of Tasmania website

• They mostly have black fur with white markings on the rump and the chest. • Adult males are usually larger than adult females and can weigh up to 12 kilograms. • A male devil’s body is thickset and squat, with a relatively large, broad head and a short thick tail. • The female has a pouch to carry her young in, although, like the hairy-nosed wombat, the pouch faces backwards rather than forwards. • The devil is not territorial but does have a home range. It roams up to 16 kilometres along well-travelled trails in search of food. • The devil exhibits a variety of behaviour when threatened. • They produce a strong smell and also make some fierce noises that vary from coughs to screeches. Ready-Ed Publications


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Endangered Species of Tasmania

What a Little Devil! Activity

DEVIL RESEARCH

Find out more about this bear-like mammal by reading the Fact File on Page 28 and searching the WWW sites listed. You may also like to look at some library books. Complete each box below.

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2. Why is the Tasmanian devil population in Tasmania so wide spread? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

5. What is the difference between animals that are territorial and animals that have a home range? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

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1. The Tasmanian devil is a scavenger. List all the things that make up the diet of this carnivorous mammal. ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

6. Describe how a Tasmanian devil is similar to a skunk, ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

4. What special adaptations has the Tasmanian devil developed to help it eat its prey? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

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3. What is carrion? Why does this mammal feed on it? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

7. Why do you think this creature is described as an “inefficient killer”? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

8. Write a brief physical description of the Tasmanian devil: ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________

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WebQuester Challenge: Be a devil and attempt not one but two challenges! 1. How do scientists know that Tasmanian devils used to live on the mainland? What information (proof) can you find on the Internet? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 2. A terrible disease is sweeping through Tasmania’s devil population and is responsible for killing more than 90% of adults in high density areas and 40-50% in medium-low density areas. What can you find out about this disease? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Tasmania

Spotted Handfish Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Brachionichthys hirsutus

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Conservation Efforts r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Extinct?

Back in the 1980s, this species was fairly common, however, after studies conducted by the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in 1994, it was found that the species only lived at one particular site.

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Spotted handfish are endemic to Tasmanian waters and are known to be one of the world’s most endangered marine species. This fish is only found on sandy sediments at the bottom of the Derwent River estuary. They are unique in that they kind of “walk” slowly on their fins which look like hands.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

Find out more by checking out this site: www.csiro.au - Search for “spotted handfish”.

Check Out

Another Threat!

Spot the handfish at these sites:

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

www.arkive.org/species/GES/ fish/Brachionichthys_hirsutus/ From ARKive

As if the poor handfish doesn’t have enough to fear, it is also being collected illegally and often sold as pets. Because of their unique appearance and the fact that they really are quite a bizarre fish, they are highly sought after.

©Image courtesy of CSIRO Marine Research

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Why Are They Endangered?

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In recent years, there has been a major decline in the handfish population. The specific reasons for this decline are not entirely known, however, there are two main concerns.

Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment and the CSIRO are currently working out ways to get rid of the seastars in the region. The seastars are causing trouble in a large area – not just Tasmanian waters – and are also threatening the survival of many native marine species.

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Firstly, it is believed that the dreaded northern Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis) – a marine creature brought here from northern waters by a ship some years ago (See Page 10 - Marine Invasions) – is responsible for eating large masses of handfish eggs and also depleting the food supply by preying on marine animals that the handfish relies on. Secondly, changing land use may have contributed to the reduction of the handfish habitats. Soil runoff has led to changes in the sediment making it difficult for the handfish to live in this region. Dredging from net fishing also caused changes in this fish’s habitat. 30

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www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/ threatened/information/ factsheets/tas2002.html

By setting traps for the seastar, these organisations hope to reduce their numbers and possibly remove them permanently from these waters, however, such traps often capture the wrong animals. Scientists are also trying out captive breeding programmes for the spotted handfish. The Spotted Handfish Recovery Team was formed in 1996. Its main aim is to increase the population numbers of this declining species. So far the breeding programs have been quite successful. Ready-Ed Publications


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Endangered Species of Tasmania

Spot The Handfish Activity The spotted handfish is possibly the rarest marine fish in the world, especially since it exists in only one area.

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Based on your reading and research, create a flow diagram (in the style of a comic strip) showing exactly what has happened to this precious fish species in the last few decades. As part of your diagram, be sure to provide a description of the spotted handfish as well as a list of all of the threats to this very rare fish’s survival. You should also make mention of the steps that are being taken to increase population sizes. Include information in each section of your diagram and make sure you check your facts.

Have a go at illustrating your “comic strip” based on spotted handfish images you come across. Use the space below to create your flow diagram. You may like to enlarge your diagram onto an A3 piece of paper.

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

o c . che e r o t r s super WebQuester Challenge:

Exactly how did the northern Pacific seastar get to Australian waters? Give details and also provide information about the regions in which this marine pest is now found. ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Victoria

Orange-Bellied Parrot Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Neophema chrysogaster

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Breeding Season r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

This brightly coloured “grass parrot” is found only in south eastern Australia. There are six species in the Neophema genus and some of the other species, such as the rock parrot, the blue-winged parrot and the elegant parrot, are often mistaken for the endangered orange-bellied species, because of their similar markings. Many years ago, the orange-bellied parrot was found in areas as far ranging as the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, down to southern Tasmania and up as far as Sydney. However, this parrot is now only found in a few populations in the southern mainland as well as Tasmania, where a breeding season occurs.

Threats to Survival

Extinct?

The orange-bellied parrot’s breeding range is along a narrow coastal strip in south west Tasmania. This is the only place the birds will breed. Once breeding has occurred adult birds will migrate to Victoria in February, and the younger birds will head off in March and April. Once the birds reach the saltmarsh habitats of Victoria, they spread out east with some flocks reaching the Lake Alexandrina region in South Australia around April. Around September, the birds head back to Tasmania for the breeding season and by November, all of the birds have left the Australian mainland.

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Least concern

Decreasing population

Many of Australia’s native birds are under threat due to habitat loss from land clearing and development, and degradation of the natural environment by introduced species such as rabbits and cattle. At least 100 of the 800 native bird species are currently endangered.

©Ingrid Albion Parks and Wildlife Service

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Identifying the Birds

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The orange-bellied parrot has a distinct bird call which distinguishes it from other parrot species. This call has helped researchers to identify these birds in the wild. The birds are colour-banded as part of the recovery program and this allows scientists to identify whether the birds are wild or released birds. Each of the birds has a band on its leg to show which group it falls into. The bands are colour coded and lettered to show what year they were banded and/or bred. If you see any of these birds, make sure you get a good look at the colour of the bands and any distinct lettering. You can report sightings to Birds Australia at www.birdsaustralia.com.au/sightings/ form.html - Sightings Form Check Out

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Even though these birds breed in protected habitats in Tasmania, their winter habitats on the mainland are often degraded and over run with intoduced species, who not only prey on the birds but have also ruined much of their natural habitats. The orange-bellied parrots are very close to extinction with only 180 adults still thought to be in existence.

How You Can Help

There are plenty of things you can do to help the plight of native Australian birds: 1. Plant native trees in your garden using native seeds. 2. If you have room, put a nesting box in your backyard to encourage visits from native birds. 3. Plant prickly native shrubs that birds can nest in. These shrubs will keep birds safe from cats and dogs. 4. Don’t feed native birds – it can be make them depend on your food supply. Birds can feed from native shrubs and trees. 5. Buy a field guide to help you identify the native birds that come to your garden or back yard. 6. Leave out hair and beard trimmings on the grass – sounds strange, but the birds love using them to make their nests! 7. Be responsible with your pets. Put a bell around your cat’s neck so that it warns birds. Make sure your pets are always free from disease. So many birds are killed by stray pets.

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www.parrotsociety.org.au/ www.birdsaustralia.com.au

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SOURCE: (Birds Australia, 2004.)

www.birdsaustralia.com.au

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Endangered Species of Victoria

Parrot Poster Activity

Create a colourful poster that informs people about some of the ways that they can help the survival of Australian native birds, in particular the orangebellied parrot. Use your poster to outline some key facts about endangered parrot species.

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This section should include: (Write some brief notes to help you with your poster.)

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• Estimated numbers left in the wild ___________________________________________ • Identification of these birds ________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ • The name and scientific names of the birds ____________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ • The locations of the birds _________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ • An image or drawing of the birds

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Brainstorm to think of all the things people can do, no matter how big or small, to help these birds. You may wish to research these birds on the Internet using the websites listed on Page 32 as a starting point. Try to come up with some inventive ideas of your own. List these ways below.

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• _______________________________________ • _________________________________________ • _______________________________________ • _________________________________________ • _______________________________________ • _________________________________________

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• _______________________________________ • _________________________________________ • _______________________________________ • _________________________________________ Now, it’s time to start your poster. Use at least an A3 sized sheet of paper or card. Make your poster stand out with an eye-catching slogan and make sure you use images or drawings to make your poster appealing. You can present it any way you like – it could be a montage, it could be created on the computer, or it could take the format of a comic strip – the possibilities are endless. When your poster is complete, ask your teacher about where you can display your poster. It might be possible for all class posters to be displayed at your local shopping area or somewhere else in your local community.

WebQuester Challenge: See if you can find a recording of an orange-bellied parrot bird call on the Internet. Write the web address here: Ready-Ed Publications

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Endangered Species of Victoria

Spotted Tree Frog Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Litoria spenceri

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Threats to the Tree Frog r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

This frog species exists only in Victoria and certain parts of New South Wales (near the Mt Kosciuszko region) in cold mountain streams and dense moist forest habitats. It is particularly fond of streams with fast flowing water.

Sadly, there are only about 4000 spotted tree frogs remaining (throughout 12 populations) and scientists are worried that the spotted tree frog may disappear forever.

More Info

Extinct?

There are many reasons that are thought to contribute to the declining spotted tree frog numbers. One is that introduced trout species are feeding on the tree frog’s tadpoles in the streams. Another is that their unique habitat has been disturbed, which has meant that water quality has been affected by increased sediments in the streams. Other factors include disease and the effects of bushfires in this region.

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Least concern

Decreasing population

Check Out

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

For more information on endangered species you can call Environment and Heritage Community Information Unit on Free call 1800 803 772. www.deh.gov.au/ biodiversity/threatened

Find out more about this endangered frog by visiting the Amphibian Research Centre at www.frogs.org.au

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Rescue Plans

Like they have done for many other endangered native species, the Natural Heritage Trust (www.nht.gov.au) has established a recovery plan to save the spotted tree frog. This plan involves a captive breeding program to help increase population numbers. Steps have also been taken to keep the introduced trout species out of the natural stream habitat that the tree frog exists in. This recovery plan also involves measures to control the spread of weeds that compete with natural plant species for space. All of these steps help to reduce the disturbance to the tree frog’s natural habitat.

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Other Threatened Frog Species The spotted tree frog is only one of fifteen endangered frog species as listed nationally (Dept. of the Environment and Heritage, 2004). At least four frog species are already classified as extinct:

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Fishing For Trouble Always check out the places that you choose to fish. You may be spoiling a habitat for an endangered frog species. If you see a spotted tree frog in the wild you should notify the World Wildlife Fund of Australia: Phone: (03) 9341 6507 Email: tsnvic@wwf.org.au Website: www.wwf.org.au/

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©Amphibian Research Centre

•Gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus silus ) •Eungella gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus vitellinus) •Sharp-snouted day frog (Taudactylus acutirostris ) •Southern day frog (Taudactylus diurnus)

Frogs listed as endangered include: •white-bellied frog; •creek frog; •yellow-spotted tree frog; •yellow-spotted bell frog; •armoured mistfrog; •waterfall frog; •torrent tree frog; •mountain mistfrog; •common mistfrog; •spotted tree frog; •fleay’s frog; •southern barred frog; •giant barred frog; •lace-eyed tree frog, •Australian lacelid; •baw baw frog; •southern corroboree frog; •sunset frog; •eungella day frog and •tinkling frog

Ready-Ed Publications


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Endangered Species of Victoria

Spotted Tree Frogs Under Threat Activity Read the Frog Fact File on Page 34 and complete the following:

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Why is the spotted tree frog endangered? _____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Describe the habitat and location of this species and give details of populations and remaining numbers. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Outline the steps being taken to increase the frog population. _______________________________________________

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What can you do to help these endangered frog species? __________________________________________________

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Word Search Find the endangered frog species in the word search below and tick their names off as you go. Note that only the underlined words are included in the word search. Frog Species

X A W C Q Z X K H E A K U N S S

ARMOURED MISTFROG AUSTRALIAN LACELID BAW BAW FROG COMMON MISTFROG CREEK FROG EUNGELLA DAY FROG FLEAY’S FROG GIANT BARRED FROG LACE-EYED TREE FROG MOUNTAIN MISTFROG SOUTHERN BARRED FROG SOUTHERN CORROBOREE FROG SUNSET FROG TINKLING FROG TORRENT TREE FROG WATERFALL FROG WHITE-BELLIED FROG

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WebQuester Challenge: Find the names and website addresses of two organisations devoted to helping frogs. Write a brief sentence of what these organisations are about. You should be able to find information about them by clicking at the “About Us” section of their website. Write details below. Organisation

Ready-Ed Publications

Website

Main Aim

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Endangered Species of Western Australia

1

Western Swamp Tortoise Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Pseudemydura umbrina

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Habitat Habits r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

The smallest of all Australian tortoises, the Western swamp tortoise is the most endangered reptile in Australia. A male adult reaches about 12.5 cm in length. This species of tortoise spends 6 to 9 months buried in soil and leaves and only ventures south during winter.

There are between 400 and 500 of these tortoises alive today and while these numbers are low, think about the time in 1982 when there were only 30 swamp tortoises in existence.

Extinct?

The Western swamp tortoise is restricted to a particular swampy habitat in two locations in Western Australia. During winter and spring when the swamps are quite full, the tortoises live in the water. When the swamps start to dry out in summer and autumn the tortoises lie still in a state known as aestivation (a bit like the way animals hibernate in winter). The tortoises do not interact with each other and prefer to live solitary lives, although they are happy to mix and swim with other tortoises. These reptiles are carnivorous and feed on small crustaceans and insect larvae, however, during their aestivation in summer and autumn, they don’t eat a thing!

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Least concern

Decreasing population

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Tortoise Trivia

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

For more information about the Western swamp tortoise, waddle over to these sites:

The Western swamp tortoise was first sighted by European settlers in 1839 but was not seen for a very long time after that, leading people to believe it had become extinct. However, in 1954, a schoolboy found one and proudly displayed it at a pet show!

©Unknown

Captive Breeding A Zoo to the Rescue

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The Threats

Loss of habitat is a key threat, and this has come about as a result of drainage of swampy areas for agricultural use. Natural events such as drought and bushfires have also contributed to the decline in suitable habitat areas. Predators – usually introduced species such as foxes, dogs, cats and rats – have been responsible for declining numbers of this tortoise species. In addition, natural predators such as lizards, birds and snakes are competing with these predators for food sources and are also hunting the Western swamp tortoise.

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www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/ threatened/information/ factsheets/wa2003.html

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In 1988, Perth Zoo set up a captive breeding program for this species. Since this time the zoo has successfully bred approximately 500 tortoises. Since 1994, at least 320 of these tortoises have been placed back into the wild at four swampy habitats not far from Perth. You can find out all about this fantastic program at www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au - Click on Breeding Programs.

Ready-Ed Publications


Endangered Species of Western Australia

1

Swamped with Tortoises Activity The Western swamp tortoise’s breeding program at Western Australia’s Perth Zoo is a prime example of how conservation measures can protect an endangered species from extinction.

r o Think About ... B e t s r e oo p u k S

Already many native species have become extinct. But exactly, how has this affected your life? What is the impact of one species of tortoise dying out over time?

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Write an article explaining your thoughts about why we should or shouldn’t protect endangered species such as the Western swamp tortoise. Research your article so that you can back up your opinions with some real facts and figures. Be very careful to reference your information sources underneath. Write your article below and use the back of this sheet if you need more room. ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________ References:

1 _______________________________________________________________ 2 _______________________________________________________________ 3 _______________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge: Find out the names of three other endangered animal species that have been saved by captive breeding programs. Complete the table below: Animal Species

Ready-Ed Publications

Zoo/Organisation

Success Story

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Endangered Species of Western Australia 2

Gilbert’s Potoroo Fact File

Status meter

Scientific Name: Potorous gilbertii

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

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Extinct?

It is estimated that there are less than 30 of these animals left in the wild. It lives only on the south coast of Western Australia Since 1870, it was believed that the potoroo was extinct as it had not been sighted for many years. In 1994, it was rediscovered at Two People’s Bay near Albany. A nature reserve was set up in this region, however, no other populations of this mammal have been found.

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Gilbert’s potoroo is the most endangered and one of the rarest mammal species in Australia. This small animal resembles a bandicoot but is actually a variety of rat kangaroo and rarely weighs more than one kilogram. This particularly species of potoroo was named after John Gilbert, who discovered this species of potoroo in 1840 at King George’s Sound on the south coast of Western Australia.

Teac he r

Least concern

Decreasing population

More Info

Check Out

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www.abc.net.au/ southcoast/stories/ s490598.htm

©Jiri Lochman

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Did You Know?

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The threats to the survival of Gilbert’s potoroo are the same factors that threaten most of Australia’s endangered animal species: Feral Predators: Because of their size, this potoroo species is perfect prey for feral cats and foxes. Steps have been taken to control the number of foxes in the region using poison baits. At present, suitable bait for feral cats is still being tested for its impact on the potoroo species. Disease: An introduced fungi species causes disease and sometimes death to a variety of native plant species. It is a native to South East Asia and is thought to have reached Western Australian soil at the beginning of the 20th century. It kills many species of plants, particularly the truffle food sources that the potoroo feeds on. Bushfire: One bushfire could wipe out the remaining population of Gilbert’s Potoroo. Population Spread: Steps are being taken to ensure that the potoroo population does not become broken up into small groups of potoroos, leaving them more open to predators. Release into the Wild: Potoroo’s bred in captivity are unable to be released into a wild area that is free from the threats above.

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John Gilbert recorded in his notes that the potoroo was the constant companion of the quokka, a small native marsupial that is now only found on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. Unlike the potoroo, the quokka has continued to flourish in its native habitat and is found in abundance on the island. There are often reported sightings of the quokka in the south west mainland region but no mainland populations have been recorded. Meet the Quokkas: www.calm.wa.gov.au/plants_animals/ mammal.quokka.html

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Check here for more: www.deh.gov.au/ biodiversity/ threatened/species/ gilberts-potoroo.html

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Ready-Ed Publications


Endangered Species of Western Australia 2

Potoroo-ing Around Activity

POTOROO PROFILE

Write down ten facts about this tiny marsupial species:

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1. _______________________________________ 6. _________________________________________ 2. _______________________________________ 7. _________________________________________ 3. _______________________________________ 8. _________________________________________

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4. _______________________________________ 9. _________________________________________

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5. _______________________________________ 10. ________________________________________

Gilbert’s Potoroo is facing the very real threat of extinction. Summarise the causes of endangerment below: • ___________________________________________________________________________________ • ___________________________________________________________________________________ • ___________________________________________________________________________________ • ___________________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyE dISP bl i cat i ons WHY ITu SO? •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

• ___________________________________________________________________________________

The quokka is a native Australian marsupial that is found in abundance on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. In the past, this animal lived on the mainland and was identified as the constant companion of the Gilbert’s potoroo.

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Provide some reasons as to why you think the quokka and other small marsupial species have continued to flourish in numbers even though they are exposed to similar threats to survival. Secondly, discuss some of the reasons why you think the quokka is no longer found in large numbers on the Australian mainland. ____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge: Find out the names (common and scientific) of three other potoroo species.

• __________________ • _________________ • __________________ ___________________ Ready-Ed Publications

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Other Endangered Species Fact File: Numbat

(but used to be listed as Critically Endangered)

Scientific Name: Myrmecobius fasciatus

Least concern

Decreasing population Endangered

Critically Endangered

Vulnerable

Extinct?

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Until only a few years ago, this unique marsupial was facing the very real threat of extinction. Originally, numbats were found in abundant populations across all of southern Australia, however, they are now found in only scattered patches of forest in the south west of Western Australia. The numbat is unique in the fact that it only eats termites. That is ALL it eats – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Termites live in mounds but numbats are not strong enough to break into these mounds and have to wait until the termites come out so that they can feed. Unfortunately, the numbat has had much of its habitat destroyed by processes such as logging. The numbat is also hunted by foxes and cats, however, recent conservation efforts have seen baiting programs put in place to reduce the number of introduced predators in the area. Numbats are also bred in captivity at the Perth Zoo with several numbats later being released into the wild.

Status meter

©Unknown

Check Out

www.calm.wa.gov.au/plants_animals/ mammal_numbat.html

Fact File: Shark ©Speartooth Ready EdPubl i cat i ons Status meter

Decreasing population

•f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Scientific Name: Glyphis sp. A

Least concern

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Extinct?

Check Out

www.elasmo-research.org/conservation/river_sharks.htm

Fact File:. tGrey Nurse Shark

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This medium-sized whaler shark is greyish with small eyes and a short and broadly rounded snout. It is very closely related to the northern speartooth shark (glyphis sp. C) which for some time people thought was the same species. Glyphis A sharks are now found only in the Bizant River in Queensland, while the Glyphis C species is only found in the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory. Both of these species live in shallow freshwater habitats and feed off smaller fish. Threats to their survival include commercial and illegal fishing and the degradation of their habitat. Gill nets set up to trap barramundi in rivers have also become a threat to the speartooth shark’s survival.

e o Scientific Name: Carcharias taurus c . che e r o t r s super Status meter

Least concern

Decreasing population

Vulnerable

Endangered

Critically Endangered

Extinct?

This is not a native Australian species, however, the east coast population is seriously facing extinction. It is estimated that there are less than 500 of this species left off the coast and the threats include recreational and commercial fishing as well as diving activity. New diving guidelines have recently come into force in an effort to increase grey nurse shark numbers.

Check Out Diving Requirements:

www.amonline.net.au/fishes/students/focus/grey.htm teachit.acreekps.vic.edu.au/animals/greynurseshark.htm

www.epa.qld.gov.au/nature_conservation/wildlife/endangered_animals/grey_nurse_shark

OTHER CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES: Bare-rumped Sheathtail Bat (Saccolaimus saccolaimus nudicluniatus)

Status: Critically Endangered Check Out: www.amonline.net.au/bats/records/bat25.htm

Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana)

Status: Critically Endangered Check Out: www.ento.csiro.au/aicn/name_c/a_1588.htm

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Ready-Ed Publications


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Other Endangered Species

Facing the Future Activity

Saving Endangered Species

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Read about the endangered species on Page 40. Based on what you have researched, brainstorm to write down everything you know about conservation efforts to save endangered and threatened species. Organise your brainstorm into clear headings and use examples of animal species where possible.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi e w pur posesonl y• CONSERVATION

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WebQuester Challenge:

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EFFORTS

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Find out what the zoo in your state/territory is doing in the way of helping endangered or threatened species. Write a summary of what one of their programs is concerned with. Make sure you give details about how successful the program has been.

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Other Endangered Species

A Wild Zoo Activity

Teac he r

Today, animals in captivity are rarely kept in cages. Instead, they are kept in specially designed enclosures that are based on their natural habitats in the wild. Choose an animal that you are interested in and design an enclosure for this animal at the Wild Zoo. Careful planning will need to take place to ensure that your animal will be able to exist comfortably in this enclosure. Remember, your animal probably wouldn’t choose to live in the zoo, so design your enclosure as close to the animal’s real habitat as you can.

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Before you start check out this cool site: www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/tigers/maina.html

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Webquester Practice Activity: Build a home for a Siberian Tiger!

What modifications did you have to make to your tiger’s enclosure before it could be released?

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Design an Enclosure

Before you set about designing your enclosure, you will need to find out the following pieces of information: (Make brief notes for each section mentioned below.) Use the back of this sheet for more room.

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Draw a design of your enclosure in the space below:

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Space - How much space will the animal need to roam around? Water - Will the animal need a watery environment such as a pond or river? Trees - Will the animal need trees to swing or hang from? Light - Is the animal nocturnal? Food - What will the animal be fed and how often will feeding occur? Vegetation - What types of plants need to be placed into the enclosure? Building a home: What things do you need to add to the enclosure? Making the enclosure safe: What type of barrier will you use to keep the animal inside the enclosure?

Ready-Ed Publications


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Other Endangered Species

Comparing Species Activity

You are an apprentice zookeeper and have been asked to write a report on two different threatened species. To help clarify your ideas, you’ve decided to use a Venn diagram. Complete the diagram below to show what you have learned. You can pick any two animal species – you might like two choose two species that you know very little about.

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Research them using some of the links on Page 5 such as the School World Endangered Species Project at www.schoolworld.asn.au/species/species.html

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For each of the zoos listed below name an animal species breeding program that is currently in place, e.g. Perth Zoo - Western swamp tortoise. Taronga and Western Plains Zoo: ____________________________________ Perth Zoo: ______________________________________________________ Melbourne Zoo: __________________________________________________ Adelaide Zoo: ____________________________________________________ 43


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Other Endangered Species

Animal Trading Cards Activity

Create four trading cards for endangered animals. Use the templates below and download or draw a picture to illustrate. Swap the cards with your classmates.

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Name:

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Scientific name: _________________________

Scientific name: _________________________

Habitat: _______________________________

Habitat: _______________________________

Location: ______________________________ © ReadyEdP ub l i cat i ons Predators: _____________________________ Predators: _____________________________ f or_________________ r evi ew puReasons r po seso nl y• for endangerment: _________________ Reasons for• endangerment: Location: ______________________________

Name:

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Scientific name: _________________________

Scientific name: _________________________

Habitat: _______________________________

Habitat: _______________________________

Location: ______________________________

Location: ______________________________

Predators: _____________________________

Predators: _____________________________

Reasons for endangerment: _________________

Reasons for endangerment: _________________

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Ready-Ed Publications


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Other Endangered Species

School World Endangered Species Project

Activity

You will need access to the Internet after completing this activity.

This unique World Wide Web project allows students from all around the world to publish their reports on endangered species. Over 88 countries are involved, with students from hundreds of primary schools having already uploaded their reports.

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You can find reports on a range of animals and you can also add your own report. Ask your teacher for more details.

YOUR DRAFT REPORT

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GUIDELINES FOR REPORTS Make sure you check out the guidelines at this site before you start your report. www.schoolworld.asn.au/species/outline.html

Jot down some ideas for your School World report. You may choose to concentrate on an animal species that you have already studied.

Make notes using the following headings. When you have finished, type your report using the computer and if possible find an image that you can use. You may draw a picture of your own or you may like to hunt one down on the Internet. Make sure you gain permission to use the image from the photographer.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Subject: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Description: _____________________________________________________________________________________

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Problems: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Solutions: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Summary: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ References: _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Find out from your teacher how you can submit your report to the School World website. Ready-Ed Publications

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Other Endangered Species

Australian National Parks

5

Activity Choose three national parks in Australia for research. Use an atlas or the Internet to shade and label them on the map of Australia below. You may like to choose from the list below:

Karajini Dryandra

Kakadu

Kata Tjuta

Blue Mountains

Grampians

Flinders Range

Murray River

Warrumbungle

Hartz Mountains

Eungella

Daintree

Kosciusko

Namadgi

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Ningaloo Marine Park

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These Internet sites provide a good source of information about Australia’s commonwealth national parks. www.deh.gov.au/parks/commonwealth/index.html www.atn.com.au/parks/parks.htm

Key

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• _________________________

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Briefly summarise some features of each of the three national parks you have chosen:

1. __________________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________

WebQuester Challenge:

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Find out the locations of all of the national parks listed above. You only need to provide the state or territory in which they are located. Start by using this website: www.atn.com.au/parks/index.htm

Ready-Ed Publications


ENDANGERED SPECIES OF AUSTRALIA

Answers Helping Honeyeater Habitats

Leaping Lizards (page 25)

(page 13)

ACROSS 1. Pygmy; 4.Burrow; 5.Decline; 7.Spider; 8. Threat DOWN 1. Ploughed; 2.Burra; 3.Twenty; 4.Beetle; 6.Extinct; 7.Six

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Webquester Challenge:

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Rock On, Rock Wallaby (page 15)

Webquester Challenge: Friends of the brush-tailed Rock Wallaby ( www.rockwallaby.org.au), Green Gully Appeal ( www.fnpw.com.au/Projects/ btrWallaby.htm), The Wilderness Society ( www.wilderness.org.au/campaigns/ forests/ general/threatened)

Webquester Challenge:

There are seven species of blue tongue lizard found in Australia. These are the names of the other six species: 1.Eastern blue tongue (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) occurs throughout much of New South Wales, west to about Cobar; 2.Blotched blue tongue (Tiliqua nigrolutea) is restricted to highland areas from the Victorian border to the Blue Mountains; 3.Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa), also known as the boggi, sleepy lizard, stumpy-tailed lizard, stumpytail bobtail, and the pinecone lizard, is common on the plains west of the Great Dividing Range where rainfall is low. 4.Northern blue tongue (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) Northern parts of Australia. 5.Western blue tongue (Tiliqua occipitalis) All states except Tasmania. 6.Centralian blue tongue (Tiliqua multifasciata) Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, West Australia.

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Box trees: Grey (Eucalyptus microcarpa), Red (Eucalyptus polyanthmos), Yellow (Eucalyptus melliodora) and Long-leaf (Eucalyptus goniocalyx); Ironbarks: Mugga (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), and Red (Eucalyptus tricarpa), Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), Red Stringybark (Eucalyptus macroryncha); Mallees: Green (Eucalyptus viridis), Blue (Eucalyptus polybractea) and Bull (Eucalyptus behriana).

Rock’n’Quoll

(page 17)

Webquester Challenge:

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Spotted-tail quoll (Endangered); Tiger quoll (Endangered); Western quoll (Vulnerable)

Great, Greater Bilby (page 19)

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Dunno Much About the Dunnart?

o c . che e End of the Rainbow? r o t r s super Webquester Challenge:

(page 27)

Author: Jenny Bright.

(page 21)

Webquester Challenge:

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Vulnerable), Freshwater Sawfish (Vulnerable), Clarence River Cod, Eastern Freshwater Cod (Endangered).

Wombat Whereabouts (page 23) Webquester Challenge: In the wild - between 14 to 20 years; In captivity between 18 to 30 years.

Ready-Ed Publications

Webquester Challenge:

1.Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila) Sandhill dunnarts have previously been captured at only a few widespread locations in the Great Victoria Desert of Western and South Australia, and the Eyre Peninsula. 2.Butler’s Dunnart (Sminthopsis butleri) Northern Territory and Western Australia 3.Boullanger Island Dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer boullangerensis) Found in all vegetated areas on Boullanger Island off the coast of Western Australian near Jurien Bay, especially in low coastal scrub on sand. 47


ENDANGERED SPECIES OF AUSTRALIA

Answers What a Little Devil! (page 29)

r o e t s Bo r e p o u Spotted Tree Frogsk Under Threat S Webquester Challenge:

long-footed (Potorous longipes), long-nosed (Potorous tridactylus tridactylus) broad-faced (Potorous platyops)

X R J I T W K H M V F L J L A X G T B O

A P D N Q X H S P K J A Y K R R S E A V

W C A T K O E R R R R E R N I T G T C R O E C E I F W R M O C G P S U N Y J MW

Q B Y I A R N E V E B E R S U T C G P T

Z D R G I W A B W A B Y X Y R R Y E J Q

X Y B X O L S B H U K E O A E O A L Y A

K D G R K R V J T B G D L E D C P L A S

H N V O E O F Z K N M I K L M E T A V G

E M C I H X P T I W A L E F I K O D C A

A N B X M Y L L S N R I L A S E I A M I

K K T Y E F K R L I P Q G A T L D Y I J

U W M O U N T A I N M I S T F R O G P S

N K B E I V C K Q J L N H Q R R L R T U

S O U T H E R N C O R R O B O R E E J S

S K N J L N I T L K M I Y M G Q S T N K

J A X P H X I W R D I L I D J F N E U R F R E Z J R I O X A Y T H B C Z B N P D J R T P U E X O B H B T W T S O M UW S N O M E J S C V Y G D T A E O H F W P T

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1.The devil is mainly a scavenger and feeds on whatever is available. It feeds on the dead remains of wallabies, various small mammals and birds. Reptiles, amphibians, insects and even sea squirts have been found in the stomachs of wild devils. Carcasses of sheep and cattle provide food in farming areas; 2.The devil has no specific habitat requirements other than food or shelter - it can basically live anywhere; 3.Carrion is the term used to describe dead animals. This food source is easy to find and because it’s already dead, the devil doesn’t have to overpower it. 4.The devil has amazingly powerful jaws that can open to 120°. It also has 40 sharp teeth that are able to tear into the tough meat; 5.Some animals are territorial in behaviour, which means they have a defined area that they live and feed in. They usually define the area by urinating so other animals can recognise their territory. The home range is the area in which an animal will move around in order to feed and Tasmanian devils are roaming mammals; 6.As a defence mechanism, it emits a foul smell and also screeches to ward off potential predators; 7.It has a small squat body which stops it from sneaking up on live prey. 8.Weighing up to 12 kilograms, the Tasmanian devil is thick set, with a squat build. It is black in colour, very bad tempered and has a spine chilling screech. It also has a short and a thick tail.

are over 30 million seastars existing in the Derwent River region, New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian waters have also been infested. Scientists estimate that the seastar will soon make its way to Western Australian waters.

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1.Tasmanian devil fossil remains have been found on the mainland of Australia. It is believed that the last of the mainland devils died over 600 years ago. The fossils have been found all over Australia; 2.This website www.parks.tas.gov.au/wildlife/ mammals/devil.html provides excellent information about the shocking disease that is a current threat to Tasmanian devil survival.

Karajini (WA); Kakadu (NT); Kata Tjuta (NT); Blue Mountains (NSW); Grampians (Vic) Dryandra (WA); Flinders Range (SA); Murray River (NSW); Warrumbungle (Vic); Hartz Mountains (Tas); Ningaloo Marine Park (WA); Eungella (SA); Daintree (Qld); Kosciusko (NSW); Namadgi (ACT).

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Spot the Handfish (page 31) Webquester Challenge: The seastar was brought into Australian waters through the ballast water of ships. This water comes from coastal port areas from where the ship sets off. It is then transported with the ship to the next port of call where the water may be discharged into the harbour or exchanged. While there

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Webquester Challenge:

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Webquester Challenge:

Australian National Parks (page 46)

Comparing Species (page 43) Webquester Challenge:

Answers will vary but may include: Taronga and Western Plains Zoo: red panda, Przewalski horse, platypus, gorilla, black rhinoceros. Perth Zoo: chuditch, Shark Bay mouse, numbat, Western swamp tortoise, dibbler, central rock-rat. Melbourne Zoo: Sumatran toger, Phillipine crocodile, Asian elephant. Adelaide Zoo: yellow-footed rock wallaby, white rhinoceros (at Monarto Park).

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Endangered Species Series: Australia  

The series of two books contains practical research activities for threatened and endangered animal species of Australia and around the worl...