St Columba

St Columba College

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Cuddling koalas and engaging with keystone species!

Stage 1 Biology Gorge Wildlife Excursion

On Wednesday 24 October, the Stage 1 Biology students visited Gorge Wildlife Park as part of their study on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, in particular keystone species. A keystone species is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its ecosystem, relative to its abundance and can be described as playing an important role in maintaining the structure of the community. They help to maintain local biodiversity within a community.

The Stage 1 students listened to very informative talk from one of the animal keepers, Isiah, who brought out a 6 year old Dingo named ‘Benny’ from his enclosure for students to engage with. Isaiah then explained in detail about the role Dingos play as a keystone species. It was fantastic for the students to be so close to this animal. Isiah lead the group of students to another keystone species, the Southern Cassowary. Here Isiah fed the Cassowary and spoke about their role in their ecosystem. Students saw the new nest that was being built and discovered they had chicks. The chicks were kept in a separate enclosure.

The highlight of the day was getting to ‘cuddle a koala’ with many students enjoying being so close to this species.

Mrs Susan Warrior | Stage 1 Biology Teacher