Pupils share their findings on backyard wildlife

Pine Hill School pupils (from left) Hunter Burgess (11), Yazan Al Hassan (8), Summer Hotton (10) and Sol Somnium (7) reflect on their interschools presentation in Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson
Pine Hill School pupils (from left) Hunter Burgess (11), Yazan Al Hassan (8), Summer Hotton (10) and Sol Somnium (7) reflect on their interschools presentation in Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson
Sharing information about the birds and predators that live in green spaces in Northeast Valley, Dunedin, was the focus of an interschools hui yesterday.

About 80 pupils from five schools attended the 1pm gathering in the Nga Maara Hall, at Sacred Heart School, Northeast Valley.

The pupils reported back on their collaborative work ''discovering which birds and predators live in their backyards'', project educator and community co-ordinator Clare Cross said.

Yesterday's activities were part of the Open Valley Urban Ecosanctuary Project (Open VUE), which aims to use the valley as a ''green corridor with the potential to link the Dunedin Town Belt with the Orokonui Ecosanctuary''.

Part of the aim is to undertake pest control, including through species monitoring and environmental education. The project seeks to coax kaka and other native birds back to gardens in the valley and is backed by a $20,000 Curious Minds grant, through a Participatory Science Platform co-ordinated by the Otago Museum.

Ms Cross said the project was ''quite exciting'' and ''fulfilling''.

The hui had been an ''excellent opportunity to showcase the amazing work'' by the pupils to discover and enhance the biodiversity in the green spaces in their backyards.

The overall effort involves the community and the Valley Project, in collaboration with Orokonui Ecosanctuary and the University of Otago.

Pine Hill School teacher Marg Taylor said that the educational awareness programme was ''great''and pupils were more alert to ''what's happening in their backyard''.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

 

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