School monitoring

Schools can get involved in a variety of monitoring activities in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) region. A number of useful information packs have been developed to help teachers incorporate monitoring activities into the class curriculum and include monitoring instructions, background teacher notes, lesson plans and extension activities. Additional resources to link monitoring activities with curriculum can be found on the NRM Education plants and animal page.

Monitoring data can be entered online and is collated to help us develop an understanding of the health of natural resources in our region. Monitoring activities include:

Bats
Butterflies
Drain stencilling
Estuarine water quality
Fish
Freshwater quality
Frogs
Gutter Guardians
Litter surveys
Macroinvertebrates
Plant survival rates
Riparian habitat assessment
Terrestrial birds
Terrestrial habitat
Wetland birds



Bats

Curriculum links

Bats unit with Australian Curriculum science links – kindly provided by Gumeracha Primary School

 

Butterflies

Butterflies need specific plants on which to feed and lay their eggs. Creating a butterfly garden will ensure that there is a place for them to breed and will provide nectar as a food source for local and migrating butterflies. Butterflies need specific plants on which to feed and lay their eggs. Creating a butterfly garden will ensure that there is a place for them to breed and will provide nectar as a food source for local and migrating butterflies.

Resources

Activities

ID Charts

Websites

 


Drain stenciling

Drain stenciling is a hands-on community action program designed to raise awareness and reduce the impacts of stormwater pollution on rivers, creeks and coastal waters in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region.

Resources

Information pack

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011

 


Estuarine water quality

Water quality data provides valuable information about the health of our waterways and changes over time.

To borrow a water monitoring kit, contact your local NRM Education office.

Resources

Fact sheets

Research and data

Historic data
2011

 


Fish

As fish are generally unable to leave water during times of drought, elevated pollution or other environmental pressures, they can be very useful for determining the health of our waterways.

A special permit is needed to monitor local fish populations. NRM Education staff can attend monitoring sites as part of the permit requirements. To find out if your site is suitable and how to get involved please contact your local NRM Education office.

Resources

ID charts

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011

 


Freshwater quality

Water quality data provides valuable information about the health of our waterways and changes over time.

To borrow a water monitoring kit, contact your local NRM Education office.

Resources

Information packs

Activities

Fact sheets

Research and data

Raw data


Historic data

2013 2012
2011 2010

 


Frogs

Frogs are well known for their sensitivity to pollution and habitat degradation. Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges supports the FrogWatch SA program, which conducts an ongoing census of the distribution and abundance of frogs in our state. To get involved, register directly with FrogWatch SA and download the FrogSpotter app from the iTunes or Google Play store.

Resources

Information pack

Activities

Fact sheets

  • Creating frog ponds – please note that the Department for Education and Child Development has a policy for creating ponds and wetlands

ID charts

Websites

 


Gutter Guardians

Gutter Guardians is an opportunity for school groups across the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges area to improve the health of our local waterways. Participants also develop an understanding of stormwater systems and the types of pollution that travel to local waterways.

Resources

Information pack

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011

 


Litter surveys

Litter is a major concern in both country and urban areas, with most schools and surrounding streets having litter problems. Is litter an issue in your area? How can you educate your school community about the problems litter creates?

Resources

Information pack

Research and data

Historic data
2011

 


Macroinvertebrates

The term 'aquatic macroinvertebrates' encompasses a diverse range of creatures including insects, worms, crustaceans, spiders, sponges, snails, and mussels. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are bio-indicators that can be used to get an estimate of the amount of pollution in a waterway. A very polluted stream will have only a few types of macroinvertebrate living there, whilst a less polluted stream will usually have more invertebrate species.

Macroinvertebrate monitoring is relatively simple and can be done using a home-made net. Alternatively, to borrow a macroinvertebrate monitoring kit that includes nets, viewing tray and other equipment, contact your local NRM Education office.

Resources

Units of work

Information packs

Activities

Fact sheets

ID charts

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011
     

 


Plant survival rates

Undertaking the plant survival rates activity is a great way to determine how well a revegetation program is going, and it has strong links to numeracy.

Resources

Information pack

Research and data

 


Riparian habitat assessment

Plants growing along the edge of the waterbody are called riparian vegetation. Riparian vegetation includes native and introduced species that ideally form a broad band (the riparian zone) along the edge of a waterbody. Riparian vegetation protects the waterbody from agriculture and other human activities near the stream.

Natural riparian vegetation is a valuable source of food and shelter, for animals on the land as well as for freshwater organisms. Leaf litter, insects and fallen branches from overhanging native trees give year-round food, habitats and shelter for native fish, invertebrates and many other animals.

Resources

Information pack

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011

 


Terrestrial birds

By undertaking a bird survey, the presence (or absence) of different types of birds and the habitats they occur in provides a simple way of estimating the health of biodiversity in your area. Birds are a good indicator of health for an ecosystem because they are easily seen in and around your school and through the hills and suburbs. As different types of birds feed on different things they are a really good indicator of the health of the overall system.

Resources

Units of work

Information packs

ID charts

Research and data

Raw data


Historic data

2013 2012

 


Terrestrial habitat

A great way to learn more about local biodiversity is to take a closer look at what is happening on the land at a site near you. By visiting the site on a regular basis (e.g. once a term) much can be learned and, with a bit of effort, habitat quality can be improved.

Resources

Units of work

Information packs

ID charts

Research and data

Historic data

2012 2011

 


Wetland birds

Wetland birds fulfill many important roles in the ecology of natural areas and can provide an interesting and valuable insight into the health of these ecosystems. Best of all, they are mostly present during the day, providing a magnificent opportunity for learners to observe their habits close up.

Resources

Information pack

ID chart

Research and data

Raw data




Historic data


2013 2012 2011
     

 


Related links

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges