Nature Kids: Healing habitats

Glider discoveries

What member of the possum family eats only eucalyptus leaves, has fluffy ears, a long furry tail and can fly?*

Answer at the bottom of the page

It was only in 2020 that it was discovered there’s not just 1, but 3 species of greater glider!

Meanwhile at the scene of the biggest forest fire in Australian history — Gospers Mountain in Wollemi National Park — community scientists have discovered greater gliders. Their presence is a miraculous mystery. How did these marsupials survive the fire itself and then find food to eat in a scorched forest?

Sadly, the successive impact of the 2019–20 bushfires, drought and heatwaves has decimated the glider’s population in the greater Blue Mountains by about 60% according to a recent study. 

Watch rock-wallabies bounce back 

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has launched its first nature livestream … of a colony of endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. 

The 2019/20 fires burnt more than 80% of known Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby habitat in NSW.

For the best chance to see the wallabies, check out the livestream around dawn or dusk

And for other livestream ideas see Nature Kids Summer 2020  Nature Kids – Summer 2020 ]

It’s official! 

Single-use plastics will be phased out in Australia from 2025 under the National Plastics Plan. The government phase-out will cover:

  • lightweight plastic bags;
  • plastic misleadingly labelled “degradable”; 
  • plastic utensils and stirrers;
  • plastic straws; 
  • polystyrene food containers;
  • polystyrene consumer goods packaging; and 
  • microbeads in personal care products.

But 2025 is a while away, so why not start your own ban now to help marine life and human health – always carry your own reusable bag, cutlery and straw!

Plastic facts

Australia produces 2.5m tonnes of plastic waste each year, about 130,000 tonnes of which leaks into the environment!

Recent research found kilos of tiny particles of microplastics (smaller than 5mm) across Sydney’s beaches and rivers. For example, volunteers at Manly Cove found 11.87 kilograms of plastic debris during a collection in February 2021.

Wander with a sleepy wombat

Paperbark app review

by Elyse, age 8

Paperbark is a game with a story, where you move a wombat around the Australian bush in summer, fire and rain. Along the way, the wombat collects plants, insects, birds and stickers. Moving the wombat around is fun, but can be tricky at first.

The app has an amazing soundtrack that complements the story and makes you feel like you are really in a national park. It is full of birdsong, cicadas and the crunch and rustle of the wombat exploring the vast landscape.

I can see why the art in this app won an award. The Paperbark habitats that appear as the wombat wanders are beautiful — very realistic, detailed and filled with native plants and animals.

Overall Paperbark is a lovely experience and very enjoyable. I would give it 9/10.

*A: The greater glider

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