Nature Kids – Spring 2021

Good news!

Spotted-tail quolls are on the threatened species list in NSW. But a 2-week survey in June 2021 found a large population of spotted-tail quolls in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands south of Sydney. The quolls are thriving despite a series of natural disasters including drought, bushfires and floods.

Why Do Tigers Have Whiskers?
And other cool things about animals

Edited by Sunanda Creagh, illustrations by Clare Celeste

Book review by Clara, age 9

This book should be yours, for you to dive into what feels like a new world.

It is not just a fact book — it gave me some astonishing answers to some unexpected questions.

Why do tigers have whiskers? Some would say it’s to help the tiger smell, but the answer taught me something different and new. And did you know that echidnas have a low body temperature, so they need less oxygen to keep their bodies working?!

The book also has some amazing illustrations.

I recommend the book for readers aged 7+ (adults would like it too!).

Have you ever seen a whale “supergroup” bubble-net feeding?!

Bubble-net feeding is when whales blow bubbles from their noses to encircle their food (krill and fish) like a net. Then, the whale or group of whales swim up to the surface with open mouths to gulp up a meal.

This animal behaviour is rare in the Southern Hemisphere. But in September 2020 it was filmed by a citizen scientist’s drone for the first time in Australia, off the coast of NSW.

How many whales can you see? Using stills from the footage, about 33 humpback whales can be seen feeding!

What’s a citizen scientist?

A person who helps collect data for scientific research projects, but isn’t a professional scientist. 

Kids can be citizen scientists! To find projects, visit websites such as NSW BioNet and the Australian Citizen Science Project Finder.

Nature by numbers … 

  • 750,000 = the number of different species of plants, animals and insects in Australia
  • But about 70% are either undiscovered or have not been formally identified!
  • 84% of Australian plant species are found nowhere else in the world.
  • 77% of Australia’s 1,800 threatened species are plants.

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