September is Biodiversity Month, a time to celebrate our natural wonders and diverse ecosystems. Biodiversity Month offers us the perfect opportunity to pause and appreciate the beauty, complexity, and importance of biodiversity. Biodiversity Month also encourages us to reflect on our relationship with the natural world and take action to protect it.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth and is typically a measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level.
Genetic diversity is the variety of genes within a species. Each species is made up of individuals that have their own particular genetic composition. This means a species may have different populations, each having different genetic compositions. To conserve genetic diversity, different populations of a species must be conserved.
Species diversity is the variety of species within a habitat or a region. Some habitats, such as rainforests and coral reefs, have many species. Others, such as salt flats or a polluted stream, have fewer. In Australia, more than 80% of plant and animal species are endemic, which means that they only occur naturally in Australia.
Ecosystem diversity is the variety of ecosystems in a given place. An ecosystem is a community of organisms and their physical environment interacting together. An ecosystem can cover a large area, such as a whole forest, or a small area, such as a pond.
Biodiversity Month serves as a reminder of the extraordinary diversity of life on our planet and the importance of preserving it. Biodiversity is not just a concern for scientists and conservationists; it’s a global responsibility that each of us can contribute to in our own way. Whether through education, advocacy, or personal lifestyle choices, we can all play a role in safeguarding the web of life that sustains us. So, this September, let’s celebrate and protect the incredible biodiversity that enriches our world.
SeaWeek is Australia’s major national public awareness campaign to focus community awareness and appreciation of the sea. This week-long event is held every year in March and provides a great opportunity to learn about marine environment. So, take a dive under the water this SeaWeek and explore our amazing marine environments with me.
It was great to be able to spend time diving over the last few week exploring the marine environment around Sydney.
Explore the amazing diversity of Marine Life. Take a journey beneath the waves to explore this wonderful world. Learn about some of these incredible animals, their adaptions and habitats with the resources below.
Follow the journey of water down the river through the catchment to the sea. Water is essential for all forms of life and the small amount of available freshwater create competing pressures for our water resources.
Threatened Species Day is recognised across the Australia on 7 September every year to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction. Threatened Species Day acknowledges the death of the last remaining Thylacine, Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936. It is a day to reflect on what you can do to make a difference, the future is in your hands.
Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Over the last 240 years, more than 100 animal and plant species have become extinct. 1,800 animals and plants are at risk of extinction and many are iconic Australian species including east coast koalas and the greater glider.
Threatened Species Day is a time to focus on or native plants, animals, and ecosystems and look at how we can protect them into the future. Encouraging wildlife into your backyard by creating a sanctuary for native animals is a great way to start.
The What’s in your Backyard series of videos on YouTube can help you connect with your local environment. Remember just to look and listen to the world around you and you will be surprised about that you might find!
World Environment Day is celebrated every 5th of June and this years theme is “Only One Earth” with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.
“Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature” has also been a key focus of mine since starting Australian Environmental Education. I believe you can make a difference today with every choice you make.
There are many ways that you can help to conserve Australia’s environment and be more sustainable. Think about the choices you make every day; how do you get to school, what do you put in the bin, how long was your shower today, did you remember the reusable bag for the shopping?
Help restore your local ecosystem this World Environment day with these great activities. Creating a Wildlife Habitat is a 5 part program that can help you plan and plant a wildlife habitat at your school, home or local area.
In urban areas, human development has reduced the natural habitat available to frogs. The Focus on Frogs workshop provides information and skills that will enable you to discover what frogs live in your backyard or local area.
Minibeasts in your Garden explores the diverse world of minibeasts. Discover why minibeasts are important and learn how find them in your garden or local park. The program will help you to identify common groups of backyard minibeasts and provides information and skills to conduct your own minibeasts investigation.
You don’t see many of the animals that live in your local area because they are nocturnal. Often it is the Noises in the Night that give us a clue to the nocturnal species that are living in our local area.
I don’t think 2020 turned out the way anyone expected. In the first 2 months of the year Sydney experienced bushfires, droughts, heatwaves and then record rains and floods. Just when we thought the worst of 2020 was behind us, COVID-19 changed our lives for ever.
2020 was going to be My year of Sustainability and I was able to achieve some of my sustainability goals, however many were put on hold. During 2021 I will be able finish the journey I started.
In 2020 my focus had to change and I began creating more education resources and activities and delivering online education programs. I created over 50 resources pages and activities focusing on earth and environmental science over the last 12 months.
I have also been writing resources for the Junior Landcare Learning Centre. You can find the following resources on their website. Create a Wildlife Habitat with this series of 5 resources including: Research, Vision, Design, Planting and Monitoring.
Other activities I have written for the Junior Landcare Learning Centre explore the importance of water with Every Drop Counts. This activity also looks at water usage and water saving ideas. Investigate the journey of water through the environment, from the mountains to the sea, with the Exploring the Story of Waterprogram designed for younger kids.
I have a series on catchments and water and a series on a beach survey and clean up for high school students coming out soon, so keep an eye out on the Landcare Learning Centre in 2021. I was also excited to be able to contribute to this year’s Coastcare Week campaign and wrote a following booklet on Marine Litter.
Like many other people in the education community I had to pivot to online delivery in 2020. I have been working with Virtual Excursions Australia for many years and was able to transition my programs for online audiences. I delivered programs for schools and individuals reaching thousands of students from across the world.
Another focus has been photographing some of the amazing wildlife I’ve come across during the year. Below is a selection of image taken at Sydney Zoo, central west NSW, central coast and my backyard. You can check out some of my favourite Macro images too.