Aotearoa’s most biodiverse habitats, the Wetlands

From local swamps and estuaries to the Central Lake at Auckland Zoo, students can explore the wonders and importance of Aotearoa’s wetland biome (Ngā Repo) in this online session. Learn to love eels and more ways to be kaitiaki from the perspective of a habitat that is often forgotten.

In this virtual session we will explore the wonders of one of Aotearoa’s most biodiverse yet forgotten habitats, the Wetlands. With examples from our backyard and around the zoo, students will appreciate the importance of wetland spaces and learn about some of their key inhabitants. We will also take a closer look at the life cycle of an eel and ongoing threats to the biome, such as whitebait (īnanga) fisheries.

Students will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and brainstorm ways to practice kaitiakitanga, not only for wetlands but also the wider environment.

This session is suited to classes who are learning about, or want to learn more about, local conservation issues, endemic species, habitats and adaptations, biodiversity, life cycles and water.

Learning outcomes:

Understand the concept of kaitiakitanga and the importance of wetlands as an integral part of Aotearoa’s natural environment. 

Success Criteria: 

Students will:

  1. Be able to distinguish wetlands from other habitats
  2. Be able to identify some native and exotic freshwater/wetland species
  3. Know the benefits of healthy wetlands
  4. Give an example of a conservation action or sustainable behaviour

Key Competencies

  1. Thinking
  2. Relating to others
  3. Participating and contributing

Level 1 and 2 Science:

  • Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can stay alive.
  • Recognise that living things are suited to their particular habitat.
  • Recognise that there are lots of different living things in the world and that they can be grouped in different ways.
  • Explore and describe natural features and resources.
  • Describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions.

Level 1 and 2 Social Sciences:

  • Understand how places in New Zealand are significant for individuals and groups.
  • Understand how places influence people and people influence places.

Level 3 Science:

  • Recognise that there are life processes common to all living things and that these occur in
  • different ways.
  • Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human induced.
  • Investigate the water cycle and its effect on climate, landforms, and life.

Level 3 Social Sciences:

  • Understand how people view and use places differently.

Level 4 Science:

  • Use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them.
  • Explore various aspects of an issue and make decisions about possible actions.
  • Begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into science-based classifications.
  • Explore how the groups of living things we have in the world have changed over long periods of time and appreciate that some living things in New Zealand are quite different from living things in other areas of the world.

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