Summary of High Country Wetland Ecology | NZ teachers, use this LEARNZ virtual field trip

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Summary Page: High Country Wetland Ecology
Term 1 starting 16 March 2011.

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Travel to the inter-montane basins of inland South Canterbury. Look for clues in the landscape that show how they were formed by glaciers. Wade across a braided river and find out how it formed and what lives there. Take a closer look at the unique tiny plants that grow beside the tarns. Get your waders on and search for freshwater fish and invertebrates in the local lakes. Search for special plants and animals that inhabit wetlands there. Learn about how the plants and animals within this ecosystem rely on each other and how they have adapted to survive in this harsh environment. Catch skinks and geckos in a fall trap. Help monitor the wrybill population that lives on Canterbury's braided rivers. Discover what is being done to counter threats to these species and their surroundings. Measure samples of water and learn how this unique environment affects water quality. Find a wetland near you and see how you can help restore this important ecosystem. Consider also participating in a related field trip - Northern Wetlands from 23-25 March.

Where you will go

In many parts of the world, wetlands have important roles but they are under threat at the same time as awareness of their importance is growing. Ō Tū Wharekai, which includes the Ashburton Lakes and upper Rangitata River, are high-country freshwater wetlands that have been crafted through the ages by glaciation. The Hakatere Conservation Park, centred on the Ashburton Lakes, was opened in October 2007. It has habitat for native fish, trout, salmon, water birds, threatened native plants and aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. It is one of the three national Arawai Kakariki project sites focusing on the ecological restoration of the foremost wetland freshwater sites in New Zealand.

Learning Areas/Levels

Science: Nature of Science Levels 1-4, Living World Levels 2-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4

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Paul the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Paul, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

aquatic insects, biodiversity, birds, Canterbury, conservation, environmental action, fresh water, future focus, glaciation, glaciers, investigating streams, lakes, pests, plants, rivers, threatened species, water, wetlands