Increasing Knowledge about bats and biodiversity with Mount Pleasant Primary School
– a project of the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group (URTLG)
This project is the result of a successful application for a Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) Community Natural Resources Management (NRM) Action Grant through the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board. The Board provided a little over $2,000 to undertake the project with the 70 primary school students enrolled at Mount Pleasant Primary School. This funding was made possible by the NRM Levy paid by all ratepayers within the region.
The project aimed to increase awareness of conservation and biodiversity issues concerning native local bats. The teachers integrated a Bat theme into a number of learning areas and the students learned about ways to protect and improve the habitat, reduce threats and the opportunity to build bat boxes for installation on the school grounds and on private properties as requested.
Bat monitoring equipment was purchased – Echo Meter Touch 2, a telescopic pole with a USB camera mounted to see and record inside the bat boxes and the boxes have been checked for any resident bats but so far they have not taken advantage of these new homes.
A one hour information session was held with each of the three classes with Chris Grant presenting to the students. Nine bat boxes were constructed by the students which were placed up the trees on the school by URTLG volunteers.
Training of URTLG volunteers and support with the purchase and use of appropriate equipment was readily provided by Aimee Linke, Project Officer and Don Lester, Volunteer with the Mid Murray Local Action Plan.
A school community assembly (with parents attending) was held based around the work the students completed while learning about local bats and the parents were shown the equipment purchased from the grant plus a recording of bats in a box taken at Meldanda, the site for the Community Bat Monitoring ongoing project by the Mid Murray Local Action Plan.
The URTLG has committed to maintain a monitoring program with regular checks on the School’s boxes. The photos below show aspects of the project implementation.
Photos from the project activities at Mount Pleasant Primary School.