Taronga’s Project Insitu is a highly successful community education program. It involves school children engaging their local community to take action in helping save a locally threatened species.
Past Project Insitu programs have included Little Penguins of Manly, Booroolong Frogs of Tumbarrumba, Regent Honeyeaters of the Capertee Valley and Chiltern and Platypus in the Western Regions, and many others. Projects run on varying scales depending on the funding available and the size of the region.
Projects may be initiated by a visit from Taronga’s Zoomobile or staff, raising student awareness of the plight of a locally threatened species. Students are then challenged to create awareness and behaviour change in their local community. Through this model, students and the wider community become a part of a solution to reduce threats toward local wildlife.
Students may visit the Zoo and also go ‘in situ’ to hear from Zoo and community experts such as the local Office of Environment and Heritage, Council and community volunteers to learn about the current actions for the animal’s recovery and how the community could help if they were made aware.
In 2010 Project Penguin won the highly prestigious Zoo Aquarium Association’s Education Award.
During Term 3, 2015, 155 school students from Holy Cross Primary, Kincumber, St Patricks, East Gosford and mentors from St Joseph's and St Edwards Colleges, East Gosford, are undertaking a learning program to become Yellow-bellied Glider guardians, habitat experts and active participants in the development of wildlife corridors.