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Year 10 Yellow bellied Glider Project Blogs October 2014

The Yellow bellied Glider

The Yellow-bellied Glider is also known as the Fluffy Glider and can be found in bushland on the NSW Central Coast in areas such as Bouddi National Park. Yellow bellied gliders are about the size of a rabbit but weigh just 700g and can glide 140 metres through the trees. The biggest problem for the gliders is the reduction in local bushland by development and threats such as barbed wire fences and pets roaming at night. A Yellow bellied Glider can use up to seven nesting hollows so the loss of old growth trees is having a devastating effect on populations. People can help by planting trees and shrubs that are found locally in backyards to create wildlife corridors and by getting involved with local bush regeneration groups. Eloise T.

Taronga Zoo Edu Project

Project Yellow Bellied Glider started off with flying colours and underlining enthusiasm as 28 Year 10 St Joseph’s students travelled to Taronga zoo. It marked the beginning of our journey to raise awareness about yellow bellied gliders. An encounter with the most adorable yellow bellied glider was our introduction to the zoo. We learnt about the glider’s habitat, recovery managements through wildlife corridors, valuable and useful skills about mentoring and leadership, communication and campaigning. The best was saved till last, the zoo snooze! We waited until the Zoo was closed and were thrilled to be part of the behind the scenes zoo experience. The night sky quickly turned a dark blue and if you were quiet enough you could hear the sounds of animals growling, squawking and chirping, which was extraordinary. Our first day at the zoo soon came to an end and we were ready for the next day and a good night’s sleep! Ayanah H.

Our second day at the zoo started with several close encounters with animals including an echidna, a diamond python, a rock wallaby, a quokka and a possum. We then got to experience the zoo in the morning as the animals woke up before the visitors flooded in. Once ushered into the auditorium we listened to information about the Yellow bellied Glider given by its keeper. We were then introduced to the smiling faces of our mentees as we completed a discovery trail around the zoo which helped equip us and our groups with the knowledge about native animals to help protect them. Tegan T

Habitat day

On the habitat day, we went to Kincumber Mountain to meet our mentees and the volunteers and staff running the day. We carried out a lot of activities including the habitat walk, making a habitat garden, ochre painting, an Aboriginal talk and learning about native animals and their threats. One of the most popular activities was the ochre rock painting where we got to paint the outline of our hands onto the rock. It was a great day for everyone and was really a good bonding time for the mentors and mentees. I think we got a lot out of the habitat day through learning about the glider’s habitat, about other native animals as well as gaining an understanding of Aboriginal culture. Amber B

Being a Mentor

Taking part in the projectwas an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was allowed the opportunity to step up and be a leader, visit Taronga Zoo behind the scenes, become actively involved within the local community and be a role model for younger students from the local primary schools. The group of “mentees” assigned to me posed a challenge that I was willing to accept. I would not only have to work with my partner to educate, guide and assist the mentors in becoming actively involved in the local community but also help them develop and grow as young people in the community.

Throughout the experience our small group laughed and had a tremendous amount of fun. At the same time we also learnt a great deal of important knowledge about Yellow bellied Gliders. Kaylee W

Expo day

The program concluded with a community expo day at Holy Cross Parish Hall on Tuesday 16th September. The expo day showcased the displays and campaigns created by the primary students and their mentors to encourage the community to take action to assist yellow bellied gliders. To promote glider conservation, students’ work will also be displayed over the school holidays in Kincumber, Woy Woy and Gosford libraries, plus other businesses in the local area. This project would not have been successful without the support of a number of organisations including Gosford City Council, Barabarang, Coastal Environment Network and National Parks and Wildlife. Students left the day with a native plant donated by Gosford City Council to begin supporting wildlife by creating habitat in their own backyards. Chloe P.