Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Ben, Shannon, Livy and Charlotte (left to right) at the Boral YATZ Eco-Fair

Ben, Shannon, Livy and Charlotte (left to right) at the Boral YATZ Eco-Fair

The Boral YATZ Eco-Fair is here again! This annual event, run by the teenage volunteer zoo community, has the aim of educating our visitors about sustainable practices and various conservation campaigns, including “Fish4Life” and “They’re Calling on You”. It is running now until Friday October 5th.

YATZ (Youth at the Zoo) comprises of nearly 600 teenagers who are keen to engage with wildlife conservation, experience learning outside of the classroom and provide an added sense of community. The entire event is run and organised by YATZ, everything! The setting-up, handing out of fliers, manning the stalls, you think of it, they do it.

In addition to talking to their guests about Taronga’s conservation campaigns, some of the other activities being run are a water quality stall, supported by Sydney Water, and face painting.

Ben, Shannon, Livy and Charlotte (pictured, left to right) spent part of their day enthusiastically testing samples of water. They said the types of bugs you find in water bodies can tell you a lot about how healthy the area is. For example, Stonefly Nymphs are very sensitive to changes in water quality. The fewer Stonefly Nymphs found, the poorer the water quality. Whereas large numbers of Mosquito larvae is bad and another sign we need to take steps to improve the situation. Shannon and Livy suggested not using toxic chemicals and finding environmentally friendly alternatives, like phosphate-free washing powders, was a great way to make a difference. If we don’t help out we may lose many species, as insects like the Stonefly Nymph is food for other animals like frogs.

Over at the face painting stall Sehnaz was busily decorating the faces of many a zoo guest. Most popular for the day included spiders and lady beetles, however bees and butterflies were other options proudly donned by smiling guests as they headed off to take in the rest of the eco-fair.

The Boral YATZ Eco-Fair will still be running tomorrow until about 3 o’clock. The crew has put in an incredible amount of hard work and would love it if you came by and said “hi”. 


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